This charming one-bedroom houseboat is moored on the peaceful Raamgracht canal, which runs through the heart of downtown Amsterdam. With a simply designed wooden exterior painted a crisp shade of white, the houseboat offers plenty of natural sunlight through each of its eight vibrant, red-trimmed windows. Wake up to the beauty of the light streaming through the branches of the verdant trees lining the canal and the sight of elegant swans swimming gently past as you prepare your morning coffee or tea, and then map out your plan for sightseeing in the nearby historic Old Center of Amsterdam. Walk a few blocks to the Dam, the main square in the city, or stroll through the streets and admire the 17th-century architecture, especially that of the Zuiderkerk, a Protestant church in the Nieuwmarkt area of Amsterdam that was depicted in a painting by the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. And, those looking to see the sights outside of the immediate area will appreciate how accessible Central Station is, as it’s located just five minutes by foot from the houseboat.
Boat and Breakfasts
Ever dream of spending your vacation on a boat but long for a more intimate setting than a cruise ship? Booking a stay at a bed and breakfast that’s housed on a boat is the solution to finding that perfect state of peaceful tranquility along the water. From quaint houseboats on the canals of Amsterdam to historic schooners docked off the shores of Boston and Annapolis, you’ll find everything you need for a relaxing getaway at these one-of-a-kind inns.
Moored ten minutes from the center of Barcelona and steps away from the calming waters of the Mediterranean, the St. Katharine offers guests a unique bed and breakfast experience with five luxury cabins, two spacious private decks, and the peaceful surroundings of the Port Forum Marina. The historic 80-foot motor yacht is air-conditioned throughout, and each cabin is equipped with king- or queen-sized bed, as well as an ensuite or private bathroom. The Starboard Cabin and the Port Side Cabin have portholes that guests can open to let in the soothing breezes from off the water. In the morning, begin with a breakfast prepared and served on the sun deck by innkeepers Cas and Irene Pijpers and soak in the sun as you watch the marina slowly come to life. Then take the dinghy out and go exploring before returning to the yacht at midday to feast on a tapas lunch highlighting the region’s specialty dishes, including Cas’ version of paella. After lunch, engage in watersports such as jet skiing and waterskiing, examine the boutiques in the nearby shopping district, or wander dreamily through the streets of Barcelona. If you don’t return to the St. Katherine in time for a decadent three-course dinner, then be sure to make it back to watch the sunset as the yachts return to the marina for the evening.
Open for rentals from mid-May through mid-October, the Bed and Breakfast Afloat offers a unique fleet of seaworthy accommodations in Boston’s Constitution Marina. Stay aboard one of six different vessels, including a romantic 59-foot vintage sailboat, a 43-foot yacht with three outdoor seating areas from which to enjoy the city skyline, and a spacious 40-foot aft cabin motor yacht with outdoor seating on the bow for sunning. All the boats are comfortably outfitted and provide guests with all of the modern amenities that one would expect from a traditional hotel, including air-conditioning, access to the marina’s heated swimming pool, and whirlpool bathtubs. Wake up to the picturesque sunrise over the glistening harbor and the call of the seabirds overhead, and after spending the day exploring the city, climb into bed and let the gentle motion of the boat lull you to sleep. The marina itself is within a 15-minute walk of 150 restaurants, including those in the historic North End, a short distance from sites such as Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, and a mere water taxi ride away from the New England Aquarium. Whether you’re in Boston for business or pleasure, this bed and breakfast will provide you with everything you need for an unforgettable and relaxing stay.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the history and the culture of Genova, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, then book a stay at this charming and affordable bed and breakfast housed on a yacht moored in an unbeatable location in the Marina Genova Aeroporto. Not only will you be able to enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the residential area of the waterfront, but you’ll also be within minutes of the train station and the center of the city, as well as popular attractions such as the Aquarium of Genoa and the Museum of the Sea. For those who are interested, the innkeeper will help arrange boating excursions to Portofino or the five villages of the Cinque Terre located on the coast of the Italian Riviera. The yacht, equipped with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, has air-conditioning throughout and a continental breakfast is available each morning in the small kitchenette area. For a more substantial meal, head to the quaint Italian bar at the end of your private pier. When you’re ready to pull yourself away from the calm of the water, then walk to Genoa’s historic center to wander through the intricate maze of alleyways and piazzas and admire the city’s architectural marvels and 82,000 square meters of public parks.
Operating from April through October out of the historic waterfront area of Fell’s Point along the north shore of Baltimore Harbor, the Pintita is a 45-foot sailing ketch with two staterooms large enough to accommodate up to four guests. Each stateroom is equipped with an individual air-conditioning unit and a private bathroom with shower, and guests have access to a laundry room if the need arises. An overnight stay on the sailboat includes a two-hour sunset sail with views of the city lights and breakfast the following morning at the home of the boat’s owner and captain, Phil Schnering. After breakfast, take time to admire the neighborhood’s period architecture and design details like the Flemish bond brick of the city’s earliest homes, the traditional row housing prominent during the eighteenth century, and the gabled roofs and meticulous grandeur of the Victorian homes of the nineteenth century. Visitors will appreciate the area’s richly varied culture, which has been heavily influenced over the years by large immigrant populations of German, Polish, and other Eastern European nationalities. Explore the multitude of quaint boutiques and antique shops, wander through the individual stalls of the municipal marketplace, and learn more about the area’s maritime past over a pint at any one of the local pubs, of which Fell’s Point has more than 120.
The Charlestonian is a 93-foot luxury yacht that provides the ultimate vacation experience aboard an elegant floating townhouse while offering guests customized cruise excursions around the waterways of coastal South Carolina. The interior measures 2,500 square feet in size, while the duo of sundecks offers an additional 1,200 square feet of space, as well as two bars, a lounge, and a fully equipped galley kitchen with modern appliances. If that’s not enough space, then take out the accompanying 17-foot boat for an afternoon of fishing or traveling between the barrier islands. Enjoy sleeping in one of the four oversized staterooms, each of which is stylishly furnished with a king-sized bed, private bathroom with a full-size bathtub and shower, and expansive windows that capture the stunning panoramic views. Guests also have access to a barbecue grill, laundry room, and small business center with a computer, copier, and internet service. When docked, sports enthusiasts will appreciate the easy access to a wide variety of outdoor activities, including biking, golfing, and swimming, while history aficionados will want to spend time exploring Beaufort, a city renowned for its efforts in maintaining a historic appearance through the preservation of its antebellum architecture. Movie buffs may even recognize the city as a filming location for several major motion pictures, including The Big Chill, The Prince of Tides, and Forrest Gump.
This all-inclusive boutique inn housed on a lovingly restored classic yacht not only provides guests with fresh and hearty breakfast in the morning, but the innkeepers also ensure that guests are given bagged lunches and gourmet dinners on board. Choose from dishes made with seasonal and local ingredients such as the Grilled Tuna with Wasabi Sauce and the Grilled Mahi Mahi with Mango Chutney. Innkeeper and Captain Cactus will arrange to pick you up in Coral Bay’s dinghy at Skinny Legs, a popular outdoor restaurant in the area, and bring you directly to the boat. The schooner is moored in Hansen Bay in the secluded eastern corner of Round Bay and is, generally, considered one of the best-kept secrets in the Virgin Islands. The calm protected waters of the bay are perfect for snorkeling (and spotting turtles), kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding, while the idyllic white beaches are virtually devoid of beach-going tourists. Stay in one of the ship’s three double cabins, grab a tropical cocktail from the on-board bar, and enjoy every second of your perfect Caribbean island getaway.
With many of the world-class amenities of a high-end hotel and all the comforts of home, the unique seaworthy accommodations of Dockside Yacht Lodging are moored at the Best Western Island Palms Hotel & Marina. Located just minutes from the airport, you’ll be close to many of the city’s popular attractions, including the renowned San Diego Zoo and the Historic Downtown Gaslamp District. Those traveling in a group can stay on the Narnie O’Shea, a 46-foot yacht that can sleep up to five guests in three cabins, two of which have queen-sized beds. Designed with leisure and luxury in mind, the yacht also has two flat-screen televisions and a Bose surround sound speaker system. Couples looking for a more intimate setting may prefer the Pura Vida, an elegant and spacious yacht with a master cabin featuring a California King TempurPedic mattress and a private bathroom and shower. As a bonus, guests of Dockside Yacht Lodging can order room service at a discounted price from the neighboring Blue Wave Bar & Grill for delivery right to their boat and are granted full access to all of the facilities at the Best Western Island Palms Hotel, including two heated outdoor swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, fitness center, complimentary bike rentals, and for those traveling for work, a 24-hour business center.
Housed on a Nautical 56 sailboat, this romantic bed and breakfast docked on Anna Maria Island in Bradenton Beach Village is located between Tampa Bay to the north and Sarasota to the south. The Dream Lover has three cabins – an aft Captain’s Cabin featuring a queen-sized bed with a full private bathroom and two forward cabins featuring twin bunk beds and a shared bathroom. The cozy salon is furnished with a dining table with banquette seating, comfortable lounge chairs, and plenty of throw pillows in a French Country print. Up top, you’ll find a spacious cockpit and a wide deck perfect for reading, sunning, and watching for dolphins off in the distance. Begin your day with a tour of the harbor in the dinghy and then return to the ship for a hearty breakfast. Along with all the coffee and tea you can drink, you’ll enjoy warm croissants and homemade muffins straight from the oven, fresh fruit, and a tall stack of the signature banana rum pancakes drizzled with a buttery rum sauce and topped with sliced bananas and chopped walnuts. When you’ve had your fill, spend the rest of your day lounging or fishing on the beach or engaging in water sports such as parasailing, jet skiing, and body surfing before winding down back on the boat with wine and cheese.
If you’re looking for non-traditional lodging options in the port city of Lavagna, then consider staying on the Freedom Boat docked in the Lavagna Marina. The city lies along the Gulf of Tigullio in northern Italy in the curved stretch of the Italian Riviera and attracts thousands of tourists to Lavagna Beach and Chiavari Beach each August. Because of the steady influx of tourists at the end of the summer, staying in one of the cabins on this boat is an ideal alternative to finding a room at one of the area hotels, especially since you’ll have direct access to the calming and rejuvenating properties of the waterfront. The first main cabin features a king-sized bed, while the second main cabin features a queen-sized bed. Both cabins share the bathroom on board. In July and August, innkeeper Natalino Lavaggi transforms the forward cockpit into a separate sleeping space furnished with two twin beds. To break up the days spent sunning on the beach, visit the local art gallery in town housed in a medieval tower or plan day trips to the nearby fishing village of Portofino and to the village of Rapallo to tour the Castle-on-the-Sea.
This dreamy bed and breakfast is centrally located at Lewis Wharf in the heart of Boston’s historic North End. Innkeepers Jack and Gretchen Stephenson have lovingly restored this traditional 40-foot Catalina yacht, drawing upon Gretchen’s knowledge about living aboard a boat originally designed for the prominent Vanderbilt family. The two staterooms each have a private bathroom, while the main salon offers an expansive galley and roomy sofa that can be converted to a double bed for groups requiring more sleeping space. Begin your day with a continental breakfast and then take the boat out for a leisurely cruise around Boston Harbor. Or, if you prefer, take the boat out in the evening to watch the sunset over the water. You’ll be within a ten-minute walk to Faneuil Hall, the New England Aquarium, and Boston’s Little Italy and a short “T” (subway) ride away from the green spaces of The Common and the quaint boutiques lining Newbury Street.
Situated on Mara Lake, this distinctive houseboat puts you right in the middle of the stunning natural beauty of the Shuswap Lakes in Sicamous, British Columbia. Enjoy a romantic getaway aboard this private yacht offering a spacious air-conditioned main cabin with a king-sized bed and a private ensuite bathroom. The smaller second cabin located on the lower deck has a comfortable queen-sized bed, a soothing ceiling fan, and a shared bathroom. Unwind on the provided lounge chairs on the expansive 80-foot upper deck, where you can watch the sun slowly dip behind the horizon while relaxing in the six-person whirlpool hot tub filled with natural lake water untreated by chemicals. The upper deck also boasts a fully equipped outdoor kitchen and a pre-filled propane tank for the on-board gas grill. In the evening, set yourself next to the fire pit on the beach and bring hot dogs to roast and marshmallows to toast. It comes as no surprise that this region sees thousands of tourists each summer, especially during the months of July and August, who are looking to take advantage of the opportunities for beachcombing, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, camping, and fishing.
Named in honor of owner and innkeeper Linda Luths, this charming and affordable cedar houseboat bed and breakfast is moored on a quiet canal near the heart of Amsterdam. The two light-filled bedrooms each have a full private bathroom and oversized windows looking out onto the canal, and guests have access to the refrigerator, cable television, and free wireless internet. In the morning, at your leisure, enjoy a traditional Dutch breakfast of gingerbread with an assortment of sweet toppings; famous Dutch cheeses such as Gouda and Edam; and a wide variety of cold cuts. After fueling yourself for a full day of sightseeing, head out and explore the collection of artwork at the Van Gogh Museum, people-watch on the Dam (the city’s main square), or explore the nearby antique shops and smaller art galleries, all of which are within a quick walk or short tram ride from the houseboat. You’ll also be close to a handful of restaurants, from casual cafes to fine dining establishments.
Located in the Lavallois region in the outskirts of Paris, this houseboat is a 10-20-minute metro ride away from city’s most popular attractions, including the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower, making it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the French capital. The boat has three comfortable cabins plus a spacious living room that can be converted into a bedroom if you need extra sleeping space. The cabins themselves are individually decorated in cheerful shades of coral, yellow, and lavender and feature double beds and windows overlooking the peaceful waters of the Seine and the Île de la Jatte, a long and narrow island in the middle of the river. Breakfasts prepared by Christian, innkeeper and award-winning resident chef, are served on the terrace during the summer and by the fireside in the winter. If you’d like to stay for dinner, Christian will prepare a meal highlighting local specialties such as hearty stews or duck confit accompanied by fresh, seasonal ingredients purchased from the farmer’s market, all while sharing his love and passion for French history and French wine.
A former working ship, the Visithor is a 20-meter-long loftboat moored in the Rotterdam Harbor (right next to the Maritime Museum) that has been divided into two luxury apartments. Although the apartments have been designed to include modern amenities, the ship’s original nautical details have been lovingly preserved, keeping the boat’s character while giving guests a sense of its history. Each apartment, which can accommodate up to four guests, has its own entrance, a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom, and a wood stove, as well as a private deck terrace, where you can sip on a glass of wine while watching the busy activity on the shore. Staying in the harbor means you’ll be close to several restaurants, the lively marketplace at Binnenrotte Square with its quaint shops and boutiques, and a whole host of art galleries and museums, including the Kunsthal and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam’s main art museum. With its reputation as the architectural capital of the Netherlands, design lovers will enjoy visiting the Dutch Architecture Institute and admiring the towering buildings of the modern skyline.
Docked along the coast of Pompano Beach, just north of Fort Lauderdale, this 40-foot luxury yacht provides the perfect alternative to a traditional hotel. Air-conditioned throughout, the yacht has two cabins, one featuring a queen-sized bed and the other featuring two twin beds, and can accommodate up to six guests thanks to the queen-sized pullout sofa in the main salon. Each stateroom comes equipped with a large HDTV and DVD player, while the main salon includes a 50-inch HDTV, DVD player, and a surround sound speaker system. Guests staying on the yacht have full access to all of the marina’s amenities and facilities, including the swimming pool, spa, whirlpool tub, restaurant (and room service delivery to the boat), and laundry room. For an additional fee, the yacht can be chartered for cruises or, in the accompaniment of a crew, for trips down to the Bahamas or the Florida Keys. Before your arrival, see if the dates of your visit coincide with any of the annual festivals and events hosted by the city, such as the Pompano Beach Seafood Festival, the Pompano Beach Holiday Boat Parade, and the Annual Nautical Flea Market at Pompano Community Park and Amphitheater.
Operating from the beginning of May through the end of September, this boatel (boat plus hotel) has the distinction of being downtown Toronto’s only boat bed and breakfast. The yacht’s main stateroom features a double bed and a private ensuite bathroom with a full shower, fluffy bathrobes, and an assortment of biodegradable bath products. The two smaller cabins also have double beds, but they share a bathroom between them. Wake up each morning to the intoxicating smell of freshly brewed coffee leading you out of your cabin and over to the dining area, where a full gourmet breakfast awaits you. Be sure to try the signature Belgian waffles served with fresh fruit and maple whipped cream. With enough notice, vegetarian meals, as well as suitable meals for following restricted diets, can be provided. The yacht’s mooring in the Toronto Harbor makes it convenient to area attractions like the CN Tower, Rogers Centre (previously known as the SkyDome), and Metro Toronto Convention Centre. If you prefer, then hop on the streetcar to Union Station to visit areas not in the immediate vicinity of the waterfront.
The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh made the city of Arles in the south of France his home in 1888-1889. Because he produced more than 300 pieces of art during his time there, including The Night Café and Starry Night over the Rhone, it is almost poetic that this houseboat is anchored at the banks of the peaceful Arles Canal, just minutes away from the famous Van Gogh Bridge, the subject of several of the artist’s paintings and drawings. The 38-meter-long barge with a riveted hull is eighty-years-old and offers two individually decorated rooms. The first room pays homage to life on a working boat with its wooden accents, while the second showcases a loft design and features a sleigh bed and brass porthole windows. Especially interesting to lovers of history and architecture, the city of Arles, the historic center of which is only a ten-minute walk from the houseboat, is the site of many important ancient Roman remains, including The Alyscamps (Roman necropolis), the Arles Obelisk, and the renowned Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, whose collection of Roman sarcophagi is one of the best collections housed outside of Rome.
With its wooden deck built from sustainable, plantation-grown teak in a warm shade of honey, this yacht is a classic Cabo Rico 38 XL and the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. Kick off your stay with a chartered three-hour sunset sail on the picturesque waters of Grand Traverse Bay. Once the yacht has returned to the dock in CenterPointe Marina, the sailing crew will leave you to enjoy the rest of your night, either by sipping cocktails at the nearby Harbor 22 or by retiring to your cozy double cabin to savor the stillness. In the morning, enjoy a full breakfast on board before exploring the city lovingly known as “The Cherry Capital (of the World)” due to the fact that Traverse City is the largest producer of cherries in the United States. If you’re planning a summer stay on the sailing yacht Scout, then aim for the first full week in July so you can attend the annual week-long National Cherry Festival. The Grand Traverse region is also perfect for sports enthusiasts and wine aficionados with its numerous biking and hiking trails and more than 50 wineries, most of which offer free tastings.
If you’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a crewmember on board a historic tall ship, then consider booking an overnight stay aboard the Liberty Clipper, a 125-foot replica of John Hancock’s ship that offers cruises around Boston, as well as modern amenities and conveniences for bed and breakfast guests looking for a truly unique experience. Since the Liberty Clipper is a working ship, the regular crewmembers live on board and are more than willing to sit up on deck with you late into the evening to share stories about their adventures at sea. The pine-paneled cabins are naturally on the smaller side, but each cabin has a comfortable bed, a private sink with a vanity (the bathrooms are shared), and a ceiling fan to help ease the effects of the humidity of a Boston summer. In the morning, enjoy a continental breakfast with hot coffee, bagels with various spreads, and seasonal fresh fruit. After you’ve put in your time as a member of the crew, then disembark the ship and walk along the Freedom Trail, visit Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, and soak in the culture of Boston’s Little Italy and the historic North End.
The 114-foot Manitou is a majestic replica of a 19th-century coasting cargo schooner and the sister ship to the sailing yacht Scout (see above). An overnight stay on the Manitou will also include a sunset sail in Grand Traverse Bay on the evening of your arrival; however, you’ll only sail for two hours as opposed to three hours on the Scout. And, rather than having the sailboat all to yourself for the night, you may wind up sharing the boat with other guests who aren’t in your party, as the Manitou has accommodations for 24 guests in 12 rustic private cabins with shared bathrooms below deck. Each of the cabins is air-conditioned and furnished with two built-in, wooden, single bunks made up with fresh linens and warm blankets. On the warmer evenings, guests are invited to bring a sleeping bag and pad for sleeping under the stars up on deck. In the morning, wake up to a mug of fresh coffee and the spectacular sight of the sunrise up over Old Mission Peninsula, after which you can enjoy a hearty, homemade breakfast prepared on the ship’s wood-burning stove. Your stay aboard the Manitou will undoubtedly be an experience that you’ll never forget.
Moored at the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel, this 74-foot wooden sailboat provides an unforgettable waterfront stay, offering special bed and breakfast packages on Saturday evenings from the first weekend in May through the last weekend in September. Board the Woodwind for a gorgeous two-hour sunset sail on Chesapeake Bay, and then, upon your arrival back at the dock, head into downtown Annapolis or to nearby Eastport for a romantic dinner. When you return to the ship, enjoy a nightcap on deck before retiring to your private double stateroom furnished with a built-in double bed. In the morning, enjoy a refreshing gourmet continental breakfast including bottomless cups of coffee or tea, a warm quiche filled with asparagus and crab, thick slices of apple cake, and the signature “Woodwind Parfait,” a DIY dish made by layering fresh berries with plain yogurt and granola and finishing with a drizzle of real maple syrup.
This luxurious floating bed and breakfast is air-conditioned throughout and offers guests four beautifully decorated staterooms, each with a queen-sized bed, private bathroom, and ceiling fan. The spacious salon features a fireplace and a 50-inch HDTV and opens to the galley, where a deluxe continental breakfast is served each morning. Take a dip in the heated swimming pool at the marina or spend the entire day on the boat by relaxing with a book on the lounge chairs on the 105-foot sky deck or by soaking in the hot tub and watching the stars come out after sunset. While the calming atmosphere of the boat may tempt you to stay put for the entirety of your stay, you’ll inevitably be drawn to the inspiring art galleries and eclectic shops in the village of Saugatuck, as well as the view from atop Mount Baldhead and from Oval Beach on Lake Michigan. You’ll also be within easy access of four champion golf courses and the local vineyards of Michigan’s wine country.
This family-friendly bed and breakfast is moored in Port D’Aiguadolc in the picturesque town of Stiges, just a 30-minute drive away from Barcelona. Owners and innkeepers Vick and Lisa will open a bottle of Cava to toast your arrival in style before giving you the keys to the separate entrance to the private guest accommodation and allowing you to explore the spacious cabin that will become your home-away-from-home for the duration of your stay. The cabin features a built-in double bed and single bed, an ensuite bathroom, and plenty of natural light flooding in through the two skylights and four port holes. You’ll have access to the well-appointed kitchen and full use of the deck and all of its amenities, including chaise lounges, a dining table with chairs, a hammock that encourages lazy afternoon naps, and a barbecue grill. It won’t take long for you to discover that Vick and Lisa have provided you with everything you may need to make your vacation an unforgettable one, from filling the on-board library with CDs and board games, to useful travel guidebooks and foreign language phrase books, to babysitting services should you want to spend some alone-time with your loved one without having your little ones underfoot.