European Waterways gets up close and personal to local history
From Lunch with a Countess, to a Visit to an Oyster Farm, Luxury hotel barge guests Enjoy Exclusive ‘Meet and Greet’ Opportunities
Seeking to create memorable and more immersive, experiential moments for 2018, European Waterways has announced that it has added new, exclusive and sometimes one-of-a-kind experiences to its cruise itineraries.
The fleet of luxury hotel barges brings guests up close and personal to some of the more unique attractions and personalities in the cruising regions. Opportunities include tours, lunches, entertainment, and meet-and-greets with regional personalities that range from local aristocracy, to friendly lock-keepers.
Among the unique experiences for guests aboard the 12-passenger L’Impressionniste hotel barge, which cruises France’s renowned wine-making region of Burgundy, is a private tour of the moat-encircled Château de Commarin, accompanied by none other than Count Bertrand de Vogue, the current resident and 26th generation of the de Vogue family to maintain continuous residence since the 13th century. Count de Vogue will offer insight into the Château’s fascinating history, after which guests will explore the Château’s regal interior, stables and surrounding gardens.
Alternatively, the champagne flows freely for guests aboard La Belle Epoque, a deluxe 12-passenger hotel barge whose wood-paneled saloon and hand-built seating attest to its elegance. Among the cruise’s various excursions is a private tasting at the Alexandre Bonnet Champagne House in Les Riceys, an off-the-beaten path and unspoiled part of the Champagne region that still retains its authenticity and charm.
Following a tasting of an array of champagnes, guests will take a short drive to Château de Rice-Bas, famed for its 12th century vaulted cellars, where they are treated to an authentic glimpse of family life in a rural château. More notably, they will enjoy a champagne aperitif and gourmet meal with the Baroness herself in either her private salon, or the distinctive vaulted medieval kitchen.
For nature lovers and foodies, a one-of-a-kind experience is offered on the October 28th departure of the 8-passenger Anjodi hotel barge. A “founding member” of the European Waterways’ fleet, the vessel is also a true celebrity, having starred in a popular culinary television series hosted by famed British chef Rick Stein. In addition to visiting a local oyster farm, guests will visit the Camargue National Park, renowned for its wild horses, pink flamingos and lush green wetlands. They will enjoy authentic Camargue cuisine at a local restaurant in Aigues Mortes, as well as tour the Palais des Papes – the Palace of the Popes. One of the largest medieval fortresses and a former home to visiting Popes, it is today a World Heritage Site and testament to the powerful influence of Western Christianity in the 14th century.
“The hallmark of all European Waterways’ hotel barge cruises is their unparalleled level of luxury and comfort, combined with daily excursions that immerse guests in the culture, history and gastronomic traditions of the cruising regions,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. However, each cruise is also unique and memorable in its own way because of the unexpected and delightful experiences not scheduled in the itinerary. Depending on the opportunity, we might decide to stop for a drink with a lock-keeper, for example, or enjoy impromptu entertainment from local musicians, artists and other colourful performers.”
European Waterways 6-night cruise prices start at AU$7,750 per person, based on double occupancy and include all gourmet meals, fine wines, open bar, daily escorted excursions, admissions and local transfers. There is currently a 20% discount on multiple charter departures.
Hotel Barging is a boutique, unique experience which offers an immersive, all inclusive “gentle voyage of discovery” that focuses upon the culture, history, fine wine and gourmet cuisine of the region. With a 6 to 20-person capacity and 1:2 crew to guest ratio, European Waterways is able to provide an impeccable level of on board service and can transport their guests on the intimate inland waterways that are inaccessible to larger vessels. This fascinating network of smaller canals allows for flexibility, spontaneity and ample opportunity to hop off and explore the beautiful surroundings via bicycle or on foot. In addition to this there are daily chauffeured excursions “off the beaten track” to a wide variety of enthralling locations, from exquisite wine tastings to private tours of stately homes. With over 40 years’ experience and a fleet that spans nine countries it is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe.
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Please visit www.europeanwaterways.com for more information
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