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European Waterways Announces the Return of Its ‘Solo Cruise’ Aboard Italy’s La Bella Vita Luxury Hotel Barge, Featuring ‘Extra Surprises’ for 2021

September 18, 2020 River Cruising No Comments Email Email

The solo travel market continues to expand as a new generation of healthier, independent and more confident single travelers “take to the road” to see the world. European Waterways is addressing this fast-growing trend with the return of its exclusive “solo cruise” aboard Italy’s 20-passenger La Bella Vita, the largest vessel in its fleet. Spacious and stylish, with all the modern conveniences including en suite, air-conditioned cabins, La Bella Vita is the only hotel barge sailing out of Venice to the Renaissance city of Mantua along the Po River and Bianco Canal. As with all European Waterways cruises, luxury, comfort, fine wine and gastronomic meals prepared by the onboard master chef ensure every guest is in the best of spirits as they enjoy the various activities and daily excursions.

European Waterways is offering 10% off on all advance bookings for this six-night, all-inclusive cruise, a saving of $560 off the $5,600 single rate.

“While our guests may be traveling solo, they will never find themselves alone!” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “We have carefully curated every aspect of the cruise to allow for maximum social interaction among guests, should they wish to mingle, while also ensuring plenty of ‘me time’ to soak in the experiences and relish the moments in their own, personal way. The cruise also features unique, ‘extra surprises’ that are sure to please and get everyone involved.”

Flamingos, a Countess and a Grand Palace
Hosting up to 20 guests, La Bella Vita offers ample room for small groups while also providing every guest with their own personal space. Cabins are on the main and lower deck, with the main deck also featuring a spacious dining room, saloon and an open bar stocked with a wide variety of spirits and regional wines. Guests can also sit back and relax on the large, canopied sun deck that spans the length of the boat and provides unobstructed views of the passing scenery. A 2:1 guest to crew ratio ensures that every guest receives personal attention throughout the cruise.

Itinerary highlights include an exclusive dinner with a countess at her 17th century riverside Villa Ca’Zen, where Lord Byron is said to have fallen in love with the beautiful Contessa Teresa Gamba. Guests will also enjoy a private wine tasting at Villa Widmann-Borletti and, cruising the Po River Delta, Europe’s largest wetland, they will be treated to the sight of hundreds of local and migratory birds that include the elegant pink flamingos. Also on the itinerary is a visit to the coastal town of Chioggia, with a short tour of its picturesque canals in a traditional locally-built boat.

In Mantua, a UNESCO World Heritage site, guests will tour the gardens, museums and courtyards of the grand Ducal Palace, a group of buildings and a former royal residence that houses thousands of paintings and sculptures. The cruise concludes with a Captain’s Dinner back at the boat, where guests will often regale each other with highlights of the week’s best moments and relish the new friends they’ve made along the way.

Extra Surprises
The great attractions of Venice include the city’s celebrated art and architecture – but it is also its people. The week of extra surprises on the solo cruise offers guests the opportunity to “live like the locals” and see the legendary city from their perspective.

It all starts on the first night of the cruise, when arriving guests will be greeted with a sparkling glass of Prosecco – a popular white wine produced in the Veneto region. After a gastronomic meal prepared by the onboard master chef, they will take an evening stroll through Venice to visit the popular Florian Café. The oldest coffee house in the world and renowned for its incredible view, guests can mingle with the locals as they enjoy specialty coffees, wine, cocktails, and desserts.

La Bella Vita will also make a stop on the island of Pellestrina for an aperitif at a bacaro, a local corner bar known for its cicchetti, Venetian-style tapas. Onboard, they will enjoy interactive cooking demonstrations of regionally inspired cuisine where the master chef will reveal “secrets of the trade”. Guests will also enjoy an onboard “opera night” that is both fun and educational.

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