AU: 1800 118 940 / NZ: 0800 449 891

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have some questions about boating holidays or need boating holiday help - look no further - check out our boating frequently asked questions.

To help reduce the impact of Coronavirus to your travel arrangements, we're pleased to offer one of the most flexible travel policies in the industry, for both existing and new bookings. We're here to help so you can travel and book with confidence.

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You can book your holiday at any time either by booking online (secured payment) or by phoning our experienced sales team on AU: 1800 118 940 / NZ: 0800 449 891.

 Making payment

A 40% deposit payment is required to secure your booking, afterwhich the price your have been quoted will not change. You can of course pay in full straight away if you wish.

You can book and pay for your holiday, easily and securely, via our website using a credit/debit card (Visa/Mastercard). Alternatively, you can make a booking with our helpful sales team who will also accept card payments over the phone of EFT (Electronic Bank Transfer).

The date your final payment will be due 10 weeks before your holiday begins.

You, or any member of your party, can make part payments, or pay your balance in full at any time before your balance is due. Simply visit our fast and convenient payment portal. You will need your booking reference, lead bookers name, your departure date and a valid means of payment (Visa/Mastercard). If you would rather pay over the phone with one of our sales team, or via EFT (electronic bank transfer), then please don't hesitate to call us during office hours, or view our bank details.

 

What is included

The price includes the hiring of the boat and its equipment (kitchen gallery equiped, ustensils...), towels and linen for all passengers, a boat handling demo, technical support, on-board cruising information & locks fee (except in Ireland where locks fee should be paid locally in supplement).

 

Extras, fuel, moorings fees, water/fuel refill, travel to the base are NOT included in the boat price.

Yes, Le Boat / Emerald Star provides towels & bed linen on all boats depending on the number of people sharing. 

Please be aware that beds will be fully made on premier boats and for those who purchase our Gold extras bundle. All other departures the bottom sheet will be fitted and other items folded and left on the bed.

Due to local government restrictions within Italy, bed linen will be left in bedrooms within a sealed plastic bag.

We recommend that you take some form of non-slip footwear such as boat shoes, a pair of gloves, and also that you bring small foldable travel suitcases as these will be easier to store on the boat.

 

You can bring food & provisions with you if you wish, although most bases have a supermarket close by easily accessible by car. Or, you can order provisions in advance of your holiday thanks to our grocery packs.

Similar to hiring a car, your boat is supplied with a full tank of diesel and you pay for the fuel you use (normally, you won't need to refuel en-route).

 

The fuel and engine wear & tear cost is included within the engine hours compulsory cost.

 

Before departure, you will be required to leave a engine hours deposit in the local currency of your start base. At the end of the holiday you will either be refunded the excess or be asked to pay any additional costs as required. Deposit tariffs are based on your boat's engine size and destination region.

For a 7 night cruise, you can budget on between 250 - 300 Euro, depending on the size of your boat.

Running the generator in order to have access to 220V electricity while not plugged in to shore power will increase your fuel usage.

We accept payment by credit card or cash. Please note that the Le Boat bases do not accept American Express.

The CDW provides cover against accidental damage or loss to the vessel and ancillary equipment. Pre-paying the CDW means you will pay a lower Security Deposit at the base.

The Security Deposit is required over and above the CDW. The CDW allows you to pay a lower Security Deposit. The Security Deposit is refundable should there be no apparent damage to the boat or its inventory on its return from you.

It is possible to purchase Extras at the base, however all Extras are subject to availability, therefore it is best to pre-book and prepay for your Extras prior to travel to ensure you don’t miss out! Please refer to the Holiday Extras page for pricing and a full list of possible Extras.

Extras are subject to availability so it is best to pre-book your Extras when confirming your cruise. You can learn more on our Holiday Extras page.

 

Make the most of your time on the water and register for our Early check-in and Late check-out service, enabling you to collect your boat from 11am on the first day and return your boat by 12pm on the last day. Limited to 3 per day.  Please refer to the Holiday Extras page for pricing.

Top deck cushions (some boat models come equipped), the cleaning service is ideal if you have an early start on your last day and you don’t want to spend your last evening cleaning the boat. The Grocery Packs are also ideal if you have limited time to stock up on provisions before departing. Please refer to the Holiday Extras page for pricing.

No, the law is strict and only a fitted BBQ can be used on a boat. You can rent one of our fitted BBQs as an optional extras on most of our models, and some models in our range have BBQs built in as standard. Check the specifics of your boat for full details.

Yes, we have a range of bikes, children's bikes, trailer bikes and children's bike seats for hire. Helmets can also be purchased from the base. We recommend you take at least two bikes per boat and it is advisable to reserve them in advance.

 

All bikes are provided with a lock. Depending on the model, you could lock them on the sundeck, on the front or on the back of your boat. For security & comfort reasons, we recommend you to always lock the bike while cruising and to not over-fill your boats with too many bikes.

Our boats do not come with hairdryers on board. 

 

Experience & instruction

A driving licence is not required for your boating holiday on nearly all our destinations/cruises. After your instruction lesson you will be given a temporary permit for the duration of your holiday. In Germany, a permit is required in some areas. Check the cruise details or contact us for more information.

Absolutely not. You don't need to have any boating experience in order to enjoy one of our holidays. When you arrive at the base, you will be given an in-depth briefing on every aspect of your boat - from which knots to use to how the oven works. A staff member will take you out for an hour or so and go through all the controls with you until you are confident to enjoy the boat for the duration of your holiday.

In order to drive the boat there is a minimum age limit of 18 in the UK & Europe and 21 in Ireland. A minimum of 2 adults is required on board.

Once you have confirmed your booking, you will receive a map of your area. On the already 'Getting Ready' section of the website you will find cruising & manoeuvering videos and useful information. Once you board your boat you will find a detailed map or waterways guide which is provided for the duration of your cruise. You can also order a waterways guide in advance directly from our partners. Check the already 'Getting Ready' section for more details.

Any region is suitable. Due to the sometimes strong river currents on the River Lot in France, however, we do not recommend this region if this is your first boating holiday.

No, we do not offer that service. In most of our regions you don’t need any previous experience to cruise our boats, so there’s nothing to stop you from being the captain of your own boat

 

Locks & moorings

The cost and type of mooring available will depend on which of our regions you are cruising in.

 

In some of our cruising areas it is possible simply find an empty space along the bank and to moor in nature thanks to the ropes and spikes provided on-board.

 

If you are after a little more comfort though, you can also moor in marinas or at Le Boat / Emerald Star bases. Berthing fees, which often include services like electricity & water vary from location to location (for more details call our boating experts or refer to your on-board documentation). However, if you stop at a LeBoat base along the way then there is no charge!

Most of our cruising regions contain locks that you will have to pass through. However, for many of our customers passing through a locks is one of the highlights of their cruise! Once you have navigated one lock you will find out just how simple it is.

 

The type of locks you encounter will depend on the cruising region you are in though. Locks can be manually operated, manned by a lock keeper, electrically operated or automatic, whatever the system though, the manoeuvres are always very similar.

If you are looking for lock-free cruising we recommend the Camargue in the South of France! Many other cruising regions have few locks, so speak to someone in our friendly boating experts and they will be pleased to help you.

This will depend on the cruising region. On most canals you are free to moor where you want to, however on some river you are required to moor on a pontoon or in a harbour

The cost varies depending on the cruising region.

 

Activities

It’s difficult to find a region in our cruising grounds without a gastronomic specialty! You can find out more information on our Food Holidays page.

Vineyards dot our cruising routes in France, offering wine-tasting opportunities at what seems like every turn. Check out our Wine Tasting Holidays page for more information.

With flat towpaths alongside most of the canals, cycling is an ideal way of keeping fit, having fun and collecting your morning baguette! See our Cycling Holidays page for more information on our recommended cycling regions.

The waterways are home to some of Europe’s finest wildlife and offer great scenery and natural spots. You can find out more about our top boating recommendations to find beautiful gardens and breathtaking scenery on our Nature Holidays page.

Our cruising routes are packed with both famous historical sites to see and lesser-known historical gems to discover. You can find out more on our Historical Holidays page.

All of our regions have plenty to offer whatever time of year you cruise. If you’re looking to soak up the sun we recommend holidaying in the Summer months. However, if you want to really escape from it all and lose yourself in nature we’d recommend cruising at the beginning or end of the season, as the waterways will be quieter.

Swimming is possible in many of the rivers, lakes and lagoons, but always check at the base if it is safe to do so. We don't recommend swimming in the canals, but there are many great open-air swimming pools near to our cruising routes if you fancy a dip. You could also head for the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean or near our base at Nieuwpoort in Belgium.

Fishing enthusiasts will have the time of their lives on the rivers so bring your rods and don't forget your fishing licence! Licences can be purchased from local shops for the duration of your cruise. 

Le Boat paddle boards are not available to hire on the Canal Du Midi. If you want to really make the most of your stand up paddle boards we’d recommend that you explore the Étang de Thau in the Camargue. 

There are lots of towns and villages within easy walking distance of the canal, but to reach others you may have to cycle a short distance or take a taxi. You can find detailed information about all the towns and villages along the waterways in our region guides.

Some of the local vineyards and wineries are just a short stroll from where you'll be moored on the waterways, for others you will need a taxi to reach them.

 

About your boat hire

Our boats are equipped with a variety of power equipment. Check the boats pages to see the specifics.

 

None of our boat has internet connection but if you are cruising in France, you could rent a WIFI device for the duration of your cruise.

Our boats are equipped with a variety of power equipment. Check the boats pages to see the specific features of every boat. 

All our boats are fully equiped for a comfortable & safe journey. A grill, oven and fridge are available on all of our models....

 

Some boats have additional features & quipments such as microwave or safety box. Check the features & specifics on the boat model page

There must be at least two adults (three adults on Vision boats) over the age of 18 (21 in Ireland and Canada) aboard in order to rent a boat and navigate safely. The maximum occupancy is defined by the boat you are cruising, Le Boat / Emerald Star have boats to suit parties from 2 - 12 people. For more information on specific boats, visit our boats section.

You can visit our individual boats pages, where every feature a boat has is listed. You can also use our search function to search for a boat by feature if you have a specific requirement.

It is up to you. If you prefer to travel with a lot of luggage then an extra cabin for additional space would come in handy.

The water tank is covering 2-3 days of normal use (shower and cleaning). You will have to refill water by stopping at the marinas along the canal/river. This service is often charge by the marina (few euros).

Yes & no.

 

Fuel : Your boat is provided with a full fuel tank which is covering 8-10 days of cruise. A fuel deposit is required at the start of your cruise & the balance with your real consumption will be made at your arrival.

 

Water : The water tank is covering 2-3 days of normal use (shower and cleaning). You will have to refill water by stopping at the marinas along the canal/river. This service is often charge by the marina (few euros).

You should always boil water from the boat tank before drinking, alternatively please purchase bottled water or fill reusable bottles and bring them on board with you.

Yes, all our boats are fully equipped with kitchens, cabins and bathrooms to ensure you have everything you need to be self sufficient. In many regions you can also hire a BBQ for the top deck as an extra.

Due to the nature of boating holidays, if someone has a disability that restricts their movement, it will not be easy (or even possible) to board, disembark, move freely around the boat and, if required, to operate locks without significant help from others. So for your safety and enjoyment, if you have any doubts, please contact us and discuss your specific needs.

 

Assistance & Safety

Life jackets are supplied and safety rings are attached to every boat. We also recommend children to wear their lifejackets while cruising.

Oxygen tanks and oxygen concentrators

Unfortunately our boats are not a suitable environment for the safe storage and use of oxygen tanks and oxygen concentrators that create pressurized oxygen. As a result, oxygen tanks and oxygen concentrators are not permitted on our boats meaning we are unable to accept bookings where any of the passengers require the use of this equipment for medical reasons.

 

CPAP breathing machine

We are able to accept CPAP breathing machines on our boats however there are some points to consider. If your CPAP machine is reliant on an external power source, to avoid the risk of a flat battery we recommend were possible to choose a boat that has shore power. Please check our boat pages for more information on their electricity specifics. If you select a boat equipped with shore power or a generator, you can connect your device as at home on 220V sockets, provided that the boat is connected to shore power or with the generator running. Depending on where you plan to cruise it may not always be possible to access a location that supplies shore power, if you would like further advise please contact us.

 

If you select a boat that is not equipped with shore power or generator, you will need a 12v to 220V power inverter that you can connect to the cigarette lighter socket. As the device will be powered by the boat batteries, you will be in charge of controlling the batteries charge level. It is possible that the boat will run out of battery during the night if it has not cruised enough during the day. When the battery level is low and a device is connected to a cigarette lighter socket a small audible alarm is triggered and it would be necessary to start the engine in order to recharge the batteries.

 

Please be aware that depending on the position of the outlets in the boat you may need an extension cord.

In case of an emergency, you will be able to contact one of the base team on opening hours and we will respond immediately. In the unlikely event that you have a problem with your boat, we will do our best to send an engineer to you within four hours of your call. If your boat is considered to be unusable for more than half a day you will be offered compensation based on the daily rent fee. Please see full details of our pledge in our terms and conditions.

Yes, all our boats have lockable doors.

All Premier, Comfort and Comfort Plus boats and some Budget boats have safety boxes on-board. For exact details please review the boat features on each dedicated boat page accessible via our river and canal boats page.

 

Although the majority of our boats have safety boxes, we advise you keep valuables with you when leaving the boat unoccupied.

 

Navigation

The quiet waterways are extremely calm and easy to navigate with only small sections affected by tidal changes. The currents and water level are regulated by sluices which are either operated automatically or by the lock keepers.

A cruising holiday is meant to be a relaxing one, with 6-7 km/hr being the recommended maximum speed. This means you can enjoy your surroundings at a leisurely pace and, more importantly, not cause any damage to the natural habitats at the water's edge.

We have compiled a list of suggested cruises in both our brochure and on our website, but as long as you return your boat to your chosen base on time, you are free to explore wherever you like. So if you find a town you like then you are free to stay there for a night and explore it further the next day.

 

However, our boats are designed for inland waterways only and as a result aren't allowed to venture into open seas.

Generally cruising 4-5 hours a day will ensure you see a lot of the region as well as keep the boat's batteries well charged. However, there's no need to set yourself rigid targets – cruise as the mood takes you and explore the countryside and see the sights at your leisure.

Our boating holidays period depends on waterway operating dates/times. Most of waterways are generally opened from Mid/End March to End-October / Early November.

 

Generally locks are open from 9:00 to 18:00, which is also the cruising period during the day. Cruising during the night is not allowed.

Locks are opened most of the day, but are often closed for lunch or during some bank holidays. Please see our 'Destination' pages for more details.

 

In Ireland, some boats can't cruise on the Lough Allen Canal. Please check boats/cruise details or ask our team about these restrictions.

 

In case of floods, navigation will be stopped. Our boating experts or base team will contact you as soon as the authorities give us the information. Contact us for more details.

 

Our Base teams are expert in their cruising regions. They will be happy to provide up to date advice on the best cruising conditions and suggested itineraries on arrival and during your cruise. With the safety and enjoyment of our Customers in mind, we may sometimes advise against navigation within a certain part of the cruising region where local conditions may be challenging at that specific point in time. Conditions continually evolve so it is not always possible to inform you of relevant conditions in advance. As a guide to the current waterways and lock closures please visit our navigation restrictions page.

The Le Boat app is no longer available, however we have put together lots of other useful resources you can use to plan your dream boating holiday

You can plan your own travel and route to involve as much or as little cruising as you wish each day. Bear in mind that you cannot cruise when it is dark, and you can be restricted with the locks opening hours.

 

Arrival

Standard check-ins start FROM 2pm. Our base team will try to call you during the week prior to departure to discuss and confirm your estimated arrival time. They may ask you to arrive slightly earlier or later, depending on the number of other departures the same day. We ask that you stick as closely to your agreed arrival time as possible. If you have pre-booked and paid for an Early check-in, then you may arrive FROM 11am. (Early Check-ins are subject to availability and should be pre-booked by contacting our sales team, if you wish to add to your booking).

 

After you arrive, we’ll need to spend some time with you completing the check in processes and we will then advise you when you can expect you pre-departure boat briefing to take place. You may not be able to leave the dockside straight away, but we’ll get you set up and ready to go as soon as possible that evening or the following morning.

 

In Germany, if you don’t have a licence and wish to cruise in licence-free areas of Germany our base teams are required to provide additional tuition prior to your departure which begins at 2pm every day. See the 'Learn more about boating' tab on our 'Getting Ready’ page for more details. Licences are only required in some area of Germany. Licences are not required in any of our other cruising areas.

 

Late arrivals:

 

If you arrive later than 5pm, when you arrive at the base there will be a note on the reception door informing you where your boat is. The boat will be left open for you to stay on board that night. The base staff will do the full briefing the following morning.

Your boat should be returned and unoccupied by 09:00 on your last cruising day (or by midday if you have booked a Late Check-out).

You can order a grocery pack in advance and they will be delivered to your boat on your departure day. You will need to download the provisioning list and send it back to the base at least two weeks prior to departure.

Full travel direction to your departure base could be found under the section 'Getting to our base' on the 'Destination' pages.

 

You can arrange a taxi transfer between our bases and your airport or train station. Our 'base' pages provide you contact details & rates of local taxis.

 

If you are doing a oneway cruise, we can transfer your car from the start base to the end base so that it is waiting for you when you return. We could also arrange a taxi transfer between your end/departure base.

Information on how to get to each of our bases as well as what facilities and amenities are available at each base can be found on our website on the overview page for each region

There is at least one English speaking colleague at all of our departure bases, so as soon as you arrive at your departure base, you'll be enjoying your holiday in no time!

 

Please note: If cruising in Germany you will need a moderate level of English or German language skills. This is due to the need to understand technical instructions, safety procedures and shipping traffic rules.

Most of our bases have open-air locked parking facilities and/or garage in supplement. See our 'Base' pages for more details

You can take your zero balance invoice with you.

This will be dependant on the time of your arrival at the base and the time the boat is ready to depart. After you arrive, we’ll need to spend some time with you completing the check in processes and we will then advise you when you can expect you pre-departure boat briefing to take place. You may not be able to leave the dockside straight away, but we’ll get you set up and ready to go as soon as possible that evening or the following morning. You may be restricted by the operational time of the locks as well.

 

Miscellaneous

You can see all our current cruising offers and discounts on our special offers page.

Yes of course you can, dogs are welcome on all our boats. There will be an additional supplement per dog for cleaning. We recommend that you don't take any more than two dogs per boat.

We are able to assist you with a Visa Application Letter as soon as a deposit payment has been received to secure the booking. You will need to set up the visa appointment yourself

A Le Boat gift voucher is the perfect gift for any occasion - you can purchase one by filling out the form on our gift voucher page

Many of our customers have already booked their future boating holiday. Whether you’re thinking about booking your next cruise or you have already booked, you may be wondering how Brexit will affect you. Our top priority is to make sure you have a great holiday so we’ve pulled together everything you need to know about your Le Boat holiday after Brexit.

 

Your question

Didn’t find the answer to your question? Contact us and we will be happy to help you.