River Cruise - FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
This article is also available in Russian - Речной Круиз – Часто Задаваемые Вопросы (FAQ)
If you have any questions which are not answered here, please do contact us.
1. This is our first time to do a self drive cruise is it easy to drive?
Canal and river cruising is very well organized and comfortably geared to people with little or no boating experience. The boats themselves are very easy to drive and the boat operators will give you a full instruction so that you are comfortable with all operations. We suggest that beginers select a canal cruise rather than one on a river, to avoid dealing with possible currents. First-timers might also best select an itinerary with a moderate number of locks to give more time for exploration and sight-seeing.
2. How do I go through a lock ?
This is a simple, pleasant manoeuvre if a few basic guidelines are followed : always take it slowly and carefully, and remain patient if there are other boats waiting. Manually operated locks are easier with a minimum of two agile people !
3. Are bicycles available?
Bikes are an absolute necessity for exploring the area around where you have moored; little villages, places of interest or simply for going to buy your daily bread. A bicycle can help you make unforgettable discoveries.
4. I have read the information on routes and the variety of boats. Is there anyone who can give me more information and answer my questions about the boats or the cruising areas?
Worldwide River Cruise staff will be happy to supplement the information found on the web site, and answer any questions which may arise about the boat, its layout and equipment, itinerary, weather, etc. We make it our business to inspect our fleets of self-drive boats and our staff have knowledge of the local area.
5. How far can we travel in a days cruising?
In general allow for about 5 kms per hour and to enjoy your holiday take your time and discover the local sights and countryside.
6. What is the length of the cruises?
On self-drive boats cruises are generally for the duration of one week or more in high season starting on a Saturday to Saturday. Your only obligation is to return the boat to the designated base on the date specified. In some areas, there are routes which form a natural circle and lend themselves to longer cruises. We also have shorter cruises in the shoulder season, mid week cruises and weekend cruises.
7. What about taking children on a self-drive boat? Can they be kept busy and entertained?
Self-drive boats provide a special experience for adults and children who can join in running the boat, operating the locks and handling the ropes. Lockkeepers are quite happy to show off their gardens, ducks and geese, and the products of their vegetable plots. Older children enjoy reading the guides and plotting where the next locks are and finding appropriate places to moor for lunch or overnight. They are very likely to meet youngsters from other countries who are on a similar holiday.
8. What are the best times of the year for cruising and what will the weather be like?
Self self-drive boats usually cruise from late March to the end of October. You can adjust your choice of area depending on what weather suits you best. We can give you a range of temperatures for particular areas but our only promise is that the weather can be unpredictable.
9. What do I wear on the boat?
This is your vacation and so you set the pace. On self-drive boats, blue jeans are the most practical but in hot weather one might prefer shorts. T-shirts seem to be a universal style. For restaurant dining, casual clothing is quite acceptable in the countryside. Major restaurants in town may lead one to slightly more formal attire.
10. What's the best country and area to cruise?
This is entirely your choice we operate in many countries and have many clients that book their trip with us every year,
11. We are a party of bicyclists who would like to tour an area and thought of hiring a boat to serve as our home base. Can this be done?
Yes, this can be done in many of the areas where self-drive boats are available. Ask the staff at Worldwide River Cruise to suggest suitable routes. Once you’ve selected an area you can plan ahead to move the boat in stages in early mornings or evenings. You might want to prepare al fresco meals for the touring portions of your day, and return to the boat in time to move to the next location. Save time for sightseeing, relaxing or dining in one of the local bistros.
12. Is it safe and can we lock the boat?
The boats have locks, as do the bicycles. Although the canals are very safe, please use good sense. Don't leave your best camera in full view of the window. Take the same care you would use in your own home, or when parking your car.
13. Do I need to tip the lock-keepers?
No this is not neccessary but you can buy fresh vegtables from some lock keepers.You could show some apreciation by leaving a cool beer or soft drink out for them when the weather is warm.
14. Are there points of interest such as restaurants as well as markets, shops and laundromats along the canals?
Yes, each boat has a log book with a short description of each town, a list of restaurants and other facilities, as well as points of interest within a reasonable distance. They are usually accessible on foot or by bicycle. (Don't forget your flashlight when going to dinner., it will be dark when you return and country roads are unlit.) Ask at the base about recommendations for local restaurants.
15. Where can I tie up the boat?
You can moor up just about anywhere along the canals, unless otherwise posted. Just be sure to keep a proper distance from the locks. Be careful not to tie your lines across the tow-path, but put stakes into the ground on the canal-side of the towpath.
16. What do we do if we have a breakdown or some other problem en-route?
To minimize any chance of a breakdown, pay careful attention to the information in the captain’s manual. All adult members of your party should read it carefully and note anything which you find unclear or confusing. The staff at the base will make every effort to be sure you understand the operation of the onboard equipment such as the heating system, air-conditioning (if included), stove, propane tanks (and how to switch them), etc., as well as how to go through the locks. However, should you at any time during your cruise require assistance, call the emergency number given to you at the base. In after hours your call will be answered by machine. Be sure to leave a message giving the time of the call, your location, (lock number or canal intersection), and the nature of your problem. The bases monitor their calls and will send assistance as soon as possible. A cell phone is always a good idea while onboard.
17. What electricity supply is available on board the boat?
When you are travelling, the boat has 12V electricity supply. If you connected to an electricity supply at a seviced mooring the boat has a 220V supply.