France-September 2013 Planning

After taking 3 RS tours in the past 5 years, we feel we are ready to take the plunge as (semi) independent travellers. Would like to go back to France and are looking at two particular activities: 1.) The first is a self driving canal boat cruise. Looking for suggestions on location. There will be 4 of us with 2 being experienced on the water. Canal du Midi, Nivernais and Burgundy are all possibilities. We are not really looking for long periods of solitude, a route with lots to explore each day would be preferable. There seem to be lots of route choices in Burgundy so which have the most activities. 2.) Want to explore Burgundy and are thinking of a self-directed walking tour, i.e. you walk along a designated route each day and your bags are waiting for you at your next hotel. Most days involve 10-12 miles of walking. I would appreciate hearing the comments of anyone with experience in either or both of these activities. We will likely fly into Paris and spend a few days there before heading out on these adventures. Thanks

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