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From salt-washed fishing trawlers on the sparkling seas of Florida to bobbing catamarans on the Greek straits, opulent Victorian-era stays swaying on Himalayan lakes to regal canal barges on the channels of Amsterdam, the house boat promises to be a stay to remember. There are all sorts to pick from, varying in size, stature and character as you move around the globe. The one thing they all have in common is that they promise to whisk you away from dry land and all those tried-and-tested conventional hotel types for something totally different on the water.
One of the real bonuses of staying on a house boat is the mobility it will bring to your adventure. Many of these sorts of stays simply need you to reel up the gangplank, hoist the anchor and rev up the engine to be on your way. Before you know it, you could be whizzing past palm-shaded beaches, staring at soaring cliffs, surrounded by the open ocean or drifting lazily on shifting Alpine lakes between snow-capped mountains and fir forests. Talk about finding a new way to travel this year…
You won't have to sacrifice comfort as you move to the water, either. One glimpse at the wood-panelled interiors and 19th-century furnishings of the grand house boats in Srinagar should be enough to prove that. Clocking up 3- and 4-star ratings, they come in the form of stays like the Lake Victoria Houseboat, which evokes the opulence and extravagance of the Raj era with its carved mahogany beds, dangling chandeliers and filigreed frontispieces – all on a boat.
Elsewhere around the globe and these water-based stays are about feeling the local vibes. You can opt for house boats in Key West to discover lux yachts along Florida's sparkling Atlantic shores, or join sport fishing expeditions between pods of surfing dolphins in the Mexican Gulf. Then there are the chic and suave house boats in Amsterdam, which channel Scandi design trends and the historic boating heritage of the Netherlands to create a pad that sits and fits perfectly between the UNESCO-tagged canals of the Dutch capital – Houseboat Prinsheerlijk is a prime example, what with its whitewashed interiors and contemporary lounge spaces on happening Prinsengracht.
Those are just a taster of the countless, creative, curious and interesting house boat stays that are on offer from Expedia today…