Black Prince Holidays Beginner’s Guide to Narrowboating

Print Friendly

Admit it – a canal boat holiday is one of those breaks you’ve always wanted to experience but you’ve never been quite sure where to start!

Cruising down the picturesque waterways, enjoying the tranquillity of the countryside, exploring the heritage of industrial revolution, socialising with fellow travellers, enjoying a glass of wine on the move…..

Sound good? Black Prince Holidays, the narrowboat experts in the UK, have put together some top tips for those of you considering this type of holiday.

Knowledge is power!

Understandably you’ll be nervous about being in charge of a 60 foot canal boat if it’s your first time on the water. But don’t worry, you’ll receive a full induction at the canal base before you are let loose on a boat, including the facilities on board, how to drive the boat and how to operate a lock (check with the company before you travel that the handovers are industry accredited). Feel free to ask as many questions as you feel you need to!

Don’t stress it!

Plan the route before you go, but be realistic about how many miles a day you can, or indeed want to, travel. Dusk til dawn cruising can be a bit stressful, and it’s not good etiquette to race by other canal cruisers as they are tucking into their aperitifs! Aim for six hours a day to start for, but if you’re unsure, speak to the talk to your holiday operator about the best routes for you, including locks and miles per day.

Choose your crew carefully…

Narrowboats are, well, narrow. So think about who you are going to travel with. It’s a great social holiday (who wouldn’t enjoy cruising from pub to pub!) but the living quarters are ‘cosy’. The extra hands on deck are useful, but choose good friends who you can get along well with in close confines! It’s a good idea to allocate tasks before you start travelling too, nominate the main ‘Captain’ and make sure they are fully up to speed with operating the boat.

Black Prince offer luxury canal boat holidays at nine bases across the UK, including London, the Peak District, Cheshire, Oxford, Scotland and Wales. Choose from a variety of modern, award-winning boats which include central heating, TV / DVD, fully equipped kitchenette, bedrooms and bathroom, and can sleep between 2 and 10. Short breaks start from just £412 per boat, including induction, all linen and towels.

Check out the rest of the top tips at or call 01527 575115 for more information and a brochure.

The following two tabs change content below.
Hello ... I am the Creative Director and Website Editor for Silversurfers and manage all the social media too. I hope you find the features and articles we have shared with you of interest and relevance. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us ... I hope you enjoy Silversurfers and all that we offer ...

Latest posts by Silversurfers Editor (see all)

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password
Alison Levi
23rd Jan 2013
Thanks for voting!
I have very fond memories of holidays with Black Prince many years ago.
This is the most relaxing wonderful holiday one can ever choose. Apart from the energy to operate the locks! But it's all so much fun

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Cruises

Discover the gems of the Middle East Camels in the desert
With its truly unique fusion of history and modern life, Abu Dhabi may be slightly less well-known...
The Suite Life with Celebrity Cruises CEL_CS_PenthouseBedroom
For many of us, relaxation is key to the perfect holiday. And this is exactly what Celebrity...
Treat A Loved One and Love Paying Half! BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 19: Ceramic mosaic Park Guell on July 19
What is more romantic than sailing past the Mediterranean Riviera or delightful Greek Isles?...
Discover the Far East & Asia on a Cruise Silver Silver image 900x550-Asia-brochure
A couple of years ago the top destinations to cruise to, were the Caribbean and the Mediterranean...
Five-Star Luxury for Less on Holland America Koningsdam Pier at the beach in Key West, Florida USA
Cruise on Holland America’s newest luxury ship in the Caribbean this winter. 5* 7 night...
Cunard 2018 Summer Itineraries now on sale Cunard on sale now image
Book your 2018 luxury cruise holiday on board the magnificent Cunard Cruise Line and save up to...
Discover the Adriatic and Western Mediterranean with Voyages to Antiquity Voyages to Antiquity
Combining the comfort and benefits of boutique-style cruising with the very best of cultural...
P&O Cruises 2018 Summer sailings - pre-register today! P&O pre-reg
As P&O Cruises usually announce their summer sailings in March, this year it has come a little...
Let your holiday begin much closer to home Rome2
Ever wanted to fly in luxury to your holiday destination? Look no further than Barrhead Travel who...
Amazing cruise deals with Barrhead Travel & Celebrity Cruises CEL_SLAerial076R
Get onboard with this fantastic cruise offer that Barrhead Travel exclusively have for 2017 with...
Your dream holiday with Princess Cruises PRINCESS CRUISES
Discover new places. Experience new cultures. Learn more about the world you don’t see every...
Save up to 25% on 25 sailings to celebrate Regent's 25th Anniversary! Header (1)
There is always a reason to celebrate when you set sail with Regent Seven Seas Cruises. This...