Skippered cruises and chartered cruises
A Hotelboat cruise is ideal if you want a packaged all inclusive canal holiday where all the hard work is done for you. It’s ideal if you don’t want to be physically active, or if you are travelling alone, or if you just like to be looked after on holidays! All hotelboats come with a skipper and at least one crew. It’s not usually a holiday for family groups since most don’t accept children, unless you charter the whole hotelboat which can be ideal for a family group.
Smaller hotelboats may just look after 2 or 3 guests, others may take up to 9 guests at a time, and larger river craft take many more. Your company could be like-minded adult passengers, soon to become friends. Or you might have the hotelboat and crew to yourself, or share it with your friends and family. Smaller boats may also operate on a charter basis so you can pick a route.
If you have fellow passengers they may be adult couples or singles, some will be first timers, others will be working their way towards travelling every canal in England! Some will be tourists, fitting a hotelboat cruise into a larger UK holiday, others will be British. So people come from a wide variety of backgrounds and lasting friendships are frequently made.
Canal holidays are casual holidays so best leave the suits and ball gowns behind! We all know English weather can bring "four seasons in one day" so remember sweaters and waterproof coat as well as sunny weather wear. Stout shoes, gloves and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty are a good idea if you want to walk and help with locks.
Don’t forget torch, camera, sketch book and book to read, but remember storage space is often limited so don’t bring too much. Hotel boats often have small libraries of books on board, so maybe no need to bring your own.