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Host your relaxed exclusive Country House-style party on board intimate barges on small European rivers and canals – Northern summer 2022

March 9, 2021 River Cruising No Comments Email Email

A 2022 European summer barge holiday has never looked as good to Australian and New Zealand travellers as it does now.

With both Australia and Europe looking at a late 2021 completion date of its citizens’ vaccinations and with talk about the imminent issuance of Covid-passports, Australians are likely to be able to confidently travel to Europe in the northern hemisphere summer of 2022.

The fleet of European Waterways barges on the canals and rivers of Europe will offer Australians and Kiwis a welcome true immersion back in the local culture and history of regional Europe. Guests are always just a few feet from the canal or riverbank, so they can explore on foot or bicycle at any time alongside the barge.

“Our guests have always embraced our all-inclusive formula,” said Derek Banks, Managing Director of luxury hotel barge cruising specialist European Waterways, whose 2022 season begins late March. European Waterways cruise the waterways of France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Germany, England, Scotland and Ireland.

“Hotel barge cruising offers accessibility to smaller rivers and canals that larger ships can’t go to plus there is a big focus on the gastronomy and the wines of the regions,” he added. “It offers the ideal ‘travel bubble’ for families or small groups of friends by chartering an entire vessel just for themselves.”

With the barges at a gentle pace and never cruising at night, Banks observed that “from the moment guests board a European Waterways barge, they are pampered by a crew with a high level of personal service”. 

Most of the onshore tours are conducted exclusively for European Waterways’ guests, guaranteeing intimate cultural and culinary experiences, unique to these barge guests.

Fresh market produce and fine local vineyard wines get picked up en-route, that is then used for gourmet meals prepared and served onboard by a master chef.

For those guests with a special interest focus, European Waterways offer various themed itineraries such as Family, Golf, Walking, Cycling, Opera and Wine Appreciation.

For a limited time, 2022 luxury barge cruises are available at 2021 prices.

Cruising Western Burgundy and the Upper Loire, cabins aboard the ultra-deluxe 8-passenger Renaissance start from €6,090pp (based on 2 sharing). Private whole barge charters are from €45,000 for a 6-night all-inclusive cruise. Itinerary highlights include a guided tour of the delightful Château de Ratilly, crossing Gustav Eiffel’s Briare Aqueduct, and a private wine tasting experience at Domaine Henri Bourgeois.

The elegant 12-passenger L’Impressionniste, explores Burgundy’s famed vineyards. Cabins start from €4,650pp (based on 2 sharing), whilst private charters start from €52,000. Cruise highlights include a private falconry display and a tour of the Château de Commarin with Count Bertrand de Vogue, and a gastronomic lunch and tasting at Domaine Chanson.

Along the UNESCO-listed Canal du Midi, 8-passenger Enchanté explores the regions history and culture. Whole barge charters start from €41,000 for ultimate privacy, whilst individual cabin bookings begin at €5,450pp (based on 2 sharing). Itinerary highlights include a wine tour and tasting at Château Saint Jacques d’Albas in Minervois, a dining experience in beautiful Lagrasse and a visit to l’Oulibo olive press to sample the region’s famous Luques variety.

Book With Confidence

European Waterways’ “Book with Confidence” policy provides greater flexibility in rescheduling future cruises, should they be impacted by government restrictions. The health and safety of guests are also top priorities, with strict protocols in place that include crew and passenger temperature checks as well as deep cleaning and disinfecting of all cabins and public surfaces on the boats.

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