Boating through Europe

Photo of Niall McIlroy

Ever wanted to be your own skipper on a boat cruise through Europe? It's a great way to see the countryside and no prior experience is needed.

Staying in a chateau and using it as a comfortable base is a terrific way to explore the French countryside. There’s a real attraction to making such grand surroundings home for a few weeks, bringing in wine and cheese, and visiting small villages and towns.

For those who wish to enjoy this style of holiday while moving from place to place each day a self-drive houseboat on a French river or canal is a great way to go. But contrary to its name, Le Boat, which is releasing its 2017 brochure, offers self-drive boating packages not just in France but also in Ireland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, England and Scotland.

The five-star Horizon boat was new to the fleet last year and Le Boat is taking on more of these with bigger models sleeping five, seven or nine passengers in ensuite cabins.

For the first time in 2017, Horizon, which is easy to sail and has a big galley and eating area, will be available for itineraries in Ireland, Belgium, Brittany and Charente. The Horizon model complements a fleet of two-five star boats sleeping between three and 12 passengers. A three-star Town Star boat starts from $231 for three nights while the Horizon 4 sleeps nine people and starts from $5712 for five nights.

Le Boat will operate in 15 cruising areas throughout Europe — each highlighted in the brochure with maps, attractions and suggested routes, and for those who like to cruise with company, there are more flotilla dates for holidays in the Venetian Lagoon, led by a local skipper and guide, these eight-day itineraries are for one-eight boats and departing round-trip from Casale, visiting harbours including Venice, Burano and Chioggia. 

For all bookings made by November 30, Le Boat is offering an earlybird discount of 12 per cent. Order the 2017 brochure at


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