With European nations easing travel restrictions and reopening their borders to most visitors, European Waterways announced the launch of its 2020 hotel barge cruising season. As part of the launch, the company is offering up to 20% off charters on select departures, valid when booked by Aug. 31.
Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, noted that whole boat charters, which already account for more than 50% of its business, are proving even more popular as travellers seek out their own private space and less crowded destinations in the age of social distancing.
“Most European Waterways hotel barges accommodate just six to 12 passengers, making them ideal for families, friends and small groups to reconnect safely, with a boat all to themselves,” Banks observed. “Guests cruise ‘the paths less traveled’ in utmost safety and comfort, away from the crowded cities and tourist ‘hotspots.’ They enjoy gourmet dining onboard, exclusive daily excursions and diverse activities – all while savoring the clean, fresh air and unspoiled views of the European countryside.”
European Waterways will begin the first phase of its season launch in France, Italy and Ireland, followed by Scotland and England a few weeks later in August.
To ensure the health and safety of its guests and crew, the company will observe strict protocols that include temperature checks, complete deep cleaning and disinfecting of all cabins and public surfaces on the boats, as well as 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.
European Waterways launched over 50% of its fleet in France on July 12. This includes three of its eight-passenger hotel barges in Burgundy – L’Art de Vivre, Finesse, and Renaissance – as well as the 12-passenger La Belle Epoque. The Canal du Midi will see the launch of the 8-passenger Anjodi, Enchanté and Athos, while Bordeaux will welcome the 8-passenger Rosa.
On the same day, European Waterways will also launch the largest hotel barge in its fleet, the 20-passenger La Bella Vita, which departs Venice and cruises Italy’s Po River.
“We look forward to welcoming back our many repeat clients as well introducing new guests to the joys of luxury hotel barging,” said Banks.
“They can be assured of a memorable vacation 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 shore, our guests never have to worry about being lost at sea,” he added.
Hotel Barging is a boutique experience which offers an immersive, all-inclusive “gentle voyage of discovery” that focuses upon the culture, history, wine and gourmet cuisine of the region.
“With a 6- to 20-person capacity and 1:2 crew ratio, European Waterways are 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,” the company says.
Sail on over to http://www.europeanwaterways.com for more.