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HVO fuel: Nicols, pioneer for sustainable river tourism.

Following the launch of two electric boats in 2018 at the Saverne base in Alsace, we have been looking for a simpler and faster way to convert our fleet of boats to a renewable energy source. For the 2024 season, we have once again chosen the Saverne base as a testing ground for sustainable development, in partnership with VNF. This year we will be testing the launch of a fleet of boats converted to HVO fuel.


Sustainable development: we are committed to greener river tourism

As the 2024 season is getting started, we are strengthening our commitment to sustainable development at Nicols, the specialist for the rental of license-free houseboats (Locaboat Group). In Saverne in Alsace, one of our 25 rental bases in Europe, the entire fleet, consisting of 27 boats, has been converted to HVO fuel, a hydrotreated, biodegradable, and renewable vegetable oil.

This fuel, derived from vegetable oils, reduces up to 92% of CO2 emissions, NOx pollutants and fine dust particles. According to the Scope 3 carbon emissions assessment of the Locaboat Group for the year 2023, about 25% of the total emissions of the conventional fuel consumption of the boats are accounted for (the rest is due to the customer's arrival, especially the arrival by plane). The transition to HVO therefore represents a comprehensive contribution to reducing the CO2 balance of the business.

"The reform for our base in Alsace is a great initiative and represents a step towards a more economical and environmentally friendly fleet and inland navigation activity. Future projects are already being considered to get even more changes going in the upcoming season," said Corinne Dufaud, General Director of Nicols.

With this development, Nicols confirms its role as an innovative player in the industry. Already in 2018, the renting company and boat manufacturer had started an environmentally conscious approach by manufacturing and operating two electric boats, which are also available in Saverne. This change is also helping to improve the air quality around the ports. The Blue Flag label awarded to the port complements these initiatives and makes Nicols Saverne an ideal base for travellers who want to have a local and environmentally conscious experience.

En abandonnant progressivement l'utilisation du diesel au profit du HVO, Nicols démontre son engagement pour la préservation l'environnement en favorisant le développement d'un tourisme fluvial écologique et durable.

With the gradual conversion from diesel to HVO, Nicols is demonstrating its commitment to environmental protection by promoting the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable houseboat tourism.

Green sailing in Saverne

Bateau électrique sans permis


First manufacturer and rental company in France

As a reminder: Nicols is a multifaceted company. We manufacture our license-free boats ourselves, take care of the rental of these and operate 25 rental stations in France and throughout Europe. For more than 35 years, our teams have been committed to the comfort of our leisure captains, who can explore Europe's freshwater areas on unique boats with maritime design!

In our shipyard in Cholet, in the very west of France, we produce every boat with the Nicols logo, from the bare hull to the numerous fittings, which are sometimes individually designed according to the wishes of our customers. This complete autonomy, the craftsmanship know-how and the proximity to our customers allow us to build a wide range of boats of all sizes. Each of these boats meets all the needs of our customers: quality, excellence, optimal comfort, as well as a unique look.

Chantier Nicols Cholet

The success of Nicols is due to the possibility of spending a vacation in complete freedom with a comfort like that of a home. Our guests have everything in their hands to let themselves be carried away by the current and move forward at their own pace. How to plan a vacation that really suits you. Our teams are there to accompany you from the choice of your destination to the return to the base. Do not hesitate any longer, spend your next vacation on a houseboat from Nicols!

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