When it comes to packing, we have put together a handy checklist for you based on experience.

  • Use soft bags, hard suitcases take up a lot of space (for overseas customers we are happy to look after your bags while you are away cruising).
  • Clothes…. casual, warm, and comfortable depending on the time of year, layers are a good idea so as the sun comes out you can peel off a layer. The boats have plenty of storage space but hanging space is limited, so leave your ball gowns at home. Along the canal are plenty of excellent pubs and restaurants where the dress code is smart casual.
  • We suggest a good waterproof coat, pair of waterproof trousers – we do provide one set, but if you are all well equipped then the great British weather cannot spoil your holiday… and you may even enjoy the odd wet day!
  • Foot wear: non slip is a must
  • Hats to keep the sun off your heads
  • First aid kit
  • Lip salve
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun tan cream – the sun is stronger when you are on the water
  • Torches (you go to the pub in daylight but tend to come back in dark)
  • Walkie talkies are bit of fun for the kids
  • Board games and cards; canal holidays are a great way for families to spend time together forget the telly, play games instead – Marks and Spencer do some great ones!
  • Books and magazines; canals are excellent places to relax with a good book
  • Towels and tea towels (sorry no dishwashers on board). (NB: overseas customers will have towels provided; UK customers can rent for £5 per person.)
  • If you are bringing a very small person, please ring and discuss your requirements, some boats just do not have room for a travel cot. Reins are a good buy to stop small people who are feeding ducks from falling in and a buggy is very useful at locks. We can supply cot sides – please request.


We advise you bring with you enough food for a few days; there are places along the canal to buy milk and bread. The majority of our customers tend to have breakfast and lunch on board and then use one of the many pubs or restaurants along the South Oxford Canal for their evening meal (see our useful information page for names and telephone numbers.) When you get to Banbury you are able to moor at Castle Quay and restock for the next few days. There are lots of shops within and food shopping a short walk away (Lidl, Morrisons, Tesco) depending on where you moor. All the kitchens on our narrow boats have ample storage, the fridge is a good size in boat terms. All boats have a freezer compartment to make ice but this is not huge.

You can bring your supplies with you, or use the local supermarkets in Oxford, we are happy for you to arrive at College Cruisers early, park your car, do your food shopping, and have lunch. Returning just in time, to board your College Cruisers narrow boat. We are also happy for you to use you own internet supermarket and have the shopping delivered to College Cruisers, this must be arranged with us beforehand. Failure to do so, will result in a £25.00 handling charge.

Disposable barbecues are useful; there are lots of places to have a evening Barbie, just make sure it is not used on the boat and that you take away any rubbish.


All boats have hairdryers, TV with DVD player, Radio/ CD player. It is OK to bring with you electrical items such as laptop, phone chargers, battery chargers for iPods, shavers and camera batteries, power cables for hand held computer games etc. Items such as hair straighteners, and small electrical kitchen items are NOT allowed. Please contact us if you have any queries regarding any electrical items.

Fishing rods are welcome at College Cruisers, you must have a valid rod licence, and live bait must always stay outside the boat!

We do not allow bicycles or small boats without prior agreement.

We hope that this advice has been of some help, but if you have any questions please call Charlie or Carys on 01865 554433 .

Happy Packing!

Our Customer Reviews

We felt like welcome guests from the time of booking until our return. Will was awesome at showing us around the boat and giving us instructions. We can’t wait to...

- Trinity


If there was an excellent box, instruction, reliability and staff would get a tick.

- Jamie & Nikki


Absolutely loved our time on Nuffield, a very relaxing way to meet people and see sights.

- The Gray family


Excellent service… special shout out to James for advice on where to moor… lovely team.

- Edmund & Yaiza


We enjoyed every moment of it, thank you. ☺

- Edmund & Yaiza


An incredible weekend away. Cary’s and her team were very knowledgeable and helpful when planning our trip. I couldn’t recommend more and looking forward to returning

- Lauren D.


My partner and I just spent a week on Magdalen. It was clean, comfortable and well equipped. It was lovely having the log burner as it was late October. Cary’s...

- Jane O.


“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the...

- Chris G.


We spent a week on the Exeter. Very comfortable boat. A special thanks to James who explained how everything worked and made us feel comfortable hanlding the Exeter (one of...

- Kees v.


We had such a good time! Such a lovely team to help you off on your holiday. We were a couple with a 7-month-old. Tricky first day learning how to...

- Edmond O.


Julesa lovely holiday. Big thanks

- Jules


Piroska we have had a wonderful trip on this boat. Thank you

- Piroska


Lucy lovely trip on the river Thames, lovely staff, lovely boat. Thank you

- Lucy

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