COVID-19 Statement

Updated: 05/06/2020

All 2020 Bookings

As the travel industry continues to be particularly hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and Government restrictions, especially canal boat holidays which are often run by small independent family businesses such as ourselves we have to had consider carefully how we proceed with the remainder of the 2020 season.

The season for canal boat holidays is not particularly long and runs from March to October, where, in the winter months we invest heavily in maintaining our boats to make sure they’re at the highest standards possible for our customers. Since the lockdown came in to force in March we have had to close our business and cancel all holidays in those affected months which has had a substantial impact on what should be some of the busiest times of the year for us.

Narrowboats are an expensive asset to maintain especially during the winter months. Each year we re-spray all our boats, they are lifted out of the water for the hulls to be inspected and re-blacked. Often new propellers are needed, amongst other engine maintenance from complete overhauls to new central heating plus the vast amount of joinery that is carried out.

With just over 3 months left of the season and consumer confidence remaining understandably low for travel even within the UK, we face ourselves with a difficult decision on how to proceed. The well-being of our customers and staff is the upmost priority for us. With social distancing measures coming into force throughout everyday life and changes to how we interact with each other, it has left a difficult question on how we can safely and socially distance perform a handover on a 6ft wide narrowboat whilst keeping 2 metres apart. 

Considering this and amongst other factors we have made the extremely difficult decision to remain closed for 2020.

The following information applies to Hoseasons customers only:

If you have booked through Hoseasons then please follow their latest advice: https://www.hoseasons.co.uk/covid-19. Drift Away are unable to amend any bookings made through Hoseasons, therefore you will need to contact them directly to discuss your options (including a cash refund) using the following methods:

Please note that Hoseasons are experiencing an extremely high volume of telephone calls and messages. There will most likely be a long hold time for a response.


The following information applies to customers who booked with Drift Away directly:

For the reasons outlined above we have taken the decision to suspend our operations for the remainder of 2020. We will be back in March 2021 to start the new season.

As such all bookings in 2020 have been cancelled. You will have already received an email from us with the various options we can offer you going forward. If you have not yet received this email then please check your ‘Junk/Spam’ folder.

We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls. As such we request all booking amendment or refund requests to be emailed to bookings@driftaway-holidays.co.uk with your Drift Away booking reference and lead contact surname.