All At Sea: Get On Board With Boat Travel

All At Sea: Get On Board With Boat Travel

We’ve rounded up some of the most interesting boat holidays out there, in the hope that it will whet your appetite for a bit of sea faring.

holidays have become both more accessible and more
interesting, so it’s no surprise that it’s fast becoming the
hottest trend among experiential holidaymakers looking for
something a bit different. We’re not talking about chartering a
super yacht and popping bottles off into the sunset P-Diddy style
(though we wouldn’t pass up on that opportunity). The arrival of
companies such as Incrediblue – the Airbnb of boating, if you like
– has challenged the idea of setting sail as being only for the
super-rich, inviting you to make your maiden voyage from as little
as £30 a night.

The common preconception of cruises as all bingo halls and disco
balls is also being challenged. Independent companies are offering
boutique boat trips in some truly interesting locations, such as
the Norwegian fjords or Halong Bay in Vietnam. In a world where
it’s increasingly difficult to find truly novel travel experiences,
we’re pretty excited about throwing caution to the wind and
straight into the sails. We’ve rounded up some of the most
interesting boat holidays out there, in the hope that it will whet
your appetite for a bit of sea faring.



Best seen from the water, Norway’s fjords cut through monumental
mountains leaving crashing waterfalls in their wake. This
post-glacial landscape is one of Norway’s best-kept secrets and has
a range of companies competing for your business. The most
no-nonsense way to travel is aboard a Hurtigruten ship where you’ll
benefit from insider local knowledge and experience Norwegian
culture at sea.

River Cruise


Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River conjures up images of Rudyard
Kipling’s Road to Mandalay. A country that is gradually opening up
to tourism, some parts have already become overloaded with
sub-standard guesthouses and large tour groups – dodge the crowds
and get to the heart of the country with a voyage aboard the
Sanctuary Ananda. With trips ranging from three to 11 nights you
can sail from Mandalay to Bagan, taking in the country’s finest
sights while retreating each night to this Burmese-designed
20-cabin boat. It’s not cheap, but if you bear in mind you’re
getting your whole trip in one, it’s not extortionate.

Whitsunday Islands


White dots scattered across an endless expanse of indigo;
Australia’s Whitsunday Islands are the stuff of dreams. Aside from
the pristine beaches, the abundance of wildlife and unrivalled
snorkelling opportunities, the 74 islands are surrounded by the
Great Barrier Reef, making for mirror-still waters. While luxury
hotels abound, the islands are best appreciated by boat – though
backpacker-thronged booze cruises tend to dominate the standard
routes. Escape the crowds and the price tag of chartering your own
boat by booking onto a three-day cruise with Whitsunday Bliss,
where (if you can get over the naff name) you’ll be rewarded with
en-suite rooms, catered meals and a BYO alcohol policy.

Halong Bay


The mythical landscape of Halong Bay makes it well worth the
excursion from Hanoi. Limestone outcrops ascending from gentle
emerald waters provide the backdrop for old-fashioned sailing boats
drifting along in the warm southeast Asian air. Make the most of
your trip and book with the best; Au Co Cruises offer the only
three-day cruise in the region on their generously proportioned
ship housing a dining room, bar, spa and sundeck to ensure you
don’t get cabin fever. As well as revelling in the spectacular
scenery and sunsets, visit a floating village, kayak, go squid
fishing or trek around some of the islands.

Canal Boat


UK canal routes offer up miles of scenic waterways, perfect for
a slow-paced canal boat holiday where you take the time to
appreciate the British countryside and its regional nuances, with
plenty of stops for pub lunches and picnics along the way. With no
experience necessary, just a bit of swatting up on the rules of the
canals, rent your own boat and set off to explore whichever corner
of the country’s 2000-mile network most appeals. High-end rental
companies include Aqua Narrowboats in the Midlands and Breacon Park
Boats in Wales.

Affordable Yacht Charter

While chartering a yacht may sound extortionate, Incrediblue is
billed as the Airbnb of the boating world. Enter your dates,
destination (hello there, Greek islands) and whether you require a
captain (yes please) and a you’ll be presented with a range of
boats to choose from. Book with a group and the cost often works
out cheaper than a hotel, starting from as little as £30 per guest
per night. Factor in an extra bit of cash for fuel, mooring fees
and rum.

And if money really is no object…

Indonesian Luxury

Leading the way in luxury travel once more, Aman have launched
their very own yachts in the Indonesian waters. Explore the
volcanic isles of the Komodo National Park from aboard the
unrivalled splendour of their beautiful double-mast yacht,
Amandira, or Amanikan, their three-cabin cruiser. In true Aman
style, the on-board facilities wow with plush cabins, bars and
sundecks and an impressive staff-to-guest ratio. But be prepared to
jump ship and go on the hunt for a Komodo dragon or try your hand
at a spot of diving.

Private Yacht

If you’re seriously in the money, the ultimate boating holiday
is obviously chartering your own vessel, stocking it with shedloads
of rosé, grabbing your best pals and sailing off into the sunset.
Burgess have a fantastic selection of motor and sailing boats all
around the world and can take care of whatever your heart desires –
a spa, Michelin-starred chef, on-board cinema – so all that’s left
for you to do is re-enact Lonely Island and T-Pain’s “I’m On a
Boat” music video.

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