La Belle Epoque Cruising 17

European Waterways launches 2020 Hotel Barge Cruise Season

Hotel barge operator European Waterways will launch its 2020 cruising season on July 12, with cruises in France, Italy and Ireland, followed by Scotland and England in August.

On the same day, the luxury cruise operator will launch the largest hotel barge in its fleet, the 20-passenger La Bella Vita, which departs Venice and cruises Italy’s Po River.

From July 12 onwards, more than half of its fleet will start sailings, including the eight-passenger L’Art de Vivre, Finesse and Renaissance in Burgundy and the 12-passenger La Belle Epoque. The Canal du Midi will see the launch of the eight-passenger Anjodi, Enchante and Athos, while Bordeaux will welcome the eight-passenger Rosa. As a part of the launch programme, the barge operator is offering up to 20% off for private charters, on selected departures in France and Italy, if booked by August 31.

Six nights aboard the La Belle Epoque in Burgundy, will now cost £34,400 instead of £43,000, with fares including local and private transfers; comfortable, air-conditioned accommodation in en-suite cabins; fresh, locally-sourced gourmet meals cooked by the on-board master chef, paired with regional wines and free on-board amenities such as bicycles and hot tub; all excursions on the itinerary, with private transportation and guide. There will be an open bar stocked with wines, spirits and soft drinks.

To ensure the health and safety of its guests and crew, the company will observe strict health and safety protocols which includes temperature checks, deep cleaning and disinfecting of all cabins and public areas and shared items, such as bicycles.

All of this will be conducted with minimal impact to guests and without spoiling the relaxed ambience of a hotel barge cruise. To learn more about the safe cruising protocols visit: https://www.europeanwaterways.com/information/safe-cruising-protocols/

Derek Banks, managing director of the company, has observed that whole boat charters, which accounts for more than 50% of its business, are more popular, as travellers seek their own private space on holidays these days.

“Most European Waterways’ hotel barges accommodate only six to 12 passengers, making it ideal for families, friends and small groups wanting to reconnect safely, with a barge all to themselves. With us, guests will get to cruise through lesser known routes, in utmost safety and comfort, away from the crowded cities and tourist hotspots. They can enjoy gourmet dining on-board, and participate in exclusive daily excursions and diverse activities – all while savouring the clean and fresh air and unspoiled views of the European countryside,” he says.

Mr Banks adds: “We look forward to welcoming back our repeat clients, and introducing some of our new guests to the joys of luxury hotel barging. They can be assured of a memorable holiday experience that includes the finest cuisine, world-renowned wines and exclusive, private tours, tailored to avoid the crowds. Since we cruise the canals and smaller waterways just a few feet from the shore, our guests will never have to worry about being ‘lost at sea.'"

For information visit: www.europeanwaterways.com


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