Barge Holidays

 

A wide choice of self-drive barge holidays with Viking Afloat throughout the Waterways, (Canals and Rivers) of England and Wales.

 

barge holidays in the UK

Viking Afloat will introduce you to one of Britain's best kept secrets, the 2000 mile network of waterways and navigations, for which the canal barge was specially designed, that meander across some of the most beautiful countryside, and past pubs, cottages and warehouses. Here you will discover the Britain most tourists miss on their holidays.

We will introduce you to Viking Afloat one of Britain's largest and most successful boating holiday operators.

Click here for full details of self-drive barge holidays.

First time boaters are given a friendly welcome by everybody on the canal. But you won't be inexperienced for very long, for within a short time you will be gliding serenely around the first bend into a whole new and different world.

The specially designed barges (also known as narrowboats and canal boats) are easy to handle and of course, everything happens at a relaxed pace.  You will be given all the instruction you need by the holiday company and will soon head off on your very own adventure like a seasoned boater.

Your canal barge will be fully equipped with every modern amenity, so self-catering becomes a pleasure, but there are also many canalside pubs, once essential 'staging posts' for the working boats of the last century, which are now popular watering holes for holiday boaters; and most offer great food at reasonable prices.

Most visitors appreciate the independence, the peace and tranquillity of 'getting away from it all'.  You can choose between the challenge of some of the densely belocked stretches of canal - quite astounding feats of engineering - or choose lazy days drifting along the many stretches with very few locks.  The canals and rivers go through the heart of the cities as well as through open countryside, and your boat can be a mobile base for exploring the history of our great trading routes, or for the diverse entertainment you will find in our largest city centres.

Two thousand miles of tranquil waterways, threading their way through some of Britain's most beautiful and unspoiled countryside, offering a haven for wildlife and an insight into our industrial heritage.  A network of waterways taking you to the heart of major cities, with all the entertainment and leisure facilities that they provide.

There is nothing quite like a holiday on Britain's Inland waterways. Camaraderie when you meet other boaters, friendliness when you tie up at the pub for a drink or a meal. A holiday of contrasts, taken at a slow pace.  The variety is endless, city, town, village and country, wide canal, narrow canal and river. Every bend brings forth some new feature. You can never see it all, no matter how many times you return. But why worry? Barge holidays are for relaxation, for unwinding from every day pressures, for doing what you like, when you like.

Short Breaks

Weekend Breaks: You start out on a Friday afternoon around 3.00 pm and following a full demonstration of how to handle the boat and work the locks (all very straightforward) you are off on a carefree 3 night break, exploring the real Britain. Saturday and Sunday are yours to do with as you please and the only thing you really need to remember is that these Weekend breaks finish at 9.30 am on the Monday morning, when you have to hand the boat back to the boatyard.

Midweek Breaks: These equally popular breaks, have you cruising away from the boatyard around 3.00 pm on a Monday afternoon and the good news is that you don't have to be back until Fiday morning at 9.30 am! This gives you a full four nights away and yet the price is exactly the same as for the Weekend.

We rate personal choice very highly - choice of cruising routes from one of our four bases; choice of hire periods, including Short Breaks, one and two week holidays; choice of no less than four different start days and a remarkable choice of boats which are fully equipped for parties of two to ten people. We want you to enjoy the special experience of a holiday with Viking Afloat and so we try to make your booking as all inclusive as possible whilst at the same time offering genuine flexibility.

As a result of listening to what our customers say, we provide one of the most extensive inventories to be found on a hire craft anywhere in Britain. We are also one of a very few companies that provide pure filtered drinking water on all of our boats and as part of the service, we provide everyone with a full demonstration of the boat and its systems, as well as teaching newcomers how to handle the boats and how to work the canal locks. Every boat has on board a comprehensive manual and we provide expert help around the clock with our 24 hour emergency helpline.

For your added convenience we are now able to offer an online booking availability request. Just select a base and class of boat, decide when you would like to take your canal boat holiday and then click on the 'check availability' icon.