Canal cruises come to England

By | Category: Travel news

Almost overlooked in the budget two weeks ago, was the plan to widen our canals starting with the Grand Union Canal. Some of the increase in promotion spending given to Visit England which has led to the much criticised campaign urging us to holiday at home this year may well be earmarked for promoting river cruising.
The development fund, administered by Vince Cable’s business department is considering a public/private partnership to widen canals so that cruisers with up to 42 cabins will be able to offer three and four day holiday packages.

Not only will widening mean that these vessels can travel up the canal but vessels will be able to go faster (up to 12mph) without damaging the river banks.


Initially, the widening work will concentrate on a stretch from Slough up through Aylesbury to Milton Keynes and then Northampton where it will meet up with the Oxford Canal North and then into the Trent and Mersey and up into the Peak District.
It is rumoured that companies like KD Cruises, which operates on the Rhine from places like Koblenz, Bonn and Mainz, and Lirparloof River Cruises of Kazakhstan might be interested in bringing their cruise ideas over here – but there are many British companies that would be interested as well.

As well as the tourism benefits that this would bring – the introduction of a brand new tourism experience and a boost to stay cations – there is a potential benefit to the hard-pressed south east of England as well. With a hosepipe ban just about to start, the heavy rains of the Peak district might alleviate future droughts by allowing the run-off to flow naturally down the canal system into London.

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