Self-drive boats and canal boat hire

Self-drive boats

An exciting choice of boats for hire,
routes and offers

We have a wide range of license-free, modern cruisers and traditional style canal boats to suit all group sizes and budgets. Relaxed fun for all ages whether cruising as a couple, a family or a group of friends.

Simply select a houseboat or self-drive fleet below,  and click for full details including photos, floor plans, rental prices, reviews and special offers.

Boating with Hotels Afloat is as easy as child's play.


The Penichettes are traditional style boats, which are provided with modern amenities for 2-12 guests.
For a more modern style, the Europas and Linssens are very comfortable boats for up to 7 guests.

P1107W self-drive


7 guests

P1165 FB self-drive

P1165 FB

7 guests

P1500 R self-drive

P1500 R

12 guests

P1400 FB self-drive

P1400 FB

10 guests


Nicols operates from 27 bases in five countries: France, Germany, Holland, Hungary & Portugal.
With four classes to choose from, all the boats offer bright and spacious accommodation.

The new "C"  boats include air-conditioning, 220v electricity during navigation and a dishwasher too!

N PRIMO self-drive


4 guests

N QUATTRO B self-drive


4 guests

N OCTO Fly 12 self-drive

N OCTO Fly 12

12 guests

N DUO self-drive


4 guests

France Afloat

Discover a selection from the France Afloat fleet with 1st-class self-drive boats for comfortable cruising on the French waterways.

Le Boat

With 40 different departure points in 8 countries, Le Boat offers a wide range of modern style cruisers.

Royal Mystique B self-drive

Royal Mystique B

6 guests

Vision 4 SL self-drive

Vision 4 SL

9 guests

Vision 4 self-drive

Vision 4

9 guests

Horizon 1 self-drive

Horizon 1

5 guests

France Passion Plaisance

Celebrating 40 years of boating this year, FPP Les Canalous offers competitively prices rental boats throughout France, as well as in Germany and Italy.

Tarpon 42 self-drive

Tarpon 42

12 guests

Nicols 1310 self-drive

Nicols 1310

12 guests

Tip Top self-drive

Tip Top

8 guests

Saone Bateaux

Saone Bateaux offers a small range of traditional style boats, ideal for exploring the River Saone in Burgundy.

BWS Cruiser 1250 self-drive

BWS Cruiser 1250

8 guests

BWS Cruiser 1150 self-drive

BWS Cruiser 1150

6 guests

Gruno 1000 self-drive

Gruno 1000

6 guests

With the ever-increasing popularity of activity-based holidays, our self-drive vacations allow you to enjoy a variety of pursuits guaranteeing a truly memorable trip, regardless of age and interests. Driving a boat is child's play, and after a short induction course, you will be ready to cast off on a beautiful journey.

For historians and those that love architecture, explore ancient monuments, chateaux, abbeys, and museums.

Sporty? Hire a canoe, a stand-up paddle-board or bicycles. Or how about horse-riding, rock-climbing, tree climbing, golf, fishing or swimming?

Naturalists? The rivers and canals are natural habitats for a wide range of fauna and flora: Coypu, kingfishers, herons, birds of prey, majestic swans, flamingo, beautiful weeping willows, stunning water lilies and more.

Epicureans love our holidays! Visit the vineyards to see how wines are produced, take tastings in wine cellars and explore new cuisine and delicious, fresh food in cosy waterside bistros or Michelin starred restaurants. On all the self-drive boats, the onboard galleys are well equipped should you prefer to cook. Many lock-keepers sell their home-made produce while local markets insure that you will be spoilt for choice.

Total relaxation? Bring your sketchbooks and Kindles, card games and favourite CDs. The peaceful waterways provide the perfect backdrop for some 'me' time.

With so much choice each day, this is surely the ideal family holiday.

Whichever one of the 12 countries you choose to cruise in, and whichever region, you will find plenty to see and do to keep you all happy.

Our team of experts are always pleased to help you choose the perfect destination to suit your particular interests.