About our holidays

College Cruisers is a long-established canal boat hire fleet based right in the centre of the romantic, historic City of Oxford. Our Oxford Canal boat holidays help you escape the rigours of modern living. Plot a leisurely course through the locks and bridges and enjoy the pretty towns, villages and country pubs along the way.

We have ten boats to hire for short breaks of three or four nights or holidays of a week or longer. We cater for special occasions such as birthday, hen and stag parties, and can offer bespoke canal boat holiday experiences.

A canal boat holiday is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the company of friends or family, and the waterways are a wonderful way of exploring England. We’re ideally based at the southern end of the historic Oxford Canal and our routes cross some of England’s most beautiful countryside. The Oxford Canal is a gentle easy-paced break with fascinating villages, few locks and plenty of pubs.

Oxford has excellent links to all major airports and our base is only a short walk or taxi journey from both rail and coach stations.

Make yourself at home aboard our fleet of luxury canal boats

There are ten boats in the fleet ranging from 2 berth up to 12 berth, offering a range of facilities and each with a character of its own. All are named after the University colleges in Oxford and are painted Oxford blue.

We take pride in making sure that your chosen canal boat is spotlessly clean for your holiday. The boats are very well maintained with everything in working order before your arrival to ensure that you take home with you happy memories of your canal break with College Cruisers.



From the moment you book we’re with you every step of the way. We will show you how to drive the boat, how to negotiate locks and bridges, and provide all the back-up you need to make your trip a success.

Our canal holidays are perfect for your first canal break – over 50% of our customers are first-timers. We give you lots of help and training before you head off on your own. If you haven’t rented a canal boat before please don’t be put off – it’s very straightforward!

It is in our interests as well as yours to ensure that you are confident and happy with the handling of your boat before you leave us for your canal cruising holiday, that is why we are members of the APCO Handover Scheme. Our friendly team will guide you through the first stages on board, take you through a lock and explain in detail the Do’s and Don’ts of canal cruising.

This video, produced by the Canal & River Trust, is a handy guide to getting started and staying safe on the waterways.

We also recommend you read the Boater’s Handbook which explains all the basics…

A great holiday for all the family

A canal boat holiday has plenty to occupy young minds – without a video game in sight! Working as a team to make your own way up and down the canal provides a great opportunity to bond with those closest to you. For children, these are the memories that will last a lifetime. Meals are a real family affair, enjoyed around the table either inside the boat or on the towpath whilst moored up for the evening.

We love dogs and they are welcome on our boats (by prior arrangement only, please). Archie, our canine-in-residence has prepared a special guide to bringing dogs on a College Cruisers holiday.


What’s provided and what do you need to bring?

To view a full list of what’s provided aboard our boats, and for our recommended checklist of what you should bring with you, please click on the button below.

Any questions?

Call us on 01865 554343 (+44 18 65 55 43 43 from outside the UK). We’re happy to help!