Which region? Our boat hire recommendations by activity

We offer canal boat hire all over Europe, and Canada too. So whatever your passion is, you're sure to find a destination to 'float your boat'. Do you enjoy hitting the fairways, exploring on two wheels or learning about local history and heritage - or maybe it's wine-tasting and gastronomic pleasures you seek? Whichever it is, we have a boat hire destination to suit you.


Nature in the Camargue

The waterways are home to some of Europe’s finest wildlife and offer great scenery and natural spots. Also discover the great parks and gardens near the waterways.

History & Heritage

Carcassonne on the Canal du Midi

Our cruising routes are packed with both famous historical sites to see and lesser-known historical gems to discover.


Gastronomy on the Midi

Each of our regions offers delicious gastronomic treats to taste on your holiday. 

Wine Tasting

Vineyards of Burgundy

In our French cruising regions, opportunities to tour vineyards are as plentiful as the many wines they offer.

Swimming and seaside

Swimming in the Lot

Many of our cruises take you to perfect swimming spots that children—and adults—will love.


Golf Balls

Discover cruising routes close to excellent golf courses.


Fishing hooks in the Rideau

Fishing's the perfect pastime for your holiday. Europe's rivers are full of fish to hook!


Cycling on the Midi

All of our cruises are perfect for gentle cycling along the towpath. Find cruises close to more adventurous cycling routes.

Horse Riding

Horse-riding in Brittany

For something different, take to the saddle and enjoy a gentle trot along the canal paths.

Water sports


Many of our destinations are terrific places for kayaking, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, or just taking a swim.


Cruising on the Thames

With an Emerald Star staycation you can enjoy all the wonders of a boating holiday, without the hassle of travelling abroad. 

Boating recommendations for staycations


Which region? Our houseboat rental recommendations - by group type

Rent a houseboat to explore our beautiful lakes, rivers and canals is the perfect vacation, regardless of who you are travelling with - even the dog! Families, couples and groups of friends will all enjoy crewing your own boat and helping to navigate it from one idyllic place to the next, which ever country you choose to explore. Some of our regions are particularly great for certain group types however, so allow us to recommend some for you.


Family friendly

Family in Burgundy

Fun for families of all ages, a houseboat rental with children is a great way of combining activity and relaxation in a totally different kind of way. 

Dog friendly


Whichever boat or destination you choose, your dog is always welcome on board!

Group Adventures

Group Adventures

Sharing a boat with friends and discovering new places to see and new things to do each day is not only great fun, but it's affordable too.

Short Breaks

Bruges, Belgium

Short holidays are perfect for a bank holiday weekend, a getaway when you have limited holiday time, a relaxing cruise for a romantic break or a taster opportunity for those new to boating who just want to give it a try.

Holidays for couples

Venice, Italy

If you're looking for a quiet break to recharge your batteries or a romantic getaway, then a boating holiday for two may be just the answer. Choose from our smaller cruisers such as the Cirrus or Sheba, which are easy for two to handle.

Canal boating holidays

Canal de la Marne au Rhin

Operating across nine different counties, each one has something special to offer. We’ve selected our canal boat hire destinations, steeped full of history and were once built to carry goods from one place to another, are now a tranquil escape.

Boating recommendations for canal destinations