A wide choice of self-drive barge
holidays with Viking Afloat throughout the Waterways,
(Canals and Rivers) of England and Wales.
Afloat will introduce you to one of Britain's best kept secrets,
the 2000 mile network of waterways and navigations, for which
the canal barge was specially designed, that meander across
some of the most beautiful countryside, and past pubs, cottages
and warehouses. Here you will discover the Britain most tourists
miss on their holidays.
We will introduce you to Viking Afloat
one of Britain's largest and most successful boating holiday
Click here for full details of self-drive
First time boaters are given a friendly welcome
by everybody on the canal. But you won't be inexperienced
for very long, for within a short time you will be gliding
serenely around the first bend into a whole new and different
The specially designed barges (also known
as narrowboats and canal boats) are easy to handle and of
course, everything happens at a relaxed pace. You will be
given all the instruction you need by the holiday company
and will soon head off on your very own adventure like a seasoned
Your canal barge will be fully equipped with
every modern amenity, so self-catering becomes a pleasure,
but there are also many canalside pubs, once essential 'staging
posts' for the working boats of the last century, which are
now popular watering holes for holiday boaters; and most offer
great food at reasonable prices.
Most visitors appreciate the independence,
the peace and tranquillity of 'getting away from it all'.
You can choose between the challenge of some of the densely
belocked stretches of canal - quite astounding feats of engineering
- or choose lazy days drifting along the many stretches with
very few locks. The canals and rivers go through the heart
of the cities as well as through open countryside, and your
boat can be a mobile base for exploring the history of our
great trading routes, or for the diverse entertainment you
will find in our largest city centres.
Two thousand miles of tranquil waterways,
threading their way through some of Britain's most beautiful
and unspoiled countryside, offering a haven for wildlife and
an insight into our industrial heritage. A network of waterways
taking you to the heart of major cities, with all the entertainment
and leisure facilities that they provide.
There is nothing quite like a holiday on
Britain's Inland waterways. Camaraderie when you meet other
boaters, friendliness when you tie up at the pub for a drink
or a meal. A holiday of contrasts, taken at a slow pace.
The variety is endless, city, town, village and country, wide
canal, narrow canal and river. Every bend brings forth some
new feature. You can never see it all, no matter how many
times you return. But why worry? Barge
holidays are for relaxation, for unwinding from every
day pressures, for doing what you like, when you like.
Weekend Breaks: You start out on a
Friday afternoon around 3.00 pm and following a full demonstration
of how to handle the boat and work the locks (all very straightforward)
you are off on a carefree 3 night break, exploring the real
Britain. Saturday and Sunday are yours to do with as you please
and the only thing you really need to remember is that these
Weekend breaks finish at 9.30 am on the Monday morning, when
you have to hand the boat back to the boatyard.
Midweek Breaks: These equally popular
breaks, have you cruising away from the boatyard around 3.00
pm on a Monday afternoon and the good news is that you don't
have to be back until Fiday morning at 9.30 am! This gives
you a full four nights away and yet the price is exactly the
same as for the Weekend.
We rate personal choice very highly - choice
of cruising routes from one of our four bases; choice of hire
periods, including Short Breaks, one and two week holidays;
choice of no less than four different start days and a remarkable
choice of boats which are fully equipped for parties of two
to ten people. We want you to enjoy the special experience
of a holiday with Viking Afloat and so we try to make your
booking as all inclusive as possible whilst at the same time
offering genuine flexibility.
As a result of listening to what our customers
say, we provide one of the most extensive inventories to be
found on a hire craft anywhere in Britain. We are also one
of a very few companies that provide pure filtered drinking
water on all of our boats and as part of the service, we provide
everyone with a full demonstration of the boat and its systems,
as well as teaching newcomers how to handle the boats and
how to work the canal locks. Every boat has on board a comprehensive
manual and we provide expert help around the clock with our
24 hour emergency helpline.
For your added convenience we are now able
to offer an online booking availability request. Just select
a base and class of boat, decide when you would like to take
your canal boat holiday and then click on the 'check availability'
Our Holiday Centres
Heart of England - WORCESTER
Our base at Worcester is situated on the Worcester/Birmingham
Canal close to its junction with the River Severn and close
to the heart of the historic Cathedral City. It's the
ideal starting point for a number of great holidays and short
breaks, including the Stourport Ring and the Avon Ring.
Welsh Borders - WHITCHURCH
From our Whitchurch site, on the spectacular Llangollen Canal,
you can cruise to Llangollen itself, visit Chester or take
two weeks out and explore the waterways of the North West
Shakespeare Country - RUGBY
Our Rugby Wharf site is on the northern section of the idyllic
Oxford Canal, close to the town of Rugby, from where you have
an extensive selection of rural routes to explore and enjoy,
including the very popular Warwickshire ring.
Potteries and Peak District - GAILEY
Located on the Staffs and Worcester Canal just a few miles
from Stafford, Gailey Wharf is the perfect starting point
for a variety of trips, including the outstanding Four Counties
Ring or a visit to the delightful Caldon Canal.