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From Remembering a Historic War to Participating in Scotland’s National Celebration, Travelers Can Explore Their Interests on a Hotel Barge Cruise

(TRAVPR.COM) UNITED STATES - September 19th, 2013 - European Waterways, Europe's largest luxury hotel barge cruising company, provides a wide range of popular cruises with itineraries tailored to many interests. With their leisurely pace and "close to the land" experience, these cruises offer travelers an excellent opportunity to learn about Europe's rich history and culture. Among the highlights for the company's 2014 season is a unique cruise through Belgium and Northern France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, and the addition of new excursions to its cruises in Scotland, which is celebrating "Homecoming 2014."

100th Anniversary of the Start of War World One
The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, or "The Great War," a four year conflict that had far-reaching effects across much of Europe.  European Waterways is offering a special cruise aboard the 12 passenger Panache, the "World War One Commemorative Cruise," from May 18 to May 25, 2014. The unique voyage, which will visit numerous historic sites including battlefields, moving war cemeteries, monuments of remembrance and fascinating museums, will allow passengers to gain a deeper understanding of this war, as well as develop even more respect for those who gave their lives for their country.

As part of the itinerary, guests will cruise along the historic River Lys to Ypres and explore the actual battlefields where German and Allied forces fought so fiercely. Also on the itinerary is a tour of the site where 23,000 men were killed in battle on July 1, 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, and a cruise along the Canal du Nord, itself the scene of a fierce battle where the Allied Forces fought the Germans during the Hundred Days Offensive.

Additional stops include the site where Lt. John McCrae wrote "In Flanders Fields," a beautiful poem inspired by the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier who died in the Second Battle of Ypres. Travelers will also visit the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres to attend the very moving ceremony that takes place every day at 8:00 P.M., the sounding of the Last Post by the buglers of the volunteer Fire Brigade. There will also be a visit to the Forest of Compiègne, most notable as the site of the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1914, an agreement that brought an end to World War One.

This historically rich themed cruise will allow passengers the chance to walk through the battlegrounds, visit memorials and museums to gain a real insight into the impact that World War One had on Europe at the time and right through to today.

Homecoming 2014 in Scotland
With Scotland celebrating 2014 as the "Year of Homecoming," the country is gearing up to offer exciting year-long programs of events and activities to showcase "all that is great about Scotland."

To take advantage of this national celebration, European Waterways has added several more features to the already extensive itinerary of its hotel barge Scottish Highlander, including visits to the ruins of the13th century Inverlochy Castle, the site of two violent battles; the Clava Cairns (a pre-historic clan chieftain burial site dating back to 2000 BC); and an educational tour and private whisky tasting at the long-established Glen Ord distillery, located in the Highlands west of Inverness, on the edge of the Black Isle.

While the diversity of special events in Scotland during 2014 makes it a "winning season" for hotel barge cruises, travelers can further indulge their special interests by taking cruises that coincide with events that reflect their favorite pastimes. For example, cruises are available during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, July 23 through August 3, 2014.  These games are as close as possible to watching the Olympics, with some of the world's greatest athletes, such as Usain Bolt, competing. Going on a hotel barge cruise around the time of the Ryder Cup, September 23-28, 2014, can also be especially memorable. Probably the world's most competitive golfing event, next year's Ryder Cup is particularly significant because it will be only the second time in the tournament's history that Scotland has played host.    

European Waterways has an excellent video of the Scottish Highlander cruise, available at:
"The 2014 hotel barge cruising season is already shaping up to be a big success for European Waterways," noted Banks, managing director of European Waterways. "Whether in France, Scotland or any of our other destinations, the aim of every European Waterways cruise is to immerse our guests in the regional cuisine, culture, and history of the region. Whatever your interest, our wish is to make your trip among your most memorable of all your vacations."

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 have a fleet of luxury hotel barges offering 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 in the "real" Loire Valley. They are also the only cruise company offering hotel barge cruises in Scotland and in the Venetian lagoon and River Po valley. Please visit  or call Toll Free 1 877 879 8808 for more information, pricing, cruise schedules, brochures.


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