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River Boat Paddle


Do I need a Narrowboat license to operate the boat?

No you don’t, Cambridge Narrowboats own the appropriate boat license's that are needed.

Is the boat easy to operate?

Our boat is straightforward to steer and very easy to operate. During the boat handling lesson we will set off together and show you how to moor up (including showing you what knots to use to tie up) and turn the boat around. We will also go through what daily checks you need to make. We will ensure you feel ready to go off on your own.

What support do you offer?

When our boats are on hire we are on-call so you can get in touch by telephone if you need to at any time. We can either talk you through fixing a problem (if there is one) on the phone, or we will come to you. We will always do everything we possibly can to fix any problems and ensure your holiday goes smoothly.

Do I need insurance?

The boat and contents belonging to The Company are insured. We do NOT provide personal holiday insurance covering cancellation, injury, or loss or damage of personal effects. We strongly recommend that you obtain your own personal holiday and cancellation insurance. Please take a look at our Hire Terms & Conditions.

How does the pricing work?

The price you see is the total hire charge and includes bedding, towels, diesel and gas. We require a security deposit of £150 which will be refunded in full as long as there is no loss or damage to the boat and contents. 

How will I know where I can moor the boat?

We will advise you on where you can and cannot moor the boat, there are detailed river maps on board. Please be aware that central Cambridge can be busy & we can not guarantee a spot.

Is it safe to moor up at night by the canal towpath?

There should be no problem mooring up overnight, in fact mooring for the night in the middle of nowhere is one of the joys of narrowboating! We will give you full details of where you can moor on your chosen route.

Will it be cold on the boat if we hire in the winter?

We have full central heating with 3 double radiators plus a wood burning stove and we will start you off with 1 bag of logs & firelighters. We provide 13.5 tog feather duvets in winter and 10.5 tog in the warmer months, Many people live on their narrowboat all year and with the way we equip our boats we make it possible for you to hire all year and keep cosy and warm. Rest assured you will be snug as a bug even in the depths of winter.

Is it easy to navigate a narrowboat on the rivers and canals?

It is difficult to get lost on the rivers and canals if you have a map and you take note of where you are. We will supply you with the maps which make it clear and easy to locate pubs, bridges and water filling points. If you would like help with pre-hire route planning let us know.

What length of trip do you offer? 

We offer a minimum of 4 days hire, we do not hire for parties or tours, please enquire for longer stays.

Is it suitable for wheelchair access?

Due to the design of the boat they are not suitable for people who will need to use a wheelchair to enter and use inside the boat. The boat has some scope for people who have limited physical ability - please feel free to get in touch if you would like to discuss whether the boat may be suitable for you or anyone in your party.

How far can we go in week or longer?

Please get in touch with us if you want some advice before you decide to book, also have a look at our suggested routes.

What if I don’t want to go through any locks?

On the Ely and the Fens route, there are 2 locks just after Cambridge which are automated and very easy to use. However, if you want, we can take you through these on your outward journey & meet you on your return, please just let us know prior to your trip

How will I know what to bring?

We provide all the basic things such as bedding and linen, towels, cooking and eating utensils, toilet paper and boat cleaning things. When you have made a booking we will give you some more information about recommended things to bring. 

Can I bring my pet?

Yes, house-trained pets are welcome for an extra charge of £45 per pet (2 pets maximum) a £100 damage deposit  is also added your final bill, but this will be refundable on return of the boat in a reasonably clean and tidy condition. They must not go on the furniture and must have their own bedding, food & water bowls. Pets must not be left alone inside the boat and must not be allowed onto the roof. 

Can I bring my bike

Sorry we do not have space for bikes but you can hire bikes and scooters in Cambridge and Ely for the day

Where can I park my car?

You are welcome to leave your car in the car park or on our driveway which is 5-10 minutes from the boat and we will chauffeur you to the boat or organise a taxi.  The car and it’s contents are left at your own risk.


What are the Toilets Like?

Mew Moon is equipped with a fresh water flushing toilet designed to need emptying only once a week with average use. Should the toilet tank need emptying during the holiday it is a chargeable service that is provided by most boatyards. Having been emptied during the turnaround, the toilet should be entirely trouble free providing it is used correctly. Only human waste and toilet paper should go down the toilet.

Any other items (including sanitary articles, nappies, wet wipes, kitchen towels and quilted toilet paper) should not be flushed down the toilet, but placed in the bags provided to hygienically transfer these items to a suitable bin.

Please note that only 2 ply toilet paper should be used on board. 

Do you offer anything else which might tempt me to book your boats?

Of course, many things, for example we mainly use and provide eco friendly cleaning products and we provide recycled toilet paper and don't forget the log burner and the bed that extends to the full width of the boat!. We genuinely love making the boat as comfortable and sparkling as possible. We definitely get a kick out of teaching complete novices how to handle a boat and then seeing their happy, relaxed (and sometimes 'sad to leave') faces as they return back to base after a great holiday.

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