1. Do I need a special licence to drive a boat ?
No licence is needed to enjoy a Nicols boating holiday. In France, legislation does not require you to have a licence if the boat is less or equal to 15 metres in length and where the speed does not exceed 12km/h. All Nicols boats meet these requirements - especially as the maximum speed allowed on canals is 6-8km/h. Note: if renting a boat of 13m plus a pool the overall length will exceed 15 metres in which case you will require a Pleasure Boat Licence.
2. Is it easy to drive the boats ?
Don't worry if you've never been on a boat before - you don't need any previous boating experience.
On arrival at the base a member of the Nicols team will take you out on the water with the boat and
provide a hands on demonstration - covering everything from what knots to use to how the shower works.
All our boats are easy to operate and manoeuvre with just forward and reverse gears to master. The team at the base will make sure you're confident about every aspect of your trip before you set off including how to go through locks, tying up at the waters edge and mooring in a marina.
3. Is a boating holiday safe for children ?
A boating holiday is a great holiday choice for families - children get to enjoy a new adventure every day and love being part of a crew!
At Nicols we take safety very seriously and as such all of our canal boats feature forward and aft pulpits, guard rails and handrails.
We would recommend choosing a boat from our Sedan or Estivale range as:
We recommend that children wear life jackets at all times. Life jackets are provided at the base and are compulsory for children.
4- How do we go through a lock?
Negotiating locks is all part of the fun of a boating holiday and is very simple to do. Find out more by reading our 'Useful information' page. There are no charges for passing through locks.
5- What happens if we break down?
In the unlikely event of a breakdown or technical problem with your boat we will send out a technician as soon as possible. Simply call the base explaining the problem and your location. We're available 7 days a week (during base opening hours).
6. Can we take bikes onboard?
Yes, you may bring your own bikes or alternatively hire them from Nicols.
Tow paths are great for cycling and bikes are great for exploring a little further afield inland.
For more information on taking bikes read our 'Useful information' page.
7- Can we go for a swim?
Lots of our cruising routes have excellent places for swimming so remember to pack your swimming costume! Alternatively, why not add one of our exclusive towed (and heated!) splash pools. (Do not hesitate to contact us for further details).
8. Do we need good weather?
A return to base cruise is great if you fancy seeing more of the towns and villages on your route.
9. Can I choose between a Return or One way cruise?
10. How much does a boating holiday cost?
11. Do I need special insurance ?
We recommend you have personal travel insurance as if you were travelling on any type of holiday.
You don't need additional insurance for a boating holiday. Before you depart we ask for a security deposit which will be returned at the end of the cruise when the boat is brought back in good condition and undamaged. See our 'Prices' page for more information.
Before booking your canal boat holiday you need to:
12. How do I book?