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Is a canal boat holiday a good option with our dog Filou?

Every year, when we start planning our family holiday, it’s the same old questions. What are we going to do with the dog? Who will look after the cat and guinea pig while we’re away? Our neighbours love Filou but it’s not always convenient for them to look after him for so long, and although there are kennels these can be an expensive option. Cost aside, what’s more important is how happy our furry friend is going to be stuck with a stranger whilst the rest of us are enjoying a holiday away. So what if the solution was to take our pets with us. Is a boating holiday a practical option?

My dog Filou is the 2nd captain
aboard my boat (©Philippe Perriard)



At Nicols we welcome animals onboard our boats

At Nicols we have the solution! We recommend you choose a canal boat holiday and take Filou with you. He will have just as much fun as the rest of the crew.

In fact it’s not only dogs that we welcome onboard. Other family pets such as cats and guinea pigs are also allowed on our Nicols boats – all we ask is for a 40€* supplement per animal payable at the time of booking.

To help with the comfort of your pet while onboard we recommend you bring items that they are familiar with from home – things such as their blanket, their basket, their food bowl....even their favourite toy!

We have no doubts that you’ll find taking your pet with you provides complete flexibility and that animals such as Filou, Biscuit and Caramel will enjoy themselves as much as you will.

* Note: this is the rate for 2017 holidays.

Caramel, relaxing in his basket onboard the canal boat

Cookie has brought its food bowl




Which canal boat is suitable for taking my dog?

Space to move:

If your dog is on the smaller side then any of the Nicols boats would be suitable.

If however your dog is on the larger side, or maybe has an active nature, then we would recommend choosing a boat that has a large terrace that it can go out on. This would be boats from either our Estivale or Sedan ranges which have the main living area and terrace all on one level and no stairs to go up or down from.

Also, boats from the Estivale range benefit from having side gates which make it nice and easy for your dog to get from the boat to the river bank or pontoon after mooring up. No jumping or carrying from the owner required!

Captain Cook enjoys a safe holiday on his boat!


Safety for all:

We take the well-being of our customers extremely seriously and that extends to any pets travelling also. When you collect your boat our friendly base team will give you an in-depth introduction about the boat and life on the waterways and this will include advice on keeping your four legged friend safe.

All boats are designed with non-slip floors and a safety rail around the boat but it is of course important to act responsibly as you would at home and remain aware of your pet’s actions while onboard.



You choose – as restful or as active as you want it to be!


Relaxing for both you and your dog
A boating holiday gets you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now your dog can travel with you and enjoy a quiet and tranquil holiday also. Take advantage of spending time together relaxing onboard your boat – while you read a book your dog can sit on deck watching the world go by and listening to the lapping of water.

Read a book with your dog…

Great for a leg stretch whether two legs or four!
Ok, so a hamster isn’t going to need much exercising...but we all know that dogs both need and love a walk. A boating holiday provides excellent walking opportunities and in such beautiful surroundings.

Set off on foot taking your dog with you


You’re the captain on board, so have completely flexibility to go where you want when you want and do what you want when you want!

Set off on foot or by bike (you can hire these) taking your dog with you as you explore the many interesting places surrounding the waterways. This could be a countryside walk, a dip in the river, a game of football or a gentle jog along the towpath.

No previous boating experience or licence is needed to captain a Nicols boat.



Holidays in the countryside with your dog


Animal lovers are generally also interested in the environment and nature so a boating holiday is a great match as it takes you directly into some of the most beautiful flora and fauna around. The waterways have an abundance of interesting wildlife also. Both you and your dog will love the feeling of being in the great outdoors.

Quaint villages are only a short distance from the rivers and waiting to be explored by you both! Boating holidays really do allow you to savour these great experiences with your faithful companion.

Moore where you want and when you want with your dog!


So have we convinced you? We really do recommend that you experience a canal boat holiday with your pet.

Holidays by boat? Never without my dog!

See a full list of cruises
where you can take your pet with you

Discover our pinterest album
about boating holidays with pets

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