You may have already read our feature stories on canal boat vacations and are ready to plan your own soon. A great place to begin is at www.locaboat.com.
With 40 years experience, more than 200 suggested routes, and itineraries ranging from two days to several weeks, it’s no wonder Locaboat books 7,400 rentals per year.
See why so many people have discovered the absolute joy of a river boat vacation. There’s no license required!
If you are ready to leave stress behind, strengthen links with family and friends, make your own pace, experience an original and authentic vacation away from the crowds, and discover nature, scenic villages, and history, it’s time to get planning. Here are some tips on making the best match for your needs.
Choosing the boat
No matter which craft you select, all come with linens, bedding, towels, and kitchenware. Just bring your camera and clothes and you are ready to go.
While you will be enjoying the numerous restaurants and bistros along your route, there may be times when you feel like cooking your own meals and snacks. At the very least, you’ll want that pot of coffee in the morning and wine glasses in the evening. The kitchens have everything you’ll likely need.
Insider tip: We always have the driver taking us from the airport to the marina stop by a grocery store where we stock up on some basics.
Locaboat has an astounding 380 boats in the fleet. Each boat has a great hot water supply and tremendously fuel-efficient diesel engines.
The Linssen range has one model to accommodate two to six people, with two cabins plus a double bed. The Pénichettes have many models — three Classique models (two to seven people, inside steering); three Aft-Deck models (two to 12 people, a sun terrace); and six Flying Bridge models (two to 12 people, inside and outside steering and upper deck). There also are three models in the Europa range, also accommodating two to six people and equipped with inside and outside steering.
We really liked the dual-driving position boats with interior driving, in case the weather gets bad, and top deck driving for those great scenic views and easy parking.
Choosing the destination
With 26 departure bases in six European countries, including France, Italy, Holland, Germany, Ireland, and Poland, Locaboat offers something for everyone. Even veteran cruisers will find something new to experience.
You’ll want to consider the seasons, airfare and proximity to airports, and the schedules of everyone in your party. We’ve often traveled with two to four other couples, and the planning alone makes for several fun evenings around the table with a few glasses of wine and the computer as the dreams begin to unfold and the possibilities tantalize.
France has 19 bases and covers virtually every region of the country. Holland has the charm of windmills and Amsterdam. Italy has Venice, and what better way to arrive at that maritime city than by boat? Ireland is scenic, very affordable, and great for those apprehensive about language barriers. Germany and Poland remain on our to-do list!
Where are you going to go? Visit locaboat.com, book that trip, and make sure you include RecreationNews.com, it’s Facebook page, and Instagram to post photos and share experiences with other readers.