European Waterways The European Waterways Newsletter
Issue 68
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in this issue...

Join us on the Magna Carta

Meet us at CRUISE show
Cruise Reviews
New Competition
Barge & Cruise News
And Finally...
Back Issues

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...


Get your free tickets for CRUISE at Olympia in London....

visit our website



Welcome to Issue 68 of The Lock-Keeper

Hello Lock-Keeper Reader,

Welcome to the 68th issue of the European Waterways Newsletter and I do hope you enjoy reading it.

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 Barge & Cruise News.

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.

European Waterways will be exhibiting again at the 'CRUISE' on March 26th & 27th at Olympia in London, a very well-attended event dedicated to cruising. You can even download free tickets from our website, so do come and see us on our stand!

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 Australian journalist John Newton, who spent a week aboard Scottish Highlander, and the other by Californian writer Andrea Kitay, who enjoyed a cruise aboard Enchanté on the Canal du Midi.

And with Spring nearly upon us, perhaps now is the perfect time to consider taking a cruise in sunny Southwest France aboard the charming Rosa in her first full season. Read all about her later in this issue.

In our competition this time and in keeping with La Bella Vita's cruise route, we are giving away five double CD's, featuring an evocative collection of classical Italian Renaissance songs.

Finally, please remember to take a look at our Special Offers as we have some great charter and cabin deals for Spring and Summer 2011.

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. And, of course, remember to visit our website for new offers, articles, videos and other barging news, or perhaps to join us on Twitter or Facebook.
Derek Banks
Derek Banks - Managing Director



Magna Carta Cabin


Headlines and Cruise Reviews

Join Us on Magna Carta

Due to their popularity, we are holding some more receptions later this month aboard our hotel barge Magna Carta, moored in Windsor. They will take place on Monday, March 14th at 11.00am and 2.00pm. There are only a few places available for the morning reception, but there is plenty of space for the afternoon one.

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 all of our cruises 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 on Monday night for only £99 per suite per night, including breakfast. 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 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

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  Meet Us at 'CRUISE'

'CRUISE', an exhibition dedicated to cruising and sponsored by the Daily Telegraph, will be back at Olympia in London this year, on Saturday March 26th & Sunday 27th. European Waterways will be there again, on Stand B52, 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 extra incentive, you can download and print off your free tickets, which will save paying £10 on the door. Click here for your free tickets. Then, just complete the details on the back of the invitations and present them at the Olympia Grand Hall entrance to gain free admittance. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Scottish Highlander

  Cruise Reviews

Two of our favourite cruise reviews written recently feature two very different cruises. A September voyage aboard Scottish Highlander in the spectacular Scottish Highlands, and a gentle summer journey along the sun-drenched Canal du Midi on Enchanté.

Australian travel writer John Newton cruised along the Caledonian Canal and across Loch Ness during his week aboard and although he did not catch a glimpse of the infamous 'Nessie', he did really enjoy the cruise. Click here to read his article.

The other review is by journalist Andrea Kitay who hails from California. She spent an idyllic week accompanied by her teenage daughter on board Enchanté gliding at an escargot's pace down what she describes as the 'Lazy Rivière' in the Midi. They obviously had a great time exploring the food markets and savouring chef Peter's delicious regional cuisine. Click here to read her article .

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Tasting to Eternity

Last Issue Competition

Last Issue's Competition Winner

In Issue 67 of The Lock-Keeper, our prize was a copy of 'The World Atlas of Whisky', compiled by Dave Broom. A wonderful book that explores the world's finest and most esoteric distilleries, accompanied by tasting notes on over 300 whiskies. It's the perfect gift for the true whisky enthusiast!

As you can imagine, this was a very popular competition and the lucky winner was.....

Phil Stone from Seattle in the USA

Congratulations Phil and we'll mail the book to you shortly!


Palestrina - Canticum Canticorum
  New Competition - A Renaissance Musical Masterpiece

To celebrate our new 'La Bella Vita' cruise, our competition prize this time is a CD, 'Palestrina - Canticum Canticorum' by composer Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina. This collection of beautifully performed Italian Renaissance songs would be the perfect musical accompaniment to a cruise aboard La Bella Vita as she glides through the Venetian lagoon and Po valley on her week-long voyage to Mantua. We have five of these acclaimed double CDs to give away

Enter the Book Competition

Competition Rules

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La Belle Epoque


Barge and Cruise News

Barge Upgrades for 2011

We have been really busy behind the scenes over the winter, spending around $600,000 on interior and exterior improvements to several hotel barges as part of our ongoing fleet upgrade programme.

La Belle Epoque in particular has been substantially upgraded and she will be starting the 2011 season looking and feeling like new. She has new bathrooms in two cabins, new air conditioning, heating and dehumidifying systems, as well as new or improved electrics, soundproofing and plumbing. The cabins have been fully redecorated and now feature lovely new wood panelling, beds and bed linen, while the barge will also feature new carpets, curtains and lighting throughout.

L'Impressionniste, our other 12 passenger hotel barge in Burgundy and sister ship to La Belle Epoque, has also received a lot of loving attention. Improvements include one new bathroom, new beds in all the cabins, stylish new seating in the saloon and new lighting throughout.

Anjodi, our most well-known hotel barge on the Canal du Midi, is also in fine fettle, with four newly-fitted bathrooms, bedding and soft furnishings, while Art de Vivre on the Canal du Nivernais now sports lovely new carpets.

Some of the other barges in the fleet have also spent time out of the water in specialist dry-dock boatyards so that a variety of work on the hulls, superstructures, wooden decks and steering could be carried out. The scale of these upgrade projects on top of all the usual repainting, revarnishing and other detailed tasks we always carry out, means that we are fully confident that our passengers this year can expect an even more comfortable barge cruising experience.

In the next issue of The Lock Keeper, when the weather is better, we will include some photographs of the improvements we have made.


  Rosa - A Delightful French Mistress

You may remember seeing the very pretty Rosa - the hotel barge! - in chef Rick Stein's 'French Odyssey' BBC TV series on his culinary voyage through South West France a few years ago. Well, after being beautifully refurbished by her new owners in 2010, she is ready for her first full season in her new guise.

Rosa's route from Agen to Montauban on the Canal des Deux Mers in Gascony, a delightful waterway that links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, features the best that the region has to offer - private wine, Armagnac and foie gras tastings, delightful French countryside and fascinating excursions.

The barge's charming accommodation for eight guests features two double and two twin-bedded staterooms and a redesigned saloon that gives direct access onto the spacious sundeck. A cruise on Rosa is the ideal way to explore this bucolic part of Southwest France and it's easy to get there too as there are convenient transfers from nearby Toulouse.

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La Belle Epoque in boatyard   And Finally....

If you've ever wondered what a 200 ton 'floating hotel' looks like when it's not cruising along one of France's prettiest canals, take a look at this picture of La Belle Epoque. It was taken during the winter at a boatyard in Holland, where she was lifted out of the water by a huge cradle crane so she could receive her big makeover.

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 in a couple of months, so we'll see you then. With best wishes for the Spring.

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