Facts About The Barge Aurora
Aurora specializes in bespoke barge cruises in The Netherlands and France. A cruise aboard the Hotel Barge Aurora is a wonderfully relaxing and private way to explore the regions of The Netherlands and Northern Burgundy, France in company with your knowledgeable and professional crew.
Length: 128ft 6" (39.2 meters)
Beam: 16ft 6" (5.05 meters)
Air Conditioned & Heated
Wi-Fi (subject to local reception)
Hot tub / Spa pool
Air Conditioned Minibus
Your Crew On Board
- Crew of 5: Captain, Chef, Tour Guide, Two Hosts/Hostesses
- Crew mascot: Faye, a Golden Retriever & all around good girl
- All crew speak English. The Captain also speaks Dutch and French. Karina, Barge Manager & Hostess speaks French, German, Slovak, Czech, as well.
Accommodation On Board
Maximum 8 passengers / 4 staterooms
Up to 8 guests are accommodated in 4 well-appointed suites on the lower level. Each guest stateroom has a King bed (two cabins can convert to Twins if you prefer), 100% cotton, 800 thread count linens from Yves Delorme of Paris, individual climate control for air conditioning and heating, 2 armchairs, chest of drawers, large closet, TV screen with Netflix, fresh flowers, fruit basket, nuts & chocolate, bottled water, slippers, safe.
Bathrooms: The en-suite bathroom includes twin wash basins, an extra-large shower stall, toilet, vanity, hairdryer, magnifying mirror, terry robes, heated towels racks, generous storage space, and Roger Gallet toiletries.
Size for cabin area includes bathroom:
- Diana / Coral (forward): 290 ft² (27m²)
- Venus / Red (forward center): 290 ft² (27m²)
- Minerva / Green (aft center): 290 ft² (27m²)
- Juno / Blue (aft): 290 ft² (27m²)
- King bed: 6ft x 6ft 7" (180cm x 200cm)
- Twin bed: 3ft x 6ft 7" (90cm x 200cm)
Ceiling height: 7ft (215cm).
Portholes: can be opened when not cruising.
- Diana / Coral (forward): 2 port & 2 starboard
- Venus / Red (forward center): 2 port
- Minerva / Green (aft center): 2 port
- Juno / Blue (aft): 2 port & 2 starboard
Aurora has both heating and air conditioning. Each guest cabin has individually controlled heating / cooling units.
Computer and Telephone
Wi-Fi is available throughout the barge 24/7. Internet is subject to reception. Aurora's Holland and Northern Burgundy routes generally have very good reception.
A desktop computer is available for guests. There is no passenger telephone aboard Aurora.
The currency in Holland, Belgium, and France is the Euro. Credit cards are accepted everywhere for medium and large purchases. You can use your card to take money out of ATM machines in most villages. Visa and Master Card are more widely accepted than American Express.
Cycling & Walking
Aurora has 8 bicycles and helmets. You are welcome to walk or cycle using the on board bicycles as often as you wish. We cruise at a slow speed therefore catching up is not a problem.. You can get on and off in any lock so you are able to plan your distance.
Joggers may wish to have an early morning jaunt before we set sail.
Dining Room & Saloon
The tastefully decorated barge has stylish and comfortable furniture, with original artwork adorning the walls. In the dining area and salon, you will find a fireplace, library, TV/DVD, satellite TV, a Bose surround sound system, Bluetooth iPhone dock, Wi-Fi, plus a Mac desktop computer. The large panoramic windows allow you to take in the scenery.
Dine on fine china and porcelain from Niderviller and Gien, Baccarat crystal glassware, and silverware from Chambly House.
The full-width glass door slides out of the way and opens up the saloon to the covered terrace forward, creating an incredible feeling of space.
The well-stocked open bar is accessible from both the saloon and terrace.
The barge is wired for 220 volts throughout. Most modern laptops and phone chargers are 110v & 220v compatible. Aurora has travel adapters if you need them.
If you wish to use your electrical device, please ask one of the crew when you arrive on board to ensure that it is suitable for the barge’s electrical system.
We cannot be held responsible for unforeseen voltage fluctuations which sometimes occur when swapping from one voltage system to another.
Aurora's Mercedes minibus is air conditioned and seats 8 passengers plus driver. It is used for transfers and excursions during your cruise.
We always offer a choice of excursions to cater to your interests. You are in charge of your vacation, we coordinate your wishes with our local knowledge and expertise in this region to create a perfect vacation for you.
We offer springtime Tulip cruising in Holland so you can enjoy and marvel at the traditional sights such as windmills, cheese markets, pottery and porcelain, museums, flowers, and the embracing friendliness of the locals.
We chose Northern Burgundy to give you everything France offers - castles, museums, art, markets, nature, wines, history, food, landscape, and so much more. Leaving the bustling city life behind, a magical voyage brings you to the tranquility of the rural countryside with much beauty and historical significance.
Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge.
Facilities On Board
- Small library of books and maps
- Satellite TV in salon
- Bose surround sound system
- Bluetooth iPhone dock
- Flat screen TV with Netflix in each guest cabin
- WiFi internet access
- Mac desktop computer
- Spa pool (hot tub)
- 8 Bicycles
Food & Drink
Your private Gourmet Chef caters for the needs of all guests and will propose an extensive list of specialties for you to choose from. Whether you wish to eat your favorite foods or select from the à la carte menus, you can be sure of an excellent 4-course meal using fresh, locally sourced produce, accompanied by a selection of fine wines. Vegetarian and Vegans are equally well catered for.
There is no assigned seating for meals and the dining room on board Aurora seats all guests at a single sitting.
Breakfast: Breakfast selections consist of freshly baked goods, along with fruit salad, cereals, yogurt, cheese, eggs on request, coffee, tea, and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Lunch: Typically served in a buffet style featuring hearty salads, soups and savory entrées.
Dinner: Always a highlight of the day. Your talented chef will create a taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, complemented by fine wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, dessert, coffee and liqueurs.
See our Cuisine page for sample menus.
Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated tea and coffee, whole or low fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24 hours, which includes wines, spirits, beers, and soft drinks. All wines are provided with meals and there is a Champagne welcome on arrival.
Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some brands of Champagnes (with the exception of the Welcome reception) and special vintage wines, however these can be purchased in advance of your cruise at cost price, please speak to Paradise Connections. We do not recommend specific beverage orders unless you are chartering the whole barge.
Hot Air Balooning
Hot air ballooning is usually available when cruising in Burgundy, France. Kindly advise us in advance if you are interested in ballooning.
Laundry service on board Aurora is limited. Aurora is happy to do some laundry for you though we recommend you bring sufficient clean clothing for your cruise. We understand the pleasure in traveling light. It is also easier for us to do a load of “smalls” instead of you hand washing and drying them in your bathroom.
Luggage / What To Pack
Please try and fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably sized suitcase per person. Soft bags are preferable as these can be easily stored.
Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard Aurora and for most excursions. The dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal.
The weather is hottest in June, July, and August when temperatures can reach the mid 30s°C / top 80s°F.
Suggested things to pack
- If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, be sure to pack an extra pair.
- Light clothing including shorts and T-shirts. A sweater or lightweight jacket is recommended for evenings and the air-conditioned interiors.
- During spring and autumn, you may need medium weight clothing. A lightweight raincoat for showery times would be advisable.
- In summer, a sun hat can be useful.
- Comfortable walking shoes with textured non-slip soles as the deck can be slippery when wet.
- Aurora has a spa pool (hot tub) so don’t forget your swim wear. Towels are provided.
Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you require frequent or ongoing medical attention.
The crew are unable to administer medicines but can accompany you to a pharmacy for you to purchase any necessary medicines. Due to your cruise often being in a rural location, we recommend you bring all necessary medication with you.
Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation. Our minibus is always available 24/7 and Emergency Services can be called if required.
Problem During Your Cruise
If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Please bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.
Aurora has a boarding gangplank from shore to the barge with a double rope handrail; the main deck is without any steps or obstacles. From the main saloon there are 12 steps leading down to the staterooms with adequate handrails on both sides.
In each bathroom, the shower has an elevated step of about 3 inches (8cm). A non-slip mat is provided. There are no handrails in the bathrooms or the showers.
Aurora is not suitable for wheelchair users, unfortunately, although if someone wishes to have a wheelchair during the afternoon excursion, it can be arranged.
Safety & Security
Once you are on board, your Captain will talk you through cruise safety procedures.
Please note that we cannot be responsible for any valuables that you bring on board. We strongly recommend that you do not bring valuables with you unless required and that you ensure that all valuables are covered by your travel insurance.
Safes are provided for each guest cabin. The cabin doors are not usually locked for safety reasons.
Smoking is forbidden inside of the barge, but allowed on the upper sundeck.
The forward sundeck, referred to as "The Terrace" is partially covered, shares a bar with the saloon, has a spa pool (hot tub), small sofa, tables & chairs; an excellent space for al fresco dining.
The upper sundeck has tables and chairs. It is a perfect place to watch the stars.
Cycling and Golf cruise itineraries are available for charter groups. Special interest cruises often have a supplement, for details please visit Aurora's Itinerary page
Gratuities for crew members are entirely discretionary. 5-10% of the cruise fare is suggested in the event of total satisfaction with the service on board.
The usual way to give the tip is to give the amount in cash as one lump sum to the Captain / Cruise Director on the last day of the cruise. They will distribute the amount equally amongst the crew.
Euros or Dollars are equally appreciated. ATMs are accessible for cash withdrawal on most itineraries during the cruise and the crew can advise where these are located.
Tips are included for local excursions.
The tap water aboard Aurora is potable and bottled water is available.
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