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Our competition this month gives readers a chance to win a truly unique prize- 6 bottles of a limited edition wine made from the pinot noir grape. more>


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La Belle Epoque
Welcome to the January-February 2009 Lock-Keeper

Welcome to the January/February 2009 Lock-Keeper

Hello Lock-Keeper Reader,

Welcome to the 61st edition of the European Waterways Newsletter. I do hope that you had a very Happy Christmas and my very best wishes for the New Year.

To kick off the 2009 season, we have put together a tempting ‘10 nights for the price of 6’ offer at the start of April on one of our most luxurious hotel barges, Renaissance. The special itinerary, includes 4 nights in Paris and coincides with the running of the Paris Marathon – an amazing spectacle!

Our new brochure is also now available and if you haven’t received it yet, it should be with you shortly. It features two new hotel barges –Enchanté and Napoléon. Also, for 2009, one of our most popular vessels, L’Impressionniste, is moving from the South of France up to the Burgundy region.

In this issue, we have included articles by two well known British journalists. Alan Hart enjoyed a very relaxing cruise on La Belle Epoque in Burgundy, while Max Davidson spent an amusing week on L’Impressionniste looking at hotel barge cruising from an eco-friendly viewpoint.

We announce an exciting competition for all you experts out there with a camera or camcorder - the chance to win a case of wine that has been specially bottled for Go Barging by one of the leading wine growers in the South of France. Also, have a look at Barging News – there are some interesting items.

Finally, I would like to offer a personal word of thanks to all my barge crews and office staff who worked so hard to look after our guests in 2008. Their dedication has resulted in us receiving an unprecedented amount of complimentary feedback – some of which can be read on the inside back cover of our new brochure – and is a major reason why many of our clients choose to cruise with us again.

As always, it is good to hear from you, so please feel free to 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 GoBarging and keep up to date with the latest barging news as it breaks.

Best Regards,

Derek Banks - Chairman and Barge skipper

Glories of barging




Eiffel Tower


View of La Belle Epoque

impressionniste from stern


Go Barging Enters the Paris Marathon

Go Barging Enters the Paris Marathon

We all know that Paris in Springtime is the most romantic place in the world and the perfect place for an early holiday. What some of you may not know, however, is that the famous Paris Marathon also takes place at this magical time of year. (see official website)

So, with that in mind, we have constructed a unique itinerary that will allow passengers to spend 4 days aboard our hotel barge Renaissance in the centre of Paris on a bed and breakfast basis, followed by a fully inclusive, luxury 7-day cruise south from the city on the River Seine to Sens, near Chablis, with haute cuisine and fine wines served aboard.

Click Here for more details and to see the itinerary

Why Don't You Just Barge In?

By Alan Hart

Well known travel journalist, Alan Hart, spent a week aboard La Belle Epoque in 2008 and wrote an excellent article that has appeared in several regional newspapers in the UK.
Click Here to read the full article

Carbon-Free River Cruising

Max Davidson, a popular travel writer whose articles regularly appear in UK national newspapers, spent some time last year on L'Impressioniste to investigate the eco-friendliness of a luxury barge cruise. Click Here to see the results of his findings. Note: Although L'Impressioniste will be moving to Burgundy , our new hotel barges Enchanté and Napoléon will be cruising most of L'Impressionniste's old route in Provence & the Camargue in 2009.  

Contact us today about a cruise on L'Impressionniste or Visit L'Impressionniste page




Lock-Keeper Competition


Rick Steins new book




Barrels of wine

Label of Ch de Perdiguier


Last issue Competition

Rick Stein Book Competition Winners

In our last issue of The Lock-Keeper, Issue 60, we were giving away 5 copies of chef Rick Stein’s latest book ‘Coast to Coast’, featuring over 130 of his best-loved dishes.

Click here to find out if you are one of the lucky winners


New Competition

Win a Special Case of Wine

Do you have hidden talents that would put Steven Spielberg to shame? Are you the next Annie Liebovitz or David Bailey? Well, we thought it only fair to give all of you who cruised with us in 2008 the opportunity to show off your photographic and cinematographic creativity to all our readers!

All you have to do is send us some of your favourite digital photos or camcorder footage – images that you feel really bring back memories of your hotel barging experience with us. We will then reward the best photographer and the best ‘cinematographer’ with a unique prize each - 6 bottles of a limited edition Pinot Noir wine that has been bottled especially for Go Barging by Chateau de Perdiguier, one of the premier wine growers in the South of France.

This excellent wine has been specially selected by Julian Allsop, skipper of our very popular hotel barge Anjodi and very knowledgeable on the complex art of wine growing. Julian has established a close relationship with the owners of Chateau de Perdiguier – a visit to which is included in Anjodi’s itinerary. They have agreed to provide a single barrel of 300 bottles just for us and the lucky winners of our competition will be the first to sample it.

Not only that, the photos and footage will be featured for posterity on our website www.gobarging.com

We have been sent some amazing images over the years, so please review your masterpieces and enter the competition. Good luck!

Competition Conditions:

Photographs – please email 3 photos (1MB to 2MB each) to our Marketing Manager, Chris Gant, at chris@gobarging.com

Camcorder footage – please send a DVD (max length 2 mins) to Chris Gant at:
Go Barging 35 Wharf Road, Wraysbury, Middlesex, England TW19 5JQ

All photos and camcorder footage must be received at Go Barging by February 28, 2009. Derek Banks and Chris Gant will then carry out a full and fair judging process (helped by a bottle of Pinot Noir) and announce the lucky winners in the next issue of The Lock Keeper.


GoBarging News





Venive Lagoon





Barging News

A new year message from Donald, captain of Renaissance…

It’s the start of a new year on the Canal de Briare as the early morning frost starts to melt and the mist rises to reveal another cold, but sunny day. The canal may be asleep at this time of year, but we are not.

Click Here to find out more

Felice Anno Nuovo (Happy New Year) from Eros, our chef on La Dolce Vita.

Very best wishes to all the passengers who cruised on La Dolce Vita along the beautiful waterways around Venice in 2008.

When onboard, some of you said how much you enjoyed the flavour of the olive oil that I used in my cooking. I may also have told you that I produce it myself on my olive farm in Calabria and that it is a totally natural and organic product, free from pesticides or fertiliser. Well, I have good news – I have had a very good crop of olives in 2008 and if you would like to receive a small bottle of my olive oil, please email me for more details at eroslibero@live.it I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Very best wishes, Eros

A 400-year anniversary for Holland and the USA

The links between Holland and the United States go all the way back to 1609 when Henry Hudson, on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, stepped ashore on what is now Manhattan and New Amsterdam was established. Now of course known as New York, it has grown to be the world’s most dynamic metropolis.

Click Here to read more

That's about it for this 61st edition of the Lock-Keeper. We hope it has whetted your appetite for that well-earned luxury cruise! Please visit GoBarging and have a look around, or follow the individual links above.

The next edition of the lock-keeper will be out in March 2009, so we'll see you then.