Why not come and discover the secrets of the canals in the friendly atmosphere of a small, moving hotel, with personal attention, wonderful company and delicious cuisine?
Duke & Duchess operate as a traditional 70-foot narrow-boat 'pair' with the motor (Duke) towing the unpowered 'butty' boat (Duchess).
Although built in traditional style, the boats are modern. They are specially built to provide accommodation which, although compact, is as comfortable as any hotel but with the added bonus of ever changing views from your cabin window!
Whether you are young or not so young, travelling alone, as a couple or with a group of friends, you will find the welcoming atmosphere on board very relaxing. A hotel boat holiday is a perfect stress free break in a unique environment where you can do as much or as little as you like.
You may choose to enjoy the fresh air and the sights of the countryside drifting by. Or you will be welcome to help with the locks, or to learn to steer the boat. You can sketch, photograph or walk the towpath alongside the boat - we only travel at walking pace!
The emphasis on our cruises is relaxation. We want to create for you a quiet calm oasis away from the cares of everyday life. If you wish to have a walk along the towpath (easy as the towpaths are on the whole level and the boats glide along at 3 mph), then that is what you must do. If you feel like lending a hand with the locks so you work up an appetite for lunch or supper-great!
Wind the paddles and send thousands of gallons of water rushing into the lock chambers - very exhilarating! Or simply sit and daydream and watch the ever changing scenery, fascinatingly glide gently by-wonderful!
From March through to November we cruise the delightful scenic inland waterways of England and Wales. These canals link many famous places such as Oxford, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, Chester, and Llangollen, the beautiful Peak District and the spectacular countryside of North Wales. Sit back and relax on the boats as we take you gently through a wonderland of nature and tranquillity.
A typical day starts with tea or coffee brought to your cabin, when we will also take your order for a cooked breakfast - in addition a full range of cereals, juices, tea, coffee, toast, jams and marmalade are served.
We will move off after breakfast, at around 9.30, with morning coffee served as we cruise. We then tie the boats up for lunch to be served at about 12.30.
Our afternoon cruise gets underway sometime later, with afternoon tea again served on the move.
We will moor up for the night at around 5.00, giving you plenty of time to explore the local area before dinner is served at 7.30.
All of these times are of necessity approximate - the canals quickly relax your sense of time. It is our intention that each guest gets the most out of their holiday, so we may delay to let you look round some place of interest. This makes our daily times approximate, but rest assured that we won't miss any meals - and we will reach our destination on time. This is very much a life in the slow lane.
The crew are always grateful for any assistance at the locks, so if you feel like helping you will be most welcome. Even if you are not up to winding the paddles, gate pushers are just as welcome. However, this is your holiday, so if you prefer you can just sit back and relax and watch the fun.
For 2012, we shall be concentrating on getting the most from some established favourite routes, rather than exploring too many new waters.
Such is the popularity of lazily cruising the upper reaches of the River Thames that we shall be making two trips (cruises 2 and 8) starting and ending in Oxford.
We shall visit the newly-reopened Droitwich canals in cruises 13, 14 and 22.
From Bath, we shall be making a leisurely cruise to Bristol and back on the River Avon (cruise 5).
Due to overwhelming demand, we shall also be returning to the Caldon canal (cruise 15) and the ever-popular Llangollen canal (cruises 17 and 18).
Cruise 12 features a canal we have not cruised for a while - the beautiful lock-free Ashby Canal.
Many other firm favourites of our past cruises are contained in the schedule. There will be plenty of aqueducts, tunnels, boat lifts, locks - and above all, unspoilt countryside for those who love these things.