Listed below are the most frequently asked questions by prospective John Rennie restaurant boat clients :

On which days is the restaurant boat available?
Unlike other operators the boat is operational all year on the canal, weather permitting giving you the customer the chance to see all the changing seasons in comfortable surroundings.
Apart from Christmas day, Boxing Day and occasionally when the canal has frozen , we are operational throughout the year. The boat has heating and is covered allowing us to offer a full all year service to the you the client. We operate daily from 8 a.m till midnight.

How many people can we have on the boat?
The boat is licensed to carry 56 guests with four crew. There are many suggested different table layouts to seat you and your guests comfortably depending on your numbers.

Where can we start our trip?
The boat is moored at our wharf base in Bath - Sydney Wharf where we have all of our facilities - car parking, reception, cafe, toilets etc. Alternatively, we have started trips from Sydney Gardens below the Bath Spa Hotel and behind the Holbourne museum, The George pub @ Bathampton and Dundas wharf near the Angelfish Restaurant but these options can reduce your time on the boat.

What can I see on the boat?
Well, you will enjoy two experiences on the boat. The first experience will be the boat itself with all of its facilities, atmosphere, food and drink. Secondly, take in the beauty of the scenery whilst the boat gently glides along the historic Kennet & Avon canal starting from Bath, passing by Sydney Gardens through to Bathampton and onto Claverton, Dundas aqueduct, the Limpley Stoke valley and Avoncliff depending on the length of your charter trip.

I like the idea of a boat trip but I'm not sure what it will be like, how can I get a better idea?
Why don't you click here : where you can view a special film that showcases the boat, the canal, music & the food giving you a better idea on what our customers experience.

Is the food fresh?
Yes. All the food produce is brought on-board prior to departure. Unlike other boats, our food is prepared and cooked onboard, fresh. There is onboard a fully fitted out professional commercial kitchen that adheres to the strict food and safety standards agency.

Where does the food come from?
We source all our ingredients locally which we then cook fresh depending on which menu you choose from our professionally equipped galley kitchen on the boat. From simple teas, platters, buffets to stylish canapes, roasts and three course meals - a fine culinary dining experience awaits you.

Can we bring our own nibbles, crisps, picnic and food?
No, I’m afraid not, we are a restaurant boat offering a high level of service and a memorable experience for you and your guests with extremely high standards of hygiene that follow the food standards agency code of practice. We cannot accept any food brought on board as we cannot cover the due diligence provenance of food brought from other sources.

Can we bring our own wines, beers, drink etc onto the boat?
No, our policy is not to accept any drinks, wine etc as we are a restaurant boat and we do not have the space to refrigerate customers supplied drink. We do have an excellent wine list with many exceptional world wines as well as competitively priced house wines. We also have a well stocked bar.

Can we bring our own cake to celebrate with?
Yes and no - Yes, if you agree to pay £ 1.00 per person to cover the costs of plates, cutlery & cleaning. There is no charge if the party orders desserts. Again, for health & hygiene reasons we discourage bringing on cakes from external sources as we cannot prove the due diligent processes of health and hygiene standards have been strictly adhered to.

When can we arrive and leave on a charter?
Generally, most parties arrive 20 minutes prior to departure but do leave time to travel & park as we do like to leave on time.

Are there toilets on board?
There are two modern toilets located at the rear of the boat.

I have a coach party, how many can you take?
We can carry 56 passengers which is a full coach party.

Do you have wheelchair access?
This is difficult - The wharf is flat and we have disabled toilets in our reception but the boat’s toilets cannot take wheelchairs. However, a limited number of wheelchairs can be lifted onto the boat provided they can manage, with our assistance, a few steps to board.

Why do we have to pay for water?
The boat has mains water but this is not drinkable so we carry a stock of small and large bottles of still & sparkling water.

Can I pay for the boat afterwards?
Unfortunately not, the date is reserved with a £100 deposit followed by full payment 7 days prior to departure. The catering invoice is sent to you after the trip is completed with a request to pay within 14 days.

Can we decorate the boat for our party?
Of course you can, with weighted balloons, string, banners, ribbons, flowers and blu tack but no pins, sellotape or anything that damages the boat. Please be aware that we do not allow metal or paper confetti, sprinkles or glitter to decorate the tables and boat.

Can we organise our own music or musicians?
We welcome you to bring your own music playlists and have various media you can play through or bring your own musicians - just remember to include them in your guest numbers. We cannot chop and change the music every 5 minutes, hence the need for Playlists.

Do we have to clean the boat?
No, we have crew and take care of all the cleaning.

Can you organise flowers?
Yes, there is a florist nearby so we can work to a budget or alternatively you can deal direct.

Why can’t I order the food choices on the day as its difficult to contact my invited guests?
No problem, either choose a menu with one choice which everyone will have or choose a buffet, bbq etc where there is a great choice for people to pick from but do let us know the guest numbers in advance. If you do choose from the two / three course meals ( 5 days prior to the trip ) and you can let us know your guest choices in advance then we can optimise our service to your guests knowing exactly what everyone will have on the charter trip. Name cards with guests meal choices written on the back on the tables can really help the service.

Can we smoke?
Unless you decide that your whole party will be non smoking then smoking is permitted outside on the bow of the boat. We leave this to your discretion.

What if it rains?
Its the only thing we can’t guarantee, the boat is covered and heated.

Can I get married on board the vessel?
Unfortunately, we do not have the license to allow a marriage ceremony to be carried out on board the “ John Rennie”. You would however be welcome to arrange a separate blessing on board the vessel with a minister of your own choice. Some wedding parties have arranged for the marriage to take place at the Guildhall in Bath, then travelled with their guests by foot, taxi or bus to Sydney gardens as a surprise where they have then boarded the " John Rennie " at Darlington wharf just 10 minutes away from our own wharf.

Is there a minimum number of passengers per trip?
There isn’t a minimum number but all catering services are based on a minimum of 25 for cream teas and 20 for all other menus.

Will I get Sea Sick?
The “ John Rennie “ is purpose built for canal cruising and provides a stable environmentally friendly platform. The canal is non-tidal and is as smooth as the proverbial mill pond.

Is there a microphone on board to give a commentary, speech etc?
Yes, we have a microphone allowing you to speak to everyone on board, we’ve even had clubs doing bingo!

I don’t like water, I can’t swim, how safe is all of this?
Well, we take your safety very seriously. We are governed by the Governments Marine Coastguard Agency (MCA). The boat is rigorously inspected and has to pass stringent safety regulations and standards. Staff training is carried out on a regular basis throughout the year. At the start of the trip we welcome you on board and explain to everyone a general safety speech of do’s and don’ts. Lastly, the canal is only two foot deep, so you can stand up in it although not recommended so please rest assured that you need not worry and enjoy your trip.

What clothes should I wear?
Smart casual is the norm, although your function may require a specific dress code. It is advisable to wrap up warm should you wish to take in the night air on the open front deck. Ladies, please remember that you are on a boat and in this regard we recommend that you wear sensible footwear, if in doubt, feel free to ask our office staff for further guidance.

How far ahead should we book?
If you have a particular date or special occasion you want to reserve, we recommend booking well in advance because your trip date & time are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. We can’t usually accept bookings less than a few days in advance, as we need sufficient time to provide your menu choices, take receipt of your deposit and finalise the arrangements.

What payment options are available?
We accept all major credit cards (except Diners Club), cash, bank transfers and cheques (with a bank card).

I have other questions that I would like to ask?
Please ring 01225 447276 or email who is the point of contact and will answer any questions you have.

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Call us now on - 01225 447276
Bath Narrowboats is a long established boat hire business on the Kennet and Avon Canal based in the beautiful heritage city of Bath. We specialise in memorable day trips cruising the Kennet & Avon Canal from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon...


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