Sailing the great waterways of Europe, barge holidays offer private all-inclusive ‘floating villas’ for family and friends seeking a luxurious ‘travel bubble’ in which to travel safely.
With a dedicated crew, onboard chef, spacious en-suite cabins and private, often exclusive, excursions to enjoy each day they offer a most secure way to holiday afloat.
Hotel barges offer enough amenities to keep everyone entertained as long as they want, including bicycles for pleasant pedalling on the canal towpath beside the hotel barge or through charming, postcard-perfect villages. Gourmet meals are prepared and served onboard by a master chef, with lunch and dinner featuring at least two fine vintages selected from local vineyards.”
As 2021 season predicts a ‘return to normal’ in destinations around the world, travellers are beginning to feel hopeful that health concerns will have diminished by next year as countries reopen their borders to international tourism.
Passenger Safety Throughout
From the moment guests join a cruise, they’re pampered by an attentive crew that caters to their needs. Barge operators the likes of European Waterways, follow strict health and hygiene protocols onboard, and crew members personally chauffeur guests in private air-conditioned transport to all excursions. Some of the tours are to outdoor attractions or, if indoor, are usually conducted exclusively for the benefit of the guests.
Setting a High Bar
The remote and spectacular landscape of the Scottish Highlands are increasingly popular for guests who want to “get back to nature” and experience the wonders of this legendary region – its scenic beauty, its rustic cuisine that includes traditional fare such as salmon, game and seafood and – most certainly – its excellent whisky!
European Waterways’ deluxe, 12-passenger Spirit of Scotland and elegant, eight-passenger Scottish Highlander cruise across Scotland’s Great Glen, along the stunning Caledonian Canal. They feature open bars with an excellent selection of 18 single malts, as well as a private tour and tasting at the famed Tomatin whisky distillery.
Mainland Europe, is one of the world’s most popular barging destinations, France has been celebrated for centuries in literature and songs as a centre for culture, art and architecture, wine, and fine cuisine. The 12-passenger hotel barge Panache operated by European Waterways, allows guests to explore all of these attributes as it cruises the legendary region of Champagne in late May and June. In Champagne, guests enjoy private tours and tastings at renowned champagne houses such as Moët & Chandon and Maison Pannier. Excursions include a visit to the 800-year-old Reims Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece that once served as the site for the coronation of the kings of France.
Company Founder and Managing Director, Derek Banks says: “Our guests are definitely more optimistic. Hotel barge cruising has proven to be especially attractive during this time. It offers the ideal ‘travel bubble’ for families, small groups of friends and like-minded guests. They can charter the entire vessel and have it to themselves all week, cruising together.
He adds; “We are the largest hotel barging company in Europe, so you’re bound to find the perfect cruise that caters to your interests, whether its historical, cultural, artistic, or gastronomic. Our guests book many months and often years in advance to ensure they can celebrate special occasions like wedding anniversaries and birthdays, as well as family reunions and group get-togethers.
Book with Confidence
The company’s ‘Book with Confidence’ policy provides greater flexibility in rescheduling future cruises, should they be impacted by government restrictions.
The health and safety of guests is a top priority, with strict protocols in place that include crew and passenger temperature checks as well as deep cleaning and disinfecting of all cabins and public surfaces on the boats.