Marine Cruises canal hire from two great bases

Canal Hire FAQs

Do I need any qualifications or skills to steer the canal hire boat?

Our friendly Marine Cruises staff will give you all the help and advice you need when you start your canal hire holiday, even if you have never been on a canal boat hire holiday before. There is no need to have any sort of training or qualification. We’ll show you how to steer the boat and explain how to moor and work locks. Don’t worry, you’ll pick it up quickly, everyone does! And on the canals there will usually be helpful people around if you are not sure about the best way to do things.

Is canal hire hard work?

Nothing that a reasonably fit adult can’t handle. Pushing lock gates open and winding the lock paddles can get the heart going a bit at times, but there is usually someone around to help, and time to recover before the next lock. If you want to find an easy route without many locks our staff will be pleased to give advice. Believe it or not, most people enjoy the locks and the exercise!

How safe will the children be?

Water can be dangerous and boats are heavy moving objects, so children should always be properly supervised of course, especially at locks. Children and adults, especially those who can’t swim, should wear lifejackets which we can provide. However canals are usually shallow and slow moving and we will give safety instructions and advice.

Can we bring our pets with us?

One of the great things about a canal hire holiday is that all the family will enjoy it, including the family pet! We allow well behaved pets on our boats, for a small extra charge to cover the additional cleaning. See our Booking Form for details.

What facilities will be on the Marine Cruises canal hire boat?

The canal hire boat will be fully equipped to ensure you have a comfortable holiday, with lounge area, beds, bathroom and kitchen to a similar modern standard you would expect at home. The boat pages give full specific details about each of our canal boats and photos of each of the areas. Some hire boats have a choice of how the sleeping is configured, the number of single and double berths, you need to decide what suits your party best and tell us when you book.

Will we have to fill up with gas, diesel fuel or water?

Your boat will come with enough gas (for cooking and heating) and diesel fuel for a week’s cruising. The watertanks will be full when you take the boat but you may need to refill them during your holiday, there are lots of canalside taps to do this. Due to the increase in fuel costs we have to charge for the diesel that you use, however the boat engines are surprisingly economical. See our Booking Conditions for details.

Can we just stop the boat anywhere?

You can moor almost anywhere on the towpath side of canals, free of charge. Boats come with mooring ropes and steel ‘mooring pins’ and hammer. Some regular moorings have steel rings or bollards to tie to. Mooring on the opposite side of the canal is not usually allowed since the land is often privately owned. Any towpath area where mooring is not allowed will usually be signed. However don’t moor on tight bends, by turning places or close to locks where you will get in the way of other boats using the locks.