Cheryl Howes of Kate Boats with the latest news from Drifters – a consortium of independent self-drive hire boat companies set up to promote enjoyment of canal holidays.
AS THE main boating season draws to a close, we can reflect back on probably the busiest season for the hire boat industry ever! We missed the first six weeks of the season, including Easter, but since then Drifters operators have between them welcomed thousands of people to their boatyards.
Many of those who holidayed with us this year have enjoyed rediscovering the beauty of their own country, after travelling overseas for their main holiday for many years. And we’ve welcomed many newcomers to the waterways – some of whom are coming back to us again next year.
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Bookings for next year are sitting at double the level they were at this point in 2019, but some of these are customers who had their 2020 and/or 2021 bookings cancelled.
Here at Kate Boats, we are into winter cruising time now. We reduce our boats available for booking and offer a minimum of one week bookings. In winter our holidays continue to offer the chance to escape from everyday worries, and to step back in time to a quieter and slower pace of life.
Throughout the pandemic, more people have discovered the waterways as a place for exercise, nature and wellbeing, especially in urban areas. This is a good for everyone who loves canals and rivers. The more people who value our waterways, the more the Canal & River Trust can attract funding, volunteers and friends.
I’m confident that the vast majority of the people who have discovered the waterways during this difficult time, whether it’s by foot, bike or boat, will be back for more!
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