Skip to main content

From Portland to Amsterdam, Live the Life Aquatic on the World’s Best Houseboats

Summer is just around the corner and, for many of us, that means long days spent on the water. But what if you didn’t have to pack up and head back to land at the end of the day? These stunning houseboats let you be on the water full-time. And really, isn’t that the dream?

Fennel Residence

Portland, Oregon

From the front, it looks like wooden waves; from the back, it’s like a giant wooden nautilus shell floating in the harbor. Fennel Residence stands out as the most unique houseboat on the list. The brainchild of architect Robert Harvey Oshatz, this private residence has it all. Spacious open floor plan, plenty of natural light, high ceilings, a full kitchen, and a large deck for soaking up those water views.

Amstel River Houseboat

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Want to try out living in a houseboat for a few nights to see if life on the water is right for you? Why not do it in one of the world’s most picturesque cities? This AirBnB houseboat rental in Amsterdam is ideal for getting a feel of boat life. This split-level home features a large entry deck, spacious living area, a fully stocked kitchen, a dining space, and a lower level master suite complete with large soaking tub in the bathroom.

Modern Houseboat

Berlin, Germany

Don’t let the shipping-container-style exterior fool you, Modern Houseboat is a seriously stylish floating pad. Situated on Lake Rummelsburg, the quiet location lets you kick back and relax in luxury. With Mid-Century Modern furnishings, a wall of windows, a trendy all-white kitchen, and a spa-like bathroom, Modern Houseboat is the ultimate vacation rental.


London, England

Bright, airy, and full of contemporary style, Beecliffe is the perfect houseboat for Millennials. With tiny living all the rage right now and a housing crisis in London, many have taken to the water in converted barges, narrowboats, and other forms of floating abodes. Beecliffe is spacious, featuring a living area, dining area, kitchenette, bathroom, and bedroom. It also has quirky nautical features like porthole windows and a barrel vaulted ceiling, making the small space feel larger than it is. There’s even a 1920’s wood burning stove for those chilly London nights.

Pendle Narrowboats


Ready to take the plunge (get it?) and get a houseboat of your very own? Look no further than the narrowboat builders scattered throughout England. They’ve been honing their skills for centuries and are able to pack maximum livability into the smallest of spaces. Pendle Narrowboats are experts are designing bright, modern floating homes. Their Alchemy Dutch-style barge has all of the modern amenities you would expect in a luxury home. From cozy contemporary furnishings to a spa-like bathroom they can help turn your dream of living on the water a reality.

If you’ve got a few million to burn, however, you can always upgrade from houseboat to luxury yacht and not a single soul would blame you.

Editors' Recommendations

Kelsey Machado
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kelsey is a professional interior designer with over a decade of experience in the design field. With a passion for…
Rivendell Comes to Life at Tree House Constantia
treehouse tree house constantia residence malan vorster 03  1

We love a good treehouse. From hotels to vacation rentals, the humble treehouse has become so much more than the rickety forts of your childhood. But what if the trend of luxury treehouses was combined with one of the greatest fantasy tales of all time?

Check out Tree House Constantia, a luxury getaway in South Africa built in the trees that is like stepping into Rivendell.

Read more
6 Great Industrial Design Hotels, from Grain Silos and Diamond Factories
best industrial design hotels fabriken furillen

Industrial design hotels rock. From a decomposing gravel quarry converted into a remote luxury hotel to a city-view diamond factory refashioned to rock ‘n’ roll suites, it takes a keen design eye to blend clean and hard industrial architecture with warm interior charm. Done successfully, ultra-modern yet old-world classic spaces add to the travel appeal of any city.

The best industrial design hotels around the world take gritty materials like weathered wood, stone, and exposed brick and turn broken-down industrial structures into wanderlust suites. Here are the six best around the world.
Sir Adam Hotel

Read more
A Modular Tiny House Meets Water in the Adventurous Koda Light Float Houseboat
kodasema koda light float houseboat tiny house 3

Housing is getting harder to come by in the world’s most crowded cities, leading people to think about dwellings in an all-new way. We’ve seen no shortage of unique tiny homes as people get creative while downsizing. We’ve also seen plenty of impressive houseboats that allow folks access to water in prime real estate areas. What we haven’t seen? A modular structure built on a floating pontoon that can be customized per the owner’s wishes. Want your office on a lake? A mobile pop-up shop that can be ferried along a canal? Kodasema has your solution with the new Koda Light Float.

Based in Estonia, Kodasema is a developer of “mini houses” designed to be mobile, affordable, and customizable. Until now, all of their products followed the typical modular structure blueprint - the footprint of your choice is delivered to your site, installed in about one day, and arrives customized to your needs. But their newest product, KODA Light Float, puts a new twist on this, placing the structure on a pontoon and allowing it to take to the water in stylish fashion.

Read more