What’s new for Le Boat in 2019

The launch of Le Boat’s new brochure and website highlights what an exciting year 2019 will be for the company. As the largest self-drive boating operator in Europe turns 50, it plans to open a second base at its newest destination in Ontario, following its successful launch into Canada in May 2018.

Currently, only return cruises are available from Smiths Falls, however the addition of the base at Seeley’s Bay means guests will have the option of taking return trips from either base or venturing on a one-way route between the two destinations, exploring new terrain for the entire trip.

The possibility of return trips from Seeley’s Bay makes visiting Kingston much more accessible. Located on Lake Ontario, 10 cruising hours from Seeley’s Bay, Kingston is steeped in history. This becomes evident as visitors peruse the city lined with grand 19th century architecture, explore Bellevue House National Historic Site and discover the majestic Fort Henry, before daring to try the Haunted Walk of Kingston. Originally named King’s Town after King George III, Kingston was the first capital of Canada from 1841 to 1844 before it was relocated to Montreal. However, the city has certainly asserted itself as Canada’s culinary capital, with more restaurants per square capita than any other city in Canada. Foodies will be spoiled for choice with fine-dining experiences, public markets, food tours and world-class festivals.

Further upstream past Smiths Falls, Merrickville is another must-see destination approximately 24 cruising hours from the new base. Known as the ‘Jewel of the Rideau’, it has been described as the most beautiful village in Canada and, in recent years, has reinvented itself as a vibrant artisanal community dotted with quirky shops, artist studios and characterful cafés.

At the start or end of the cruise, visitors may wish to relax in the charming town of Seeley’s Bay, which offers an array of activities. The community park has playgrounds, tennis courts and picnic tables, and the historic attraction of the Tepee in Centennial Park is just a short walk from the moorings. This modern-day tepee commemorates the original Tepee of ‘Granny Seeley’, who ran a trading post and conducted business with Aboriginals and European settlers during the 1800s. There is also fantastic fishing available in the area and numerous trails close to the canal, offering the option to explore the area’s natural beauty by bike and by foot.

Prospective customers will learn more about the new base and Le Boat’s other cruising regions when they order or download the new brochure for 2019. Encouraging customers to book early for the year ahead, the 64-page brochure is full of inspiration and advice, allowing families, couples and friends to start choosing next year’s self-drive cruise adventures from the wide range of suggested itineraries available.

Booking early allows customers to secure their preferred boat, destination and cruising week. For reservations made before 30 November 2018, Le Boat is offering savings of up to 20 per cent for selected cruises, a lower deposit of 10 per cent, rather than 35 per cent, and a 5 per cent reduction on board premier river cruiser Horizon. The Horizon fleet ticks all the boxes in terms of space, ease of handling accessibility and on-board features.

What’s more, in 2019 Le Boat will celebrate 50 years of providing self-drive boat holidays. From humble beginnings back in the late 1960s, Le Boat is proud to now be Europe’s largest self-drive boating operator. To mark the occasion, and to thank holidaymakers for their continued support, Le Boat will be giving away a special gift to the first 50 customers who book their 2019 cruises on top of the 2019 savings.

Holidaymakers who have enjoyed the freedom of self-drive cruises can purchase their very own premier Horizon cruiser with Le Boat’s Ownership Programme and can even generate an income on the weeks they don’t use the boat. The programme offers a monthly income to buyers (seven per cent of the boat’s value per annum) with none of the costs associated with traditional boat ownership nor the hassles of maintaining, moving and mooring a boat, so owners can set off on their cruise stress-free. Owners’ privileges include the use of any boat, not just their own, and the choice of cruises in any of the operator’s destinations (UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France and Canada) for an average of eight weeks a year. Buying a boat costs from £183,000 (currently on offer for only £175,000) and would have a guaranteed monthly income of £851. The buyback price would be £78,750. Over a seven-season term of owning a boat, and enjoying unforgettable cruising moments, this equates to £3,538 per year to own the boat.

For more information about Le Boat, visit www.leboat.co.uk or call 023 9280 1630.