The last two years were difficult. Covid-19 was an unprecedented global health crisis which impacted on nearly all industries, but especially hit the tourism industry hard. We would guess, from the sheer number of holidays we had to cancel for our Nicols customers, that if you had an overseas holiday booked for 2020 or 2021 you probably didn’t end up getting to enjoy it.
Being at home during a lockdown gave us all time to think...time to think about what we value in life...which for most people was realising how much we enjoy spending time with our families and friends. Another thing we began to appreciate much more was nature and simply being in the great outdoors. With the places we’d usually find ourselves spending time being closed the only option to pass the time and keep ourselves exercised was to head off exploring our local parks and countryside...or simply enjoy more time in the garden.
Despite all of this we still dream of getting away, but maybe this lockdown period has made us think differently about what we want and need from a holiday. Maybe now we are looking for a holiday idea that offers more of what we’re now appreciating, but also that provides peace of mind thanks to it being away from the usual hustle and bustle of mass tourism hotspots.
As you’ll read below a self-drive boating holiday ticks all of these boxes – plus has the additional benefit that Nicols have both your health and wealth protected.
One thing the last two years have taught us is to be cautious about going to places where you’ll meet lots of people. Hiring a canal boat is the ideal holiday for getting away from busy tourist areas. Your boat will be your own private accommodation and a stylish and comfortable space to enjoy with any family and friends we are able to spend time with.
No previous experience is needed to hire a Nicols canal boat and with models ranging from 1 to 5 cabins there are well-equipped boats suitable for crews of between 2 – 12 people.
The rivers and canals that you’ll find our Nicols bases located on run through beautiful and peaceful countryside. A slow pace of life will see you travel from village to village passing castles, stunning riverside properties, bell towers and architectural treasures that are often invisible from the land. Like many businesses, the smaller-scale tourism attractions and waterside restaurants that you will find are also being flexible in Covid times – so for example many of the restaurants will deliver a meal to your boat if it’s not possible for you to dine with them.
One of the biggest barriers for people wanting to book a 2022 holiday is the fear of losing money if the holiday doesn’t go ahead. It is impossible for any of us to know how travel will be affected as the situation can change at any point and change quickly. What we can guarantee though is that we will provide either a refund or postponement of your holiday without any charges should your booking be affected by Covid-19 restrictions. You can find out more on our dedicated Covid-19 FAQs page.
Back in May 2020 Nicols QSE (Quality Safety Environment) department devised and implemented a strict set of additional health and cleaning systems at all of the Nicols bases.
These systems ensure that in addition to the standard cleaning of the boats there are additional disinfection procedures undertaken which focus on everything from surfaces, worktops, toilets and handles.
Nicols, along with France’s Federation of Nautical Industries and all maritime and boat rental companies, have defined these systems into a health charter which has since been validated and endorsed by the French authorities.
What this means for you is that you can travel with the peace of mind that the boat you pick up has gone through the most stringent cleaning process and that the only people coming into contact with anything on board will be the crew that you are travelling with.
We firmly believe that a boating holiday is an excellent choice for those looking to get away but keep a distance from busy hotels and resorts. Add to that the confidence and reassurance that our cleaning and refund policies provide and you can relax knowing that you could soon be captaining your own stylish accommodation and enjoying quality time with friends and family.