General Information on Premier Choice Waterway Holidays
Premier Choice is a marketing consortium featuring three of the largest independent canal boat operators in the UK. These companies are privately owned and run by the directors on a day to day basis. Between us we run some 300 boats from 16 holiday centres spread across the UK.
Although we have no financial involvement in each others' businesses, we do share a set of common aims. These aims have meant that we are able to work together to bring particularly new potential customers the joys of canal boating.
We all aim to invest heavily in building new boats, so that our customers can have the most modern craft when they go on holiday with us. Each company has a dedicated boat building programme, which result in between 25 and 30 boats entering service with our fleets each year. Of course the type of boat which we build varies greatly between companies, and again this helps our customers as it gives them the widest possible choice from which to pick a boat most ideally suited to their needs. Whilst we run around 25% of the hire boats on the canals in the UK, we probably build around 65% of all the new canal boats coming on hire.
We insist that our boats are inspected by the Tourist Board under their Grading scheme, a scheme set up under the auspices of British Waterways and the English Tourism Council. The boats are inspected annually by an independent qualified inspector who grades the boats from one Star (Lowest) to 5 star (Highest). If the Inspector fails a boat, that boat cannot run under our colours. Fortunately that has never happened. Our boats make up roughly two thirds of the total number of canal boats inspected each year throughout the UK.
We insist on vigorous training schedules for our staff so that when you come to us, you will know that you are in safe, caring hands. Not only do we train our staff in the technical side, with for instance, electrical, mechanical and gas courses, but also in areas which could impact on you such as First Aid, telephone manner and Customer Care. Many of our staff have been with us since leaving school, and their combined experience would be without parallel on the UK canal system.
Finally, we are all members of the British Marine Federation, and its sister association, the Association of Pleasure Craft Operators and run our companies strictly according to their Code of Conduct. Indeed staff from our member companies have served in high office in both organisations.
As a result of adhering to the above standards, we are fortunate in each having a loyal following of customers, helping us to become probably the two most successful canal hire companies in the UK. It also means that we are able to work together to bring canal boating to a wider public.