Rental guide

How to plan a houseboat holiday in Finland?

Find everything you need to know from our comprehensive rental guide!

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Why should I rent a Bellamer’s Houseboat?

Bellamer’s houseboats combine quality, comfort, luxury and style. Our goal is to make environmentally friendly houseboats. The houseboats are also allergy friendly. Our team has been getting good feedback from the excellent service and they will strive to make your dream holiday to come true – we’re here for you!

Where do the houseboats depart from?

Bellamer’s houseboats are based in Jyväskylä and all hires must depart from and return to our marina at Jyväskylä harbour.

Where is Jyväskylä?

Jyväskylä, the city of 140 000 inhabitants, is the largest city in the region of Central Finland and on the Finnish Lakeland.

Jyväskylä is located on the northern coast of Lake Päijänne. It is just over an hour drive from Tampere and three hour drive of Helsinki.

How to arrive?

By car:

Drive road E9 to get in Jyväskylä. Follow Lutakko or Congress centre Paviljonki signs and you will see Jyväskylä harbour in your right-hand side. You can park your car to Paviljonki’s parking hall (map) to your left side (12€/24h) You can also park in the Jyväskylä harbour short-time for free to empty your suitcases and then move your car to Paviljonki parking hall.

By plane:

From Helsinki:

Arrive to Helsinki Airport and take a bus or train to Jyväskylä. The busses have a direct connection between Helsinki Airport and Jyväskylä. If you prefer train, take an airport bus or train to Tikkurila train station. After that, take a train to Jyväskylä.

From Jyväskylä:

If you arrive in Jyväskylä airport, there are local busses to Jyväskylä or you can always take a taxi.

By bus or train:

Busses and trains arrive to Jyväskylä travel centre, which is located 900 m from Jyväskylä harbour. Walk through the tunnel of the travel centre and you will see congress centre Paviljonki in front of you. After that, turn right and walk straight until you are in Jyväskylä harbour.

Do I need a special license to rent a houseboat?

No, you just need to be over 15 years of age.

You also won’t need any prior experience in boating, as controlling the houseboats is very easy. All you need to do is to gather your crew, choose the skipper and participate in our skipper’s cource, before heading out to the adventure! This is a unique opportunity to experience the skipper’s life at its best.

Before you’ll arrive, we’ll send you our Captain’s Handbook, which you can study to get familiarized with your houseboat beforehand. This manual also always travels with you on your boat, so you can count on having the instructions with you all the time. In case of any trouble, our harbour staff will be only a phone call away – we’re here to make sure everything goes smoothly on your holiday!

Our trained harbour staff at our base are experienced in boating and are well familiarized with the Finnish lakes. During the skipper’s cource, you will learn how to operate the houseboat, how to moor and anchor, what are the specialities of this type of boat and how to operate the techinal items of the boat. We’ll also teach you and your crew the principles of safety on water, make sure everything functions well in your boat and instruct you on special types of boating, such as going through a lock. Our skipper will also give you the best insights of Lake Päijänne and Keitele, so you can be sure to find the finest places to espace to your own peace, or find the finest fishing spots!

Is a Houseboat Holiday a good option for families with children?

A Houseboat Holiday is great fun for all ages! Nature’s closeness provides great possibilities for exciting summer activities to share with your family.

In a houseboat, children have adequate space to play while the houseboat travels along the clean waterways of Finland. Even small children can enjoy the relaxing lake enviroment! Houseboats are equipped with all necessary security devices and messaging systems.

With elder crew members, we recommend to pay attention to possible medical conditions and the general strenght.

What are the available rental periods?

Do you have only couple of days time to spend in Finnish Lakeland? If you’re stopping by at Jyväskylä region, make the most of your stay and have a relaxing take-off in the middle of beautiful waters.

  • Our week-day holidays of Monday-Friday (4 nights) are available through whole season.
  • In case you’re arriving in the weekend, we also offer weekend holidays of Friday-Monday (3 nights).

We have interesting itineraries planned for short-term holidays, so make sure to take a look at them! Of cource, as you’re the skipper, you can also freely sail wherever the wind takes you.

If you’d like to spend a whole week or two in the remarkable Lakeland nature, you’ll have plenty to see and experience. Our week holidays are available from Monday to Monday or Friday to Friday (7/14 nights)

You can follow our nature-centered week itinerary, which includes a memorable visit to a Finnish national park, or you can combine the attractions and sightseeing accoring to your own preferences.

How do I choose a boat to suit my group? Can I travel alone?

Rent a houseboat with no stress! Choosing the right houseboat for your houseboat holiday is easy, when you know what you’re looking for. All of our houseboats are well-equipped and include a wide selection of amenities. The main things to consider when booking a houseboat are:

  • the number of people
  • what kind of facilities would you require
  • what is your budget
  • the booking availability of the boat
  • would you prefer a weekday holiday, a weekend holiday or a full week holiday.

We strongly recommend at least two persons per houseboat (preferably one who’s more than 15 years old) as it’s much easier to control the houseboat with helping hands.

How many people are allowed on board?

The houseboats are registered for 12 persons, but depending on the houseboat model, there are sleeping places for 4-8 persons

Can I bring pets on board? Can I rent a houseboat with allergies?

Unfortunately, as our houseboats are allergy-friendly, pets are not allowed onboard. Thus, renting a houseboat is a great holiday option for those with allergies!

How much does it cost?

All the houseboat ranges have different prices and it will depend on how long you would like to to rent a houseboat for and which time of the year. Current pricing is available on our website. Remember to select the houseboat you are interested in . The prices quoted are per houseboat, not per person.

We offer three different rental options: week holiday (4 nights, Monday-Friday), weekend holiday (3 nights, Friday-Monday) and full week holiday (7 nights, Monday-Monday or Friday to Friday)

Is there a security bond?

Yes. When you board the houseboat you will be required to pay a damage deposit of 2500€ by cash or card. From the damage deposit, we will deduct possible damages. The damage deposit will be returned after the houseboat has been returned and our team has checked it.

What’s included in the rental price?

  • The houseboat with all the equipment mentioned for the individual use.
  • Introduction of the houseboat (including the captain course and introduction for houseboat’s and safety equipment).
  • Easy-to-use navigation system as well as electronic and paper lake maps.
  • Planning the routes and giving recommendations based on your preferences.
  • It’s also possible to program the selected route in the navigator ready.
  • Helpline.
  • End cleaning
  • VAT 24%

The rental price excludes transportations, or other additional services. (unless ordered beforehand). After the rental, the consumed fuel also has to be paid by filling up the tank accoring to usage.

What additional activities and services can I include to my holiday?

If you need additional services, such as bed linens and towels, or taxi transfers from airport or railwaystation, let us know and we’ll take care of everything.

If you feel like having an activite holiday – this is your change to experiment with several water-based activities! Would you like to try paddling through the lakes with a kayak? It is definitely an experience to remember, as you’ll almost become one with the pure waters. If you feel like trying some SUP-boarding or sail boarding, challenge yourself and train your balance. The equipment travels easily with you on your houseboat!

You can also rent mountain bikes with you and make the most of them by visiting national parks and nature trails. Biking is also the best way to reach the attractions on your route! We also offer a selection of fishing gears for rent, if you’ve ever wanted to try your luck with fish catching. A houseboat is an excellent way to travel to the best spots for fishing. The best of all is that you can easily prepare a delicious meal after the end of the day at your houseboat!

How do I book a houseboat?

Simply contact our office via phone +358 40 164 6168 or email info@houseboat.fi and make a tentative booking to the houseboat you’d like to rent. To confirm the booking, we would require a deposit to be paid within the 7 days. The deposit will be deducted from the rent fee and full written confirmation is then sent to you and the balance of payment is due 28 days prior to boarding the boat. Once final payment has been received, an information kit will be sent to you to assist with planning the rest of your holiday. The other option is to rent a houseboat easily online – welcome to our houseboat holiday store!

When and where can I check in and out?

The houseboats are located in Jyväskylä harbour. Your houseboat will be available to you on the day of arrival starting from 3 to 5 pm. You need to check out on the day of departure by 10 am. We’re located in the city’s side of the harbour, where you can arrive directly with your group – our staff will be waiting you at your houseboat.

The check-out time is at 10.00/10 AM on the departure date. The houseboat should be returned back to base with a full fuel tank, which our staff is glad to help you with. Our staff is always waiting you back at the Jyväskylä harbour and will assist you with everything needed.

Where should I go with my houseboat? What could I see and experience?

The Finnish lakes of Central Finland offer endless possibilities for exploring undiscovered islands, sailing through the blue labyrinth of the pure waters and finding the peace like nowhere else. If you feel like you are needing a take-off from the everyday life, head out to the uncrowded waters of Lake Päijänne.

If you would like to spend your holiday with marvelling the Central Finland’s attractions, we can plan your route according to best stops on your way. There are many interesting spots to stop by, whether they’d be cultural attractions, or wonders of nature. We have planned interesting itineraries around the Jyväskylä region, which you can take a look at down below.

What is provided on the houseboat and what do I need to bring?

Packing for a houseboat holiday is very easy – we offer mostly everything, you’ll need on board! All of our houseboats have the needed amenities for comfortable living on waters.

Along the equipment and boating items, the kitchens of the houseboats are well-equipped with plenty of cooking suplies and cutlery, so there’s no need to reduce your usual cooking habits. The boats also have cleaning equipment and -fluids, toilet paper and hand soap, pillows and blankets, gas and one bag of wood for sauna.

The rental excludes bed linens and towels, which can be easily rented from us at the base, or in advance. If you need additional bags of wood, you can easily buy them from us at our base. Consumed fuel and gas are also excluded from the rental, please note our terms and conditions for further information.

Does the houseboats have electricity and hot water? Do I need an adapter? How about Wi-Fi?

The houseboats have a modern equipment and have full electricity and heating. The power used is 230V, so depending to the origin country, an adapter might be needed. The taps have cold and hot water. The houseboat takes the water straight from the lake and it goes through a filter first, so it’s drinkable too. This is also why filling up the water tank is not necessary.

Almost a whole lake area is covered by a Wi-Fi-connection, so internet can be accessed anywhere you go. This applies also to mobile phones.

Packing list for your holiday:

Food:

  • All the ingredients for the meals you’re planning to prepare on your journey
  • Coffee or tea, if you prefer, coffee filters
  • Spices (salt, pepper, anything else you’re used to use)
  • Cooking oil, or olive oil

If you’re planning to stay for a long time, don’t worry about shopping the groceries all at once – there are several markets on your way, in which you can have the supplement needed!

Toiletries

  • Your personal toiletries needed
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo, conditioner and shower soap
  • Sunscreen

Clothing:

  • Clothes for warm and hot weather: shorts, t-shirts, other short sleeved clothing
  • Clothes for cold or rainy weather: long sleeved shirts, warm pants, sweaters, jackets, warm socks, rain jacket
  • Pajamas
  • Hiking shoes or sneakers for outdoors activities
  • Sandals
  • Hat to protect from the sun
  • Sunglasses

Others:

  • Camera
  • Insect Repellent
  • Fishing gear, if you like to fish with your own equipment (we’ll also rent them at our base and help with the permissions!)
  • Games for fun nights
  • Music
  • Books

How’s fishing in Finland? Do I need licenses?

Finland is paradise for all fishers. The country is covered in numerous kinds of clean freshwater lakes: one tenth of Finland is made up of lakes, rivers and ponds. All in all, there are 187 888 lakes and 647 rivers in Finland. Finland has about 1100 kilometers of sea shoreline without including the countless inland islands and little inlets along them. Renting a houseboat gives you a perfect access to these vast waters!

Lake Päijänne a excellent place for fishing. Lake Päijänne is Finland’s the second largest lake. The Finnish lakes and shores covered with reeded bays, beaches and shallow waters are perfect for fishing.

The most abundant fish in the Finnish lakes are pike, perch, pike-perch, whitefish, burbot, and bream. In the spring and fall when the lake water is colder, trout and salmon are more easily caught. In the summer the trout and the salmon swim in much deeper water.

In Finland, having the age between 18-64, means that fishing with anything other than a hook and line, the national fisheries management fee has to be paid. We’re glad to help with the license. More information can be found here.

What am I allowed to do in the nature?

In Finland, we have a concept called “Everyman’s rights”. This means, that everyone is allowed freely walk wander around the forests, lakes and rivers and countryside, while going by foot, boat or bike. The goods of the nature are also available for anyone: pick as much wild berries and mushrooms as you like!

While the Finnish nature welcomes everyone to explore it’s one-of-kind beauty, there are certain rules to follow. Animals, plants, or someone else’s property shall not be harmed. Someone else’s plants, flowers or goods can’t be picked. Camping or mooring can’t be done too close to anyone’s house, cottage or private area. No litter should be left behind and the silence of the nature should be respected, too much noise should not be made.

Everyman’s right in brief:

Everyone may:

  • walk, ski or cycle freely in the countryside, except in gardens, in the immediate vicinity of people’s homes, and in fields and plantations which could easily be damaged
  • pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers, as long as they are not protected species
  • fish with a rod and line
  • row, sail or use a motorboat on waterways, with certain restrictions;  swim or wash in inland waters and the sea
  • walk, ski and fish on frozen lakes, rivers and the sea

You may not:

  • disturb other people or damage property
  • disturb breeding birds, or their nests or young
  • disturb reindeer or game animals
  • cut down or damage living trees, or collect wood, moss or lichen on other people’s property
  • light open fires on other people’s property, except in an emergency
  • disturb the privacy of people’s homes, by camping too near them, or making too much noise, for example
  • leave litter
  • drive motor vehicles off road without the landowner’s permission
  • fish or hunt without the relevant permits

Welcome to Finland!

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Are you interested in our houseboat holiday options? If yes, please contact us and we would love to tell you more about them!

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