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Hausboote in einem Kanal in Hamburg, Bild: Laiotz / shutterstock

Out and about with the houseboat – holidays on the water

Are you longing for the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure? Then a holiday on a houseboat is the right thing for you: enjoy the sun on deck while you sail through idyllic river and lake landscapes. You are completely free to design your trip: Whether you want to relax in the sun, swim in a secluded bay, do water sports, fish, or prefer to visit cities is entirely up to you. As you explore the rivers, lakes, and canals on your route, you don’t have to sacrifice the comforts of home. Renting a houseboat is not only incredibly diverse, but also easier than you might think. Create unforgettable memories!

No driver’s license? No problem!

Most houseboats can now be rented without hesitation without prior knowledge or experience. The regulations vary depending on the area and region, but many of the most beautiful houseboat areas can already be navigated with a charter license. For the license, only about three hours of instruction on the steering of the boat is required and it is valid for the entire rental period. This briefing is usually carried out directly by the boat owner for a small extra charge. You go through theory and practice together – and you’re ready to go! Take this opportunity to inquire with your landlord about the locks and lock opening hours in your holiday area.

There are many good reasons to rent a houseboat

Houseboat in Amsterdam
Houseboat in Amsterdam, Image: Kite_rin / shutterstock

Renting a houseboat is becoming more and more popular, and not without reason: In addition to being close to the water, you have the luxury of having comfortable accommodation with your means of transport on a houseboat! Discover the most beautiful places and enjoy the amenities of your floating apartment. You don’t have to back down: Most houseboats today are modernly furnished and equipped with everything you could wish for. They usually have a kitchen, bathroom, living room and sleeping area and are large enough for families or groups of friends with a capacity of up to 12 sleeping places.

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Independence and flexibility are a big bonus of the houseboat. As your own captain, you’ll enjoy the freedom to customize your vacation as you see fit. Whether you anchor in secluded bays or busy harbours is entirely up to you. Take the opportunity to go swimming whenever you feel like it and then dry off on the deck in the sun. Bathing fun for young and old is guaranteed!

When you holiday on a houseboat, you may be staying on the water, but you can go ashore whenever you want for walks and explore the places along the way. Discover not only picturesque lakes and river landscapes on your houseboat adventure, but also culture, history and culinary delights on land!

Where can you go? The most popular houseboat destinations

There are many dream destinations that are made to be explored by houseboat. The most popular houseboat areas are even nearby!

Holidays at home have become increasingly popular not only since the Corona pandemic. With over 1000 lakes and numerous waterways, Germany is the perfect destination for a boating holiday. The most famous houseboat regions are in the northeast, where an almost endless river and lake landscape awaits you. One of the most popular destinations is certainly the Mecklenburg Lake District. The entire area can be navigated without a licence and is extremely beginner-friendly due to the few locks. The Müritz, an inland lake in the heart of the Great Lake District, is particularly appreciated by recreational captains. The Berlin and Brandenburg waters can also be navigated by houseboat. However, a boat license is required for a boat tour through Berlin’s city center along historic places such as the Reichstag and Museum Island. The numerous tributaries of the Havel offer an endless selection of routes and anchoring opportunities, even for beginners. The river is connected to numerous bathing lakes and the towns on its banks provide a beautiful panorama along the route.

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With its numerous waterways, rivers, canals and sea, the Netherlands is also one of the most beautiful destinations for a houseboat charter. The Dutch metropolis of Amsterdam is particularly beautiful from the water. What better way to explore the “Venice of the North” than on a trip through the typical canals. They stretch all over the city and take you past important landmarks. Friesland in the north of the country is also known for its enchanting water landscapes. It is particularly suitable for family trips by boat. In South Holland you sail past typical windmills and blooming tulip fields – a ride through a picture-book panorama!

France is considered the country of water tourism par excellence: countless waterways run through the entire country and connect the various waters of the regions with each other. One of the most popular areas for new houseboat captains is the Canal du Midi in the south of the country. Past the picturesque southern French city of Toulouse , it reaches into the Mediterranean. A tour on the Nantes-Brest Canal takes you across Brittany in northwestern France. Experience breathtaking natural landscapes and discover the traditional history and culture of the “Grande Nation” from the water!