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Frequently Asked Questions

Never been on a canal holiday before?

If you have some questions about boating holidays or need boating holiday help - look no further - check out our boating frequently asked questions.

Didn’t find your question answered? Contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Locks & Moorings

  • Where to moor & how much does it cost ?

    Some areas will have waterside mooring available, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature for no cost.

    Those looking for more comfort and modern convenience can use private marinas, the fees for which vary, depending on the facilities available and location.

    Stopping at a Le Boat base along the way is free of charge.

  • Do we have to operate the locks? If so, is it easy ?

    Depending on where you go you may find locks that you have to operate yourself manually, electronic locks, automatic locks or those staffed by a lock keeper. And, although the system may differ, the process and manoeuvres for passing through the locks remains largely unchanged.

    Once you’ve done it once, you’ll realise just how easy it is.

  • Are any areas lock free ?

    The Carmague in southern France is free of locks, though there are many other options that have a minimal number on the route. Our sales team will be happy to advise the best option for you.

    Generally, those labelled as “easy” cruises on our website will have fewer locks and bridges along the way.

Activities & Extras

  • Can I swim in any of the regions?
    Swimming in lakes, rivers and lagoons is fine in most cases though we do not recommend swimming in canals; please always ask the base if it is safe to swim in your cruising region. There are many open air swimming pools near our routes and beaches for those in the Mediterranean or Belgium (near our Nieuwpoort base).
  • Can I bring my own BBQ ?

    No, there are strict laws surrounding open flame sources on boats and only a professionally fitted BBQ could be used aboard. We can provide this service as an extra for you on most of our boats and some are fitted with Plancha grills already, so please ask in advance if you are not sure.

  • Is it possible to hire bikes ? How do you lock them ?

    We have a brand new range of lightweight mountain bikes and ‘mini-bikes’ for more gentle terrain. We can also provide children’s bikes, trailer and bike seats for children. Helmets can be purchased from the base but locks will be provided free of charge. We recommend that all bikes and equipment be ordered before your arrival by speaking to our sales team.

  • Is fishing allowed?

    Keen anglers are free to fish as they see fit as long as they comply with local laws; so feel free to bring your rods, reels and nets with you. Fishing licences are mandatory and can be purchased locally in almost all cases. You can find our more on our fishing page.

What is included ?

  • What is included in the price? What is not ?

    Included in your price is the boat and it’s equipment (including galley equipment), towels and linen, a boat handling demo, technical support, information manuals on the region and locks fees (except Ireland & Holland, where they are payable locally).

    Extras, fuel, moorings fees, water/fuel refill, and travel to the base are NOT included in the boat price.

    Notes: Moorings & navigation free included in Canada, Scotland & Italy (Casale-return trip), paid as supplement at the time of booking.

  • Are towels and linen included?

    Yes, we’ll provide all the linen and towels for your trip.

  • What should I bring with me ?

    Please bring some non-slip, rubber soled footwear, a pair of gloves and small preferably soft sided travel cases for easy on-board stowage.

    If you have any particular dietary requirements then you may wish to bring certain provisions with you, though most bases have a supermarket nearby and you can order essentials in advance through us by adding on one of our grocery packs.

  • How much does the fuel cost?

    Similar to hiring a car, your boat is supplied with a full tank of diesel and you pay for the fuel you use (normally, you won't need to refuel en-route).

    Running Cost include a cost for fuel but also gas and engine wear & tear and is calculated on ‘per hour’ basis (except in Scotland where it’s ‘per liter’ basis). Price shown is per engine hour used and varies depending on boat & region. Fuel is payable locally in local currency at the end of the holiday.

    Please note, fuel is an additional cost that you pay in local currency. Because of this, the cost is subject to change.

    Before departure, you will be required to leave a fuel deposit towards the cost of the fuel for your cruise. At the end of the vacation you will either be refunded the excess or be asked to pay any additional costs as required. Fuel deposit tariffs are based on your boat's engine size.

Experience & Instruction

  • Do I require a licence or permit?

    You do not need a boating licence to go on a Le Boat holiday in almost all cases. We’ll give you an instruction lesson and then issue a temporary permit for the duration of your cruise. Additional permits may be required for certain sections of some regions, such as Brandenburg in Germany, contact us for more information.

  • Do I need any experience of driving a boat ?

    You do not need any previous boating experience to enjoy a Le Boat holiday. On arrival, we’ll give you an in-depth briefing on the specifics of your boat, so that you can cruise and live aboard with confidence and in comfort.

    A member of staff will take you out for around an hour to demonstrate the controls, and to make sure you are comfortable. We’ll even teach you a few knots that will come in handy.

  • How old do I need to be to drive the boat ?

    In the UK & Europe you need to be 18 or over, while in Ireland the minimum age is 21. There need to be at least two adults of legal age to drive the boat, on-board, at all times, while on our Vison model boats, the requirement of legal adults is three.

  • What sorts of guides/documentation are provided?

    Once you’ve made your booking we’ll send you map of your area and you can find a range of handy videos and guides on the ‘Before you go’ section of our website.


    On arrival you will find a detailed map or waterways guide, though you can choose to order one of these in advance from our partners. Contact us to find out more.


  • When & how can I book?

    Book your Le Boat holiday online 24/7 (secured payment) or by phoning our experienced sales team on 0844 463 3594. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm and Saturdays and bank holidays between 10am – 4pm. 

  • Can I take my dogs on holiday?

    Dogs are more than welcome aboard all our boats, though there is an additional fee of £40 per dog. The maximum number of canines you can take cruising is two. For more information please visit our dedicated web page for taking your dog on holiday with you.

About your boat

  • What is the minimum & maximum occupancy ?

    We have boats suitable for couples all the way up to groups of 12, though at least two people of minimum legal age are required in order to navigate locks and moor the boat both easily and safely. To find a boat right for your part size visit the boats section of our website. 

  • What are the features & equipment on the boat?

    All boats are fully equipped with the basic necessities for modern living, with grills and fridges and other staple conveniences included as standard. Some boats have additional equipment and you can find the specifics of each model in the boat details section for each model.

  • Should I refill the fuel & water?

    Fuel: You will pick up your boat with enough fuel to last around eight to ten days. You will leave a fuel deposit at the base and then either have the excess refunded on your return or pay the balance of what you owe, depending on how much fuel you use.


    Water: You boat will come with a full tank of fresh water that should last approximately two to three days of normal use. You’ll need to top it up at marinas along the way and can expect to be charged a small amount to fill the tank.

  • Is there electricity & internet on board?

    All boats have a 12v socket, like a car cigarette lighter, so if you bring an adapter you’ll be able to connect a mobile phone or other low power device. Some boats may have additional power points for electricity, please consult the detailed boat pages to find out more.

    No Le Boat models have integrated Wi-Fi or internet connection, but it is possible to hire a mobile internet device for your cruise in some regions. Please get in touch for details of where it is possible to hire a mobile internet device.

Assistance & Safety

  • What happens if the boat breaks down ?

    Contact the base during opening hours with any questions or concerns you may have. In the unlikely event you are having a problem with your boat we will do our best to send an engineer to you as soon as possible and typically within four hours of your call.


    If you are unable to use your boat for more than half a day, you will be offered compensation in line with your daily hire fee. More information on this can be found in our terms and conditions.

  • Are life jackets provided ?

    Life jackets are supplied for both adults and children, and safety rings are attached to every boat. We strongly suggest that children wear a life jacket at all times while the boat is moving.



  • How easy is it to navigate ?

    Inland waterways are flat calm and offer easy navigation, with only small sections in some regions affected by tidal shifts. Currents and water levels are managed by siding gates (sluices) and we have arranged our holidays by “pace level” to help you choose what’s right for your level of confidence and experience.

  • How many hours should I cruise each day ?

    Don’t feel the need to set yourself a daily target for hours spent cruising, just see where the day takes you and explore the region as you see fit. Though cruising between four and five hours a day will ensure you cover a large amount of your region and will also help to keep the batteries on the boat well charged.

  • What speed should I cruise at ?

    Cruising holidays are all about taking it easy, so you shouldn't need to go any faster than 6 or 7km per hour. This will allow you to enjoy the sights, relax and avoid damaging the local environment and natural habitats at the water's edge.

  • When can I navigate ? (Period / Night)

    Our boating holidays period depends on waterways opening. Most of waterways are generally opened from Mid/End March to End-October / Early November.

    Generally locks are opened from 9 to 18, which is also the cruising period of the day. Cruising during the night is not allowed.

  • Where can I cruise ?

    Our website and brochure are full of lists and itineraries for each region, though where you go is entirely up to you. Aside from returning the boat to the designated base by the agreed date and time, you have complete freedom to roam the region or to fully explore a town you love.

    The only other restriction on where you can go is the open sea, our boats are designed for river and canal cruising only.

  • Are there any navigation restrictions ? (Locks, Bridges, Floods)

    Although locks are open throughout the day, some may close for lunch and during bank holidays.

    Some boats are not allowed on the Lough Allen (lake) in Ireland, so please check in advance by asking our team if you are planning to do so.

    In the event of flooding in your region, all navigation will cease. Our team will work with local authorities to keep you informed and updated as information becomes available.


  • What time can I collect and return the boat?

    Ordinarily you can collect your boat from us between 4-5pm and our standard return time is 9am on the final day of your booking.

    Where possible, arrive at your designated base between 2-3pm, so we can give you a full briefing.

    If you want to leave earlier on arrival or drop the boat back later on departure, then consider adding an early check-in or late check-out to your booking.

  • What languages are spoken at the bases?

    We have at least one English speaker at every departure base, so rest assured, we speak your language.

  • What type of car parking is available ?

    The majority of our base locations have secure car parks or garage facilities. Please contact our team for details on specific locations. Bases where car parking is not secure: Holland bases & Portumna (Ireland).

  • How do I get to the base? Can transfers be arranged? (One-way / Airport / Train)

    Our website provides detailed information on how to get to and from the bases, along with other useful information, so make you visit our Before You Go page prior to travelling to make sure you have everything you need.

    If you are travelling to Ireland, our team can arrange private airport transfers from major airports in advance. For all other destinations, you can arrange private transfers with local taxi providers using the contact details and rates information on our Plan Your Travel pages.

     For ‘one-way’ cruises, we can deliver your car to your end point or arrange a local taxi to bring you back to base.

  • Can we pre-order groceries ?

    A selection of groceries can be pre-ordered and will be delivered to your boat on your departure day. Order forms must be returned to the base two weeks before departure. Please contact our team for more information or visit our Holiday Extras page to find out more.

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