Go on a riverboat holiday with Seatravel

Sailing a riverboat is easy - even for the novice. To navigate on a riverboat is a breeze and after the introduction on your arrival, you are ready to be the skipper!



No experience needed

It does not require any experience to rent or operate a riverboat. Everyone in the whole family can join, regardless of previous sailing experience. Upon arrival, you will receive a thorough introduction in how to operate a riverboat so that you will be comfortable sailing the boat.


With over 10 countries across Europe and North America to choose from, you can embark on a riverboat adventure with Seatravel in a wide range of cultures and scenery.

Many operators

At Seatravel, we work with more than 6 different operators, to ensure that we can always find a boat that meets your exact needs.

What is a riverboat holiday?

Such is life aboard a riverboat

Discover a new way to vacation - (and) it requires no prior knowledge of sailing, no sailing certificates or anything else to be a skipper on a riverboat on Europe's waterways!

There are numerous exciting sailing areas and a large number of boats to choose from and a boat vacation to fit any holiday budget and crew size - it is an experience for all ages - young and old - a family trip - a trip with friends or for three generations.
Discover Europe's most beautiful lakes, rivers and canals from the sun deck of the boat, while the landscape slowly pans past you. Enjoy an adventure in a relaxing atmosphere, gourmet travel, or historic surroundings - we guarantee an unforgettable experience.
Do not worry - the boats are easy to operate and prior experience is not necessary. There is only one gear back and forth and the boats are easy to control. Before arrival, you will receive an instructional material and the transfer is given thorough practical instruction in everything from knots and hitches to how the oven works on board. The boats are well equipped and comfortable with duvets, pillows, bed linen, kitchen utensils, bathroom with toilet and shower, etc.

Stop when (and where) you will (and for as long as you like) it is glorious on a boating vacation! Enjoy an impromptu visit to a wine chateau / Chauteau, shop at the local colourful market, visit a medieval village, makes a stop at the shore for a picnic in the countryside, explore the area on rented bikes - these are just a few examples of what you can expect a boat vacation. Sailing through a sluice is a fun part of the holiday and allows everyone to get involved. Once you've gotten through the first gate, you will soon find out that it is not so difficult. Most locks are automatic or operated by the lock operator and often you can buy local products directly from him - and other sailors can share tips and experiences. As the day draws to a close it's time to moor - either at a dock/marina or along the shore and enjoy the sunset from the sun deck.

A boat vacation is also an experience and enjoyment of a region's culinary experiences and one of the highlights of the holiday. Wherever you choose to sail there are opportunities to try out the delicious local produce, regional dishes, with wines and beers. Do you feel the history, the possibilities are also diverse: from medieval castles to Gothic cathedrals and ancient castle ruins. A boat vacation on Europe's waterways is like a journey through history. Remember binoculars: wildlife along the rivers and canals are unique - and no matter how you choose to sail, you get close to the local wildlife as you are in the middle of their habitat.

When you have total freedom to plan the days are guaranteed a myriad of diverse experiences for all.

Tips and FAQs

No experience needed

Be the captain of your own boat, no license or previous sailing experience is needed, except for some places in Germany and Luxembourg, where a license is required.

What is included?


  • Rental of boat and equipment
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Bedlinen
  • Towels (Please note: towels are not included with Nicols, but can be purchased as an extra)
  • Demonstration of the boat's functions and control
  • Technical Support
  • Map of the area (found on the boat)
  • Mooring-fees (Note: Not in Ireland and Holland and in other areas some marinas might charge a small fee)

Not included:

  • The trip to the port
  • Fuel
  • Desposit insuramce
  • All mandatory and optional extras
  • Cancellation and/or travel insurance

Where to moor?

River boating means freedom! Generally, you can moor and anchor where you please along the public canals and rivers – there is equipment for mooring on the boat. There are private stretches with limited mooring – but it is usually never a problem to park the boat exactly where you want. If you wish to try a private/public marina, there could a fee.

Can I bring my dog?

Sure you can – for an extra fee you can bring up to two dogs on your trip. You will also need to bring your own life vest for the dog.

What happens in case of any problems with the boat?

In case of any trouble with the boat, you must immediately contact the staff at the base from which you started your boat holiday. They will then send a technician within a short period. If you find any defects with the boat, you must also immediately notify the base about this. There is no use in "saving" a complaint or notification of any defects for when returning the boat, as the staff will then not have had the opportunity to correct the defects or errors, and any potential complaint will be rejected on the grounds that the company has not been given the chance to rectify the error.

The locks are part of the experience

It's easy and fun! Once you've gone through the first lock, it will become routine! Some locks you must open, others are automatic or have a kind lockmaster. Some locks even have small shops selling specialities and museums, while also being the perfect places to get in touch with other sailors.)

When can I pick up and deliver the boat?

The boat is yours between 15:00 - 18:00 – and should be delivered 09:00 AM on the last day of your trip. We recommend that you arrive at the base a few hours before.


When arriving, you must contact the base office where the last papers will be handed out and signed. Upon arrival, you will be given a good and thorough instruction in English, or German in Germany, on the boat's use, etc. by the base staff.
Here you will hear about everything from which knob you need to moor the boat to how the oven works. Let the skipper and co-skipper participate in this instruction – a lot of information is provided, and two people listen and remember better than just one person. Too many people can confuse. The instruction is an important part of the boat holiday because it's not only the boat's layout and function that are explained and tested. If you're unsure about something, keep asking the base staff. It is much easier to get the instruction before leaving the base. You may also ask the instructors for their tips on nice places to visit and much more. Also do a thorough inspection of the boat yourselves, as it's easier to deal with any defects before leaving the base than if you discover something when already on your way. A technician will show you how the boat is controlled until you feel safe enough to take over the boat yourself. You may require or demand a test drive with a knowledgeable technician if that will make you feel the most comfortable.)


Make sure the water tanks are full before departing from the base. Save water e.g. by avoiding washing up under running water, etc. Make sure to fill up the tank before running out, by filling it whenever you get the chance. It costs a few euros.
If the water tank becomes empty, the pump engine will run continuously and thus overheat - turn off the electric water pump, if this happens. There will only be hot water when the engine has run for at least 30 minutes. After showering in the lavatory, the water on the floor is pumped out by activating the pump button on the wall, if it is not pumped out automatically.


In most areas, you must never throw paper in the toilet, instead collect it in a plastic bag next to the toilet. However, there are exceptions depending on which boat you rent, so ask at the base if you are in doubt.
In France, Italy and many other places, the drain from the toilet is directed directly into the canal, so don't bathe in the canals. In the lake areas of Germany, Portugal and Poland, it is possible to swim in the large lakes, just as you can swim in the rivers of Charente and the Lot River in France.


Explore Europe and North America’s waterways

Riverboat holidays provide you with a wealth of options, depending on where you choose to go. What is common, however, is that you get the unique opportunity to experience the chosen destination’s culture and nature from a whole new side, namely the water side, at your very own pace. Find the exact destination for your upcoming riverboat holiday here.

Lovely city in France


Seatravel offers riverboat holidays in 12 different French regions - there's something for everyone. Travel on the charming canals and rivers of France; the waterways run through some of Europe's most beautiful areas. Riverboat holidays in France offer cultural and culinary delights, majestic landscapes, colourful villages and much, much more. Whichever destination you choose, you'll be sure to have unforgettable experiences – here are activities for all ages.

Highlights in France: 

  • The famous Canal du Midi
  • Beach holidays and pink flamingos in Camargue
  • Wine Castles in Burgundy
  • Truffles and mountain villages in the sunny Aquitaine
  • The majestic cliff walls of the Lot River
  • The Cognac areas along France's most charming river, Charente
  • Brittany's fresh sea puffs and Celtic charm
Smooth sailing in Germany


Seatravel can arrange riverboat holidays in two sailing areas in the north-eastern part of Germany; the Mecklenburg and Brandenburg area near Berlin (NB: The Brandenburg area requires a sailing license). In the German countryside, you will travel on a network of crystal clear lakes and rivers, which form the setting for the idyllic sailing area. Discover medieval timber-framed houses, unique castles and beautiful nature reserves. On riverboat holidays in Germany, the beautiful landscape is combined with the German high culture.

Highlights in Germany: 

  • The medieval towns of Mirow, Rechlin, Röbel and Brandenburg
  • Great animal and birdlife in the Spreewald nature reserve
  • Water sports activities in Müritz See
  • The Botanical Garden of Mirow
  • Vibrant city life in Berlin
  • The fairytale castles of Rheinsberg and Fürstenberg
  • The modern Aquarium in Waren
  • The Sanssouci Palace at Potsdam
  • The beaches at Werder
Slow sailing in Italy


On riverboat vacation in Italy you can experience two very different areas – both very child-friendly destinations. In the boat area bordering Europe's most famous canal town, there is plenty to do. Here is the framework for your holiday both romantic and unique - hear the gondola drivers sing carelessly as the sun sets behind the rooftops, all while enjoying a glass of wine onboard. The Friuli region gives rise to island hopping between the quaint islands and delicious bathing spots, framed by an exciting bird and animal life.

Highlights in Italy: 

  • Venice's renaissance art and culture
  • Italian cuisine and popular red wines from Veneto
  • Tradition-rich crafts on the islands
  • Great sandy beaches at Lido di Jesolo
  • Unique birdlife in the National Park of Po Delta
  • The fish market in Chioggia
  • Delicious Italian ice cream on every street corner
Sunshine over river in England

England & Wales

Go on a royal riverboat ride on the Thames, where the variety between land and city makes up perfect og interesting sailing conditions or experience the life on an old-fashioned narrowboat in Central England. If you want to travel with a cruiser, make your way to the famous River Thames, winding through rolling landscapes, past historic towns and traditional English pubs. If you want to travel on a narrowboat in the middle of England, there are plenty of bases to choose from on the crooked narrow canals, which can lead you to everything from the complex networks of adorable canals near Birmingham, the tranquil rural surroundings of Coventry or the metropolis of Manchester. Whichever area in England you choose, you'll experience the English channels side by side with local boat enthusiasts.

Highlights in England & Wales: 

  • Travel on the historic River Thames
  • Feel the wings of history in Oxford
  • British pub culture and Fish 'n' Chips
  • Charming villages in a genuine Barnaby style
  • Grazing cows and local fishermen along the waterways
  • The mighty Windsor Castle and the vibrant London
  • Stroll in the Royal Parks
Riverboat moored in Scotland


In Scotland you can choose between two unique sailing areas; Falkirk in the Lowlands and Caledonian Canal in the Highlands. From Falkirk, you can enjoy easy boating and a classic canal holiday to Glasgow and Edinburgh. If you want to be challenged, you can choose a boat travel in the distinctive and dramatic Scottish Highlands on the Caledonian Canal. A riverboat holiday in Scotland offers both impressive landscapes and characterful cities.

Highlights in Scotland: 

  • Tranquil lakes and dramatic nature in the Scottish Highlands
  • Whisky distilleries
  • Classic canal boating at Glasgow and Edinburg
  • Loch Ness monster, if you're lucky
  • Falkirk Wheel
  • Cycling and hiking
Smooth sailing in Ireland


Crystal clear rivers, Celtic monuments and Guinness are some of the keywords for a riverboat holiday in Ireland. Around Ireland's rivers Shannon and Erne, you will find a large network of lakes. Navigating on these rivers and lakes is easy, making Ireland a popular destination for riverboat holidays. The Irish landscape is made up of rolling, green hills, where you'll sporadically meet small, quaint villages. The water quality in Ireland is impressive and some of the cleanest of its kind in Europe.

Highlights in Ireland: 

  • Ruins of Clonmacnoise Monastery
  • The walled gardens of Portumna Castle
  • World-class golf courses
  • Traditional Irish pubs
  • Delicate porcelain in Belleek
  • Horseback riding in Banagher
  • Lough Key Forest Park
  • The Dock - Center for art in Carrick
  • Fishing – Salmon, pike, bream, roach
Lively city in Belgium


Discover Belgian chocolate and beer brewed by Belgian monks on a riverboat holiday in Belgium. Enjoy relaxing boating on the Belgian waterways, where you will be warmly welcomed by the inhabitants, ancient and charming towns and peaceful landscapes. Quaint villages and picturesque landscapes are connected by the pretty Flemish waterways that wind through this small, historic country.

Highlights in Belgium: 

  • The UNESCO-protected tower of Diksmuide
  • Traditional Belgian handicrafts
  • Belgian chocolate art and the classic Moules Frites
  • Bakery Museum in Veurne
  • Cathedral of historic Gents
  • Endless and fine sandy beaches at Nieuwpoort
  • The promenade in Oostende
  • Flemish city rush in Bruges
Slow sailing in the Netherlands

The Netherlands

Enjoy the Dutch idyll on a riverboat holiday in the Netherlands, the homeland of tulips. Travel along waterways surrounded by many windmills of this country, cycling on one of the cycling routes along the riverbank or lay to berth in the beautiful, new marinas. On your riverboat holiday in the Netherlands, you’ll be able to enjoy lush green landscapes that spread out and form an amazing sight in common with the colourful tulip fields. Also, travel past Amsterdam and discover the beautiful capital city from the riverside.

Highlights in the Netherlands: 

  • Brightly coloured tulip fields during Spring
  • Gouda cheese and Dutch pancakes
  • A dense network of lakes and canals in picturesque landscapes
  • The Cosmopolitan lifestyle of Amsterdam and its many art galleries
  • The flower garden in Keukenhof
  • The great lock in Muiden
  • Giethoorn - the Netherlands' little Venice
  • Great biking paths
Mountain lake in Canada


Be greeted by the world-renowned Canadian friendliness and explore the country, which is known for the interesting mix of its French and English-speaking population, the production of maple syrup and breath-taking landscapes. If you really want to impress and try something completely different, you need to give yourself a riverboat trip to magnificent Canada with endless landscapes and charming towns.

Highlights in Canada: 

  • The UNESCO-protected Rideau Canal
  • Hiking in Ontario's Highlands and vast natural areas
  • Cultural experiences in the big city of Ottawa
  • Local food producers and microbreweries
  • The Canadian maple syrup and hearty population
View of hills and lake in Portugal


Soak up the rays of the sun on a riverboat holiday on Grande Lago in Portugal. Grande Lago is the largest lake in Portugal and has an impressive coastline of about 745 kilometres. The lake's clear and clean water is ideal for swimming, fishing and diving. The lake, close to the Spanish border, is surrounded by beautiful nature. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, a riverboat holiday in Portugal is not only reserved for the summer months.

Highlights in Portugal: 

  • Relaxed atmosphere in the sunny Alentejo region
  • The huge Alqueva Dam
  • Fishing, waterskiing, kayaking, ATV riding
  • Portuguese regional cuisine, including black-pig ham
  • Fishing and swimming
Birdlife in Hungary


Try something new and different – go on a riverboat holiday in the hidden paradise of Hungary. Travel through Hungary's rural areas, which will give you tranquil boating in scenic surroundings. This is a destination for nature and bird enthusiasts and the wine-lovers.

Highlights in Hungary: 

  • Hiking in Hortobágy National Park
  • Outdoor life and fishing
  • Swimming in Tiszafüred and Abádszalók
  • Sail between mountains and vineyards in the Tokaj wine region
  • Thermal baths

Riverboat – the motor caravan of the water

With a riverboat, you can go on adventures without having to worry about returning to your hotel room. The boat is your floating motor caravan, and on board you will find all the necessary sleeping, kitchen, shower and toilet facilities. We have boats that can accommodate between 2 and 12 sleeping guests. Whether you are a couple or two families, we have a boat that matches your needs.

In general, there are two types of riverboats, or canalboats, as they are also called; cruisers and narrowboats.




Cruisers are equipped with everything you need. The sleeping cabins and living areas are separated, and there are many different layouts to meet any preferences.


Although the boat looks big, it is quite easy to steer – even for the inexperienced.



Narrowboats are traditional English canalboats. These boats are characterized by their elongated and very narrow construction. The boats are incredibly charming and old-fashioned in their expression but have all the modern equipment you could wish for. Sailing with a narrowboat gives you an authentic riverboat holiday on the English canals and rivers.


Although the boat looks big, it is quite easy to steer – even for the inexperienced.