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Coronavirus Covid-19

Updated 2 December 2020

After the first lockdown finished in July, we were very busy till the end of the season. All our systems worked well, without too much disruption to customers, who had a great time.

Who can go boating?

We are now closed for the winter. We are hard at work servicing and refitting the fleet, and will be ready to start again when the canals reopen after their winter maintenance on 19 March. We do not know what restrictions may still remain. At present we are in Tier 3, which means you are advised not to travel to us, but we are not prevented from operating. We shall be open unless legally required to close, while of course following all our Covid-secure practices.

The canals are safe

A boating holiday is an open-air adventure. The Yorkshire canals and rivers are uncrowded. You share the boat only with your household. You can bring food with you, or shop in small shops in small towns, or in supermarkets close to your boat. You do not have to mix with strangers on the towpath any more than if you went out for a walk at home.

Pubs and restaurants will be open as permitted, and have Covid-secure processes. A number also do takeway meals and drinks.


If you are not allowed to travel to us, or accept government advice not to travel, we will offer transfers or refunds, see below.

Your health

The government will no doubt continue to revise its advice for people of a certain age, or with certain health conditions. There is also changing advice about meeting family and friends. It's for you to keep up to date, and follow regulations.

We take every care to clean the boats so that they will be safe for our visitors. The virus does not like soap and water, so thorough cleaning is effective. We put cleaning materials on board, so that you can clean as you wish. If you want to clean anything again, as you get on board, we shall not be in the least offended. At the end of your holiday, please take extra care with cleaning the boat, particularly hard surfaces. We provide bedding, but if you prefer to bring your own, that's fine - please let us know on your Yellow Form.

We have redesigned our handover system so as to preserve social distancing. We will make it as natural as possible. We are still providing the very personal service in which our staff take pride. Your briefing will take place in small groups. The showround of the boat will be individual to each crew. Lock instruction may be a mixture. For each of these stages, we should like two of you to attend, with others keeping away. This should be the same pair throughout, and we ask them to pass everything they can on to other crew members. For the boat showround and lock instruction, our staff will wear a facecovering and visor. We will ask you to wear a mask, please.

If a member of your party shows Coronavirus symptoms during your trip, please follow government advice, and also let us know before you get back to the yard. We will work out with you what to do.

If a local lockdown should be imposed on a town through which you need to pass, we anticipate that you would be permitted to make an orderly exit in oirder to return the boat to base.

We are working closely with colleagues in other firms and with British Marine and Canal & River Trust, and keep up with government advice as it changes.

Peace of mind

We are trying to be fair to you, and from the outset have gone beyond our normal Boat Hire Conditions to give our customers further protection during the pandemic.

Existing bookings for 2021

If you wish to delay paying the balance, please let us know. Otherwise, please pay as normal.

If the epidemic re-strengthens so that it becomes clear that we cannot operate on a given date, we will offer to defer the holiday to later in 2021, or to 2022 - subject to availability. A new date must be set. We would retain the deposit against the future holiday. We will not charge a transfer fee. If the new dates have a different price, we will charge or refund as appropriate.

If moving the holiday isn’t feasible, is that we will cancel and refund what you have paid.

If we can operate but you don't come

Depending on the reason, we will treat this differently.

1 If we can operate but you cannot come because one of your party contracts the virus or is quarantined or subject to a local lockdown, we will offer to defer, or you can cancel and get a full refund.

2 If we can operate but you choose not to come for another reason, e.g. you prefer not to leave home, or the pubs are limited or shut, then we will defer or cancel and retain your 20% deposit, but not retain or seek any part of the balance as set out in Condition 5.

3 If we can operate but you are unable to take your holiday for a 'normal' reason e.g. broken leg, then the normal cancellation procedure in Condition 5 will apply. You may lose part of your balance unless we are able to relet.

New bookings for 2020

We are taking new bookings very fast. In case we are prevented from operating your boat, to remove the financial risk to you, we will offer a deferral, but if this doesn't work for you we undertake to repay all you have paid.

If we can operate but you for any reason don't come, then we will apply the graded procedure in 'Existing bookings' above.

2022 bookings

We are taking bookings for 2022 as normal. We look forward to seeing you!

Holiday Insurance

If you already have holiday insurance, for example through a credit card or company scheme, then we would ask you first to claim through that insurance, before asking us to refund any shortfall.

We do not provide or sell cancellation insurance.

Check availability

Use this form to check availability. When you find the boat you want, click 'Book this holiday now' and you can pay your deposit or hold for 48 hours - or ring 01422 832712. The counties are the names of the boats, not where they start from! Click the map for routes, and the boat for details