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Canal boat and narrowboat holidays

Narrowboat Holidays
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Booking Information

Your Questions Answered


Undoubtedly this is the most worrying aspect for all beginners, until they discover how easy Viking Afloat make things for them.  We will spend as long as you like showing you round the boat, teaching you to drive and helping you through your first locks.

Take Over and Return

Under normal circumstances your boat will be available at 3.00pm on the day of departure.  The boat must be returned to the same base on the day of return by 9.00am and vacated by 9.30am.  We are sure that you will understand that each boat must be thoroughly cleaned and serviced before it is available for hire again. If you were to return the boat late, it is more than probable that you will cause a delay in the start of someone else's holiday.  We will therefore levy an additional charge for the late return of your boat.

Late Arrival

If you are unable to arrive at our base until after 3.00pm to collect your boat, please telephone the base well in advance of your holiday in order that special arrangements can be made.

Worcester Hire Base
(0)1905 612707

Gailey Hire Base
(0)1902 790612

Rugby Hire Base
(0)1788 562183

Whitchurch Hire Base
(0)1948 662012


On all of our boats we provide freshly laundered duvets, duvet covers, bottom sheets, pillows (two per person) and pillow cases. Mattress' are made of high density foam, except the double beds which mostly either have a single interior sprung mattress, or two single interior sprung mattress'. Freshly laundered sleeping bags, cotton liners and blankets are also available on request at no extra charge. We do not provide table linen or towels.


Tthis really is a holiday the whole family can enjoy together. We charge £25 for each pet and we also request that the boat is returned in a clean and tidy condition and reserve the right to refuse pets or charge for any additional cleaning or repairs required as a result of pets being on board during your holiday.

Car Parking

There is ample open air car parking within the confines of the bases - which is provided free of charge.   We regret that we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to hirers' vehicles.

Groceries and Provisions

A grocery list will be sent with your pre-holiday information pack.   If you require any of these items, please complete the order form and post it direct to the base from which you depart at least 14 days before your holiday starts.   The groceries will be ready for you on your arrival and you will be required to pay for them in cash before the boat departs from the base.

Life Jackets

Life jackets are available free of charge.    They come in five sizes from small child to large adult, and will be individually fitted before you  set out.   Please request these on your arrival at the base.


Since bicycles can really only be stored on the roof of the boat where they are very liable to damage from bridges and trees, we only allow a maximum of one bicycle per boat. If you are determined to bring a bicycle, we suggest that you also bring a piece of old carpet or similar, to protect the paintwork of the boat. We reserve the right to charge for any such accidental damage done.


All our boats are licensed with British Waterways at no extra cost to you.   However, for those wishing to navigate the River Avon (Avon Ring) an additional licence will be required as this waterway is administered by independent authorities.  


Fishing is allowed provided that you have a current EA rod licence.   Most clubs will not object to you fishing from the boat, but some may require you to purchase a day ticket.   This varies from area to area.    Please check with the boatyard on arrival.


Our boats are all  fitted with 12 volt colour televisions.   It should be remembered that although our TV's are modern sets, reception at canal and river level is often very poor.   

Boating Video
(UK format only)
or DVD.

This excellent and informative film (available in Video or DVD format) follows the adventures of two real-life families as they explore the inland waterways of England. As genuine first-time boaters both families quickly learn how to navigate safely through locks, bridges and tunnels while enjoying life in the ‘slow lane’.

Using all types of locks safely, tackling tunnels, casting off and mooring up are just some of the many techniques covered, along with how to handle a narrowboat.

Watching this film before you go boating will help you understand how to enjoy the waterways safely. It is especially suitable for first time boaters and new crew but it equally carries useful reminders for those more experienced at boating.

To borrow a copy of the film, please tick the relevant box in the booking form. It will then be sent to you along with your pre-holiday information pack as soon as you have made your final payment (approx. 8 weeks before the holiday starts).

All we ask is that you bring the film back with you when you come to collect your boat in order that it can be used by another customer and so help us to reduce waste.

Mobile Phones / Camcorders

All our boats have a cigar lighter socket similar to a car.   This is 12 volts and if your camcorder or mobile phone adaptor will work from your car, it will work on any of our boats.

Overseas Visitors

Please remember to check availability before sending your booking form. You may telephone, fax or e-mail us on the numbers below. We recommend that all your payments are made by either, Mastercard, Visa, American Express or by sending a Sterling bank draft. Foreign currency payments and Eurocheques are unfortunately unacceptable.

Towels are available free of charge to overseas visitors upon request.


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canal boat and narrowboat holidays

Narrowboat holiday