The British Waterways of Scotland are celebrating a boost to Scottish tourism as a luxury holiday boat is launched on the Union Canal

The British Waterways of Scotland are celebrating a boost to Scottish tourism as a luxury holiday boat is launched on the Union Canal. The delivery of a magnificent 58-ft long luxury narrowboat to The Falkirk Wheel, has signalled a new investment in Scotland’s waterways by one of the UK’s leading hire boat operators. Worcestershire-based Black Prince Holidays operates a hire fleet of narrowboats in England and took the decision to expand its business into Scotland ready for the new 2003 holiday Season. This follows the completion of the British Waterways-led Millennium Link project earlier this year which restored the full lengths of The Forth & Clyde and Union canals to cruising waterways. The magnificent Falkirk Wheel allows boats to transfer from one canal to another, making the journey between Glasgow and Edinburgh a cruising reality.

Rhona, a 16.5-tonne, Duchess 4 class vessel, will be available for hire from the start of the 2003 season in March, providing holidaymakers with the perfect way to explore and enjoy the Forth & Clyde and Union canals. This will lead to the introduction of more holiday hire boats onto Scotland’s Lowland Canals in the future.

Commenting on the launch of the vessel at The Falkirk Wheel, Jim Stirling, Director Scotland at British Waterways, said: “This is a tremendous moment for British Waterways in Scotland as it marks an important stage in our drive to make the Lowland Canals a real tourism asset for Scotland.

The Falkirk Wheel is rapidly becoming established as one of the country’s leading visitor attractions, with well over 300,000 visits since opening in June, while there have been some seven million visits across the Lowland Canal network this year alone. British Waterways and its partners are now looking to enhance the leisure and recreational opportunities the canals offer by giving holidaymakers the chance to experience all the delights of the waterways from the comfort of their own hire boat. The Black Prince boat will join the holiday hire boats of Capercaillie Cruisers for holiday hire on Scotland’s Lowland Canals.