Le Boat is the No.1 provider of boating holidays on Europe and Canada’s beautiful inland waterways, operating in nine countries across 17 regions, with the world’s largest fleet of over 900 self-drive boats. On 12 April holidaymakers returned to English waters, as the first customers of the 2021 season took to the Thames, with boaters set to follow suit in Scotland on 26 April. With increased interest in domestic travel, additional Le Boat craft have been deployed to both regions, to meet a surge in demand for boating holidays here in the UK.
Despite the day starting with unseasonal snowfall, the sun was soon shining as guests began arriving at the Le Boat Thames bases in Chertsey and Benson. The team welcomed both first-time boaters and seasoned boating enthusiasts taking to the river. After months of lockdown measures, customers were visibly excited to be starting their holiday, with a Le Boat Thames boating holiday giving them the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and to make the most of the great outdoors.
Le Boat holidays on the Thames allow travellers to explore the western section of the river. Here moorings are easy to find and the distance between locks is greater than at the river’s eastern end, which means more cruising. The dreaming spires and universities of Oxford are a six-hour cruise to the west of Benson, or boaters can head east and in six hours be in Henley-on-Thames, the home of British rowing. Meanwhile, a Le Boat holiday in northern Scotland involves exploring Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal, with hilltop castles, quiet waterside towns, cosy pubs, whisky tastings, and beautiful highland scenery awaiting guests.
The start of the UK season coincides with the news that bookings for UK travel in 2021 with Le Boat are already up 110% year on year and up 76% on 2019. To meet the rise in demand, the Le Boat team have increased their number of craft available in England and Scotland, with 10 more boats deployed to the Thames and five additional boats sent to the Caledonian Canal. Similarly, Le Boat has moved 10 more boats to the River Shannon for the 2021 season, in response to a boom in Irish domestic travel.
Holidaymakers continue to be reassured by Le Boat’s Covid Safety Charter, which was implemented last year and applies to all its destinations at home and abroad. The extensive health and safety procedures ensure customers have a safe and worry-free experience, without hindering the sense of freedom that a Le Boat holiday provides. The measures include supplying pre-departure information digitally, including a comprehensive safety video, enhanced cleaning processes at the Le Boat bases and on the boats, and the introduction of Perspex screens and hand-sanitiser at receptions. Furthermore, holidaymakers are protected by the operator’s Go Boating with Confidence flexible booking policy, which allows customers to change their booking free of charge up to the day of their departure, in the event of travel restrictions coming into force. And for those that do not want to rebook immediately, there is the option to receive a credit note for use towards a future holiday departing any time before 31 October 2022 or receive a guaranteed cash refund.
With demand already high in 2021 across all Le Boat destinations, customers are encouraged to reserve now to ensure they secure the boat type and dates that they desire. By booking in advance, guests can take advantage of Le Boat’s staycation offer, which is available on River Thames and Caledonian Canal boating holidays*. A discount of 25% applies to April 2021 UK bookings, 15% on May 2021 bookings, 10% on June and July 2021 bookings, and a discount of 5% on UK holidays departing between July and October.
Cheryl Brown, Managing Director of Le Boat says: “Le Boat holidays offers the perfect sanctuary, from the bubble of your home to the bubble of your self-drive boat, and it’s fantastic to welcome so many boaters back to the waterways. We have seen fantastic pickup in demand for our holidays in the coming months and have full confidence in our summer season, reuniting friends and family across the globe”.
Le Boat is delighted to announce that its 2022 programme has now gone on sale, with next years boating season set to take place between March and October. An early booking discount offer* of up to 20% is available on holidays taken in 2022 of seven nights or more, and of 15% on breaks of 3-5 nights. The incentive, which is valid on bookings made by 1 September 2021, is applicable to every boating region in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Holland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Canada. What’s more, cross channel operator Brittany Ferries has begun taking 2022 reservations early, allowing Le Boat customers to finalise 2022 travel arrangements to mainland Europe well in advance.
*See the Le Boat website for offer terms and conditions
To plan your Le Boat trip: Call 02392 801125 or visit www.leboat.co.uk