Taking a houseboat adventure abroad is one way to indulge in the richness of other cultures. Imagine the kind of relaxed exploring you can do throughout some of Europe’s most famous destinations while cruising on a houseboat. If this strikes a chord, then you need to look into Le Boat. Le Boat operates the largest fleet network of self-driving cruisers for anyone who wants to vacation on Europe’s waterways. This company offers boats across a wide spectrum of budgets for vacationing across nine European countries and is constantly expanding its network of bases.
Let's start with France.
With 10 destinations available in France, you have a lot to choose from. Down south is the Canal du Midi, Europe’s oldest waterway that reaches from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, to illustrate one possibility. Despite the stylistically unique regions in France, whatever you choose you are sure to encounter gourmet cuisine, fine wine, idyllic countryside, and historically rich sites.
Next up is England.
If England calls your name, now is your chance to glide down the famous River Thames. With scenery unrolling from the green countryside of south England to the Norfolk Broads, a wildlife haven that’s one of England’s most sought-after cruising destinations, you’ll get a front row seat of this country’s charm. Historic towns and village pubs and greens will invite you to experience the epitome of English countryside living.
What about Italy?
Come visit the City of Water in beautiful Italy. Famous for its network of canals, surrounding islands, and classic beaches and countryside, Venice offers wonders from Trieste to the Po Delta. The Friuli region where Trieste lies offers its old traditions, untouched landscape, and quiet lifestyle to all visitors. The Po Delta, a protected nature reserve, waits south of the Venetian lagoon and is a beautiful place for bird-watching. You’ll also see colorful Italian villages all along the way.
Segway into Germany.
The interlocking lakes and rivers of Mecklenburg, Germany, thread together into a crystalline network to cruise. This area shares fame among enthusiasts of boating and watersports to birdwatching and fishing. Lining the waterways are medieval timber-framed villages with the smells of the day’s catch drifting from their traditional smokehouses. Proud castles stand sentinel at Rheinsberg, Schwerin, Furstenberg and Neustrelitz, offering you a glimpse through the ages at the old aristocratic grace that once reigned.
Don't forget Scotland.
The Scottish Highlands, famous for their magnificent hillsides and mountain ranges, pose as an unforgettable backdrop to the Caledonian Canal. Beautifully framed by such natural scenic beauties of Scotland, this canal ranges all the way from the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, to the southern Fort William, opening you up to classic vistas all along the way.
And, of course, Ireland.
This beautiful country, full of intensely green flora, very clear lakes and rivers, and dramatic vistas, offers an unforgettable houseboating experience. With the River Shannon and River Erne surrounded by a network of beautiful loughs, this area is perfect for cruising and offers many exploration opportunities.
Or the beauties of Belgium.
If chocolates, lace, and a break from the city are what you need, Belgium is another top destination for a getaway trip. Quaint Flemish waterways entwine around aged towns and quiet countryside, offering you access to Belgium’s historic landscapes. Don’t forget to indulge in a little chocolate while you’re there.
Can't forget Holland.
Like Venice, boating is a lifestyle in Holland and is arguably the best way to experience this culture. Traditional windmills bead the edges of cruising routes and offer scenic sights while modern marinas offer comforts and facilities to pamper you. The waterways open up the beautiful countryside for exploration.
And, last but not least, Polland.
Poland is another beautiful example of unspoiled nature. With over 2,000 connecting lakes cupped by scenic vistas and historic sites, this country has a lot to offer the cruising houseboater. With delightful local cuisine and many unique views to experience, Poland offers a vacation unlike any other.
Le Boat offers vacation rentals that are completely flexible, whether you need a long stay or a short impromptu visit. Through their extensive network of bases throughout the nine countries above, they also allow you to choose one-way cruising so you can see more of the country without being required to retrace your steps. Their extensive variety of boats offer differing layout options and features depending on what you most want, as well as accomadations for couples, families, or large groups.
One thing Le Boat knows and does a good job of incorporating into their getaway vacations: taking things slow allows you to see more while you're traveling. If you want to experience Europe and the local culture you're visiting, a houseboat is definitely the way to go.
Top photo credited to LeBoat.com.