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Canal-Boat Rentals in Europe

Locaboat Holidays photo

ABOVE: A self-drive Penichette from European Boating Holidays cruises past the San Marco waterfront in Venice, Italy.

Self-drive boats

Black Prince Holidays Ltd.
Choose from narrowboats of four different sizes, which are available at eight canal bases in England, Scotland, and Wales. If you aren't sure what's involved in being a DIY canal-boat captain, read The Boater's Handbook (PDF format), which was produced by British Waterways and the UK's Environment Agency.

Crown Blue Line
Pick from 29 boat types with two to eight beds. Most cruising areas are in France, but boats are also available in the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Italy.

European Boating Holidays
This firm has two brands: Locaboat Holidays, with a fleet of nearly 400 traditionally-styled "Penichettes" at more than two dozen European locations, and Cardinal, which features modern "5-star" luxury cruisers in six countries.

Drifters Boating Holidays
Drifters, a UK-based company, represents a number of British operators. Its "check availability" tool lets you search for narrowboats, day boats, etc. on the waterway of your choice.

FPP Travel
France Plassion Plaisance has 31 departure bases in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Czech Republic. License-free, self-drive boats come in a variety of sizes, and "Handy" boats are available for wheelchair users.

Great Trips Unlimited Boating Holidays
Choose from steel-hulled canal boats or modern cabin cruisers in Britain, Ireland, and France.

H20 Self-Drive Rental Boats
Rent a boat in Burgundy from H20, whose "home fleet" consists of boats that are used by their owners only a few weeks per year. The firm also represents Pavillon-Sane, Nicols, and Crown Blue Line.

Latelink Boating Holidays
This UK firm offers last-minute deals on self-drive boat rentals in Britain, Ireland, and France.

Le Boat
This company's self-drive barges sleep 2 to 10 passengers and can be rented in France, the British Isles, Ireland, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Travel With Kids: Barges
Several of these listings at Travel With Kids are for companies that offer self-drive boats.

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