WHY IT RATES: Ideal for small groups and large families, European Waterways’ 2023-24 sailings, conducted aboard boutique luxury barges, offer supremely intimate and adaptable vacation experiences while wending along Europe’s smaller rivers and canals that larger vessels cannot access; along with opportunities to hop ashore and explore the countryside as you please. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
European Waterways, Europe’s largest luxury hotel barge cruising company, announced the availability of its colorful new brochure for the 2023-2024 seasons. Packed with new and exclusive excursions and tours, unique offerings that include private dining with the aristocracy, and memorable outings such as truffle hunting and falconry demonstrations, the brochure features the ultimate in ‘slow travel’ experiences. Guests cruise the scenic and historic countryside of Europe and the UK in comfort, enjoying gastronomic meals onboard, luxury accommodations and the services of an attentive crew. The brochure is free and can be downloaded from europeanwaterways.com/brochure-request/.
“Luxury hotel barging continues to grow in popularity as travelers seek out the slower and more intimate experiences, far from the crowded tourist ‘hot spots.’ They don’t want to watch the world from a distance, but become immersed in the historical, cultural, and gastronomic offerings of the regions,” said Derek Banks, managing director for European Waterways. “Our latest brochure offers detailed descriptions of all our cruises, unique excursions and ‘insider experiences’ exclusive to European Waterways that make all of our cruises unique and memorable.”
The founding member of European Waterways’ extensive fleet of luxury hotel barges, the eight-passenger Anjodi hotel barge has been cruising the UNESCO-listed Canal du Midi for more than 40 years. It is the “celebrity” of the fleet, having carried one of Europe’s most popular chefs, Rick Stein, during his memorable French Odyssey series exploring French cuisine.
In addition to a private wine tasting at the elegant Château Pech-Celeyran, a property that has been in the Saint-Exupéry family for five generations, guests can also participate in a unique “truffle hunting” expedition with trained “truffle hounds” leading the way.
Anjodi launches its new season on April 2, 2023, with rates starting at $5,250.00 per person.
Bubbling With Excitement
For those in love with the “bubbly,” European Waterways’ 12-passenger Panache hotel barge offers the perfect opportunity to go to the source, the Champagne region of France. The vessel cruises the region from May through June, with an itinerary that is packed with excursions to some of France’s most prestigious houses that include Moët & Chandon and Maison Pannier.
Among the highlights is a visit to the Grand Cru winery of Frerejean Frères, where guests enjoy a meal in the family Domaine that includes a private tasting and an educational session to learn the art of growing champagne grapes. The vessel launches its new season in Holland on March 26, 2023, with rates starting at $6,390 per person; it sails into Champagne on May 21, 2023, with rates starting at $7,490.00 per person.
Going on a High Note
European Waterways’ deluxe eight-passenger Scottish Highlander and 12-passenger Spirit of Scotland hotel barges cruise Scotland’s Caledonian Canal through some of the country’s most spectacular landscapes. Guests enjoy stunning views of the country’s famous mountainous terrain, legendary castles and fabled lochs. These include the famous Loch Ness, whose mythical creature is so beloved that it has earned the affectionate nickname of “Nessie”.
Among the highlights is a new private tour of the Dalwhinnie whisky distillery that explores the company’s method for producing its famous single malt Scotch whisky, followed by a tasting of several single malts. They also offer a falconry demonstration on the banks of Loch Ness, as well as tours of famous castles such as Cawdor Castle, Eilean Donan and Urquhart.
The hotel barges are ideal for families and small groups, offering themed cruises that include golf, botany, and a Whisky Trail. The Scottish Highlander begins its new season on April 2, 2023; the Spirit of Scotland launches April 9, 2023. Rates start at $5,250 and $5,550 per person, respectively.
For more information, visit europeanwaterways.com.
SOURCE: European Waterways press release.