European Waterways The European Waterways Newsletter
Issue 70
Lock-Keeper banner
in this issue...

New 2012 Brochure

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 2012...

Cruise with Panache

Our new vessel Panache offers a wonderful cruising experience.......


visit our website


Captain Dan Clark



Welcome to Issue 70 of The Lock-Keeper

Hello Lock-Keeper Reader,

Welcome to the 70th issue of the European Waterways Newsletter and I do hope you enjoy reading it.

We recently released our 2012 brochure and as well as all the usual regional, barge and itinerary details, there is a new page called ‘Barging and Biking’ - more of that later in Barge Cruise & News. If you have not received a copy of the new brochure, please contact us, or you can order one online from our website.

There is also a new addition to our fleet for 2012 - the stylish 12-passenger Panache. She will be offering Spring ‘Tulip Cruises’ in Holland, then moving to the scenic Alsace-Lorraine region in Eastern France for the rest of the season. We now have a fleet of twenty-one hotel barges.

Over the last few months some excellent articles have been published about our hotel barge cruises and in this issue we feature two of the best. The first is by Emilie Harting writing for The Boston Globe who spent a relaxing week aboard La Bella Vita in Italy and the other by Irish journalist Tim Hedgley who enjoyed a sun-drenched voyage on the Canal du Midi aboard Anjodi.

In Barge & Cruise News we are also pleased to announce convenient new private-driver transfer arrangements to and from a central Paris hotel for passengers cruising on a number of our barges in Burgundy and Western Loire.

And the competition prize this time is a wonderful book about Henry IV of France. Read on and you will discover why we have selected it as a prize.

Finally, don’t forget to take a look at our Special Offers. We currently have some great deals for 2012, particularly on our whole boat charter cruises which are proving very popular for family celebrations, groups of friends, etc.

As always, it is good to hear from you, so please drop us an email anytime. And, of course, remember to visit our website for new offers, articles, videos and other barging news, or perhaps join us on Twitter or Facebook.
I am very pleased to say 2011 has been another successful one for us, with more passengers than ever on board. A big thank you to everyone for your support and interest. And please spare a thought for captain Dan Clark (see left) and many others who will be trying to keep warm as they work through the winter on getting our barges 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.
Derek Banks
Derek Banks - Managing Director


New Brochure

Headlines and Cruise Reviews

New 2012 Brochure

We mailed out our 2012 brochure in November and like last year’s it includes maps showing each barge’s cruise route with the places of interest visited during the week and described in the itinerary. We always try to include as many new photographs as possible and any that our guests take during their cruises with us are always welcome so please keep them coming.

On page 9 of the brochure there is a new feature called Barging & Biking with details of the biking options we now offer on selected barges - more of that later.

Back to top




Colourful Houses

  Holland and France - in style

We are delighted to announce that the stylish 128 foot Panache is joining the European Waterways fleet in 2012. She is a 12 passenger hotel barge with spacious public areas and 6 double or twin en-suite cabins. Bathrooms have twin sinks and oversize showers with massage jets. There are large panoramic windows in the saloon for viewing the passing countryside and the barge has been fitted out in traditional yacht style with brass and mahogany fittings. A large sundeck and spa pool complete the picture.

In the Spring, Panache will embark on “Tulip Cruises” in Holland and include visits to the spectacular Keukenhof Gardens in full bloom, the world famous Delft pottery and Gouda, the mecca of Dutch cheese. There will also be an optional excursion to Floriade 2012, the World Horticultural Expo in Venlo. This amazing event takes place only once every decade.

Then after a few weeks cruising from Holland through Belgium, Paris and Champagne, from mid-June to the send of the season the barge will cruise the beautiful Canal de la Marne au Rhin from Strasbourg to Mittersheim in Alsace-Lorraine with its unique mix of French and German cultures, Baroque and Romanesque architecture, storybook hamlets and wonderful white wines. Within the new itinerary there will be excursions to Strasbourg’s glorious Gothic cathedral, the Musée Lalique and uniquely, a hillside ascent of from one canal to another in Europe’s only boat elevator!

Because of the variety of cruise routes and itineraries available, we feel sure that a cruise on Panache will really have a wide appeal, whether for individual cabin or whole boat charters. Click here to see the range of cruises on offer.

Back to top


La Belle Vita



Cruise Reviews

Two of our favourite cruise reviews in recent months featured European Waterways hotel barges on very different routes in two countries - Italy and France.

Emilie Harting, an experienced travel writer wrote an article for the Boston Globe about a cruise she took aboard La Bella Vita between Venice and Mantua. La Bella Vita cruised for her first full season this year and Emilie certainly seemed to enjoy the whole experience.

Click Here to read the full article.

While well-travelled Irish journalist Tim Hedgley spent a relaxing and indulgent week on the Canal du Midi in Southwest France aboard Anjodi.

Click Here to read the full article.

We hope you agree that Emilie’s and Tim’s articles describe perfectly how a hotel barge cruise is the ideal way to experience the food, wine and culture of two very different regions of Europe.

Back to top



Last Issue Competition

Last Issue's Competition Winners

In Issue 69 of The Lock-Keeper, our prize was two bottles of fine Burgundy, one red and one white. As you can imagine, it attracted a high number of entries and the lucky winner was......

Paul Gambrill from Ipswich in the UK

Congratulations Paul and we’ll make sure two fine bottles are with you in time for New Year!


New Competition
  New Competition - Especially for History Lovers

To celebrate the arrival of the new hotel barge Panache in 2012, we’re giving away a wonderful biography of one of France’s best-loved kings, Henry IV, who always wore a striking white plume or ‘panache’ in his hat when leading his troops into battle. Written by Vincent J. Pitts, this handsome book has been meticulously researched and is graced with some wonderful illustrations.

Enter the Book Competition

Competition Rules

Back to top




Barge and Cruise News

Barging and Biking

As you will probably know, all our hotel barges carry bicycles for passengers to use anytime during their cruise to explore the towpath and local villages. Now, for people who want to be a little more adventurous and perhaps work off that delicious on-deck lunch, a number of our barges offer a ‘Biking Plus’ option so that you can explore further afield along interesting routes we have carefully researched. We’ll provide clearly marked maps and a backpack so that you can explore the local countryside for an hour or two before rejoining your barge a little further along the canal.

And for the romantics amongst you, we will even be providing a tandem bicycle on some of our barges too! It’s a very romantic and fun way to travel along the towpath and easier than it looks, so why not give it a try?

As the song goes, “You’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle made for two.”

Lastly, for the more serious bikers, we offer biking charters with half-day guided itineraries, upgraded bikes and picnic lunches - but still with our usual high standard of service.

Back to top


Hotel Front
  New Paris Transfers to Burgundy

We are pleased to announce that from 2012 we will be offering a transfer service to and from a designated hotel in central Paris, the charming 4 star Hotel Westminster, located on the prestigious Rue de la Paix and close to many of the city’s main attractions. This stylish and beautifully furnished hotel also offers very comfortable accommodation, an excellent 1 Michelin-starred restaurant and would be an excellent choice before and/or after one of our cruises.

This convenient, chauffeured transfer service, by comfortable air-conditioned minibus, will be available for all new/existing charter and cabin bookings on these hotel barges in Burgundy and Western Loire: L’Impressionniste, La Belle Epoque, Art de Vivre, Renaissance.

We’re sure that our guests will appreciate the convenience of the new arrangements and full details are available from Amanda, Gail or Vikki in our reservations office.


Golfer Photo
  Golfing in Ireland

Two Irish professional golfers enjoyed a very successful year in 2011 - 43 year old Darren Clarke won The Open at Royal St George’s and the young Rory McIlroy romped away with The US Open at Congressional. (OK, they’re both from Northern Ireland!). We’re also sure they would enjoy a round on golf courses such as Lahinch and Galway Bay played during a golf theme cruise aboard our hotel barge on the River Shannon, Shannon Princess II. For those of you that share their passion, take a look at the golfing itinerary that is available for charter parties.
Click Here


  And Finally....

Emily Peel who has been a member of our reservations team for eighteen months is moving onto pastures new. She is going to work at the world-famous Royal Ascot racecourse in the Sales & Marketing department and we will miss her. However, we will keep in touch, not least to ask for some free tickets to the Royal Enclosure next summer! Good luck Emily.

Emily will be replaced by Vikki Scotland, who joins us on January 3 and we’re sure she will fit in just fine.

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 2012, so we'll see you then.

Back to top