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— 2024 —

Enjoy our 2024 barge cruising blog posts about everything barging brought to you by Paradise Connections, your barge charter cruise specialists. Experience the fascinating world of boutique hotel barging and see Europe from another perspective – via an all-inclusive, luxury, crewed hotel barge cruise vacation. Either click a link in the list below to go to a blog post that interests you or just scroll down the page to view all the posts. The most current post is at the top.

2/21/2024 - Traditional Scottish Drinks

2/20/2024 - Updated Special Offers & Discounts

2/17/2024 - La Nouvelle Etoile : Moselle River Cruise

2/14/2024 - Culinary Cruise with French Hotel Barge Enchante

2/6/2024 - A Golf & Barge Cabin Cruise in Scotland

2/5/2024 - 20% Discount AND Free Hotel Night

2/5/2024 - Attention: Downton Abbey Lovers

1/3/2024 - Special Offers & Discounts

1/3/2024 - Italian Wine Guide

1/1/2024 - Happy New Year

Traditional Scottish Drinks

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - SUBJECT

Scotland is famous for its incredible scenery, warm and welcoming people, and varied wildlife but it also boasts a rich history of fine traditional Scottish drinks, enjoyed in numerous styles. Learn more HERE

Posted: February 21, 2024

New Updated Special Offers & Discounts on Barging Cruises

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Special offers and discounts on barge cruises

We have just updated our Special Offers & Discounts page. Many private charters and cabin cruises are priced at 20% off their standard rates with some at 10% off. Plus, some barges (Holland, Burgundy, Italy) have select weeks with "No Single Supplement" for Solo Travelers.

Posted: February 20, 2024

Moselle River Barge Cruise - Germany & Luxembourg

Join La Nouvelle Etoile on their Moselle River Barge Cruise in Germany & Luxembourg

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Moselle River Barge Cruise

The popular, and wheelchair accessible, Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Etoile only has a few spots left this season for their Germany/Luxembourg Moselle River cruises between Remich and Koblenz.

Current Availability for Germany/Luxembourg:

  • August 25-31, 2024: Open for private charter. Inquire for a cabin week
  • September 22-28, 2024: 1 cabin open, 3 booked
  • October 6-12, 2024: 2 cabins open, 2 booked

The picturesque Moselle region of Germany is a wine lover's paradise and is most famous for its wines made from the Riesling grape. The area is known for the steep slopes of the region's vineyards overlooking the River Moselle. The river runs through one of Europe's most beautiful valleys and is perfect for anyone wishing to experience the romantic Germany of castles, vineyards, and half-timbered villages. Unlike the more heavily visited Rhine river, the Moselle allows visitors to meander at a more leisurely pace among colorful towns, markets, and forests.

The “Queen of German Castles”

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Moselle River Barge Cruise

One of the highlights of a visit to the Mosel Valley is the chance to see Burg Eltz, a medieval castle straight out of a fairytale. Amazingly it is still owned by the same family who lived there in the twelfth century, unscathed by any of the wars that troubled the region over the past 850 years. Guests on this cruise benefit from a guided tour of the castle, with the opportunity to see the original Treasury, Armory, and numerous halls constructed in different centuries.

A Renowned Wine Region

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Moselle River Barge Cruise

The steep slopes of the Mosel Valley make it a perfect place for growing grapes. As you travel the length of the river on your cruise you will notice that the terroir changes significantly depending on the location of the vineyard. Generally speaking, south-facing vineyards benefit from ten times more sunlight than those that are north-facing, and those on the slopes are better off than those planted on flat land. Over 60% of the wine produced in the region is Riesling. You will have ample opportunity to taste the iconic wines of the region on your cruise, as the itinerary includes a number of vineyard visits and tastings at famous wine villages along the river, including Winningen, Zell, and Bernkastel.

About Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Etoile

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Moselle River Barge Cruise

The Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Etoile is a luxurious barge with very spacious accommodation for up to 8 passengers, offering a wonderful blend of traditional elegance and sophisticated, state of the art facilities. The four bedroom suites, each over 200 square feet, boast internet access, satellite TV and large private, ensuite bathrooms with double sinks. The barge is fully air conditioned and has an elegant, teak-lined dining area and saloon, with an attractive bar and piano, and features warm and inviting furnishings. On deck, there is a spacious sun deck with comfortable loungers and hot tub. Other facilities include internet access, exercise room, and 8 bikes.

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - La Nouvelle Etoile Moselle River Barge Cruise

La Nouvelle Etoile is designed to be fully accessible to wheelchair users and the less physically able. The doors are wide enough for wheelchair users to move easily from room to room and there is a lift between decks. One of the cabins is specially equipped specifically for wheelchair users. Their air conditioned minibus has a lift and special straps to secure a wheelchair in place.

La Nouvelle Etoile cruises a variety of destinations beginning with Holland in the spring, followed by 2-country cruises (Holland to Belgium, and Belgium to Paris) in May. In June, they explore the Champagne region of France, then move on to Alsace for mid-July through mid-August. This is followed by cruising the Moselle river in Germany & Luxembourg between Remich and Koblenz for the remainder of their season.

Book Now / Inquire

Posted: February 17, 2024

Culinary Cruises Aboard French Hotel Barge Enchanté

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - SUBJECT

If you are a lover of fine food and are particularly interested in how and where locally-grown ingredients are sourced, a culinary cruise in southwest France aboard the luxury, French hotel barge Enchanté is for you.

During your cruise along the meandering Canal du Midi, you will have the opportunity to really get to know more about some of the regions' wonderful products and meet the people behind them.

Each culinary-themed barge cruise includes cooking demonstrations in the open galley by the onboard chef, wine and food pairings for each meal, Mediterranean cuisine focussing on the freshest local produce, and presentations of all cheeses and wines.

Highlights of this culinary cruise include:

  • Truffle hunting in the Minervois hills and a tasting of the elusive white truffle itself.
  • Visit a renowned farm that breeds the special Petit Gris variety of escargot.
  • Tour L'Oulibo, the long-established olive oil press that produces the purist extra virgin olive oil from the famous Lucques olive.
  • Explore the extraordinary indoor market in Narbonne, where your chef will invite you to choose the ingredients for that evening's dinner.
  • Visit one of the area's finest producers of Minervois A.O.C wines for a tour and private tasting, as no meal would be complete without some fine wine.

Couple this with a hands-on French cooking class and demonstrations by your onboard chef throughout the cruise along the Canal du Midi, and you have a wonderful combination of relaxing cruising and culinary education.

Plus there's more! View the itinerary for Enchanté's Culinary Cruise.

Learn more about French Hotel Barge Enchanté

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - French Hotel Barge Enchante culinary cruise

Learn more about the Canal du Midi

French Hotel Barge l'Impressionniste also has a Burgundy culinary cruise

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - French Hotel Barge l'Impressionniste culinary cruise

Learn more about Burgundy

Book Now / Inquire

Updated: February 23, 2024

A Golf & Barge Cabin Cruise in Scotland

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Scottish Highlander Golfing Cabin Cruise

The luxury, crewed, all-inclusive Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander is offering a special golf-themed cabin cruise week. We have had many requests for this so don't wait too long.

This golf-themed cabin cruise week allows golfers to meet other like-minded enthusiasts aboard Scottish Highlander. Golf cruises include four pre-booked tee times and transfers to and from the clubs. Other excursion tours are available if you have a non-golfing partner.

  • Availability: May 5-11, 2024 - 3 cabins open
  • Price: $6590/person (double occupancy) plus a $1150 supplement for each golfer. No supplement for non-golfers.

Highlights of this golf-themed cruise (see sample golf itinerary):

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Scottish Highlander Golfing With Sheep

  • Fort Augustus Golf Course: One of Scotlands hidden gems, this course was laid out in 1924 by Harry Shapland Colt on the banks of the Caledonian Canal near Loch Ness. It is probably the only course in the world kept manicured by a herd of sheep! (9/18 hole, 5454 yards, Par 67: pull carts available)
  • Newtonmore Golf Club: Established in 1893, this comparatively flat, easy-walking, parkland course is full of exciting and invigorating challenges. (18 holes, 6041 yards, Par 70, pull carts and buggies available)
  • Cabot Highlands, Championship Links Course: Home to the renowned 18-hole Castle Stuart Golf links, designed by Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse. It also features a practice range, an art-deco inspired clubhouse, and the historic 17th century castle after which the golf course was named. (18 holes, 6705 yards, Par 72, buggies and pull carts available)
  • Royal Dornoch Golf Course: Enjoy a round on the 18-hole Championship Golf Course, one of Scotland's famous links courses designed by Tom Morris. (18 holes, 6514 yards, Par 70, buggies and pull carts available)

About The Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Scottish Highlander Golfing Cabin Cruise

The Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander has the atmosphere of a Scottish country house with subtle use of tartan furnishings and landscape paintings. At 117-feet long, Scottish Highlander is spacious and has every comfort for year-round cruising. Scottish Highlander accommodates up to eight guests in staterooms that can be configured to your preference as doubles or singles, each with private, ensuite bathrooms. The experienced crew of five, led by your captain, ensure attention to your every need.

Book Now / Inquire

Posted: February 6, 2024

20% Discount AND a Free Hotel Night

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - La Belle Epoque - Discount AND Free Hotel Night

2024 Feb 5 & updated Feb 22 — Guests booking a cabin aboard La Belle Epoque or l'Art de Vivre for either August 4-10 or 11-17, 2024 can take advantage of both a 20% discount and a FREE hotel room* on the day prior to your cruise at a four-star hotel, ideally located five minutes from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. You will be picked up directly from the hotel to avoid congestion in central Paris during the Olympics, and transferred by private air-conditioned minibus your barge in Burgundy. After the cruise, guests can be dropped bact to the hotel or to the Paris Charles de Galle airport.

*Excludes tourist tax, food and beverage, plus any other additional hotel extras. Book by April 2, 2024 to receive discounted rate.

About French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque

French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque

  • Route: FRANCE, Canal de Bourgogne between Venarey-les-Laumes and Tanlay
  • Passengers: up to 12
  • Crew: 6
  • Price with 20% discount: $10,320/cabin. Save $2,580
  • Itinerary: Standard classic
  • Biking Plus option
  • La Belle Epoque's Online brochure

About French Hotel Barge l'Art de Vivre

French Hotel Barge l'Art de Vivre

Book Now / Inquire

Posted: February 5, 2024 & Updated: Feb 22, 2024

Downton Abbey Lovers - This cruise is for YOU

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Downton Abbey Highclere Castle
Highclere Castle

We are pleased to announce that the English Hotel Barge Magna Carta has cabins available on their three Highclere Castle excursions for 2024. This unique trip to the iconic castle and fictional site of the highly popular TV series “Downton Abbey” is a limited opportunity. The visit to Highclere Castle replaces the standard itinerary's visit to Dorney Court.

A Downton-themed cruise on Magna Carta includes a visit to this magnificent estate and outings to additional locations associated with other popular period dramas.

Availability & Pricing

The 2024 barging season has the following dates for the Downton Abbey itinerary:

  • July 14-20: 2 cabins open, 2 booked
  • August 4-10: 1 cabin open, 3 booked
  • August 11-16: 2 cabins open, 2 booked

Cabins are priced at $7,050/person, double occupancy.

Prices include: Transfers between Central London and the hotel barge (approximate transfer duration either 1 hour or 1½ hours depending on the cruise direction), a luxury 6-night cruise, all meals on board catered for by the on board Master Chef, an open bar 24/7 with a large range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, the services of 4 crew and use of barge facilities, which include DVD players in each cabin, bicycles and a spa pool.

Book Now / Inquire

Downton Abbey

This extremely impressive Victorian castle, designed by Sir Charles Barry who was also the architect of the Houses of Parliament, sits on a 1000-acre estate and is the iconic home of the fictional Crawley family on the show. The "real" Downton Abbey has been owned by the Carnarvon family since 1679, where Lord and Lady Carnarvon still live today. Listen to Lady Carnarvon's podcast.

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Highclere castle field
Highclere Castle

Located west of London in Berkshire, it is considered one of the finest Victorian homes still in existence, with sprawling grounds that are four times the size of New York City's Central Park. Its parks stretch as far as the eye can see and visitors can enjoy lakes, bridges, follies, and a meticulously manicured garden in the grounds that was landscaped by the popular eighteenth-century gardener, Capability Brown.

Hampshire's Highclere Castle has between 250 to 300 rooms. A tour of its rooms on the Downton Abbey cruise includes some bedrooms and many of the main state rooms, which will be familiar to Downton Abbey fans. Guests also tour its Egyptian exhibition, which celebrates the 5th Earl of Carnarvon's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1907. Learn about ancient artifacts that were buried with the famous pharaoh and marvel at the statues of forgotten Gods and Goddesses.

From Bridgerton to the Crown

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Hampton Court grounds
Hampton Court Grounds

Live out your fantasies from fictional television series as you reimagine scenes experienced by all your favorite characters. Stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens at Hampton Court Palace and picture Bridgerton's Queen Charlotte prancing among the topiary. It was also one of the locations for the award winning film "A Man for All Seasons".

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Barge Magna
Windsor Castle

From the set of The Crown, tour Windsor Castle, the home of the late Queen Elizabeth II, and the largest inhabited castle in the world. Its surrounding parkland was used to film scenes from Bridgerton where the Duke and his love, Kate Sharma, go horseback riding. Upon request, fans of the popular Netflix drama may also be able to divert to other Bridgerton film locations such as Basildon, Painshill and Syon House.

About English Hotel Barge Magna Carta

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Barge Magna
Magna Carta

The all-inclusive, crewed, luxury, English Hotel Barge Magna Carta accommodates up to 8 guests. She is approximately 120 feet in length and has two decks.

The lower deck boasts four full-width luxurious staterooms each averaging 200 square feet with private ensuite bathrooms. Magna Carta has the most sophisticated modern amenities, including air conditioning, WI-FI internet access, and underfloor heating in each of the four suites. Each suite has exceptionally spacious contemporary en-suite facilities including color TVs and DVD/CD players.

The upper deck comprises the main salon and dining areas with large picture windows and stylish furnishings. Outside you have the sundeck with comfortable seating and the spa pool/hot tub. There are four mountain bikes on board (with additional bikes on request) to take at your pleasure for rides along the tow paths.

The Magna Carta offers 6-night, all-inclusive private charters, as well as cabin cruises. Theme cruises such as golf, tennis, guided walking, family, theater, Henley regatta, antiques, etc, are available for private charters.

Learn More

This is a one-of-a-kind experience for fans of Downton Abbey that allows them to walk the real-life setting made famous by their favorite television drama.

This would be a great Valentine's gift

Book Now / Inquire

Posted: February 4, 2024

New Special Offers & Discounts on Barging Cruises

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - SUBJECT

We have just updated our Special Offers & Discounts page. Many private charters and cabin cruises are priced at 20% off their standard rates with some at 10% off. Plus, some barges have select weeks with "No Single Supplement" for Solo Travelers. Here are a few specials that we'd like to particularly point out.

HOLLAND

Famous for windmills, tulips, pottery and cheese, the Netherlands also boasts a vibrant artistic and cultural heritage, not to mention the stunning scenery. Enjoy a week in Holland aboard the Hotel Barge Pananche which accommodates up to 12 guests in 6 staterooms.

Special offer for March 31 - April 6 (3 cabins open) choose either:

  • Cabin, double occupancy: 20% off = $11,120/cabin (save $2,780), OR
  • Cabin, single occupancy with NO single supplement = $6,950 (save $2,500)

ENGLAND

Experience a unique cruise along The Thames, Great Britain's most famous river. From the magnificent Hampton Court, cruise westwards to Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world, then on to Henley-on-Thames, the home of the famous Henley Regatta. This is a cruise of great contrasts that takes guests away from beautiful, bustling, cultural London into the pastoral English countryside of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, including excursions to many places of cultural interest, such as the University town of Oxford.

Discover England from another point of view aboard the English Hotel Barge Magna Carta, accommodating up to 8 guests in 4 staterooms.

Special offer of 10% off a cabin cruise week = $12,690/cabin (save $1,410/cabin) for the weeks of:

  • April 12-20: 4 cabins open, but available for cabin bookings
  • April 21-27: 2 cabins open, 2 booked
  • April 28-May 4: 2 cabins open, 2 booked

CHAMPAGNE, FRANCE

The Champagne region of France has long been considered one of the greatest heartlands of Europe and has become a mecca for those who appreciate the best in gastronomy, thanks to its world-famous sparkling wine. The region starts 75 miles from Paris, featuring numerous vineyards and champagne houses including Moët et Chandon. Visit historic locations including the cities of Reims, Meaux, and Epernay, along the River Marne. Here you'll find stunning horizons to explore as you enjoy some of the best food and drink in the country.

Two hotel barges have special offers of a 10% discount for private charters in Champagne: Kir Royale and Panache. Rates vary according to the number of guests in your party.

Kir Royale is a new addition to the fleet and accommodates up to 8 guests in 4 staterooms. Available dates for this special are:

  • July 28-August 3
  • August 4-10
  • August 11-17

Panache accommodates up to 12 guests in 6 staterooms. Available dates for this special are:

  • June 16-22
  • June 23-29

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT OFFER

Several hotel barges are offering special "No single supplement" rates for single travelers on select weeks.

Holland - Panache

  • March 31 - April 6 : Cabin, single occupancy = $6,950 (save $2,500)

France, Burgundy - La Belle Epoque

  • April 7-13 : Cabin, single occupancy = $6, 450 (save $2,400)
  • August 11-17 : Cabin, single occupancy = $6,450 (save $2,400)

Scotland - Spirit of Scotland

  • April 7-13 : Cabin, single occupancy = $6,090 (save $2,200)
  • April 21-27 : Cabin, single occupancy = $6,990 (save $2,600)

Italy - La Bella Vita

  • May 12-18 : Cabin, single occupancy = $5,490 (save $2,100)
  • May 12-18 : Cabin, single occupancy = $5,490 (save $2,100)
  • June 2-8 : Cabin, single occupancy = $5,490 (save $2,100)
  • Sept 15-21 : Cabin, single occupancy = $5,490 (save $2,100)

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE...

Check out our Special Offers and Discount page for the complete list and contact barging@paradiseconnections.com for more information and booking.

Posted: January 13, 2024

Italian Wine Guide

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Guide to Italian Wines

Italy is known for being one of the most stylishly creative countries in the world. It may be of little surprise that Italy has one of the world's richest variety of individual wine styles, distinctive terroirs and indigenous grape varieties. The country's best wines have a vivacity, originality, and flair all of their own.

Learn about Italian wines in our 3-part series:

Posted: January 3, 2024

Happy New Year Everyone

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Happy New Year

Posted: January 1, 2024

 

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