Premier Choice Waterway Holidays 
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The Boats
Are the boats centrally heated? Yes, all our boats are centrally heated by radiators and all boats have airing cupboards. There are hot water tanks on the boats as well so that you can have a bath or shower at any time.
Are the boats comfortable? Yes. Fixed beds normally have an interior sprung mattress, and make-up (dinette) beds have a foam mattress which has to conform to special standards to ensure that you are comfortable.
Is there a fridge on board? Yes, there is always a fridge. Normally this comes with a freezer compartment. On a very few 5 Star boats there is a separate deep freeze.
What is the cooker like? All our boats have gas cookers (the gas is included in the cost of the holiday). These all have 4 rings, as well as an oven and a grill. Please remember that cooking times can vary compared with the more usual natural gas at home.
Is linen provided? Yes, all berths are supplied with a full set of freshly laundered linen, normally a pillow a sheet and a duvet. Are towels provided? Black Prince & Alvechurch provide towels for all customers, whilst Viking Afloat provide towels only for customers travelling from overseas. Therefore Viking customers from the UK will need to bring their own towels.
Can I bring my Hair Dryer? Most boats run on 12 volt electricity, and so your home hair dryer will not work. However some Alvechurch and Viking boats have 240 volt hairdryers built in.
Do we need a driving licence? No. You will be fully trained as part of the handover routine in how to drive the boat and operate the locks. Your instructor will not let you commence your holiday until he is fully confident in you being able to handle the boat. The show round and training can take around an hour at the start of your holiday.
Is my boat licensed for all canals? Yes, on all British Waterways waters. There are a small number of canals and rivers operated by other authorities for which you will need a licence. These include the the River Avon and the River Thames.
Can I bring my pet? Yes, and Viking Afloat and Alvechurch make no charge for them, whilst Black Prince make a modest £25 charge per pet. Please remember to bring bedding for your pet. A maximum of 2 dogs per boat please. Please note that damage done by your pet is not covered by the Damage Waiver.
Can I charge a Mobile Phone or Camcorder. Yes, if you have a 12volt in-car charger. There are charging points in all our boats which is similar to a cigar lighter socket in a car. If your charger works from your car, it will work in any of our boats.
What happens if we have a problem? We provide you with a Boat Manual which stays with you on your holiday. In the event that you are unable to resolve the problem yourself we have a 24 hour, 7 days per week, emergency service if you have a problem. At night we will only come out for an emergency.
The Canals
What speed can I do? The canals have a limit around 4 mph, (about walking pace) with some rivers having a slightly higher figure. When working out the timing of a route, you need to also allow about 15 minutes per lock as well. This means that in one hour you should expect to cover either 4 miles, or do 4 locks, or a combination of them both!
Will I get lost? Unlikely, but we would recommend that you buy a guide for your route either when you book, or from the Hire Base before you set out. They are not only useful for your route, but also for pinpointing pubs, shops and local points of interest. If you are uncertain when you get to a particular junction, just ask. Remember the locals are friendly. We have never lost a boat yet !
How deep are the canals? Most canals are between 3 and 4 feet deep. If you have the misfortune of falling overboard it is best to wade to the bank and step out (but do it quickly so no-one takes a photograph !). We can also supply buoyancy aids for children and for adults who cannot swim, at no extra charge.
Can I bring a cycle or canoe? Both are welcome under certain conditions that vary from area to area, but do be careful of storage on your trip. If you put them on the roof they can easily get swept off by the bridges and overhanging trees. You should buy a special permit from British Waterways to cover the timing of your trip.
Can I hire a cycle? Unfortunately there are very few firms hiring bicycles, and so the chances are that you will not be able to hire a cycle. However please check when making your booking.
Can I fish? Fishing is allowed provided that you have a current E.A. rod licence. Most clubs will not object to you fishing from the boat, but some may require you to purchase a day ticket. This varies from area to area. Please check with the boatyard on arrival.
Can I stop anywhere? Just about. Always moor on the towpath side of the canal, as the other side is likely to be private land. Occasionally there will be British Waterways signs which do not permit mooring. Please do not moor near bridges, junctions, locks or in other company's boat yards.
Will the children enjoy it? Yes, in fact if they are 10+ they will probably take over! They just love to drive the boats, under supervision of course (and where else could they do that?) If you have active children try a canal with plenty of locks and see how long it takes them to master them. It is very rare for children to get bored since there is always something for them to do.
Are there pubs beside the canal? Yes, there are a lot of pubs beside the canals. Most pubs started as hostelries for the working boaters ( the motorway cafes of the 19th century!) For many pubs the canals are their major trade and so they provide beautiful food at very reasonable prices.
Can I park my car at the base? Yes there is plenty of car parking at all our bases, which is free to our customers for the duration of their holiday. We regret that we are unable to accept responsibility for loss or damage to customer's vehicles.
Will I have enough fuel? Yes, you will take over your boat fully fuelled. In most cases there will be plenty of fuel for your holiday. Occasionally, such as on an extended holiday, you may need to refill during your holiday, and you will be advised about this situation at the start of your holiday. If this is the case, you will be asked to obtain a receipt and the boat yard will refund you the cost on your return at the end of the holiday.
How do I get water? There are numerous water points along the canal, normally at least every 4 hours cruising. Always try fill up with water at least once a day. Remember you are not connected to the mains!
What do I have to bring? The boats come comprehensively equipped for your holiday. Really all you need to bring is clothing and food. It is best to have rubber soled shoes for working the boat, and you should bring some wet weather gear, in case of inclement weather. Whilst Black Prince & Alvechurch provide towels, Viking Afloat do not do so for UK customers, so you should bring your own.
What happens if I have to cancel? We would very much recommend that you take out Cancellation cover either from us, or from your normal insurance broker. If you have to cancel the holiday and are covered, you will receive back your deposit, less a small handling charge. However if you are not covered, you will be liable for the full holiday cost. In the event that we are able to re-book your holiday, we will charge a re-letting fee of 15% of the cost of the holiday.
How do I get from the airport to the base? Details can be obtained from us when you book. As a rule, if you are part of a small party, the cheapest way may be to take trains to the base. However if you are part of a larger party, it might be cheaper and more convenient to hire a taxi, or a car. We can recommend taxi firms to you, who collect our customers on a regular basis. How do I go about car rental when I am coming from overseas? It is always best to hire your car from your own country. For some reason, this is the cheapest way to hire. Hertz and Avis both provide a service whereby you can leave the hire car at your departure base, (they collect it) and then book one for the return journey which is delivered by them to the base for your return journey. There may be a supplementary charge for this service.
Can you recommend hotels locally for the night before the holiday? Yes, we have lists of hotels of varying price levels which we have used for a number of years. We receive reports from customers who have stayed in them to ensure that they remain up to our standards.
Can I take the boat over at times other than shown? Yes, we can arrange for a member of staff to be available at a time to suit you. Obviously we can only perform the show round during day light hours, so if arriving in the evening, this will be performed the next morning. There may be a charge for this service.

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