The Charente was navigable for many years, but navigation has only recently been restored after the river had been virtually abandoned by commercial shipping in the middle of the 20th century. Recreational vessels have now taken possession of the waterway of which the navigability has been completely restored as far upstream as Angoulême. Flowing through cities like Cognac, Jarnac, Saintes and Rochefort, the river has excellent possibilities for tourism.
The river has been equipped upstream from Saintes, and it has locks of a fairly modest size - some 34 by 6 meters. Marinas along the river with boats for hire and good possibilities to moor and disembark make the Charente a perfect leisure area for boat trip lovers .