A gentle cruise on a hotel barge is the perfect way to discover the very soul of Europe, exploring its wonderful countryside and historical treasures and meeting its many friendly, diverse people. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of packing and unpacking, whilst enjoying a balanced blend of daily excursions and fascinating cruising.
• Each hotel barge cruise is for 6 nights and includes:
• Comfortable accommodation in air-conditioned, en suite staterooms or suites
• Gourmet meals prepared by the on-board chef, fine wines and an open bar
• Daily escorted excursions in an air-conditioned minibus to places of interest and private wine tastings
• Local transfers e.g. to and from Paris
• Bicycles and, on most hotel barges, an on-deck spa pool
• Attentive service from an experienced crew – Captain, chef, tour-guide, and hosts/hostesses
Hotel Barge Spirit of Scotland
Spirit of Scotland is an elegant hotel barge with extensive public areas inside and out that are perfect from which to admire the breath-taking Scottish Highlands scenery in comfort as she cruises the Caledonian Canal and the lochs of the Great Glen. Although purpose-built less than twenty years ago as a hotel barge, her style evokes that of the traditional steamers that plied the lochs of Scotland in times gone by. Accommodating up to 12 passengers in comfort, Spirit of Scotland’s interior features a bright and spacious saloon and dining area with picture windows, a separate bar, and an integral forward wheelhouse giving views of the cruise route ahead. The 6 air-conditioned cabins offer a choice of twin or double beds and are complemented by well-designed en suite shower rooms. Outside, there are separate areas where you can relax on a recliner, or perhaps in the heated spa pool, as well as a covered dining terrace. And the large upper sun deck is the ideal place to admire the dramatic backdrop as you cruise on deep-water lochs such as Loch Oich and past historic landmarks along the way. Your voyage aboard Spirit of Scotland will be an unforgettable experience, giving you the opportunity to appreciate the very best this dramatic region of Scotland has to offer from a unique perspective. All this, together with the traditional Scottish cuisine, fine wines and wide range of whiskies served on board by an attentive crew of 6, combine to ensure a truly memorable cruising experience.
Hotel Barge Shannon Princess
The River Shannon and its lakes represent Ireland at its finest and your cruise aboard Shannon Princess features a landscape of rolling green fields, ancient Celtic landmarks and an abundance of wildlife. The legends and fables of Ireland are found everywhere and are well understood by the hospitable Irish people who will be happy to tell you more about the ancient culture. The history of Ireland has been varied and sometimes difficult, but the locals always find the time to chat and perhaps charm you a tale or two of folklore. During your cruise, there is a programme of fascinating excursions that will you give you a true immersion into the heritage and traditions of this part of Ireland, such as a personal tour of a castle by its eccentric owner, a birds of prey display, visits to a whiskey distillery and hand-weaving workshop and, of course, the chance to sample a pint or two of the ‘black stuff’ – Guinness. Shannon Princess, accommodating 10 guests in comfort, is the largest hotel barge to be cruising the River Shannon and its picturesque, intertwining lakes. Her thoughtfully-designed interior includes a comfortable saloon and dining area with panoramic windows. The five junior twin/double cabin suites, also with picture windows, are stylishly furnished and each is air-conditioned, centrally heated, and accompanied by a modern en-suite shower room. The large rooftop sundeck is certainly the place to relax, perhaps on one of the comfortable loungers, to watch the countryside glide slowly by, or in the heated spa pool. There is also an inviting dining area with circular table to savour that gourmet meal on warmer days. Shannon Princess’s Captain and his crew will go out of their way to ensure your every need is accommodated, while your Master Chef who was trained at Darina Allen’s world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School, will create some wonderful signature dishes to make your enthralling voyage through the ‘Emerald Isle’ complete.
Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander
Scottish Highlander has the atmosphere of a comfortable Country House with subtle use of tartan furnishings and landscape paintings, a reminder of the spectacular surroundings to be seen on your voyage through the Great Glen. At 117 feet long, she is spacious and has every comfort needed for enjoying the magnificence of the Highlands during Spring, Summer and Autumn. The warm and welcoming saloon features rich-coloured wooden panelling, large picture windows and comfortable leather Chesterfield sofas to relax in, perhaps with a mellow single malt whisky from the very well-stocked bar. Accommodation for eight guests is in three twin/double staterooms and one larger twin/double junior suite, each one centrally heated and with en suite facilities. There is a cosy observation area behind the wheelhouse where you can admire the passing scenery and chat to the Captain about life on the Caledonian Canal and its interconnecting lochs. On the forward deck area, there is more seating where you can take in the far-reaching views and take photographs as Scottish Highlander plots her course past landmarks such as Urquhart Castle perched alongside Loch Ness. A cruise on mystical waterways aboard Scottish Highlander as you marvel at some of Scotland’s finest scenery will be one that stays in the memory for a long time. Cuisine is traditional Scottish fare – salmon, game and seafood, prepared by your own Master Chef, and the hotel barge’s experienced crew of four will take care of your every need.
Hotel Barge Rosa
Rosa is an old Dutch “Klipper” barge that was built early in the last century to carry different cargoes on the offshore waterways of Holland. Now, as a charming hotel barge, she navigates the calmer canals of southwest France. The prettily decorated saloon is particularly welcoming and features attractive wood panelling, comfortable seating, dining area and a cosy bar. The four cosy staterooms accommodating 8 passengers have individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and full en suite facilities. Two staterooms have double beds, the other two staterooms have twin beds. Outside there is a spacious sun deck with a dining area and parasols for enjoying an alfresco prepared by your chef. Comfortable loungers are also there to relax in as you take in the passing countryside on your sedate cruise along the Canal de Garonne. Eight bikes are available for your use if you wish to perhaps venture into the next village along the towpath. Rosa also featured with Anjodi in the successful television series, Rick Stein’s French Odyssey and you are sure to enjoy your own personal ‘odyssey’ through this colourful, captivating part of southwest France.
Hotel Barge Renaissance
Renaissance has been designed to carry her guests in ultimate luxury along the Canal de Briare, France’s oldest canal and steeped in history on a cruise route that features elegant chateaux, small countryside villages and the famed wine-growing region of Sancerre. She is a very spacious hotel barge and the beautifully-appointed saloon with its wooden beams, classic dining furniture and artworks, invokes the atmosphere of a classic French manor house. The comfortable leather sofas and hand-built bar where you can enjoy your pre-dinner aperitif, add to the feeling of onboard opulence. The ‘Renaissance mood’ extends to the four very generously-sized twin or double bedded bedroom suites, (approx. 265sq ft including en suite), each one fully air-conditioned and complemented by a large en suite bathroom. Outside, the large forward deck includes a covered roof extension with a circular table for alfresco dining, comfortable hardwood sun loungers and a heated spa pool. With her refined onboard ambience, Renaissance is the perfect vessel on which to cruise a historic canal and experience the splendour of landmarks en route, including Gustav’s Eiffels’s aqueduct across the mighty River Loire.
Hotel Barge Panache
Panache is a hotel barge that has been fitted out in traditional yacht style with brass and mahogany fittings in the spacious public areas and very comfortable cabin accommodation. In the saloon the panoramic windows let in plenty of natural light, and the tempting cocktail bar and comfortable leather sofas are enhanced by polished hardwood flooring. The separate roomy dining area provides a congenial setting for up to 12 guests to enjoy the gourmet meals and fine wines served on board. The cabin accommodation comprises six generously-sized junior suites which can be in twin or double-bedded configuration. All the en suite bathrooms have twin hand-basins and oversized showers. Outside, the spacious sun deck is the perfect place to unwind and admire the passing scenery in one of the comfortable chairs, or to enjoy being served a long, lazy alfresco lunch at the outside dining table. The heated spa pool and plentiful number of bicycles for you to explore the towpath complete the picture. Panache cruises in Holland in the Spring, when the flowers are in full bloom. This is without a doubt the best time to visit this country, and our cruises in Holland are carefully planned to allow you to experience all that the country has to offer. She’s then cruising in Champagne for a number of weeks in May & June. The Champagne itineraries typically include Brie cheese tastings, a tour of the Cathedral at Reims, Epernay and of course, tastings at renowned champagne houses. In the Summer and Autumn, Panache cruises the beautiful and varied waterways of Alsace & Lorraine, a region of France offering a unique mix of French and German cultures, history and local gastronomy. Panache’s voyage through Alsace & Lorraine will give you the opportunity to appreciate the very best of the region, passing storybook villages along the way, visiting places such as Strasbourg, renowned for their Baroque and Romanesque architecture and uniquely, experiencing Europe’s most famous boat elevator!
Hotel Barge Nymphea
Nymphea’s Dutch design with its shallow draft makes her the ideal vessel for navigating the beautiful sandy reaches of the River Cher in the Loire Valley. Very few other vessels are able to cruise this magical waterway. Her traditional interior, reminiscent of a classic yacht, features a warm décor of rich varnished hardwoods, stained glass and shining brass. The traditionally furnished saloon and dining area have a warm and welcoming country house atmosphere and there is an additional upper saloon area with more comfortable seating to relax in. Nymphea has three compact, but comfortable cabins, two twin staterooms and one twin or double stateroom, all with air conditioning and en-suite facilities. Outside, the sun deck with its comfortable seating offers the perfect vantage point from which to admire the next picturesque waterside village, elegant châteaux, or stunning stretch of scenery as it slowly comes into view. You will even get to cruise through the arches of probably the most-photographed château in the Loire Valley, Château de Chenonceau – not once, but twice – a rare privilege afforded to very few boats! And if you wish to explore the River Cher’s towpath and surrounding countryside, there are 6 bicycles available for your use. Nymphea’s crew of Captain/Tour Leader and Master Chef are most knowledgeable about the history, wine and cuisine of the region and they will be there to help make your journey through the ‘Valley of the Kings of France’ truly unforgettable.
Luxury Hotel Barge Magna Carta