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Our Newsletter

'The Lock-Keeper'
 

We launched The Lock-Keeper at the start of 2004 and since then, the number of subscribers has grown enormously. Below, we have assembled an archive where you can browse all the back issues, read the stories & features, find out who won all of the previous competitions and see how the newsletter has evolved over the years. If you wish to start receiving Lock-keeper then please enter your details in the short form below.



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CURRENT ISSUE - The Lock-Keeper Issue 75
In this issue the big news is our new 2015 brochure, World War One Commemorative cruises, 800 years of Magna Carta and the wedding of the year in France.
 
We also have ‘Cheese of the Moment ‘and another delicious recipe from one of our talented chefs.
 
 


The Lock-Keeper Issue 74
In this issue we answer the question ‘Why Cruise in Scotland in April?’ and take a look at our new operations base in Burgundy.
 
We have a new regular feature where we enthuse about some of the cheeses you can expect to enjoy on one of our cruises and also a delicious recipe from the chef aboard ‘La Bella Vita’.
 
 

The Lock-Keeper Issue 73
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.
 
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, 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.


The Lock-Keeper Issue 72
In this issue the big news is about our new brochure and the latest addition to our fleet Clair de Lune and her cruise along the Canal du Midi between Le Somail and Carcassonne.

There are also details of our springtime and special theme cruises in 2013 and a feature on the captain/tour guide and chef aboard hotel barge Shannon Princess in Ireland.
 


The Lock-Keeper Issue 71
This is, of course, Diamond Jubilee year in the UK and we talk about the Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames in this issue. There is also an explanation of our winter barge upgrade programme, more news of our luxury Mercedes minibus fleet and we feature a recently announced Artisan theme cruise in Ireland.

We have also produced a 10 minute DVD about the European Waterways 'hotel barging experience' which can be viewed on our website, or sent to you to watch at home.


The Lock-Keeper Issue 70
In this issue, our 70th, the big news is about Panache, the lastest addition to our fleet. She will be cruising in Holland and Alsace-Lorraine from 2012.

Our new brochure is also out and includes details of our new Barging and Biking options available on selected barges.

And there are details of the new, more convenient transfer arrangements from Paris to a number of our hotel barges in Burgundy and Western Loire.



The Lock-Keeper Issue 69

There are some exciting features in this issue. Most importantly, we have moved! European Waterways is now in some lovely offices in Datchet on the River Thames. In other news, our hotel barge Magna Carta now has an itinerary that includes the historic town of Oxford, and our hotel barge Anjodi is offering a special cruise in Carcassonne for Bastille Day.
 
We also feature a great piece on single travel, and a piece freight on the Caledonian Canal in Scotland, where our hotel barge Scottish Highlander cruises.


The Lock-Keeper Issue 68

The big news in this issue is the major programme of winter upgrades we have carried out on several hotel barges in our fleet, particularly to La Belle Epoque which has received some real TLC after 15 years loyal service as the company's 'flagship'. Read all about what we have done to this barge and others in this issue.

Following their success last year, we are holding some more receptions aboard our elegant hotel barge Magna Carta in Windsor on Monday March 14th, when once again our guests will have the opportunity to learn all about the unique world of hotel barging.



The Lock-Keeper Issue 67

There are two big stories in this issue. Firstly, we recently released our 2011 brochure, which you should have received by now. We have given it a different look this time and incorporated some new features such as cruise route maps that include the excursions for every hotel barge.
 
Secondly, we have a wonderful new vessel in Italy, the 20-passenger La Bella Vita that will be cruising the charming waterways between Venice and Mantua from Spring 2011. More details about this magical cruise and the ‘Renaissance’ themed itinerary are given further on in this issue and, of course, on our website.


The Lock-Keeper Issue 66

There are some great features in this issue. Most importantly, we announce the launch of our new website. It is now easier to check availability and cruise rates, request a brochure, or look at the latest special offers. We also now feature a dedicated Cruise Guide where you can read about our selection of themed offerings, such as golf, wine appreciation and walking cruises.
 
We have a great article from Mike Martin, a well-known British travel writer and wine buff, who spent a week in April exploring Burgundy’s wine country aboard L’Impressionniste. He clearly enjoyed his trip, and we bet he especially enjoyed relaxing in her beautiful new saloon area.


65th edition of the Lock-Keeper

We have a real variety of items in this issue, starting with an excellent article by travel writer Daya Brouwers, who spent a relaxing week aboard one of our most popular hotel barges L’Impressionniste on the Burgundy Canal.

We also have details of some great events in the coming weeks. Following their popularity last year, we are holding some more receptions aboard our elegant hotel barge
Magna Carta in Windsor in early March, when once again our guests will have the opportunity to learn all about the world of hotel barging.

Then, at the end of March, European Waterways will be exhibiting at ‘CRUISE’, a major exhibition in London dedicated to cruising. We would be delighted to meet you on our stand and we even have 250 pairs of invitations to give away!


63rd edition of the Lock-Keeper

There are two excellent articles by journalists who recently cruised on two of our hotel barges. Vivien Devlin writes about a Spring cruise she enjoyed aboard Scottish Highlander on the Caledonian Canal, while Dave Bowers enthuses about a week he spent a week on Nymphea – the only hotel barge cruising the River Cher in the Loire Valley.

This issue’s featured cruise is the Trans-Europe cruise aboard Anjodi, with a six week itinerary that begins in the South of France and finishes in Amsterdam – an amazing experience on our best-known hotel barge. However, if you can only spare a week, the walking cruise through Burgundy aboard La Belle Epoque departing October 25 still has some availability and the Autumn is a perfect time to explore this glorious part of France - have a look at the itinerary.

Barging News this time includes an update on Enchanté, our new barge that will begin cruising in the South of France from August 30. You can also see pictures of the brand new ensuite cabins that have been fitted this year on L’Art de Vivre, one of our most popular Burgundy barges and find out why 2009 is the perfect year to take a cruise on Scottish Highlander.



64th edition of the Lock-Keeper
In this issue, we feature articles that have been written by two of the numerous journalists who cruised with us during the summer. Golf enthusiast Rikki White spent a week on a golf theme cruise aboard Anjodi in the South of France and Ron Stern, a well-known USA travel writer, enjoyed a cruise on our ‘flagship’ hotel barge Renaissance in Western Burgundy.

Another writer, Mari Nicholson, cruised on
La Belle Epoque on the charming Canal du Nivernais and has written a profile on chef Steve Wilson, one of our talented young chefs.

The prize in this issue’s
competition is a selection of five classic, seasonal French cheeses that have been chosen by specialist purveyor Fromages.com. The cheeses will even be delivered to the lucky winner vacuum-packed so that they can be enjoyed in perfect condition.

In Barging News there is an update on
Enchanté, our new barge that carried its first, delighted passengers on the Canal du Midi at the end of August. There is also a selection of kind comments we have received recently about our cruises. Thank you so much - it’s very rewarding for our dedicated crews and reservations team to know that our guests have had such a good time.

The March/April 2009, 62nd edition of the lock-keeper

In this issue, we include two great press articles. The first, written for World of Cruising magazine by Carol Wright, describes her cruise around Venice and its lagoon aboard La Dolce Vita. The second is by Arlene Stacey, Editor of the magazine published by the respected organisation CARP (Canadian Association for Retired Persons) and she enthuses about her cruise on L’Impressionniste last year. We also feature a walking cruise through Burgundy in October aboard La Belle Epoque, when this beautiful region of France is at its best.

For our competition, there’s a chance to win a week in one of our cosy apartments in The Old Lock House superbly located at Fort Augustus overlooking the lock staircase which lifts the Caledonian Canal from the southern shore of Loch Ness. Guests staying in the apartments should also be able to spot Scottish Highlander as she cruises this spectacular part of the Scottish Highlands.

In Barging News, you can read all about the wine that has been produced exclusively for Go Barging and get an update on Enchanté, our new barge that will begin cruising in the South of France later this year. There is also a small selection of comments that we have received recently from some of our passengers.

The January/February 2009, 61st edition of the lock-keeper.
To kick off the 2009 season, we have put together a tempting ‘10 nights for the price of 6’ offer at the start of April on one of our most luxurious hotel barges, Renaissance. The special itinerary, includes 4 nights in Paris and coincides with the running of the Paris Marathon – an amazing spectacle!

Our new brochure is also now available and if you haven’t received it yet, it should be with you shortly. It features two new hotel barges –Enchanté and Napoléon. Also, for 2009, one of our most popular vessels, L’Impressionniste, is moving from the South of France up to the Burgundy region.

In this issue, we have included articles by two well known British journalists. Alan Hart enjoyed a very relaxing cruise on La Belle Epoque in Burgundy, while Max Davidson spent an amusing week on L’Impressionniste looking at hotel barge cruising from an eco-friendly viewpoint.

We announce an exciting competition for all you experts out there with a camera or camcorder - the chance to win a case of wine that has been specially bottled for Go Barging by one of the leading wine growers in the South of France. Also, have a look at Barging News – there are some interesting items.

Nov 11th - The Nov/Dec 2008, 60th edition of the lock-keeper
In this issue we are very pleased to include an article written by one of our favourite clients, John D. Smith, who with his family, has chartered both L'Impressionniste and Scottish Highlander in recent years. John sets himself the difficult task of trying to decide which was his “best ever” cruise. There is also an article written by journalist Michael O’Flaherty about a week he spent in early July cruising the waterways of Provence & the Camargue aboard L’Impressionniste. If you are a golfer who is tempted by the idea of combining a few rounds on some of the South of France’s most attractive golf courses with a cruise along the Canal du Midi, have a look at Barging News - in response to popular demand, we have created a special itinerary for the cruise aboard Anjodi departing on 30th August 2009. There is also news of wine appreciation charter cruises we are offering in France for 2009 and an exciting refit project aboard L'Art de Vivre. We are receiving more and more requests for our wide range of themed cruises e.g. wine appreciation, cycling, Venice regattas, so please look through the Theme Cruise Guide on our website and if any of the itineraries appeal, contact us for availability. And finally, in our competition, we can't offer you diamonds, but we do have 5 copies of chef Rick Stein's new book 'Coast to Coast' to give away.

Sept 9th - The Sept/October 2008, 59th edition of the lock-keeper
In our latest bi-monthly Lock-keeper, we have more fantastic 2008 cruise offers. We have news of two luxurious barges that will be joining our fleet in the South of France in 2009 – Enchanté and Napoleon, and I tell you all about a hectic week I spent in June visiting some of our most popular barges. If the idea appeals of a relaxing cruise on the beautiful Canal du Midi in Southern France aboard Anjodi in early November, when the weather down there is still warm, take a look at the special itinerary that we’ve put together. Once again, we are running a great competition, with the chance to win a cruise for two aboard Scottish Highlander as it cruises along the Caledonian Canal through some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Also in this issue, we are including a selection of comments we have received recently from some of our passengers. It’s very gratifying for our dedicated crews and reservations team to know that all their hard work has been recognised and that their guests have had such a good time. Please remember that we are always keen to get any feedback from our passengers, whether it is during, or after, a cruise

July 9th - The July/August 2008, 58th edition of the lock-keeper
In our latest bi-monthly Lock-keeper, we have more fantastic 2008 cruise offers. We highlight the amazing La Belle Epoque family cruise, where we are offering our guests the chance to admire the Burgundy countryside from the sundeck of our luxury barge La Belle Epoque. We have an article by Bucky McGuire who recounts his experience of cruising on La Belle Epoque. We highlight the Distinctive Destinations Newsletter and we have an article about the newly refitted La Renaissance ultra deluxe barge. Don't forget to catch our latest news, as we can now offer clients the chance to stay in a genuine Lock-Keepers Cottage on the Caledonian Canal in Scotland.

May 9th - The May/June 2008, 57th edition of the lock-keeper
In our new bi-monthly Lock-keeper, we have some fantastic 2008 cruise offers. We highlight the amazing Riviera Fiorita 6 Night Cruise in Venice, where we are offering our guests the chance to admire the Riviera Fiorita Regatta from the sundeck of La Dolce Vita luxury barge. We announce a new 2009 Burgundy Cruise itinerary for L'Impressionniste, and to celebrate our brand new Lock-Keeper we have a fabulous competition, giving you the chance to win a cruise for two aboard L'Impressionniste as it travels through the delightful Ouche Valley in Burgundy. Dont forget to catch our latest news, especially for those travelling to Venice, also in news section we have an illuminating radio interview with Alison Gardner, editor of Travel with a Challenge magazine, where she shares her experience aboard Scottish Highlander as it travels across the Great Glen in Scotland.

May 9th - The May/June 2008, 57th edition of the lock-keeper.
In our new bi-monthly Lock-keeper, we have some fantastic 2008 cruise offers. We highlight the amazing Riviera Fiorita 6 Night Cruise in Venice, where we are offering our guests the chance to admire the Riviera Fiorita Regatta from the sundeck of La Dolce Vita luxury barge. We announce a new 2009 Burgundy Cruise itinerary for L'Impressionniste, and to celebrate our brand new Lock-Keeper we have a fabulous competition, giving you the chance to win a cruise for two aboard L'Impressionniste as it travels through the delightful Ouche Valley in Burgundy. Dont forget to catch our latest news, especially for those travelling to Venice, also in news section we have an illuminating radio interview with Alison Gardner, editor of Travel with a Challenge magazine, where she shares her experience aboard Scottish Highlander as it travels across the Great Glen in Scotland.

February 29th - The February 2008, 56th edition of the lock-keeper.
This month in the lock-keeper, we have a selection of special deals offering great value for money. Cassandra Jardine writes about her delightful cruise aboard La Dolce Vita in Venice and we highlight our flagship La Belle Epoque and her sister ship L'Impressionniste which provide an unequalled barging experience. We have an article celebrating Easter and we announce the winner of the Rick Stein French Odyssey DVD collection. We also have an article by Dave Bowers about the joys of combining barging with golf.

January 29th - The January 2007, 55th edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we have some fantastic special offers and we learn of Alouette's new itinerary on the Canal du Midi. We have an article on cruising on the Shannon River on board our barge Shannon Princess II and discuss the return of the Loch Ness monster to cinema screens. We announce the winner of the Lock-Keeper December Chablis Wine Book competition and we visit spell-binding Venice at Carnival time. Our January Competition gives you the opportunity to win a DVD of Rick Stein's French Odyssey aboard our barge Anjodi and a C.D. of the music from his latest series Mediterranean Escapes. Finally we have our usual line up of news including the fantastic new "Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" exhibition in London, England.

December 29th - The December 2007, 54th edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we announce honeymoon itineraries for The Scottish Highlander, La Dolce Vita and Nymphea. Julian Allsop introduces the fantastic wines of the Midi region and highlights those served on board our barge Anjodi. I confess my love for the French canal system and we announce the winner of the Lock-keeper's cottage competition. We introduce a new barge, Renaissance formerly called Bonne Humeur and we have a fantastic new competition giving readers the opportunity to win a Chablis wine book by renowned wine expert Rosemary George. I reminisce about my early days in barging and discuss the Loire Festival which takes place every year involving water craft of every description. Finally we have our usual round up of cruise news, including the release of Rick Stein's French Odyssey DVD,

November 29th - The November 2007, 53rd edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we have special offers on cruises in France, Italy and Holland to tempt you. We anounce Nymphea's new Golf Itinerary and we look at the changes which have taken place in 'wine capital of the world' Bordeaux. November brings the famous wine auction at the Hospice de Beaune and we announce the winner of the October Lock-keeper La Belle-Epoque cruise competition. We have a fabulous new competition this month which gives you the opportunity to be a real life lock-keeper with a weeks stay in a Scottish lock-keeper's cottage. We highlight the changes to St Pancras train station in London and we have the usual round up of cruise news. The French inland waterways come under the transport ministry, so in the recent weeks there has been some disruption on the waterways, It looks like the closures and stoppages are now settled and business is back to normal. Gobarging was not really affected apart from a few crew being “barge bound” at the end of a busy season.   A personal word of thanks to all of the Go Barging with European Waterways crew who have enjoyed another season with us. We know that its hard work, long hours and something of an itinerant lifestyle.

October 29th - The October 2007, 52nd edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we have an introduction to our latest barge Bonne Humeur which cruises Western Burgundy and the Upper Loire. This beautifully equipped hotel barge has four spacious suites with great en-suite bathrooms, and with a crew of 5 and a cruise route along the most ancient man made water way in France, this is the no 1 vessel for the discerning traveller and friends.! We taste a sample of the good life on board La Dolce Vita and relive a fabulous cruise aboard the Scottish Highlander with Steve Gogh. We discuss the wonderful fine wines of Burgundy and in this month's competition we give you the opportunity to win a fantastic cruise aboard our luxury barge La Belle Epoque travelling through that very region. We reveal the winner of the Go Barging Photographic competition, which has been a great success. The standard of the photography was very high indeed as I'm sure you will agree. We also announce the winner of September's Spectacular Scotland competition and finish with the usual round up of travel and cruise news.

September 30th - The September 2007, 51st edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we have a delightful article from Lynn Underwood about her wonderful cruise on board the Scottish Highlander. We highlight the Scottish Highlander's fabulous Christmas cruise and why not follow that with a New Year cruise aboard the luxurious Magna Carta as it sails majestically along the Royal River Thames. We then focus on the spectacularly beautiful scenery of Alsace, Burgundy and Champagne through which many of our barges cruise. We announce the winners of our August Burgundy wines competition and for our September competition we offer you the chance to win a copy of a stunning book, Spectacular Scotland by James Gracie.Then we reveal how to have the best of times in Burgundy aboard the L'Art De Vivre and showcase Loch Lomond's new Cessna Seaplane which offers an exciting alternative to guests cruising on the Scottish Highlander. We also have news of a highland feast and the usual round up of travel news.

August 31st - The August 2007, 50th edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we cruise on Scottish Highlander with Arlene Stacey and friends, and hear some fine tales about their adventures along the Caledonian canal in Scotland. For this month’s competition we are giving away six bottles of the finest Vosne Romanee from Domaine Jaffelin in Nuits St Georges, Burgundy. We have served this wine for decades, always grateful for the opportunity to buy Burgundy’s finest from a family run Domaine. We announce the winners of our cruise for two on Hirondelle in Burgundy in September 2007, and we continue the GoBarging photo competition for anyone who has cruised with us before. Send a photo with your story and win another cruise for two. We feature the French TGV super-fast train, and visit some Pubs with Australian guests on Magna Carta in England. Finally, check out our News section for more great summer offers.

July 31st - The July 2007 edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we have an article on Chateauneuf du Pape wine by our L'Impressionniste skipper Philippe Aviles, we go Swan Upping on the Royal river Thames, and I give my suggestions on the best barges for an intimate Family charter cruise. We announce the winners of our Rick Stein book competition, and this month we have two prize competitions. The first one is a great chance to win a cruise for two on Hirondelle in Burgundy in September 2007, and we kick-off a GoBarging photo competition for anyone who has cruised with us before. Send a photo with your story and win another cruise for two. Check out our News section for some great summer offers, including a late availability on the Fiorita Regatta cruise on La Dolce Vita in Italy, a Shannon Princess charter offer and our summer special discounts for July and August on various barges in our fleet.

June 30th - The June 2007 edition of the lock-keeper
This 48th edition marks four years since we began our GoBarging newsletter and its amazing how quickly the time has passed. Some of our readers have been with us all the way, and every month we welcome new subscribers to the Lock-keeper. Thanks for your company and support on this journey.This month we meet Maire Touchet, our stewardess on La Belle Epoque, we hear about the warmest April since 1945 from Ralph Collier aboard the Actief on the river Thames in England. David Yeskel talks about the wheelchair accessible Reine Pedauque cruising in Burgundy France, and we briefly visit Wimbledon where this year's tennis championship is about to begin. We announce our May competition winner and for our June competition we have two copies of chef Rick Stein's new book to be won.

May 29th - The May 2007 edition of the lock-keeper
This edition of the lock-keeper, marks 30 years of Luxury Hotel Barging, when on Friday 13th of May 1977 to be exact, I started this Barging in France at the tender age of 24. Well, there’s a lot of water gone under the bridge since then and much has changed of course, but the deeply relaxing feeling which barging bestows on you, really hasn’t altered at all? Barging is a bit like walking across a grass lawn in bare feet, you just know it feels good! This month’s Lock-keeper is a bit of self indulgence, I thought it would be fun to answer a question often asked. How did I start? and also to reflect on our barging world as a whole. We reveal various articles on Anjodi; our opening comentary from a cruise competition winner and a publication recently featured in the Daily Mail by Lisa Sewards who "Takes a route less travelled" on barge trip through the Canal du Midi. Our featured itinerary for this month is the Dolce Vita 2008 Venetian lagoon cruise. Which is linked to this months competition to win a hard-backed book on Venice. We announce the Fromages.com winners and conclude with some Cruise News, including the latest Summer Offers, a must see Venice exhibition and new EU cash rule changes..

April 30th - The April 2007 edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we meet Glenda Hope Evans, our new Marketing Manager, we feature May day in England with news on the Chelsea Flower show and the ancient tradition of Maypole dancing. With the days getting longer, we get even more golf in with Scottish Highlander and we have a very rare opportunity to cruise on Serenite in Germany. We have some great new photos of our Algarve Portugal villa Quinta Padeiro and it's magnificent gardens, we announce the Nymphea cruise winner and have a great new competition to win a selection of fine French cheeses from www.fromages.com. We conclude with some Cruise News, including some great Spring & Summer Offers.

March 29th - The March 2007 edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we visit the Loire valley, its Chateaux and wines with Nymphea, we cruise on down to the Canal du Midi, where we have five barges with a wide variety of itineraries, and we have an exclusive limited edition signed Ronnie Ford "Le Canal du Midi" Giclee print offer for Lockkeeper readers. We follow Andrew Marshall on a gourmet golf cruise on Scottish Highlander and we hear more from Buck Maguire on Impressionniste in the south of France. We announce our GoPortugal Villa competition winner and this month we have a competition to win a cruise for two on Nymphea in the Loire valley, finishing off with some news and offers.

February 26th - The February 2007 edition of the lock-keeper
In this month’s issue we experience the sweet life on La Dolce Vita through the eyes of Australian journalist Maggie Oehlbeck who cruised with us last May, we delve more deeply into the wines of the Languedoc with Captain Julian of “Anjodi” and enjoy a bit of frivolity at the carnival in Pezenas. We have breaking news about a new cruise route on Savoir Faire and meet Captain Dean of “L’Art de Vivre”, cruising in Burgundy, and finally we announce January’s competition winner for that luscious Chablis wine and invite you to participate in our February Villa competition.Diverting from barge cruising for a moment, we have another piece of exciting news for you. Our villa in the Algarve, Portugal has been lovingly restored and is available to let. You can download our Portugal Villa brochure here, or take a look at our new website GoPortugalVilla.com.

February 8th - Visit GoPortugalVilla in the Algarve, Portugal
Why not visit the Algarve, Portugal - Europe’s most westerly peninsula and discover an unspoilt coastline and enchanting pace of life. Stay pre or post your barge cruise. Alternatively anytime for a week or more. Imagine, golden sand beneath your feet in a secluded cove, the taste of delicious seafood in abundance, narrow cobbled streets shading you from the mid-day sun, friendly welcoming people, a perfect blend of culture and relaxation in a temperate climate, the flexibility of staying in a private villa - a beautiful newly renovated 200 year old Quinta, once a baker’s farmhouse. A clear blue pool with shaded out door dining areas for alfresco lunches, comfortable contemporary furnishings in the dining room, lounge and five superb en-suite bedrooms. All overlooking gardens of flowering shrubs, olive, orange, lemon ,carob and almond trees. Nearby World Class golf, tennis and water sport facilities ..... and those beautiful sandy beaches just a short drive away ..... Download our GoPortugalVilla pdf

January 27th - The January 2007 edition of the lock-keeper
This month’s issue is stuffed with great news and marks the introduction of some fresh features for 2007. We start a new series of articles on the wines of France, as seen through the eyes of our French wine experts, we help you to keep that new year’s resolution to get fitter by offering a great new Walking Cruise in October, and invite you to join in the fun during the Highland Culture Week on the Caledonian Canal. We have some photos of Anjodi while she undergoes her refurbishment in the South of France, a very special April opportunity and some great springtime offers for those of you who are still looking for a spring break in Europe. Finally we announce December’s Ronnie Ford Art competition winner and invite you to participate in our January competition to win 6 bottles of Chablis wine.

January 5th, 2007 - Athos joins the GoBarging fleet
Welcome to Athos. Built in 1964 as a commercial sand, grain and wine barge, the 10-passenger Athos was converted into a luxury hotel barge in 1982. Her five cabins offer all modern comforts and spaciousness and her saloon, dining area, bar and sun deck are perfect for relaxation. An English-speaking crew of 5 efficiently attends to your comfort and entertainment and ensures an unforgettable experience on your Canal du Midi cruise in France...

December 28th - The December 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we meet Italian Chef Eros who wants everyone to fall in love with his creations next year on La Dolce Vita, our barge which cruises around Venice and the Venetian Lagoon in Italy. We explore Christmas traditions in France and Italy and finish our Scottish Traditions series with the story of Auld Lang Syne - so no excuses for getting the words wrong on December 31st! We introduce the surprising small town of Vallabregues which features on the itinerary of our French barge L'Impressionniste in 2007 and extol the virtues of barge-strolling and barging for solos. We announce November's Scottish Highlander competition winner and we have a great new competition to win a pair of limited edition signed prints (framed on handmade paper) by the prestigious Scottish Contemporary Artist - Ronnie Ford. Finally, announcing the arrival of our 2007 brochure, we tie up the year and wish our readers a peaceful and fulfilling year to come.

November 27th - The November 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we encounter James Bond in Venice, on the film set for Casino Royale. We introduce Saint Louis - the latest vessel to join our GoBarging fleet, cruising in Bordeaux, France, and thinking about Bordeaux got us talking about the fine wines from that region. We have some photos of La Belle Epoque's trip to the shipyard in Holland for routine maintenance, and Chef Louis returns home from his French Odyssey to get married. It's not even winter yet, but our thoughts turn to Spring flower shows, especially the two great annual flower shows at Chelsea and Hampton Court in England, and those wonderful Tulip displays in Holland. We announce October's Actief cruise competition winner, eagerly anticipated my many of you I'm sure. We continue our Scottish Traditions series with a Hogamanay First Foot and have a great new competition to win a discount on a spring cruise on Scottish Highlander.

October 28th - The October 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
This month's edition has plenty of variety, starting with a trip along the Shannon on the Shannon Princess II with Graham Howe from South Africa who cruised with us earlier this year. We lift the lid on how to take the stress out of family holidays, compare the beautiful Italianate gardens of the Loire and Thames valley and give you the results of last month's Burgundy wine book competition. A new trilogy of festive season articles begins with an article on Hogmanay. In this edition, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the gracious lady of the Thames, the 11 passenger Actief, with a special cruise discount offer for 2007 and a competition to win a cruise for two on board Actief in 2007.

September 26th - The September 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we have some great offers and features to inspire a late season break or indeed to help you look forward to next year and begin planning your 2007 European cruise vacation. We begin with Savoir Faire and a 13 night, 3 country cruise, we have some great feedback from recent guests who cruised the river Cher in the Upper Loire Valley on Nymphea. We follow this with a look back to the days of Logging on the Yonne in Burgundy, and tell you about the La Belle Epoque October Walking cruise itinerary. As usual, we have our monthly Lockkeeper competition, and I am sure all our August Anjodi cruise competition entrants are keen to find out who's won our cruise for two. For this month's competition we've got two copies of a wonderful book about Burgundy and its Wine for you to win. We follow up on last month's Scottish Golf cruise feature with some great information on four of the fine courses we visit. We finish up with news of a special offer on Meanderer for October cruises in the Loire valley, so there should be plenty of interest for all.

August 25th - The August 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
This month in the lock-keeper, we travel with Buck Maguire on L'Impressionniste, you can find out what happened to Rick Stein's moped, visit some wildlife in Scotland and climb Ben Nevis, enter August's competition to win a cruise on Anjodi and find out who's won Rick Stein's French Odyssey. We finish with some Golf cruise news and some great feedback from some recent guests.

July 26th - French Odyssey revisited
Rick Stein's French Odyssey returns with a re-run on BBC2. Catch Rick as he travels through France, cruising along the Canal du Midi on Anjodi.

July 26th - The July 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
In this month's GoBarging newsletter, we focus on Burgundy. We introduce Captain Nick Jones of La Belle Epoque, enjoy a cruise on board through the eyes of Reg Butler a local writer, and have some great feedback from well-known Australian chef Ian Parmenter who also travelled on La Belle Epoque this year. Our great summer offers are still available and we are offering you the chance to GoBarging while enjoying the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France next year. We announce our June competition winners and to give you inspiration when entertaining, whether enjoying a British summer or an Australian winter, this month's competition gives you the chance to win a mouth-watering copy of Rick Stein's French Odyssey! Rick is back on the BBC with a repeat of his TV series.

Celebrating 3 years and 36 editions of the lock-keeper
3 Years...! Doesn't time fly...? To celebrate our 36th edition and 3 years since the Lock-keeper was first launched, we have assembled an archive where you can browse all the past issues, read the stories & features, and see who won all of the previous competitions. It's also interesting to see how the newsletter has evolved over the years.

June 26th - The June 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
In this month's GoBarging newsletter, we feature a new member of staff - Honey Purkait, we focus on La Dolce Vita cruising in Venice and the Venetian Lagoon, with details of some short 3 day cruises. We go Swan Upping on the Thames, and we have some great remaining 2006 season offers on many of our barges. We announce our June Scottish cookbook competition winners, and we have a new competition for June, where you can win a 10% discount on a cruise for two on the barge of your choice for 2006/2007. We also have some great feedback from several clients.

May 25th - The May 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
In this month's GoBarging newsletter, we introduce the chef on La Dolce Vita, take a peek at the new film The Da Vinci Code through the eyes of our fleet and introduce a new cruise route from Paris to Amsterdam on Savoir-Faire. We have had some great feedback and will be sharing an example with you in this edition.

We whet your appetite for a cosy winter break on board Scottish Highlander, and we have some great summer offers on Impressionniste and Meanderer. There's our April Wine competition winner and for all you budding chefs out there this month's competition gives you the chance to win a mouth-watering book on Scottish cooking, so wooden spoons at the ready!

April 25th - The April 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
In this month's GoBarging newsletter, we introduce Mike Flanagan, our very experienced and professional Sales manager, and we cruise on Actief along the Royal river Thames in England with Bucky Maguire.

We have an article on Summer in Provence with a great Impressionniste offer, and we announce our March cruise competitition winners. This month's competition gives you the chance to win some fine French wine and, as usual, we also have some latest news and offers, so there should be plenty to keep you interested.

March 25th - The March 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
In this month's GoBarging newsletter, In this month's lockkeeper we feature our Marketing and Press relations contact - Bobbie Latter, we explore the Canal du Midi with Richard Hill and announce three lucky winners of our February Dutch Cheese competition.

We have a great new competition for March, where you can win a cruise for two on L'Impressionniste in Provence in August, there's a feature on the Wine Adventure Magazine who kindly allowed us to re-print their Belle Epoque article in last month's Lockkeeper, and we tell you about Blue Flagging in our Hands-on Barging feature. We finish up with an Irish recipe to mark St Patrick's Day, and we have several cruise offers in our Cruise News section.

February 26th - The February 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
In this month's GoBarging newsletter, we interview our Accounts Manager Isabelle Price, another key member of our GoBarging staff. We barge through Burgundy aboard La Belle Epoque with Irvina Lew, courtesy of Wine Adventure Magazine

We feature two new WayFarers walking cruise itineraries in England and France, and tell you about the Keukenhof Gardens which feature on our Dutch Tulip cruises on MY Monarch and Savoir Faire.We announce our January cruise winner and have a Dutch cheese competition this month. Along with various news items, there's plenty on offer in this month's newsletter...

February 2nd - La Dolce Vita Family cruise in Venice, Italy
We are pleased to announce the new La Dolce Vita Family cruise Itinerary.

January 25th - The January 2006 edition of the lock-keeper
In this month's GoBarging newsletter, we interview our Sales and Reservations Manager Amanda Green, a key member of our GoBarging staff. We feature Actief Gardens cruises and the Fiorita Regatta in Venice and introduce our latest barge Savoir Faire which cruises in France and Holland.

We announce our new Anjodi itinerary from Carcassonne to Beziers and follow in Harry Potter's footsteps on the Hogwarts Express in Scotland. Find out who has won our case of Burgundy wine and we have a great new January Scottish Highlander cruise competition to kick-off the New Year. We finish with some Barge updates, a forthcoming Rick Stein book sale and our 2007 Earlybird offer.

December 23rd - The December 2005 edition of the lock-keeper
The December 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Seasons greetings to all our readers.

November 23rd - The November 2005 edition of the lock-keeper
The November 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. In this month's Lockkeeper we have a feature on Chef Jen McStay, we introduce new early season Spring dates and three new additions to the GoBarging family.

Lynne Underhill reports on her Scottish Highlander cruise, we announce the Impressionniste Spring cruise winner and, as it's approaching the Holiday season, we have a bumper hamper to give a way in our November competition.

November 22nd - Hirondelle and Alouette, new luxury barge cruises in France
We are delighted to announce two new additions to our barge fleet in France. Hirondelle cruises in Burgundy, and Alouette cruises the Canal du Midi in Provence. Visit the Hirondelle and Alouette to find out more....

November 18th - MY Monarch luxury motor yacht cruises
We are delighted to announce the MY Monarch, a luxury 12 passenger motor yacht which operates in Holland and Belgium. Monarch has a range of itineraries in Central, North and West Holland, and in South Holland & Belgium. Visit the Monarch page to find out more....

October 25th - The October 2005 edition of the lock-keeper
The October 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. In this month's Lockkeeper we continue our report from La Dolce Vita in Venice, and we follow-up on Rick Stein's French Odyssey with another great recipe from Rick's new book of his tv series French Odyssey.

We have some great feedback from some very satisfied guests who have cruised with us this year - it's always nice to hear that people have enjoyed themselves so much, as it makes the hard work all worthwhile and is a great incentive to our very proud crews.

This month we profile Captain Bernard Rogeon of barge Rosa and we have a summary of our up-and-coming Trans European cruise on L'Impressionniste.

We conclude this October edition with the winners of our Rick Stein Champagne and Truffles and announce our new October competition. Lastly, we announce our Scottish Highlander Christmas and New Year (referred to as "Hogmanay" in Scotland) cruises.

September 24th - The September 2005 edition of the lock-keeper
The Septemeber 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. In this month's issue, we have a report from La Dolce Vita, a profile on Anjodi chef Toni Stock, we follow-up on Rick Stein's French Odyssey with a recipe from Rick's new book of his tv series French Odyssey.

We have a great article by Loudon Temple cruising on the Anjodi. We have some late availability cruise information, we announce our August competition cruise winner and launch our September competition.

August 24th - The August 2005 edition of the lock-keeper

The August 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. In this month's issue, we feature an intriguing article on Barging in Provence aboard L'Impressionniste, and reveal why there is no better way to experience the uniqueness of Southern France.

We introduce Actief chef Andrew Hurley, and share his 11 year love-affair with building relationships with food.

For those who are currently taking (or planning) a vacation in Scotland, see why Edinburgh is the capital of inspiration and find out what's going down at the world's largest festival.

For all those who entered our July competition, we announce the winner of the AOC Languedoc Roussillon case of wine and we have a great new August competition to win a Burgundy cruise on La Belle Epoque in October.

We complete this edition with some News items, including the much anticipated Rick Stein French Odyssey TV series, now underway on BBC2. Don't forget to tune in on Wednesday nights at 8.00pm GMT, for some onboard gastronomic gratification.

We have some special end-of-season discount offers on Magna Carta and Actief and some late availability on several other barges, so hopefully lots of interesting news for you.

July 22nd - The July 2005 edition of the lock-keeper
The July 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. In this month's lock-keeper, we feature Antiques cruises on Actief, we introduce chef Rebecca Clair, tell you about Wine Harvesting with a complimentary French wine competition.

We cruise in tandem in Provence on Anjodi and Impressionniste, and walk the paths and byways of Burgundy on a Belle Epoque walking cruise, also watch out for the usual News round-up including details of when the new Rick Stein TV series aboard Anjodi appears on BBC2.

July 8th - CSA Travel Protection - Travel Insurance
European Waterways GoBarging have teamed-up with CSA Travel Protection to offer you travel Insurance from these industry leading professionals.

June 21st - The June 2005 edition of the lock-keeper

The June 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. In this month's lock-keeper, we have a new story on Anjodi, we announce our May Rick Stein's French Odyssey book winners, feature chef Louis Dutton, run the annual Beajolais wine race and feature the charming Rosa. There's winter cruising and a tennis feature too...
We also have the usual News round-up.

May 23rd - The May 2005 edition of the lock-keeper
The May 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. In this month's lock-keeper, we have a new story on L'Impressionniste, we announce our April Scottish Highlander cruise winner and we feature Rick Stein's French Odyssey - with a signed copy of Rick's book as our May competition prize...
We also have the usual News round-up.

April 28th - European Waterways GoBarging Frequently Asked Questions
We have now added a European Waterways GoBarging Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to the website. There is also an Adobe PDF document which can be downloaded, used for reference, printed or stored.

April 22nd - The April 2005 edition of the lock-keeper
The April 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. In this month's lock-keeper, we have a new story on Belle Epoque, some new Winter cruises, information on various Feasts & Festivals around Europe, our new Scottish Highlander cruise competition and last month's Shannon Princess cruise winner, and the usual News round-up.

We are pleased to announce that you can now easily check availability for your cruise dates online - tell us when you want to travel and we'll reply within 24 hours with options.

We also have a new barging video online which gives you a real flavour of life on the European Waterways.

Why not combine the delights of Scotland with the south of France or Venice ?. We are sometimes asked if consequetive weeks can be booked on our barges, Answer - yes of course - just have a look through the website, send us an email or call and we will have all the barge routes and availability information ready quickly.

March 22nd - The March 2005 edition of the lock-keeper
The March 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. In this month's lock-keeper, we take you on a trip down the Shannon river aboard the Shannon Princess II. Discover the culinary delights and warm Irish welcome that awaits you. We also have a cruise competition this month to win a cruise for two on the Shannon Princess, so next time it could be your dream trip.

We cruise in Provence with Heather McGlone and family aboard L'Impressionniste. Read about their exploits and the marvellous places visited along the way.

We announce our February competition winner - a cruise for two on Anjodi, and we finish off with some news. Our Trans Europe 6 week cruise can now be booked in two and three week sections, so read on for more details of this wonderful opportunity to cruise across Europe.

February 20th - The February 2005 edition of the lock-keeper
The February 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. In this month's lockkeeper, we are looking forward to Spring, with a great new cruise on Anjodi. We also have a new competition to win a cruise on Anjodi, sometime in 2005.

We pay further tribute to La Belle Epoque's old owner with some stories and photos of the old days, and we have a Troglodyte trip on board Nymphea in the Loire valley.

We announce our L'Art de Vivre cruise winner, tell you more about our Trans Europe 6 week cruise on L'Impressionniste from Avignon in France to Amsterdam in Holland, and round up with some news items.

As you've probably heard, we also have a Royal Wedding to celebrate in April, and since our two barges on the river Thames are closely linked with Windsor, we have a Royal Wedding week cruise which offers you the chance to be there and witness the celebrations at first hand.

January 18th - The January 2005 edition of the lock-keeper
The January 2005 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Find out who has won our luxury cruise for two aboard L'Impressionniste in Provence, France. Read about the experience of one of our guests who travelled on La Belle Epoque in Burgundy in 2004.

We announce our new website and Cruise Selector - a tool which will help you to find your luxury barge, choose from our wide selction of theme cruise itineraries and check rates for your selected dates. To celbrate the launch, we have a new competition to win a luxury barge cruise for two aboard L'Art de Vivre in Burgundy. We announce two new Venice cruises - Vogalonga festival and Venice Opera cruises on La Dolce Vita, and we take you to the Henley Festival cruise on Actief.

January 15th - new European Waterways GoBarging website is launched today
We announce the launch of oue all-new gobarging.com website. The new website has been designed to make your visit a great experience. We have completely redesigned the website around our new Cruise Selector - a tool which will help you to find your luxury barge, choose from our wide selction of theme cruise itineraries and check rates for your selected dates.

December 22nd - The December 2004 edition of the lock-keeper
The December 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Find out who has won our Provence Cookbook and Lanquedoc wine book. Read about La Belle epoque's journey home and a sad departure. Catch-up with Scottish Highlander and L'Impressionniste in dry dock. We have the ten smelliest cheese in France, and you can win a superb cruise for two in 2005 on L'Impressionniste in Provence...

November 17th - The November 2004 edition of the lock-keeper

The November 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Find out who won our Actief cruise competition. Read Steve Brown's Anjodi diary. Discover our Venice Historical regatta cruise on La Dolce Vita, and win a Provence Cookbook and Lanquedoc wine book in our new competition. Barge updates and more...

October 20th - The Ocotber 2004 edition of the lock-keeper
The Ocotber 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Find out who won our Burgundy wine compettition. Life begins at 50, celebrate with a barge vacation. Enter our new Actief cruise competition

October 8th - 2005 Gardens cruises
2005 Chelsea flower show and Hampton Court flower show gardens cruises on Actief and Magna Carta

September 23rd - 2005 Barge cruise rates

Our 2005 barge cruise rates are now available for viewing and download

September 21st - The September 2004 edition of the lock-keeper
The September 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Find out who won the cruise in Venice on our latest barge La Dolce Vita. We discuss the delights of Burgundy cruising and you can win some fine Burgundy wine in our new competition

August 24th - The August 2004 edition of the lock-keeper

The August 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Win a a cruise in Venice on our latest barge La Dolce Vita. Visit our new GoBarging Venice gallery. Find the winner of our La Belle Epoque Burgundy cruise, and read about the delights of cruising the Upper Thames in England

July 22nd - The July 2004 edition of the lock-keeper
The July 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Vist our new Burgundy galleries and win a cruise for two on La Belle Epoque. Find the winner of our Classic Malt and read about Anjodi cruising the Canal du Midi in southern France

June 23rd - The June 2004 edition of the lock-keeper
The June 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. See our new 360 virtual tours, win a Classic Malt and find out who won the French wine competition

May 18th - The May 2004 edition of the lock-keeper
The May 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. We announce our Anjodi cruise winner. Enter our French wine competition and read about our Ryder cup 2006 cruise

April 15th - The April 2004 edition of the lock-keeper
The April 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Find out who won the luxury cruise on La Belle Epoque in Burgundy and enter our new Anjodi competition for a luxury cruise in the South of France. Read about the new Anjodi kitchen and the first 3 weeks of the L'Impressionniste trans Europe cruise

March 20th - The March 2004 edition of the lock-keeper

The March 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Find out who won the luxury cruise on Actief and enter our new La Belle Epoque competition for a luxury cruise in Burgundy. Read about Gus and Ben on the Scottish Highlander..

February 12th - The February 2004 edition of the lock-keeper

The February 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Win a cruise for two on the luxury barge Actief, cruising the Royal river Thames in England. We have a feature on Burgundy cruising submitted by one of our regular readers and barge aficionado - John Smith from Arizona. We also catch-up with Don Harclerode from New Jersey, our caption competition winner, to share his reaction to the good news...

January 12th - The first 2004 edition of the lock-keeper
The January 2004 edition of the lock-keeper is now available. Find out who won the luxury cruise on L'Art de Vivre in Burgundy - read about our new 6 week cruise from Avignon to Amsterdam aboard L'impressionniste, read about Paul Spencer's family holiday on Anjodi on the Canal du Midi, our new Meanderer antique furniture hunting itinerary in France....

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