Boating Holidays Masthead
Boating Holidays Masthead

Choosing your Boat

In mainland Europe we offer over 1200 boats with over 3000 cruising choices. In the UK we have over 1000 canal narrowboats plus boats on the River Thames and Scotland's Loch Ness.

What style of boat?

Every cruising area has its own selection of boats. Each has all the modern facilities you need for a comfortable holiday - a spacious saloon, sleeping cabins giving excellent privacy, a fully-equipped galley, showers with hot and cold running water, toilets and heating. We offer over 60 boat and barge designs in Europe - see the boat fleet pages. For UK boats go to UK boating holidays.

Many have dedicated toilets and shower rooms for each cabin. To enjoy the sunshine there are boats and barges with internal and external steering positions (dual steering), others have opening sun-roofs. Some boats have central or rear steering positions. You can also choose between the cruiser boat style or the distinctive Penichettes modelled on a classic french barge. it’s your choice!

Many have dedicated toilets and shower rooms for each cabin. To enjoy the sunshine there are boats and barges with internal and external steering positions (dual steering), others have opening sun-roofs. Some boats have central or rear steering positions. You can also choose between the cruiser boat style or the distinctive Penichettes modelled on a classic french barge. it’s your choice!

What size of boat?

The biggest boats are for 12 people (including babies), the smallest for two adults. There are boats designed for families or groups of friends, and boats ideal for couples. Your boat or barge must have beds (or berths) to sleep everyone on board.

Some hire boats have a saloon sitting/dining area which can be converted at night to a bed for sleeping. This reduces privacy, but means a smaller (and cheaper) boat for the size of party.

In our descriptions a boat described as holding 4+2 people means it has bedrooms for 4 people and a convertible saloon bed for 2 people. It is ideal for 4 people but 6 people can sleep aboard. A boat shown as sleeping 6 people would have three sleeping cabins. A group of 4 hiring this boat would then have a spare cabin to store extra items.

Deck plans and boat details on our fleet pages will help you choose, or contact our helpful team for independent advice.

How luxurious a boat?

Top of the range boats and barges may feature bow thrusters for easy handling. Luxury items may include air conditioning, electric toilets, and media centres. The Gold Fleet is our choice of the best equipped boats.

Each boat class has different specifications, so check out the details in our boat fleet descriptions.

How expensive a boat?

Hire charges depend on season, luxury and size of boat. Cheapest is a two-berth cruiser in low season and most expensive a top of the range luxury 10-berth in peak season.

To help you match a boat to your budget we show a guide hire charge from £ to £££££ - the actual price varies from season to season. Our boat availability searches show the exact hire charge for the boat for up to its maximum capacity - in either GBP (British Pounds) or Euro.

Fuel costs are additional to the hire charge, and a security deposit or non-refundable damage waiver is payable. There are early booking discounts, group discounts, and all-year deals or late booking special offers.

Dining Area of a Cruiser Boat Cruiser Boat Penichette Cockpit Penichette 935W