Hotelboats in the News!
Ladyline Hotel Boats explore the fens.
We are having a lovely time exploring the River Great Ouse and its tributaries this year. Last week saw us on the River Wissey, River Lark and the Little Ouse travelling through peaceful tranquil countryside watching the Lily Pads and ducklings dabbling about in the water. The wildlife here is tremendous. Amongst our favourite sightings are seals, otters, marsh harriers and a huge pike!! We are now looking out for the dolphins and porpoises that frequent these rivers.
Another wonderful visit to the Manor House in Hemingford Grey, the home of Lucy Boston author of the Green Knowle books, and maker of the most beautiful quilts. These visits are always popular with our guests but booking is a must! Check our Ladyline website for more details.
2017 Hotelboat Holidays are going fast!
2016 was a bumper year for Hotelboating and it looks like 2017 could be even busier! Many cruises are already fully booked, some boats have very few or no vacancies left and are taking 2018 bookings!
Check the maths and cruise to the Seven Wonders of England!
English Holiday Cruises now offer a voyage that’s just a little bit different on their 4-star hotel boat, Edward Elgar. It’s three times seven: visit Seven Wonders on a 7-day cruise along the River Severn. This new cruise covers the entire length of the Severn Navigation, sailing from Gloucester all the way to Stourport then back down river to Sharpness on the Gloucester-Sharpness canal. The countryside along the way is glorious and there are tours or visits to Worcester Cathedral, the Severn Valley Railway, Upton, Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucester Docks, the barge graveyard at Purton and the Wetlands Centre in Slimbridge.
As with many hotel boats this cruise holiday includes a complete package of hospitality with 3 traditional meals every day, catering for special diets, beers/wines at lunch and dinner, tea/coffee all day, guided tours, live entertainment, free WiFi and more besides.
Lots of Hotelboat choice and new ideas
The Hotel Boat industry has diversified considerably in recent years. Once dominated by traditional narrowboat pairs there are now luxury wide-beam, hostel, camping and vegetarian retreat boats. Hanna Rees-Jones of Bywater Cruises and chair of the Hotel Boat Operators group says ‘It's great to see different people putting their own stamp on this unique enterprise and making the most of the growing interest in our waterways.’
If you are considering starting a hotelboat business, or already running one, why not come along to our Hotelboat Operators Spring meeting to meet and network with others in the business? There is no need to be a member, and no pressure to join. Just email Hanna for details.
New addition to the Bywater crew!
John and Hanna Rees-Jones, operators of Bywater Hotelboats, recently had a new addition to their 'crew'.
Bethany Sankey-Jones was born in the early hours of the 21st November. Hanna says 'She is settling in nicely and we expect her to be wielding a windlass in no time! Big brother Alex is prepped and ready for training to begin ;)
As you would expect we will be taking the next month or so to get to know each other so admin activities for Bywater will be minimal, but if you need to contact us for any reason do drop us an email or phone call as we will still be open for queries or enquiries.'
Hotelboat owners return after 35 years!
Tranquil Rose is a well-known wide-beam Hotel Boat which is now owned by James Scowen and operates on the southern waterway network. She was however originally built on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Burton-on-Trent for original owners David & June Tebbett in 1973. Based at Burton, they ran her on the East Midlands and North East rivers and canals until selling the business in 1981.
They hadn’t seen her since then until, in July this year, they booked a holiday aboard with James: Giving them the opportunity to cruise the on the Kennet & Avon Canal from Bristol to Pewsey. David Tebbett said “It was wonderful to see Tranquil Rose again, this time as passengers, and to be waited on for the first time”.
Thanks to Harry Arnold and Waterway Images for this report.
Hotel Boats honour Bingley Five Rise Lock Keepers with top BMIB award
The Hotel Boat section of British Marine Inland Boating (BMIB) has awarded their prestigious Lock Keeper of the Year award for 2015 to John Lobley, Richard Moor and Nick Stead of the Canal & River Trust (CRT) lock keeping team at Bingley Five Rise on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
The award was presented on Tuesday 17 May 2016 when the luxury 5 star Hotel Boat Lady Teal passed through the spectacular Bingley Five Rise staircase of locks – one of the seven “Wonders of the Waterways”. Recipients are nominated and voted for by all BMIB Hotel Boat operators so that they can recognise the support they receive from the people working ‘on the ground’ as they take holidaymakers around Britain’s inland waterways.
Left, Nick and Gina Mead presenting the award.
Hanna Rees-Jones, Chair of the Hotel Boat section of BMIB, described why they make the award: “As professional boaters we like to recognise the professionalism of navigation authority staff, especially when they give exceptional service to boaters. What makes Britain’s canals unique is their living heritage of boating, distinguished from being a giant linear park by the boats navigating amazing structures such as the Bingley staircase of locks.
Tidal Thames Cruises with Ladyline Hotel Boats
Ladyline Hotel Boats are pleased to announce that with the advice and help of the Port of London Authority we now have all the paperwork in place and we are able to continue with our very popular tidal Thames cruises.
This year these cruises are fully booked, but please have a look at future cruise schedules if you are interested in booking one of these very popular trips. Visit our website
Bywater Holidays Celebrate 10 years of Cruising
The 2016 season marks the 10th year that Hanna & John have cruised the canal network with guests. By the end of cruising in 2016 John will have been at the helm for nearly 13,000 miles and the boats travelled through nearly 12,500 locks along the way. Over the years we have worked with 14 different members of crew, some who stay just a short time, but others who continue to be friends and regular visitors, all have worked their socks off to give our guests the best holiday they can, smiling all the while.
It has been an honour to have 10 years of experiences and memories that didn’t involve a computer screen or office chair, that explored the very best that the countryside has to offer and the worst of the weather. We have cruised Welsh valleys and Northern peaks, Southern villages and river scenery, canal heritage and modern cityscapes. We have survived floods and water shortages, canal closures and queues at locks. We have sailed past tall ships and cruise liners, dutch barges and rowing boats. We have guests who have been with us since the start and we will soon be welcoming guests for whom 2016 will be their first cruise on board. We look forward to making 2016 our best season yet and have even started thinking about routes for 2017! Visit website
Ladyline Hotel Boats celebrating 10 years of hotel boating.
It doesn’t seem possible that we have been running our boat now for a full 10 years, it seems like only yesterday we were setting off on our maiden voyage. Over the years, we have learnt a lot, and met so many wonderful people, seen so many beautiful places and eaten so much food! Many of our guests have been with us for the whole 10 years and we thank them for their support and loyalty, but we have also met many new guests and welcomed them to the Ladyline family. We are looking forward to this very special (fully booked) season, and the many more that will follow. We are booking now for 2017 and 2018, check our website.
Hotel Boat on the tidal River Thames!
Hotel Boat Kailani is now the only Hotel Boat authorised by PLA to cruise the Tidal Thames from Limehouse through central London to Teddington. We have had to do some alterations to the boat to get approval from the Port of London Authority but passed in May and had our first transit with guests aboard, an experience for our guests they said they would never forget.
We left Limehouse and headed up stream toward Tower Bridge, what a sight! The waves splashed against the side of the boat, it got a little rough in places but was well worth the buffeting around, and Kailani handled it well. Through Tower Bridge – what an experience! The majestic towers beckoned, everyone gasped as we passed under the bridge. “It looks big from here” said Gordon. The river seemed to calm a little once past the Tower. We then passed HMS Belfast, what a real treat. Then on to London Bridge. In the distance we could see The Shard, St Pauls Cathedral and many other great London sights. Millennium Bridge was packed with onlookers in the afternoon sunshine and we wonder how many photographs of us were taken.
The London Eye could be seen for quite a while, then Westminster Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. More gasps at the clock chimed half past two. We only whispered as we passed MI6 Headquarters. We didn’t want anyone to hear! Battersea Power Station looks different due to the building construction works, then we saw Craven Cottage, home to Fulham FC.
The further upstream we went the quieter it became. The course of the boat race between Mortlake and Putney seemed longer from our perspective and of course no crowds, so much quieter. We reached the final stretch from Brentford to Teddington, part of the river we have travelled many times.
Our LKE (Local Knowledge Expert) Craig left us at Teddington and said he would look forward to seeing us next time.
For the next few evenings, guests and crew could not stop talking about the experience and delights seen. Too many sights to mention, so much construction work going on throughout the Capital, and we are just looking forward to doing it again. Will the journey get boring? Never!! Visit our Website