Top 5 Quirks of a Boutique Barge Cruise

Hotel Barging is an experience unlike any other, so here’s a rundown of some of the quirks that make it such a memorable holiday.


Floating Markets

As you awake to the sounds of the canal, the smell of a delicious cooked or continental breakfast, and head out on to the deck of Panache you might well see the chef bargaining with a local grocer for the fresh fruit, veg or fish that he carts along the canal in his rowboat; an unusual travelling salesman!

Ca’Zen 1

Dinner with the Aristocracy

Guests aboard Hotel Barge La Bella Vita are treated to an exclusive dinner at Ca’Zen, a Venetian Villa at the heart of the Po Delta, built in the 1700’s this charming country home sits in a beautiful location amongst some stunning natural scenery. And dinner, of course, is served in the company of the truly charming countess.

Burgundy Lockhouse

Lockhouses and Gardens

The lockhouses and their surrounding gardens are some of the most memorable and pastoral sights we visit. Beautiful herbs and wildflowers sprout about the place and the friendly lock-keepers will often invite us in for a glass of Pastis and a catch up as to the recent happenings on the local canals and tributaries. The pace of life on the water is slower, and the community are only too happy to stop for a chat and a stroll in the sun.

Tunnel Lunch aboard a French Barge Cruise

Candlelit Tunnels

An experience that truly encapsulates the extraordinary nature of barging, aboard one of our most contemporary vessels, Panache. A candlelit, al fresco meal while we cruise through one of Europe’s oldest river tunnels. In the cool shade and the flickering, ambient lighting tuck into some culinary specialties and listen to the happy chatter bouncing about the archaic tunnel walls.

leap castle - Haunted Castles of Europe

Haunted Happenings in the Irish Countryside

Found in the wilds of County Offaly, Leap Castle is reputed to be the most haunted castle in Ireland. Owner Sean Ryan welcomes European Waterways’ guests into his home for a private guided tour; taking them throughout the castle and grounds and imparting the fascinating history as they stroll through The Bloody Chapel and The Murder Hole Room. 

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