Basically the term "Crew" includes you too!
All guests invited aboard also serve as crew which means that they need to be reasonably able, fit and willing to participate in most aspects of shipboard life. This might include selecting food at markets, helping out in the galley, cleaning up, working the locks, navigation, steering, and telling the captain where to go.... etc.
If you are interested in learning more or thinking about buying your own barge, please don't hesitate to ask. We can run you through all the basics of working a barge through locks etc. as well as point you in the right direction of courses leading to qualifications necessary to pilot a barge.
Locks, or ecluses as they are known in France, come in all shapes and sizes. Fully automatic, semi automatic, manual and manned . Oval, oblong, deep, shallow, wide, narrow... They are as varied as the different canals and rivers of Europe.
Assisting in the running of Barge Nilaya is all part of the experience but it's important you let us offer instruction before trying to help. Not until you are completely happy and confident in the knowledge you know what to do should you attempt to assist. Until then let the full time crew do the work.
Nilaya weighs in at 82 tonnes and handling her is unlike any cruiser or narrowboat you may have piloted before. Boating the world over is a contact sport and where you might fend off a cruiser with your hands, don't even think about putting any part your body between Barge Nilaya and some other object. I'm sure that Barge Nilaya has been gently bumping into things since 1922 and has the odd war wound to show for it. She bends and is repairable. You won't and aren't.
It's important to remember that we can handle Barge Nilaya perfectly safely alone. Do not feel obliged to help if you don't feel completely happy doing so. Simply sit back and enjoy the countryside slip slowly by.