A Civilized Adventure - - How We Did It

Transportation to England

We recommend a discount airline. You can't be more uncomfortable than we were for $596 per person round trip on a scheduled airline.

Overnight hotel in Leamington

We recommend using the Internet and deal directly with the hotel. We spent $138 for one night. Too much!

The Boat

We selected a boat from Calcutt Boats which we saw in the Hoseasons Catalog and rented it through an Amereican firm in the California. Good boat and good catalog and great contact.

Base price for the boat per week for first two weeks was $940; the third week since it was in a more expensive period was $999. However, since we were renting the boat for three weeks, we were eligible for a 15% discount the second and third weeks. Total price was $2,588. We paid a deposit for fuel ($87) - half of which was later returned to us and a non-refundable damage waiver ($35). This was in 1998. You can check the current prices in the catalogs linked below.

Catalogs and Boat Companies

Catalogs provide maps of canal routes, photos, and descriptions of various boats offered by boat companies throughout England. We used these.

Hoseasons Holidays(156 pages)
Sunway House,
Suffolk NR32 2LW
Tel: 01502 501010
email: mail@hoseasons.co.uk

Exit Hoseasons

Blakes Holidays (148 pages on England)
Blakes International Travel Ltd.
Norwich NR12 8DH
tel: 01603 782911, 784141 , and 784131
fax:: 01603 782871
email: boats@blakes.co.uk

Exit Blakes

Drifters Catalogs (31 pages):
Drifters Leisure Ltd.
P.O.Box 232 Worcester WR1 2SD
email: drifters@vikhol.demon.co.uk
tel: 01905 721300
fax: 01905 723676

Exit Drifters

Managing and Exchanging Money

We used four different instruments in managing our funds:


  1. Use a Visa credit card for everything you can; the cost is less than 1%.
  2. If you do carry travelers checks for emergencies buy them in 20 pound denominations. You will usually need your passport to cash them; remember to spend them before you leave England.
  3. Use a Bank Check Card at an ATM to buy 200 pounds at a time for ordinary currency needs.


Mooring by the side of a canal is quite safe although normal precautions should be taken.

All extra cash, traveler's checks, airline tickets and passports were kept in a money belt that Martin wore in the back around his waist, over his T shirt but under his outer shirt; it was invisible. He wore it every day for 6 weeks and claims he never knew it was on. Its name: Waist Safe (Double) money belt ($12.50). For security in general when traveling abroad, we do not carry any jewelry other than wedding bands.

Overall Costs

Daily living expenses while aboard the boat for 21 days including eating meals out, eating in, cost of tours, etc. were $57 per day. If you exclude the case of wine we bought initially and the cost of wine while eating out, the per day cost was $49 per day.

If a couple wanted to duplicate our three week trip, the cost would be about $5,600, including air fare, auto rental hotels before and after the trip, boat, all taxis, railroad, and busses, all food and drink, all tour admissions, etc. For the 21 days, we ate out 6 times for lunch( average $23) and 4 times for dinner (average $53). We ate all other meals aboard. Remember this was in 1998. Although prices have risen since, I'd guess they keep in proportion to prices in the States./p>

Internet Addresses

For lots of information: maps and boat rental firms click Exit British Waterways

George's Canal and Boating site, a super site in England with loads of links, mostly about canaling there, but more recently with connections in Europe. Click on

Exit George.

The information herein is presented in the belief that it is both useful and accurate; however, no warranty is given for its accuracy. Please report any inaccuracies you find to me, Martin Reff.

This page was originally erected on November 29, 1997 and last updated on April 27, 2007.