Renting a yacht without a captain and crew in Europe is a fairly common type of water recreation.
This holiday can be attributed in part to river cruises with one difference: the cruise route and its pace you choose for yourself.
One of the main advantages of such an adventure:
– You can rent a yacht or houseboat without any special license, international captain rights and any skills of navigation.
The process of obtaining an international license to operate the ICC vessel takes a lot of time and money.
So the opportunity to try yourself as a captain, and companions as a crew without additional courses and paperwork is a good experience and unforgettable impressions.
In which countries do you rent a yacht without special permission
Without a license, you can rent a yacht only within areas without intensive commercial shipping.
As a rule, these are canals and lakes.
The most famous place is France.
In this country, historically, there is a large network of channels that were used to transport goods.
In the 17th century, the Du Midi canal was built, connecting the Atlantic coast of France with the Mediterranean (bypassing Spain and pirates), then canals were built in the Loire Valley, in the northern areas – Alsace, and so on.
With the advent of railways and autobahns, the canals lost their importance of trade routes and now tourists travel on them on leased yachts.
The same channels exist in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Portugal.
And in these countries you can find companies offering vessels for cruises along canals and lakes for rent.
The most famous network companies: LeBoat and Locaboat .
But there are many local firms operating only in this country.
How to find?
Try search google for ‘rent boat without license’ by translating this phrase into Czech (for Czech Republic) or Polish (for Poland).
My experience of renting yachts in Europe:
- in Scotland
- in France
- in Poland
- in Germany
Choosing a yacht for rent
My opinion is that when preparing for an independent cruise on a rented yacht you need to dance from the stove:
– first of all, you should choose the right vessel.
Yachts are offered in various capacities and levels of comfort.
The rental price depends on it:
- the less comfortable the yacht – the cheaper the cost of rent.
- the worse the rental season (by season), the cheaper the rental price.
I do not recommend saving on comfort and hammering a yacht with a capacity of for example 6 people to capacity.
Consider that even good friends in the cramped spaces of the ship can become any enemies after incidents of pushing their foreheads, occupied toilets, different hotelok.
For a comfortable rest it is better to choose a yacht on the principle of “minus 2”: if your company is 4 people, take a 6-seater, for two, take a 4-seater.
Well, I highly do not recommend mixed companies with children – believe that on the second day you will shout because of a conflict of interests.
In contrast, on some routes in special conditions to the rental yacht write the minimum size of the crew on board.
On routes through channels with automatic gateways, safety rules require 3 people on board:
– two fix the ship in the gateway, the third taxis.
This applies to large yachts, in which it is really difficult to go through the gateway together.
I was asked the following questions: do you need to have any skills, experience in managing a yacht?
I will answer all at once: no special skills or experience are needed.
All yachts offered for rent are slow-moving, easily managed and for the safety of yours and those around you are hung with rubber pears and bump stops.
There are no cases of Titanic shipwrecks in the canals of Europe.
It happens that they crash into the airlock, into the shore or into a similar yacht by bow or stern – but such cases are not traumatic, and the vessels themselves are insured
Before giving you a yacht for rent, employees of the company will instruct and show on the water how to operate the yacht.
There is nothing complicated about it.
And after the first time, you will never forget how to knit the ends and moor in the marina.
What is the cruise feature on a rented yacht?
Traveling in a motor home (camper) on the ground and traveling on a yacht by water has one thing in common: I carry everything with me — the hotel, the restaurant, and the vehicle — all in one.
But unlike autotravel, you see the same picture from a different angle.
And in the case of traveling on lakes, such as in Poland , you will visit places where there are no roads.
And what are, for example, trips along the canals of France sitting at a table full of delicacies and wine on the open deck overlooking the ancient cities on both banks of the canal.
Fishing and swimming anywhere in the lake edge of Poland against the backdrop of a pine forest.
The passage of the Caledonian Canal locks in Scotland , collecting hundreds of spectators.
There’s something about it.
Anyone who has ever tried it continues to master new routes and countries.
And there are a lot of them (route countries) – that’s enough for life.