Why Luxury Barge Holidays Make the Perfect Travel Bubble

Enjoy the experience of a private all-inclusive ‘floating villa’ for your family and friends in a luxurious ‘travel bubble’ amidst Europe’s less-crowded countryside, with dedicated crew, onboard chef, spacious en-suite cabins and private (often exclusive) excursions to enjoy each day…

The 'New Normal'

As 2021 season predicts a ‘return to normal’ in destinations around the world, travellers are beginning to feel hopeful that health concerns will have diminished by next year as countries reopen their borders to international tourism.

Founder and Managing Director of European Waterways, Derek Banks says: “Our guests are definitely more optimistic. Hotel barge cruising has proven to be especially attractive during this time.  It offers the ideal ‘travel bubble’ for families, small groups of friends and like-minded guests. They can charter the entire vessel and have it to themselves all week, cruising together through the less populated countryside in the safety of a single group.”

Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways
Derek Banks, Managing Director and Founder of European Waterways

Welcome Onboard

Hotel barges are like self-contained ‘luxury villas on the water’. They offer enough amenities to keep everyone entertained as long as they want, including bicycles for pleasant pedalling on the canal towpath beside the hotel barge or through charming, postcard-perfect villages. Gourmet meals are prepared and served onboard by a master chef, with lunch and dinner featuring at least two fine vintages selected from local vineyards.”

Fam,ily Cruise - Children in Spa Pool

Passenger Safety Throughout

From the moment our guests join a European Waterways cruise, they’re pampered by an attentive crew that caters to their needs.  The company follows strict health and hygiene protocols onboard, and crew members personally chauffeur guests in private air-conditioned transport to all excursions. Some of the tours are to outdoor attractions or, if indoor, usually conducted exclusively for the benefit of European Waterways’ guests.

Setting a High Bar

The remote and spectacular landscape of the Scottish Highlands are increasingly popular for guests who want to “get back to nature” and experience the wonders of this legendary region – its scenic beauty, its rustic cuisine that includes traditional fare such as salmon, game and seafood and – most certainly – its excellent whisky!  European Waterways’ deluxe, 12-passenger Spirit of Scotland and elegant, eight-passenger Scottish Highlander cruise across Scotland’s Great Glen, along the stunning Caledonian Canal. They feature open bars with an excellent selection of 18 single malts, as well as a private tour and tasting at the famed Tomatin whisky distillery.

On the European mainland, as one of the world’s most popular destinations, France has been celebrated for centuries in literature and songs as a centre for culture, art and architecture, wine, and fine cuisine.  European Waterways’ 12-passenger Panache hotel barge allows guests to explore all of these attributes as it cruises the legendary region of Champagne in late May and June. In Champagne, guests enjoy private tours and tastings at renowned champagne houses such as Moët & Chandon and Maison Pannier.  Excursions include a visit to the 800-year-old Reims Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece that once served as the site for the coronation of the kings of France.

The Scottish Highlander luxury barge along the Caledonian Canal

We are the largest hotel barging company in Europe, so you’re bound to find the perfect cruise that caters to your interests, whether its historical, cultural, artistic, or gastronomic,” said Banks. “Our guests book many months and often years in advance to ensure they can celebrate special occasions like wedding anniversaries and birthdays, as well as family reunions and group get-togethers.

Image courtesy of Alison Ross & family

Book with Confidence

Our ‘Book with Confidence’ policy amends provide greater flexibility in rescheduling future cruises, should they be impacted by government restrictions. The health and safety of guests is a top priority, 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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