Boats for Rental
here for Frequently
you enjoy your
a rental Canal
in Europe -
Spain & the
takes you to a
world where the
pace of life drops
down a gear and
every moment is
one to be cherished.
Enjoy time with
your partner, family
or friends relaxing
as the countryside
steeped in history
and culture slowly
taking in medieval
not to mention
fresh local cuisine
pates and fresh
Our staff will be happy to share their personal boating experience and tips with
you and will help you to choose the boat that best suits your needs so call
for a chat or a beautifully glossy brochure.
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Our forthcoming newsletters will be covering Canal Boat hire travel
in more detail with lots of hints, tips and things to watch out for!
Boat Hire Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find questions and answers
about Canal Boat Cruising in the UK and Europe. Information
how to rent
or hire a canal boat is available below to
guide travellers for safe journey.
Q: How far can I cruise in the Canal Boat?
A: The normal cruising speed is about 8km/hour. If you cruise faster you cause
the banks to be damaged by soil erosion caused by the wake of your boat. Plan
to cruise no more than 4 to 5 hours per day so that you can stop and sightsee
and remember to allow time to go through locks which take about 20 minutes.
Q: Are there set days and times?
A: Hires normally operate from Saturday to Saturday, Friday to Friday or Monday
to Monday. The Saturday option being the main day so try and plan it that way.
In months other than the highest season, short breaks, Monday to Friday are available
and weekends, from a Friday afternoon to a Monday morning. Normal takeover time
is between 4 and 5 pm and return time is by 9am... (Often easiest to get to the
base the night before and overnight there so you are ready first thing in the
Q: Is there car parking at the base?
A: Yes, car parking is offered.
Q: Are Canal Boat Rentals expensive?
A: The price quoted is per boat... so divide by the number of people and you
will see that the price is very reasonable considering this is your 'hotel',
'kitchen' and 'transport' in one... plus an unforgettably different holiday.
Q: What else do we have to pay?
the end of the cruise, they will check your number of cruising hours (from
a meter) and charge you for fuel, gas and oil. We can advise you these costs.
We do also recommend you take the Collision Damage Option for your own peace
of mind.Bikes, pets on board, car parking, car transfer, fishing rods and bbq
are other options.
Q: Will we have to refuel with fuel or water?
A: The boat comes with enough fuel for one or two weeks of cruising. Water will
have to be refilled every couple of days, depending on how many people etc. The
water refill points will be shown on your canal guide. It may cost you one or
two euros to refill.
Q: Where can we moor and how much does it cost?
A: You can moor wherever you want... the boat comes with stakes so any river
bank will do. Just don't moor just outside tunnels or around bends or where you
see 'no mooring signs' but we are pretty sure you'd figure that out yourself!
Q: What about electrical equipment?
A: Most boats are equipped with a 12 volt system with a cigar lighter fitting
to recharge mobile phones and camcorders. A radio/cassette and a 12 volt hair
dryer are provided. A 220v socket is available for electric razors only.
Q: We have never cruised before. How will we know the 'rules of the road'?
A: 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.
However, your instruction booklet sent out with your documents will explain this
so you can do some 'homework' before you go!
Q: What about groceries and supplies?
A: 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. We can also organise, on your behalf, the initial provision
of fresh supplies.
Q: We are just two people. Will we have a problem with locks and mooring?
A: No problem! All boats are 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!
Q: We are going with friends we have not seen in a while. Do you think we
may feel 'confined' or 'limited'?
A: On a canal boat cruise you will be captivated by the passing scenery, experiencing
a sense of space and freedom! You also have the option of cycling alongside on
the towpaths. When moored, you will experience the 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 or on deck sipping a chardonnay as the
sun sets so beautifully... With bikes, you all have the option of exploring in
Q: Is there any chance we will be bored?
A: A canal boat cruise doesn't mean that you have to limit your horizon to the
canal or river bank! Often 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 medieval 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.
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Boat Rental - More Information
Everything you need to know about Canal
Boat Rental or Hire
in the UK and Europe.
Anyone can pilot a boat. They are very easy to handle and
no licence is required. When you get to the base, you will
be given a personal lesson and taken out for a short trip
to ensure you are completely comfortable before you head
For additional peace of mind, in the unlikely event that
you run into any difficulties, local staff are just a
call away. Ask Tracey from our office, she will be embarrassed,
but she will tell you how terrific the 24 hour "boatside"
is… And just like cars, boats do come fully insured
but an excess will apply if you have an accident or damage
the boat but optional Collision Damage Waiver insurance
So which base should you cruise from? Well to be perfectly
honest, in all the years of selling boating holidays,
we have never come across anyone who has accused us of
them a ‘bad route’…on the contrary,
there are more instances of people getting of the boat
booking for the next year.
That's one thing we can guarantee and that is that
a canal boating holiday is one you will always remember.
Having said that, we do suggest that you first start
off with a couple of brochures and read through the highlights
in each cruising area, perhaps even do some research
the areas you are considering.
There are over 25 different cruising regions and each
has its own unique character. Just bear in mind the season…If
you are travelling in the cooler months like October,
perhaps choose to cruise down South in the Midi area
where it is
warmer or just take appropriate clothing.
Our brochures do give you a temperature guide for the
different months. So this is an appropriate time to explain
You may be offered an "out and back" cruise which
means you start from one base and you can then cruise
in any direction but the boat must be returned to the
A one way cruise is just that. You cruise from one base
to another. There are pro's and con's for
each type. If you choose an out and back, you can leave
your car, motorhome
and even excess baggage at the base and when you return
you just hop into your car and off you go. The downside
you will cover the same ground twice, and probably end
up stopping at the same villages for supplies….however,
some people do enjoy the familiarity.
If you choose a one way cruise, we must point out that
there is not one company that will guarantee a one way
cruise, the direction thereof and could even change
it to an out and back. Whilst this seldom happens, the right is reserved
to do so and it is not an allowable reason to cancel
So a one way cruise
should be checked 4 days before pick up. Don't let this put you
off though because the distances between bases is not great and the bases will
help move you to the other base. It generally only happens if the previous
hirer has cancelled and time does not allow them to move the canal boat.
If you do have a car and want to do a one way cruise, the staff at the base
can move your car to the finish point. There is a charge of approximately
for this service. The cost to do a one way is approximately Euro 100. If
you have a hire car, do remember to tell the hire car company that you require
an additional driver so this way the car is insured. They may need you to
base and obtain the drivers name. So what about the locks you want to
Don't let the number of locks put you off. Personal experience has shown that
every bridge you pass under or every tunnel you go through has been counted as
a lock! So there are not as many as the brochure indicates.
Locks will appear a bit daunting until you’ve been through 2 or 3 and
then suddenly, "you're an expert" and they become fun.
Locks are part and parcel of life on the river. Most are open and closed
by a lock-keeper,
some are automatic and a few are hand operated. Use this time to chat to
fellow boaters whilst you queue to go through (weekends and peak season),
or to the
lock-keeper. "Some"of them are really friendly. We
met a friendly lock-keeper who enthusiastically discussed the Rugby World cup
details with us,
we swopped addresses and he plans to visit us in Australia. Other lock
keepers will offer you fresh veggies from their market garden, home made
cakes for sale or fresh eggs.
So if you are now ready to start planning your trip, may we respectfully
suggest that you first choose your cruising area. The beautiful glossy brochures
have will assist you. Then have a look and see which canal boats operate
out of the
region you have chosen and then choose your boat. Now there are quite a few
tips to choosing the right canal boat to suit your party and we'll be
happy to offer suggestions.
Then choose whether you want an out and back or one way. Once you have the
canal boat booked, we will be happy to help you plan getting to or from the
hire car is an option before or after the cruise and will often work out more
cost effectively than getting the train from say, Paris, if you are more than
3 persons. Again, let me assure you that this is one holiday you will remember
for many years to come and the only problem is that we know you will want to
do another again and again….
Clients report on his Canal Boat trip
Best Canal Boat Company in Britain?
- What should you consider when deciding upon a boat?
get the holiday to fit into your budget?