Your Canal Holiday Questions Answered
- How are boat hires priced?
- How much experience do I need?
- Is there a minimum age?
- Do I need a licence to steer a boat?
- Where can we take our boat?
- How do I find pubs and shops along the route?
- Can we fish on any rivers?
- Where can we stop overnight?
- Can we bring our dog?
- Can we bring or hire bicycles?
- Can I charge my mobile phone and camcorder?
- What about fuel and water?
- Can I take my laptop computer?
The hire charge is quoted for the boat with up to the maximum number of people. A compulsory non-refundable Damage Waiver is also charged. Cancellation Insurance is strongly advised - this may be included in the hire charge, or may be a compulsory or optional extra depending on boat operator. Personal Insurance may also be offered.
No experience is necessary for the boats featured on this website. Most boats are extremely easy to handle, with one lever controlling speed and forward or reverse direction. Tuition will normally be given at the start of the holiday.
Most boat firms require hirers to be over 21. Many firms do not allow under-25 or all-male or all-female groups on some or all of their boats.
No,you don't need a licence or certificate to steer a boat for up to 12 people, the maximum boat size on the canals.
We offer thousands of miles of rivers and canals, so you can take the boat anywhere within your time constraints. You can plan your cruise with our guides to each route, but can also order Route Planners and Cruising Guides from this website or when you book your boat. You are automatically licensed for most canals, but there are a small number of waterways (including the River Avon) for which you may need an extra licence.
How do I find pubs and shops along the route?
You can order guidebooks when you book for most routes, showing all major points of interest or buy online from this website.
In Scotland and Ireland, you can fish at any time. In England and Wales, any time except the 'close season' - mid March to mid June - and you will need an Environmental Agency licence. These are available from Post Offices and should be obtained in advance of your holiday.
There are plenty of free moorings along most waterways. You can also tie up at private or local authority marinas, quays and harbours, where a small charge is usually made. Mooring along canal towpaths is free, but be careful not to restrict access to locks or bridges. Mooring spots near popular pubs and eating places can get busy at peak times.
Many boats allow up to 2 well-behaved pets, although there may sometimes be an additional cleaning charge. It is best to check when you are booking your boat
Some firms allow bicycles to be taken on a suitably protected boat roof. This may not be possible on routes with many lift bridges. Cycle hire may be available.
A full tank of fuel is provided, giving two weeks cruising time on average. With most operators a fuel deposit is payable, with unused fuel costs refunded. Your boat also comes equipped with a full tank of water, which can be refilled at any of the numerous water points. This may need to be refilled daily depending on water usage.
Most boats are fitted with a 12 volt cigar lighter, so if your phone or camcorder can be charged from your car, it will work from the similar socket provided on the boat. You will need to bring your own lead.
Laptop computers can be used on some of the boats which have 240 volts. Please check when booking.