Captain for a Week: Cruising Along South French Rivers with Le Boat

Why are an increasing number of individuals opting for boating vacations with Le Boat? It’s straightforward: a getaway with Le Boat guarantees an exceptional experience where you abandon the mundane and steer your own path. This boating holiday requires no prior experience or boating license, yet it offers full enjoyment of life on and around the water. We personally selected the Lot to embark on the Le Boat adventure. Dive into Captain Paul’s travel diary here.

After just 10 minutes of test driving, Le Boat employee Viktor declared us ‘ready to go’ because everything went ‘perfectly.’ While I confidently nodded in agreement in my new role as captain, I secretly wondered if I had remembered all the instructions correctly. While I’ve steered a whisper boat in Giethoorn before, handling a ship that can accommodate 10 people seems like a different challenge. Nonetheless, I rallied my four children and partner to load the luggage onto the boat as we were about to depart. It’s either you’re a captain or you’re not.

Fortunately, right after our departure, we received comprehensive instructions at the first of many locks we encountered along the way. Navigating a lock requires a specific approach, as we had seen in one of the many videos Le Boat conveniently emailed us beforehand. My eldest and youngest sailors attentively followed the lock instructions, and after some maneuvering at the helm, I managed to navigate the large boat into the small lock quite easily.

Everything felt new and exciting

Once in the lock, various tasks needed to be performed—closing doors, securing ropes to the shore, lowering or raising the boat, opening other doors, reeling in ropes, and finally ensuring everyone was back on the boat and we carefully exited the lock. My entire crew pitched in to make it all happen smoothly, and with great enthusiasm because we were doing it together. And everything felt new and therefore fun.


After this, our adventure truly began. We navigated the wide and calm Lot River, and I relaxed a bit. Le Boat was right. Steering such a vessel was surprisingly easy. With the helm in my hands, a slight turn to the left, a nudge to the right, enjoying the beautiful surroundings and the lovely weather. My confidence as a captain grew by the minute, and I began to understand why Le Boat lends their beautiful and luxurious ships to inexperienced sailors like us. There was really very little that could go wrong.

We let the boat drift for a swim in the river (after first turning off the engine) and later docked at a quiet spot amidst greenery. After toasting on the deck to this new adventure, having our dinner (the boat has a great kitchen), and playing games, we spent our first night here. Enjoying the view and only the sound of the fish.

In the following days, navigating became easier. Even the kids got to steer the boat occasionally. Docking (reverse parking) also seemed more challenging than it was, but to maintain the crew’s respect, the captain kept that to himself for now.

We docked at beautiful villages (with a special mention for the idyllic Vers) and enjoyed the town of Cahors both on our way there and back. Also, gastronomically, it was a highlight of our cruise. After five days, we returned to Douelle and decided to end our journey at the restaurant Chez Malique. Seated on the terrace in the beautiful garden, we toasted to our new and very successful experience and to smooth sailing ahead.

Le Boat Practicalities.

Le Boat is a company that offers boating holidays, and it can be a fantastic experience to rent a boat and hit the water yourself. Here are some practical tips for booking a boating holiday with Le Boat:

Choosing a destination:

Consider which region or waterway you want to explore. Le Boat has locations in various countries such as France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and more.

Planning your travel time:

Take into account the season and climate of the chosen destination. Some areas are more pleasant to navigate during certain months. In peak season, it’s often busier, so if you prefer quieter waters, consider traveling outside of peak season.

Choosing a boat:

Check out the available boats on Le Boat’s website and select one that suits the size of your group and your budget. Also, consider onboard facilities such as kitchen equipment, bathroom amenities, and sleeping arrangements.

Planning your route:

Plan your itinerary in advance. Think about the sights you want to see and how much time you want to spend onboard. Le Boat often provides route suggestions based on the duration of your holiday and your interests.

Navigating the boat…:

…is a piece of cake. Le Boat provides clear instructions, guidance, and navigation maps for your journey. These maps contain all the information about the route, potential mooring spots, attractions along the way, and more.

Safety onboard:

Take safety instructions seriously. Make sure you’re familiar with the location of life jackets and other safety equipment onboard.

But above all:

Enjoy your unique holiday on the beautiful waterways!

Info: Le Boat

(text: captain Paul)

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