All our boatingholidays

Renting a canal boat is an excellent way to discover France and Europe with a novel form of travel and accommodation. No previous boating experience or licence is needed to undertake a cruise in any of our holiday destinations. We’ve over 150 different cruising routes and itineraries on offer so why not use the filters tool below to narrow down to your perfect holiday!

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Discover why more and more people love boating holidays with Nicols

Whether your crew is made up of family and friends or you’re simply travelling as a couple, you’ll enjoy the fun and flexibility of a boating holiday. Nicols offers canal boat holidays onboard spacious and stylish canal boats from 24 different bases across Europe:

  • Renting a canal boat in France gives you access to one of the largest networks of inland waterways in Europe making it the ideal destination for those who enjoy spending time on the water. No previous boating experience is needed to start exploring France’s rivers and canals on board your Nicols canal boat.
  • A boating holiday is by far the best way to explore the areas of Germany we offer on this website. Choose from the great lakes of Mecklenburg or waterways at the gates of Berlin in Brandenburg.
    A cruise in Germany sees you travel through exceptional landscapes and whether it’s your first time or you’re coming back for a second visit we’re sure you’ll make holiday memories to cherish.
  • Enjoy a Nicols exclusive – a boating holiday on the Grande Lago in Portugal. This region is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. What’s more, the weather and climate mean that it’s possible to enjoy boating holidays in Portugal all year round.
  • Rent a canal boat in Holland – the land of canals! The network of canals runs through fields of tulips and past traditional windmills as you cruise between small villages and historic towns. Discover Gouda, Amsterdam, Utrect and Maastricht all by Nicols boat!
    Sandy beaches and clean and clear water invites you to take a dip, while towpaths provide excellent cycling opportunities.
  • Exclusive to Nicols: Hire a self-drive canal boat and discover the waterways of Hungary! Enjoy a boating holiday from the Nicols base at Tokaj in the heart of an internationally renowned wine region, or alternatively choose to cruise from a second Nicols base at Kisköre on the River Tisza. This area is nature at its very best with plenty of swimming, fishing and exploring of national nature parks on the ‘must do’ itinerary.

Whatever destination you choose the waterways transport you from lock to lock, village to village for an unforgettable holiday. Everyone onboard will love being part of the crew – driving the boat and helping when it comes to mooring up or going through locks. Remember, no previous boating experience or licence is needed and our boats are well equipped and ready to comfortably accommodate crews of anything between 2 – 12 people.

  • Easy Holidays - Boating Holidays in Europe

Cruising is easy

Don’t worry if you’ve never set foot on a boat before. Nicols boats are easy to drive and no previous boating experience or licence is needed to take the helm! The Nicols base teams will give you instructions when you collect your boat to ensure you sail away confirmed as a captain!

A great resource of information to find out everything you need to know about boating holidays is the "Canal boat hire" pages of the website. We also recommend you look at the wide range of canal boats on offer and the videos that provide a great flavour of what life on the waterways is all about. Of course if you still have questions or would like some help then don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team who are always happy to help!


  • Happiness on the waterways - Boating Holidays in Europe

Happiness is on water...

Whether you are a lover of culture, fine food and wine or nature, a holiday on the water has something for every taste.

Renting a canal boat allows you to tailor the holiday to suit you:

  • Navigate at your own pace, whether that’s starting off late after a lazy breakfast and spending plenty of time in the places you find; or like a real sailor, casting off at dawn to discover as many hidden treasures as you can around the canals and rivers that you’ll explore .
  • It’s not just about fun on the boat. Organize a picnic or barbecue at the water's edge in stunning surroundings, or why not take a dip and enjoy a swim on a beach along the river.
  • Meet knowledgeable lock keepers who are any excellent source of information and can offer good advice on must see things to see and do in the area.
  • Enjoy small markets for shopping, or savour the fine gastronomy at local restaurants.

It’s all about flexibility with boating holidays. As the captain of your stylish Nicols canal boat you are in charge of your holiday and decide to stop wherever you want, whenever you want!

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