9 new narrowboats for 2019

As part of our preparations for the new boating season, Drifters is adding dozens of new canal boats to its fleets across the network. To celebrate, here’s our Top 9 new narrowboats for 2019:

  1. ‘Gemini’ gets going at Whixall – from 5 April 2019 the new luxury 69ft narrowboat ‘Gemini’, with accommodation for up to 10 people, will be available to hire from Drifters’ new narrowboat hire base at Whixall, on the Prees Branch of the Llangollen Canal in Shropshire.  ‘Gemini’ will offer canal boat holiday-makers a semi-traditional stern, a spacious shower, two toilets, full central heating, a well-equipped galley and flexible accommodation in five cabins, ranging from five doubles to two doubles and six singles.  From Whixall it takes just 30 minutes to reach the main line of the Llangollen Canal, where on a short break, boaters can reach Chirk, with its magnificent aqueduct, 459-yard tunnel and choice of canalside pubs.  On a week’s holiday from Whixall, boaters can cruise on to the Eisteddfod town of Llangollen, travelling across the incredible Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which this year celebrates 10 years of World Heritage Status.  2019 prices for ‘Gemini’ start at £825 for a short break (three or four nights), £1,175 for a week.  Diesel is extra – a £50 deposit is taken for short breaks (three or four nights), £90 for a week. Charge based on use, circa £10-15 per day.  Second pet is charged at £25 for a short break, £35 for a week.
  2. ‘Purbeck’ is the new pride of the Braunston fleet – available from 31 March 2019, the new 48ft narrowboat for two people, ‘Purbeck’, based at Drifters canal boat hire base on the Grand Union Canal in Braunston, Northamptonshire, is fitted to a high standard and designed to be a couple’s perfect romantic escape boat. The spacious saloon area features comfortable armchairs, the large ensuite shower room comes complete with toiletries, and the shiny new galley has granite worktops and everything needed for self-catering. WiFi, TV, DVD player, Radio and CD player, hairdryer and USB/phone charging points are all provided.  On a week’s holiday from Braunston, boaters can cruise to Snarestone and back, travelling a total of 95 miles, through eight locks in around 40 hours. As well as sections of the Grand Union, North Oxford and Coventry canals, the route includes the peaceful lock-free Ashby Canal and the Battle of Bosworth Heritage Centre & Country Park at Sutton Cheney.  2019 prices for a week on ‘Purbeck’ start at £820. Price includes diesel, gas, damage waiver, cancellation protection, parking, buoyancy aids, tuition and first pet. Second pet is charged at £25.
  3. ‘Poppy’ pops in at Wootton Wawen – from 15 April, the new luxury narrowboat for four people ‘Poppy’ will be available to hire from Drifters’ canal boat rental base at Wootton Wawen, on the Stratford Canal near Henley-in-Arden in Warwickshire.  This 66ft long semi-traditional stern narrowboat offers heritage features, including a Belfast sink, port holes and a fuel stove in the saloon.  As well as full radiator central heating, WiFi, and a large TV, ‘Poppy’ also provides extra facilities, such as two showers and two toilets, two double beds (one of which can be made into twin beds) in separate cabins and LED lighting.  On a short break from Wootton Wawen, narrowboat holiday-makers can travel to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon and back.  On a week’s holiday, boaters can reach historic Warwick or Birmingham City Centre.  2019 prices for ‘Poppy‘start at £740 for short break, £1,060 for a week.  Diesel is extra – a £50 deposit is taken for short breaks (three or four nights), £90 for a week. .  Charge based on use, circa £10-15 per day.  Second pet is charged at £25 for a short break, £35 for a week.
  4. ‘York’ is the new star in Yorkshire – perfect for families or two couples, the 54ft narrowboat or up to six people ‘York’ is now available to hire from Drifters canal boat holiday base at Sowerby Bridge, at the junction of the Rochdale Canal and Calder & Hebble Navigation in West Yorkshire.  ‘York’ has a flexible layout with two cabins which can either be doubles or singles, plus an area of the saloon which can be converted into two singles or one double.  ‘York’ is equipped with all mod cons, including a mains hair dryer, central heating, TV/DVD player, radio CD, bathroom with corner shower toilet, basin and a radiator and a fully equipped galley kitchen. On a short break from Sowerby Bridge, canal boat holiday-makers can travel along the Rochdale Canal to Hebden Bridge and back, a journey which takes around 11 hours, passing through 20 locks (10 on the way, 10 on the way back) and travelling 14 miles.  The old mill town of Hebden Bridge is nestled in a fork in the hills, and has a series of scenic waymarked walks to enjoy and an amazing variety of shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs.  Along the way, boaters pass through the beautiful Calder Valley village of Mytholmroyd, the birthplace of Ted Hughes.  On a week’s holiday, boaters can travel on to Wakefield to visit the waterside Hepworth Wakefield Art Gallery, displaying an extensive collection of modern and contemporary British art.   2019 prices for ‘York’ start at £600 for a short break (three or four nights), £1,000 for a week. Price includes damage waiver, diesel, parking, bed linen, life jackets, cruising guide, first pet and tuition.  Second pet is £25 by prior arrangement.
  5. ‘Sagittarius’ begins cruising in Bath – from 25 May, the new luxury 69ft luxury narrowboat for up to 10 people ‘Sagittarius’ will be available to hire from Drifters canal boat hire base on the Kennet & Avon Canal at Bath.  ‘Sagittarius’ has a semi traditional stern, a spacious shower, two toilets, full central heating, well-equipped galley and flexible accommodation in five cabins, ranging from five doubles to two doubles and six singles.  From Sydney Wharf in Bath, it takes around 10 hours to reach Fox Hanger Wharf at the base of the Caen Hill Flight of locks, perfect for a short break.  On a week’s holiday, boaters can travel on through the beautiful Vale of Pewsey to Pewsey Wharf and back.  2019 prices for ‘Sagittarius’ start at £825 for a short break, £1,175 for a week.  Diesel is extra – a £50 deposit is taken for short breaks (three or four nights), £90 for a week. Charge based on use, circa £10-15 per day.  Second pet is charged at £25 for a short break, £35 for a week.
  6. ‘Aurora’ arrives at Napton – with 6ft inches of headroom, and providing accommodation for up to eight adults and two children, the new 70ft narrowboat Aurora is now available to hire from Drifters’ narrowboat base at Napton Marina, on the Oxford Canal in Warwickshire.  ‘Aurora’ has four cabins, two of which have king sized beds, another cabin which can either be a double or two singles, a cabin with two single beds and a convertible double bed in the saloon.  She also has two bathrooms with fresh water flush toilets, radiator central heating and a fully equipped galley kitchen with a microwave, toaster, coffee maker, oven and hob, plus WiFi and an entertainment unit in the saloon with LCD TV, CD/DVD/MP3 Player.  On a short break from Napton, boaters can travel along the Oxford Canal to Rugby and back, passing through a series of pretty canalside villages with traditional pubs along the way.  On a week’s break, boaters can travel on to Coventry to visit the City’s famous cathedral, home to the World’s largest tapestry, Graham Sutherland’s ‘Christ in Glory’. 2019 prices for ‘Aurora’ start at £895 for a short break (three or four nights), and £1,295 for a week.  Price includes VAT, cancellation protection, gas, diesel, bedlinen, car parking, life jackets, tuition and inventory.  A compulsory non-refundable damage waiver of £55 is extra, and pets are charged at £35 each. 
  7. The ‘Bar Tailed Lark’ launches at Anderton – the new 66ft narrowboat for up to six people ‘Bar Tailed Lark’ is available to hire from Drifters’ canal boat base at Anderton in Cheshire, at the junction of the River Weaver and the Trent & Mersey Canal.  ‘Bar Tailed Lark’ offers flexible accommodation in two cabins, which can either be doubles or singles, and the option of a dinette double in the saloon.  The Lark features LED lighting, a TV in both a bedroom and in the saloon, two showers, a fully equipped kitchen and front deck table.  On a short break from Anderton, boaters can travel along the picturesque River Weaver to the pretty Cheshire village of Lymm and back, cruising for a total of 35 miles, and passing through two locks (one of the way and one on the way back) in around 13 hours. Along the way, canal boat holiday-makers pass by a series of canalside pubs and enjoy stunning views of the Pennines in the distance.  On a week’s holiday from Anderton, boaters can travel on to the ancient City of Chester. 2019 prices aboard ‘Bar Tailed Lark’ start at £779 for a short break (three or four nights), or £1,199 for a week. Prices include damage waiver, gas, parking, tuition on arrival, towels, bedding and first pet.  Fuel is extra and a £50 fuel deposit is taken for a short break, £90 for a week.  Charges are based on use, circa £10-15 per day.  Additional pets are charged at £30 each.
  8. The ‘Willow Warbler’ arrives at Worcester – the spacious new 69ft narrowboat for up to eight people ‘Willow Warbler’ is available to hire from Drifters’ canal boat hire base on the River Severn at Worcester.  ‘Willow Warbler’ has three flexible cabins which can be made up as doubles or singles, plus a convertible dinette double in the saloon.  The Warbler features LED lighting, a TV in both a bedroom and in the saloon, two showers, a fully equipped kitchen and front deck table.  On a four night short break from Worcester, canal boat holiday-makers can tackle the Droitwich Ring, travelling 21 miles through the beautiful Worcestershire countryside, and passing through 33 locks in around 16 hours.  On a week’s break from Worcester, boaters can travel around the 79-mile long Stourport Ring, which takes in sections of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, Worcester & Birmingham Canal Navigation, the River Severn, Birmingham Canal Main Line and Stourbridge canals.  2019 prices aboard the ‘Willow Warbler’ start at £999 for a short break (three or four nights), and £1,399 for a week.  Prices include damage waiver, gas, parking, tuition on arrival, towels, bedding and first pet.  Fuel is extra and a £50 fuel deposit is taken for a short break, £90 for a week.  Charges are based on use, circa £10-15 per day.  Additional pets are charged at £30 each.
  9. The ‘Bays Wren’ moves in at Falkirk – the new 47ft narrowboat for up to four people, ‘Bays Wren’ has one flexible cabin which can be made up as either a double or single, plus the option of a dinette double in the saloon.  The Wren features LED lighting, a TV in both the bedroom and in the saloon, a shower room and toilet, a fully equipped kitchen and front deck table.  On a four night mid-week break from Drifters’ base at Falkirk, Edinburgh Quay is a sedate 11-hour journey along the lock-free Union Canal.  The journey starts with a trip through the iconic Falkirk Wheel (the world’s first rotating boat lift) and then passes through the lovely lowland villages of Linlithgow, Broxburn and Ratho.  Visitor moorings are available at Edinburgh Quay, just a five-minute walk from Princes Street and many of the City’s attractions. On a week’s break, boaters can also travel along the Forth & Clyde Canal to Glasgow, passing the colossal 30 metre high Kelpie horse statutes along the way.  2019 prices aboard the ‘Bays Wren’ start at £519 for a short break (three or four nights), and £799 for a week.  Prices include damage waiver, gas, parking, tuition on arrival, towels, bedding and first pet.  Fuel is extra and a £50 fuel deposit is taken for a short break, £90 for a week.  Charges are based on use, circa £10-15 per day.  Additional pets are charged at £30 each and an additional licence is required at Falkirk, charged at £15 for three nights, or £25 for longer, payable by cash or card on arrival.