Welcome to Issue 73 of The Lock-Keeper
Hello Lock-Keeper Reader,
Welcome to the 73rd issue of The Lock-Keeper and there is certainly plenty of news for you to catch up on.
In this issue, we look at the names of our hotel barges, investigating their origins and meanings. We consider how many of the French barge names, such as “La Belle Epoque” and “L’Art de Vivre”, allude to French culture and easy living, giving a flavour of what we hope you will experience on board our boats. Find out more in our article ‘What’s in a Name?’
We also take time to investigate the French sporting tradition that is Petanque. This traditional game is a firm feature of French life and is available for you to have a go at on many of our hotel barges in France.
This Spring, hotel barge Panache cruised again through the western provinces of Holland with an enhanced itinerary, including a tour of Alkmaar, famous for its traditional Dutch cheeses and we were delighted to be greeted by the Mayor herself who came aboard to welcome us. More details later in this issue.
Since our last issue, our two valiant directors were in strict training (ahem!) for a rowing trip down the River Thames. Taking inspiration from the classic book ‘Three Men in a Boat’, they spent 5 days navigating an 80 mile stretch of the upper Royal river. Read on later to find out if they survived!
Following the relaunch of our private transfer service from Paris to Burgundy last year, we have developed an excellent relationship with the Hotel Westminster, our meeting point. This stylish, historic hotel right in the heart of Paris offers the perfect place from which to explore the city before escaping on one of our luxury cruises through the countryside. More details later in this issue.
For all of you who enjoy the hit TV series ‘Downton Abbey’, you’ll be excited to hear that we have now included a visit to the film location in our itinerary aboard our hotel barge Magna Carta. On specific cruises, there will be the opportunity to wander through the familiar state rooms and tour the beautifully landscaped gardens. Read more about this exciting itinerary addition in Barge & Cruise News.
Rosa, our pretty 8-passenger hotel barge on the Canal de la Garonne in Gascony, is also offering an alternative itinerary further down the canal towards Bordeaux, including a visit to Saint Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with tastings of premier cru and grand cru wines - perfect for you wine lovers!
And for you active types we have two great theme cruises in October – a walking cruise on La Belle Epoque in Burgundy and a golf cruise on Scottish Highlander in Scotland. More details in Barge & Cruise News.
Since the last issue more articles have been published about our hotel barge cruises and this time we feature two by travel writers Lisa Gerard-Sharp and Peter Lynch, on two very different trips. They are well worth reading.
Finally, as always, it is good to hear from you, so please drop us an email with any comments about The Lock-Keeper, or indeed anything else. Our You Tube channel has become so popular we are nearly at 100,000 views after adding more videos over the last few months, so do have a look. And, of course, remember to visit our website www.gobarging.com for new offers, articles, videos and other barging news, or perhaps join us on Twitter or Facebook.
With very best wishes,
Derek Banks - Managing Director