Le Boat – Cruise Traveller

Le Boat

Le Boat

About Le Boat

Le Boat is the number one provider of boating holidays on the beautiful rivers and canals of Europe and Canada. Le Boat has the world’s larges fleet of self-drive boats and the widest choice of boating destinations to choose from. With over 50 years of experience, you can expect exceptional service and helpful advice. You do not require a boat license to hire a Le Boat, you will be given plenty of training before you set off and will soon be confident in navigating the waterways by yourself.

What is Le Boat?

Who’s onboard?

Le Boat offers you the chance to the the captain of your own boat. No license or experience is required (except in some areas of Germany). Once you come onboard, you will be shown everything you need to know with a briefing and demonstration. It’s just like driving a car, but much easier and more relaxing.

Where does Le Boat go?

You can travel to most of Western Europe with Le boat including France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. And new for 2019 is cruising to the lakes of Canada nestled between Toronto and Ottawa.

What’s included?

Your Le Boat comes with so many inclusions – These are standard on all boat rentals.

  • Comfortable beds with pillows, duvets and linen
  • Fully equipped kitchen with refridgerator, oven, stove top, dishes, pots/pans and utensils
  • Bath towels and tea towels (beach towels are not included)
  • Bathrooms with hot showers and toilets
  • CD player and radio
  • Cruising maps, manual for your boat
  • Tourist information
  • Safety equipment – life ring, life jackets, boat hook, fenders, basic first aid kit
  • Mooring pegs and mallet
  • Mop, bucket and ropes
  • 12v power with 220v when cruising
  • Heating for colder days
  • Fans for cooling (no air conditioning)

What do I need to bring with me?

  • Soft bags which can fold away are much better than hard suitcases as boats have limited storage space
  • Non-slip rubber-soled shoes
  • Leather or gardening gloves are useful when holding the ropes in the locks. (Available to purchase at the base)
  • Binoculars for bird and wildlife watching
  • Comfortable clothes to suit all weather conditions
  • Sun cream, sun hats** and sunglasses are essential – you can burn easily by the water
  • Large beach towels for sunbathing
  • Toilet paper and toiletries
  • Hand soap
  • Worktop and dish cleaning products*
  • Food, snacks and drinks*
  • A flashlight* for walking along towpaths at night

Holiday Extras

Le Boat offers a range of optional extras to make your holiday more relaxing. You can add them to your initial booking, or you can add them on any time afterwards. you can even purchase them at the base when you arrive. However, to guarrantee availability, and to receive a reduced rate, we recommend you pre-book before departing Australia.

EXTRA’S PACKAGE: A bundle of the top extras rolled into one. Includes:

  • ENGINE HOURS CHARGE: This covers diesel to power the engine and onboard heating, gas for cooking and engine wear and tear. This is otherwise charged locally at the end of your holiday.
  • NON REFUNDABLE COLLISION DAMAGE WAIVER (CDW): This helps to significantly reduce the refundable damage deposit (and thus your liability) which is collected locally before your holiday begins.
  • BOAT CLEANING: It’s not a holiday if you have to clean up all night before you get off! This extra allows you to bag up your rubbish and wash the dishes and Le Boat will do the rest!
  • RENTAL OF ONE BIKE: What a great way to start your trip.

Note: The extra’s included in this package are also available to purchase separately. You can add more bikes if you wish, but be careful to not double book. This package is only available for those who pre-book. Engine hours are covered up to a fixed amount depending on duration of your holiday as follows: 3 nights – 16 hours | 4 nights – 20 hours | 7 nights – 30 hours | 10 nights – 42 hours | 11 nights – 48 hours | 14 nights – 55 hours. Hours used in excess will be charged locally in local currency. Unused hours will not be refunded.


EARLY BOARDING & LATE CHECKOUT: If your flight arrives at 9am, you may benefit from booking an early check in rather than waiting until 4pm to pick up your boat. And likewise, if you are flying out at 11pm, it might be nice to stay onboard for a little longer than your usual 9am hand over. Early boarding means you can collect your boat from 11am (at a charge of AU $150) and late checkout means you can return your boat by noon instead (at a charge of AU $150).

Please note: owing to operational constraints, it sometimes may not be possible to offer this service. This service is not available in Chertsey, Jabel or on any Vision boat.


ANGLING DINGHY & MOTOR: For the avid angler, hiring a dinghy is a must! You get to those hidden spots and catch your dinner instead. Le Boat has outboard motors and can help you obtain fishing permits locally on arrival. There is also a range of fishing gear at some basis for purchase. Angling Dinghies are prices from AU $105 per week or AU $15 per day. Outboard motors priced from AU $105 per week or AU $15 per day.

Please note: Costs shown are pre-booked rates. A higher rate is applicable if purchased at the base. Dinghies and motors are only available in Ireland, Germany, Holland and at Douelle/Jarnac in France. In Ireland a small dinghy without motor is included with your boat rental, although you can upgrade to a larger one if you like. An outboard motor can be purchased and used with either.


Eco pack: from AU $20

Help preserve the waterways for future enjoyment by purchasing a pack of eco-friendly cleaning products which come in a ecological cotton bag. The pack includes: Ecological disinfectant spray,  ecological kitchen spray,  washing-up liquid, sponge, box of matches.

Please note: Not available in Canada


Lantern: AU$21 a week / AU$3 a day

Neon LED lantern that can be used to provide additional lighting up on deck in the evenings. Rechargeable via 220v / 12v boat battery.

Please note: Not available in England, Scotland or Italy. 


Paddleboard: AU$133 a week / AU$19 a day

Provided in a bag, with everything you need, our new paddle boards are stable, inflatable and easy to use. You’ll love spending some time travelling down the river under your own power.

Please note: Cost shown is the prebooked rate. A higher rate is applicable if purchased at base. Only available in Jarnac (Charente), Douelle (Lot), St Jean de Losne (Burgundy), Port-Cassafières (Camargue), Marina-Wolfsbruch (Germany), Casale & Precenicco (italy) and Smiths Falls (Canada).)


Wifi: AU$12 a day

A 3/4G mini router, which uses SFR Mobile Broadband, provides internet access wherever there is a mobile phone signal. Each unit can have a maximum of five devices connected at any one time. Signal speeds can vary depending on location and local coverage. Download limit of 5GB (4000mb) per week.

Please note: Only available in France. Cost shown is the prebooked rate. A higher rate is applicable if purchased at base.

BIKE HIRE: From collecting breakfast to exploring the villages and towns you happen upon, a bike can be a real boon.

  • ADULT BIKES: AU $70 per week or $10 per day
  • CHILD BIKES: AU $49 per week or $7 per day
  • CHILD SEAT: AU $21 per week or $3 per day
  • BIKE THEFT WAIVER: AU $7 per week or $1 per day

GROCERIES: To save you the trouble of shopping (or perhaps you are arriving outside of operating hours), Le Boat has some goodies you can pre-order onboard

SUNDOWNER PACK: priced from AU $60 – All the ‘essentials’ you need for your first evening onboard including 2 bottles of local wine | 1 bottle of coke | Potato chips | 6 cans of beer | 1 bottle of lemonade | A packet of aperitif biscuits | 6 bottles of water | 1 bottle of juice | Peanuts.

STARTER PACK: priced from AU $85-95 – All you need for your first evening and first morning onboard including: Olive oil | Kitchen towels | Aluminium foil | Salt & Pepper | Fresh coffee | Croissants (packet) | Butter | Milk | Sliced loaf of bread | Sugar | Jam | 1 packet of biscuits and everything that’s in the Sundowner pack.

Please note: These packs are not available from Benson, Chertsey or Laggan. Grocery Packs must be ordered at least 7 days in advance of your departure date, otherwise availability cannot be guarranteed.


BARBECUES add some extra sizzle to your boating holiday and Le Boat’s stainless steel gas BBQ will fit neatly onto the railings of your sundeck. Priced from AU $70 per week or $10 per day.

Please note: cost shown above in on the pre-booked rate – a higher rate is applicable if purchased at the base. BBQ’s are available in one size only and is suitable for up to 8 people. You will be supplied with 2 gas bottles with additional bottles purchasable from local supermarkets or garages. BBQ’s are not available in England, Scotland or Italy. BBQ is already included on Horizon, Vision, Mystique and Royal Mystique boats.


Boat cleaning: from AU $120 – AU $220 (depending on boat)

After a relaxing holiday, you probably don’t want to spend your last evening cleaning the boat. So why not pre-book Le Boat’s cleaning service and let them take care of the final clean of your boat. Then all you have to do is wash the dishes and bag up your rubbish. For details about the condition your boat should be returned in, please refer to Le Boat’s terms and conditions.


Gift basket: from AU $125

If you are celebrating a special birthday or occasion, you can pre-order a beautifully presented gift basket, full of local delicacies and regional specialities. It will be waiting for you on board when you arrive.


1-man kayak: AU$140 a week / AU$20 a day

2-man kayak: AU$140 a week / AU$20 a day

Kayaks add a little extra fun on the water and are perfect to explore the rivers. While cruising, the kayak can be easily placed on the swim platform/flybridge of your boat.

Please note: Only available in Canada 


Pack of 2 cushions: from AU $7 a week / AU $1 a day

Why not hire a pack of deck cushions for extra comfort while you cruise? They also double up as sunbathing matresses!

Please note: Cost shown is the prebooked rate. A higher rate is applicable if purchased at base. Not available in Scotland and Italy. Cushions are already provided on our Horizon, Vision Series, Mystique & Royal Mystique boats.

Safety Guides

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Locks & Moorings

Where to moor & how much does it cost?

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!

Do we have to operate the locks? If so, is it easy?

Most of Le Boat’s cruising regions contain locks that you will have to pass through. However, for many 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.

Are any areas lock free?

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.

Activities & Extras

Can I swim in any of the regions?

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 cruising routes if you fancy a dip. You could also head for the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean or near our base at Nieuwport in Belgium.

Can I bring my own BBQ?

No, the law is strict and only a fitted BBQ can be used on a boat. You can rent one of Le Boat’s fitted BBQs as an optional extras on most models, and some models in the range have BBQs built in as standard. Check the specifics of your boat for full details.

Is it possible to hire bikes? How do you lock them?

Yes, Le Boat 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.

Is fishing allowed?

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. 

What is included

What is included in the price? What is not?

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.

Are towels and linen included?

Yes, Le Boat / Emerald Star provides towels & linen on all boats depending on the number of people sharing

What should I bring with me?

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.

How much does the fuel cost?

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.

Experience & Instruction

Do I require a licence or permit?

A driving licence is not required for your boating holiday on nearly all Le Boat destinations or 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.

Do I need any experience of driving a boat?

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.

How old do I need to be to drive the boat?

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.

What are in the cruising documentation provided?

Once you have confirmed your booking, you will receive a map of your area. On the already ‘Getting Ready‘ section of the Le Boat 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.

About your boat

What is the minimum & maximum occupancy?

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 sections.

What are the features & equipments of the boat?

All Le Boat boats are fully equipped for a comfortable & safe journey. A grill, oven and fridge are available on all of their models. Some boats have additional features & equipments such as microwave or safety box. Check the features & specifics on the boat model page.

Should I refill the fuel & water?

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).

Can I drink the water from the on board water tank?

Le Boat advises guests to either boil water from the tank before drinking or to purchase bottled water to bring on board.

Is there electricity & internet on board?

Le Boat boats are equipped with a variety of power equipment. Check with us to see the specifics. None of the boats have Internet connection but if you are cruising in France, you could rent a WIFI device for the duration of your cruise.

Assistance & Safety

What happens if the boat breaks down?

In case of an emergency, you will be able to contact one of the base team on opening hours and Le Boat will respond immediately. In the unlikely event that you have a problem with your boat, they will do their 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 the Le Boat pledge in their terms and conditions.

Are life jackets provided?

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


How easy is it to navigate?

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.

How many hours should I cruise each day?

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.

What speed should I cruise at?

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.

When can I navigate? (Period / Night)

Le Boat’s 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.

Where can I cruise?

Le Boat have compiled a list of suggested cruises in both their 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, these boats are designed for inland waterways only and as a result aren’t allowed to venture into open seas.

Are there any navigation restrictions? (Locks, Bridges, Floods)

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. Le Boat’s boating experts or base team will contact you as soon as the authorities give them the information. Contact us for more details.


What time can I collect and return the boat?

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.

What languages are spoken at the bases?

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.

What type of car parking is available?

Most of Le Boat’s bases have open-air locked parking facilities and/or garage in supplement.

How do I get to the base? Can transfers be arranged? (Oneway / Airport / Train)

Full travel direction to your departure base can be sent to you by our team. Please contact us and advise your base. If you are doing a oneway cruise, Le Boat can transfer your car from the start base to the end base so that it is waiting for you when you return. They can also arrange a taxi transfer between your end/departure base.

Can we pre-order groceries?

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.

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* Unless otherwise noted all pricing is on a per person twin share basis. All prices based on cash payment - credit card fees may apply. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Special conditions may apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Any pricing not in Australian Dollars will be converted on the day of payment into the relevant currency based on our daily rate of exchange. Please note that many of the prices shown on this website are not shown in real time. Whilst we endeavour to keep our pricing as up-to-date as possible, the advertised prices shown here may differ slightly from the live prices in our booking system. All pricing and offers are subject to availability at time of booking. Whilst all information is correct at the time of publication, offers are subject to change. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty. Please submit any data errors/omissions you may notice on this site.

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