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La Belle Epoque
Welcome to Issue 65 of The Lock-Keeper

Hello Lock-Keeper Reader,

Welcome to the 65th issue of the European Waterways Newsletter and I do hope you enjoy reading it.

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!

There is also news of the return of Rosa, a very pretty hotel barge that will be rejoining our fleet to cruise along the scenic waterways of Gascony. Rosa is an old friend, having been part of the European Waterways fleet for a number of years, including when she featured in celebrity chef Rick Stein’s hugely popular BBC TV series ‘French Odyssey’.

And we have some special theme cruises to tell you about – a colourful Spring Tulip Cruise in Holland, a Walking Cruise in Burgundy and an Antiques Cruise in Provence.

Finally, please remember to take a look at our Special Offers as one of them may tempt you into taking that relaxing cruise through the vineyards of France, the majestic Scottish Highlands, or perhaps around the Venetian lagoon.

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. I hope to see you at our website www.gobarging.com where you can find out all about European Waterways and keep up to date with the latest barging news.

Best Regards,

Derek Banks - Chairman


Glories of barging


Burgundy Cruise

Magna Carta

Magna Carta

Cruise Show



Featured Cruises

A Cruise through Burgundy’s Vineyards

Being from California, travel writer Daya Brouwers knows a thing or two about wine. Late last summer she enjoyed a cruise along the Burgundy Canal aboard L’Impressionniste through vineyards laden with juicy grapes ready for harvesting. Daya writes about her experience – the delicious food, the fascinating excursions and of course, the fine wines!

Click Here to read the full article.

Join Us on Magna Carta

Last year we held a number of receptions aboard one of our luxury vessels, Magna Carta moored in Windsor. They proved to be very popular and were actually over-subscribed, so we are holding some further events in 2010. There are a few places remaining for the receptions that will take place on these dates:

            Tuesday, March 2nd at 11.00am            Tuesday, March 2nd at 2.00pm
            Thursday, March 4th at 11.00am           Thursday, March 4th at 2.00pm

At each reception, you can enjoy a tour of the barge’s facilities. There will also be a short, informal presentation to tell you more about our hotel barge fleet that operates on the beautiful waterways of Europe and, of course, the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the world of hotel barge cruising.

And, for those people travelling a long way, we can also offer overnight accommodation aboard Magna Carta for only £99 per suite per night, including breakfast – but be quick, as there are only a couple of cabin suites remaining! It’s the perfect way to experience the ambience of a luxury hotel barge and, perhaps, to combine your stay aboard with some time exploring Windsor, Eton and this picturesque riverside setting!

If you would like to attend, please RSVP by phone or email with your choice of date and time and we will provide you with full details and directions. Please also let us know when you contact us if you would like to reserve a cabin suite.

RSVP to Gail Wynnes on 01784 482439, or sales@gobarging.com

Meet Us at ‘CRUISE’

‘CRUISE’, an exhibition dedicated to cruising and sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, will take place at Olympia 2, London on Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th March 2010. European Waterways will be there on Stand J26, Level 1 (opposite the Deck Champagne Bar), so do come along and meet us. If you have not cruised with us before, it will be a great opportunity to find out more about our wide selection of cruises in Europe. And, if you have already cruised on one of our hotel barges, you can talk to us about the next waterway and region you would like to explore.

And, as an added incentive to visit us, we have 250 pairs of invitations to ‘CRUISE’ to give away on a first come, first served basis. To receive yours, just email chris@gobarging.com with your postal address and we will send them to you. Then, just complete the details on the back of the invitations and present them at the Olympia 2 entrance to gain free admittance.

Lock-Keeper Competition



Cheese competition



Book competition


Last Issue Competiton

Last Issue’s Competition Winners

In Issue 64 of The Lock-Keeper, we were giving away a cheeseboard of delicious French cheeses made from cow’s, goat’s and ewe’s milk and supplied by specialist purveyor Fromage.com. We received a record number of entries and the lucky winner was………..

Cheran McMillan of Todmorden, England
Congratulations Cheran and we hope you enjoyed the cheeses over the Festive period!

New Competition

Win a Wonderful Book

Shannon Princess II our hotel barge cruising the Emerald Isle’s River Shannon, is featured in a new book called ‘Once in a Lifetime Trips’ by Chris Santella.

Captain of the hotel barge, Ruairi Gibbons, is extremely knowledgeable about the history of this stunning area of Ireland, while onboard chef, Olivia Powers, is one of Ireland’s more celebrated exponents of New Irish Cuisine. Together they are very well qualified to make a cruise with them a once in a lifetime trip.

This beautifully written volume brings together the world’s 50 most extraordinary and memorable travel experiences and is full of stunning photographs. Our prize this time is a copy of this wonderful book.

GoBarging News





Luxury barge La Belle Epoque



Tulip cruise


Antique cruise



Scottish Highlander Iced

Anjodi Dry Dock






Barge & Cruise News

The Return of Rosa

We are very pleased to announce the re-launch of the hotel barge Rosa in Gascony. You may remember that Rosa appeared with another of our hotel barges Anjodi in chef Rick Stein’s TV series on his culinary voyage through South West France. Rick’s televised journey between Agen and Toulouse will form part of Rosa’s new cruise route

Rosa’s new route from Agen to Montauban on the Canal des Deux Mers in Gascony features the best that Gascony has to offer - private wine, Armagnac and foie gras tastings, delightful French countryside and fascinating excursions. The Canal des Deux Mers links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, passing through the region of l’Occitanie – a veritable palette of colours and scents created by orchards and vineyards.

The barge’s flexible accommodation layout will feature two double bedded and two twin bedded staterooms and a remodelled saloon giving direct access onto the good sized sundeck. Rosa has an enthusiastic new French owner and an experienced crew of 4. After undergoing a refit to a high standard, she will start cruising again in August 2010, an ideal time to enjoy this picturesque region of France.

Special Theme Cruises

Walking Cruise

We offer a number of theme cruises every year and one of the most popular is the Walking Cruise aboard La Belle Epoque on the picturesque Burgundy Canal, a waterway that offers access to a multitude of scenic pathways. This year there are two special walking cruises in October and it is a perfect time of year to explore this wonderful corner of France.

The October 24, 2010 departure is now fully booked, so we are offering another Walking Cruise on the October 10, 2010 departure. What’s more, we are offering this cruise at Value season prices – a saving of around $700/£400/€500 per person! Click here to see the itinerary.

Tulip Cruise

Another wonderful cruise location is Holland in Springtime and our Tulip Cruise aboard Savoir Faire allows you to marvel at the amazing flower displays at their absolute best. The varied itinerary includes a tour of the world famous Keukenhof Gardens, as well as visits to flower markets, a windmill and the renowned Delft pottery. We have a few staterooms still available on the 25th April 2010 departure. Click here for more details.

Antiques Cruise

And a new theme cruise for this Spring is in Provence, aboard Enchanté The 88th International Antiques Fair is taking place at Easter on April 2 – 5, 2010 in the delightful riverside town of L’Isle-sur-la-Lorgue, famous for its antique shops and markets. For the March 28 and April 4 departures aboard Enchanté, there will be the opportunity to spend time exploring the antique shops of Pezenas, Arles and Mèze, and of course a day wandering around the hundreds of stalls at the big event on Friday April 2 or Monday April 5.

Click here for these two antiques theme cruises, we are offering special discounts, so please contact us for more details.

And Finally...

Unless you are one of our many Southern Hemisphere readers, we suspect that, like us, you had to endure some pretty cold weather during these winter months. Dan Clark, the captain of Scottish Highlander probably had to endure more than most, with temperatures in the Highlands of -25 degrees C. He sent in this photo (see left) showing the iced-in barge moored at Fort Augustus, but not a problem - our barges and captains are made of steel!

In contrast, if you ever wondered what one of our barges looked like out of the water, Julian Allsop, the captain of Anjodi, took the photo (see left) of the barge in dry-dock at the port of Sète in the South of France, where they used a massive cradle crane to lift her out of the water for her annual ‘paint job’.

That's about it for this issue of The Lock-Keeper. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading it and that perhaps it’s given you some ideas about where and when you might like to cruise with us one day on one of Europe’s delightful inland waterways.

Please visit GoBarging 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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