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A taste of the summer season at the Port de la Jonction, in Nevers

At the port of La Jonction, in Nevers, the spring weather and the Easter holidays have brought tourists back after two complicated years marked by the health crisis. Which bodes well for a great 2022 season, according to the professionals we met. While waiting for the peak in attendance, everyone is fine-tuning their layouts and projects. The Neversois are not forgotten since a new playground has been installed on the Pascal-François promenade.

At the La Marine restaurant: in the starting blocks

Bertrand Chiron, owner of the restaurant “La Marine”, renowned for its Morvan trout and freshly fried Loire. Photo Fred Lonjon

“A very good start for 2022”, judge Bernard Chiron, about the Easter holidays. “We saw camper vans, the first boats, foreigners…”. The owner of the Navy, however, closed his establishment from April 24 to May 2, before the launch, for good, of his summer season, Tuesday May 3, with a dozen seasonal workers.

premium Serving after 10 p.m.: the dilemma of neversois restaurants

Unlike others, he did not struggle to recruit them. The 100-seat terrace also opens on Tuesday 3 May. In the kitchen, Morvan trout will give way to fresh Loire frying, from June 15, “according to the Loire. You never know in advance,” he says with a smile. The only downside: rising commodity prices. “The price of oil is €5 per litre, we consume nearly 40 liters per week. Everything increases, the meat, the butter…”, laments his son, Nicolas, in the kitchen. This has slight repercussions on the menu: “There are small increases, while remaining reasonable”, reassures Nicolas.

At the Captaincy, the return of foreigners?

At the Harbor Master’s Office, Maxime Laurens is optimistic for the upcoming summer season.

After two years strongly affected by the Covid-19, Maxime Laurens, captain since 2018, is optimistic: “It should be a full year”. During the Easter holidays, the first rental boats, coming from Decize or Dompierre, moored at the port of La Jonction.

“But it’s not yet the majority. The season runs from mid-May to mid-September. A seasonal worker must be hired. “We are there every day, until 8 p.m., because the locks close at 7 p.m.,” he explains. Normally, in summer, “more than half of the clientele is foreign”. Thanks to a new relaxation area, in front of the harbor master’s office, they will be able to meet boaters who live year-round (about twenty out of the sixty pitches).

At the Nevers campsite, a new team

Kassandra Amenabar (left) is the new manager of the Nevers campsite, assisted by Axelle Mignot (right).

At 26, Kassandra Amenabar (left) is the new manager of the Nevers campsite, assisted by Axelle Mignot (right). In July and August, at the height of the season, two seasonal workers will complete the duo. “We opened on March 1. The season starts very well with the Easter weekend and the holidays, the first cyclists arrive,” she explains. The address – around eighty places – remains popular with Dutch retirees and camper van owners.

“We are a temporary campsite, it fills up in the afternoon; there are generally no reservations, ”recalls Kassandra Amenabar. Two “ecopods” have just been installed. “These are small cabins without sanitary facilities, especially for cyclists or pilgrims”, presents the manager. She would finally like to open the place to the Neversois: “We would like to welcome music groups for the Music Festival and why not, open it to the inhabitants. I would also like to offer two or three stands with local artisans or producers during the welcome drink, in July and August”. The call is launched!

Welcome aboard the MS Deborah !

Cruises between Nevers and Briare resumed on March 31.

Have you seen it ? For the first time, the MS Deborah spent the winter at the port of La Jonction. Cruises resumed on March 31. Until early November, the barge will sail between Nevers and Briare. A one-week trip concocted by CroisiEurope.

“We are in full expansion”, assures Ryad Ben Saad, captain of the MS Deborah. This is not without economic repercussions on Nevers, he assures. “We get our fuel locally, for food, the twenty-two passengers discover Nevers with a guide from the tourist office and buy souvenirs…”, emphasizes Ryad Ben Saad.

Linda Hammer

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