Another Option for Enjoying the Great Outdoors

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Travel Features >> Another Option for Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Another Option for Enjoying the Great Outdoors

September 22, 2014

When the weather warms up a bit we all want to take advantage of not having to hide indoors. The best thing to do is to really get out there for a few days and soak it all in. You may have tried camping or staying in cabins but what about a canal boat cruise? It can be the best of all worlds; a cottage on the water that just happens to take you to more places than you could ever expect to see in just one destination.
If you’re wondering if canal boating is for you, read on to find the answers to a few commonly asked questions.

Can I Handle One?
One of the more daunting aspects for prospective boaters is the managing of the actual boat. It can seem a bit intimidating to be in charge of a large craft when you’ve never done it before, but rest assured that they have a maximum speed of 4 km per hour. At that rate it’s fairly easy to anticipate any turns in the river, and to learn how to moor fairly quickly.
With the help of the company you hire the boat from you can choose a destination that’s good for beginners. You’ll also receive a full briefing and instructions upon arrival.
Canal boats require one able-bodied skipper, as well as another adult to make up the crew. Virtually everyone in the group can help with something, whether it’s cooking, steering, charting a course or just generally keeping the deck clear.

Who Can Go?
It’s pretty easy to see that boating is fine for adults; couples, groups of friends or extended family. It’s also great for kids, as they love the idea of actually sleeping on the boat and there’s plenty of time to stay active and explore as well.
You can plan to ‘cruise’ from one stop to the next for about four hours per day and spend the rest of the time in the towns along the way. You’ll be able to balance out time spent sitting on deck and watching the world go by with active pursuits like cycling, walking, hiking and canoeing. Children can be kept safe on the boat with proper supervision; you’ll just want to bring a play pen for small children and some good activities to help them relax in the evenings.
Canal boating is also appropriate for elderly family members. They might need a bit of help going ashore, or moving from the deck to the boat’s salon but in general it’s a good option even for those with limited mobility.

Where Would We Go?
With Europe being spider-webbed with hundreds if not thousands of canals, there are many places to explore by boat. If it’s your first time out you’ll want to choose a well trafficked route, but you can also base your destination choices on what you’d like to do and see.
The South of France is great for foodies and wine connoisseurs, while Holland boasts the famous windmills and tranquil canals. Belgium and Italy are also good choices.
If you’ve never been canal boating, why not give it a try? And if you have been and want to share any tips with our readers, leave them in the comments below.

Author bio:
Sonia Moran is an outdoors enthusiast and an avid sailor, hiker and cycler. She is also a writer for, where you can find discounted canal boat offers for many beautiful destinations throughout Europe.

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