About The Barge — Fact Sheet
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. One of the suites is fully adapted to accommodate passengers with physical challenges and the barge is fitted with a lift/elevator for wheelchairs.
129 ft long x 17 ft wide (39.3m x 5.18m)
5 crew (Captain, Tour guide/Deckhand, Chef, Housekeeper, Pilot/Engineer)
4 Guest suites: configured as twins or doubles, each over 200ft²
Elevator (lift) between upper & lower decks
Air conditioning & Central heating
Spa pool / Hot tub on sundeck
8 Dutch style, 8-speed bicycles
WiFi (subject to local reception)
Air conditioned minibus
The approximate transfer duration is between 2 and 3 hours depending on cruise itinerary and direction, except for cruises in Holland when the transfer is just 45 minutes.
Maximum of 8 guests in 4 suites all with a choice of 2 single beds or a double bed. One of the cabins is set up to be suitable for wheelchair access.
Each cabin has a private ensuite bathroom with shower. There is ample storage and each has a waredrobe, a cupboard with shelves, and a large drawer under each bed for suitcases. All cabins have a night table with small drawers, television, computer with internet access, and panoramic windows. Bedding provided is sheets with an eiderdown or blankets (no duvet).
All four suites have a minimum of 200ft² (18.6m²) with large panoramic windows. All suites measure 13ft 2" x 16ft 5" (4m x 5m) including bathroom.
Note: All measurements are approximate and includes the area of the bathrooms.
Ceiling height: The headroom height in the cabins is 6ft 7" (2.02m).
Each bathroom measures 13ft 2" x 4ft (4m x 1.20m) and has tiled floors and walls. They have a walk-in shower, WC, and 2 sinks. Washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels and face cloths, dressing gowns and hair dryer. There is a 110V power point in each bathroom.
DINING ROOM & SALON
The salon comprises a lounge, cocktail bar, and dining. The total size of this area is 46ft x 15ft 9" (14m x 4.8m) and has a ceiling height of 7ft 4" (2.23m).
The salon is furnished in rich, teak wood and has a small library, a CD/DVD player, and an upright piano.
There is an elevator between floors which helps accommodate those guests who are less mobile or wheelchair-bound. It measures 3ft 7" x 3ft 7" (110cm x 110cm).
The sundeck measures 17ft 6" x 22ft; (5.3m x 6.7m) and has a spa pool/hot tub which can accommodate 8 people. There are 8 reclining chairs for sunbathing and relaxing, and a large table for dining outside. There is an electric, retractable canopy for shade. If the evening turns a bit chilly, the sundeck has outdoor heating.
- Gymnasium (exercise room) on the lower deck with a treadmill, exercise bike, and weights
- Printer-photocopier (which is centrally located in the Exercise Room)
- Elevator between floors (measures 110cm x 100cm. It can fit 5 people and will easily fit a wheelchair.
- Wi-Fi internet available (subject to local reception) throughout the whole barge
- 8-person Jacuzzi hot tub on foredeck
- Wheelchair on board (which fits in the lift and can be secured in the minibus)
- Electric sun canopy on foredeck, retracts when not required
- Herb garden
- 8 Bikes
- Large pop-up TV, DVD & CD player in salon
- Pioneer sound system with Bose speakers allowing guests to play their music through a wireless devise into the speakers
- Each guest room has a television, computer with internet, safe deposit box, and large storage facilities
- 24-hour coffee, tea, hot chocolate machine
- Terrace heating outside
- Upright piano
- Wedgewood porcelain and Chrisoffle silver
FOOD & DRINK
All meals aboard are prepared fresh by your chef and most meals are a set menu (there is no choice available). International and local 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 on La Nouvelle Etoile seats all guests at a single sitting.
Breakfast: Your day on La Nouvelle Etoile starts with a continental breakfast with fresh breads and pastries, fruit, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and hot beverages. A hot breakfast option is always offered cooked to order.
Lunch: Usually buffet style with colorful salads, patés, and cold meats accompanied by hot soup or entrée, delicious desserts and a selection of regional cheeses accompanied by 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: Held 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 serving beers, wines, spirits, and soft drinks. All wines are served with meals and there is a champagne welcome on arrival.
Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some champagnes and special vintage wines are not included although you may purchase bottles in advance at cost price. Please let us know what you would like to order. We do not recommend special ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.
Water: Tap water on board La Nouvelle Etoile is potable and bottled water is available. There is also a water softener on board.
The barge is wired for 220 volts with a 110 volt socket in each bathroom. It is suggested that you bring an adapter for your particular appliance which corresponds to the standard French 2-pin plugs. If you wish to use an electrical appliance on board, please ask one of the crew when you arrive to ensure that it is suitable to 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.
Each suite has individually controlled air conditioning and central heating.
COMPUTER & TELEPHONE
WiFi is available throughout the barge and in each suite for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations.
There is a touch screen computer in each suite and there is a printer aboard. In the salon there are plenty of USB ports integral to the seating for charging cameras, phones, and tablets.
There is no passenger telephone available on La Nouvelle Etoile.
La Nouvelle Etoile has an air conditioned Mercedes Sprinter which is used for transfers and excursions during your cruise. It has extra headroom and a sliding step.
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 barge, we will do everything we can to arrange it. Please advise Paradise Connections in advance and the Captain will be informed.
Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to stay on the barge.
CYCLING AND WALKING
Most cruise itineraries offer opportunities to walk and cycle along the towpaths. However this can be limited when cruising in Holland, and also between Holland, Belgium, and France.
Passengers are welcome to walk or cycle using the on board bicycles as often as they like. Most people choose to disembark the barge at a lock and then visit local villages and then return to the canal and meet the barge a little further along. The barge travels slowly and therefore catching up will not be a problem.
There are 8 Dutch style, 8-speed bikes on board and safety helmets are provided. Children's bikes, helmets, and child bike seats can be arranged if required. Please request with Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks in advance of your cruise.
Because the barge travels at a slow pace, walking is a popular activity.
HOT AIR BALLOONING
Hot air ballooning is usually available in Champange and Burgundy in France.
Once on board, the Captain can arrange this directly with the hot air balloon company. Flight usually last for about 1 hour and are weather dependent. The cost is approximately 230 Euros per person and this should be paid directly to the balloon company on the day of the flight (the accept credit cards).
Kindly advise us in advance if you are interested in ballooning.
Bicycling, walking, and wine appreciation cruises are alternatives to our regular cruises and are usually available for passengers chartering the whole barge who wish their cruise to be primarily about their chosen theme. Professional tour guides can be booked to provide expert knowledge on the theme and there is usually an additional supplement for these services.Feel free to contact Paradise Connections for more information.
PASSENGERS WITH MOBILITY RESTRICTIONS
Please let Paradise Connections know in advance of booking your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.
There are 10 steps between the salon and the lower guest cabin deck and a further 2 steps down to access cabins 3 & 4. Handrails are fitted throughout. There is an elevator (lift) on board between the two decks.
The cabin most suited for passengers with mobility restrictions is cabin #4 as there are handrails in the ensuite bathroom for the toilet and shower.
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 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.
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.
On the lower deck, there are laundry facilities available for guests to use. There is a washing machine (powder is provided), tumble dryer, iron, and ironing board.
LUGGAGE / WHAT TO PACK
Please try to fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably sized suitcase per person. Soft bags are preferable as these can be stored in the drawers under the beds.
Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard La Nouvelle Etoile and for most excursions. The dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Farewell Dinner on the last evening, guests often dress up which is optional.
The weather is warmest in June, July and August when temperatures can reach the mid-30s°C (top 80s°F).
Suggested things to pack:
- 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 will be useful.
- Comfortable walking shoes with textured non-slip soles are recommended.
- There is a spa pool/hot tub on board so don't forget your swimsuit.
The local currency in all countries that La Nouvelle Etoile cruises is the Euro. The barge 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 full 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.
PROBLEM DURING YOUR CRUISE
If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate possibility to make it right. Bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Once 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 all valuables are covered by your travel insurance.
Safes are provided in each cabin but cabin doors are usually not locked for safety reasons.
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