There are so many beautiful sights on the lakes and rivers of France, Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands, and it is easy to embark on a houseboat rental on these inland waters. Visitors do not always need previous experience to drive a boat of less than 15 meters, and will normally be given an introduction to the vehicle before setting off. Houseboat holidays are great fun for all the family, and they are a wonderful way to discover some of Europe’s hidden treasures.
In France anyone over the age of 18 can hire a houseboat or riverboat without the need for a special license, but those who have not driven a similar boat before may be required to undergo a short training session before setting off.
Licence-free houseboat charter - for Houseboat rental in Germany there is no licence required.
For boats under 15 meters in length with an engine power of less than 5 PS, it is not necessary to obtain a license to travel on German inland waters. For larger boats, the ‘Sportbootführerschein Binnen’ is required, but it is common for operators in Germany to accept the boating license valid in your country of residence.
There are many houseboats available for hire in the Netherlands, and for small houseboat trips, operators will provide you with a briefing on how to manage the boat. For vessels that are over 15 meters in length that can reach speeds of over 20km per hour, the driver must have an inland waterway license from their country of residence.
In the at it is not necessary to have any kind of boating license. In other parts of Poland, charter companies may expect to see an inland-waterway license obtained in your country of residence that proves your ability to manage a houseboat.