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

Hello ,

welcome to the May edition of the lock-keeper.

May already..! The weather is fine and we are cruising along....

In this month's lock-keeper, we tell you about our new Minibus fleet, chosen to transport you to and from our luxury barges in comfort.

We announce the winners of our April competition to win a holiday aboard Anjodi on the Canl du Midi in the South of France.

The lucky winners will receve a six night luxury cruise for two, and we have two runner-up prizes to offer in addition, so read-on to see who has won.

We feature a new golf cruise itinerary, specially designed to fit around the 2006 Ryder cup golf competiton in Ireland, with three different cruise options to choose from.

We also have a new May competition to win some fabulous French wine - enter the competition and discover the world of Provencal wines, and of course the L'Impressionniste our Provencal barge.

Following on from last month, we take an in-depth look at the second three weeks of our Trans Europe cruise on L'Impressionniste, and provide more travel updates in our Travel News section.

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....

please read on and welcome aboard,

best regards,

Derek Banks, Chairman

Derek Banks - Chairman

in this issue:

New Minibus fleet

May competition

Ryder cup cruise

April competition winners

Trans-europe cruise
Paris to Amsterdam

Travel News

back issues:

july 03

august 03

september 03

october 03

november 03

december 03

january 04

february 04

march 04

april 04

(please note that past competitions are now closed)

visit our website

New Minibus transport

New luxury minibus transport for our barges

We have recently taken delivery of five new minbuses to upgrade our transport fleet.

These Volkswagen transporter buses are spacious and comfortable inside, and there's plenty of room for your luggage and for your day trip accessories

The new fleet will be used to transport guests to and from the pick-up points and on all excursions.

May competition
Visit L'Impressionniste in Provence and win some fabulous French wine

L'Impressionniste at Bouzigues, South of France

We have another great competition to enter in May.

This month we feature L'Impressionniste cruising in Provence in the South of France and thought we'd offer you the chance to win some french wine from the region.

Please visit our
french wine competition page to find out more on L'Impressionniste and enter this month's Rhône wine competition.

back to top

Ryder Cup 2006

Ryder cup 2006, Golf cruise on Shannon Princess II, image courtesy the offical Ryder cup website The 2006 Ryder cup takes place in Ireland. The 36th Ryder Cup Matches will take place between Friday 22nd and Sunday 24th September 2006 at the prestigious Kildare Golf and Country Club, in Straffan, Co. Kildare.

We are pleased to announce three Ryder cup Golf cruise options with European Waterways, on the luxury barge Shannon Princess II

Ryder cup Golf cruise Options;

1) We can offer a TWO WEEK Charter for upto 10 people combining Golf (9 tee times during the cruise) and sight seeing from Sunday 17th September 2006 to Saturday 30th September 2004. Over the period of the event(Fri, Sat, Sun) accommodation would be on the Shannon Princess II and we would provide daily return transfers, which would be up to an 1.5 hours each way, to the Ryder Cup!

Price if deposited during prior to 30th April 2005 $82,000. This price 13 nights cruise for upto 10 passengers, all meals on board, open bar, all wines, all excursions and admittance fees, 9 golf tee times for 10 people (please discount $1800 per person for those who will not be golfing during the cruise), transfer from Dublin on 17th September to the barge and transfer back to Dublin on 30th September, transfer to and from the Ryder Cup on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This price does not include tickets to the Ryder Cup or a guarantee of tickets.

2) We can offer a 5 night charter for upto 10 people pre golf cruise from Sunday 17th September to Friday 22nd September with transfer to Ryder Cup

Price of cruise if deposited by 30th April 2005 is $39,200. This price includes 5 nights cruise for upto 10 people, all meals on board, open bar, all wines, all excursions and admittance fees, 4 golf tee times for 10 people (please discount $720 per person for those who will not be golfing during the cruise), transfer from Dublin Sunday 17th September to the barge and transfer to Ryder Cup on Friday 22nd September. This price does not include tickets to the Ryder Cup or a guarantee of tickets.

3) We can offer a 6 night charter six night charter post Ryder Cup from Sunday 24th September to Saturday 30th September with transfer from Ryder Cup on the Sunday and transfer to Dublin at the end of the cruise. We can also offer an additional package of 3 night pre cruise at a Hotel in Dublin and transfers to and from the Ryder Cup.

Price of cruise if deposited by 30th April 2005 is $41,000. This price includes 6 nights for upto 10 people, all meals on board, open bar, all wines, all excursions and admittance fees, 5 golf tee times for 10 people (please discount $900 per person for those who will not be golfing during the cruise), transfer from Ryder Cup on 24th September to the barge and transfer back to Dublin on 30th September. This price does not include tickets to the Ryder Cup or a guarantee of tickets.

Unfortunately European Waterways are unable to purchase tickets at this stage for the Ryder Cup 2006 and there is no guarantee that we will be able to get them later. They are been administered by the PGA and therefore we have to ask clients to ensure that they have purchased tickets for the Ryder Cup before booking this cruise.

Please contact us to discuss your
2006 Ryder cup Golf cruise

April winners
Win a luxury barge cruise for two on Anjodi in the South of France

In last months lockkeeper we asked you to explore Anjodi, find out what she has to offer, answer a few simple questions then tell us why a luxury cruise on Anjodi would be a wonderful prize to win.

We have one winner, and two additional runner-up prizes to announce today.

Please visit the
Anjodi competition results page to see who the lucky winners are....

back to top

L'Impressionniste Trans Europe 6 week cruise
Avignon to Amsterdam departing 24th October to 4th December

from Avignon in the South to Amsterdam in the North - follow the trail and experience the trip of a lifetime There are still places left for our fantastic six week Trans Europe page - just imagine, six weeks of expedition cruising through several European countries, capital cities and cultures. You can also choose a three week cruise option.

Here are just some of the highlights of the second three week cruise from Paris to Amsterdam:

We begin the second three week cruise in Paris, where you can spend two days, or more if you and your fellow travellers choose, to savour the delights of this most vibrant city.

Impressionniste will be moored on the Seine and the city is yours to explore. Paris is pre-eminently a strollers' city where many things old and atmospheric, bright and beautiful may be seen. One of the most civilised pastimes of Paris is sitting at a sidewalk café and watching the world go by, another is shopping!.

We continue on through the environs of Paris to Meaux, capital of Brie. Take a stroll through the old quarter and view the beautiful Cathedral before continuing further along the River Marne to Chateau Thierry. This village was named after the Frankish King Thierry IV and later was held by the counts of Champagne. The river winds its way through riverside villages gradually taking you into a landscape of forests and vineyards, the start of CHAMPAGNE Country and CONDY SUR MARNE.

It is from here that we take the opportunity to visit REIMS. The Cathedral of Reims ranks among the finest in France and the city is a spectacular medieval city, demolished by vandals, ravaged by fire, and devastated by artillery during the Great War. The city is as impressive for its perseverance as for its enduring elegance. We visit the Mercier champagne house in Epernay, and entertain the vessel's French Insurer for cocktails as the barge passes his hometown!

Cruising through VITRY-LE-FRANCOIS, SERMAIZE-LES-BAINS, LIGNY EN BARROIS and TROUSY, the traveller will be taken with the unsophisticated beauty of the landscapes, the sunlit lakes and shady forests. This region is less hilly than Burgundy and progress is usually comparatively swift until we enter the Lorraine hills. We pass the 16,320 foot long Mauvages tunnel before descending the lock flight to Toul. Toul was fortified by the military genius of the Marechal Sebastien de Vauban, the massive stone walls were nearly impregnable and are largely intact today. The canal runs through part of the Fortress moat!

Onward to NANCY, the capital of LORRAINE and here we visit to the PLACE STANISLAS, one of the most splendid architectural creations of the 18th century. The gilded wrought iron gates, baroque fountains and hanging lanterns surround possibly France's most beautiful square. There is much to delight the eye and a superb collection of Art Nouveau at the Musee de L'Ecole. Nancy is also a good place for shopping.

We continue to Metz which has the oldest church in France, the 4th century church of Saint Pierre-aux-Nonnains, and the Gothic masterpiece of Cathedral de St Etienne which offers a superb view of the surrounding countryside from its 300ft tower. We are virtually in Germany now and international waters.

We leave the waterways of France and move to Luxembourg with its fairytale castle. One of the smallest countries, Luxembourg has one of the wealthiest per capita in the world. Founded in 963, the city was one of the strongest fortresses in Europe and now a centre of banking and finance.

We visit Berncastle straddling the vine escarpments of the River Moselle Valley. The vines are sometimes covered with blue coating, which protect the late grapes from early frosts and conjure up images of strangely coloured wines! The grapes are mainly Reisling and there are numerous cellars for winetasting. The town is filled with half-timbered houses and dominated by the ruin of the Landshut fortress.
We cruise on to Koblenz, at the mouth of the Moselle River and the start of the Rhine River cruising through to Cologne with a giant statue of Wilhelm I at the confluence point. Koblenz has wandered back and forth between French and German domination and in 1809 the impressive Rhinelagen riverside promenade was given to the town by the Prefet Lezay-Mamesia following the inclusion of Koblenz into the French Rhine and Moselle department.

We reach COLOGNE - This is the capital of the Rhineland, and noted for remnants of antiquity such as a third century tower. It is also known for its beautiful Madonnas, medieval sculptures in the Gothic Cathedral. Even older than the Cathedral are Cologne's Romanesque churches. The Ring is an elegant boulevard of shops and cafes. From Cologne, L'Impressionniste continues along the Rhine to Arnhem on the Holland- German border. It was here in September 1944 that gallant American and British forces attempted to take the Rhine Bridge with a retreating but nevertheless still powerful German army in occupation. We allow plenty of time to remember the fallen and see first hand the battleground.

As our journey draws to a close we move out of Germany and into the waterways of Holland first to the bustling port of Rotterdam. The city was devastated in World War II and rebuilt into one of the most dynamic and efficient seaports in the world. We leave time to visit the Boymans-van-Beuningen Museum which houses works by the medieval painter Hieronymous Bosch, and on our last evening together we attned the Captain's Gala dinner.

Finally, to AMSTERDAM - Our port of arrival and what a town - hundreds of miles of canals, waterside life and a bustling cycle-powered population who never seem to sleep! Do spend a few days here in this fascinating city. Amsterdam boasts more than forty museums, splendid art galleries, antique shops, theatres, cafes, 17th century houses bordering tree-lined canals and countless excellent restaurants suiting the most refined taste.

For a detailed itinerary, please visit the L'Impressionniste Trans Europe 6 week cruise,
or contact us today to book your place..
Travel News

Our 2005 prices have now been published and are availble for download or view at our
2005 barge cruise rates page.

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. There will also be some spot prizes for good submissions...What would you like to read about next month..??

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 tenth edition, 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 May, 2004, so we'll see you then.

back to top

cruise home page

internet marketing and ebusiness consultants