Thursday, 6 September 2012 9:09 AM
If you have never been on a boating break before but are looking for a holiday with a difference, it is well worth jumping in and giving it a try. Easy to get to grips with and offering a wealth of amazing experiences, boating trips are unique, memorable and exciting.
Should you be unsure about whether breaks spent cruising along canals and waterways are for you, discover some of the top reasons to embark on this kind of adventure with our guide.
Do something different
For newcomers to boating, one of the best reasons to go on this kind of scenic sojourn is the chance it gives you to do something a little bit different. If you have grown tired of traditional getaways in hotels near the beach, or visiting the same destination year after year, the chance to break the mould with a trip on the water will be incredibly refreshing and exciting.
When you consider the sheer number of fantastic destinations you can visit and the fact that staying on boat means you can stop off at as many villages and cities within these as you please, it is easy to see just how great the potential for variety and adventure there is on a holiday like this.
Similarly, boating getaways provide you with a real sense of freedom. Indeed, if you are used to adhering to strict itineraries and rushing around to meet hotel check-in and check-out times, time spent cruising is likely to be a real breath of fresh air.
Rather than racing to keep in line with somebody else's schedule, you can simply do what you want, when you want, from the moment you board your boat. What these means for travellers is that you can live each day as it comes and not worry about planning everything to the last detail - particularly as you can simply start cruising whenever you get the urge to go anywhere!
Many of us have aspirations to explore lots of exciting destinations, but achieving that goal can often be tricky - especially when you consider arranging transport once you arrive in your desired country is not always an easy endeavour. Another benefit of boating is that there are so many fantastic countries you can visit, including Germany, Holland, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Belgium.
What's more, you will find that discovering them in depth is much simpler when boating than during other kinds of travel. For example, simply by choosing a boating holiday, you automatically make it so much easier to stop at multiple destinations, from small villages to big cities, and therefore gain a more rounded view of the country in question. What's more, this also gives you the freedom to see the things that interest you most, rather than the attractions tour guides believe you should see.
Try more activities
In a similar vein, boating getaways also offer a wonderful breadth of choice when it comes to activities. Of course, the act of boating is an attraction in itself, particularly if you are a newcomer, since the whole process will be very exciting. Meanwhile, by travelling to new places each day, you give yourself a lot of chances to try new things, from cycling in the countryside to having a go at different water sports.
Indeed, if your time on the water has sparked your interest for other water-based activities, you could use a day or two of your break to give something else a go. Those on a boating holiday in Germany, for example, could visit the wonderful Lake Moritz, which is famous for its marvellous sailing and swimming opportunities.
Simplicity and relaxation
An added bonus of going on a boating holiday is that doing so is wonderfully simple. While you might think you need special qualifications or training, this is not actually the case. So, total novices can book their break with no concerns about the skills required.
Do not worry that this will mean you are left wondering what to do, however. Before you set off, you will be given a detailed introduction into how the boat works and how to negotiate locks, while navigation is fantastically easy - simply follow the river!
There is also plenty of scope to choose a boat that matches the size of your group. You will need a minimum of two adults and no more than 12 passengers altogether, but, aside from that, you need not worry about the number of people you bring.
A wonderfully relaxed, gentle way of life can be enjoyed cruising along rivers and canals, so this kind of break is also great for those keen to escape the hubbub of urban environments.