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Terms & Conditions

Booking Conditions

Please read these Booking Conditions carefully. The ‘Company’, ‘we’ or ‘us’ referred to henceforth is Cruise England Ltd t/a White Horse Boats. Bookings may be made via Agents e.g. Waterways Holidays - but in all cases final ownership of the booking rests with the Company. References to “you” or “your” are references to the person making the booking and all members of the holiday party. ‘Holiday’ also includes any dayhire booking. So that you understand the basis of the contract between you and the Company when you book your accommodation we have laid out, as clearly as possible, the conditions on which your booking is made. Nothing in these conditions affects your normal statutory rights as a consumer.

1. Your booking
You and at least one other person, who shall be with the boat when underway at all times, must be 18 years or over when you book your accommodation. Your booking is made exclusively as a consumer and you acknowledge that no liability can be accepted for any business losses howsoever suffered or incurred by you. On making your booking you enter into an exclusive contract with the Company which is subject to these booking conditions. For online bookings an Acknowledgement of Booking shall be emailed to you directly BUT your booking is not confirmed until a Confirmation of Booking is emailed to you (usually within 2 working days of your placing your booking). We have the right to refuse any booking prior to the issue of our Confirmation of Booking – especially in the event of a substantial pricing error - and if we do this we will email you and promptly refund any money you have paid us. When your Confirmation is received the details must be checked carefully. If anything is not correct you should email us immediately. If you book through an agent your confirmation and all other documents may be sent to/via them.

2. Paying for your holiday
When you book your accommodation you should pay the amount then due by debit/ credit card, or BACS. Cheques are not accepted. The balance due must be received by the Company no later than 8 weeks before your arrival date. However, if you book less than 8 weeks before the arrival date, payment of the total cost is due straightaway. All prices quoted on the website or otherwise advised to you include all booking fees, charges, and, where applicable, Value Added Tax (at 12.5%) and Insurance Premium Tax. Should VAT or IPT rates increase, or any government bodies introduce additional taxes or levies, which affect the price of your holiday, we reserve the right to pass on any increases.  For dayhire (only) we do not accept cards to pay your £200 security deposit. If your payment is returned to us as unpaid by your bank, we reserve the right to make an administration charge of £25. Please refer to Clause 6 (b) for details regarding cancellations.

3. Cancellations or changes to your reservation by us
We would not expect to have to make any changes to your reservation, but sometimes problems occur and we do have to make alterations. If this does happen, we will contact you as soon as reasonably practical, explain what has happened and inform you of the cancellation or the change. If we have to make a material change (and the change is not acceptable to you) or if we have to cancel your original reservation, we will, if possible and as soon as reasonably practical, arrange alternative accommodation which is at least of the same standard in as near to a similar location for the same or similar time of year (though we reserve the right to charge you any difference in price if the alternative is advertised at a higher price than the original accommodation). If the change or the alternative accommodation is not acceptable you must inform us within 24 hours of you being advised of the change or proposed alternative accommodation. A change from one type of boat to another with the same or more berths and comparable facilities does not constitute a material change. Where we are unable to offer any alternative accommodation, we shall offer a full and prompt refund of all monies paid but no further refunds or consequential compensation will be due BUT the Company shall not be liable for changes, cancellations, or any refunds affecting your holiday that are due to any event(s) beyond our control e.g. navigational restriction or closure, government restriction or Order, pandemics.

4. Accommodation Details and Descriptions
The Company aims to ensure that the information provided is accurately conveyed in any brochure or website, or as otherwise advertised by us. There may be small differences between the actual accommodation and its description, as we are always seeking to improve services and facilities. Occasionally, problems mean that some facilities or services become unavailable, and if this is the case we will tell you as soon as reasonably practical after we have been made aware of the situation. The Company cannot accept any liability for any errors or omissions in publicity materials, including our website, if they are not notified to us before or at the time of booking. Your holiday booking is accepted, exclusively, subject to the Booking Conditions prevailing on the date of your booking as advertised on our website.

5. Death, personal injury or loss of property
We shall have no liability to you for the death or personal injury to you or any member of your party, unless this results from the act or omission of the Company. You must take all necessary steps to safeguard your personal property. No liability to you is accepted in respect of damage to or loss of such property except where the damage or loss is caused by our negligence.

6. If you change or cancel your reservation.
For dayhire bookings no cancellation refund shall be given unless as a result of a medically certificated condition affecting the Hirer or a direct relative e.g. Father, Brother, Son, Mother, Sister, Daughter and with a minimum of 7 days’ notice. Friends and colleagues are not covered in this Condition i.e cancellation will result in a refund.
For holiday bookings of 3 nights or more:

-a) Changes

If you want us to change your reservation once we have issued your confirmation an administration fee of £25 for each change will be payable to us together with any costs incurred by ourselves or any other supplier once any change has been made. Changes from one boat to another within the fleet may be possible. It is, however, important to realise that we may have to treat requests for changes of accommodation or dates as the cancellation of one reservation and the booking of another. In such cases cancellation charges may be incurred. We will advise you if this is the case and you must then inform us within 48 hours whether you wish to continue with the original reservation or if you still wish to change your booking. If you advise us that you do not wish to continue with your original booking arrangements or fail to contact us within the 48 hours we shall treat your original booking as being cancelled by you.

b) Cancellations and curtailment
Should you have to cancel your chosen holiday you must email the Company as soon as the reason for cancellation occurs. Your notice of cancellation will only be effective when we receive your email. As we incur costs from the time we confirm your booking the following cancellation charges will be payable unless the reason for cancellation is that of death, illness, or serious injury, of the person booking the boat(s) or a close relative (mother, father, legal/civil partner, brother, sister, daughter, son).  Friends or distant relatives are not included as a reason for cancellation. The cancellation charge is a percentage of the total cost payable excluding any cancellation administration fees.

The following charges will apply:
Number of days Cancellation charges before arrival date that notification of cancellation is received:-
More than 56 days - Full Deposit i.e your deposit is not refunded
29-56 days - 50% of hire cost i.e. you receive a 50% refund, less £25 cancellation fee
15-28 days - 75% of hire cost i.e. you receive a 25% refund, less £25 cancellation fee
1-14 days - 90% of hire cost i.e you receive a 10% refund, less £25 cancellation fee
On arrival date or later - full hire cost i.e. your hire fee is not refunded

If any payment due in relation to the reservation is not paid by the appropriate date we can treat your reservation as cancelled by you and charge you cancellation charges as set out above which can be as high as the total cost of the reservation. We send you a reminder either by phone or email before we cancel your reservation although we may charge you £10 for each reminder sent.

c) Travel Restrictions.
The Company shall not be liable for any travel restrictions or changes to your travel plans which may prevent your booked arrival to the boat on the day. Should HM Government travel restrictions be imposed or experienced between you making the booking and your arriving to the boat which prevent your arrival to the boat on the date of hire commencing­ no refunds shall be given: however a transfer of the booking will be available at no extra cost other than where the re-booked date has a higher hire fee advertised.

7. Arrival, Accommodation, Handover of the Boat(s), and ReturnUnless otherwise stated the time for boarding your boat, for dayhire is 09.30 only, and for holidays it is between 14.00 and 16.00 on the arrival date. ‘Arrival’ is taken to mean the entire party due to join the boat that date, at that location. Arrival after 10.00 for dayhire and 17.00 for holidays will not be accepted (see ‘d’ below).

(a) In the event of mechanical failure the right is reserved to delay departure until a repair is effected.

(b) In the event of navigational problems (see also Clauses 3 & 13) we reserve the right to delay your departure, although where possible we will use all reasonable endeavors to allow you to board your boat.

(c) On arrival you must report to us at Devizes Wharf, adjacent to the Wharf Theatre. We will escort you onto your boat to allow you to load your belongings. When you have indicated your readiness, we will give you a demonstration and explain the controls of the boat and its equipment, complying fully with the requirements of the Hireboat Handover Code. You must notify Us of any faults identified either before setting off, or if they occur whilst cruising as soon as they occur, so that they can be rectified.    

(d) If your arrival at Devizes Wharf will be delayed beyond the standard times of boarding above e.g. traffic delay, you must contact us on 07879 731497 immediately so that alternative arrangements can be made. If you fail to do so you may not be able to gain access to the accommodation. On holiday bookings late arrival may mean that you may have to wait for your safety demonstrations until the next day. An extra charge of £25/hr (or part thereof) to a maximum £50 will be levied for all late arrivals where proof of the delay cannot be offered. 

(e) If you can demonstrate to us relevant previous experience of narrowboat handling on similar canals in the UK and we are satisfied that your boat handling confirms your experience you have the option to forego detailed boat handling and lock use tuition. The decision as to whether this is acceptable rests exclusively with the Company and the relevant person conducting the Handover of the boat(s) to you. Should you choose to exercise this option we shall complete the Handover Certificates accordingly. You should be fully aware that as a result of exercising this option you are entirely and exclusively responsible for the safe operation of the boat(s) especially when navigating locks and that any accidents or damage to the boat e.g. at worst sinking, shall be entirely and exclusively your financial responsibility.

f) Unless otherwise stated you must return the boat (with all gear and equipment) to Devizes Wharf in a clean and tidy condition, for dayhire before 17.30 that same day, or for holiday hire by 9.30am and vacate by 10.00am on the final day of hire. A charge of £50 per half hour or part thereof will be made if the boat is returned late as shown in your Dayhire Contract/Hirers Manual. A cleaning charge of £50 will be made against any boat that is not returned in a clean and tidy condition both inside and out and with all rubbish removed, as shown in your Hirers Manual. You are responsible to us for the actual costs of any breakages or losses to the boat’s accommodation or its inventory- along with any additional costs that may result – which are caused by you or your party. We may require payment from you to cover any such costs.

g) For dayhire you must arrive before the party shall be allowed onto the boat and no more than 10pp may be aboard the dayboat at one time. For holiday hire you must arrive with/before the party shall be allowed onto the boat. You cannot allow more people than your booking confirmation states to stay in the accommodation, nor can you significantly change the makeup of the party during your stay in the accommodation. If you do so, we can refuse to hand over the accommodation to you, or can repossess it. Any of these circumstances will be treated by us as a cancellation by you and Clause 6b will apply. 

8. Pets
If you take a pet with you, it is not allowed on beds or chairs. Pets should not be left unattended in the accommodation, and dogs should be exercised on a lead on the towpath. Soiled beds/seats, fur-covered carpets or soft furnishings or any other damage reasonably likely to be caused by the pet will become chargeable either on your return or once the boat has been inspected not more than 24 hours after return. The Company’s decision shall be final in such circumstances

9. Complaints
Every effort has been made to ensure that you have an enjoyable and memorable holiday. If, however, you have any cause for complaint we are anxious that remedial action is taken as soon as possible. It is essential, therefore, that you contact us immediately if any problem arises so that it can be speedily resolved. Failure to do so shall constitute a material breach of Contract on your part such that no liability whatsoever shall be accepted by the Company in the event of any subsequent claim.  Complaints of a transient nature (for example, regarding preparation or heating of the accommodation) cannot possibly be investigated unless registered whilst you are on holiday. If after this you feel that the problem has not been resolved to your satisfaction you must, within 48 hours of returning from your holiday, put your complaint via read-receipted email to us, marked for the attention of our Managing Director who will investigate the claim. The Managing Director’s decision shall be final in such circumstances.

10. Accidents & Collisions
You are responsible for the boat’s safe navigation and must take all reasonable care. No person under 18 may control the boat without the direct supervision of an adult (over 18) i.e standing with the minor whilst he/she is steering. In the event of collision or damage to the boat, caused by you and/or a third party, no responsibility can be accepted by us for loss of time or cost of alternative accommodation or any other damages or expenses, specifically including your mooring up the boat and awaiting our attendance to assess damage if we deem it necessary. In the case of :- a) any collision, however minor, with another boat or b) any damage you cause to the boat or c) any damage caused by the boat or your actions to waterway property, you must for insurance reasons:

(i) record the name and licence number of any other boat involved with names, addresses and phone numbers of its Owner/ Boat Operator and hirer (where applicable);

(ii) immediately phone us and report the incident and these facts to the Company together with your assessment of the extent of the damage;

(iii) on your return and prior to your departure from our premises provide us with a written/ emailed report and any relevant witness statements, photographs, contact details of all those involved.

You must not admit any liability for the accident to any third party without our prior permission being given. No repairs may be put in hand without the Company’s consent. On returning the boat at the end of your holiday you must inform the Company of any damage or of items broken, lost or stolen.

11. Insurance and Security Deposit - Scope of Cover

All of the Company’s boats are comprehensively insured. You have a duty of care to use all reasonable endeavours to avoid or minimise damage to the boat and its equipment, or to that belonging to any third-party; and to return the boat to us in the condition in which it was hired out to you. The Security Deposit is applicable only to accidental, non-negligent collision damage to our boats with third party property/vessels. Losses of navigational equipment or to the internal inventory, damage to topsides paintwork, broken windows, broken fenders or ropes are not covered by insurance and are chargeable. Specifically repairs resulting from “cilling” of the boat and/or damage to the stern gear and driveline, especially if caused by a rope becoming entangled around the propeller, are fully chargeable to you (typically not less than £400 and as much as £2500), including a minimum call-out charge of £50 which is deducted from your security deposit. See also Grounding - Clause 12 below.

12. Grounding
Where the boat becomes ‘grounded’ i.e. it has become stuck fast on the bank or (on river navigations) it has become stuck in shallow water, you shall be entirely liable for any cost of re-floating the boat. The only exception to this rule will be on a river where you have become stuck in the centre channel and/or on the correct side of any navigation marker buoys. A minimum call-out charge of £50 plus vehicle mileage at £1/mile shall apply in all cases, plus extra staff time at £30 per hour per staff member. The Company reserves the right to use third party contractors to effect recovery and their direct invoiced costs shall also be passed on to you. Payment for all of the above costs, where incurred, shall be payable upon return of the boat, before you leave the boatyard. The Company’s decision as to the total cost shall be final.

13. Damage & Losses
You are responsible for the replacement costs of broken or lost lock keys, mooring stakes, ropes, fenders and internal inventory. We shall inspect each boat on its return and will expect any of the above damage/losses to be settled by you before your departure from the boatyard. Where a boat is returned at a time other than the standard return time of 9am on your last day of hire we reserve the right to inspect the boat on the official return date and if necessary, raise charges for such losses, in which instance our decision shall be final. See also 11 & 12 above.

14. Fuel, Toilets & Pump Out, Fresh Water Provision

For dayhire the cost of fuel is included in the hire fee. Your boat will have an empty toilet and a full fresh water tank. In the event that the toilet is overfilled we shall make a deduction to your security deposit of £100 to cover added emptying/cleaning costs.

For holidays your boat will be fully fuelled for your arrival with all toilet tanks empty (‘pumped out’) and the fresh water tank full. Fuel is not included in the hire fee, nor the cost of any extra pumpouts you may choose or require: you remain responsible for the toilet holding tanks not being overfilled. You are responsible for refilling the freshwater tank on a daily basis or as appropriate to your needs. You are welcome to refuel the boat during the hire at your exclusive cost. On your return we will check the return level with you present: fuel used shall be charged for at prevailing forecourt diesel rates. Where you have returned the boat and left early you shall accept our checking the fuel level and charging accordingly. This is deducted from your fuel and damage deposit: see clause 13 below.

15.  Fuel & Security Deposit
For dayhire we require a CASH security deposit of £200. We do not accept cards or any method of payment for this deposit. Any damages/ losses found (see clauses 12 &13) shall be deducted from your damage deposit (but see clause 11 also for damage in excess of the deposit). Please also see Clause 15 below regarding behaviour and alcohol policy
For holidays we operate a Fuel & Security Deposit scheme for each holiday booked. We do not make a specific damage waiver charge. The Fuel & Security Deposit covers the cost of fuel (see clause 12) and for any damage over and above fair wear and tear (see clause 13). Two weeks before your holiday is due to start we shall request a payment over and above the holiday cost of £200, payable by card or BACS, which is held by us exclusively as a deposit. At the end of your holiday we shall advise you on any damage or losses found on your boat, and shall agree with you the fuel used.  The fuel cost and any damages/ losses found shall be deducted from your Fuel & Security Deposit (but see clause 13 also for damage in excess of the deposit). The balance of the Fuel and Security Deposit shall be promptly refunded to you within two standard working days of the end of your holiday (the monies may not appear in your account immediately due to the bank’s processing time which is 2-5 working days).

16. Dayhire – Standards of Behaviour & Alcohol Policy

16.1 Standards of Behaviour: You and all members of your party shall behave in a responsible and reasonable manner whilst on our dayboat or in its immediate vicinity. No member of the party shall behave, in a way which brings the reputation of the Company into disrepute. There shall be no rowdiness, loud music, swearing or aggressive/abusive attitudes which may affect any other other canal users. The boat shall be navigated calmly and gently without excess speed or wash. Appropriate clothing shall be worn. In the event that any dispute should arise with another canal user you will be expected to act reasonably and calmly where possible recording any conversations which take place.

16.2 Alcohol Policy: A limit of 6 units of alcohol only per adult shall be permitted to be brought onto the boat. At no time shall any further alcohol above this limit be brought onto the boat. No member of your party shall be sufficiently intoxicated that they cannot independently evacuate the boat in an emergency. No member of the party shall act, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, in a way which brings the reputation of the Company into disrepute. See also Clause 19e which clearly states that anyone navigating i.e. steering the boat shall remain under the current UK drink-drive limit.

16.3 Should we receive any report/complaint of excessive drinking or of alcohol-fuelled behaviour, or inconsiderate boating, or of any other behaviour likely to bring the reputation of the Company into disrepute which on investigation is proven to be likely to be valid the hire will be immediately terminated and you will be removed from the boat to make your own onward travel arrangements.

17. Delays
If a breakdown of any kind should occur, you must report it to us immediately so that repairs can be made to enable you to resume your cruise. Provided that we are informed, we will take steps to repair the boat and or its equipment as speedily as practicable in the circumstances. Apart from these obligations we shall not be liable in any respect for any loss or damage, whether financial or otherwise, suffered as a result of the breakdown. We shall not be responsible for the consequences of delays or restrictions on cruising arising from hirer misuse or damage to the boat, obstruction, repairs or damage to waterways, flooding, shortage of water, industrial action or other circumstances beyond our control. The right is reserved to restrict cruising if unusual or hazardous conditions prevail. No compensation shall be paid by the company for any reduced cruising range under any circumstances.

18. Loss of water/ Damage to Waterway Property
You are responsible for charges made by waterway authorities for the loss of water or damage to waterway property caused by you whilst in charge of a boat. You consent by making your Booking with us for the Company to pass your details to the relevant navigation authority in such circumstances, without your further prior consent, but the Company shall be responsible for informing you in a timely manner as to which authority your details have been passed to i.e to which person and/or email address.

19. Navigation restrictions and bye-laws
On no account may you:-
(a) permit your boat to be taken down Caen Hill Locks or onto the River Thames.
(b) cruise after dark (your boat is not insured for night navigation).
(c) tow or be towed by other boats unless with our express prior permission.
(d) permit your boat to take part in any race.
(e) navigate the boat, nor allow any other person to navigate the boat, whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For clarity the legal limits for driving a motorized vehicle on the public highway also apply to the navigation of the boat.
f) allow any member of your party to behave in such a manner as to cause offence to other users or the general public; this includes excessive drinking, rowdiness, swearing, indecent exposure, aggression or threatening behaviour

You must navigate in accordance with Navigation Authority bye-laws. Navigational limits are given in the brochure/ website and, for Dayhire in the Contract you sign on the day, or for holidays in the Hirers Manual provided with your booking confirmation.

18. Hirers equipment
a) You may not take on board without our prior written permission portable or plug-in heaters, lighting equipment, petrol, candles, barbecues, gas cylinders, or anything that may cause danger to the boat, its equipment or occupants.
b) Bicycles are allowed on the roof of the boat when underway but you are responsible for safe navigation through bridges and low hanging branches. Protective blankets must be placed on the roof under any bikes and security locks should be provided, both of which are Your responsibility. Any damage caused to our boat e.g. roof or handrail paintwork scratches/ scrapes will be chargeable to you.
c) Canoes are allowed on the roof of the boat at your risk but must not be towed by the boat nor allowed to share any lock with the boat. Any damage caused to our boat e.g. roof or handrail paintwork scratches/ scrapes will be chargeable to you.
d) Personal lock keys and other tools. Any navigation equipment brought onto the boat by you shall be used exclusively at your own risk. The Company reserves the right to seek financial redress from you should use of your own equipment provably have caused damage to our, or the navigation authorities’, property

19. Disabilities and medical problems
If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability that may affect your holiday you must inform us before we confirm your booking and give us full details in writing at the time of booking. If we feel unable to properly accommodate the particular needs of the person concerned we must reserve the right to decline/cancel the reservation. We are specifically not prepared to accept any responsibility for the health and welfare of any member of your party where dependence on an overnight supply of 240v electricity is required for medically critical applications e.g. oxygen supply/ breathing machines and will require you to complete and sign a waiver to this effect upon your arrival to the boat. Should you fail to notify us of any person due onto the boat with a medical problem or disability at the time of booking, your holiday will be treated as a cancellation by you should any such persons arrive for boarding. For safety and risk-assessment reasons we are not able to accept wheelchair bound persons onto the holiday boats for safety reasons, and each member of your party must be able to climb into and out of the boat without substantial assistance from other persons

20. GDPR Compliance
a) The Company only holds your personal details for the purpose of your hire/holiday and is required to securely keep these details for a period of seven years as part of its financial requirements to comply with government tax regulations. Where an accident occurs whilst you are hiring the boat(s) or a claim is made against the Company your details will be held for a maximum period of twenty years.
b) We do not pass your details to any third parties, except in the circumstances as detailed in Clause 16 in which case we shall notify you of exactly who and which organization has been sent these details.

21. Law
The contract between you and us is subject to English law and is formed in Burbage, Wiltshire, England.Last Updated December 2021