European Waterways Upbeat About 2021

There is growing optimism in the travel community that the 2021 season will see a more positive “return to normal” in destinations around the world.

Many travellers whose vacations were cancelled in 2020 have rescheduled for 2021, while new bookings continue at a steady pace.

Travellers feel hopeful that health concerns will have diminished by next year as countries reopen their borders to international tourism.

With its season beginning in late March, Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways observed that: “Our guests are definitely more optimistic. Hotel barge cruising has proven to be especially attractive during this time.  It offers the ideal ‘travel bubble’ for families, small groups of friends and like-minded guests. They can charter the entire vessel and have it to themselves all week, cruising together through the less populated countryside in the safety of a single group.”

Banks pointed out that from the moment they join a European Waterways cruise, guests are pampered by an attentive crew that caters to all of their needs.  The company follows strict health and hygiene protocols onboard, and crew members personally chauffeur guests in private air-conditioned transport to all excursions. Some of the tours are to outdoor attractions or, if indoor, usually conducted exclusively for the benefit of European Waterways’ guests.

Said Banks: “But there is plenty to do back at home base. Hotel barges are like self-contained ‘luxury villas on the water.’ They offer enough amenities to keep everyone entertained as long as they want, including bicycles for pleasant pedaling on the canal towpath beside the hotel barge or through charming, postcard-perfect villages. Gourmet meals are prepared and served onboard by a master chef, with lunch and dinner featuring at least two fine vintages selected from local vineyards.”

The remote and spectacular landscape of the Scottish Highlands are increasingly popular for guests who want to “get back to nature” and experience the wonders of this legendary region – its scenic beauty, its rustic cuisine that includes traditional fare such as salmon, game and seafood and – most certainly – its excellent whisky!  European Waterways’ deluxe, 12-passenger Spirit of Scotland and elegant, eight-passenger Scottish Highlander cruise across Scotland’s Great Glen, along the stunning Caledonian Canal.

They feature open bars with an excellent selection of 18 single malts, as well as a private tour and tasting at the famed Tomatin whisky distillery.

European Waterways is offering a 10% off early-bird special on selected 2021 Scottish Highlander charters, valid for the April 4, 11 and 18, 2021 departures.

With the special, charters start at $31,950, a saving of $3,550 off the regular $35,500 price.

Charters must be booked by Jan. 8, 2021 and other restrictions may apply.  Cabins start at $4,590 per person, based on double occupancy.

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Posted in COVID-19, Cruise, Trends & Research