Costs and Booking - For 3 to 10 day Charters:As a private charter operation, the number of days guests are with us varies. For 3 - 10 day charters, we therefore keep the calculation of the tariff simple and use 'daily rates', no matter what the time of year. If there are two of you sharing our double bedded guest cabin, the current inclusive tariff is £110 per person per day. For a single person, exclusively occupying the double guest cabin, the current inclusive tariff is £150 per day. In both cases the tariff is fully inclusive of all meals and ordinary cruise costs (but excludes any 3rd party costs/admission fees etc). So, for a 3-10 day charter, the inclusive cost per person is simply the number of full days multiplied by either either £110 or £150. The tariffs for any particular booked cruise remain set to the rate agreed at the time of booking, even if our prices subsequently increase.
Remember that for these 3-10 day cruises our daily rate is for each full 24 hrs period (not just 'so many nights'), so please do compare rates 'like for like'. Typically a 7 day cruise might be from 4pm on the Saturday to 4pm the following Saturday - that's chargeable for only 7 full days even although it actually covers 8 different dates. Rates per person are for full-board. For non UK residents who may not be familiar with the term, 'full board' means inclusive of all meals and accommodation (not just 'B&B'). For the 2015 season we continue our policy of providing a complimentary glass of 'house wine' (or should that be 'boat wine), with the evening meal. Guests are responsible for paying for any outside attractions or visits, whilst with us; and any transfer costs to and from Willow (but we make no charge for picking guests up from the local station using our own vehicle).
Please remember that most canal cruising operators add the cost of fuel and gas etc to the cost of the cruise - we make no such charge - what we quote is what we charge. There are no hidden extras.
To make an enquiry, contact us by email via our 'contact' web page to discuss your requirements. Alternatively you may wish to telephone us between 9.30am and 9.30pm (UK time) on any day of the week. Whether by email or phone we can then discuss your requirements and cruise itinerary options etc. It is common for a number of 'discussion emails' to pass, backwards and forwards. During this stage you are under no obligation, merely enquiring - please be assured there will be no 'hard sell'. Even once a specific cruise is booked, we welcome clients to enquire/discuss the detail of the booked cruise. We will do our best to comply with any further requests.
If you require a special diet (perhaps having dietary intolerances), please read our page on special diets, before booking. For those who might be described as having a particularly 'larger than normal' body frame - please be sure to read our page narrow interior(remember Willow is a 'narrowboat'). If you have any doubts about the suitability of Willow's interior dimensions, or suitability of our furnishings, please do discuss the issues with us during this enquiry stage and before moving to the stage of fully booking your cruise.
The Booking Stage:Provisional Booking: Following on from the enquiry stage, and should you wish to go ahead with the booking, we can proceed to an offered 'Provisional Booking'. On request, we send you our 'Provisional Booking' document (emailed attachment in pdf format) which details the discussed cruise description, total tariff, and booking deposit requirements, etc. It is our formal offer for your requested booking. At this stage your booking is still only 'Provisional'.
Confirmed Booking: The 'Provisional Booking' document invites you to confirm your booking with us by payment of our standard booking deposit (£250). The booking moves from 'Provisional' to 'Confirmed' status on our receipt of that booking deposit. The balance of the tariff becomes due and payable no later than 70 days (10 weeks) before the start of the cruise. We send a receipt/confirmation document, updating your record of payment etc, on receipt of all payments.
On confirmation (receipt of booking deposit), we send a receipt for the deposit and confirmation of the booking; ‘joining instructions’; and a questionnaire asking about dietary issues/dislikes etc.
We ask that all clients confirm that they have read and accept our booking conditions - confirmed by specific confirmation within the emailed questionnaire.
Holiday/Travel Insurance: In keeping with the norms of our industry, once the booking deposit is received and the booking moves to 'confirmed' status, a contract has been formed. We, therefore, strongly recommend that you provide yourself with suitable holiday/travel cancellation insurance. Our experience is that clients can normally arrange their own cancellation insurance more cheaply than us providing 'free' cover (it's never really free, just hidden) - but if you live in the UK we may be able to help you source suitable cover.
Making Payments:UK Based Clients: We specify our bank details within the 'Provisional Booking' document. These details enable UK clients to easily send payments using Internet Banking; or (using the same details) clients can make payment using a 'Chip & Pin' card over the counter at any branch of the NatWest or RBS bank. This newly introduced chip and pin 'faster payment' method is available to anyone who has a bank debit card. Either of these two methods are free UK bank services attracting no bank charges.
We can, on request, send clients a paypal e-invoice to enable you to easily make secure payment by credit/debit card. For hotel boat cruises (3-10days duration), we absorb the paypal fees for booking deposit payments up to £250 but if paying sums exceeding £250 we reserve the right to add, in advance, the paypal fee to your total tariff (we would advise beforehand how much that charge would be).
Clients from Overseas: Overseas clients may send funds using Electronic Bank Transfer (also known as 'International Money Transfers' or 'Telegraphic Transfers'). This is a trusted and traceable method for both parties. It may take a few days for the funds to arrive - but we really aren't in that much of a rush. In our experience it's also the most cost effective method for clients paying larger sums as the fees are standard, non percentile amounts, no matter what the value of the payment. All payments from overseas must be calculated to be the correct tariff value in pounds sterling - to arrive in our account at that net value. All necessary International Banking Codes and Account details are contained within the 'Provisional Booking' document. It helps us if you send a brief email confirming when you have sent the payment - allowing us to closely monitor our account for the arrival of your funds.
For standard booking deposit payments of £250 we can send you a paypal e-invoice to enable you to pay by credit/debit card (whereby we will absorb the paypal fees). But if using Paypal to pay sums exceeding £250 we reserve the right to add, in advance, the paypal fee to your total tariff. On international payments (over £250) this added fee will be about 4% of the proposed payment. It may well be worth asking at your bank about how much they will charge as a standard fee for transferring the funds (it seems to differ from Bank to Bank and country to country). Armed with that information, we can then discuss which method is likely to have the lesser fees. We do understand that nobody likes paying bank fees.
NOTE: For your security and peace of mind, we comply with the EC Package Travel Directive, whereby advance payments received are held in a special bank account until the date of the cruise. This is a European Community Directive to safeguard against possible client losses through possible insolvency of the holiday provider.