How we can help ?
We offer holidays through out the United Kingdom, Ireland and France. To find the right holiday for you just click on one of our destinations. Here you will be able to search through all the boats available for your particular destination and view all the attractions, history and heritage, entertainment etc, available along that river or canal so that you can adequately plan your holiday. Within the search engine, just decide which waterway you would like to visit, when you would like to depart and for how long. Our search engine will show you all the boats available, you can access all the information you need on that boat by clicking into it. If you would like to make a booking for that boat just submit your name and email address into the enquiry form below and will we will reply with availability and your booking form with in hours.
Booking a boat ?
When you make an enquiry for a particular boat we will reply with in hours confirming availability, we will then send you on a booking form by email. Once you have completed the form, click the pay now button. This will take you to our third party payment site where you will have to pay your deposit. Once we have received you funds, we will then confirm your booking. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of our team about your booking you can do so by contacting us directly.
What is the minimum period I can hire a boat for?
The standard minimum period is 3 nights. For most of the companies the next shortest period is 7 nights however some of the boat companies will allow you to hire for a shorter period, ie 4, 5 or 6 nights. Please contact us is you wish to book for a period of this nature and we will quote you accordingly. These trips are of course subject to availability and are typically booked two weeks in advance of a trip.
What are the collection and return times?
Seven nights really means six and a half days as the boat can be collected from 16:00 and must be returned by 09:00 on the last day. For short breaks some companies will allow a 14:00 collection.
Can I hire a boat at any time of year?
Most companies operate from March to October only. However some of the companies based on the canals do operate outside of this time period. If you wish to hire a cruiser outside of this period please contact us and we will provide you with the best options available.
Payment terms with all of the cruiser companies is 35% – 50% of the boat hire fee to confirm the booking and the balance is paid eight weeks before the cruise is due to begin. For short breaks the full hire fee is required to confirm the booking.
How do I pay?
At Discover Waterways we can take payment by credit card, bank transfer or cheque – cheque payments should be made at least six weeks before the cruise is due to begin. Our payment details and terms will be sent to you on our booking form.
The two main added costs are fuel and damage costs. A fuel deposit will be included in your initial payment but you will have to pay for the rest of the fuel you use. The fuel cost can range from £100 – £150 per week and is paid for at the end of your trip. A non refundable damage wavier will be also be included in your initial payment with most of our boats. In the case where this is not offered, it will be replaced with a refundable damage deposit and this can vary between £350 and £1,500 depending of the choice of cruiser. This can be made using cash or credit card. This cost is fully refunded to you upon return of an undamaged cruiser.
Some companies provide extra luxuries which will be outlined next to the enquiry form of any boat. If you would like to purchase an extra luxury please click the + button next to the the item you wish to purchase.
What can I expect from a boating holiday ?
If you have never been on a boating holiday before then you will be surprised. Boating holidays are very popular and are one of the best ways of relaxing, exploring and unwinding. On a boating holiday you gain access to a world that hides in plain sight but opens up in wonder, relaxation and simplicity. You will never experience a region, town or city like you would by boat and that’s what makes it such a unique a wonderful holiday experience for all the family.
Each waterway that Discover Waterways caters for is full of attractions, places to visit and entertainment. You can view all these stopover spots and explore all the regions we offer through our online guides and start planning your trip.
Whats on board ?
The boats are fully supplied with everything you need to live on board. All boats will have bathroom and shower facilities and choosing from four berth upward most boats will have two or more. The boating companies take great pride in providing a luxury experience and every boat will be provided with fresh linen, towels, cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery, etc. There will also be a fridge, cooker and oven and grill on board.
Is navigation difficult?
Not at all. The main difficulty are Locks and these are found on all canals when the level of the canal changes. A lock will allow your boat to be raised or lowered so that you can continue on the canal. With larger rivers such as the Thames and the river Shannon in Ireland the locks are nearly always manned. Generally there are a lot more locks on canals and you will be required to operate these however locks are all part of the fun experience of a boating holiday.
The boating company will brief you on the locks that you will encounter in advance of your trip but operating locks is a very simple and part of the fun of a boating holiday.
I am a beginner, does this matter ?
No. You will be provided with all the training you need upon arrival. A class will be given to you on how to use the boat and the safety procedures. One you have completed this class and the operator in satisfied that you can now use the boat, you will be allowed to depart. Many of our users are beginners and while operating a boat may seem a daunting task it is really quite simple and fun.
What about mooring the boat ?
Free mooring is usually provided in every town along the Uk’s waterways and in Ireland and France however there are some private marinas that do charge for mooring. You are advised to avoid mooring overnight when near to a lock as you may block another boat from passing by.
Travel times ?
The typical distance travelled in a day would be between 20 – 30 miles. A boating holiday is about taking it easy, relaxing and unwinding. Once you are out on the waterways time slows down and you with it so enjoy.
Pets are only allowed on certain boats, if you would like to take a pet with you please let us know when making an enquiry. Some companies charge extra for taking a pet.
Qualifications and Licences?
A driving licence is not required for operating a boat. Your boat will be licensed to use the waterways and this will be included within your holiday cost.