European Waterways The European Waterways Newsletter
Issue 69
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in this issue...

Our New Offices

Single Travelling
Cruise Reviews & Interviews
New Competition
Barge & Cruise News
And Finally...
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Special Offers

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

Derek Banks Interview

Hear what Derek has to say about the hotel barging experience?.......

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Welcome to Issue 69 of The Lock-Keeper

Hello Lock-Keeper Reader,

Welcome to the 69th issue of the European Waterways Newsletter and there is a lot of news to tell you about!

This issue’s first piece of news is that European Waterways has moved to new, bigger offices in Datchet, near Windsor. The end of an era, but the beginning of a new chapter for European Waterways. Read all about it further on.

Talking of the River Thames, our luxurious hotel barge Magna Carta now has an itinerary that includes an excursion to Oxford, the city of dreaming spires. . Read all about the new sights you can visit in Barge & Cruise News.

Those of you who like to keep active will be pleased to hear that, due to popular demand, European Waterways are offering an extra walking cruise aboard La Belle Epoque in Burgundy departing 9th October, as the cruises on the 16th and 23rd are completely booked up. Read about what a walking cruise onboard our luxury hotel barge in Burgundy has to offer in Barge & Cruise News.

We also have some wonderful new itineraries in Southwest France for a number of weeks this Summer. Anjodi will be cruising a special route further up the Canal du Midi, while Enchanté will be offering several new cruise itineraries on the Canal du Rhône à Sete in Provence.

Exciting things are also happening on the Caledonian Canal in Scotland, where our hotel barge Scottish Highlander cruises. For the first time in a long time, the Canal is being brought back into use for freight. Read more later in this issue.

There is a lovely article by travel writer Mari Nicholson about her cruise on La Belle Epoque in Burgundy and I talk about hotel barging in a series of radio interviews.

Finally, don’t forget to look at our latest Special Offers as we have some great charter and cabin deals currently.

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


Wharf Road

Office team


Headlines and Cruise Reviews

We've Moved!

After 34 happy years we may have left our waterside Wharf Road base behind (see left – and it’s for sale!) but we are very excited to be in our new, more spacious offices in Datchet, close to the Royal River Thames with a magnificent view of Windsor Castle! As an added bonus our office neighbours are ‘Ben & Jerry’s’ Ice Cream – very convenient as the UK Summer approaches! Our new address can be found here.

Our office team here are certainly enjoying the extra space, particularly our Sales and Reservations team of Amanda, Gail and Emily, and Isabelle our Accounts Manager, at this very busy time. They continue to do a fantastic job in helping our clients before and after their hotel barge cruises.

A typical note of thanks came in recently from Kathy Almaney in the USA before her cruise on L’Impressionniste last year: “Thanks for all your help. Everyone I’ve communicated with at your office has been excellent and we appreciate it”. So, well done team and keep up the good work!

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  Single Travelling

We would like to take this opportunity to talk to you about taking a cruise on one of our hotel barges as a single passenger. European Waterways’ most loyal traveller, Dorothy from the USA, has cruised with us around 15 times throughout Europe over the past nine years and her recollections are inspiring.

“Barging has become for me the best way to enjoy the pleasures of the countryside, to wander without unpacking or repacking with a small group of like-minded travelers. One of the best parts of barge cruising has been meeting so many fellow travelers, who have made the trips more enjoyable sharing my enjoyment of the countryside and the excursions. I have enjoyed sojourns on the sun decks, gourmet meals shared, visits to markets, chateaux, and cathedrals, et al.  Oh, and I must not forget....the introduction to French cheeses, most especially Epoisses which has become my favourite!”

Barge cruising is a unique experience for the single person as there are none of the taboos that may surround other holidays - the ambience is warm and welcoming and there is, for example, no stigma of the ‘single table’, as everyone dines together informally. More and more singles are taking a hotel barge cruise with European Waterways, discovering that it offers the perfect blend of an individually designed holiday and a memorable shared experience. Why not give it a try?

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La Belle Epoque
  Cruise Reviews & Interviews

One of our favourite cruise reviews these past few months is by Mari Nicholson, a UK travel writer and photographer. She enjoyed her cruise through Burgundy aboard La Belle Epoque, describing it as ‘the ultimate gourmet holiday.’ Read all about her adventures here.

Tim Richards, producer of Heartbeat Audio Guides, spent a week aboard La Belle Epoque last year and interviewed Derek Banks, about our cruises. Derek talks about the whole ‘hotel barging experience’, including the cuisine, wines and excursions. Click here to listen in.

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Palestrina - Canticum Canticorum

Last Issue Competition

Last Issue's Competition Winners

In Issue 68 of The Lock-Keeper, we were giving away 5 CD’s of ‘Palestrina - Canticum Canticorum’ by composer Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina, a wonderful collection of beautifully performed Italian Renaissance songs.

This was another popular competition and the lucky music-loving winners were……..

Kathleen Kasley from Williamsburg, USA
Beryl Crompton from St. Hilaire de Villefranche, France
Judith Leon from Richmind-on-Thames, England
Christine Barter from Kilaben Bay, Australia
Serge Moreau from Kirkland Lake, Canada

Congratulations to you all and the CD’s will be on their way to you soon.


Fine Wines
  New Competition

We cracked open a bottle of French champagne to celebrate our office move, and in the spirit of fine wines, this time prize we are giving away two fine Burgundies, one red and one white

Enter the Wine Competition

Competition Rules

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Magna Carta


Barge and Cruise News

Visit Oxford on a ‘Magna Carta’ Cruise

There is no better way to experience Britain’s rich history than with a cruise aboard luxury hotel barge ‘Magna Carta’. Now, as well as visiting such historic landmarks as Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle, passengers will take a trip to the historic town of Oxford. They will have the chance to tour Christchurch, Oxford University’s grandest college. A beautiful college, it boasts many famous alumni including King Edward VII, Albert Einstein and Lewis Carroll – whose magnificent surroundings inspired him to write Alice in Wonderland!


  Take a Walking Cruise On Board ‘La Belle Epoque’

The popularity of our special themed walking cruises in Burgundy on La Belle Epoque has meant we can add an extra departure date this year - October 9th. A walking cruise aboard our recently refurbished flagship is the perfect way to discover this wonderful corner of France. The cruise route offers access to a multitude of scenic pathways and October is the perfect time of year to explore Burgundy with its rolling landscape, quaint villages and ruined castles.


Bastille Day Fireworks
  Watch the Bastille Day Fireworks on the Deck of ‘Anjodi’

We are delighted to announce a special cruise aboard one of our very popular hotel barge ‘Anjodi’ to celebrate the most exciting event of the French calendar year – Bastille Day on July 14th. This special cruise will depart on the 10th of July, and on the big day itself our guests will be served champagne whilst watching the world renowned fireworks display in Carcassonne from the deck of the barge.

During July and August,Anjodi’ will also be offering a series of cruises further up the Canal du Midi where it is cooler, with highlights including visits to ‘bastide’ towns such as Revel, private wine tastings and stunning views to the Pyrenees.


  Cruise through Beautiful Provence aboard ‘Enchanté’

In June and July this year, one of our loveliest hotel barges in the South of France, ‘Enchanté’ will also be offering a number of cruise itineraries along the Canal du Rhône à Sete.

On the Beziers and Aigues Mortes cruise, excursions will include one to Pezenas, home of the playwright Moliere and a cruise through the Camargue National Park with its wild horses and pink flamingoes.

On the Agde to Avignon route, highlights will include a cruise across the Thau Basin, an inland seawater lagoon full of oyster beds, and a tour of the impressive Palais des Papes in Avignon itself.

And on the Avignon to Marseillan voyage, there will be an excursion to see the amazing three-tiered Pont du Gard aqueduct built by the Romans, and a private wine tasting in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Whichever cruise route they pick, our guests can be sure of a fascinating voyage of discovery.


MV Kanutta
  And Finally....

It’s an exciting time for the Caledonian Canal in the Scottish Highlands at the moment, the spectacular waterways that our luxury hotel barge Scottish Highlander cruises. The canal has now welcomed a Norwegian coastal vessel by the name of MV Kanutta. She has been running a ‘freight trial’, a weekly trip between Glen Ettive to Inverness Harbour, carrying 450 ft of timber – that’s about 18 lorry loads! It’s good to see that the ‘Cally’ Canal is being used again for its original purpose when it was built in 1822 – just as long as this new vessel keeps out of our way!

That's about it for this issue of The Lock-Keeper. We hope that you’ve enjoyed it and the next one will be out in a couple of months with some more news, so we'll see you then.

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