Meet Panache Captain, Florian Rother

Born and raised near Germany’s Harz Mountains, Captain Florian of luxury barge Panache, talks about his favourite canal and river routes, and what (working) life would be like away from the water…

Luxury barge cruise, Panache Captain, Florain

How long have you worked for EW?

My first season was in 2012. Other than a two-year hiatus, I’ve been working for European Waterways ever since!

Is it how you expected it to be?

As I’ve learned from my partner, Judith, how work and life on a barge is, I can say it is more-or-less as expected, but the intensity of working and living together with the rest of the crew is something we all have to adapt to

Judith and Florian from luxury hotel barge, Panache

What was your very first job?

For my first job, I worked in a factory as a summer job. However, my first job on a barge was as a host

How did you get started in this line of work?

I started to work in hospitality around 2009 and had various experiences as a barman. The managing part came probably from organising various occasions as an events manager

What are you most proud of about working for EW?

European Waterways is truly an international company which brings together so many different people (guests and crew) and helps to overcome barriers

What do you like about being Captain?

It never gets boring!

Favourite region to cruise in?

A question we get asked by the guests all the time. I do like a number of regions European Waterways cruises in, but if I had to pick one, it would be The Netherlands. It is so different to barging in France, much more condensed. In France it would be probably Alsace – the best of two countries!

Panache cruising in the canals of France

First and last thing you do onboard?

First of all, I check the water tank to see if there’s enough water! When leaving the barge at the end of the season, I’ll write a lovely note for the maintenance team to assist in winter maintenance

What makes your barge unique?

I think the design of the barge (its interior) is absolutely by far one of the best in the fleet. You always have the feeling it is incredibly spacious


Do you live on a boat?

No, we have an apartment

Where did you grow up?

In East Germany (former GDR), in the region of the Harz Mountains

Do you miss any home comforts?

Probably seeing my friends whenever I’d like to

How do you spend your time when you’re not working?

Travelling of course, and also working on a series of audio projects – a passion of mine!

What would you do if you weren't a barge Captain?

I’m quite sure I would be working in the audio-visual industry, because that’s what I studied and spent a lot of time in my life with


Meet Captain Florian aboard Panache

Discover Holland, Champagne and Alsace & Lorraine aboard the spacious 12-passenger Panache, Captained by Florian and his impressive crew.

View our various Panache itineraries here >

For help in planning your post-lockdown escape along Europe’s charming waterways, please talk to a member of our team or order a copy of our brochure.

Inspired? Visit our Special Offers page to further inspire your wanderlust. 

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