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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.

7/11/2024 - ITALY - New Week Added in September

7/3/2024 - Time To Plan Your Next Barge Cruise

6/24/2024 - Rate increases for 2025 Barging Season

5/26/2024 - Last Chance to Cruise the Canal du Midi in 2024

5/16/2024 - Special Offers & Discounts

4/22/2024 - Hotel Barge Aurora - New Lower Prices

4/17/2024 - Domaine Laroche

4/16/2024 - Visit Auxerre

4/15/2024 - Vézelay

4/14/2024 - Château de Bazoches

4/14/2024 - All About French Hotel Barge L'Art de Vivre

4/13/2024 - Learn About the Canal de Bourgogne

4/10/2024 - Rave Review for Barge La Nouvelle Etoile

4/9/2024 - French Hotel Barge Finesse Reinstating Paris Pickups

4/5/2024 - Special Offers & Discounts

4/5/2024 - Summer 2024 Special Offer – Family Fun Afloat & Kids Go Free

3/28/2024 - Visit Dijon in Burgundy France

3/27/2024 - Last Minute Opening on Spirit of Scotland

3/25/2024 - All About French Hotel Barge Finesse

3/20/2024 - Learn About the Canal du Centre

3/3/2024 - Savor the Cuisine of Strasbourg

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

ITALY - New Week Added in September

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Italian Hotel Barge La Bella Vita, Venice

Italy's Wonderful Waterways: An Alternative to France

With very few spaces remaining on luxury barge cruises in France, why not consider a cruise in Italy between Venice and Mantua aboard the 20-passenger La Bella Vita?

Due to popular demand, La Bella Vita has added an extra week to her cruise schedule, departing 8th September 2024. Whether you're a solo traveller, or a duo looking to enjoy a late summer escape, now is the perfect time to take advantage of her special offers:

Learn more:

Book Now / Inquire

Posted: July 11, 2024

Time To Plan Your Next Barge Cruise

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog

For those of you who are spending time with family and friends this weekend, why not use this opportunity fo discuss your next barging vacation?

We still have open weeks for this season (many with discounted rates) or consider a 2025 barge cruise while there are still a good selection of dates.

Special offers will be updated next Tuesday, July 9th.

Posted: July 3, 2024

Rates Increase Soon For 2025 Barging Season

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Canal du midi barge charters

We were just informed that most of our barges will be increasing their rates on July 1, 2024 for the 2025 season by 6-7%, and approximately 11% for cruises in Italy.

This is another reason to book quickly for 2025 and secure the current price and your preferred dates.

In general, to secure a barge cruise:

  • An initial deposit of 25% of the total cruise fare is payable at the time of booking.
  • The balance is due 120 days before departure.
  • Payment may be made by credit card or wire transfer.
  • A maximum of $20,000 may be charged to one credit card.

We look forward to assisting with your barge cruise vacation.

Book Now / Inquire

Posted: June 24, 2024

Last Chance to Cruise the Canal du Midi in 2024

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Canal du midi barge charters

There are only a handful of departures on our Canal du Midi cruises remaining in 2024. Explore the historic Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in southern France. This region is a land with a rich heritage, diverse Mediterranean landscapes, sun-drenched vineyards, and formidable Cathar fortresses.

Current Availability for the Canal du Midi

as of May 26, 2024. Availability can change quickly so contact us with your preferred dates.

Hotel Barge Anjodi

  • June 23: 2 cabins open
  • August 4: 4 cabins open. Available for private charter or cabin bookings
  • August 11: 1 cabin open
  • August 18: 1 cabin open
  • November 3: 4 cabins open. Available for private charter or cabin bookings

Hotel Barge Athos

  • June 16: 2 cabins open
  • July 7: 3 cabins open
  • July 14: 5 cabins open. Available for private charter or cabin bookings
  • July 21: 5 cabins open. Available for private charter or cabin bookings
  • July 28: 5 cabins open. Available for private charter or cabin bookings
  • August 11: 5 cabins open. Available for private charter or cabin bookings
  • October 13: 3 cabins open.
  • October 20: 5 cabins open. Available for private charter or cabin bookings
  • October 27: 5 cabins open. Available for private charter or cabin bookings

Hotel Barge Enchante

  • June 16: 1 cabin open
  • June 30: 1 cabin open
  • July 21: 2 cabins open
  • August 25: 1 cabin open
  • October 6: 1 cabin open
  • October 20: 2 cabins open
  • October 27: 3 cabins open

Learn more:

Canal du Midi barging cruises: Enjoy a private charter with family and friends or a cabin cruise week with like-minded travelers.

Contact Paradise Connections today to secure your place on a Canal du Midi barge cruise for one of the remaining openings of the 2024 barging season.

Book Now / Inquire

Interested in other barging locations (England, Scotland, Burgundy, Loire, Gascony, Alsace, Germany, Italy)? Don't wait, contact us now.

Posted: May 26, 2024

New Special Offers & Discounts on Barging Cruises

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

We have updated our Special Offers & Discounts page. Please note the new 10% discount on the Alsace-Lorraine Christmas Market Cruise with Hotel Barge Panache, December 1-7, 2024. We also have a few private barge charters discounts for 2025.

Many private charters and cabin cruises are priced at 20% off their standard rates with a few at 10% off. Some barges have select weeks with "No Single Supplement" for Solo Travelers. Plus there is a Family Special with a 20% discount and, depending on the barge, either 2 or 3 children travel FREE. Learn more.

Posted: May 16, 2024

New Lower Rates for Hotel Barge Aurora

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Hotel Barge Aurora

Locations for 2024 & 2025 Seasons

The Hotel Barge Aurora is based in Holland for the entire 2024 season. Over the years, we have had many inquiries for barging in Holland in the summer and fall. If this is you, don't miss out on this great opportunity for 2024.

In 2025, Aurora will be returning to their standard schedule of Holland in the spring, then a 3-country cruise from Holland through Belgium to France, followed by barging in Champagne for the summer & autumn months, and returning back to Holland with a 3-country cruise at the end of the season in October.

New Lower Pricing

Aurora has lowered their rates for both Dutch and French barge cruises. Aurora told us that they decided to lower their prices to make them more affordable to a wider range of clients.

New prices for 6-night charters in 2024 are as follows:

  • 34,000 euros for up to 6 guests
  • 37,000 euros for 7 guests
  • 40,000 euros for 8 guests
  • Cabin cruise weeks:
    • Single cabin for 2 guests: 10,000 euros
    • Single cabin for 1 guest: 7,500 euros
    • Note: A minimum of 2 cabins must be booked to guarantee a cabin cruise week.

Aurora has carried over this new pricing strategy for 6-night barge cruises in 2025:

  • 38,000 euros for up to 6 guests (previously 57,000 euros)
  • 41,000 euros for 7 guests (previously 61,000 euros)
  • 44,000 euros for 8 guests (previously 65,000 euros)
    • Single cabin for 2 guests: 11,000 euros
    • Single cabin for 1 guest: 8,250 euros
    • Note: A minimum of 2 cabins must be booked to guarantee a cabin cruise week.

Three-Country Cruises

Three-country cruises from Holland through Belgium to France are very much in demand. La Nouvelle Etoile's are already booked for 2025 and 2026, so grab this opportunity for a 14-night, 3-country cruise on Aurora ASAP.

Open dates:

  • May 11-25, 2025: Holland - Belgium - France
  • October 12-26, 2025: France - Belgium - Holland

Learn More About Hotel Barge Aurora

Hotel Barge Aurora

Enjoy barge cruising aboard Aurora, who offers an oasis of serenity with all the comforts of home and ensures privacy and maximum enjoyment for all of her guests.

The spacious luxury hotel barge Aurora accommodates up to 8 guests in 4 well-appointed suites, each with private ensuite bathroom. The salon, adjacent to the dining area, is warm and cosy with contemporary and stylish furniture, original artwork, fireplace, library, music corner, well-stocked bar, satellite TV, and Wi-Fi internet. Outside, there are two lounging areas: the partially covered terrace forward of the salon with a hot tub, and the upper sun deck, each having comfortable tables and chairs.

View Aurora's online brochure which has a wealth of information, including barge facts, crew, cuisine, photos, itineraries, video, rates, and availability calendars.

Book Now / Inquire

Posted: April 22, 2024

Domain Laroche

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Domaine Laroche

Enjoy a tour through the world-renowned wine village of Chablis to the celebrated Domaine Laroche aboard either the 12-passenger La Belle Epoque, or the 8-passenger L'Art de Vivre on a Burgundy barge cruise. Guests will delight in a private tasting and cellar tour, and those aboard L'Art de Vivre will also enjoy a gastronomic lunch served by a private chef in the domaine's dining hall.

Learn more: Domaine Laroche

Posted: April 17, 2024

Visit Auxerre

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - AUXERRE

Auxerre is the prefecture (capital) of the Yonne department and the fourth largest city in Burgundy. This picturesque city lies on the river Yonne and the Canal du Nivernais, about 150 km southeast of Paris and 120 km northwest of Dijon. Auxerre is a beautiful city and a pleasant port, with elegant buildings gracing its waterfront. Auxerre has been an important religious center and a sizeable market town for timber and wine.

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Visit Auxerre

France enjoys an abundance of quaint villages peppered with medieval half-timbered buildings, but it's in Auxerre that they particularly stand out – flaunting dormer-windows and gabled roofs, with clusters of dwellings opening out onto cobbled squares with fountains.

Learn more: Visit Auxerre

Posted: April 16, 2024

Vézelay

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - VEZELAY
The hilltop village of Vézelay

Vézelay has been described as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Located fifty kilometres south of Auxerre, it is situated in the region of Burgundy. The town of Vézelay is centered around the Church of St Mary Magdalene and inhabits a hill that offers stunning vistas of French countryside.

Bordering Morvan Regional Park, Vézelay offers a romantic, untainted experience of France and preserves a wealth of culture, tradition, and history.

Learn more: Vézelay

Posted: April 15, 2024

Château de Bazoches

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - CHATEAU DE BAZOCHES
Château de Bazoches

This grand Burgundian château dates back to the 12th century, when it was first built on the site of an old Roman outpost looking over the Morvan hills. Largely preserved from the 17th century, its elegant interiors reflect the tastes of King Louis XIV's refined courtiers. Its most famous owner, however, was far from an aestheticist.

This owner was Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban. He was a field marshal and military strategist of France in the late 17th century. Vauban's contribution to the advancement of weaponry during the 17th-century was significant. He was a pioneer in the development of the mortar, the bayonet rifle, and the iron-barrelled cannon. The gallery of the Château de Bazoches became the nerve center of Vauban's military plans. It was here that he planned his strategies and fortification designs, using intricate models featuring bastions, moats, and ravelins.

Read more: Visit Château de Bazoches
Posted: April 14, 2024

All About French Hotel Barge L'Art de Vivre

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Finesse cruising on the Canal du Centre

We have put together a new web page for the French Hotel Barge L'Art de Vivre that gives an overview of this 8-passenger, double-decker, luxury hotel barge. L'Art de Vivre offers barge cruises along the Canal du Nivernais in northern Burgundy between Auxerre and Chevroches.

Reminder: L'Art de Vivre has several interesting special offers (updated April 14,2024):

  • 20% discount on private charters:
    • May 19
    • June 23, 30
    • July 28
    • August 11, 25
  • 20% discount on cabin cruises
    • May 5 (1 cabin open)
    • June 16 (1 cabin open)
  • 10% discount on cabin cruises
    • August 11 (4 cabins open)
  • No single supplement
    • May 5

Remember that you can check their 2024 availability calendar. Contact us to verify.

Learn about the Canal du Nivernais

Book Now / Inquire

Posted: April 14, 2024

Learn About the Canal de Bourgogne

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Learn about the French canal the Canal de Bourgogne
French Hotel Barge L'Impressionniste cruising the Canal de Bourgogne

We have just added three pages to our Regions & Destinations section of our website.

The Burgundy Canal is 150 miles long with 189 locks and connects the River Yonne at Migennes with the River Saône at St-Jean-de-Losne. It has the highest summit of any canal in France, reaching 378m (980 ft) above sea level, which is the 2-mile long Pouilly tunnel.

Want to go barging in Burgundy?

We have many hotel barges cruising the Canal de Bourgogne:

Book Now / Inquire

Posted: April 13, 2024

Rave Review for Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Etoile

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Barge La Nouvelle Etoile Dutch Tulip Cruise Barging in Holland

We received wonderful comments from clients just returning (April 2024) from their barge cruise in Holland with La Nouvelle Etoile. The charter was a family group of eight: three couples, and Ford, a man in his 30s with cerebral palsy & his mother Joan. We have permission to share their charter review with you.


First of all, let me thank you for all you did in helping us with our booking and taking the time to answer numerous questions. Your assistance to Joan and Ford helped in our decision to book OUR barge trip. Truly a trip of a lifetime and one we will never forget.

The La Nouvelle Etoile was/is a truly rated 6-star barge. Absolutely exceeded all of our expectations. The staff and owners were all delightful, full of fascinating information and made us all feel welcome the entire time – from embarkation to our very early departure.

The accommodations on board were comfortable and very private in the staterooms. The community areas were so comfortable and welcoming. The meals and service went above and beyond anything we could have hoped for. The menus were great – thought out so we could try local cuisines but so over the top in taste and presentation. Let's just say, we all went home a bit heavier. Honestly, the food and wine and the service, totally impressive.

The staff was totally engaging and very friendly. Always there to assist if we needed something and helped with the smallest detail. Even our personal laundry was folded if it was left in the dryer. Just absolutely the best hosts.

Having the van and the private tour guide was also such a great experience. Frank was an absolute wealth of knowledge – totally enhanced any excursion we had. Also funny and down to earth and made all of us look forward to going with him. The excursions were great—again varied and so interesting.

Now for Ford. What a GREAT experience for him and for Joan. The staff truly bent over backwards for his needs. From getting him into his stateroom, getting him transported on and off the van, his food… there cannot be any other trip that could ever top this. The staff and owners thought of him at ever turn. From the hosts getting any thing he might need, to the chef preparing an extra meal or food to feed him, to Frank scouting out the accessible ways to get him on tours, to the captain and crew getting him on and off the barge with the littlest of fuss to Lisa spending time with Joan and making sure Ford's needs were met. I know I'm repeating myself but the experience with the way they treated him was/is so above and beyond what was expected of them. Joan had a truly memorable trip – something she needed and looked forward to and again, they just HIGHLY exceeded all of our expectations.

Thank you again for all of your help. It was a great week for all of us. I would and will recommend La Nouvelle Etoile to anyone. Just a fantastic trip.


Wow, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. She hopes her comments will help others who are considering a barge cruise on La Nouvelle Etoile whether you have someone with physical limitations or not. Either way this barge is an excellent choice.

Posted: April 10, 2024

French Hotel Barge Finesse Reinstating Paris Pickups

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - SUBJECT

We're pleased to inform you that the Ultra Deluxe Hotel Barge Finesse is reinstating Paris pick ups for 2025, and also for selected 2024 weeks. Finesse is an 8-passenger, double-decker, luxury hotel barge, offering barge cruises along the Canal du Centre and the River Saône in southern Burgundy between St-Julien-sur-Dheune and Chalon-sur-Saône.

For Paris pickups: guests will be met at the Westminster Hotel at 1:30pm and, at the end of your barging trip, guests will be dropped off at the Westminster Hotel at 1:30pm. Private charters may choose other pickup/dropoff locations in Paris.

  • June 30, 2024
  • July 14, 2024
  • July 21, 2024*
  • July 28, 2024**
  • August 4, 2024**
  • August 11, 2024**
  • August 18, 2024

*  Pick up in central Paris but drop off at a hotel near CDG or airport
** Pickup/dropoff not in central Paris but will be met at hotel near CDG and drop off at same or airport.

Finesse has found that some clients are still happy to travel via minivan between Paris and southern Burgundy (journey time approximately 4 hours). For those who prefer not to, they can continue to opt for pick up in Dijon (or other locations for charters). Finesse will continue to offer pickups at Dijon railway station and at Hotel Le Cloche in Dijon as previously, if preferred. There is an excellent TGV high speed train link between Paris and Dijon.

Learn more about Hotel Barge Finesse

Posted: April 9, 2024

New 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 a few at 10% off. Some barges have select weeks with "No Single Supplement" for Solo Travelers. Plus there is a new type of special offer... 20% discount and, depending on the barge, either 2 or 3 children travel FREE. Read more.

Posted: April 5, 2024

Summer 2024 Special Offer – Family Fun Afloat & Kids Go Free

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - SUBJECT

A multi-generational family, hotel barge cruise on the French canals is a fantastic option for families looking to enjoy a unique and relaxing escape together. With the entire barge privately chartered for your group, you have the freedom to tailor the experience to suit everyone's interests and preferences. The fully-crewed "floating villa" experience allows for a comfortable and convenient stay, and you only have to unpack once. Read more.

Posted: April 5, 2024

Visit Dijon in Burgundy France

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Visit Dijon in Burgundy

We have added a new page to the Regions / Destinations section of our website about Dijon.

Dijon has one of the best preserved medieval centers in France. It is easy to walk and see the sites, with lots of pedestrian walking streets. It also boasts numerous churches, notably Notre Dame de Dijon, St. Philibert, and St. Michel Dijon Cathedral, with its crypt dedicated to Saint Benignus, dates from 1,000 years ago. Often overlooked by those searching for the ideal mini-break location, Dijon is so much more than just a condiment. Read more.

Posted: March 28, 2024

Last minute opening on Spirit of Scotland

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - SPIRIT OF SCOTLAND

Due to a last-minute cancellation, the Scottish Hotel Barge Spirit of Scotland is offering a 20% discount off posted rates on a private charter for the week of May 26 - June 1, 2024. They only have 2 weeks available for private charter in 2024.

Inquire for individual cabin bookings and we may be able to convert this into a cabin week. Never hurts to ask. Check 2024 availability.

Book Now / Inquire

Spirit of Scotland

Spirit of Scotland was purpose-built as an elegant hotel barge and her style evokes that of the traditional steamers that plied the lochs of Scotland in times gone by. Enjoy the extensive public areas inside and out that are perfect to admire the spectacular Scottish Highlands scenery in comfort as she sedately cruises the Caledonian Canal and the lochs of the Great Glen.

Spirit of Scotland

Route: Scottish Highlands - Caledonian Canal Between Banavie and Muirtown
Passengers: up to 12 guests
Crew: 6
Rates: View prices
Itineraries: Standard classic. Themed cruises: Family, Garden, Golfing, Whiskey Trail
Availability: 2024 | 2025

ONLINE BROCHURE: Spirit of Scotland brochure

Rates include: Local transfers between Inverness and the hotel barge (the approximate transfer duration is 15mins or 2hrs 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 including a Whisky bar, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, the services of 6 crew and use of barge facilities, which include bicycles and an outdoor spa-pool/ hot tub.

Learn more about Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

A barge cruise in the Highlands of Scotland is hard to surpass. Cruise sedately through the Great Glen between Banavie and Muirtown, navigating beautiful lochs and the engineering masterpiece that is the Caledonian Canal. Unforgettable experiences are offered by ancient castles perched on the water's edge, heather-clad hillsides, and some of the finest inland cruising in the world. Scotland’s legends of the past, the taste of single malt and the mythical inhabitant of Loch Ness all contribute to a magical charm only experienced in the dramatic Highlands.

Read about Scotland on our Regions/ Destinations page: HERE

Book Now / Inquire

Posted: March 27, 2024

All About French Hotel Barge Finesse

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Finesse cruising on the Canal du Centre

We have put together a new web page for the French Hotel Barge Finesse that gives an overview of this 8-passenger, double-decker, luxury hotel barge. Finesse offers barge cruises along the Canal du Centre and the River Saône in southern Burgundy between St-Julien-sur-Dheune and Chalon-sur-Saône.

Reminder: Finesse has several interesting special offers (updated April 9,2024):

  • 20% discount on private charters:
    • May 12
    • July 21, 28
    • August 4, 11
  • 20% discount on cabin cruises
    • April 28 (1 cabin open)
    • May 26 (2 cabins open)
    • June 30 (3 cabins open)
    • July 14 (3 cabins open)
    • August 18 (1 cabin open)
    • August 25 (2 cabins open)
  • No single supplement
    • June 30
    • July 14

Remember that you can check their 2024 availability calendar. Contact us to verify.

Posted: March 25, 2024 Updated: 4/9/2024

Learn About the Canal du Centre

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Learn about the French canal the Canal du Centre
French Hotel Barge Finesse cruising the Canal du Centre

We have just added three pages to our Regions & Destinations section of our website.

The Canal du Centre is a French canal located in Southern Burgundy between the Saône River and the Loire River. This narrow, winding canal is a picturesque route of approximately 73 miles (112km) and has 61 locks. The Canal du Centre constituted the final link in the first inland-waterway route between the English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea.

The French Hotel Barge Finesse offers both private charters and cabin cruises along this Burdundy waterway in France.

Posted: March 20, 2024

Savor the Cuisine of Strasbourg

Barge charter cruises blog Barging blog - Savor the Cuisine of Strasbourg

Perhaps not the first city that comes to mind when you think of culinary delights, Strasbourg should not be dismissed if you are a self-confessed foodie. Known as one of the most unique gastronomic destinations in Europe, it draws its influence from both France and Germany, making its recipes unlike anything you will find anywhere else in the world.

With menus made up of hearty fare and rich rustic ingredients such as doughy noodles, cream and sauerkraut, the food will definitely not leave you feeling hungry. Read the latest addition to our France Destination page to get a peek into the regional cuisine of Strasbourg that you may find aboard an Alsace-Lorraine barge cruise.

Posted: March 3, 2024

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 ONE WEEK ONLY 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

Updated: April 5, 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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