new to boating

New to boating holidays?

No experience necessary, no licence required!

If you’ve never been on a boating holiday before, the concept is simple. We provide you with a boat, which will be your home and transport for the duration of your holiday. Pick it up from one of our many bases, situated along some of the most beautiful waterways in Europe and Canada, and the rest is entirely up to you. Go where you want; do as you please. The only requirement is that you return it back to the base on time.

A BOATING HOLIDAY IS...

Le Boat Canal du Midi

...EASY

Our boats have been designed to make them easy to use, with a steering wheel for left and right and a forward and reverse throttle! So, no previous boating experience or a licence is required. 

  

Not many of our new customers have driven a boat before. However, they quickly realise how easy it is and soon become confident navigating the waterways. Our base teams will tell (and show) you everything you need to know and will accompany you for a short distance, to make sure you are completely happy with the controls.

3. Surf, Kitesurf, Windsurf e vela

...ACTIVE

This is no beach holiday! There's plenty to do besides driving the boat. If you're not the one who's driving, then you form part of the boat's 'able crew' and can help handle ropes when mooring and passing through locks - an excellent opportunity for your family or group to come together and working as a team!

 

Then there's all the wonderful villages, towns and cities to explore along the way. Plus, in many of our destinations there's a whole host of activities for your family or group to come together and take part in - swimming, watersports, horse riding, wine-tasting to name a mere few. 

Have a particular interest? Let us inspire you

Reading on the river

...RELAXING

Wait! Active or relaxing - which is it? Well, they're both! While there's lots to do both on and off your boat - there is nothing quite like the tranquil pace of the waterways to slow you down. No one is in a rush. People take the time to talk to one another, wave as they pass, share boating tales. The gentle pace of our boats allow you to drink in the scenery, appreciate nature and enjoy being together in each other's company as you travel from place to place. 

And if you'd rather skip the sightseeing and sunbathe on deck or have an afternoon siesta in your cabin - there's nothing stopping you. Go on... wind down and enjoy!

Canal du Midi

...LIBERATING

Total freedom! A boating holiday is free from itineraries and schedules, so you can do whatever you want and stop when and wherever takes your fancy.

 

You'll pick up your cruiser from one of our bases, and then what you do each day is up to you. Cruise all day and enjoy the beautiful views, moor along the towpath and read a book; go for a bike ride and explore nearby village, or stop at the next town or city and go sightseeing! Cook and dine on board or eat at a waterside restaurant. Then just return your boat on the last day, to whichever end base you've booked. On our holidays - you really are the Captain! 

Find out more about our destinations

Bourgogne Franche-Comté

...UNIQUE

A boating holiday will allow you to experience things in a way you never have before. Our waterways lead you to small villages that you’ll never otherwise have discovered. Here, you’ll get to experience the true nature of your destination – the delicious cuisine, the friendly locals and the hidden gems that are ‘off-the-beaten-track’.

 

Even in bigger towns and cities, the approach from the water is often more impressive and will keep you away from people-laiden transport hubs. It’s like a tradesman entrance where you get to see life downstairs, as well as up. We love this perspective and we’re sure you will too.

Horizon 3 - saloon

...HOME FROM HOME

Imagine a well-equipped apartment on the water! Our boats have all you need to enjoy a comfortable holiday with family and friends. Private cabins (many are en-suite) with comfy beds, hot water showers, sinks and toilets; a fully-equipped kitchen means you can shop local and dine on board if you chose.

 

And most boats have sundecks where you can dine al-fresco, be 'at one' with the great outdoors and spend quality time reconnecting with your family and friends. 

 Check out our boats

Are you ready to try a fresh perspective?

SEARCH FOR AVAILABILITY

  

Le Boat

 

Questions we are often asked by 'boating newbies'

Staycation_Socially-Distanced_Training

Before you leave the dockside with your boat, a member of our experienced base team will conduct a pre-departure briefing with you. Not only will they explain how the onboard features of the boat work (like the hot water, cooking appliances, heating/cooling etc) they will also show you how to handle the controls and manoeuvre the boat. They’ll even take you for a drive and, at bases where there is a lock close by, pass through a lock with you as well. The briefing takes about an hour, but they’ll spend longer if needed – they’ll make sure you’re fully confident before you leave. There’ll’ also be written literature on board, online videos to watch and the support of our base team by phone should you need it. We make it possible for thousands of people to cruise the waterways every year, and a majority of them have never been boating before either. It’s really easy!

Can I damage the boat?

Our boats are strong and sturdy and are equipped with built-in or free-hanging fenders along the side. So they can withstand a few gentle knocks and bumps while you get used to the controls – especially when mooring up or entering a lock. If you are sensible, take it slowly, listen carefully at your pre-departure briefing and follow our advice, accidents are easily avoided. 

 

We take a refundable damage deposit from all customers prior to departure and your liability for any damage to the boat is limited to this amount. For peace of mind, the amount of deposit required, and thus your liability, may be significantly reduced by purchasing a non-refundable Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). You can purchase this when you book or at the base before you depart.  
See optional extras for more details.

 

Lock

Locks are easy and fun! Going through locks is an enjoyable part of your holiday. It gives everyone on board the chance to get involved, no matter their age or experience. You’ll quickly get the hang of them and enjoy the crew camaraderie and the opportunity to chat with fellow boaters. The types of lock vary by region, whether manually-operated or electric; automatic or manned by a lock keeper.

Vision 4 Interior & saloon

All our boats have comfortable cabins; hot water, showers and toilets; dining tables and fully-equipped kitchens – everything you’ll need to be self-sufficient for the duration of your holiday. You can travel from place to place, without the need to keep unpacking and packing again! For more information about individual boats, visit our boat pages.

Checking in at base

Some people like to plan their holiday itinerary in fine detail. Others enjoy waking up each morning and chatting about what to do that day, around the breakfast table. It's up to you!

 

No matter what your style - we provide plenty of information to help you plan your adventure! There is a waterways map on board which makes it very clear where you can and can’t go. Other on-board information tells you approximately how long it will take you to travel from point to point, where you can moor and what you can expect to find in each waterside town or village. If you need further help planning your perfect holiday, you can also give one of our friendly Boating Experts a call.

Cruising on the Canal du Midi

You can cruise for as long and as far as you want. In many of our boating regions, we have more than one base, which means you can either return your boat to the same base you started from, or you can cruise one-way between two bases.

 

You can book any duration from a three-night short break to a two-week holiday, or even longer. We won’t allow you to book a duration that doesn’t allow enough time to get to your destination base. We’ve provided helpful cruising suggestions on our destination pages, to show you how long it will take to cruise between bases. An average of three to four hours cruising a day is quite a nice pace.

Mooring

You must stick to the permitted waterways that are safe to navigate on – these are clearly indicated on navigation maps which you’ll be provided with on board. But there is often a choice of direction you can head and, in some regions, several waterways you can head along.

 

You must only moor in permitted locations and most towns and villages will have public moorings you can use – some are free and some you pay for. In some of our cruising regions you can moor along the towpath in the countryside, securing your ropes by hammer metal spikes into the bank. Again, your navigation map will make it clear where you are allowed and not allowed to moor.

Still have more questions? Why not check out our frequently asked questions.

  

Le Boat

 

How do I plan my boating adventure?

So you've decided a boating holiday is for you - fantastic! But how do you go about planning your boating escapade? Well don't worry, planning a boating holiday is simple... Just follow these three simple steps and you'll be on your way to an unforgettable boating adventure in no time!

Step 1: Choose your destination

We operate in 17 unique destinations across 9 countries, so we know we have the perfect holiday for everyone! See our destinations for a complete list of our cruising regions.

 

Carcassonne - Canal du Midi

Step 2: Choose your boat

Whether you are a large group of friends or a single couple, our impeccably maintained fleet has a boat for every party-size and budget. View a full list of boats in our fleet.

 

Horizon

Step 3: Choose your extras

From bike hire to grocery packs, our optional holiday extras are the perfect accompaniments to any cruise. View a complete list of holiday extras to make your cruise extra special!

 

Canal du Midi


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