|With the travel industry calling solo travel an “unstoppable trend” and barge cruise bookings on the rise, European Waterways has announced an exclusive “Solo Cruise” on the company’s largest luxury hotel barge, the stylish 20-passenger La Bella Vita. Departing October 11, 2020 and sailing from Venice to the Renaissance city of Mantua, the six-night, all-inclusive cruise includes a special offer of 10% off per person. With the special, cabins start at $5,040 for single occupancy, a saving of $560 off the $5,600 rate. For friends sharing a cabin, double occupancy rates start at $3,645 per person – a total saving of $810 off the $8,100 double rate.
“The Solo Cruise is one of our most exciting new offers for 2020. Every aspect has been carefully designed to promote a sense of comradery for both the seasoned solo traveler as well as those who are new to ‘going it alone!’” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “Special surprises also allow like-minded travelers to share in unique experiences and absorb Italy’s rich artistic and historical legacies – all while enjoying world-class wines and gastronomic meals together in complete luxury and comfort.”
The Solo Cruise launches with friendly crew members greeting arriving guests with a glass of Prosecco – the sparkling wine produced mainly in Veneto – and helping to facilitate introductions among fellow travelers. Guests are soon treated to the first of a number of “extra surprises”, hand-picked exclusively for this departure to complement the solo experience, with an after-dinner stroll through Venice. They will visit the iconic and ornate Florian Café to mingle with the locals and enjoy specialty coffees, wine, cocktails, and desserts. En route the following day, guests will also make a stop on the Venetian island of Pellestrina for an aperitif at a “bacaro”, a traditional corner bar frequented by locals and known for their cicchetti, Venetian-style tapas.
Living La Bella Vita
La Bella Vita features a unique cruise route with a diverse itinerary that encompasses the Renaissance, Roman, Etruscan, and Byzantine cultures, four major periods in European history. Holding a maximum of 20 guests, it is the perfect size for small groups to enjoy quality time together – but also for every guest, if they wish, to find a space to themselves for quiet “me time.” A guest-to-crew ratio of 2:1 means that someone is always on-hand to cater to guests’ every need.
After cruising the Venetian Lagoon and “mingling with the locals,” La Bella Vita follows the River Po and Canal Bianco on its way to the city of Mantua, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a crown jewel in Italy’s Renaissance. Itinerary highlights include an exclusive dinner with a countess at her 17th century riverside villa, a private wine tasting in the cellars of Villa Widmann-Borletti, interactive cooking demonstrations, and an onboard “opera night.” Along the way, guests are spectators to colorful lagoon islands, tranquil countryside, and wetlands that are home to a wide variety of waterfowl – even flamingos! As with all European Waterways cruises, guests also enjoy a wide selection of regional wines and gourmet meals onboard every day.
Journey’s end features a visit to Mantua’s Ducal Palace, home to some 15 gardens and courtyards, a museum, 12,000 paintings and sculptures, a basilica, and theater. It’s all capped with a festive Captain’s Dinner, where guests and crew can all relive the week’s most cherished moments. It’s the time when everyone often exchanges contact information with the new friends they’ve made and promise to stay in touch. Some even make plans to do it all again next year!
“Whether you’re a seasoned solo traveler or the first time on your own, our Solo Cruise can be a transformative experience that offers the best of both worlds – delightful company of like-minded travelers as adventurous as you are, and group activities that spark conversation and create lasting memories,” said Banks.
About European Waterways
Hotel Barging is a boutique, unique experience which offers an immersive, all-inclusive “gentle voyage of discovery” that focuses upon the culture, history, fine wine, and gourmet cuisine of the region. With a 6 to 20 person capacity and 1:2 crew ratio, European Waterways is able to provide an impeccable level of on-board service and can transport their guests on the intimate inland waterways that are inaccessible to larger vessels. This fascinating network of smaller canals allows for flexibility, spontaneity and ample opportunity to hop off and explore the beautiful surroundings via bicycle, or on foot. In addition to this there are daily, chauffeured excursions “off the beaten track” to a wide variety of enthralling locations, from exquisite wine tastings to private tours of stately homes. With over 40 years’ experience and a fleet that spans nine countries, it is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe. For more information, call 1-877-879-8808 in the U.S. and 1-877-574-3404 in Canada, or visit www.europeanwaterways.com.