European Waterways The European Waterways Newsletter
Issue 67
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in this issue...

New 2011 Brochure

La Bella Vita
Cruise Reviews
New Competition
Barge & Cruise News
And Finally...
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New Brochure

Would you like to receive a brochure or view the online version?...

Special Offers

We have some great special offers on charter and cabin bookings for 2011...

Italy in Style

Our new vessel La Bella Vita offers a wonderful cruising experience....

visit our website


Christmas view

Welcome to Issue 67 of The Lock-Keeper

Hello Lock-Keeper Reader,

Welcome to the 67th issue of the European Waterways Newsletter and I do hope you enjoy reading it.

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. If you have not received a copy, please contact us, or order one online from our website.

Secondly we have a wonderful new vessel in Italy, the 20 passenger La Bella Vita starting her first season cruising the charming Bianco Canal and waterways between Venice and Mantua from Spring 2011. The inaugural 'shakedown' cruise took place in November and several members of the European Waterways team including the directors and their wives joined the vessel for an amazing week.

Over the last few months some wonderful articles have been published about our hotel barge cruises and in this issue we feature two of the best. One by Alison Gardner who spend a week aboard Scottish Highlander and the other by Carolan Nathan who enjoyed a voyage last Spring on the Canal du Midi aboard Anjodi.

Staying with the Scottish theme, the competition prize this time is the perfect book for winter fireside reading, 'The World Atlas of Whisky', plus there is news of a new video and some special theme cruises.

And don't forget to take a look at our Special Offers. We currently have some great deals for 2011, particularly on our whole boat charter cruises which are proving very popular for family celebrations, groups of friends, etc.

It is always good to hear from you of course and please remember to visit our website... for new offers, articles, videos and other barging news, or perhaps follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

As 2010 draws to a close, I am pleased to say that the year has been a successful one for us, with more barges in the programme and more passengers on board. Thank you to everyone for your support and interest. As you can see from the photo, the winter snows have now arrived so boats and crew will be keeping warm as work goes on to get the fleet in perfect condition, ready to welcome more of you back next year.

With best wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Best Regards,
Derek Banks
Derek Banks - Managing Director




Headlines and Cruise Reviews

New 2011 Brochure

We mailed out our new-look 2011 brochure in early November and have received a very positive response to some of the added features, particularly the maps which we have added for each region and for every hotel barge's cruising route. On each map we have also shown the places of interest that are described in the cruise itinerary and are visited during the week, such as elegant chateaux, colourful markets, renowned wine cellars, medieval villages, historic castles and magnificent cathedrals.

These excellent maps were produced by Euromapping who are long-established experts in waterway mapping.

At the front of the brochure, our aim was to give you a clearer picture of where our hotel barges cruise in Europe and to tell you more about the 'hotel barging experience' and everything it entails, from the personal service we offer, to the cuisine and fine wines you can expect to enjoy.

We do hope you like the 2011 brochure and we are always happy to receive feedback. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve it further, please email our Marketing Manager, Chris Gant on

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La Bella Vita


  Venice to Mantua - In Style

Venice, one of the most romantic cities in the world, will soon be home to a new hotel barge, the stylish 20-passenger La Bella Vita that has been newly refitted in 2010 to high standards. This latest addition to the European Waterways' fleet offers a unique cruise itinerary that spans the Venetian Lagoon and the River Po Valley to the Renaissance city of Mantua.

The vessel features comfortable, air-conditioned accommodation, with a bright and spacious dining room and bar area, side decks for viewing and a spacious sun deck from which to enjoy the picturesque man-made and natural scenery that includes magnificent architecture, lagoon islands, wild beach dunes and pine woods with an abundance of birdlife.

Among the cruise highlights is a guided tour of hidden Venice, visits to the colourful port of Chioggia, Ferrara's 14th Century castle, private wine tastings at renowned local producers and a cruise along the Bianco Canal which follows the River Po to Adria. The cruise ends at the picture-postcard perfect city of Mantua, surrounded by lakes and which in 2008, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its medieval and Renaissance planning and architecture.

If you enjoy Italian Renaissance culture, food and wine we feel sure that a cruise on La Bella Vita will really appeal. It offers very good value and judging by the number of enquiries and reservations we have received, we expect it to be one of our most popular cruises in 2011.

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Scottish Highlander

  Cruise Reviews

Two of our favourite cruise reviews over the last few months featured two of our hotel barges at opposite ends of Western Europe - the Scottish Highlands and Southwest France.

Alison Gardner, an American expert on cultural travel cruised the spectacular Great Glen and Caledonian Canal with her husband aboard Scottish Highlander.

Click Here to read the full article.

And international travel writer, Carolan Nathan, spent a relaxing week on the sun-drenched Canal du Midi aboard Anjodi.

Click Here to read the full article.

We think that Alison and Carolan's articles describe perfectlyly how a hotel barge cruise is the ideal way to experience two very different regions.

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Tasting to Eternity

Last Issue Competition

Last Issue's Competition Winner

In Issue 66 of The Lock-Keeper, our prize was a copy of 'Tasting to Eternity', an unusual book for the real French cheese enthusiast, compiled by David Nutt, one of hotel barging's pioneers.

This was a popular competition and the lucky winner was.........

Roberta MacLaren from Saanichton in Canada

Congratulations Roberta and we'll make sure the book is with you in time for Christmas!

Tasting to Eternity   New Competition - Especially for Whisky Lovers

It's the perfect time of year to imbibe a fireside dram and, to ensure you fully understand the drink in your glass, we're giving away a copy of 'The World Atlas of Whisky' compiled by Dave Broom. This book tours the world's finest and most esoteric distilleries from Scotland to Japan, featuring maps, six 'Flavour Camp' charts and exhaustive tasting notes on over 300 whiskies!

Enter the Book Competition

Competition Rules

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Latest Video

Barge and Cruise News

New Barging in Burgundy Video

In the summer, a company called spent a week aboard Art de Vivre, making a film about hotel barging in Burgundy, focussing on excursions to places like the old town of Vezelay and the wonderful regional wines and gastronomy. The resulting 10 minute film can be seen on our website Home page. We think it really captures the mood and you will also hear from members of Art de Vivre's crew - captain Laurent, chef Sarah and hostess Bonnie - about life on board and why they enjoy it so much.

Walking Cruises in France and Ireland   Walking Cruises in France and Ireland

In our last issue, we told you about Walking Cruises in October aboard La Belle Epoque in Burgundy, Indeed they were booked up so we are offering them again in 2011 - departing on October 16 and 23.

These themed cruises are proving popular elsewhere too. Our hotel barge on the River Shannon in Ireland, Shannon Princess is running a 'Summer Solstice Walking Cruise' departing on June 26 2011. The itinerary includes walks along some of Ireland's oldest trails, led by highly knowledgeable, professional guides.

Click here for more details.

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River Thames   And Finally....

It may come as a surprise to some people, but the Royal River Thames was recently hailed as the least polluted river in the world when it won the International Theiss River Prize at an awards ceremony in Australia for 'outstanding achievement in river management and restoration'. In fact, the 215 mile long river cruised by our hotel barge Magna Carta, is so clean, it is also home to 125 species of fish!

And by way of endorsement, that recently reformed boy band, Take That, felt confident enough to record their latest pop video in a special designed sculling boat on the Thames at Runnymede, just downstream from the European Waterways riverside offices. Robbie Williams even dived in to cool off, but unfortunately disappointed the other band members by successfully swimming back to the bank!
That's about it for this issue of The Lock-Keeper. We hope that you've enjoyed it and the next issue will be out early in 2011, so we'll see you then.

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