First Time Afloat

Canal boating for beginners

If you haven't been on a boat before, you are not alone - many of our guests each year are complete newcomers, yet each and every one of them masters the controls to enjoy their holiday.

First time boating

On the first day of your holiday, we endeavour to have boats ready for collection at 2.30pm on the start day of your holiday. If for any reason you are unable to arrive on time please contact the start base or the Booking Office so that any special arrangements, if necessary can be made well in advance of your holiday.

No previous experience is needed to drive a canal boat. Our boats are extremely easy to handle, and full tuition is given at the start of every holiday. You'll find comprehensive cruising information on board in your boat manual and details are also sent out with your holiday documents to introduce you to the theory of locks and the rules of the road.

We provide our own 24-hour emergency helpline should you need us, and our offices are open 7 days per week. Our opening times are 8.30am until 6pm on weekdays, and 9am - 5pm on weekends.

There is no itinerary

As a first time boater, you set your own agenda. In a week by canal, you are likely to cover the distance you could cover in an hour by car, but the journey will be a far richer one! Watch our below video to get a snippet of what life is like on your first canal boat holiday.


Booking your first canal boat holiday

If you have any concerns or questions, just contact our booking office.
We are open 7 days a week and there won't be a 'silly' question we haven't heard before.

For more information, learn about our best canal boat holidays for beginners

Taking To The Water

A blog by Waterways World employee Rebecca McGrath

Want more inspiration for your first time boating? Read the blog by Rebecca to see how she found her first time afloat on one of our narrowboats. 

Read The Blog

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