Hotel Barging is a boutique, unique superyacht like 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 whole barge charter continuing to grow in popularity, we have decided to put it to the test and charter an 8 passenger barge for the entire family to enjoy.
Our timing was impeccable because European Waterways has announced a last-minute “Cruises for Everyone” promotion of 20% off whole boat charter prices throughout their fleet this summer.
With the discount, prices start as low as £20,000 and apply to a wide range of cruise areas in France and Italy. Divide that number by 8 and you can see why it offers such value for an all inclusive holiday that covers all food on board, drinks and shoreside excursions.
We will be travelling through Burgundy on board L’Art de Vivreand so can you because among eligible departures are the July 8, August 26 and October 21 departures on the same barge.
If those dates don’t suit how about the July 15, August 5 and October 14 departures of the 12-passenger La Belle Epoque, also in Burgundy; and the August 26 and October 21 departure of the 12-passenger Panache in Alsace & Lorraine.
According to Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, the company has been expanding their cruise options as travellers from all walks of life and backgrounds discover the unique appeal of hotel barge cruising. The relatively small number of guests per vessel allows European Waterways to tailor experiences to match the interests of each group, making them true “cruises for everyone.”
“Whether it’s golf, wine appreciation or special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays, we can modify our itineraries to include more of what they love,” he said. “With multi-generational groups, for example, adults can savour gourmet meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients by our on-board master chef, while children can enjoy an informal array of delicious BBQ food. Tailored family activities such as waterpark visits, zoo trips or mini golf are also available in abundance. We can even arrange tennis tournaments, bicycle rallies or golf competitions to accommodate the sports enthusiasts.”
With one of the largest fleets in Europe, European Waterways can also provide experiences beyond the typical one-week cruises. Where cruise routes permit, groups that wish to extend their vacation can charter two boats on consecutive weeks, with European Waterways chauffeuring them between boats. Two boats can also be chartered in tandem on the same week to accommodate groups of up to 20, making them the perfect platform for family reunions or other larger groups.
“Our goal is to ensure that every passenger, whatever their age or special interest, has precisely what they need for a memorable vacation,” said Banks.
The 20% off promotion also applies to cabins on select departures. Some cruises are also waiving the single supplement and offering other amenities. Promotions cannot be combined and other restrictions may apply.
With a 6 to 20 person capacity and 1:2 crew ratio, European Waterways are 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.