Houseboat: The best tips for vacation with boat

The relaxing vacation on a houseboat is currently fully in the trend and provides with correct planning for an unforgettable experience with all involved ones. Corresponding routes are available in Germany, Holland, Italy and France. As a rule, no boating license is required to navigate the waters, which is why the houseboat becomes a real floating camping experience for couples and/or the whole family. Navigation, organization and locks are a special challenge, so that at this point, one or the other tip might be helpful.

A boat license is not necessary

Spending the night in a place that suits all fellow sailors best and enjoying nature in a completely relaxed way sounds extremely tempting in connection with a houseboat. Houseboats are ideal water vehicles for this purpose, taking the vacation experience to a whole new level and providing plenty of variety. Basically, interested parties can rent these means of transportation without prior knowledge and driving license.

Usually it is not necessary to have a boating license, because the boats are usually equipped with a 15 hp engine. In addition, the providers for such houseboats have deliberately chosen the areas, so that even beginners should have few problems in terms of control and navigation. Not only in Germany, but also in other European countries these regulations apply, whereby a vacation on the water, past French castles or Italian art buildings, does not have to remain by any means for ever a dream.

Important requirements

In order to avoid mistakes in handling the boat, during mooring and docking as well as on the water, a briefing of at least three hours should take place before starting the ship's engines for the first time. Here the new sailors are taught the most important rules and maneuvers in detail. The charter certificate then received is sufficient as proof to be allowed to operate the houseboat. In Germany alone there are more than 700 navigable kilometers in this context.

In order to be able to rent houseboats, the boat must not be longer than 15 meters and have a maximum speed of twelve kilometers per hour. In addition, the number of passengers must not exceed twelve people. If you already have the so-called "Sportbootfuhrerschein binnen", you don't need a special charter certificate for a houseboat.


All captains of a boat are responsible for their maneuvers. The same is true for the lock. At these passage stations it is unnecessary to panic and hastily call for help. As a rule, the respective providers explain the procedures as well as the rules of conduct at a lock in detail and in the same way. In addition, the lock attendants know about the circumstance of inexperienced houseboat drivers and are available at any time with words and deeds. If you still want to avoid the locks, you can inform yourself in advance about routes, which are almost lock-free.

Planning the tours right

Houseboats come in different sizes for couples and families. The choice of models ranges from simple rafts and small boats to a luxury ship with a length of 15 meters and upscale equipment. Depending on the equipment and size chosen, the boat can be 1.000 euros per week for all light sailors. Depending on the group of people, crew members may want to consider a few routers before setting out on the trip, taking into account certain destinations/sights in the process.

Bringing suitcases should be avoided at all costs for reasons of space. In addition, it is recommended to cover no more than 30 to 40 kilometers per day, so that all passengers can enjoy as much relaxation as possible.

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