FPP Travel

French specialist in canal boat holidays since 1982

Allemand Anglais Espagnol Portuguais Italien Hollandais tcheque Français Russe Japon

ouverture :

Réserver en ligne

Tel : +33 (0)3 85 53 76 70

Canal boating holidays and waterways tourism for dummies

Leave for an inland waterways cruise leaving from our bases in Digoin, Homps, Cognac, Coulanges Sur Yonne, Carnon...
in Aquitaine, Bourgogne, Alsace, Ardennes, Charente, Canal du Midi...

You want to start cruising aboard a licence-free houseboat... But you're not an old seafarer and you have possibly never even been on a licence-free boat?

Don't worry, handling a boat is quite simple !

  • Life on Board
  • Insurance
  • Inventory
  • To read Carefully
  • Consult our Frequantly Asked Questions

La vie à bord

Life on Board

Cleaning deposit

A cleaning deposit will be required for the embarkation. It will be returned once the boat is returned clean. If you do not wish to clean the boat yourselves, you can have it cleaned.

Hourly navigation rate

Initially, the fuel tank is full. You will be billed on your return at a hourly navigation rate. This rate is different depending on the type of boat and the number of hours navigated. It covers the consumption of oil, fuel, etc ... Count about 30 hours of navigation per week. The price of this rate may change with the price of fuel.
On some bases, you can purchase an “hourly navigation rate” package before departure, regardless of the number of hours done.

Locks

Going through the locks is free in France. The locks are normally open daily from 9 am to 7 pm, sometimes more. On some routes, there are restrictions like Easter Sunday, 1 May, 14 July and 1 November or different schedules depending on the season. Ask your travel agent.

Floods and drought

Some rivers and some canals are subject to flooding or water shortages, mainly in Spring and Autumn. These events may force us to change the departure base and you will then cruise on another waterway. In all cases, changes made to the point of departure or the proposed circuit do not constitute as grounds for cancellation or refunds.

Provisional boat driving license - Waterways map

For customers who do not have a license a temporary card will be issued for the duration of your stay after we have shown you how to operate the boat. As for the handling of the boat, do not worry, it is fairly simple and each team on the bases will take the time necessary to show you how the different equipment works and to teach the driving and mooring manoeuvres. The temporary license (Carte de Plaisance) does not give access to some wide-gauge waterways: the Rhin river, Rhone river , Seine river , Loire river and so on. It is forbidden to use these waterways. Failure to follow this instruction will result in immediate discharge of the client, without refund. In addition, the cost of repatriation of the boat will be supported by the client.

Water / Gas

The water tank of your boat is full before your departure. A gas bottle of 13 kg is provided for heating and cooking.

Energy

The boats are not energy independent. There are essentially three sources :
- The gas supplied by bottles supplying refrigerators (in some cases) and heaters, cooking plates, ovens.
- The electricity is very often 12 volts or 24 volts and is stored in batteries, which supply some refrigerators, lighting and ventilation, and in some cases 220 volts, air conditioning, dishwasher, etc…
- The engine, which produces heat for hot water and, due to a generator, produces the electricity stored in batteries.
Energy is scarce, and despite all the tricks used by boat builders, it cannot be used without restraint or provide the same comfort as in a house. It is therefore necessary to know:
- That the engines must run at least 4 to 5 hours per day to produce electricity for use over 24 hours.
- That the gas refrigerators (standard camping gas) are less effective in high external heat and should not be overloaded, the door must be opened as infrequently as possible.
- That appliances using 220 volts must be used when cruising or moored, on a shore power when it exists, and they can not be used simultaneously (example : air conditioning + dishwasher). In some areas, shore supply is hard to find or in some ports, the amperage too low to use the equipment on board.
- That the 220 volt plugs, where they exist, can only be used when connected to the shore supply.
- Water supplies from 200 to 1400l allow autonomy for at least 2 days.
- The fuel reserves allow autonomy of 60 hours, about 2 weeks.

Strong winds

The navigation on the Etang de Thau, in the Camargue region, but also on the ponds/lakes in Germany, especially on the Muritzsee and the Plauersee, is harder with strong winds, and requires the full vigilance of the pilot. If the wind is stronger than 4 Beaufort, we ask the captain to shelter himself in a port and to wait for the wind to weaken. In the case of the Etang de Thau, one ways between the Canal de Rhone a Sete and the Canal du Midi can be subject to change, or even cancelled, because of the weather conditions.

Technical assistance

Despite the care we provide for the maintenance of our boats, mechanical devices can sometimes be whimsy. In the case of a breakdown, a technical assistance is available 7 days a week. Please refer to the documents that were handed to you during the embarkation.

Our boats can be rented by a minimum of 2 people (1 adult and 1 child over 16 years old).

Assurances

Insurance

Insurance

The FPP fleet is fully insured. However, we hope you will take care of the boat and its equipment. The insurance includes a franchise and as such, a security deposit will be sought in all cases before boarding.
Boat insurance does not cover the hirer and his crew, their responsibility towards others and their belongings.

Cruise Plus Insurance (damage waiver)

this insurance covers the interruption of your cruise, damage to the propeller, cycling, body damages, and guarantees buyback exclusively in case of damage of the boat (it does not cover the damage caused to the equipment of the boat: table, parasol, chair, electronic equipment, etc). The subscription to the cruise plus insurance does not dispense from giving a deposit for the boat during embarkation and is subject to a collective contract (copy of the general conditions on request).

Cruise Plus insurance
Security deposit 550 € 650 € 800 € 1000 €
Boat category 1 and 2 3 4 and 5 6
two day week end 52,50 € 60 € 67,50 € 75 €
Mini week 59,50 € 68 € 76,50 € 85 €
Week 70 € 80 € 90 € 100 €
Additional day 7 € 8 € 9 € 10 €

Boat security deposit

The amount varies by type of boat. This deposit is paid before boarding. It covers the franchise and is handed back to you when you return the boat, if the boat and its equipment have not been damaged. Caution : this deposit must be paid in all cases, including in the case of a subscription to the Cruise Plus Insurance.

Cancellation insurance

Cancellation insurance (4% of the rental price) allows you to obtain the refund of amounts paid, in certain cases of cancellation (see general conditions of hire).

Inventaire du bateau

Inventory

Fitting out

Mooring ropes - life buoy - boat hook - mooring spikes - hammer - anchor - fenders - 10l bucket - water hose - gangplank

Safety equipment

First Aid kit - instruction manual - life jackets - fire extinguisher - Flashlight (battery not included)

Domestic equipment

Ashtray - deck brush - broom - dishmop - coat hangers - dustpan and brush - toilet cleaning set - clothes pegs - basin - dustbin - floor cloth

Crockery

Tumblers - wine glasses - soup plates - dinner plates - dessert plates - bowls - coffee cups - dishes - salad bowl - coffee pot - filter holder - water jug - knives - forks - spoons - salad servers - juicer - tea pot

Cookware

Table mat - bread basket - plastic box - tin opener - bottle opener - corkscrew - vegetable knife - carving knife - ladle - skimmer - wooden spoon - carving board - pan - lid - frying pan - salad spinner - cooker or pot - sieve.

Linen

Bolsters or pillows - bolster or pillow cases - sheets - blankets or duvets

A lire attentivement

To read Carefully

One-way cruise

Given the hazards that can occur, a one way holiday and its direction can not be confirmed until 48 hours before departure and an additional charge is requested before boarding. The one-way cruises are not possible with a fleet of more than 2 boats on certain bases

ONE WAY CRUISE*
(Costs to return the boat to another base)
* Angers, Châteauneuf sur Sarthe, Chenillé‐Changé and Le Mans :
specific rates : contact your travel agency
Boat categories 1 and 2 3 4 and 5 6
France and Czech Republic 70 € 90 € 110 € 130 €
Germany and Italy 100 €

Bow thruster

Some boats in some bases are equipped with a bow thruster. This consists in a propeller placed in the bow of the boat, which allows you to steer the bow sideways. This bow thruster facilitates your maneuvers greatly. However, its use is delicate, particularly on a canal where the risk of inhaling weed and stones along the banks is important. In case of fault in the engine during the cruise, it is often impossible to fix. In this case, the stay will end with no bow thruster. If the client requires the bow thruster to be fixed during the stay, it will be at his expense. Because of the cruising hazards, it is possible that the boat you initially hired, with a bow thruster, is not available on the day of departure. In this case, it will be deduced on the base of a set price: 10 € reimbursed per day where the bow thruster is broken down during the stay.

Beds

- There is no standard length and width of berth for boats. The average length is 1.90m but in some cases may be limited to 1.83m.
- Double berths : they are on average 1.40m wide, but can be reduced to 1.15m
- Single berths : they are on average 0, 80m, but in some cases they can be reduced down to 0.65m.
- Coffin berth: berths named “coffin berth” have a low ceiling, with less than 1m between the mattress and the ceiling.
- Convertible seat in lounge or dinette.

Heating and air conditioning

- All boats are equipped with forced air heating. This is an element of comfort to warm up the inside of the boat. However, it does not maintain a constant temperature.
- Air conditioning : This option, often limited to the lounge is an element of comfort that can cool the atmosphere by several degrees, 2 or 3 maximum, rather than maintain constant temperature, whatever the outside temperature.
- The Tarpon 49 Quattro Prestige, Tarpon 42 Trio Prestige and Tarpon 37 Duo Prestige have air conditioning in the lounge.

Etang de Thau

In case on an incident non attributable to the rental company (net caught in the propeller, getting stuck, etc) and requiring the intervention and/or the towing of the boat via the SNSM or any other towing company, any expenses relating to this intervention will directly be at the client’s expense.

faq

Consult our Frequantly Asked Questions

A / Piloting/Navigation

1 – How is it possible to rent a houseboat without a boat licence?

In fact renting a riverboat does not require a boat licence. French law decrees that a licence is not required for recreational boats whose length is less than or equal to 15meters and whose engine power does not exceed the ratio proportional to its size. The engines of all our houseboats are limited, which does not affect the navigation in anyway as the speed is often limited to 6 or 8km/h, and none of our fleet exceeds 15meters in length.In the other countries, where we operate, the law is different but it is still possible to rent a houseboat without a permit.

2 – Do I need to have any navigational experience to rent a houseboat? Will I be capable of manoeuvring a pleasure boat?

Our boats are all specially designed for river navigation and no special skills are required to pilot them. When you arrive on the day of departure the technical team will show you around the houseboat and explain how to function the key devices. They will also explain how to navigate on the inland waterways.The navigation of our boats is very simple; there is one gear stick, with a drive gear and a reverse gear. With a little patience and gentleness as you pass through your first few locks and you’ll be a great captain in no time.

3 – How do you manoeuvre your boat when you cross a barge or another houseboat?

You usually navigate down the centre of the waterway, however when you come across another boat, you have to move to the right and cruise slowly along close to the shoreline. When you come to a canal bridge or a narrow navigation area priority goes to the larger boat, and commercial barges always have priority. Be vigilant and don’t forget to look behind you in case another boat is travelling faster than you and wishes to pass.

4 – What conduct should I adopt when there are fishermen along the waterways?

When you pass a fisherman you need to slow down as much as possible in order to avoid agitating the water near the banks too much. By remaining alert and watching out for their lines you will win their respect and everyone will be happy.

5 – How do I plan my route? What is the speed of a pleasure boat and how many kilometres can I do in a day?

The normal cruising speed of a yacht is about 8km/h and on average it takes 20minutes to pass a lock. If you plan to use about 4 to 6hours a day you will cover a distance of between 30 and 40km, not including the time spent at each lock. Therefore you will need to consider all that while planning which route to take and how many days to spend on the boat.

6 – Can I sail at night?

River navigation at night is prohibited because of the difficulty related to manoeuvring in the dark. Also locks are only open during the day; hence your river navigation depends on the sun.

7 – How long does it take to pass a lock?

The time is takes to pass a lock depends on several factors, including the amount of traffic, but on average it takes about 20minutes.

end faq

B / Locks

1 – Are the locks easy to pass? How do I do it?

Passing the locks is a simple manoeuvre and is enjoyable if you follow some basic rules: navigate slowly and carefully and remain patient if there are several boats waiting for the lock. It is easier to pass through the manual locks if you do so with two agile people. As you travel along you’ll realise that the lock manoeuvres can be very interesting as you can often chat with the lock keepers, sometimes enjoy the local produce or just admire the view and observe the local atmosphere.

2 – Are the locks manual or automatic? What must I do to cross a lock?

There a several different types of locks: manual locks with a lock keeper which is the most common and automatic locks with a lock keeper which is often found on the larger rivers. However there are also another two types of locks without a lock keeper. The manual locks without a lock keeper tend to be found on certain canals and rivers which are rarely visited. If you come across one, you and your crew must cross it by yourselves; this will surely be an interesting memory for everyone involved. While the afore mentioned manual locks tend to be rather small, the automatic locks without a lock keeper tend to be medium sized and are often found on commercial canals where there is not much traffic. The technicians at your departure base will show you a control system for an automatic lock and explain how to operate it.

3 – What are the hours when I can pass a lock? Are they closed on certain days?

The locks are usually open everyday; however they may close for certain holidays. The opening hours are different for each canal and our team at your departure base will inform you about this when you arrive or when you book.

4 – Is there a fee for crossing a lock? And is it necessary to tip the lock keepers?

No, there is no fee for crossing a lock as the lock keepers are paid for their work. Hence a tip is not mandatory and it is at your discretion whether you wish to tip the lock keeper or not.

5 – Is it dangerous for young children?

All our boats are equipped with safety equipment including a double chain on the balcony railing and movement aboard is always easy due to the wide set decks protected by railing and the large and stable sun decks. However the aquatic environment always presents risks and as such we recommend that children wear life jackets. For toddlers you should consider arm floats as it is often easier for them to wear during the hot weather. In addition we offer a baby set to save you from the stress of trying to remember to bring everything you need.

6 – How long does it take to pass a lock?

The time is takes to pass a lock depends on several factors, including the amount of traffic, but on average it takes about 20minutes.

end faq

C / Activities

1 – Will I get board aboard a houseboat?

You won’t have time to get board on a river cruise as there is always so much to do. The excitement of shipboard life; the piloting, the crossing of locks and mooring your boat is always interesting. You can also enjoy many different walks while experience the peace and quiet that comes with the beauty of the environment around you. If you’re interested in a cultural trip, all the regions where we operate are filled with history and there are many exciting places to visit.

2 – Can I go swimming?

Swimming is often possible depending on your itinerary. Most of the lakes, rivers and canals allow swimming, so bring along your swimsuit and even if you don’t go swimming it will be useful for sunbathing on the deck! If you ask at your starting point they will be able to provide you with all the information relating to swimming along your chosen route.

3 – Is it possible to go fishing during the cruise?

Fishing regulations change for each country so if you wish to fish while on your cruise please call our reservation centre on 03 85 53 76 70 for more information on the fishing regulations along your chosen route.

4 – What can we visit along the way? Are there villages or museums close by?

River tourism does not mean you have to limit your trip to the canal or river bank. Often if you travel only a couple of hundred meters on foot or on your bike, or even by taxi, you can find many interesting sites such as medieval villages, Roman churches, famous tourist sites, or even excellent vineyards. The map on board will show which towns and villages are nearby and where you can refuel the boat. Don’t hesitate to ask for more information from our team on the day of your departure.

5 – Do you get to meet a lot of people while travelling on a houseboat?

A river cruise is often an excellent opportunity to meet people. When you cross a lock you often find yourself among other boaters and of course the lock keeper. This can be an excellent chance to discuss the route with people who are following or who have done the same course as you.However, you can also meet new people in the region where you are travelling. Often a simple smile and a chat is all you need to make new friends. Make the first move even if you do not speak the language very well and you will see the rewards.

6 – What can I do if the weather is bad?

The region that you have chosen will of course determine the weather throughout your holiday, but no matter what sort of weather you experience, life aboard a houseboat is always interesting. And even if it rains, well it’s now or never to enjoy the natural surroundings, and no matter what your itinerary is, there is always something to do or visit not far from the river or canal.

7 – Where is it possible to have fun? Are there festivals in the villages nearby etc?

When you reach your starting point our local team will provide you with all the information you need to discover the region and the must-see places. You will also find that there are many tourist brochures available which will help you plan your trip as well as informing you about any upcoming festivals or events in the region. The river map on board will provide valuable information about the restaurants, tours and supermarkets which are located nearby.

8 – Are there restaurants along the canal?

Often a famous tourist site is never far away from the canal, and you can also easily find hostels, restaurants and if you desire it, a hotel. The river map on the boat will provide you with information about all the sights in the area that you are visiting and you can also ask the lock keepers and locals about accommodation and restaurants as they can often provide the best advice. The best thing about houseboat holidays is discovering the local nature and environment from the river, and also enjoying a break on the shore for lunch, or eating dinner on the deck of the boat.

end faq

D / One-Way Trip or Return

1 – Is it possible to make a one way river cruise?

Of course it’s possible, if you look at our suggestions for cruises you will discover all our options relating to one way trips. Also if you do decide to make a one-way trip we provide additional services such as: Vehicle transfer (transporting your vehicle to your arrival base), or transfers by taxi. Please consult our sales team for more information at the time of booking.

2 – If I make a one way trip, how do I find my car?

If you wish to have your car transported to your arrival base we can organise the delivery of your car, which will be insured under the owner’s responsibility, and will be transported no earlier than the day after your departure and no later than the day before your arrival. All information about this service will be available from your starting point.

3 – Can I take or leave the boat where I want?

During your cruise you are free to dock your house boat where you wish as long as there is no prohibition against the mooring of houseboats at that location. However it is your responsibility to comply with your lease of the houseboat, therefore you much insure that your houseboat arrives at the place and time as originally stipulated in the booking.

4 – Is it possible to make a one-way trip in a mini-week?

There are some one way trips which are possible to make in a mini-week, for more information please contact our reservations centre on 03 85 53 76 70

5 – Is the return trip boring?

We often assume that the return trip will be boring and that a one-way trip would be preferable, however the one way trip has certain constraints such as: the obligation o cover the distance separating the two bases in a timely manner, you must pay an extra 100€ for the one way and there is also a cost for the transfer of your car or yourselves if you have ordered this additional option which costs 100€.On the other hand the return trip allows you more time to stroll around and explore the area. Also you will discover that the landscape is not the same when you view it from the opposite direction on the return trip.

end faq

E / Practical Information/Provisions

1 – Where can I park my car during my voyage?

The majority of our river bases have secure and/or cover parking available for a fee. Call the reservations department on 03 85 53 76 70 for the conditions specific to each base.

2 - Where can we go shopping?

You can go shopping in practically every village along the canal or river. If you check the map on the boat it will indicate where you can buy supplies and in which town you can find a grocer, bakery, fishery or butchery. Occasionally some lock keepers sell eggs, poultry, vegetables or wine, all at very reasonably prices. Try to stock up on the day of your departure as it is easier to transport the larger items that you may need while you have your car with you.

3 – I have a dog, am I able to take him with me on the boat?

Dogs and other pets are welcome aboard our fleet of houseboats. However, please ensure you have all the equipment necessary to look after your pet (including a cover and sleeping basket) as you will not find anything at the base or on board. Also, please remember to ensure your pet’s safety, especially when you are passing through the locks.

4 – How late can we arrive on the day of departure?

It is important to respect the timetables, which you can find on your booking. If you are delayed please warn your departure base.

5 – How long is the instruction on the departure day?

The instruction for the boat lasts about 45mintures and is suitable to your level of experience. This initiation provides you with the knowledge needed to operate your boat and all the river manoeuvres necessary for river navigation.

6 – Are there supermarkets near the bases?

There are supermarkets located near most of our bases which allows you to purchase the larger/heavier items at the bases and transport them to the boat in your car before boarding, hence making your life easier.

7 - Where can we fill up with water or refuel the boat?

There are numerous water supply points along the canals and they are all shown on the river map aboard the boat. The cost of fuel varies from less than a euro to several euros depending on the fuel price.

8 – What is the capacity of the water tank? Is there enough for the week? Is the water drinkable?

The capacity of the water tank on board the boat varies depending on the size of the boat. When you board the houseboat the tank is full and it generally takes about two days of autonomy to empty the tank in the case of a reasonable consumption. We advise you to refill everyday so that you never find yourself without water and because it takes less time to refill as the tank is not empty. The water from the water tanks is drinkable, but we recommend keeping the water for showers, cooking, dishwashing and cleaning.

9 – Is there enough fuel for my trip or do I need to refuel?

The boat’s tank is full when you depart and the quantity is sufficient for a classic cruise, that’s to say a river cruise of at least a week; however you need to refuel the boat before bringing it back to the base as you must return it with a full tank.

end faq

F / Bikes

1 – Is it possible to rent bikes?

France Passion Plaisance offers you the possibility to rent a bike or more and to place them aboard your houseboat so that you can use them to enjoy the towpaths, explore the surrounding countryside and to help you with transporting your shopping. We recommend you pre-book your bikes directly with our sale department when you book your houseboat. There are three ranges of bikes:The basic range “the boat bicycles”, these are bike that can be ridden along the towpaths and used for shopping but are not suitable for hiking or longer trips.The VTC range, these are aluminium framed bikes with speeds suitable for road ridingThe junior range, these bikes allow your child to accompany on your excursions or give them something to do in the evenings.

2 – Can I bring my bike on board the houseboat?

As the bike rental proposed by France Passion Plaisance is an optional extra, you are of course entitled to bring your own bike with you for your trip on the houseboat.

3 – Where can we store the bikes on the boat?

On all our boats it is possible to store the bicycles on the bridge of the boat. Depending on the size of the houseboat, we will recommend an appropriate number of bikes.

4 – Can I ride on the towpath?

Obviously the waterways are often lined with towpaths which are excellent for bike riding. It is also an ideal way to explore the region and to pick up some supplies from the villages that you will find along the canals or rivers.

end faq

G / Moorings

1 – Can we stop wherever we want?

Of course! One of the advantages of this mode of transport is that you can stop wherever you want (unless it is prohibited). In addition to the many ports built along the canals and navigable river where you may moor your boat, you can also moor anywhere in the countryside as long as it is not prohibited. After an enjoyable day of sailing, or during a ‘touristy’ break, you can moor at the dock of a marina or in the countryside on the banks of the canal by using the mooring poles that you have aboard and whose operation will be explained by the team at your departure base before departure.

2 – Do you have to pay to moor at a port?

You will find marinas throughout all the canals and navigable rivers of our regions, however some of them are free and others require a payment. The ports that provide electricity and water dockside often charge a fee for parking your boat there.

3 – Will I be able to find hotels near the waterways?

Most of the time you will find restaurants and hotels near the marina villages that line the canals. If you consult your river map on board your boat you will find more information about these services. It will also show you the different must-see tourist spots, the villages with supermarkets and grocers, and places where you can refill with water.This is another advantage of river tourism: you can lazily navigate the canals and find a place of serenity in a different way than usual, and then return to civilisation when you stop at a port or village.

4 – How do you moor in the countryside?

During your cruise you will undoubtedly be tempted to moor in the countryside to admire the landscape and profit from the peace and quiet. Your houseboat is completely equipped for this and you can do so by using the mooring pole as the team at the departure base showed you to during your instruction.

end faq

H / Choosing your cruise and period

1 – What is the best time to take my holiday?

Our rental boats without permits are seasonal from March to November.However, we cannot talk about a good or bad time for a river cruise or a houseboat holiday as each season has its strengths and its drawbacks. But no matter what season you choose the rivers and canals will always be interesting and exciting to discover.

2 – Which region should I choose?

With 38 bases in France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic and Italy, France Passion Plaisance provides many diversified routes and areas to visit from a houseboat. The nature lovers may prefer Burgundy, with its multitude of landscapes along the canals of Burgundy, the Central and Nivernais canals. While those who enjoy holidaying in the South with the sun, will be thrilled by the wealth of suggested itineraries departing from along the Canal du Midi and Camargue. On the other hand if you are interested in local gastronomy, the cruises through the Lot Valley, Aquitaine or the Marne will introduce you to a wide range of new food. If you’re looking for historical discovery the cruises around Strasbourg in Alsace and Lorraine will show you a land with a tumultuous past. Further abroad you can experience the delights of Spain, or explore the cities of Belgium, or even take a cruise through the ancient city of Venice… For more ideas for your cruise holiday you can visit our catalogue or look at out detailed itineraries. Our sales team is also always happy to help with any of your enquiries.

3 – Which river cruise should I choose?

The choices are endless. With our 38 bases in 6 countries France Passion Plaisance offers many different cruises. The first step is to decide which region you wish to explore, the second step is to decide how many days you wish to navigate (a weekend, mini-week, a week or more?) and whether you want a one-way cruise or a return trip. Once you’ve decided all that then choosing the right cruise for you will be a lot easier. However, whatever your choice is, all our cruises offer an amazing trip and allow you to enjoy seeing nature from a new angle while discovering many new and wondrous things.

4 – How long should I go for?

Whatever the duration of your holiday, there is a river cruise to suit your desires. We offer short stay for a weekend, or a short week, which allow you to discover the joys of boating holidays and life aboard a houseboat. You can also choose to go for a week and even longer if you wish as we have cruises for two to four weeks as well, so everyone can find the right cruise for them with France Passion Plaisance.

5 – Can I take or leave the boat wherever I want?

During your cruise you are free to dock your house boat wherever you want, as long as it isn’t prohibited to dock there. However it is your responsibility to comply with the terms of your lease of the house boat, therefore you much ensure that you return your houseboat to the place and at the time as stipulated on the original lease. This may either be the starting point in the case of a return cruise, or at the arrival base for a one-way cruise.

end faq

I / The Boat

1 – Is the boat comfortable?

Whichever model of houseboat you choose, there is everything on board to make your stay a comfortable one. You will find a spacious lounge, comfortable bunks or double beds, heating, hot water, toilets and showers. As you can refill with water all along the canals and rivers you can always enjoy a nice, long, hot shower at anytime. On a houseboat the amount of space that you have will always be limited, however the lounge/dining area of the boat tends to be the largest room in the boat as this is the true heart of your holiday. The cabins are modest in size; however there is a lot of place for stowing your luggage and other possessions. You will also find a bathroom, with a toilet, sink and a shower, connected to almost every cabin. All our houseboats are also equipped with bedding: sheets, pillow and duvets. Therefore we hope you will feel at home on your houseboat.

2 – Are the houseboats heated?

All our boats are equipped with a heating system thus providing you with comfort in any climate.

3 – Is the houseboat equipped with linen, bedding, dishes etc? Are cleaning products, brooms and dustpans provided?

On board all our boats you will find crockery, cutlery and all the kitchen equipment required to cook for an intimate dinner or a large family meal on the deal. There is in every boat a stove, oven, refrigerator, sink, pots and pans, and an assortment of dishes which are sufficient for the maximum number of passengers expected on board the boat. Similarly you will find enough bedding (sheets, duvets, pillows) for the maximum number of passengers.

4 – Is there hot water on board?

Of course there is hot water on all our houseboats. While the engine is running it produces the hot water, therefore if you run out of hot water all you have to do is turn on the motor for a couple of hours to generate more hot water.

5 – Is there a 220V outlet on board and where can we find it?

Most boats are not equipped with 220V, however all our houseboats are equipped with a 12V cigarette light charger, so if you have a 12V charger you can recharge your mobile phone there. In relation to any equipment powered by 220V you can use them aboard if you rent a 12V-220V transformer. Otherwise you will find numerous power points along the canal that you are able to use. Also all our most recent house boats are equipped with generators.

6 – Can we lock the boat?

Yes, all our houseboats are equipped with locks which allow you to leave the boat to go exploring the surrounding countryside in peace, however, we do recommend that you should not leave your valuables in plain view.

7 – What is the capacity of the fridge?

The fridge capacity depends on the size of the houseboat that you have chosen and it ranges from 60 to 220litres. During summer we recommend that you do not overload the refrigerators in order to allow them to function better.

8 – What is the use of the bow thrusters present on some river boats?

The bow thruster is in fact a small propeller located at the front of the boat which allows for easier manoeuvring. It is used in spurts and at low speeds to facilitate the navigational manoeuvres such as entering a lock and docking the boat

end faq

J / In case of a problem

1 – What do we do if we breakdown? What if there is something caught in the propeller?

Our team is available seven days a week on all our bases and there is always someone there. Therefore in case of a problem, just call your departure base, whose number is provided in the logbook, and we will be more than happy to help. Our team will do their utmost to provide a solution to our problems. Luckily most problems can be solved by telephone, if not a technician will come to help you as soon as they can. If you can, try to locate a landmark close to where you are in order to help us locate you faster and thus resolve your problem is the shortest amount of time.

2 – Accidents: How do they happen? How much does it cost? Should I take out insurance?

Your houseboat is fully insured and you are only responsible to pay for any damage caused up to the amount of the bond that you have taken out. You can also opt to purchase the franchise package by subscribing to the insurance package cruise deal.

3 - Are accidents common?

Accidents are infrequent and normally very minor due to the limited speed of our houseboats. However, you must always be vigilant while cruising and it is advisable to take turns steering the boat.

end faq

K / The Crew

1 – Who should I go with?

A river cruise on a houseboat is a great way to spend some quality time with your beloved, or to get together as a family, you can even use it as a great way to spend some quality time with your friends. The kids will soon get used to life aboard the boat and are normally more than happy to try steering the boat! This is a great experience to share with those important to you.

2 – Will we all be able to get along in a small space?

A licence free houseboat is a great opportunity to enjoy the surrounding environment at a leisurely pace and is certainly not a place where you should shut yourself in your cabin! You can enjoy nice meals together in the lounge or out on the deck, or even on the canal banks. Inside the boat, relax in the lounge space or in the cabins.

3 – How many people can stay on the houseboat? Is it possible to be just two?

France Passion Plaisance offers a range of boats for a crew consisting of 2 to 12 people. The steering and manoeuvring of the boat can easily be carried out with just two people. And, depending on the region that you choose, your cruise of two can focus on all the romantic stops along the water’s edge making it the perfect trip for young and old lovers alike.

4 – How many people do we need to have to steer the boat?

Our houseboats are rented out to two people minimum (there must be at least one adult and one child over 16 years). As all the lock manoeuvres require one person to steer the boat and another to hold the boat in place you need at least two people capable of steering the boat and helping with the manoeuvres.

5 – Is it dangerous for young children?

All our boats are equipped with safety equipment including a double chain on the balcony railing and movement aboard is always easy due to the wide set decks protected by railing and the large and stable sun decks. However the aquatic environment always presents risks and as such we recommend that children wear life jackets. For toddlers you should consider arm floats as it is often easier for them to wear during the hot weather. In addition we offer a baby set to save you from the stress of trying to remember to bring everything you need

6 – Are pets allowed on board the houseboats?

Dogs and other pets are welcome aboard our fleet of houseboats. However, please ensure you have all the equipment necessary to look after your pet (including a cover and sleeping basket) as you will not find anything at the base or on board. Also, please remember to ensure your pet’s safety, especially when you are passing through the locks.

7 – Can anyone drive the boat?

When we instruct you on the day of departure we will issue you with a card that acts as a boat licence, it will appoint one of you as the captain and on the boat anyone can drive under the surveillance of the captain. Therefore this allows you to let your children have a go at steering the boat as well, as long as you are there to watch over what they do and help them in any manoeuvres.

end faq

L / Prices and Reservations

1 – Is it expensive to rent a houseboat?

Renting a houseboat is all inclusive, with eh exception of the fuel that the customers must pay at the end of the cruise (according to consumption, it tends to be between 15 and 30€/day), which can be included in the total booking cost by purchasing the all inclusive package. Given the fact that you will mainly eat on board the boat and most of the principle activities (sailing, walking, cycling along the towpath, fishing, swimming and visiting the villages situated along the route) do not cost anything and the boat is rented per boat, not per person, a holiday on a houseboat is actually rather affordable.

2 – What are the deadlines for booking? How far in advance should I book?

Don’t wait too long to book! Houseboat holidays are very popular and the best reservations tend to be made in advance. So if you’re interested in a river cruise holiday contact France Passion Plaisance on 03 85 53 76 70 soon to make any inquiries and to reserve your cruise.

3 – Is it necessary to take out insurance?

Your houseboat is fully insured and you are only responsible to pay for any damage caused up to the amount of the bond that you have taken out. You can also opt to purchase the franchise package by subscribing to the insurance package cruise deal.

4 – Does the all inclusive package include cancellation insurance?

The all inclusive package deal includes: fuel, insurance in case the cruise is interrupted, rental of two bicycles, the cleaning fee and a map of the river. However it does not include cancellation insurance which represents 4% of the rental price.

5 – What are the means of payment and is it possible to spread the payments out?

We accept all payment methods, including the ‘cheques vacances’ or the holiday cheques, on the other hand it is not possible to stagger the payment, except in exceptional cases.

end faq

M / Security and Accessibility

1 – Is it dangerous for young children?

All our boats are equipped with safety equipment including a double chain on the balcony railing and movement aboard is always easy due to the wide set decks protected by railing and the large and stable sun decks. However the aquatic environment always presents risks and as such we recommend that children wear life jackets. For toddlers you should consider arm floats as it is often easier for them to wear during the hot weather. In addition we offer a baby set to save you from the stress of trying to remember to bring everything you need

2 – Are pets allowed on board the houseboats?

Dogs and other pets are welcome aboard our fleet of houseboats. However, please ensure you have all the equipment necessary to look after your pet (including a cover and sleeping basket) as you will not find anything at the base or on board. Also, please remember to ensure your pet’s safety, especially when you are passing through the locks.

3 – Do I need to be sporty to go on a houseboat holiday?

Houseboat holidays are accessible for everyone and do not require any significant physical conditions. In addition, some of our boats have wheelchair access, thus it is possible for everyone to benefit from our cruises.

4 – Can anyone drive the boat?

When we instruct you on the day of departure we will issue you with a card that acts as a boat licence, it will appoint one of you as the captain and on the boat anyone can drive under the surveillance of the captain. Therefore this allows you to let your children have a go at steering the boat as well, as long as you are there to watch over what they do and help them in any manoeuvres.

5 – What is the use of a map of the river?

The river map is a veritable gold mine of information about the route that you will take and its environs. Thanks to this map you can discover the many restaurants close to the canal and also the places where you can refuel the boat. By using this map you can organise your trip and decide where you wish to stop and what you desire to see while you are on the houseboat.

end faq

FLEET OUR PRICE INCLUDES THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
BUDGET
ACCESS
CLASSIC
PREMIUM
‐ The hire of the boat
‐ Its security equipment
‐ Crockery
‐ Linen: sheets, blankets or duvets, pillows and pillow cases
‐ The navigation and lock tax
‐ The insurance of the boat
‐ A 13kg gas bottle
‐ Demonstration of how to operate the boat on the day of departure
‐ Demonstration of how to handle the boat and temporary licence on the day of departure
‐ Technical assistance 7 days a week from 9am to 7pm
‐ The cancellation insurance
‐ Food supply
‐ Personal insurance for the crew
‐ The one way fee
‐ Car park or garage for a car
‐ The waterway map which will be useful for preparing your cruise
‐ Bikes
‐ Cruise Plus Insurance (damage waiver)
‐ The hourly navigation rate which includes gas oil and all technical supplies for the boat*
‐ Cleaning of the inside and outside of the boat
‐ Cleaning set
‐ tea towel set
‐ Towel set
PREMIUM ‐ Cleaning set
‐ Tea towel set
‐ Towel set
‐ Concierge service
‐ Hotel service

* The price varies from 5.19 to 10.95 € / navigation hour by category of boat (price may change with the price of fuel)