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Our Story

Our (Natasha and Klaus) relationship began in London in October 2014, some 27 years after initially meeting in our ‘home’ country of Zimbabwe and re-connecting through FaceBook!  Budding business ideas and lots of travel, interspersed with some seriously trying times, have been hectic ever since.  We both pride ourselves in having fair, hard-working attitudes and a total zest for happiness and humour which has bonded us from the outset!

 

Not long after we got together, we visited our first boat, “Eucala”.  Whilst she required copious amounts of cosmetic work, we immediately saw huge potential in her.  The initial reason for purchase was due to Klaus living in Leeds but wanting somewhere he could call home whilst working in London instead of constantly staying in hotels.  As he has always absolutely loved boats, he thought this would be a perfect solution.

 

His dad was a sailor for over 17 years, culminating in Chief Engineer on a tanker, before moving to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to build boats in Salisbury (now Harare) and retired to Lake Kariba to continue messing around on water with a fish trading business.  Klaus’ paternal grandfather also invented and patented the sealed bulk-head in 1918, 6 years after the Titanic sank……. so, boating has always been in his blood!  

 

My Doctor dad also semi-retired to Kariba, had a boat called ‘WET QUACK’ to visit his patients and knew and treated Klaus’ parents too!     

 

Anyway, within a month of “Eucala’s” arrival in Hampton Court (to the most stunning looking marina albeit – it turned out – to have a VERY sinister side), Klaus’ London consulting contract at that time came to an end.  A year on, after taking the boat out on a couple of occasions (across the English Channel to explore the inland waterways of France with our kids in the summer of 2015 and seeing the London fireworks for New Year’s Eve in 2015), she still required loads of work and was haemorrhaging expensive fees (the abbreviation of ‘BOAT’ meaning ‘bring out another thousand’ ringing ever so true).  Shortly after this, we had an epiphany……. to renovate and rent her out for unique boat stays and skippered cruising…….

 

AND RIGHT THERE, A NEW BUSINESS WAS BORN!

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Since then, we have moved to Penton Hook and have featured as long term Super-hosts on Airbnb; received Gold Awards on Booking.Com and Certificates of Excellence on Trip Advisor specialising in unique personalised stays including honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. 

 

“Eucala” cameoed as the Californian boat of the Beach Boys’ drummer (‘Autopsy: the last hours of Dennis Wilson);

 

“Baboo” has been used for a couple of music videos and a sexy swimwear modelling shoot;

 

“Bluebird” has also been featured in a music recording to boot! AND

“French Leave” used for a Bollywood film.

And, we have been extremely privileged to assist in a few memorable proposals ♥ - and love reading the countless guest book entries and reviews where some wonderful memories have been made.

 

This will also be our 5th year of running a fleet of small self-drive day boats - now based in Kingston-upon-Thames (the idea started after seeing our tender to “Eucala” sitting around gathering dust!)  In 2019, before the world locked-down, we were voted “the best-selling and number #1 boat tour deal in UK and Ireland – Groupon 2019”. 

We also provide private skippered cruises for all occasions including stag and hen do's.

 

Klaus’ brother, Chris, joined as Chief Engineer at the beginning of 2020 after immigrating from South Africa and has been instrumental in maintaining our fleet and captaining skippered cruises.  And Sean, who started out as our Care-Taker 3 years ago for the staycation boats – has now taken over as Self-Drive Manager in Kingston and also assists with various other projects.

Its been a tough couple of years with the pandemic and many other obstacles thrown our way - but being born and brought up in Africa has taught us resilience and being extremely capable of adapting to change.  We therefore remain determined to continue providing a unique and unforgettable service to our guests, which we have always taken pride in, no matter what format those services entail!

There are plenty of places of interest to visit on the Upper Thames which is steeped in history and jam packed with activities and attractions for all ages.  And Central London is just 35 minutes away by direct train. 

 

We do hope you enjoy your time with us at “Riverscapes”😊 

 

LIFE IS BETTER ON A BOAT!  

Meet The Team

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