New canal boats for hire in 2023

Best canal boat holiday circuits and rings

Every year, we commission new boats to add to our fleet, and we like to take into account customer feedback when designing our boats.  This winter we are building three new 60ft Gem Class narrowboats ready for hire this spring, featuring reverse layouts and cruiser sterns.

Our three new boats with cruiser sterns – ‘Onyx’, ‘Garnet’ and ‘Citrine’ – will offer accommodation for up to six people. This style of narrowboat has more of an open feel, ideal for entertaining and summer evenings on the canal.  Semi traditional boats have a more enclosed space at the back.

The boats will have a reverse layout – meaning the galley is at the rear and the main sleeping areas are at the front and middle of the boat. Reverse layouts are handy for the skipper to be passed drinks and snacks from the crew!

The modern galley will include extra features such as a microwave, LED lighting and toasters – perfect for that quick breakfast. The flexible sleeping accommodation will be in two cabins, ranging from two doubles to four singles, with the dinette area which can be converted into a double bed.

Gem Class boats will each have two shower/toilet rooms, full central heating and a larger TV in the lounge area.

‘Onyx’ will be based at Whixall

From 3 April 2023, ‘Onyx’ will be available to hire from our narrowboat hire base at Whixall, on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire.  On a short break from Whixall, you can travel to the historic town of Ellesmere in the heart of the Shropshire Lake District.  On a week’s holiday, you can continue on to Llangollen, crossing the UNESCO World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct along the way.  Or head in the other direction, transferring onto the Shropshire Union Canal to visit Nantwich, Market Drayton or Chester.

‘Garnet’ will be available from Monkton Combe

From 3 April 2023, ‘Garnet’ will be available to hire from our canal boat hire base at Monkton Combe, on the Kennet & Avon Canal near Bath.  On a short break from Monkton Combe, you can travel west to Bath City Centre or east to Devizes, via Bradford on Avon.  On a week’s holiday, you can continue east, travelling up the Caen Hill Flight, then on to Pewsey or Great Bedwyn.

‘Citrine’ will navigate from Oxford

From 27 June 2023, ‘Citrine’ will be available to hire from our base on the River Thames at Oxford.  On a short break from Oxford, you can travel west to Lechlade or east to Wallingford, via Oxford and Abingdon.  On a week’s holiday, you can continue travelling east along the Thames to Henley, or transfer onto the Oxford Canal to travel up to Banbury.


2023 Gem Class prices will start at £865 for a short break, and from £1,200 for a week.

To see the Gem Class boat layout, scroll to boat 20 here

 To check availability, go to

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We offer a range of different types of holidays such as City Breaks, Relaxation Cruises and Popular Destinations

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Over 55 years providing unique canal boat holidays in England and Wales.
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