|Seeking to create memorable and more immersive experiential moments for 2018, European Waterways announced that it has added new, exclusive and sometimes one-of-a-kind experiences throughout its extensive fleet of luxury hotel barges. The experiences bring guests “up close and personal” to some of the more unique personalities and attractions in the cruising regions. Opportunities include tours, lunches, entertainment, and meet-and-greets with regional personalities that range from local aristocracy to friendly lock-keepers.
Among the unique experiences for guests aboard the 12-passenger L’Impressionniste hotel barge, which cruises the renowned wine-making region of Burgundy, France, is a private tour of the moat-encircled Château de Commarin, accompanied by none other than Count Bertrand de Vogue, the current resident and 26th generation of the de Vogue family to maintain continuous residence since the 13th century. Count de Vogue will offer insight into the Château’s fascinating history, after which guests will explore the Château’s regal interior, stables and surrounding gardens.
Meanwhile, the champagne flows freely for guests aboard La Belle Epoque, a deluxe 12-passenger hotel barge whose wood-paneled saloon and hand-built seating attest to its elegance. Among the cruise’s various excursions is a private tasting at the Alexandre Bonnet Champagne House in Les Riceys, an off-the-beaten path and unspoiled part of the Champagne region that still retains its authenticity and charm. It is also the only place in Champagne to win three AOC wine awards: for Champagne, Rosé des Riceys and Coteaux Champenois.
Following a tasting of an array of champagnes, guests will take a short drive to Château de Rice-Bas, famed for its 12th century vaulted cellars, where they are treated to an authentic glimpse of family life in a rural château. More notably, they will enjoy a champagne aperitif and gourmet meal with the Baroness herself in either her private salon or the distinctive vaulted medieval kitchen.
For nature lovers and foodies, a one-of-a-kind experience is offered on the October 28thdeparture of the 8-passenger Anjodi hotel barge. A “founding member” of the European Waterways fleet, the vessel is also a true celebrity, having starred in a popular culinary television series hosted by famed British chef Rick Stein. In addition to visiting a local oyster farm, guests will visit the Camargue National Park, renowned for its wild horses, pink flamingos and lush green wetlands. They will enjoy authentic Camargue cuisine at a local restaurant in Aigues Mortes, as well as tour the Palais des Papes – the Palace of the Popes. One of the largest medieval fortresses and a former home to visiting Popes, it is today a World Heritage Site and testament to the powerful influence of Western Christianity in the 14th century.
“The hallmark of all European Waterways’ hotel barge cruises is their unparalleled level of luxury and comfort, combined with daily excursions that immerse guests in the culture, history and gastronomic traditions of the cruising regions,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “But every cruise is also unique and memorable in its own way because of the unexpected and delightful experiences not scheduled in the itinerary. Depending on the opportunity, we might decide to stop for a drink with a lock-keeper, for example, or enjoy impromptu entertainment from local musicians, artists and other colorful performers.”
European Waterways cruise prices start at $3,890 per person, based on double occupancy and there is currently a 20% discount on multiple charter departures.
About European Waterways
European Waterways is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe. Founded more than 40 years ago, the company owns, operates and markets a private fleet of luxury hotel barges with cruises in France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Hotel Barging with European Waterways is a unique and intimate experience that transports guests along the fascinating network of smaller canals and inland waterways that are inaccessible to larger vessels. It offers an immersive, all inclusive “gentle voyage of discovery” that focuses upon the culture, history, fine wine and cuisine of the region. The hotel barges’ 6 to 20-person capacity and 1:2 crew ratio allows European Waterways to provide an impeccable level of on-board service. Guests enjoy a great deal of spontaneity and ample opportunity to hop off at their leisure and explore the beautiful surroundings on bicycle, foot or as part of a chauffeured excursion. For more information, call 1-877-879-8808 or visit europeanwaterways.com.