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18 September, 2013 - 18:50 By Tony Quested

Waterways holidays leader in Norfolk Broads partnership

Le Boat is the world leader in inland waterway holidays with over 800 boats and more than 40 departure bases across Europe

Two Norfolk Broads holiday companies, Crown Travel and Herbert Woods have announced a partnership whereby Herbert Woods will buy 30 of the Admiral and Emperor cruisers, currently operated under the Le Boat brand name.

The ‘Admiral’ and ‘Emperor’ cruisers were originally built by Porter and Haylett, in Wroxham, and formed part of the successful Connoisseur fleet.

Sleeping four to six and six to eight, respectively, both styles of cruiser feature central steering positions and central saloon with sliding roof. The low level design of these boats makes them ideal for passing underneath the low Broads bridges.

Cheryl Powell, managing director for Le Boat said: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Herbert Woods – the perfect match! Established in 1926, the Herbert Woods boat yard in Potter Heigham, has always been synonymous with quality holidays on the Norfolk Broads.

“The company prides itself in the quality of its boats, the skill of their engineers and boat builders and the high levels of customer service.”

The fleet will be owned and operated by Herbert Woods from 2014 but Le Boat will continue to feature the Norfolk Broads in its product offering as it is a popular destination for the company’s customers. Le Boat has offered boating holidays for over 40 years in the Norfolk Broads.

Le Boat is the world leader in inland waterway holidays with over 800 boats and more than 40 departure bases across Europe (including France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Poland, and Ireland) and the UK (the River Thames, the Norfolk Broads and the Caledonian Canal in Scotland).

Le Boat has a very successful global distribution strategy working through all channels and supported by some of the largest boating specialists around the world. All are supported by call centres in France, the UK, Germany, Holland, the US, Australia and South Africa.

In addition to the sale of the fleet, the two companies have also entered into a distribution agreement which will allow Le Boat to act as a global booking agent for Herbert Woods.

Le Boat will offer both the Admiral and Emperor cruisers plus the Herbert Woods elite fleet of cruisers to customers globally. Herbert Woods’ marketing director Amanda Walker said: “We are very excited to have Le Boat operating as our global booking agent as it will allow Herbert Woods access to new overseas markets with an established agent who is a member of the TUI group.”

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