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La Belle Epoque
Welcome to Issue 63 of The Lock-Keeper

Welcome to this 63rd issue of the European Waterways Newsletter and I do hope you enjoy the read.

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.

Finally, don’t forget to look at the special offers in our Summer Sale – be quick, it ends on July 31 – and have a look at the luxurious La Nouvelle Etoile, which has recently joined our fleet and will include Germany & Luxembourg waterways in some of her itineraries.

As always, it’s good to hear from you, so please feel free to drop us an email with any comments about The Lock-Keeper, or indeed anything else. I hope to see you at our website www.europeanwaterways.com where you can find out all about GoBarging and keep up to date with the latest barging news.

Best Regards,

Derek Banks - Chairman


Glories of barging








Featured Cruises

Cruising the Caledonian Canal

Travel journalist Vivien Devlin enjoyed a week aboard Scottish Highlander with her husband in April and they certainly seemed to enjoy the warm hospitality, fine Scottish cuisine and, of course, the occasional nip of a good malt whisky during the cruise. Vivien’s article was published on the popular travel website The Travel Editor.

Click Here to read the full article

Cruising in the Loire Valley

Dave Bowers, editor of several UK golf publications, spent a week aboard Nymphea on the picturesque River Cher in the Loire Valley. Nymphea is captained by Leigh Wootton, a man of many talents who has spent the last 25 years on the rivers and canals of France, so he was a huge number of stories to tell. He was also the man chosen to captain the Anjodi during six weeks of hectic filming for the BBC’s 2005 TV series ‘Rick Stein’s French Odyssey’ – so he is certainly a man who can cope under pressure!
Click Here to read the full article.

The Ultimate Journey – A 6 Week Trans Europe Cruise Aboard ‘Anjodi’

This is a very special voyage on which passengers will experience a unique 1,000 mile adventure aboard Anjodi along the canals and rivers of central Europe, from Avignon in Provence all the way to the vibrant city of Amsterdam in Holland. The 6-week cruise takes in famous cities such as Lyon, Paris and Cologne, the local highlights and culture along famous rivers such as the Rhone, Seine and Rhine, and enchanting smaller waterways such as the Canal de Bourgogne.

This amazing Trans Europe cruise is available at a price per person of US$25,000/UK£15,000 based on a minimum of 6 passengers, or as a whole barge charter for US$185,000/UK£110,000.

Click here to see the 6 Week Trans Europe Itinerary.

Burgundy Walking Cruise

If you can’t stretch to a 6-week Trans Europe cruise, we offer a wide range of theme cruises. One of our most popular is the Walking Cruise in Burgundy with its picturesque Canal du Nivernais offering access to a multitude of scenic pathways. This year there are two special walking cruises aboard La Belle Epoque departing in October and it is a perfect time of year to explore this wonderful corner of France. The October 18 departure is now sold out, but there is still availability on the October 25 departure.

Click here to see the special walking cruise itinerary.

Lock-Keeper Competition


Last Issue Competiton

Last Issue’s Competition Winners

In issue 62 of The Lock-Keeper, we were giving away a fabulous competition prize - a week in one of European Waterways’ 2 bedroom apartments in The Old Lock House in Scotland. The Old Lock House is situated alongside the picturesque Caledonian Canal in Fort Augustus in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.

We received 453 individual competition entries and the lucky winner is………..

Natalie MacPherson of Miami, Florida, USA.

Congratulations Natalie - we will be in touch very soon!

You may also remember that in Issue 61 we ran a competition for best video and it was won by Ron Dobson of Formby, UK. Ron is obviously a European Waterways addict as he has cruised with us three times, on La Belle Epoque, Athos and Shannon Princess.

We’ve edited his film of his family’s cruise aboard La Belle Epoque and added it to the collection of barging videos on our website. Click Here to see this 3 minute video.

New Competition

Win a Copy of ‘Shooting the Cook’

For this issue of The Lock-Keeper, we are offering a very different prize in our competition – 3 copies of ‘Shooting the Cook’, a very funny new book written by television producer David Pritchard. David first contacted us in 2005 about the idea of making a BBC TV series aboard a hotel barge, starring celebrity chef Rick Stein. After a year’s detailed planning, David, Rick and a full sound and film crew spent six weeks aboard Anjodi from Bordeaux to Marseilles on a journey of culinary discovery.

There followed a successful 10 part BBC TV series called ‘Rick Stein’s French Odyssey’, a book which sold many thousands of copies and a DVD. As a small token of our appreciation to David and his team at Denham Productions, we thought it would be fun to offer three copies of ‘Shooting the Cook’ as prizes. It really is a good read.

GoBarging News











Barging News

Enchanté Nears Completion

In the last issue of The Lock-Keeper, we told you about how our new barge Enchanté was literally cut down to size in a Dutch boatyard – a very precise operation - so that she will fit in the locks of the Canal du Midi in Southern France.

Enchanté's extensive programme of fitting out is now nearing completion and this luxurious hotel barge will feature exotic hardwoods and elegant furnishings. There will be very comfortable accommodation for up to eight passengers in four double-bedded air-conditioned cabins, each with a lavish ensuite bathroom.

Enchanté's other facilities will include a spacious sundeck with comfortable loungers, al fresco dining area, hot tub, TV, DVD player and, of course, internet connection. As with all our cruises, delicious gourmet meals will be expertly prepared by the on board chef and enhanced by excellent regional wines and an open bar.

Passengers on Enchanté will have a choice of two specially designed cruise itineraries that will highlight the most delightful parts of the Languedoc, Camargue and Midi regions of Southern France.

Click Here to see some more up to date pictures of Enchanté and her cabins.

L’Art de Vivre’s New Cabins

Over the winter, all four of L’Art de Vivre’s ensuite cabins were completely ripped out and rebuilt. The cabins are now looking fantastic with new wood panelling, carpets, furnishings and fabrics, complimented by new contemporary ensuite bathrooms. The passengers who have cruised on the barge so far this season are delighted with the results and so are we.

Click Here to see some new photos of L’Art de Vivre’s cabins.

A Cruise on Scottish Highlander – Now’s the Time!

This year Scotland is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of its most famous sons - Robert Burns – with a huge programme under the banner ‘Homecoming Scotland’. As well as big events like the Edinburgh Tattoo which takes place August 7 – 29, there are hundreds of others which are taking place all over Scotland throughout the year. What better time to combine a visit to some of these events with a cruise on our hotel barge Scottish Highlander through the Great Glen on the Caledonian Canal?

If you have Scottish ancestry, now’s the time to ‘come home’. And if even if you don’t, with the Highland Games, traditional Scottish music, history and the arts, golf, whisky, there is something for everyone. Visit the Homecoming Scotland website for full details.

And Finally...

An interesting fact for you. In 1954, the winegrowers of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhone Valley passed a law forbidding UFOs from landing on their vineyards. At that time there were many sightings in the area and the mayor of the village ruled that flying saucers would be held in custody. Apparently the law is still in place today and it seems to be working as there have been no recent sightings!

That's about it for this issue of The Lock-Keeper. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading it and that perhaps it’s put you in the right frame of mind to think about a hotel barge cruise this year or in 2010.

Please visit European Waterways and have a look around, or follow the individual links above.

The next issue of The Lock-Keeper will be out in a couple of months, so we'll see you then.

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