Relaxing on our waterways

By | Category: Travel news

Whilst there has been quite a conversation about the return of ocean cruising, we have heard little about hiring your own boat and taking to our lakes, rivers and canals.

Image – Le Boat

As you might imagine, this is also proving very popular at a time when we aren’t sure whether we will be able to travel abroad or people decide to opt for staycations.

From Le Boat comes the first solid indication of how bookings have been for hiring. For them, the season began in English waters on April 12th and on Scottish waters the 26th of April – today.

The start of the UK season coincides with the news that bookings for UK travel in 2021 with Le Boat are already up 110% year on year and up 76% on 2019. Bear in mind that last year was a solid year for staycationers as well so a 110% increase shows a substantial increase and also a greater interest in taking self-drive boating hoidays.

To meet this increasing demand, the Le Boat team have increased their number of craft available in England and Scotland, with 10 more boats deployed to the Thames and five additional boats sent to the Caledonian Canal.

Similarly, Le Boat has moved 10 more boats to the River Shannon for the 2021 season, in response to a boom in Irish domestic travel. Having over 900 boats worldwide means that the company can move vessels around to deal with demand so bookers should not be short of a boat to hire.

Apart from the obvious attractions of lazy days on water travelling at your own pace one of the big attractions for people who have never boated before is the attraction of staying in your own bubble. You control who you see and groups not following distancing can easily be avoided.

Foxton Locks – for those put off by locks the western part of the River Thames provides longer journeys between locks.

In addition, Le Boat’s Covid Safety Charter, which supplies pre-departure information digitally, including a comprehensive safety video, enhanced cleaning processes at the Le Boat bases and on the boats gives confidence to the boater at a time when how passengers are treated by any tour operator is key to remaining open.

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