Anjodi, cruising along the Canal du Midi, painting by Stanley Rose


Welcome to the January edition of the Lock-keeper and Happy New Year from all the team!

This month’s issue is stuffed with great news and marks the introduction of some fresh features for 2007. We start a new series of articles on the wines of France, as seen through the eyes of our French wine experts, we help you to keep that new year’s resolution to get fitter by offering a great new Walking Cruise in October, and invite you to join in the fun during the Highland Culture Week on the Caledonian Canal.

We have some photos of Anjodi while she undergoes her refurbishment in the South of France, a very special April opportunity and some great springtime offers for those of you who are still looking for a spring break in Europe.

Finally we announce December’s Ronnie Ford Art competition winner and invite you to participate in our January competition to win 6 bottles of Chablis wine.

I look forward to hearing from you, and seeing you at our website, where you can find out all about GoBarging and keep up to date with the latest news as it breaks....

best regards,

Derek Banks, Chairman

Derek Banks - Chairman and Barge skipper

in this issue:

Walking in Burgundy

Serenite 2008

Special Spring Prices

Rick Stein Returns

The Wine Cellar

Savoir Faire

Ronnie Ford winner

Win Chablis wine

Highland Culture

Cruise News

back issues:


december 06

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Barging and Walking in Burgundy
October 2007 Luxury barge cruises on La Belle Epoque in Burgundy, France

Following on from last month’s article on “Barge Strolling”, we are pleased to announce a special cruise for walking enthusiasts in Burgundy in October 2007. In the company of our professional walking guide, saunter along specially selected scenic routes, through dreamy old villages, past castles and vineyards. Have no fear, we provide just the right balance of exploration, exertion and relaxation! And, in the company of our walking guide, you don’t need to worry about getting lost!

Burgundy boasts some of Europe’s prettiest canal routes and offers great possibilities for walkers of all abilities. Our barge La Belle Epoque on the Canal du Nivernais provides a very comfortable base (with a spa pool in which to relax those joints before or after a walk) and your own master chef to prepare delicious regional meals to provide perfect sustenance for a week’s walking! An open bar provides liquid refreshment of all types and a cheerful crew ensure all your needs are catered for. With this carefully planned cruise and walking schedule, you can properly experience the grass roots of Burgundy! Slow food, smooth cruise, calm walking….

This walking-barging cruise departs on 21 st October 2007 for 6 nights. Contact us today to enquire about the Walking Cruise.

Prices: (based on 2 people sharing a cabin)

£2350 / US$4350 per person – accommodation in a Junior Suite
£2490 / US$4590 per person – accommodation in a Suite

La Belle Epoque Walking Itinerary
21st to 27th October 2007

Sunday - Auxerre
We meet you at Hotel Ampere in Paris at 1.30pm and you are transferred to hotel barge La Belle Epoque for our Champagne Reception and Welcome Dinner.

Monday - Bailly
After cruising out of Auxerre we leave the barge to walk through farmland to the village of Vaux. Continuing along the river we arrive at La Coeur Barrée where we meet the barge for lunch. In the afternoon we tour the Chablis vineyards ending at St Bris. Here we see the intricate network of medieval passages beneath the village before tasting the outstanding wines of the region in the 12th century cellars of Monsieur Bersan, the region’s foremost producer.

Tuesday - Accolay
From Vincelottes we wander through the Auxerrois vineyards with superb views of the Yonne valley below us. En route to the ancient town of Cravant Donjon we pass through the picturesque village of Irancy, home of many well known wines. Our afternoon excursion is to the glorious gothic cathedral of Auxerre. Afterwards there is time to meander through the mediaeval streets at leisure before returning to our mooring in Accolay. In the evening we dine in a local restaurant that is well known for its Burgundian specialties and the standard of its cuisine.

Wednesday – Mailly-la-Ville
From Accolay we walk the wooded valley of the river Cure, passing the ruins of Regny Abbey before a gentle traverse back to the Yonne at the tiny hamlet of Sere where we rejoin the barge. In the afternoon we visit Noyers sur Serein, one of the most beautiful villages in Burgundy.

Thursday –Lucy-sur-Yonne
From Mailly we leave the Yonne to walk through open fields to Merry sur Yonne. En route we stand on top of the dramatic Roches du Saussois, cliffs that tower dramatically 200 feet above the river. After lunch we visit the ancient Chateau de Bazoches, home of Sebastien Vauban, the Frenchman who revolutionised siege warfare in the late 17th century.

Friday - Clamecy
This morning we visit Vezelay with its stunning romanesque Basilica, the scene of the “calling” of the Second Crusade in 1146, and its fine specialty shops. In the afternoon we walk along the canal into Clamecy where there is time to wander through the narrow streets and visit the cathedral before returning to the barge. Aboard for our final evening, the captain hosts our farewell dinner.

We disembark for a private transfer back from Clamecy to Hotel Ampere in Paris by about 1pm

**This itinerary may operate in reverse according to the barge scheduling. back to top


This cruise holiday includes interesting low to medium difficulty walks through a variety of landscapes. We have a tremendous selection of walks available so just ask our reservations team for more information.

Clients should bring suitable walking boots and protective clothing and small backpack. Members will be provided with a compass and local map.

All of our Walking Cruises will have the services of a professional local walking guide who is familiar with the terrain. The guide will carry a hand held radio and cell phone for emergencies.

If you are on a long walk then our crew will meet your group at a predestined point and serve lunch so that you can continue your walk without having to return to the barge  
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Serenite is our 12 passenger cruiser which offers a large variety of routes throughout Europe. This year she is sailing from the Czech Republic to Germany, then into Holland, Belgium and France, finishing in France in October.

Already her cruises for 2007 are virtually sold out, with many of her cruise dates having been sold between 18 and 24 months ago!

Serenite has a great programme for 2008 starting in the German Rhineland and heading off for a circuit around Holland in April, before returning to Berlin in May, then heading back across Germany into Holland in June and July. A series of cruises between Amsterdam and Brussels follows in July, before she heads southwards to Paris and Burgundy in August. This is followed by a jaunt into Alsace-Lorraine in September, before returning back into Germany to the Black Forest and Bavaria in October.

This summer cruise itinerary is really exciting, offering cruise routes touched by no other company and showing passengers parts of Germany and Holland as yet left unexplored.

If you would like to find out more about the 2008 cruises on Serenite, please contact us. We are currently able to offer our readers the chance to book now for 2008 at 2007 prices, but please book early as Serenite is very popular. back to top

Luxury barge cruises on Art de Vivre in Burgundy, France

We are pleased to offer a US$250 / £120 discount per person on the following departures:

L’Art de Vivre in Burgundy 1 or 2 people in a stateroom
departing 1st, 15th, 29th April & 6th May 2007

L’Art de Vivre Charters of 6, 7 or 8 passengers
departing 8th & 22nd April 2007

L'Art de Vivre accommodates 8 people in 4 air-conditioned staterooms, 3 with twin beds and 1 with a double bed, all with private en suite facilities, which includes shower, sink and toilet. She has a crew of 4 including Captain, Chef, Housekeeper and Tour Guide. She has a minivan, 8 bicycles and a sundeck with jacuzzi.

Price includes: Transfer from Hotel Ampere in Paris at 1.30pm to L'Art de Vivre on Sunday, 6 night cruise, all meals on board, open bar with a large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, use of barge facilities and transfer back to Hotel Ampere the following Saturday arriving at about 1pm

Scottish Highlander in Scotland 1 or 2 people in a stateroom or suite
departing 6th or 27th May 2007

Scottish Highlander in Scotland Charters of 6, 7 or 8 passengers
departing 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd or 29th April and 13th May 2007

Scottish Highlander accommodates 8 people in 3 staterooms and 1 suite, all with twin beds or a double bed and all with en suite facilities, which includes shower, sink and toilet. She has a crew of 4 including Captain, Chef, Housekeeper and Tour Guide. She has a minivan, 8 bicycles on board and a fish-finder for Nessie Hunters.

Price includes: Transfer from The Glenmoriston Town House Hotel in Inverness (15 minutes from Inverness Airport) at 4pm on Sunday, 6 night cruise, all meals on board, open bar with a large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, use of barge facilities and transfer back to Inverness the following Saturday arriving there between 10-11am.


For charter departures the discount per person is applied to the charter rate of 6, 7 or 8 passenger charter Maximum of 2 single cabins can be booked on each cruise departure Our normal terms & conditions apply

Contact us for more information on our Spring Cruise Offers  back to top

RETURN OF THE RICK STEIN FRENCH ODYSSEYAnjodi luxury barge cruises on the Canal du Midi, Provence, France

The ever popular TV show is back again on BBC TV, on BBC2, prompting more enquiries to the Go Barging office from enthusiastic viewers wishing to enjoy the same experience as undertaken by Rick Stein on our barges Rosa and Anjodi. Due to the high demand for cruises on board Anjodi and along the Rick Stein route, we have introduced 3 additional barges onto the popular Canal du Midi and Garonne routes. These are:

Alouette – a 6 passenger barge cruising on the Canal du Midi between Beziers and Carcassonne

Athos – a 10 passenger barge cruising on the Canal du Midi between Beziers and Carcassonne

Saint Louis – a 6 passenger barge cruising in the Garonne valley between Montauban, Agen and Castets

So if you are aching to come and enjoy a wonderful barging experience in Southern France, hope now springs eternal!


Due to a reluctant client’s cancellation of a charter booking, all Anjodi’s cabins during the cruise week commencing 29th April have suddenly once more become available. If you would like to cruise on Anjodi during this prime period in the year, please contact


Here are a few photos from the scrap book, taken when I went down to Sete in the South of France to supervise the Winter work on Anjodi.

Sete is a bustling and colourful port on the edge of the Thau Lagoon, where the principal activity is fishing, but Sete also boasts a thriving marina. It’s also known as “ Venice of the Languedoc”.

Here is a photo of Sete’s lighthouse located on the 17 th century harbour. (Sete featured in a recent episode of Rick Stein’s French Odyssey with its boat-jousting festival).

Rick Stein also visited Les Demoiselles! It’s a fabulous place, right by the fishing boats, where the produce is as fresh as you can get!

This restaurant is a great place to dine out if chartering clients might like an extra night out.

Anjodi out of the water:

Anjodi out of the water

The blue travel lift is in the background. This Winter we are installing new generators, new saloon windows, painting and varnishing her hull and providing the saloon with new interior fittings.

If all this talk of work is making you feel hungry, how about some culinary inspiration?

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THE GOBARGING WINE CELLAR Luxury barge cruising in Burgundy aboard La Belle Epoque, France

Over the years we have enjoyed cruising past vineyards and chateaux with more than a passing interest!

Our close relationship with the vignerons and their domains and chateaux is a fascinating part of the Go Barging culture. Every week we introduce approximately 25 different wines on each of our cruises, allowing a delightful insight into the traditions and growing methods of the French wine industry.

Regular readers will know we offer special Wine Charter cruises at various times of the year. These are usually led by Brendan Moore, Anjodi’s first skipper and now accomplished wine guide. We have invited Brendan to open the Gobarging Wine Cellar with an introduction to some of the behind-the-scenes activity in Chablis, « Gateway to Burgundy »……..

Hello from Brendan…

Brendan Moore and friends observe Tonio pruning in ChablisIt’s mid January and the vineyards look very different now to the sea of luxuriant foliage our summer visitors admired. The vines are bare and rather grey interspersed by small columns of white smoke. We are in the middle of the pruning season when most of last year’s growth is cut back and, depending on the region, one or two branches (baguettes) will be selected to carry the fruit of 2007.

The cut branches are not left on the ground, where they could attract harmful bacteria and fungi, but burnt in old 45 gallon oildrums on wheelbarrow frames which are pushed through the vines by the pruners. Standing as I am now high up in the Grand Cru vineyard of “Les Clos” above the village of Chablis, I can see dozens of these little white plumes dotted amongst the sea of grey vines. It is a peaceful time in the vineyards.

Back in the cellar what was grape juice in September 2006 is discretely going through natural organic transformations on its way to becoming a fine wine. There is a disturbance however from the other end of the cellar - a small gathering. The unmistakable sound of a lovingly pulled cork followed by appreciative murmurs. We’ve gathered here to pay homage to the recently bottled 2005s. The elderly vigneron tasting next to me confides that in his 50 years in the vines he has never tasted such a good wine. I can’t argue with that.

Bon année et bon santé !

Brendan Moore.

January 2007.

For more information on our European Waterways Burgundy cruises, on La Belle Epoque, L’Art de Vivre, and Savoir Faire, click on these links or visit   back to top


Savoir Faire visits this charming and historic village on her Chablis cruise.

Although for most of the year Chablis is a magnet for tourists who enjoy their wine, on 12 th July 2007 she will be a magnet for a different type of enthusiast – cyclists – since the Tour de France annual cycle race will be coming through the village on this date. If you are a Tour de France enthusiast and you have been having difficulty finding accommodation while planning your French cycling trip, look no further! Savoir Faire hotel barge can provide original and novel accommodation and can also provide bicycles for passengers wishing to cycle along the hallowed path of the racers!

Tour de France Route through Chablis

AND THAT’S NOT ALL…. All readers thinking of chartering Savoir Faire to explore the beauties of this glorious part of Burgundy and to couple it with a majestic cruise through the heart of Paris will be delighted to read on regarding special offers on Savoir Faire..


Passengers who charter the Savoir Faire to cruise on any of the following dates, and place their deposit by 26th February 2007 will benefit from the following special offers, with discounts of up to US$7000 …

Departure date

Name of cruise


8th, 15th & 29th April 2007

Amsterdam Tulip Cruise  

US$5000 discount on charter rate for 10, 11 or 12 passenger charter

20th & 27th May 2007

Chablis/Paris Cruise

US$7000 discount on charter rate for 10, 11 or 12 passenger charter

3rd, 17th & 24th June 2007

Chablis/Paris Cruise

US$7000 discount on charter rate for 10, 11 or 12 passenger charter

1st July 2007

Chablis/Paris Cruise

US$7000 discount on charter rate for 10, 11 or 12 passenger charter

8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th July 2007

Chablis/Paris Cruise

US$3000 discount on charter rate for 10, 11 or 12 passenger charter

5th, 12th & 19th August 2007

Chablis/Paris Cruise

US$3000 discount on charter rate for 10, 11 or 12 passenger charter

Contact us today for more information on our Savoir Faire Chablis/Paris Cruise. For more information on Savoir Faire’s Tulip Cruise, click here.

Also see our article on the Keukenhof Gardens, in last February’s issue of Lock-keeper:.

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Ronnie Ford Competition winner

Ronnie Ford - Contemporary Scottish Artist (not actual frame)Our December competition prize was a pair of limited edition signed prints (framed on handmade paper) by the prestigious Scottish Contemporary Artist - Ronnie Ford.

Visit Ronnie Ford's Art Gallery at

Find out who the lucky winner is; Ronnie Ford Art competition winner


Win 6 bottles of Laroche ChablisJanuary Competition
Chablis wine anyone..?


If our wine feature above has whet your appetite for some Chablis wine, then look no further.

Our January Lockkeeper competition offers you the chance to win six bottles of fine Chablis wine. As usual, follow the link, answer some very easy multiple choice questions and enter our fun competition. Good Luck....


Chablis Wine competition.   back to top

The Scottish Highlander

Go Barging is proud to announce that our Scottish Highlander barge has been invited to join the Caledonian Canal Celebrations during Highland Culture Week 2007. This is a great honour for us, as she will be the only Dutch barge in the colourful flotilla of vessels sailing that week between Inverness and Fort William in Scotland.

Passengers cruising that week will not only enjoy our regular schedule, but will also have the added opportunity to become more involved in this special celebratory Highland event and participate in all the fun and festivity which accompanies it.

Cabins are still available to book on this very special cruise which starts in Inverness.

Sunday, Day 1 - Inverness to Banavie
At 4pm we meet at the Glenmoriston Town House Hotel in Inverness and transfer to Scottish Highlander moored at Banavie, where you are welcomed aboard with Champagne and the chance to join in the festivities at Banavie. Dinner aboard.

Monday, Day 2 - Banavie to Gairlochy
In the morning we visit mystic Glencoe, made famous by the MacDonald and Campbell battle in the 13 th century, followed by a visit to the Glen Nevis distillery for an insight into the secrets of the various stages of Whisky preparation and taste a wee dram or two. In the afternoon we cruise with the flotilla to Gairlochy where the Highland festivities continue with a concert and ceilidh. Dinner aboard.

Tuesday, Day 3 - Gairlochy to Laggan
This morning there is a chance to see either the World War 2 Commando Memorial, the woollen mill at Spean Bridge, selling traditional knitwear and tweeds, or the Clan Cameron Museum. Leave Gairlochy for an afternoon cruise to Laggan, where we moor with the colourful flotilla. Dinner aboard.

Wednesday, Day 4 – Laggan to Fort Augustus
This morning we drive through Glen Moriston and stunning highland countryside to romantic Eilean Donan castle, setting for the film Highlander. The castle has an idyllic island setting with commanding views of three sea lochs. Following the abortive fourth Jacobite rising of 1719, the ruins were abandoned for 200 years until the 20 th century when a complete reconstruction was undertaken. On the way back we visit a deer farm. We rejoin the barge and cruise to Fort Augustus where we dine out at the Caledonian Hotel.

Thursday, Day 5 - Fort Augustus
In the morning we have plenty of time to look around the pretty Caledonian village of Fort Augustus where local musicians are holding workshops as part of the Caledonian Canal celebrations. After lunch we visit Urquhart Castle and Invermoriston Falls (or stay behind to enjoy family entertainment in Fort Augustus). This evening there is a concert and ceilidh. Dinner aboard.

Friday, Day 6 - Fort Augustus to Dochgarroch
In the morning we leave Fort Augustus and cruise the south shore of Loch Ness and Loch Dochfour, passing Urquhart Castle and seeing an abundance of wildlife en route. This afternoon we visit the 14 th century fairytale Cawdor Castle immortalised by Shakespeare with Macbeth, housing a superb collection of tapestries, pictures and furniture with beautiful landscaped gardens. We also visit Culloden Moor, site of the last battle fought on British soil. Captain’s Farewell Dinner aboard, following which you can enjoy another concert in Dochgarroch.

Saturday Day 7 - Dochgarroch to Inverness
As the flotilla moves off for the last day of the festival, passengers disembark around 9.30am after a hearty Scottish breakfast, for the transfer to Inverness by minibus arriving around 9.45am.

This is a sample itinerary subject to change back to top



Are you an early bird, planning a cruise in 2008? If so, you may be interested in the following special offer, valid until the end of February 2007:

All customers booking a 2008 cruise and sending in their deposit by the end of February 2007 will benefit from 2007 prices being applied to their booking. Book your 2008 cruise here.

(The above special offer does not apply to cruises on Alouette and Hirondelle.)


Actief luxury barge cruise on the Upper Thames, England

$500 / £250 per person discounts on 2007 cruises As part of Actief’s 100 th birthday celebrations (see Lock Keeper October 2006), all clients booking a 2007 cruise for 3 or more passengers on board the delightful Actief and paying their deposit before the end of March 2007 will benefit from a discount of $500 / £250 per person.

Bookings for 1-2 passengers can also benefit from this discount if the desired cruise week already has passengers booked on it. Go on! Treat yourself to a scintillating Thames cruise and go “messing about” in “Wind in the Willows” country! Contact us today to book your Actief cruise.

SKYPE US...We’re now on SKYPE! Skype address: Reservations-GoBarging

If you have any suggestions, feedback or barging stories to tell us, then please e-mail us .We'll be glad to hear from you and share your inputs in the lock-keeper.

Why not email this edition on to a friend, and let them share the fun. New subscribers can sign-up here, and are very welcome. More people are joining every day, so let's keep building a great Barging community..!

That's about it for this 43rd edition of the Lockkeeper, and hopefully the above articles have whet your appetite for that well-earned luxury cruise..! Please visit barge cruises and have a look around, or follow the individual links above.

The next edition of the lock-keeper will be out in February 2007, so we'll see you then.

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