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Family Charters on European Waterways’ luxury hotel barges are the ideal way to travel and reconnect once international travel resumes

May 28, 2020 River Cruising No Comments Email Email

European Waterways’ Family Charters are poised for increased interest from Australian multi-generational families who will be seeking a safe and enjoyable holiday together when international travel resumes.

The luxury hotel barge company is now offering advanced bookings for 2021 and 2022 charter departures available at 2020 prices. 

Available throughout France, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Italy, vessels accommodate between six to twenty passengers allowing families or small groups to have the entire boat to themselves. Groups will feel at ease cruising the canals and smaller waterways of Europe through the less-populated countryside, with the clean, fresh air and gentle towpaths promoting healthy activities such as walking and cycling. Most meals are served onboard, with gourmet fares prepared by the hotel barge’s master chef, who personally creates each menu using locally sourced ingredients.

Most departures offer similar excursion options that can include theme parks, cultural attractions, museums, and sports. Advance bookings are encouraged to ensure availability of desired region, activities, and departure date. Some excursions may require a supplemental fee. 

Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, says that he is already observing increasing interest in family charters on the company’s luxury hotel barges as Europe slowly opens for business again. 

“Cruising with European Waterways has always been about taking ‘the path less travelled,’ so much of our outdoor activities already take our guests away from crowded tourist attractions to the more exclusive, less populated settings,” said Banks. “Until travel returns to normal, we are further committed to providing a safe and healthy onboard environment for our guests, with pre-cruise checks for all on-board and the implementation of more stringent cleaning procedures, among other policies.” 

With social distancing likely to remain in place for a while in many destinations, Banks noted that most European Waterways cruises feature exclusive private tours of castles, aristocratic estates, and vineyards, plus other excursions, tailored to avoid the crowds. The company’s hotel barges also cruise just a few feet from shore, with their private minivans close by. 

All in the Family
Perfect for a family cruise, the oldest hotel barge in its fleet, European Waterways’ eight-passenger L’Art de Vivre, served as a supply vessel to the Allied troops during World War One.  Today, it cruises the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy, with an interior décor that reflects her British roots. Based on availability and local health guidelines, Family Charters can include a variety of sports, such as tennis, ice-skating and mini golf. Guests can also book kayaking, quad biking, and horseback riding. 

Other options for family-friendly excursions include a visit to the Caves of Arcy-sur-Cure, which features some of the oldest cave paintings in the world, a medieval castle under construction using traditional methods at the Chateau Guedelon; the age of the dinosaurs in Cardo Land; and  the fun and wildly eclectic artwork on display at the Fabuloserie Art and Sculpture Museum.

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