Some of us have a need for speed while others want our vacation to be as slow as possible so that our Mai Tai does not spill. Boating vacations can be the perfect mix for families craving outdoor excitement and indoor comfort. With almost a quarter of North Americans trying recreational boating, according to a USCGBoating.org survey, the key to the perfect vacation on the water is to match your speed to the speed of the water. How quickly do you want to be carried away?
Slow and easy is the way of the houseboat. With an average speed of 10 miles per hour, according to Houseboats.com, you are not getting anywhere very quickly so this is the time to enjoy where you are. Being in a houseboat is like camping on a pool raft. This is the ideal vacation for the drifter who is comfortable with sleeping, swimming, and lounging in the sun.
Houseboats are common on large lakes or stretches of slow moving rivers with a lot of coast line. This gives the vacationer plenty of room to drift on open water or moor for the night. Lake Mohave is a perfect example. It has 60 miles of shoreline, average temperatures in the low 80’s, and 290 square miles of water to float around, as Houseboating.org explains. To operate one of these boats may require some training, but not much. Licensing, on the other hand, depends on geographic location. According to BoaterExam.com, in the United States, license necessity varies from state to state. However, in Canada, all water crafts need a boating license—or “boat card”, as some call it. Luckily, licenses are relatively easy to get, and they are a good idea for anyone that will be spending a lot of time participating in recreational boating.
For those of us that believe that roughing it means not having the A/C set properly, then a cruise ship is the right water vessel for you. Cruise ships come in a variety of sizes and amenities, as Cruise-Ships.com explains. Starting at the big end, the Oasis of the Sea is 1181 feet long, moves at 22 knots (25 mph), and can house 5400 passengers. Besides a multitude of bars and restaurants, it has an ice skating rink, a rock climbing wall, and a small gold course. The only reason to call this a water vacation is because the little city floats.
Not all cruise ships are huge. The Viking river cruises have ships that are only 423 feet with a couple hundred passengers. These ships bring you up large rivers like the Amazon and boast some amazing gourmet dining to accompany the adventurous local sites.
Some people want their vacation to be a heart pounding journey. These are the white water rafting people. On a little boat, depending on your skill, you can ride the waters of the Grand Canyon at car driving speeds, according to WesternRiver.com. Of course, you do not need to go so fast. White water rivers are rated from one to six with six being nearly impassable. For most of us, this hybrid of camping and canoeing is best at a leisurely paddle with a few good drops to get the heart pounding.
Which water vacation fits your style? Would you take the family, just your significant other or are you the type that likes a one person adventure?