European Waterways Mantua aboard La Bella Vita

European Waterways offers a solo cruise aboard Italy's La Bella Vita

European Waterways has announced an exclusive solo cruise on the company's largest luxury hotel barge, the 20-passenger La Bella Vita. 

Departing October 11 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 discount, cabins start at £3,591 for single occupancy, a saving of £399 off the original £3,990. For friends sharing a cabin, double occupancy rates, with the special offer, start at £5,202 – a total saving of £578 off the £5,780 double rate.

The solo cruise launches with crew members welcoming embarking guests with a glass of Prosecco – the sparkling wine produced mainly in Veneto. Guests are soon treated to the first of many 'extra surprises' to complement the solo experience, with an after-dinner stroll through Venice. They will visit the 1700's Florian Café to mingle with the locals and enjoy speciality 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.

La Bella Vita cruise route features a diverse itinerary that encompasses the Renaissance, Roman, Etruscan, and Byzantine cultures, four significant periods in European history. With a maximum of 20 guests, it is suitable for small groups to enjoy quality time together but also for those looking for a quiet space. The hotel barge boasts a guest-to-crew ratio of 2:1.

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. 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 lagoon islands, scenic countryside and wetlands that are home to a wide variety of waterfowl. 

Guests enjoy a wide selection of regional wines and gourmet meals onboard every day.

Journey's end features a visit to Mantua's Ducal Palace, a museum, 12,000 paintings and sculptures, a basilica, and theatre. It's all capped with a festive Captain's Dinner.

Derek Banks, managing director of hotel barge operator, said: "The solo cruise is one of our most exciting new offers for 2020. Every aspect has been carefully designed to promote a sense of camaraderie for the seasoned solo traveller as well as those who are new to 'going it alone'. 

"Special surprises also allow like-minded travellers 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."

For more information, go to 

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