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.

 

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 & linen on all boats depending on the number of people sharing

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).

 

Running Cost includes: a cost for fuel and engine wear & tear. It is calculated on ‘per hour’ basis. Price shown is per engine hour used and varies depending on boat & region. Fuel is payable locally in local currency at the end of the holiday.

 

Please note, fuel is an additional cost that you pay in local currency. Because of this, the cost is subject to change.

 

Before departure, you will be required to leave a fuel deposit towards the cost of the fuel for your cruise. At the end of the holiday you will either be refunded the excess or be asked to pay any additional costs as required. Fuel deposit tariffs are based on your boat's engine size.

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.

Payment can be made via EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) or credit card when arranged with a member of our Reservations Team. Alternatively, you can make payment easily, securely and confirm your booking instantly using our website.

A 35% deposit payment is required upfront to secure your booking.

The date your final payment will be due varies depending on which office you booked your holiday through. It will range from 42 - 70 days before your holiday begins. To find out exactly when your payment will be due you can get in touch with our boating experts on (00353) (0) 71 962 7633

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 boarding and Late checkout service, enabling you to collect your boat between 11am - 12pm, or from 2pm 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 & Extras

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 connexion 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 over the age of 18 (21 in Ireland) aboard in order to 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).

We advise guests to either boil water from the tank before drinking or to purchase bottled water to bring on board.

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.

 

Assistance & Safety

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

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.

Yes, all of our boats come with a secure safe for valuables

 

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.

 

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

Normal collection time is between 4pm and 5pm and return time is by 9am on the final day.

 

We recommend you to arrive at the base between 2pm & 3pm to get the briefing & instructions. If you want to cruise a few hours more on your departure and/or end day, you could book an Early Check in and/or Late check out.

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.

Your boat will be ready to depart for 16:00 - 17:30. We recommend that you arrive 60 minutes earlier for check-in and instructions. If you have booked an Early Check-in Service, please arrive at the base ready to depart between 11am and 12pm or from 2pm.

This will be dependant on the time of your arrival at the base and the time the boat is ready to depart. You may be restricted by the operational time of the locks as well.

 

Miscellaneous

You can book your holiday at any time either by booking online (secured payment) or by phoning our experienced sales team on (00353) (0) 71 962 7633.

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

 

Your question

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