Self Drive Cruising Tour & Holiday Packages
Self Drive Canal Cruising
Self-drive canal boating is the ideal way to discover the charm and mystery of hidden regional provinces. Cruise through peaceful countryside, past tempting vineyards and historic villages where tiny medieval churches, ancient chateaux, quaint markets and small local restaurants will offer you an endless stream of new experiences and delights.
Laid-back isles and seaside canals provide a tranquil setting for some quiet times. Canals thread inland to intriguing cities and towns, following ancient routes and ready for you to explore at your own pace. You have the freedom to stop whenever and mostly wherever you please. Half the fun on a self-drive canal boat is stepping off your boat and cycle along the tow paths.
About your Journey
No experience required. Prior to departure, a captain’s handbook is provided and a demonstration is given at the base. Technical assistance during your cruise is available if required. Average cruising per day is 5-hours. We have considerable expertise in this unique type of holiday and are happy to share our personal cruising experience with you.
Most locks are automatic and operated by a lock keeper, some canals have manual locks. The time taken to go through a lock is 15- 20 min on average (but varies depending on season and traffic). Our team can advise which canal is best suited to your requirements.
Generally, you can moor anywhere you want along the public canals or riverways. There are some restricted and private areas, but in most cruising regions, finding free moorings is not a problem. You may however prefer to moor in a public or private marina which, for a fee, offer facilities such as electricity hook-ups, water refill, showers, snacks, etc. Moorings in marinas are subject to availability so we recommend you call the marina a few hours before your arrival.
Our experienced staff can advise you of the closest airport, train station or car depot.
We recommend you confirm bikes in advance. You can explore the surrounding towns and villages or simply ride along the footpath in search of a baguette!
All prices shown are per boat for weekly rental (8-day 7-night). They are based on low season and should be used as a guide only. Actual prices vary according to region, boat type and time of year.
Things to consider
When considering a self-drive canal boating holiday, we recommend starting by choosing the region in which you wish to cruise. The following pages contain information about the regions and the benefits of each one. It is a very personal choice – everyone will be attracted to different aspects of self-drive canal boating, so it is important to choose a region that suits your group best.
The next thing to consider is the type of itinerary. Would you like to see as much of the region as you can with a one way cruise (supplement applies, contact our team for more details), or would you prefer the convenience of returning to your starting point with a round trip?
Our boats come in a variety of layouts, so it’s easy to find the perfect one for you. Couples, families, and even large groups of friends will feel at home. When you have made these decisions, you need to consider the type of boat you would like for your trip. Boats vary in size and standard, but all contain separate sleeping cabins, fully-equipped kitchens and bathrooms with linen and towels.
Read What We've Written
Be your own captain and discover the wondrous heart of France aboard a self-drive boat. France is ribboned with great canals and navigable rivers that played a vital part in the rise and fall of cities and kingdoms, making any boating holiday an interesting and memorable experience highlighted by medieval towns, age-old ruins, hilltop villages and spectacular rural sights.
Magnificent architecture, historic villages, vine-ribboned countryside and more await in Aquitaine, an expansive region known for its foie gras, truffles, oysters and of course, superb wines. Aquitaine used to be a kingdom and a duchy in the Middle Ages and such powerful history is inevitably mirrored in the region’s structures.
Explore the beauty of France's rivers and canals on board a self drive boat and you will discover many hidden treasures and traditions of regional France. Being the captain of your own boat is the perfect way to be independent, visiting the different regions of France at your own pace, all the while enjoying the company of the people you have chosen to share this experience with.