Owned and operated by the award-winning Rendezvous Hotel, and demonstrating an investment of more than £375,000, the steel-hulled, electrically-powered boat is fully heated, has a bar and toilets, and has wheelchair access.
Diners and other guests will embark and disembark from the purpose-built landing stage located in front of the hotel. Large double-glazed windows and a headroom of nearly seven feet (two metres) offers a spacious interior.
Floodlights are fitted to the roof to illuminate the canal banks on evening cruises. The boat is also fully heated for all-year-round use. Food is freshly cooked in the hotel’s own kitchens and brought aboard to be prepared in a purpose-built area at the rear of the boat.
Graceful Swan has been built to strict Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) regulations and has been approved to operate on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal by the Canal & River Trust. The two-person crew will be accredited by the MCA. The cabin crew and bar staff will be members of the Rendezvous Hotel staff.
Graceful Swan is fitted with a 20kw electric motor powered by a bank of sealed, rechargeable batteries, giving a quieter, vibration-free cruise. Additional manoeuvrability is provided by bow thrusters. The wheelhouse is located at the rear of the boat and extends above the roof of the passenger cabin to give excellent forward visibility. It can be lowered to enable the boat to pass under low bridges.
Malcolm and Karen Weaving, The Rendezvous Hotel
The launch of the new boat will be the culmination of a long-held wish by the owner of the Rendezvous Hotel, Malcolm Weaving.
“In 2018 we introduced a new dinner cruise option for our guests using a boat from a local supplier,” he says. “This proved extremely popular, giving our guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing cruise and good food along the tranquil Leeds and Liverpool Canal. However, I have always been keen to have a boat of my own that we could use both for dining and for functions. Over recent years we’ve been developing the hotel’s eco-friendly credentials, including the introduction of a biomass heating system and electric car-charging points. It was therefore extremely important to me that this newest member of the Rendezvous family was electric. Graceful Swan is the first of its kind in the UK, offering a wonderfully peaceful, serene and tranquil way to see more of the wonderful scenery in this part of Yorkshire. We look forward to welcoming you aboard very soon.”
The Rendezvous Hotel is located a mile to the south of the historic market town of Skipton in North Yorkshire. The hotel has 96 bedrooms and two, comfortable lounges, giving plenty of space to relax. There’s also a leisure club and swimming pool, and one of the largest hotel ballrooms in the north of England, ideal for hosting special events. The location makes it an ideal base from which to explore Skipton, the Yorkshire Dales, Haworth and Bronte Country, Saltaire and Harrogate.