Le Boat: self-drive cruiser

NEW Le Boat 1500 Series fleet of self-drive cruisers revolutionises boating holidays.

Green, sleek and sexy: the new Le Boat 1500 Series cruises Europe’s waterways in 2011 Le Boat, part of TUI Marine, the marine division of the Specialist & Activity Sector of TUI Travel Plc is to introduce the new Le Boat 1500 Series – a luxury fleet of ecofriendly self-drive motor leisure cruisers exclusive to Le Boat and built by world-renowned yacht builders, Groupe Bénéteau.

The Le Boat 1500 Series will change the way boating holidays are both perceived and enjoyed forever. The three models (8+, 6+, 4+) boast a range of technical features and creature comforts that are set to revolutionise the holiday boating industry, giving customers the chance to enjoy luxurious, green boating holidays on Europe’s beautiful inland waterways.

NEW HYBRID TECHNOLOGY ensures greener boating holidays for the future
The Le Boat 1500 Series allows the customer to cruise via a conventional diesel engine or under electric power with zero noise, zero pollution and zero fuel consumption – helping to preserve the waterways for the enjoyment of future generations.

Each boat has six solar panels to generate green energy that is stored in the boat’s industry-leading battery bank (produced by Valence Technology) making cruising possible even on cloudy days. Electric energy will also be provided via the boat’s generator and shore power connectivity.
The superior diesel engine is built using the latest marine technology by Volkswagen Marine and has very low CO2 emissions.

The low-wave making hull is specially designed to minimise bank erosion and large holding tanks store all grey and black water.

A range of other technology enhancements and benefits for the customer – such as low wattage LED lighting and minimal flush toilet systems are also being developed.

NEW JOYSTICK STEERING makes the Le Boat 1500 Series the easiest to drive and manoeuvre. The new Le Boat 1500 Series will without doubt be the easiest boat on the waterways to manoeuvre thanks to the introduction of revolutionary joystick technology and a steerable POD drive system which eliminates the need for a rudder. Le Boat is the first company to install these features into an inland waterways commercial hire fleet. The joystick will be in addition to two conventional interior and exterior steering positions with steering wheels.

The steerable POD drive system, which is connected to the boat’s bow thruster, will give customers greater cruising control while the joystick enables the boat to rotate 360 degrees and dock sideways alongside the canal bank. These unique features are set to revolutionise and simplify mooring and docking procedures, change the way cruising holidays are enjoyed for the better.

NEW LUXURIOUS INTERIOR – designer cruising arrives
With all models built on the same 14.97m x 4.65m hull, the new Le Boat 1500 Series is the most luxurious and spacious boat in the Le Boat fleet and designed to provide a home-from-home environment. All cabins have flat screen TVs and en-suite bathrooms and have individual air-conditioning. Cabins have flexible twin/double layouts with additional space for children via fold-down beds. All beds are standard-sized with proper mattresses for maximum comfort.

A spacious arc-shaped saloon will comfortably accommodate all passengers and provide access to the foredeck. A convertible settee sleeps one extra person if required. The open-plan kitchen galley has been designed for great on-board socialising while appliances such as the large fridge-freezer with ice compartment and regular-sized oven while make for easy catering for all onboard. There will be standing headroom and level flooring throughout and large windows on all sides will increase the feeling of light and space as well as provide panoramic views. The huge top deck (flybridge) has plenty of comfortable seating and a large bimini (sun canopy) as well as a gas BBQ, bar fridge and outer shower/sink.

The new Le Boat 1500 Series will be available as a range of models and will be available in France, Germany and Italy in 2011. The first 50 boats will join the Le Boat fleet at the start of the 2011 season, with more set to join the fleet in the coming years as Le Boat builds a greener and cleaner fleet for the future.

Commenting on the new boats Lex Raas, TUI Marine CEO, says: “It is a privilege to be involved in the creation of a totally new concept for the inland waterways boating industry. I believe the new Le Boat 1500 Series will not only become the most sought after model for our customers, but it will also set the standards for environmentally conscious cruising for the future. Waterways authorities and tourism companies connected with the waterways have to work in partnership to protect and preserve the waterways for the enjoyment of future generations and I will personally ensure that Le Boat continues to push the boundaries.”

Le Boat 15-02: 2 luxurious equal-sized en-suite cabins each with fold-down child’s bed and comfortable seating (4+3) Le Boat 15-03A 3 equal-sized cabins, each with optional fold-down child’s bed and en-suite bathrooms (6+4) Le Boat 15-03 B: 1 master cabin with optional fold down child’s bed and 2 smaller cabins – all en-suite (6+2) Le Boat 15-04 4 equal-sized cabins and 4 en-suite bathrooms (8+1)