One of the best-known boat companies on the Thames is returning to the holiday hire market after 30 years – with a new luxury vessel.

Hobbs of Henley, known for passenger and day hire boats, has announced a partnership with Linssen Boating Holidays.

The Oxfordshire company is the first UK partner of the Dutch company which has a fleet of 70 motor yachts worldwide.

A brand new Linssen 34.9 Grand Sturdy will be the first one available in the UK and will arrive on the Thames in March. It will be available for weekend or weekly hire from April.

Hobbs had a hire fleet up until the 1980s but in recent years has concentrated on passenger boats like its New Orleans and Waterman as well as smaller day hire boats.

Jonathan Hobbs, Managing Director, said:” The Linssen fits perfectly into our luxury charter fleet. It is a superb boat and will provide a memorable holiday whatever the weather.

 “Years ago there were as many as 2,000 holiday hire boats on the river. Over 20 or 30 years that dwindled to around 100. We feel the market has now stabilised and it is the right time to introduce a luxurious boat like this to the river.

“We anticipate interest from both the UK and overseas. It will be the perfect way to enjoy one of the great rivers.”

Company publicity says the boat provides unparalled luxury afloat. “The interior is magnificent, with its beautiful wooden finishes and all your comforts are catered for. You have a wonderful view from the bright saloon, and have everything you could want in the kitchen. The cabins are spacious, as are the toilets and shower cubicles.”

Weekly hire charges range between £1,500 and £2,500 depending on season. The boat will be on show for the first time at the Wargrave and Henley Motorboat Show on March 22-23.

Linssen Yachts is one of the oldest yacht builders in the Netherlands based in Maasbracht, a small harbour town on the River Meuse in Limburg, nestling in a valley between Belgium and Germany. In recent years the company has become famous for its Sturdy range of motorboats of whwich this is the latest.

Hobbs of Henley was established in 1870, has a working knowledge of the Thames going back five generations and remains a family run business.

Story dated January 28th 2013

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