Additional Luxury Hotel Barges Have Resumed Weekly Cruise Programs, ‘And More to Come,’ in France, Italy and Ireland, Says European Waterways

La Bella Vita sailing outside MantuaAs international travel heats up following the reopening of borders, travelers are rediscovering the joys of luxury hotel barging on the scenic canals of Europe with European Waterways.

To meet the surge in demand, European Waterways has been shifting into high gear with the restart of its 2021 season.

Following the launch of L’Art de Vivre in Burgundy several weeks ago, the company is saying “bonjour and bienvenue” with an additional four hotel barges in France offering its six-night, all-inclusive cruises. They include the sophisticated 8-passenger Renaissance in the Upper Loire and Western Burgundy; the 8-passenger Finesse in Southern Burgundy; the classic Dutch-styled 8-passenger Anjodi – a founding member of the fleet that cruises the Canal du Midi; and the 12-passenger Panache in Alsace and Lorraine.

“We’re excited to see a strong, upward trend in bookings,” says Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways. “While some cruises reflect new bookings, others represent guests who have been patiently waiting over a year to go barging with us!”

Italy Says Ciao! Ireland Brings Back the ‘Craic!’

European Waterways will also be sailing in Italy. The reopening of the country’s borders is being welcomed with the relaunch of cruises aboard European Waterways’ 20-passenger La Bella Vita, starting August 1.

Spacious and unique among the vessels in the company’s fleet, La Bella Vita cruises between Venice and the Renaissance city of Mantua. A tour of Venice, dinner with a countess, a visit to the wine cellars of Villa Widmann-Borletti, and a deep dive into Roman, Etruscan and Byzantine history with a tour of Chioggia are just a few of the diverse activities on its itinerary.

“Craic” means “good times” in Ireland – and over on the Emerald Isle, the 10-passenger Shannon Princess never disappoints. The vessel gets underway on August 1, allowing guests to once again discover the picturesque loughs along the legendary River Shannon. Throughout the cruise, guests are treated to tours of castles and stately manors, a visit to a whiskey distillery, a birds of prey demonstration, and ample opportunities to enjoy a pint or two of Guinness or, as they say in Ireland, “the black stuff.”

Meantime, while waiting for the U.K. borders to fully reopen to international travels, locals have been enjoying “staycations” on European Waterways’ hotel barges that include The Magna Carta on the River Thames and the Spirit of Scotland on Scotland’s historic Caledonian Canal.

“In any language, the message is ‘welcome,’” says Banks. “Hotel barge cruising is the ultimate ‘slow travel’ experience, where good food, good wine and good company are the best parts of the journey.”

Late Summer Specials
European Waterways is currently offering fleet-wide specials of 10% off on cabins and whole barge charters this European Summer, valid when booked by August 9, 2021. Multi-generational and group charters are available on most cruises, with itineraries that can be modified to meet guests’ unique interests. These include family-themed excursions, as well as those that focus on golf, gastronomy, and health and well-being.

Book With Confidence

European Waterways’ “Book with Confidence” policy provides 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.

(European Waterways)