Skuna combines the best of boating and relaxation.
For our money, the best way to take to the London waters is in a goddamn awesome hot tub. And whilst the impracticality of putting a hot tub in a canal was once insurmountable, it isn’t anymore. The reason? A fun and innovative mode of travel, know as the Hot Tub Boat.
Having successfully conquered the likes of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Copenhagen, Skuna made a splash in the UK when they landed in London in 2017. Heated by a wood-burning stove, and steered by a responsible member of your party, it simply is the finest in canal transport. Prepare to look fly as you chug along at a heady 3 miles per hour.
Each hot tub boat holds seven suave punters, and the tubs are heated to a balmy 38 degrees. You’d think Skuna wouldn’t need to mention that the water is fresh, rather than from the canal, but you’d be wrong. Just for clarity, the water is perfectly clean, and it’s refilled before each trip. Also in the “should be self-evident but apparently isn’t” category is their policy on swimwear – namely, that you definitely need to bring it.
You’ll set sail from either Islington Boat Club or West India Quay, depending where you choose, and training is provided once you’ve changed into your cozzies. You’ve got a fifteen minute orientation and test drive, and then 75 minutes to cruise to your heart’s content. That’s plenty of time to fulfil your primary purpose: looking damn cool, and eliciting admiring/covetous glances from passersby.
There’s even better news for those eyeing up a hot tub boat. Alcohol is allowed on board, and is stored in an ice bucket to keep your bevs a lot chillier than you’ll ever be. You’ll need to anoint someone captain of the ship, a steady hand on the tiller who obeys the laws of the sea. The captain will unfortunately not be able to drink, lest they receive the UK’s first HTWI (Hot Tubbing Whilst Intoxicated). A noble undertaking, plus you get to wear the skipper’s hat!
A trip in a hot tub boat doesn’t exactly come cheap. It’s £225 to rent one for 90 minutes, and if there’s no booking afterwards, you can extend another 30 minutes for £30 and keep on tubbin’. Still, if you get a squad of seven together, it works out at a far more reasonable £32 per person. And really, you can’t put a price on looking this good in a sweet hot tub, can you?
If we still have your attention, you might be interested to know that there are a number of other ways to take a boat trip in London – you can go kayaking, hire your own electric cruiser, or even steam along as you eat a five-course meal.
Also published on Medium.