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Go Barging with European Waterways Hotel Barge 2014 Cruises

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The 8 passenger Absoluut 2 was purpose built for luxury cruising on the inland waterways of Europe, launched as the private luxury barge of the DeKuyper liqueur family of Belgium in 1994.

Absoluut 2 - 2014 Cruise Rates

Clair de Lune is a deluxe hotel barge tastefully furnished with cherrywood and African hardwoods that provide a sophisticated, modern interior. She provides superior accommodation for up to 6 guests in three contemporary double or twin en suite staterooms.

Clair de Lune - 2014 Cruise Rates

The 12 passenger La Belle Epoque is a state of the art luxury hotel barge and sistership to L'Impressionniste in our European fleet. La Belle Epoque has been designed with both elegance and passenger comfort in mind. She offers a sun-deck, spa pool, 12 bikes and an always open inclusive bar. 

La Belle Epoque - 2014 Cruise Rates

The 12 passenger L'Impressionniste, sister ship to La Belle Epoque, began life as a cargo barge in Holland before undergoing a complete transformation into the powerful canal and river cruiser she is today. 

L'Impressionniste - 2014 Cruise Rates

The 8 passenger L'Art de Vivre started life as a Scottish munitions carrier and survived long enough to be transformed by a team of skilled crafts-men into a floating celebration of the Burgundian "good life". Her facilities include a sun deck, spa pool and 8 bikes perfect for gentle tow path rides. 

L' Art de Vivre - 2014 Cruise Rates

The 8 passenger Anjodi is of classic Dutch design, specifically rebuilt to navigate the 300 year old Canal du Midi. She has been completely re-furbished in the tasteful tradition of African hardwoods, hand-crafted panelling and shining brass, creating a comfortable and charming ambience. 

Anjodi - 2014 Rates & Cruise

The 10 passenger Athos was built in 1964 as a commercial sand, grain and wine barge and was converted into a luxury hotel barge in 1982. Her association with wine continues today as she gracefully meanders through the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.

Athos - 2014 Cruise Rates

8 Passengers Enchanté was originally built to navigate the canals and rivers of Europe and has been completely refurbished to the highest standard. The barge is tastefully furnished in exotic hardwoods creating a bright and airy atmosphere 

Enchante - 2014 Cruise Rates

La Nouvelle Etoile is an ultra deluxe barge with very spacious accommodation for only 8 passengers, offering a wonderful blend of traditional elegance and sophisticated, state of the art facilities.  

La Nouvelle Etoile - 2014 Cruise Rates

The 12 passenger Panache is of classic Dutch design. She is traditionally furnished in an old ship style with brass and mahogany, creating a comfortable and charming ambience.

Panache - 2014 Cruise Rates

Renaissance accommodates up to eight passengers in ultimate luxury. She was extensively refitted in 2009 and will delight the most discerning passenger. The air conditioned interior includes a beautifully appointed lounge with comfortable seating. 

Renaissance - 2014 Cruise Rates

Rosa is an old Dutch “Clipper” barge that was completely refitted in 2010 to a high specification. The air conditioned interior includes a dining room, saloon, bar and four staterooms.  

 Rosa - 2014 Cruise Rates

The 12-passenger Savoir Faire was built in 1932 as a Belgian transport barge. She was converted into a hotel barge in 1979 and was substantially refurbished for the beginning of the 2005 season. The air conditioned interior is unique with five separate areas for passenger enjoyment. 

Savoir Faire - 2014 Cruise Rates

The 6 passenger Nymphea is a classic Dutch design with shallow draft and is ideal for navigating the incredibly beautiful yet somewhat sandy reaches of the river Cher in the Loire valley. Refitted throughout, her traditional ship interior features a warm classic decor of rich varnished hardwoods, stained glass and a welcoming country house atmosphere.

 Nymphea - 2014 Cruise Rates


The 12-passenger Savoir Faire was built in 1932 as a Belgian transport barge. She was converted into a hotel barge in 1979 and was substantially refurbished for the beginning of the 2005 season. The air conditioned interior is unique with five separate areas for passenger enjoyment. 

Savoir Faire - 2014 Cruise Rates

The 12 passenger Panache is of classic Dutch design. She is traditionally furnished in an old ship style with brass and mahogany, creating a comfortable and charming ambience.

Panache - 2014 Cruise Rates

La Nouvelle Etoile is an ultra deluxe barge with very spacious accommodation for only 8 passengers, offering a wonderful blend of traditional elegance and sophisticated, state of the art facilities.  

La Nouvelle Etoile - 2014 Cruise Rates


The 8 passenger Magna Carta is one of the finest, most luxurious vessels cruising the British Isles. The ambience created by combining a traditional barge hull (1936) and fine mahogany, teak and oak woods is outstanding.  

Magna Carta - 2014 Cruise Rates


The 8 passenger Scottish Highlander has the atmosphere of a Scottish Country House with subtle use of tartan furnishings and landscape paintings. At 117 feet she is spacious and has every comfort needed for year round cruising.  

Scottish Highlander - 2014 Cruise Rates


The ten passenger Shannon Princess II is the only luxury hotel barge cruising the waterways of Ireland. Her thoughtfully designed interior has panoramic windows, through which you can view the passing scenery, and includes a comfortable saloon, dining area and bar.  

Shannon Princess - 2014 Cruise Rates


La Nouvelle Etoile is an ultra deluxe barge with very spacious accommodation for only 8 passengers, offering a wonderful blend of traditional elegance and sophisticated, state of the art facilities.  

La Nouvelle Etoile - 2014 Cruise Rates


La Bella Vita is a stylish 20 passenger vessel that was newly refitted in 2010 to high the standards of the European Waterways fleet. There are two upper-deck junior suites and eight staterooms, each with en-suite facilities.

La Bella Vita - 2014 Cruise Rates & Specials

European Waterways offers you the unique opportunity to explore the treasures of the countryside in ultimate comfort aboard a fully-crewed beautiful floating hotel barge cruising the canals and rivers of France, England, Scotland, Ireland and Germany.

Your floating barge hotel .... is furnished with every modern comfort. The finest gourmet cuisine is prepared by your on-board master chef, complemented by a wide array of fine regional wines and an open bar. And, of course the experienced and knowledgeable crew is there to attend to your slightest need.

A European Waterways Voyage ....includes accommodation, all gourmet meals aboard and ashore, Champagne welcome, open bar, excursions and admittance fees, use of bicycles and other facilities such as sauna, spa pool/jacuzzi and fitness room. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, our all-inclusive hotel barge vacations offer a unique opportunity to travel in comfort without the strains of unpacking and packing, whilst enjoying a balanced blend of daily excursions and fascinating cruising.

Cruises Includes

  • Fully air-conditioned suites, twin or double staterooms
  • En-suite facilities in all accomodations
  • Gourmet meals aboard and ashore
  • Fine wines and an open bar
  • Fascinating daily excursions
  • Local transfers
  • Full use of vessel facilities such as jacuzzi, bicycles and sauna

The Classic Traditions of French and International Cuisine - an unforgettable highlight of your Barge cruise...
Our chefs are experienced culinary artists, whose gastronomic creations are often rated higher than top restaurants and cruise liners by our discerning clients.

Before you awaken each morning, a crew member has already been ashore to collect crisp breads, buttery croissants and a variety of fresh pastries. Together with the aroma of coffee, the day has just begun.

Lunch will be a colourful arrangement of salads, pâtés, savoury quiches and a selection of cheeses. Accompanied by an excellent choice from the barge cellar, lunch is often enjoyed on the sun-deck, perhaps while cruising.

Your chef supplements the vessel's larder with fresh produce bought from lock-keeper's gardens or local markets and creates mouth-watering regional and national dishes which are only challenged in flavour by the delicious range of fine wines we serve you aboard. This really does feel like the Grand Finalé to an amazing day of exploration and intrigue, cruising the old trading routes which stretch from the Mediterranean right across Europe.

Requests for vegetarian and special diets may be made at the time of reservation, non alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated tea and coffee, whole or low fat milk are offered with all meals.

Our excursions into nearby villages or countryside are either a quick journey in the barge mini-bus or just a short walk from the mooring. All excursions are entirely optional, these regular opportunities to explore really do allow you to experience to the full the area you have chosen.
You'll explore ancient castles, picture-book villages and stately homes. Wander around fascinating museums, take part in private wine tasting at renowned and lesser known vineyards and shop in colourful open air markets. There is plenty of time to browse tiny shops of skilled craftsmen, enjoy the special atmosphere of the moment or shop for that gift which typifies the region in which you are traveling.
Whether exploring the magnificent chateaux of the Loire Valley, wine tasting in the Roman Vineyards of Minervois and Corbières or discovering Celtic secrets in the 6th century monastic settlement of Clonmacnois above the banks of the Shannon River ... you can rest assured that our meticulously planned itineraries include a host of pleasurable little side trips which show you the most delightful highlights of the area you have chosen to cruise.

Special Interests
If your vision of the perfect vacation is the pursuit of your favourite special interest with a group of like-minded friends, in some of the most picturesque scenery Europe has to offer, with gourmet food and fine wines, European Waterways can make that vision a reality.

Our theme cruises are automatically geared towards "middle" range ability, however all levels can be catered for on request.
Theme cruises are available for whole boat charters (ranging from 4 to 12 people, according to the boat) when organised directly through European Waterways.
The special activities available are the following Golf, Antiques, Tennis, Riding, Walking, Painting, Biking, Fishing, Water-Sports.
If your interest is not listed and you think that it could be successfully combined with a barge vacation in any of the countries we cover which include England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and France. Just let us know and we will see what we can arrange for you.

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What is a Hotel Barge?
Luxury hotel barges are smaller vessels, accommodating a minimum of 6 passengers, maximum 50 passengers. They include all gourmet meals with wine, all shore excursions, and most also include an "open bar" and bicycles for the use of the guests. These vessels cruise on small waterways - mostly on canals, such as the Nivernais in Burgundy, France's most famous wine country, the Canal du Midi in the south of France, or through the tulip fields of Holland or along the Caledonian Canal in Scotland; but sometimes they cruise on rivers, such as the Shannon in Ireland, the Rhone in France and the Thames in England.

The purpose of a barge cruise is not to rush from Point A to Point B, but to relax in a stress free environment with fine food and wine, enjoy the delights of the countryside you are passing through, and get to know the "soul of the country." The barges travel neither far or fast

Is Barging only for the Sedentary, older Traveller ?
Not at all! Canal cruising is for those who want a "close-up, personal" experience in Europe. Mature & younger travellers find the pace and comfort of a barge the ideal way to explore the real heart & soul of a country. More active types like to take off on village walks, hill climbs or bicycles...meeting up at the next lock. The unique advantages of a barge is that we can tailor an itinerary and celebrate a special event to suit the guests

What is there to do except eat well and drink wine?
Lots! Each morning and again after lunch, guided tours to historic and cultural sites of the region provide guests many interesting choices from visiting chateaux, famous vineyards, country market towns, private gardens to museums celebrating art, weapons, textiles or bread! Other interests, like golf, ballooning, riding and tennis are also accommodated. If it's Burgundy, there's a visit to Beaune or Macon...along the Thames in England the route might be Windsor Castle to Oxford. (In between, there is fine food and drink)

How will we do the sightseeing?
Each barge has a designated crew member guide and an air-conditioned van or bus that travels with it, for daily excursions to points of interest such as nearby chateaux, colourful local markets, ancient monasteries, or fascinating speciality museums.

Will I get bored and feel confined?
Not if you enjoy meeting the locals, viewing passing vineyards and chateaux from a hot tub on deck, or sharing experiences with a congenial group of travellers on journeys more like "moving house parties. You will be able to get on and off your barge practically at will, to take a walk along the tow path or a bicycle ride to town. (Almost all the barges have bicycles on board for passenger use). Meet and talk to the locals, view the vineyards, or accompany the crew as they shop in the early morning for delicious, freshly baked bread and croissants. Learn the secrets of fine French cuisine from your gourmet chef. Savour an amazing variety of local cheese and other delicacies. All of this in addition to the included sightseeing tours en route.

The gentle movement of the barge, anchored at night, has caused dedicated insomniacs to report wonderful, restful sleep. It is the relaxed atmosphere aboard, the friendly and helpful crew, the peace and tranquillity of the countryside, together with the wonderful cuisine, lively conversation and interesting sightseeing that make it magical.

Are Barge Cruises expensive?
Barges come in many styles and levels of luxury from rustic and comfortable like a good Country Inn to elegant, like a fashionable Hotel. But the essence of barging is not decor...but the taste and texture of the region that is revealed in the welcome greeting of the villagers, the smiles and hearty charm of the lock keepers, and the personal & friendly attention of local artisans and guides. Barge rates do reflect the level of luxury and the season...but since they are inclusive, they are great value. Meals, wines, open bar, guided excursions and admissions...all included!

Generally speaking, the smaller the vessel, the more personal the service, and the more exclusive the experience. This is reflected in the pricing. Small vessels are ideal for families, groups of friends, or individuals who who are attracted to the luxury of a barge cruise.

Do cabins have private bathrooms?
All cabins have private, nicely appointed bathrooms with showers. Some suites include bathtubs. Several barges have saunas and on deck hot tubs or jacuzzis as well.

Are there telephones and TV?
Usually there are no telephones, TVs or computers. For emergency communications, barges do carry a cellular phone. However...anyone who chooses to break the tranquillity of the voyage for urgent business like baseball scores, elections or market closings...public phones are handily spaced along the canals. As for TV, a few barges have satellite TV for those who can't miss CNN.

Will I get sick?
Never...canals are not tidal and are controlled waterways. The gentle movement of the barges anchored for the night have caused dedicated insomniacs to report wonderful, restful sleep.

What clothes should I pack?
What's the attire on board? Most passengers enjoy the relaxed atmosphere on board barges and fancy dressing is not the custom. Comfortable, casual attire, sneakers or docksiders on board. Sweaters, a windbreaker and shorts or cotton pants are recommended. At the Captain's final dinner, a little "dress-up" is O.K. Ties are rare, and there is no need for anything formal.

Are kids welcome on Barges?
Most adult passengers appreciate the atmosphere and company of grownups, so kids under 17 are accepted only on full charters. Family charters, reunions of generations, (from grandparents & parents, teens and even babies), grow more popular each year, seem to appeal to all ages, and are welcome on barges.

When's the best season for barging?
All seasons are lovely on the Canals, but seasonal rates do vary barge to barge and region to region, and do reflect special activities (grape harvest in Fall, tulip time in Spring). Some barges have a quiet time in July or August, and most offer Value rates in early Spring and late Fall when weather can be beautiful or unpredictable.

What about tipping?
Always appreciated. Never required. Gratuities are not included in the price of your trip - tipping is at your own discretion. We include suggested tipping guidelines with your pre-cruise documents. On the barges, we suggest a guideline of 5% of the cost of your cruise to be given to the captain at the end of the cruise. The captain will distribute it to the crew. On the river ships, we suggest $10-$15 per person per day - the gratuity will be divided among the crew at the end of the cruise.

Will I be able to make special request?
If there is a birthday or other special event to celebrate during your cruise, or a special request for your diet, please let us know - the crew on board is eager to tailor the barging experience especially for you!

What is the difference between a River Boat and a Barge?
River boats accommodate from 60 to 250 passengers, and navigate the major waterways of Europe, such as the Rhine, Danube, Rhone, Po, Elbe, Douro and Volga. The recent completion of the Main-Danube canal, makes it possible to travel all the way from the North Sea (Amsterdam) to the Black Sea (Bucharest or Constanta) on a "Grand European River Cruise" that spans eight countries.

On a river cruise, you will sail from one fascinating city to another, sometimes stopping at small romantic villages, visiting fairytale castles and lush vineyards. There is always something interesting to see - often on both sides of the river - and frequent stops are made for shore excursions, or just to give you a chance to taste the nightlife, or experience the daytime ambience, of a foreign town.

Aboard the river ships you will find elegant dining rooms, spacious sun decks, comfortable lounges, fitness facilities, and sometimes swimming pools. Limited laundry service is available on most river ships, but not on most barges. A river cruise, like an ocean cruise, is a "one-unpacking vacation" - no more early morning wake-up calls for long coach rides from hotel to hotel! All meals on board are included in the cruise price, but your bar tab is charged to your shipboard account Aboard the river ships you will find elegant dining rooms, spacious sun decks, comfortable lounges, fitness facilities, and sometimes swimming pools. Limited laundry service is available on most river ships, but not on most barges. The shore excursions may be optional at a supplemental cost.

Do all the river cruises offer the same services?
Not all river cruises offer exactly the same services and amenities. On some, the dining room is "open seating" so that you can enjoy dining with different guests throughout your holiday, while on others, restaurant seating is assigned when you arrive on board (but of course, you always have the option of requesting a change in table assignment). A great variety of fascinating shore excursions are sometimes included in the cruise price, while on certain ships, they are only available for purchase on board. Some of the river cruises forbid smoking in their restaurants and most public areas, while on others, there will be a designated smoking section in the on-board dining room. Generally, smoking is allowed on deck outdoors. Some of the river cruises are sold only in English-speaking countries, and service on board (announcements, shore excursions, etc.) are done only in English; while other cruises are also sold in Europe and around the world, so that announcements etc. will be multilingual, and you will have a chance to mix with a variety of nationalities.

What is the attire for a river cruise?
Clothing: informal and casual clothing is the norm on board for river ships Soft-soled shoes are essential for the decks, and comfortable walking shoes are a must. (Sneakers are excellent.) There are no formal events during these cruises. At the Captain's Dinner on the last evening, a little "dress-up" is the norm, but real formal wear is not usual. The weather in Europe can be very changeable, so take a sweater or windproof jacket & a raincoat or umbrella.

How much baggage can I bring?
Although the barges are spacious enough, there is limited storage facility on board. For this reason we recommend limiting your barge cruise baggage to one suitcase and one carry-on per person. But pack wisely, as there are no laundry facilities on the barges, and laundromats are few and far between in the rural areas. Since river ships are larger, and often the cruises are longer it is not necessary to restrict the luggage you bring on board to one piece. Most river ships do offer optional laundry service, but not dry-cleaning. If the vessel you have chosen has a pool, a jacuzzi, or hot tub - don't forget your swimsuit! Generally, the canals and rivers are not recommended for swimming.

What kind of electricity is there on board?
All of our vessels are wired for 220 volts but not 110 volts. We suggest you bring an adapter, converter, and /or the necessary wall plugs for your particular appliance that corresponds to the standard for the countries you will be visiting. Before using any electrical appliance while on board, please check with the crew to ensure that it is suitable for the barge's electrical system. Some of our vessels have hairdryers in the cabin, or available at reception - your pre-cruise documentation will advise you about this.

Will I have language problem?
All our crew members generally speak English. Some speak other languages as well. When cruising through mainly rural areas, one is quite likely to find the locals speaking with a strong dialect. Although sometimes difficult to understand, we still encourage you to try to communicate with them

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