Canal & Waterway
Hotel Boats and Barges

These boats come with a crew that drives the boat and prepares some or all of your meals. There will be some small number of other passengers. Lounge and eating areas are shared. On the UK canals, hotel boats are often a pair of 70 foot long narrowboats, and passenger cabins are small. On European canals, hotel boats are often wider and carry more passengers.

There is no implied recommendation for any of the firms listed, nor is any criticism implied for any firm not listed. No firm has paid for any listing.

Visit the firms' web sites and/or contact them directly for further information.

4 Oct 2023 - I have dropped listing agencies for hotel boat firms; there are a lot of them. I only list here hotel boats that have a web presence of their own.

Hotel Boat Firms - UK & Ireland


Hotel Boats - UK - Narrowboats

[Links manually checked 21 Jan 2024]

As these sometimes roam around much of the canal system during a season, no "location" has been specified.

See also Hotel Boats - UK - Wide-beam.

Away4awhile - after ten years, owners have switched from operating a hotelboat to running "Away2dine", a "canal cruising restaurant modelled from the dinner boats in Paris"; Birmingham - However this is now Website defunct.

Bywater Hotelboat Cruises

Classic Waterway Holidays - Website not working - 70' narrowboat; 4 passengers

Duke & Duchess Hotel Narrowboats

Hotelboat Periwinkle - final season was 2015, after 14 years of operation

LadyLine Hotel Boats - In liquidation, late 2018

Charter Hotelboat Willow - Operators retired in September 2015 - Scottish Canals; "charter" service: your party are the only guests

Takara Hotel Boat

Wandering Duck - from their Facebook page on 3 Jan 2018: "After 6 years of the Duck introducing guests to the canals we have decided to stop running trips."

For another alternative, see my list Hire Nightly or B&B. This lists several narrowboats, some for B&B and some for use as the equivalent of a hotel room.


Hotel Boats - UK & Ireland - Wide-beam

[Links manually checked 21 Jan 2024]

African Queen - River Thames; also B&B in Reading Oct-Mar

The Billet Hotel Canal Boat - up to four passengers

MV Edward Elgar - River Severn; 22 passengers

Caledonian Discovery - Scotland (Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal); was "Fingal Cruises"

Castlerose Boat Stay - Website defunct - wide-beam "narrowboat"; hotel boat on Bridgewater Canal, or self-catering docked in Manchester

European Waterways - fleet of 18 varied boats, in various locations, some company-owned and some represented; in British Isles, has Thames, Scotland, and Ireland

Hotel Boat Kailani - boat sold to private owner Aug 2022 - wide-beam "narrowboat"; cruises GU, K&A, R. Thames

Lady Teal Boutique Hotel Boat - broad-beam boat in narrowboat-style

Magna Carta - River Thames

Scottish Highlander - Now apparently only offered through agencies - Scotland

Shannon Princess - R. Shannon, Ireland; 10 passengers

Thames & Chilterns Holiday Cruises - "Tranquil Rose" - narrowboat-style boat, but wider - River Thames; K&A Canal

Wessex Rose - wide-beam "narrowboat", launched May 2013; cruises K&A

Hotel Boat Firms - Continental Europe

[Links manually checked 21 Jan 2024]

De 4 Vaargetijden - Belgium (web pages available in English, Français, Deutsch, Nederlands)

Merganser - France - as of 2022, NOT operating as a hotel boat. Website now is a blog on their move of the boat to England.

Johanna - Dutch barge; France, Belgium

KR-line - barge cruises on the M/S Johanna in Belgium; 7 passengers

Dutch Paradise Charters - Website defunct - river salon yacht; 10 passengers; Holland, Belgium, France (web pages in English, Deutsch, Français, Nederlands)

Barge Colibri - 4 passengers (Canal du Midi, France)

Barge Nilaya - 4 passenger Luxemotor barge; France

European Waterways - fleet of 18 varied boats, in various locations, some company-owned and some represented

Feniks - hotel boat, cycling holidays, charters; cruises the Netherlands, Belgium and France

River Yacht "Roi Soleil" - cruises Canal du Midi and in Provence

The Saint Louis - up to six passengers; France

La Reine P├ędauque - I get blank screen - use caution - cruises on the Burgundy Canal; was "Sonafho France"

The Barge Company - No longer in business; owners have retired - agency; France, Netherlands, Belgium, England, Scotland, Ireland

Luciole - Canal du Nivernais in France, from Auxerre to Clamecy; 14 passengers

Hotel Barge Rosa - 8 passengers; cruises the Canal de Garonne in southwestern France


Please email firm suggestions to the address below.

Many thanks to Nigel Hamilton, Julie Shook, Robin Smithett, and Paul Higson for additions and corrections.


Link to main canals page.
Send questions and comments to .
Text, graphics, and photos Copyright © 1995-2024 by George Pearson.
This Page Last Modified: Monday, 22-Jan-24 1:30 pm EST
Page Links Manually Checked: Sunday, 21-Jan-24 4:10 pm EST