Ongoing Program of Improvements Add Comfort, Luxury And Value to its Many Hotel Barge Cruises
(TRAVPR.COM)UNITED STATES - July 19th, 2012 - An on-going program of upgrades and refurbishments to many of its hotel barges, as well as new amenities for guests, have helped make European Waterways Europe's largest and most successful luxury hotel barge cruising company in the industry, recognized for their commitment to maintaining the highest standards of comfort and service for their customers.
Among the latest amenities are a fleet of air-conditioned Mercedes minibuses in France, which transfer guests from central Paris to European Waterways' Burgundy barges, La Belle Époque, L'Art de Vivre, L'Impressionniste and Renaissance. New Mercedes minibuses also transfer guests from Strasbourg to the luxury 12 passenger barge, Panache, which cruises in Alsace-Lorraine, France. And, of course, the minibuses are also on-hand throughout the cruises to take guests on planned excursions in style.
Little Things Mean a Lot "European Waterways understands that even the little things can make a big difference when it comes to convenience and comfort," said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. "That's why we take a real ‘hands on' approach to caring for our barges, with our operations manager, myself, and co-owner John Wood-Dow overseeing a team of skilled craftsmen and engineers who ensure that everything is in tip-top shape for the cruising season." For the 2012 season, more than $400,000 and over 12,000 man-hours were spent on renovations and upgrades for numerous barges.
This included replacing floors, Jacuzzis, sofas, and linens, performing a deep clean of the barges, and executing a complete overhaul of the air-conditioning and mechanical systems. L'Art De Vivre in Burgundy, for example, received a new stainless steel galley, new bar and fridge, and a total of $80,000 in renovations. The newly acquired Panache,which cruises through Holland in the spring and Alsace-Lorraine in the summer, received all new bikes, teak effect flooring in all bathrooms and extra two-way ventilation in all cabins and the spacious saloon. "It's all about the details," noted Banks.
"Elegant and carefully thought-out interior furnishings are used to create a truly luxurious ambiance for passengers. In addition to a systems overhaul for 2012, La Belle Époque received new curtains by Amelie Prevost throughout all the cabins and saloon, new French Lys bed linens, new English woven claret carpets and Turkish rugs, and Tiffany duo-classique wall paper."
Fun in the Sun When the picturesque countryside beckons guests, every barge is equipped with bikes that are perfect for navigating local villages and riding down the tree lined tow paths that run beside the canals. Several barges even offer tandem bikes for "twice the fun," and a new "Biking Plus" option provides travellers with carefully mapped out routes, as well as backpacks for longer excursions. Recently added on-board amenities include brand new telescopes on many of the barges, perfect for star gazing after a gourmet dinner, in a quiet location away from any light pollution. Most barges also enjoy Wi-Fi, so passengers can keep loved ones up-to-date with photos and stories from their trip.
An Air of Distinction Diverse entertainment options are another way European Waterways enhances the overall experience for guests. L'Impressioniste cruising through the heart of the Burgundy wine growing region for example, offers the option of viewing the scenery from a whole new perspective - the sky! - as guests drift leisurely above the land on a hot air balloon. Luxury dining is an essential feature of all European Waterways' barge cruises, with regional, gourmet dishes prepared daily by the on-board master chef. And to give variety to the whole culinary experience, European Waterways also offers meals ashore at a Michelin star or similar grade restaurant.
Live, traditional entertainment is also provided on board select cruises. On the Scottish Highlander, cruising the spectacular Scottish Highlands, a traditional bag-piper adds to the authenticity of the experience. "We want everything to shine for our guests," said Banks. "That's why, every year, we strive to make cruising with European Waterways as perfect and as memorable as possible."
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 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 cruise company offering barge cruises in Scotland and in the Venetian lagoon and River Po valley.
For more information, pricing, cruise schedules and a copy of their new brochure, contact European Waterways at 1-877-879-8808, by email at email@example.com, or visit their website at www.gobarging.com.
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