A £300,000 all-electric restaurant boat that will offer a new and exclusive dining experience for groups on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in North Yorkshire has taken to the water to be fitted out. Graceful Swan is the latest initiative from the Rendezvous Hotel, the award-winning, group-friendly, canal-side hotel located a mile south of the centre of Skipton, the ‘Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales’.

The 60-feet-long boat will seat up to 56 people in comfort as they glide silently along the canal. The boat has been designed to be flexible to accommodate different requirements, from executive dining for 36, to lunchtime and evening meals, parties and other functions. Food will be freshly cooked in the Rendezvous Hotel’s own kitchens and brought aboard to be prepared in a specially designed galley area at the rear of the boat. Fully temperature-controlled for all-year-round use, the boat will have a bar, toilets and wheelchair access. Large double-glazed windows and a headroom of nearly seven feet (two metres) will offer a spacious interior. During evening cruises, floodlights fitted to the roof will illuminate the vista on both sides of the canal as dusk descends. Guests will board the boat from the towpath immediately outside the hotel.

Graceful Swan is now being fitted out and is due to be officially launched in October. Groups staying at the Rendezvous Hotel can arrange to have dinner on the boat instead of in the hotel’s Baby Swan restaurant.

Malcolm Weaving says: “As I understand it, Graceful Swan is the first purpose-built, all-electric restaurant boat on the canals of Great Britain. By replacing the traditional diesel engine with an electric motor, the silent, gliding, vibration-free cruise makes the most of the tranquil surroundings. Electric power is important to me as it adds to the hotel’s existing eco-friendly credentials. We already have two electric car charging points (for residents and non- residents), and a hot water and central heating system supplied by our own biomass renewable energy boilers heated using wood chippings.

“Over recent months, our guests have enjoyed a dinner cruise on a hired-in, traditional, diesel-powered restaurant boat. This has been extremely successful so having our own purpose-built, eco-friendly electric boat is, for me, a no brainer! I’m looking forward to enjoying evening dinner cruises on board Graceful Swan as she glides silently along the tranquil waters of the canal with the floodlights illuminating the vistas on both banks.”

For more information about dinner cruises, go to www.rendezvous-skipton.co.uk