Marine Cruises narrowboat holidays from two great bases


About Marine Cruises narrowboat holidays

This is me “Hayley” The owner at Marine Cruises. This is my story…..

I am fourty something with three children and my stepdaughter, husband and two dogs.I really enjoy concerts with friends , walks, books and a workout not forgetting coffee and sometimes a little cake too, in moderation of course.

I took over the business twelve years ago and it wasn’t something I had on the cards at all it was always what I considered my Dad’s work………

15 years ago Dad suddenly passed away after not returning home from a walk with his dog at just 57 years old, he had a massive and sudden heart attack, I was heart broken and so were my sisters, I felt like my world had stopped.

It’s funny when your younger you sometimes almost think your untouchable, until something so life changing like this happens, within two years we also lost our stepmum again very suddenly what seemed to show up as a sickness bug but sadly it was the big C and from being what she thought was a sickness bug to passing away it was just 6.5 weeks, only 3.5 weeks after she was diagnosed, a truly horrendous time of our lives, my sisters had there own problems from all this grief and they just weren’t in a position to take over the helm of what was our Dad’s business, my Dad was always a workaholic and for many many years I would visit him at the boats, he loved what he did, sadly he never managed to perfect that balance of work and life….but I guess it’s work in progress for most of us, something I’m more conscious of now than ever & something I am keen to push myself for.

As a family we discussed what to do because watching Dad build his success just to let it go seemed so meaningless? It felt like all those years of love and graft were all for nothing so after my sisters decided it wasn’t for them due to their own personal circumstances, I agreed that I would give it ago with their full support.

So I did and 12 years on I have learnt everything from engine rooms, plumbing right through to the in’s & outs of the boats and I have managed to build a wonderful skilled team around me who absolutely rock and are all part of the bigger picture and without them we wouldn’t have our success.

About 5 years after I took over when I found my feet a little more we started to build new boats for the fleet again utilising a skilled team to do this for us.

I am so proud of the modern and beautiful boats we have created for amazing holidays creating special memories for families, friends, couples, their children and fur family.

When I hear someone ask me along the canal if they are “Arthur’s boats” it just makes me smile ear to ear and my heart fills again, I know that technically they are not his original boats but always his concept and he built the business and all the trademarks you recognise about it today and I hope he is proud, it’s not been easy it’s been full of learning curbs but wonderful memories too and for me and my family to be able too enjoy the canals, creating wonderful holidays for customers to remember fondly many years later and being able to pass on the memories with my children that my dad gave me.

What makes me happy is the continued success of the footings my dad put in and the beautiful routes we have and most of all you guys, our customers, your awesome and especially with all the recent support…..I mean who saw a pandemic on the horizon! We love seeing you return year after year and sometimes several times a year it let’s us know we are getting things right.

A huge thank you to my family, husband, Mum & stepdad for their unwavering support over the past 12 + years, I couldn’t have done it without you all.


Hayley xxx


Our Llangollen Canal base is at Swanley Marina near Nantwich in Cheshire.

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Our Scotland Base is in the basin at the foot of the Falkirk Wheel.

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For more information about bookings and Marine Cruises narrowboat holidays contact:

Marine Cruises, Nursery Cottage, Liverpool Road, Moston, Chester, CH2 4BA
Tel 01244 373911
Marine Cruises Ltd: VAT Reg No. 692 3597 92