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Locaboat Holidays - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
CanalBoat Rental , Canal Boat Rental in Europe

France  |  Germany  |  Holland  |  Ireland  |  Italy


How To Pilot Your Penichette Pleasure Cruiser

How can boats be hired without a licence ?

All the countries of Europe have agreed to facilitate access to hire-boats which are duly equipped and certified, and operate in tourist areas where there is little commercial shipping.

In France and Germany, Locaboat have received permission from the local authorities for their boats to be hired without licence. Initial instruction, both theoretical and practical, is given at the point of embarkation, enabling you to quickly master your boat and grasp the essential rules of navigation. You will then be given a licence that is valid for the duration of your stay.

Will we be able to handle the boat ?
As soon as you arrive at the base and are installed in your Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser, a service engineer will come on board to explain to you the workings of the boat.

You will be given a course of instruction in piloting and shown how to manoeuvre the craft. You will then have an opportunity to ask any questions you wish. In no time at all, you will be feeling quite at home at the helm and familiar with the handling of the Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser

What if we meet another boat ?
If you are the only craft navigating a particular stretch of water, you may keep to the centre of the canal or river, but when you meet another boat, you must pull over to the right and stay close to the bank. Remember also to look behind you, in case there are faster craft following which are anxious to overtake.

What do we do if there are anglers (people fishing) on the bank ?
When passing anglers (people fishing), you must reduce speed.

Are the locks easy to negotiate ?
Yes, and passing through a lock will be a highlight of your cruise! You can always chat to the lock keeper and you can sometimes buy produce that will be a speciality of the region or you can simply take advantage of this pause on your cruise to absorb the local atmosphere and get to know your fellow boating enthusiasts.

Are there lock keepers in attendance ?
Yes, most of the time. There are five types of lock in all: a manually operated lock with keeper (the most common type); an electrically operated lock with keeper; and an automated lock with keeper (a type frequently found on major rivers in particular). There are also two other types of lock without a keeper. A manually operated lock without keeper will be found especially on certain canals and rivers which are little used.

You and your crew will have to negotiate this lock, whose dimensions are small, but you will be rewarded for your efforts with one of your happiest holiday memories! The automated lock without keeper is often of medium size and can sometimes be found on canals with light commercial traffic. The service engineer will give you explanatory details of the control system for this at your point of embarkation.

When are locks "open for business" ?
Locks are "open for business" every day as a rule, but on certain public holidays they may be shut. For full details of relevant days and times, all you have to do is consult the River Guide relating to your itinerary.

Is there anything to pay ?
No, there is nothing to pay for passing through a lock. In Ireland, a plastic card on sale at the base (£10) will cover you for all services at locks and harbours. In Holland, certain drawbridges and locks are subject to a modest toll (Nlg 3 – 5).

Is there any danger for children ?
No ! Pénichette Pleasure Cruisers – whichever model you choose for your cruise – are all equipped with a number of safety features. There is ease of movement at all times on board, thanks to the wide catwalks, which are protected by guardrails, and the sun decks, which are extensive and secure. In addition, life jackets are provided and compulsory for children.

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 Things To Do On Your Penichette Pleasure Cruiser

What is there to do ? Can it be boring ?
A Pénichette Pleasure Cruise allows no time.

Can we go swimming ?
It is often possible to go swimming at all stages of your itinerary.
There are numerous lakes, rivers and canals where swimming is permitted. So bring along your bathing togs –you will need them anyway for getting that suntan on deck ! Ask for information about swimming at your point of embarkation.

What about fishing ?
In Ireland and Germany, you will pass through some of the finest fishing reserves in the world. Here, in exceptional natural surroundings, you will find a wide variety of fish. You can pick up your dinghy at the base and will have no difficulty in selecting your bait, your lines and suitable places to fish.

As for France, there is no shortage there of rivers well stocked with fish, such as the Somme, the Charente or the Saône. N.B. In order to fish, you will have to obtain a licence and this can be bought on the spot.

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 Practical Aspects Of life On Board A Penichette Pleasure Cruiser

Where can we leave our car in safety for the duration of the cruise ?

All Locaboat bases have car parks that are enclosed and/or covered.
You will be asked to pay a parking fee for this facility at your point of embarkation.

If we are taking a one-way cruise, how do we recover the car ?
The transfer can be done by Taxi.

Where can we do our shopping ?
You can stock up with fresh supplies in practically any village along the banks of the canal or river. Consult your River Guide. It will tell you exactly where you will find a butcher, a baker, a fishmonger or a grocer.

Some lock keepers will occasionally sell eggs and poultry, vegetables and wine at very reasonable prices. On the day of departure for your cruise, take advantage of your car when making bulky purchases. Locaboat can also organise, on your behalf, the initial provision of fresh supplies.

Can bicycles be hired ?
With Locaboat, you will have the opportunity to hire bicycles and bring them on board with you. This will add considerably to the enjoyment of your cruise. Locaboat have a fleet of over 900 bicycles to suit all requirements, and we recommend at least two bikes per boat. It is advisable to reserve them in advance direct from your point of embarkation. Use our Internet website for this. We have bicycles suitable for children, and standard adult machines fitted with baby-carriers and shopping baskets.

Where can bicycles be parked on board ?
There is always a place provided on your Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser for parking your bicycles on deck or at the stern.

What happens if we break down ?
Breakdowns are happily rare, but they can occur and will most likely be caused by a fault in the engine, the electrical system or the fuel supply. If this should happen to you, the drill is to ring your base immediately, and our service engineer will do whatever is necessary to put things right with the minimum of delay.

Is it easy to stop off and go cycling ?
Absolutely. The waterways are often flanked by towpaths that are very suitable for cycle rides. It's an ideal way to explore and discover the natural heritage of the surrounding area - not to mention the pleasure of shopping expeditions to towns and villages that are never that far away!

Can we stop anywhere we like ?
Certainly you can! Exploring a region in your Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser means setting off on your journey and having complete freedom to call a halt at any time. In addition to the numerous harbours with amenities that are dotted along the waterways.

you can moor your Pénichette virtually anywhere – except where there are "No Mooring" signs, or if you are on a bend or in a narrow passage, under a bridge, in a lock or near a stretch of reeds. But you are perfectly at liberty to tarry where you will in the very midst of nature, using the two mooring poles and mallet with which your Pénichette is equipped, or even to drop anchor on one of the many lakes in Germany or Ireland.

Are harbour fees payable ?
Harbours with amenities can be found just about everywhere along the waterways. Some of them make no charge but others, which may often provide water and electricity, will ask for payment of a mooring fee in return for these facilities.

Will there be hostels in the vicinity ?
You will often find that you not very far away from a beauty spot, complete with tourist facilities such as a hostel, a restaurant or even a hotel, if that is what you are looking for. Your River Guide will tell you all you need to know about the interesting and unusual sights of the area you intend visiting, and your conversations with lock keepers or locals will also serve to point you in the right direction for hostels and restaurants.

The great advantage of a Pénichette Pleasure Cruise is that you can view the countryside from a different perspective, as the water carries you along, and you can stop anywhere you like to prepare the midday or evening meal.

Will there be towns and villages to visit ?
A Pénichette Pleasure Cruise doesn't mean that you have to limit your horizon to the canal or river bank ! Frequently, you will only have to travel a few hundred yards on foot or by bicycle, or perhaps take a taxi, to discover a well-known beauty spot, a mediaeval village, an old Roman church or a fine cellar that it would be a shame to miss.Your River Guide will tell you all you need to know about the interesting and unusual features of the area that you intend visiting.

Will there be opportunities to meet other people ?
A Pénichette Pleasure Cruise frequently provides opportunities to meet other people and make new acquaintances. When negotiating a lock, for instance, you will usually find yourself in the company of other boating enthusiasts.

But you will also be drawn into contact with people from the area that you are passing through. Often, a word or two of conversation and a smile are all it takes to establish an excellent rapport with good-humoured and friendly locals. Make the first move, even if you are cruising abroad and don't speak the language of the country very well.

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 Where And When To Go ?

When is the best time of year for a cruise ?

Strictly speaking, there is no "best time of year" for a Pénichette Pleasure Cruise. Each season has its own particular attractions, and the countryside adjoining rivers and canals can always be seen to best advantage. In winter, for instance, you can still appreciate the beauty of the South of France, where the base at Lattes remains open all year round.

Will we have fine weather ?
The region and the time of year that you have selected for your holiday will naturally determine the kind of weather you can expect. But, whatever the weather, life on board a Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser is always an enriching experience.

And, whatever the weather, you should always bear in mind that humidity is a constant factor in life afloat.You will be well advised to bring some woollen garments with you - irrespective of the region and the season you have chosen for your cruise.

What if rains ?
The region that you have chosen for your holiday will determine the kind of weather you can expect but, whatever the weather, life on board a Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser is always an enriching experience.

And if it rains for any length of time, this is the right moment, if ever there was one, to explore what the surrounding area has to offer in the way of natural heritage! For, no matter where your itinerary may lead you, there will always be something to see at no great distance from your river course.

How long should we go for ?
No matter how long or short a holiday you plan, there is a Pénichette Pleasure Cruise to meet your needs. Some itineraries are designed for a weekend, others for a short week or longer. Depending on the itinerary that you select, you can set off on a cruise lasting one week or ten to eleven days or two weeks, while, for the more adventurous, there are deep-sea cruises lasting three weeks!

Where can bicycles be parked on board ?
There is always a place provided on your Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser for parking your bicycles on deck or at the stern.

Where should we go ?
With our fleet of 380 Pénichette Pleasure Cruisers and 25 points of departure in France, Holland, Germany, ireland and Italy, Locaboat can offer you a wide range of routes and regions from which to choose - all just waiting to be explored from a new perspective.

Those who enthuse about lush green scenery and fishing will be in their element in Ireland and Germany, those who are keen on culture will revel in our French, Dutch and Italian itineraries, while those for whom no holiday is a holiday without the sun will be overjoyed at the abundant choice of routes on offer in the South of France. Have a browse through our brochure or take a look at the detailed itineraries on our Internet website and you will soon get some ideas about where you would like to go.

Which cruise should we take ?
You certainly have a wide choice! Locaboat can offer you 150 cruises – it's up to you to decide on the one best suited to your requirements and preferences as regards region, length of holiday, day of departure, type of cruise. And whether to opt for a single or return trip.

Whatever cruise you finally choose, you will undoubtedly have the pleasure of viewing nature from a new angle and may expect to make a few surprising discoveries en route.

May we take or leave the boat whenever we like ?
During your cruise, you are free to moor your Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser wherever you like, provided of course that mooring is permitted in the place that you have chosen. However, you will be expected to honour the terms of your hiring agreement and must therefore return your Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser to the place, and at the time, originally stipulated.

Can Locaboat advise us on what there is to see and do ?
Once you arrive at your point of departure, our local Reception Staff will brief you fully about their region on the spot and recommend the best places that are not to be missed. In addition, there will be plenty of tourism brochures available, as well as navigation maps containing invaluable information about restaurants and tours, plus details about obtaining fresh supplies.

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 Getting Together On Your Penichette Pleasure Cruiser

What is the right number for a cruise ?

A Pénichette Pleasure Cruise is always an unforgettable experience, whether shared with a partner, as a family or with friends. Children will quickly find their feet, happily take their place at the helm and retain unique and lasting memories of their time on board. Good humour will quickly be established between friends, whose enjoyment of the varied activities on board will fulfil all expectations.

Will we be able to get on with each other in a confined space ?
A Pénichette Pleasure Cruise doesn't mean that you have to shut yourself up in your cabin – far from it ! As you cruise along, you will be captivated by the passing scenery, experiencing a sense of space and freedom second to none ! Moored at the quayside, you will experience the supreme contentment of being comfortably ensconced in your saloon, sitting down to a good meal and looking out at the river bank as on your own back garden...

What about going as a couple ?
No problem ! A Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser is so easy to handle, that it is perfectly feasible for two people to pilot and manoeuvre it. And, then, if you choose your region carefully, there will be opportunities for romantic interludes on the river bank and excursions together into the surrounding countryside !

Are dogs allowed on board ?
Owners of dogs and other domestic pets are welcome to bring them on board our Pénichette Pleasure Cruisers, but it is important to also bring with you any items, such as a blanket or basket, that your pet will require for its comfort during the cruise, as these cannot be provided at the base or on board.For safety reasons, please ensure that pets are kept under control, particularly when the boat is passing through a lock and they should not be allowed to sleep on the duvets !

You are kindly requested to keep your dog with you on a lead while at the base prior to embarkation, but once on board it may be given its freedom. Please note that if you wish to bring your pet on board that you will be asked to pay a standard fee of €26 at your point of embarkation, irrespective of the duration of your cruise.

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 Life On Board A Penichette Pleasure Cruiser

Are the boats comfortable ?

With a Pénichette Pleasure Cruiser, no matter what model you select, everything has been done to ensure your comfort on board. Special features include a spacious saloon, comfortable bunks, hot water and the pleasure of a good shower – all the more enjoyable, as the water can be topped up easily at a nearby village or lock.
On board your boat, space is necessarily limited, but the saloon is always given priority, for this will virtually be your "living room" on a cruising holiday.

The cabins are modest in size but have excellent storage capacity. In fact, this is one of Pénichette's trump cards. In addition to the normal sanitary facilities, you will usually find a washbasin in each cabin. Most of the beds on board are generously proportioned. And, what's more, all Pénichette Pleasure Cruisers come equipped with full bedding, including sheets, pillows and duvets. When you take a Pénichette Pleasure Cruise, you will feel at home right away!

Is there heating on board ?
All Pénichette Pleasure Cruisers are fitted with heating systems. Some work on gas for warm-air heating and others on diesel oil for central heating.

Are linen and crockery provided on board ?
You will find on board all the appropriate crockery and culinary equipment that you will require for the preparation of anything from an intimate dinner to meals on deck, in the harbour or in the countryside. Standard facilities include worktop, cooker, fridge and sink, as well as pots and pans and a sufficient quantity of crockery to cater for the maximum number of passengers accommodated on board.

Similarly, the bedding supplied with each boat, including sheets, pillows and duvets, is appropriate to the number of passengers carried.

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 Price List - How To Book Your Cruise

It must be very expensive ?

A Pénichette Cruise offers you the never-to-be-forgotten pleasurable experience of a journey afloat at a price you would pay for a week's skiing holiday – or less.

If you take into consideration the length of your cruise, the type of cruiser you select and the number of passengers you have on board, you will find that a Pénichette Pleasure Cruise is, in fact, a very reasonably priced holiday indeed.

How early should we book ?
Don't delay... Pénichette Pleasure Cruisers are much in demand and it is best to book early. You should contact us without delay, to make enquiries, find out what if your preference is available. Whatever cruise and region you choose, we will endeavour to satisfy your requirements with a friendly and efficient service.


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