What is a riverboat?
- and what is the difference between the different types?
In our terminology, riverboats and canal boats are just two different words for the same thing; a motorized boat that you can drive and live in. You don’t need any boat experience or papers to rent and use these boats.
Some compare a riverboat to a caravan on water. Here you’ll find equipment to meet all your basic needs. All our riverboats have electricity, running water, a small kitchenette (often running on gas), at least one bathroom, and bedding. In that way, you’ll be self-sufficient, and it is entirely up to you where you want to go as long as you comply with the local boat legislation and is at the designated starting and end base before the agreed-upon time.
At the starting base, you’ll receive a thorough introduction to the boat and its features. The base personnel will also show you how to navigate the boat through a canal lock and how to moor the boat.
In general, there are two types of riverboats; cruisers and narrowboats. Here you can read our tips for choosing the right one for you.
What is the difference between a cruiser and a narrowboat?
A cruiser is a classic and modern motor-powered riverboat that exists in many different versions. Some have a sundeck, others don’t. Some have both indoor and outdoor steering, others only one of the tawo.
You’ll find cruisers at most of our destinations and they are offered by multiple boat operators such as Le Boat, Nicols and Locaboat.
A narrowboat looks old fashioned on the outside but is modernly equipped on the inside. As the name suggests is rather narrow, but what it lacks in width it makes up for in length. This unique look was once necessary for boats sailing on the English canals.
Thus, you’ll only find narrowboats at our destinations in Great Britain. Narrowboats are offered by the operators Black Prince and ABC Boat Hire.
Narrowboats are incredibly popular amongst both locals and tourists. They are a fun and different way to experience the English canals. Unlike modern cruisers, narrowboats don’t have a sundeck. But you’ll often have room for sitting outside both at the front and back of the boat. If you want spacious sundecks you need to look for a modern cruiser.
Which boat should I choose?
Choose the boat that best fits your wants and needs for interior design and comfort. However, you need to be aware of the different classes of cruisers. Budget-boats are the cheapest but also the oldest, and will thus appear more worn than newer boats of the Comfort- or Premier-class.
Narrowboats are not divided into classes since they are more standardized.
How many are allowed on the boats?
If you use our search engine, you can choose how many people are going on the trip before pressing the “search” button. It’s quite simple because we have already categorized the boats for you.
We recommend that you have real bedding for everybody on the trip. It is possible to use the common area for sleeping, but since it is neither comfortable nor practical, we wouldn’t recommend this. Boats with one cabin are fine for two people, but for example, if you are three people on the trip, we recommend you choose a boat with two cabins.