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Changes to 2020 Hotelboat Cruises to stay safe during the Pandemic

UK canals are open again after the Coronavirus lockdown and many Hotelboats will be cruising in 2020 - though there may be some changes to schedules.

Here's what we know so far, more information and schedules will be added as we get them.
Hotelboats Takara and The Billet will not be cruising in 2020 but are taking bookings for 2020 & 2021.
Most other Hotelboats are intending to cruise but with some altered schedules and possibly altered arrangements. See below for Bywater Hotelboat Cruises special offering.

Because of this year's cancellations 2021 and 2022 will be booking up quickly.

A 2020 Bywater Hotelboat to yourselves, but with expert catering and crew!

Bywater Hotelboat Cruises has been running successfully for many years, taking up to eight guests on cruises along the whole length of the canal system of England and Wales. We are now the only company who are still running the traditional motor and butty pair as a hotel. It’s friendly and cosy, with guests staying in en suite cabins on one of the boats, but meeting up in the dining room for delicious meals created by the chef on board, and for a sociable drink from the bar, in the lounge after dinner.

So, how could we socially distance on a narrowboat which is under seven foot wide, with eight guests and five crew aboard? That is the problem we face in the time of Covid-19 and we think we have come up with an ingenious and fun solution.

For the 2020 season we are running five or six night charter cruises between Warwick and Stratford upon Avon, a route which takes in the two historic cities and the beautiful and unique canal between them. A family or social bubble of up to seven guests can be accommodated in a Covid Safe way on the butty, having the entire boat to themselves, with comfortable cabins, a lounge/dining room and those delicious meals still provided. What could be a finer example of a relaxing holiday?

If you would like to be one of the lucky ones to experience this taste of a bygone era, brought up to date with modern facilities and luxuries, please contact Bywater Hotelboat Cruises on 07380 941 042 or take a look at all the information on our website.

New owners settle in on The Billet Hotel Boat

Jerry & Jackie Henderson took over The Billet Hotel Boat in late 2018 from the original owners Peter and Lesley Smith. The concept adopted by Peter and Lesley has been continued by Jerry and Jackie, namely that the entire cruise is fully inclusive (all wines, beers, minerals & spirits) and a professional yet friendly atmosphere is encouraged throughout the cruise. 

Jerry and Jackie completely changed their lives as they gave up their jobs working for American-based companies when they saw an opportunity to combine their 2 passions – boating and cooking. They describe themselves as keen amateur cooks! Jerry and Jackie will help to point out many of the places of interest along the canals and rivers as well as some of the beautiful flora and fauna that can be encountered en route. High amongst these is the birdlife including Kingfishers, Red Kites, Herons, Swans and many more. 

Jackie says “The change from Corporate America to being self-employed and having to learn the ropes from scratch was a lot harder than anticipated but the payback we have enjoyed is being able to share the magnificent canals, rivers and some of the finest scenery that the English countryside has to offer with our guests. Last year the highlight for Jerry and I was the fabulous guests that we had on board. We were so lucky and very thankful to every one of them for making our first season such a treat for us.” 

Jerry and Jackie are now preparing for and looking forward to their second season as hosts aboard The Billet Hotel Boat. They look forward to welcoming you on board this year and being your hosts for that special cruise. Click to visit The Billet Hotelboat website.

Hotelboat pioneer taking the Bywater tiller again

Stephen Rees Jones, who has been hotelboating for 50 years and set up Bywater Holidays many years ago, has been back helping out the current owners.

Steve has been helping Bywater's Rosie Cannon and Brian Skelton work their boats along the canals on several cruises this year, and keeping guests safe and happy with his expertise and his warm and cheerful personality. 

He set up the Bywater Company, which his daughter, Hanna, took as the name for the hotelboating company which Rosie and Brian bought from her and her partner 3 years ago. A photo of Steve bow hauling his boat is featured in the famous Precious Cargo book by Robert Smithett about the history of hotelboating, and that's him on the left above. 

Lady Teal gets Gold Award in her 10th season!

Lady Teal is Five Star Gold rated and we cannot believe we are about to start our tenth season. Somewhat over 9 years ago we were designing Lady Teal, coming up with the name and the concept and looking to leave our jobs. 

Over that time we have sailed from the west coast to the east many many times and passed through the Bingley Five rise too many times to recall.

But we continue to enjoy it and love welcoming guests back year after year. We have guests returning to us from all over the world and we love sharing the fabulous norther canal system with them Thank you everyone for making the last nine years such fun. - Nick and Gina

Kailani is first hotelboat to get Visit England Gold Award

Now in its 29th year Visit England Awards For Excellence is firmly established as representing the highest accolade in English Tourism. The winners of Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are announced by Visit England each April.

Visit England stated "We are proud to announce that Kailani is the first Hotel Boat to receive one of the Visit England awards. The Gold Accolade was awarded to Kailani "Due to the quality of fittings, exceptional standard of housekeeping and feedback reviews on hospitality". "Hotel Boat Kailani continues to achieve the highest standards".

"The Gold Award compliments the five star rating awarded by Visit England since 2014 and recognises Gordon and Dorenda's dedication to guests on board Kailani. The Kailani brand remains at the forefront of Hotel Boats in UK. "

Click to visit Hotelboat Kailani's website.

Check the maths and cruise to the Seven Wonders of England!

English Holiday Cruises now offer a voyage that’s just a little bit different on their 4-star hotel boat, Edward Elgar. It’s three times seven: visit Seven Wonders on a 7-day cruise along the River Severn. This new cruise covers the entire length of the Severn Navigation, sailing from Gloucester all the way to Stourport then back down river to Sharpness on the Gloucester-Sharpness canal. The countryside along the way is glorious and there are tours or visits to Worcester Cathedral, the Severn Valley Railway, Upton, Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucester Docks, the barge graveyard at Purton and the Wetlands Centre in Slimbridge. 

As with many hotel boats this cruise holiday includes a complete package of hospitality with 3 traditional meals every day, catering for special diets, beers/wines at lunch and dinner, tea/coffee all day, guided tours, live entertainment, free WiFi and more besides.

For a free brochure visit their website or call 01452-410411.