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The best canal boat holidays

Slow it all down with a getaway on the water

Floating fancies

Looking for something a little bit different for your next break? Enjoy a dreamy slice of escapism with a VisitEngland-recommended canal boat holiday.

From feet-up luxury to a more hands-on experience, we’ve selected five of our favourite hotel boats for a truly special stay on England’s waterways.

MV Edward Elgar, Gloucestershire

Relax with 22 like-minded guests on the highest capacity hotel boat cruising the waterways of England. Enjoy guided tours around world-class sights from the live-in crew in an environment where comfort is a priority – expect cosy beds, welcoming sitting areas and warm hospitality.

Hotel Boat Kailani, Lincolnshire

Experience canal and river cruising at its very best on board the five-star Kailani. The only hotel boat licensed to cruise through central London, this wide beam narrowboat provides luxury accommodation for up to four guests across two cabins, on breaks lasting between three and seven nights.

The Billet Hotel Boat, Warwickshire

This wide-beam canal boat offers all-inclusive, fully catered and fully crewed cruises for its guests to do as much or as little as they choose. Accommodating up to four guests, enjoy one of the most luxurious designs on the canal network as you marvel at the beautiful surrounding countryside.

The Piano Boat, Greater London

For just a few weeks of the year, The Piano Boat offers the exclusive opportunity for two to stay on board and enjoy a unique holiday. Whilst exploring Britain’s magnificent canals, your getaway will include a complimentary music package which is inclusive of up to two musical soirée evenings with renowned concert pianist Masayuki Tayama.

The Wessex Rose Hotel Boat, Wiltshire

With a choice of routes that range from three-night breaks to nine-night holidays, jump aboard The Wessex Rose for a tranquil experience cruising along the Kennet and Avon Canal, River Thames or Grand Union Canal. Specially crafted as a hotel boat, the spacious accommodation sleeps up to six people across three en-suite cabins.

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