Tips and FAQs

Please see our advice and recommendations about river boating below

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.

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.

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

Are there life-vests on board?

Yes - there are life-vests on board. It is recommended, before departure, to check that there are vests that fit everyone on board. Other sizes are provided by the base staff. For smaller children, we recommend that your own vests be brought. You will often find that life jackets are of the big and clumsy type, as we know them from ferries. This type is used as there are strict requirements for life jackets in rental boats. The lighter swimming vests are not approved as life jackets. If you want to bring your own swim-vest on board the boat, please feel free to do so. We recommend that children always wear life jackets while sailing.

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.

Is fishing allowed?

Fishing is allowed and in many places, it is excellent - but requires a permit. Let the base personnel help you with this.

Is it possible to rent bikes?

Yes - we have bikes for both adults and children. We always recommend that you rent bikes in advance at Seatravel or bring your own - but don't crowd the boat with bikes. The bikes should be locked.

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.

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.

Is parking available?

Most bases offer free public parking – some also have fenced parking or even a garage.

How many hours should I plan to sail each day?

We recommend sailing 4-5 hours per day – this will ensure that you see much of the region.

Is there electricity and internet on the boat?

All our boats are equipped with 12V sockets – and you can bring an inverter, so you can charge smartphones etc. Internet is available in some areas – contact us. It's a good idea to bring an inverter which converts 12V to 220V, so you can always charge tablets, cameras, mobile phones, etc.

Must I fill theboat with fuel and water?

Normally, there is enough fuel for the boat to run 10-14 days on a single tank. The water tank usually lasts 2-3 days before it needs to be refilled. You can refill water in ports along the way for a couple of euros.

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.)

Travel insurance

Remember, it is possible to take out travel insurance through Seatravel.
Remember that the return journey home is never covered by public health insurance.

Recommendations of what to bring

  • Passport, health insurance, driver's license and car insurance (if you arrive at the base by car) as well as travel insurance
  • Home pharmacy, high-factor sunscreen
  • Footwear with rubber soles
  • Mobile phone. Check the roaming settings so you do not return home to a huge phone bill
  • 1 large bath towel per person
  • Work gloves for when working the locks
  • Tip: An inverter that can convert 12V to 220V.
  • Use soft bags for packing - suitcases are hard to stow away on a boat.


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.)

Boat deposit & damage waiver

The stated deposit/secured amount is deposited by VISA/Euro Card/Mastercard or in cash. The amount will be refunded or released on your credit card after the boat is returned damage-free and in cleaned condition at the agreed upon time and place. It can take up to three or four weeks before the security deposit is released on your credit card. This is due to the transaction time between the boat rental company, credit card company and your bank.
Bring several credit cards and before leaving home for your holiday check that you have enough money for your holiday. For security reasons, several credit cards have a maximum spending limit of €2,000-3,000. This limit can be reached very quickly when you start by having the deposit covering the deposit on the boat blocked.


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.

Extras that will make your vacation an even bigger success

  • At least one bicycle to use when picking up fresh bread for breakfast, etc.
  • Insurance that reduces the excess
  • Final cleaning
  • Grill


The base staff can refer you to the nearest supermarket/grocery store. The boat will be empty, so you will need a bit of everything. There are plenty of shopping opportunities in the towns along the canals.


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.

Sailing after dark

This is not allowed.

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