Boating firms welcome return to the Broads as Covid rules ease
- Credit: Herbert Woods
Boat hire firms on the Broads in Norfolk and Waveney are seeing bookings rise as more restrictions are about to lift on waterways travel.
Broads holidays are back in business from Monday, April 12 when people can stay overnight on a boat.
Some coronavirus restrictions are still in place, however, meaning this currently only applies to a single household or bubble.
But firms are already seeing an uptake in bookings - particularly for the summer months as people choose staycations because the rules allowing foreign travel are still uncertain.
Many Broads cruisers are almost completely booked up for holidays from April until September.
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Meanwhile the message for those wanting to hire a boat for just the day was to pre-book to avoid disappointment.
Simon Altham, chief commercial officer at Awaze UK, parent company of Hoseasons, which has its HQ in Lowestoft, said: “Bookings for boats on the Broads are performing very well this year, with July, August and September up by more than 66pc.
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"With so many people choosing to take a UK break in 2021, peak periods look like they will sell out completely so if you are planning to visit then we’d encourage anyone to book early.
"As a result of continuing uncertainty around travelling abroad this year it is the perfect opportunity to rediscover what an amazing place the Broads is and how a boating holiday provides a unique way to explore the National Park in a Covid safe manner.”
At Richardsons, Stalham, which offers holiday and day boats, its Platinum 'Bolero' priced from £843 a week was booked up for June, July and nearly all of August and the 'Sunbeam' from £550 a week, was booked up from April until September.
A spokesman said: "We are getting very busy, if you want a day boat, it's much better to book beforehand as we may not have one available if you turn up on the day."
Six people or two households are allowed to hire a day boat if it's open air and not enclosed.
Herbert Woods in Potter Heigham had no holiday cruisers at all available for July, August and half of September. The firm announced: "We're looking forward to welcoming you back...please respect the rules and let's keep it under control."