Booking a holiday
Do I need previous experience before booking a canal boat holiday?
No we welcome bookings from complete novices to the seasoned boater. Full tuition is provided on how to operate the boat and it’s equipment at the start of every holiday.
We provide a comprehensive handover at the beginning of your holiday to ensure you are happy with all aspects of the boat. We will show you how to drive the boat safely & stay on board for as long as it takes you to feel relaxed, and confident to proceed alone.
Before you arrive for your holiday, we do ask that you take the time to familiarise yourself with the boaters’ handbook.This is sent to you with your welcome pack & filled with everything you should know about driving a canal boat.Complete novices are also sent a DVD.
Are there restrictions on booking a holiday with Duck Island Boat Company?
Yes, the following restrictions apply when hiring a boat with Duck Island Boat Company
You must be 21 or over to book.
We regret that we are unable to hire to single handed boaters, however experienced.Operating a boat and canal-side equipment can be physically demanding. For your safety there must be 2 on board the boat at all times.
Can I bring my dog?
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate dogs on board Piccolo. A small dog is welcome on board Adagio. We provide a towel & bowls. plus a doggy treat. A charge of £35.00 will be added to the cost of your total holiday hire. Please contact us prior to booking if you wish to bring your dog
Can I bring my bicycle?
For safety reasons we do not allow bicycles on the boat
When do I need to pay for my holiday?
A 25% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking with the outstanding balance to be paid at least 8 weeks' before the date on which your holiday is due to start. For holidays booked less than 8 weeks' from the start date, the full amount becomes payable upon booking including the £200 security deposit
Are there any extras to pay?
Security deposit of £200 which will be refunded on return of the boat clean, tidy & undamaged
Do I need insurance?
As with any holiday, hirers are recommended to take out personal insurance to cover injury, loss of belongings or cancellation.
What are the handover and return times for the boat?
The boat is available from 2.30pm on the start day of your holiday and must be returned by 9.30am on the last day of your holiday
What happens if we cancel?
You may receive a full or partial refund, depending on how much notice you give, and whether we are able to re-let the boat. These circumstances are clearly set out in our Terms & Conditions of Hire.
Is there parking available at the marina?
Parking is available at the mooring.
Is it difficult to drive a widebeam boat?
No, it's the same as driving a narrowboat only a bit wider & additional care needs to be taken when going through bridges, mooring up & passing other vessels.. The key with driving any canal boat (wide or narrow) is to travel with caution, and always be alert. If you are unable to stop the boat within your line of sight then you are travelling too fast!
How far can we travel ?
Lancaster canal is fully navigable. WE DO NOT ALLOW NAVIGATION DOWN THE GLASSON ARM
Where can we moor up?
You can moor free of charge anywhere along the canal towpath with very few exceptions, these are marked in the maps and guides on board the boat. You must not moor your boat within 50 metres of a bridge or over night at water standpipes
Is it easy to turn around?
There are winding holes (turning points) at frequent intervals along the canal. These are marked in the maps and guides on board the boat.
When and how should we fill up with water?
Water standpipes can be found at regular intervals along the canal which can be identified from the maps and guides on board the boat. We provide a key for you to access them.
Water stored in the boat is perfectly safe for washing and for use in the kettle, however we do recommend the use of bottled water for drinking. A limited supply of bottled water will be provided.
Will we have enough fuel and gas?
There is sufficient fuel and gas on board the boat for a two week holiday.
What kind of toilet is on the boat?
For your convenience, the boat is fitted with a deluxe flushing toilet.
What happens if we break down or have an accident?
You will be provided with our 24hr emergency contact numbers.In the unlikely event of a mechanical breakdown, an engineer will be called out to assist.
Things to do
Why choose a canal boat holiday?
A canal boat holiday offers you a truly unique way to discover and explore some of the most beautiful towns, villages and countryside in Britain. Travelling along at an average 3mph - 4mph, you will soon forget the hustle and bustle of 21st century life as you meander through the peaceful and spectacular scenery
A holiday on the canal with Duck Island Boat Company offers you a little piece of floating paradise a perfect way to relax and unwind, celebrate a special occasion, or escape for a romantic retreat.
Can we get cash and provisions as we go?
Access to shops and services from Lancaster Canal is excellent. Most pubs and grocery stores will accept credit/debit cards. ATM machines are located in grocery stores on route, details can be found on board.
What should we bring with us?
A canal holiday is very informal so bring along casual, comfortable clothing & sensible shoes. Space is very limited on canal boats so we recommend you bring flexible folding baggage and not hard suitcases.
Are buoyancy aids provided?
Yes, we supply life jackets onboard & recommend their use by all non swimmers
What will be provided on board the boat?
The boat is fully equipped with all the necessary crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils you will need, along with freshly laundered bed linen and towels. A full inventory will be sent to you on receipt of your final payment
What’s the difference between a widebeam canal boat, barge and narrowboat?
A narrowboat is typically between 6ft 7” and 7ft wide (the beam), and ranges anywhere between 30 and 72ft long. The term widebeam canal boat and barge are often used to describe the same thing – a canal boat which is wider than a standard narrowboat. A widebeam canal boat will have a beam greater than 7ft.
The key benefit of a widebeam is with the internal living space which is far more practical than the limited space available on a narrowboat.