PRLog - Jan. 9, 2013 - In Springtime, blossoming flowers adorn the landscapes of Europe and the sun shines brightly above its picturesque canals and waterways. It’s an ideal time for barge cruising, and to celebrate the launch of its 2013 season, European Waterways – Europe’s largest luxury hotel barge cruising company – is making it an extra “special” occasion for travelers, with excellent savings on select cruises in Holland, Burgundy and Southern France.
Luxury barge Panache cruises past flower fields of Holland
“Spring is one of the most scenic seasons to visit Europe,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “And there’s no better way to delight in the season’s magnificent colors than from the deck of a luxury hotel barge, where you can breathe in the fresh air and wonderful scents of Spring. Our cruises through the tulip fields of Holland, on the sundrenched Canal du Midi in Southern France, and through the heart of wine country in Burgundy are particularly delightful this time of year, and our 10% off on select cruises in these regions make it all even more ‘special!’”
Panache “Springs” Into 2013 With Tulip Cruises in Holland
The eight passenger luxury hotel barge Panache, new to European Waterways’ fleet in 2012, made a successful debut in Holland with its inaugural “Tulip Cruises” last Spring. This year, Panache will again be cruising Holland during prime flower season, providing visitors with a taste of Dutch life in its many splendors. With European Waterways offering a special of 10% off per cabin and 10% off per whole-boat charters for departures during March and April, Panache is sure to be popular with travelers yet again.
“Holland is a flower-lover’
Banks noted that Holland cruises on Panache feature a tour of the world famous Keukenhof Gardens, where seven million tulips, daffodils and other colorful flowers will cover the land as far as the eyes can see. Other highlights include a tour of Gouda, Holland’s cheese center, and a visit to the historic canal city of Delft, where guests will witness the age-old local tradition of porcelain being hand-made and painted.
A Bouquet of Offerings on the Canal du Midi
The 330-year-old Canal du Midi runs along the Mediterranean shore of Southern France before meandering inland past ancient Roman villages, magnificent views of the snow capped Pyrenees Mountains, and the rolling vineyards of Bordeaux and Minervois. Life on the canal is slow-paced and quiet, with lush green trees lining the banks and sunlight drenching the French countryside decorated with almond blossoms. European Waterways offers a range of itineraries on various barges in this picturesque region. This Spring, they offer specials of 10% off per cabin and 10% off per whole-boat charter on the distinctive Anjodi and the elegant Enchanté for departures in March and April, and on Clair de Lune (new for 2013) for departures in April.
Among the highlights, travelers will visit the medieval hilltop village of Minerve, which rewards visitors with spectacular views of the surrounding limestone gorges from its 12th century Cathar fort; as well as a tour of Narbonne, a capital port city during the Roman Empire and home to a colorful indoor market filled with seasonal specialties.
Gastronomic pleasures will also be in “on the menu.” The Anjodi itinerary features a private wine tasting at the 14th century vineyards of Château de Perdiguier and on Enchanté, local specialties will be enjoyed at a lunch ashore overlooking the Corbières vineyards. On Clair de Lune, guests will be treated to a wine tasting at Chateau Villemagne in Lagrasse, a beautiful village at the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, where good wine is simply a way of life.
A Burgundy Spring
The renowned French region of Burgundy is famous for some of Europe’s prettiest canals, fine wines, and charming medieval villages rich in history and local cuisine. Come Spring, the backdrop features blooming cherry blossoms and lilacs, forested hills, and rows of growing grape vines. And with European Waterways offering 10% off per whole-boat charters and 10% off per cabin on L’Art de Vivre for departures in March and April, there is no better time than now to book a cruise and enjoy drifting slowly down the Canal du Nivernais and Yonne River, admiring the scenery from the spacious deck or walking the quiet tow paths.
A Burgundy cruise on the charming 8-passenger L’Art de Vivre presents a varied itinerary, including private tastings in Chablis, home to the most famous white wines in the world. Other stops include excursions to the riverside town of Auxerre, famous for its Gothic Cathedral and many churches, and to the isolated walled village of Noyers-sur-Serein, recognized as one of France’s “100 Beautiful Villages.” Situated along the Serein River, it boasts of rustic stone and half-timbered houses, cobblestone streets, and scenic paths winding alongside the river.
All of the Spring specials being offered on European Waterways’ cruises must be booked by April 30, 2013. Cabin specials are based on double occupancy. Other restrictions may apply. For more information, visit: http://www.gobarging.com/
About European Waterways
The hotel barging experience is different from large vessel river cruising. It offers a slower paced, “gentle voyage of discovery” along the more intimate canals and waterways of Europe, allowing a small number of guests to become more fully immersed in the culture, history and gastronomy of the region. European Waterways is Europe’s largest all-inclusive luxury hotel barging company, offering vacations in nine countries and carrying over 2,000 passengers a year. Founded nearly 40 years ago, they design, build, own and operate a private fleet of luxury hotel barges with cruises in France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Pioneers in hotel barging, they were the first company to operate a hotel barge on the Upper Nivernais in Burgundy, and the “real” Loire Valley. They are also the only company offering hotel barge cruises in Scotland and in the Venetian lagoon and River Po valley.