Hotel Barge ATHOS - Barging in France -

Italy: Venice, the Islands of the Venetian Lagoon, the Bianca Canal and the Po Valley

Specifications & Facts About The Barge

Italian hotel barge La Bella Vita - layout diagram

148 feet long, 22 feet wide, 3 decks
Accommodates up to 20 guests
10 guest cabins: 2 junior suites + 8 staterooms (as doubles or twins)
6-10 crew (Captain/pilot, deck-hand, cruise director, chef, chef's assistant, housekeepers)
Crew nationality: The crew are usually Italian and can speak English.
Air conditioned / Central heating
There is an internet area with a computer available for passenger use
WiFi subject to local reception
Rooftop sundeck
10 touring bikes
Air conditioned minibus


Maximum of 20 guests in 10 cabins, i.e. 2 junior suites and 8 staterooms.

There are two junior suites on the main deck and eight staterooms on the lower deck. All cabins can be configured with a double bed or with two twin beds. All 10 cabins are equipped with en-suite bathroom. Cabins have a closet with drawer, storage space under the bed, reading lights and a mirror. The two junior suites have a Juliet balcony with opening doors and windows. The 8 staterooms do not have opening windows.


All measurements are approximate and include the bathroom.



Each cabin has an ensuite bathroom with shower, WC, hand basin, tiled floors, mirror and a full length mirror. Each is supplied with bathrobes, slippers, towels, and a hair dryer. Italian toiletries are also provided: soap, shower gel, shampoo, etc.


The comfortable salon is 398sq.ft (37m2) and has 3 large sofas, 2 coffee tables, a bar with 2 stools, and a piano.

The large bright dining area is 506sq.ft (47m2) with 2 large dining tables, each seating up to 10 guests.


There is a very large sundeck covering the top of the boat measuring 21.65ft x 132.87ft (6.6m x 40.5m). For relaxation and al fresco dining, there are 4 tables and a large sunshade canopy measuring 13.7ft x 18ft (4.2m x 5.5m). There are 20 chairs (12 of which recline) and 2 sun loungers.



The boat is wired for 220 volts. We suggest you bring an adapter for your particular appliance, which corresponds to the standard Italian 220 volt 2-pin plugs (this is slightly smaller than French plugs).

If you wish to use your electrical appliance on board, please ask one of the crew when you arrive to ensure that it is suitable to the boat's electrical system.

We cannot be held responsible for unforeseen voltage fluctuations which sometimes occur when swapping from one voltage system to another.


Each cabin has individual air conditioning and central heating.


Complimentary WiFi is available on board for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations. There are no passenger telephones on board La Bella Vita.


Please let Paradise Connections know in advance of booking your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.

La Bella Vita has restricted facilities for passengers with mobility issues: The 2 Junior Suites on the main deck are easily reached with no steps from the salon/dining area but there is a 12-step staircase with handrails to reach the staterooms on the lower deck.

There are 12 steps from the main deck to the sundeck with handrails for assistance.

La Bella Vita is unsuitable for wheelchair users as the gangplank is narrow and there are numerous stairs on board.


All meals aboard are prepared fresh by your chef and most meals are a set menu (there is no choice available). International and Italian cuisine is featured.

We are able to arrange special meals, such as vegetarian / no fish / vegan, etc; and we are able to able to cater for any preferences or allergies. However, it is important that we are notified at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date. Failure to notify us in advance of your cruise may result in disappointment on board.

There is no assigned seating for meals and the dining table accommodates all guests at a single sitting.

Breakfast: Continental-style breakfast with fresh bread, fresh fruit, cereals, cheese, ham, yoghurts, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and hot beverages including decaffeinated or regular tea and coffee.

Lunch: Lunch is served waiter service or a buffet of colorful salads, pâtés and cold meats, generally accompanied by hot soup or entreé followed by a dessert or a selection of local cheeses and quality wines selected by the chef.

Dinner: Always a gastronomic adventure created by your talented chef. A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, complemented by fine wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee, and liqueurs.

Captain's Farewell Dinner: Captain's dinner on the last night of the cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.

Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated coffee and tea, whole or low fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24-hours per day which include wines, spirits, beers, and soft drinks. All wines are served with meals and there is a Prosecco Welcome on arrival.

Drinks not included in the cruise price: Champagne and special vintage wines, however these may be purchased in advance of your cruises at cost price. Please inquire. We do not recommend special ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.

Water: Tap water aboard La Bella Vita is potable. Bottled water is provided in the cabins and the display fridge close to the bar.


Air conditioned bus(es) are used for transfers and excursions. Transfers from the meeting/drop-off points to/from La Bella Vita are approximately 30 minutes and 2 hours depending on the direction of the cruise. Excursions are either by bus or on foot.

For charter bookings, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your group's particular needs. If a destination or excursion is within a reasonable distance of the boat, we will do everthing we can to arrange it. Please speak with us in advance of your cruise so we can pre-arrange with the Captain.

Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge.


Passengers are welcome to walk or cycle using the on board bicycles on certain days. The captain will keep you up to date about this which is dependent upon the boat's location.

There are 10 city bikes on board. Children's bikes and child seats can be arranged if required. Please inform Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks in advance should you require these.


Hot air ballooning is available in the Ferrara area and can be requested for private charter bookings only. Please contact us for more details.


Wine Appreciation, Golf, Family, and Opera cruise itineraries are available for private charter groups. View La Bella Vita's online brochure and see these special itineraries.


Our barges have a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of fellow passengers. If you would like to smoke we request that you smoke outside on deck away from fellow passengers.


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 chemist/pharmacy for you to purchase any necessary medicines. Due to your cruise often being in a rural location, we recommend you bring all necessary medications with you. Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.


We recommend that you bring sufficient clean clothing for your cruise as there are no laundry facilities on board. However, the crew may be able to assist in an emergency on a request basis.


Space is limited on board and on the transfer vehicle. Please try to fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably-sized suitcase per person. There is plenty of storage room available on board once you have unpacked.

Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard La Bella Vita and for most excursions. The dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Captain's Farewell Dinner on the final evening, guests often dress up, which is optional.

The weather in italy is generally warm. June, July, and August is the warmest often being in the mid-30s.

Suggested things to pack:


The local currency in Italy is the Euro. The boat is unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.


Gratuities are not included in the cruise fare. Tipping is entirely discretionary but is greatly appreciated by the crew if you are fully satisfied with the level of service on board. As a guidance, our passengers on average tip approximately 5-7% of the cruise fare. All tips should be given to the Captain and are shared between the whole crew on board.

Please note that gratuities can only be made on board by cash payment.


If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.


Once you are on board your Captain will talk you through the 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 any valuables are covered by your travel insurance.

Safes are provided in each cabin. For safety reasons, cabin doors are usually unlocked.

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