Our Story

Cafwin Cruises, Boutique Narrowboat Holidays

Dear Guests,

Cafwin Cruises is very much a family-run business.  I’m Catherine (known in the family as Cafwin and hence the rather unusual name of the company) and I’m the Managing Director.  I run every aspect of the business on a day to day basis, but, as needs be, I am assisted by my husband, Mark, our son and his girlfriend, Lewis & Hannah, and of course my fantastic cleaning team and excellent engineer.  Mark and I are both retired from the Armed Forces (Army & RAF) and we’ve each held an interest in narrowboats for about 30 years; either owning one or holidaying on hire barges.  Having run a very successful holiday villa in Florida for over 10 years, we decided on retirement from the Military to combine our love of narrow boating with my love of running a holiday property and so was born Cafwin Cruises. We invested our savings in having our first narrowboat, Arthur Owl, built from scratch and have been thrilled with our guests’ reaction to our very special holiday boat. 

The whole ethos in setting up our company has been about family and friends.  Lewis, and Hannah, have been heavily involved from the start.  Lewis, Mark and I have completed a comprehensive narrowboat handling course through Willow Wren Training to ensure that we provide the best service to our guests.  The drawing of Arthur Owl was designed and produced by the very talented Nina, who was Lewis’ best friend at school.  We chose our boat builder, Darren from New Concept Boats, based on his expertise and talent, but also because he was generous with his time, friendly and open.  Our Engineer, David, is also ex-Army and is a fantastically reliable and hard-working asset to call upon.  His wife, Bridget, is part of my cleaning team and, having worked with other narrowboat holiday companies for many years, she brings a huge amount of experience with her.  Carrie, who lives on her own narrowboat, also berthed at Droitwich Spa Marina, helps out with the cleaning too and she and Bridget are an absolute joy to work with; they actually sing songs all the way through their cleaning which is lovely to listen to as I complete all the outside tasks.


We love our business and want to ensure that everyone who holidays with us has the best possible experience on the water.  We all know the British weather can be unpredictable therefore making narrow boating an all-weather activity, but we want you to know that below deck there is warmth, cosiness, comfort and real luxury.  Why go to a static boutique hotel or cottage when you can have all the same indulgence and splendour in a vessel that will travel with you and let you enjoy the best of our beautiful countryside and enjoy a different view every day? Why rent an average, old or tired narrowboat for the same or more money, when you can hire our beautiful bespoke and charming boat for the same cost or even less? 

We hope our customers will choose us because they can see that we are offering something a little different, at a competitive price, but with nothing spared to ensure a luxurious, romantic and fun get away.  I will personally do everything within my powers to bring you the best holiday ever.  We also hope that you will enjoy the little extras that we’ll be providing; but we will leave you to find those for yourself when you get on board your boat.  Finally, I am only a phone call or e-mail away if you have any questions, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you don’t understand something or want more information.

Warmest holiday wishes


MD Cafwin Cruises