Boats - Important information
Please read this Important Holiday Information with the Booking Conditions.
- Alterations to bookings
Once a booking has been confirmed by us, alteration fees will apply should you require us to amend or re-invoice your booking for any reason. Please see clause 8a of the Booking Conditions.
- Arrival and departure
The usual arrival time is 4pm for weekly bookings and 2.30pm for short breaks. The usual departure time is 9am. This can vary across boatyards and exact details of your arrival and departure times will be sent to you with your confirmation along with travel directions.
If your expected arrival time is later than stated on your booking confirmation, you must contact the boatyard to make alternative arrangements. If there is a change to your travel schedule or you encounter serious delays you may have to arrange alternative overnight accommodation for your first night at your own expense.
- Bed linen and towels
Most boatyards provide bed linen free of charge and fixed beds are usually made up for your arrival. Some boatyards provide towels, and where this is the case, it is clearly shown in the description.
- Bikes and bike hire
On some boats it is not practicable to bring a bike. Please check with your boatyard or ask at time of booking. Some boatyards, especially in Europe, offer bike hire, and where this is the case, it will be shown in the boatyard description. Bookings should be made in advance and the supplement will be payable in advance or on arrival at the boatyard.
- Bridge restrictions
There are some low bridges through which some boats will not pass. Where this applies it is clearly shown under the boat description. These boats also display a notice on board as a reminder: canopies may have to be removed or lowered before passing under any bridges. Water and tidal conditions may make bridges impassable to all boats at certain times, however there should be plenty of moorings nearby so that you can explore the area on foot.
- Canal Fee (Scotland)
A canal fee has been introduced for 2018 for all hire boats on the Caledonian Canal and the Lochs. A charge of between £8 and £10 per night (depending on the length of boat booked) will be applicable for all boats. This will allow access to all Scottish Canals transit pontoons and jetties, passage through all locks and bridges in the cruising area and access to all Scottish Canals toilet and shower facilities. The fee will also include berthing in Urquhart Bay Harbour on Loch Ness. The canal fee will be invoiced with your balance of hire. If you have to cancel your holiday for any reason (prior to the start date), the canal fee will be refunded to you accordingly.
If you have to cancel your booking, please
call us immediately. See clause 8b of the Booking Conditions.
- Christmas and New Year bookings (UK)
Some boats are available for Christmas and New Year and where this is the case, there may be a change to the normal start day to fall into line with the days of the week on which these holidays fall.
Your boat will be cleaned before your arrival. As a limited amount of time is available to clean between each holiday use of the boat, please help boatyard owners to maintain their standards by leaving your boat and its contents in a clean and tidy condition.
If you encounter any problems whilst you are away, you should contact the boatyard or service provider so that remedial action, where possible, can be taken. If your complaint remains unresolved, you should contact us on the following numbers:
Boating in the UK 0345 604 3891
Boating in Europe +44 (0)1502 472 001
Please also see clause 20 of the booking conditions (or clause B7 for ferry and Eurotunnel inclusive bookings) and kindly note that if you do not register any difficulties during your stay it may not be possible for us to provide effective assistance or conduct a retrospective investigation upon your return.
- Cots and highchairs
The majority of the boats we feature do not provide cots due to the space available in the cabins, although some boatyards provide a travel cot or similar in their larger boats. All arrangements for babies must be made at the time of booking and it is therefore advisable to call our booking team for assistance. Highchairs are not available on European boats but are at some UK boatyards and where this is the case it is detailed on the boat description.
- Currency (Europe)
The currency in Ireland, Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Italy is the euro. The currency in Poland is the zloty. Please remember that you will need sufficient local currency for your security deposit, damage waiver, your fuel charges and for your journey. (remember to allow for countries you may travel through, too).
On the Broads, Cambridgeshire waterways and in Ireland, dinghies are available from many boatyards at approximately £50 to £90 per week and a limited supply of sailing dinghies at approximately £50 to £100 per week. These should be booked directly with the boatyard after you receive your booking confirmation from us. Payment is on arrival directly to the boatyard. You may be asked for a supplementary deposit of approximately £80 which is refundable if the dinghy and its equipment are returned undamaged.
All distances given in this brochure are approximate and for guidance only. For Europe we have suggested itineraries but how far you cruise is dependent on how much time you wish to spend on the move.
- Driving (Europe)
You will need to carry your full driving licence with you at all times whilst you are driving abroad. Visit www.fco.gov.uk for details of driving requirements for the countries you are visiting. You should also contact your insurers for further advice on cover while in Europe. If the car you are driving is not owned by you or is a hire car you must carry the vehicle registration document, written authority to drive or a Hire Vehicle Certificate obtainable from the AA or RAC.
- Electrical appliances
All boats have shaver points. Most boats have a 12 volt accessory/cigar lighter socket similar to a car. Any electrical items with a car adaptor will operate from this socket, including mobile phones, camcorders, digital cameras and chargers for their batteries. Your own connecting plugs and leads will however be required. If you wish to bring your own hairdryer or any other electrical appliance with you, you must check with our booking team when making your booking as most boats only have a 12 volt electrical system. You will need to borrow or hire a 12 volt hairdryer from the boatyard, where this is the case. Some boats have a 240 volt electrical system, but this does not mean that you can bring any appliances with you – in most cases it is only possible to use the appliances supplied on the boat. If you need to use an electrical appliance for medical reasons (e.g. a nebuliser to aid breathing) you must check when making your booking that the supply is suitable. 240 volt current may not be constantly available and may not be of sufficient amperage to power some appliances safely – or at all.
- Electricity and gas charges
Unless otherwise stated, charges for electricity and gas (where available) are included in the hire charge.
- Electricity charging pillars (UK)
At various mooring points throughout the Broads you will find Broads Authority electricity charging pillars. These are normal 3-pin plug charging points operated by a £1 payment card which can be purchased locally. These pillars enable diesel powered boats to top up their electricity supply for on-board domestic items without having to run the boat engine during the evening. A leaflet with maps locating both the charging points and the card outlets is available by calling the Broads Authority on 01603 610734.
- Extra persons
The prices shown are for the boat as equipped and described and for the number of people shown (except where indicated). Where required and accepted, extra persons aged 18 and over are charged between £30 – £80 per person per week or short break (extra persons aged 17 and under are free of charge). Extra persons on 10/11 night stays are charged at the weekly price. It is forbidden for unauthorised or undeclared visitors to stay on your boat. Please see clause 15 of the Booking Conditions.
The maximum number of persons advertised for each boat must not be exceeded. It is forbidden for unauthorised or undeclared visitors to stay on your boat
You will need to comply with local requirements regarding rod licences and closed seasons in the area you wish to fish. Check with your boatyard for any necessary permit requirements, you can visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call the Environment Agency on 0870 050 6506.
Boat refrigerators are not designed for the storage of frozen food, so it is a good idea to bring only enough food for your first night on board. Most items can be bought from local shops and supermarkets along your route. It is strongly recommended that you buy and use ecologically friendly phosphate-free washing up liquid or powder.
You will be given a full fuel tank on arrival and this should be sufficient for your holiday. Some boatyards include your fuel in the hire price and you will only have to pay an additional charge if the rate of duty changes substantially after you have made your booking. If your fuel is not included in the hire price you will have to leave a deposit at the time of booking or on arrival. You will only be charged for the fuel used and this will be deducted from your deposit on the return of your boat. Typical fuel costs for a week’s cruising in the UK are between £95 and £220.
Fuel charges are based either on the number of engine running hours or by the number of litres of fuel used (this will be confirmed to you when booking). On arrival at the boatyard you may be required to leave a security deposit to cover this. The actual cost of your fuel will be calculated at the end of your holiday and either a refund made or the additional balance requested.
Fuel charges are subject to fluctuations in price. At the time of printing they are between £5.50 - £11.00 per hour. You will be advised of the correct fuel charges at your base.
- Gift vouchers
Gift vouchers are a great present idea. They can be redeemed against any accommodation featured in any of our brochures or on our website. You can order online by visiting www.hoseasons.co.uk/vouchers. Alternatively you can e-mail us at email@example.com with your requirements or call 0345 268 9232. If you would like to use your gift vouchers to pay for all or part of your booking, you will need to make your booking by phone.
- Green Tourism
The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) accredits a range of different types of accommodation providers on their efforts to reduce their environmental impact.
- Heating and air conditioning
All boats provide heating, although varying in type. In Europe some boats also offer air conditioning. Where applicable heating and air conditioning are shown in the boat description and both are included in your boat hire charge.
- Layout plans
Boat layout plans in our brochure and on our website are for general guidance. They are not to scale and alterations during building or refitting may occur. Some boats within classes have minor variations and some boats may have steps which may not be shown on the plan. If you have any persons that are infirm or have any disability in your party you should enquire as to the suitability of your chosen boat when booking.
You don’t need a licence to drive a boat, but after initial instruction the boatyard will provide you with documentation stating that you have received the initial instruction on all you need to know. However, if you cruise from Belgium to France you will need to purchase a cruising licence at the first lock in France. Please ask our booking team for details.
Many first time cruisers have fears about navigating locks but they are relatively easy to operate. The boat is steered in gently and the large wooden balance beams are used to close the gates after the boat. The small ‘paddle’ doors need to be opened in some gates with the L-shaped winding handle (provided on each boat) to let the water in or out. Once the water has levelled, the gates can be opened and the boat can be driven out, then stopping to close the gates and paddle doors before leaving. On the River Thames, Caledonian Canal and parts of the Cambridgeshire waterways, there are resident lock-keepers who do this for you. There are no locks on the Broads.
During the period of November - March winter maintenance work on locks is generally carried out on the waterways. Please check with our advisors at the time of booking or with the boatyard for specific details.
In Europe most of the locks have a lock keeper who oversees the day to day running of the locks and can provide help if you need. All locks in Italy are automatic. Lock charges apply to Ireland at an approximate cost of 1.50 euros and on the Shannon Erne Waterway a swipe card can be purchased at the base to pass through the automated locks.
Locks are closed on various days throughout the year. Please check with our advisors at time of booking or with the boatyard for specific details.
- Lowest Price Guarantee
We are so confident that we have the best prices, that in the unlikely event that you find the same boat (like for like), available on the same day you make your booking, for the same dates but at a lower price, we will only charge you the lower price. The boat concerned must be:
• The same as the one featured in our brochure
• For the same start and end dates
• For the same type of craft
• Available to book on the same day you make your booking with us
All you need to do is provide us with proof of the lower price you have been quoted by giving us the telephone details or the website where the price can be confirmed. If you have written proof of the price, you can email, fax or send it to us first class. In all cases we need proof within 7 days of you making your booking. We reserve the right to reject claims if reasonable proof is not available or if the boat is not the same. Our Lowest Price Guarantee applies to all boats in this brochure and on our website. All terms and conditions of booking apply.
- Maps, guides and Boaters Handbook
More detailed information about boating in the UK is available in The Boater’s Handbook. This comprehensive handbook is produced by the Environment Agency and the Canal And River Trust (formally British Waterways) and can be viewed on our website under the “New to Boating” section.
- Medical equipment
Please note that most boats will not have electrical systems capable of powering medical equipment (e.g. nebulisers) and there may be insufficient space for such equipment. Most boatyards have a rule that oxygen cylinders are not permitted on boats for safety reasons. If you have special medical needs please check when booking.
- Medical treatment (Europe)
Our priority is your peace of mind and a relaxing time for you and your family. We strongly advise that you take out appropriate travel insurance. We are able to offer you a wide ranging and competitive personal travel and/or motor breakdown insurance. For overseas bookings it is a condition of booking that customers have personal travel insurance. If you have your own travel insurance, you must make sure that it provides at least equal protection as the one we offer – see the insurance section of the booking conditions.
If you are a British Citizen we strongly advise that you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which can be applied for on line at
www.dh.gov.uk/travellers. The EHIC grants the right to medical treatment under EU social security arrangements. You may have to pay for treatment locally and then claim for it on your return home. Not all medical expenses are covered and treatment can be expensive. In addition, unlike our insurance, the EHIC does not cover repatriation in the event of serious illness or accident, and it may not cover your medical or hospital expenses in the event of a road accident, it only entitles you to the same state care provided to residents of the country you are visiting. This may not be free and you will have to pay the same costs as the locals if this applies.
The Skippers Manual found on your boat will have details of mooring and your boatyard will demonstrate mooring procedures. The manual will have plenty of information about mooring places. The most popular are usually close to waterside inns and restaurants (where a small charge may be made), but there are quieter places to moor free of charge. Free mooring is also available at featured boatyards, on the canal towpaths and at Environment Agency moorings. Mooring basins or Yacht stations will normally charge per 24 hours at an approximate cost of £10 - £30.
In Europe you will be able to moor almost anywhere free of charge, however charges may apply at harbours or marinas.
- One way cruising
In several areas you can take advantage of
one-way cruising. A supplement will be charged, please check when booking. One way cruising is subject to operational factors and upon other bookings and the right is reserved by the boatyards as to the direction of the one way cruise. Visitors taking a one-way cruise are responsible for the cost of return travel to their base of departure. Alternatively, cars can be transferred between certain bases at extra cost which is payable locally.
In the UK many boatyards offer free car parking. Where a charge is payable rates may vary between £15 - £35 per week (outside) and £25 - £50 per week (under cover) per car.
In Europe all bases have parking facilities and most offer compound parking at an approximate cost of 50 – 90 euros per week. Garage parking is available at extra cost and must be arranged in advance with the boatyard.
- Passports/Visas/European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (Europe only)
You will need a passport to visit any of the overseas destinations we feature. British Citizens do not need a visa, but if you or a member of your party is not a British Citizen or does not hold a British passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the embassy or consulate of the country or countries you will travel to or through. You can find everything you need to know about your travel requirements at www.gov.uk and
www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo You must make sure that you apply for a passport/visa in good time before your trip. If failure to have or supply any travel or other documents needed results in fines, charges and so on which we or the owner or service provider have to pay, you will be responsible for refunding us. If you cannot travel because of such failure, we will not be legally responsible to you. We can ask for any personal details, including passport numbers, if we need to do so.
Exit checks at UK borders for ferry/Eurotunnel travellers – all transport operators need to see the passports of all those travelling when you leave the country. You should allow enough time for this process when planning your journey. Some transport operators may require you to provide advanced passenger information (API) to them before you arrive at port. If this applies to your booking, we will write this on your confirmation documents. You are responsible for providing this information for all passengers and we will not accept any legal responsibility if you fail to do so.
You must apply for a passport and/or visa in good time before you wish to travel, especially if you are applying for your first passport. The UK Passport Service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and you will need to attend an interview. Requirements may change and you must check the up-to-date details in good time before you leave.
Information on the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is available at www.dh.gov.uk/travellers or from your local Department of Health office. You can apply for a free EHIC online or by post.
You can bring your pet with you on most UK boats and some European boats and pets are free of charge at many boatyards. Where an extra charge is payable they are charged at up to £70 per pet per week or short stay. Also there is sometimes an additional security deposit payable on some large boats. Your pet can travel freely to and from Ireland but for travel in other European countries you must ensure that your pet is micro-chipped, vaccinated, blood tested and certificated as per the Pet Travel Scheme. For countries not included in the Pet Travel Scheme, UK quarantine regulations dictate that you cannot bring your pet back into this country without placing them in quarantine. Further details are available on request or by visiting www.defra.gov.uk
If you are travelling overseas with your pet, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct ‘pet passport’ and we will not be legally responsible to you or pay any charges if you cannot travel because of failure to obtain the correct travel documents. Further information about the requirements for travelling with pets can be found at www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad
Registered assistance dogs will be accepted free of charge on all boats featured, subject to availability and suitable accommodation.
Boatyards will not accept the following types of dogs, even if muzzled: American pitbull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Fila Brasilerio and Dogo Argentino.
- Pipe cot (UK)
A pipe cot is an additional berth available on some narrowboats. It is made of strong canvas and usually suitable for a child aged between 3 and 12 years– they are not suitable for babies.
We keep the prices charged by the boatyard operator or service provider under constant review and the prices of unsold products and services may be increased or reduced at any time. We may also correct mistakes in the pricing of unsold products and services at any time. We will confirm the price of your booking when we make it. Boat hire prices shown on the price panel give a low and high season from price. The exact price for your chosen date and boat can be found by visiting our website www.hoseasons.co.uk or by calling one of our advisors on 0345 498 6464. The date periods used for the price panels are: Low season dates: Jan 5 - May 25 2018, Jun 2 - Jul 20 2018, Sep 1 - Dec 21 2018
High season dates: May 25 - Jun 2 2018, Jul 20 - Sep 1 2018, Dec 21 - Jan 5 2019. All prices are per boat, in £ sterling and are inclusive of VAT, at the rates applicable at the time of printing and are subject to change before sale if the rates or application of the tax changes.
Your Damage Waiver is not included in this price and in most cases fuel and pets are charged extra.
For bookings that cover two price periods, the week in which the greater number of nights are taken applies. Where last minute short stays are available the words ‘Last minute short break option’ are shown in the boat description. Personal Travel and Motor Breakdown Insurance is also available at an extra charge and we can also book your travel for you to Europe, either by ferry or tunnel.
All the boats we feature are well maintained and breakdowns are rare. However, should you require assistance whilst on the boat, simply contact your boatyard (you will be supplied with emergency contact numbers by the boatyard) and they will arrange for an engineer to be sent out to you.
- Quality Accredited Boatyard Scheme
The Quality Accredited Boatyard scheme helps promote safe enjoyment of the inland waterways. It provides a model for conducting handovers to customers and draws together practical experience from the British Marine Federation members in the UK. The scheme is endorsed by both British Marine Federation and by Visit England. It offers reassurances of safe and legal practices together with good customer services.
The Skippers Manual aboard your boat contains full safety information and the main points will be covered in your boat handover instructions. On board, everyone should wear non-slip shoes, and we recommend buoyancy aids (provided free of charge) are worn by each member of the party. Ask your boat operator for the size you need.
- Safety Alarms
In accordance with the Boat Safety Scheme Requirements (UK), your boat will be fitted with one or more smoke alarms of a type fitted in most homes. These can include carbon monoxide detectors or they may be fitted separately. The position and operation of the alarms will be shown to you during your boat handover.
- Security deposit and damage waiver
To cover yourself against damage to your hire boat or to other property there are two options available. Option one is to pay a non-refundable damage waiver at the time of booking of between approximately £50 - £245 (UK) and £100 - £245 (Europe). Option two is to pay a refundable security deposit on arrival at the boatyard of between approximately £500 - £1730 (UK) or @1295 - @2600 (Europe). These prices are based on 7 days hire and subject to change. UK
A supplementary (refundable) deposit of up to £250 per person may be payable on arrival for certain parties and for very long and/or valuable boats.
You will be required to pay a cash deposit
(euros) on arrival of up to 165 euros to cover cleaning (if the boat is returned late or not in a tidy condition) grounding fee and tourist taxes.
- Short stays
You can enjoy a short stay on many of the boats we feature. 4 night stays can be taken either Monday to Friday or Tuesday to Saturday, or a 3 night stay can be taken Friday to Monday or Saturday to Tuesday. Some boats are available for short stays all year round. On some boats, short stays can only be booked within a specified time of the start date (approximately 14 – 28 days). Where this is the case, the words ‘last minute option’ are shown. Please call for details.
Many of the European boats featured are also available for short stays. Prices and availability are obtainable on request – please ask our booking team.
- Smoking (UK)
Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public spaces. This means that smoking will not be permitted in enclosed communal areas at the boatyard. There is no general ban on smoking on board the boats, although smoking is not permitted inside the cabin of all boats. Please note that some boats are completely non-smoking and this will be specified in the brochure description.
- Special offers
Where a standard saver or special offer reduces the price, this applies to the boat hire price only. Only one offer per booking is allowed (unless otherwise specified). Please note offers may be amended or changed. Our booking team can advise you of any special offers or last minute deals. Alternatively details can be found on our website at www.hoseasons.co.uk/boating
- Special requests
Please remember it is always worth asking if boatyard owners can accommodate any special needs or requirements you may have, such as a non-pet boat, etc. Please check with our booking team. Kindly note that special requests are not guaranteed. Please see Booking Conditions for more details and also see Visitors with limited mobility.
- Speed limits
Your Skipper’s Manual located on board will give precise details of the speed limit on different stretches of waterway. Cruising for about 4 hours per day will mean that you can cover approximately 80 - 100 miles in a week. During peak times passing through locks on the canals should be taken into consideration when calculating how far you can travel. You can travel anywhere in navigable waters covered by your boat’s licence.
- Standard equipment
There will be at least one shower and flushing toilet (occasionally a bath or sit-bath) together with wash basins and hot and cold running water. Kitchens are equipped with a cooker or hob and oven (some have microwaves), a fridge and ample pots, pans, crockery and cutlery. Please see individual boat descriptions for full details.
- Start days
The usual start day for weekly bookings is Monday, Tuesday, Friday or Saturday, however other alternatives are available. Start days for both weekly bookings and short stays are clearly shown on the individual boat details.
- Steering position
There are a number of options:
Cruisers are easy to handle and have all the home comforts you need on board.
Take your pick from a choice of 4 driving positions, all with a steering wheel.
• Dual Steering cruiser – with two steering positions and a raised sundeck
Available on the Norfolk Broads, River Thames and Caledonian Canal.
• Aft Cockpit cruiser – with Aft Cockpit driving position and outside seating area
Available on the Norfolk Broads, River Thames, Cambridgeshire Waterways and Caledonian Canal.
• Forward Drive cruiser – with forward driving position and sliding canopy
Available on the Norfolk Broads and River Thames
• Centre Cockpit cruiser – with centre driving position and sliding canopy
Available on the Norfolk Broads, River Thames and Cambridgeshire Waterways
Narrowboats are built for travelling on canals and are cleverly designed to make the best use of space on board. All steer using a tiller at the back. Take your pick from two layout options and three stern shapes.
• Traditional Stern - small, open deck with space for the helmsman – ideal for all-weather cruising
• Semi – traditional Stern - these offer more space with extra standing room and often seating too.
• Cruiser Stern - A spacious, social deck area enclosed by a guard rail – ideal for al fresco dining
Please check the boat description for the steering position of the individual boats.
A colour television is supplied free of charge on most boats in England and Wales. However, due to reception difficulties, televisions are not available on some of the boats we feature in Scotland. Televisions are not provided on some of the European boats we feature. Please note television reception cannot be guaranteed at all times.
- Toilet pump-out service (UK)
This is available at all featured boatyards, at Yacht stations and at some public mooring spots. A charge of approximately £15 - £25 per toilet is made for this facility and would only (under normal use) be necessary weekly.
- Travel information
For up-to-date travel information to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. Alternatively you can call ABTA’s travel information line on 020 3117 0599.
- Virtual tours
There are 360° virtual tours on some
of the boats featured in this brochure. Where you see this symbol next to the boat, visit our website to view the virtual tour.
- Tourist Board Grading (UK)
All boats featured have been carefully selected for their quality and all must meet our rigorous standards to be included in this brochure. However, where individual boats have been graded by a Tourist Board, the star rating has been included for extra information. Each boat is assessed for its quality and standards on the basis of its standard number of fixed berths. The grading therefore applies at this level, and not when the maximum permitted number of berths are in use. All of the boats featured in this brochure and on our website state the standard and maximum number of berths available. If a boatyard is not registered with the Tourist Board it does not imply a lesser standard.
- Visitors with limited mobility
Please contact our booking team if you have limited mobility. Although many boats may be suitable, some have steps (often steep and narrow), and it may not be easy for you to board a boat from the bank or towpath. Gangplanks cannot be provided or used.
If we or the Boat Operator reasonably feel unable to properly accommodate the particular needs of the person concerned we reserve the right to decline or cancel the reservation.
Your boat will have a full tank of drinking water. In the UK this can easily be topped up at featured boatyards or public mooring, usually at a small cost. In Europe you can top up at water points shown on your cruising guide.
- Waterway rules
You do not need a licence to drive a boat but much like the Highway Code there are a few simple rules that you will need to follow.
These are all clearly explained in the Skipper’s Manual you will find on board your boat. Your boatyard will also advise you.
- Wi–Fi access
Where Wi-Fi is an advertised facility please note that its provision is subject to availability and network conditions. It may not be available 24 hours and is provided for pleasure not for business. Bookings are not accepted if they are wholly reliant on the uninterrupted provision of Wi-Fi. Download limits may apply, please check when booking.