L'Impressionniste New Cruise Route

L'Impressionniste has a new route for 2009 which will see her cruising though the delightful Ouche Valley in Burgundy. more>

Special Offer

Provence & Camargue, Southern France Special Offer cruise Aboard L'Impressionniste.

For all remaining cabins on cruises departing in May we are pleased to offer a 25% discount or charter the whole barge and receive 20% discount on the charter price.more>


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La Belle Epoque
Welcome to the May-June 2008 Lock-Keeper

Hello Lock-keeper reader,

Welcome to our new look European Waterways Newsletter.

In our new bi-monthly Lock-keeper, we have some fantastic 2008 cruise offers. We highlight the amazing Riviera Fiorita 6 Night Cruise in Venice, where we are offering our guests the chance to admire the Riviera Fiorita Regatta from the sundeck of La Dolce Vita luxury barge.

We announce a new 2009 Burgundy Cruise itinerary for L'Impressionniste, and to celebrate our brand new Lock-Keeper we have a fabulous competition, giving you the chance to win a cruise for two aboard L'Impressionniste as it travels through the delightful Ouche Valley in Burgundy.

Dont forget to catch our latest news, especially for those travelling to Venice, also in news section we have an illuminating radio interview with Alison Gardner, editor of Travel with a Challenge magazine, where she shares her experience aboard Scottish Highlander as it travels across the Great Glen in Scotland.

I look forward to hearing from you, and please drop us an email with any comments about our new Lock-Keeper format. I hope to see you at our website, 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

Latest Special Offer 2008 Cruises


La Belle Epoque, Burgundy

Savoir Faire, Upper Loire

Saint Louis, South West France


Latest Special Offers for May & June 2008 Cruises


La Belle Epoque in Burgundy
For all remaining cabins on cruises departing in May we are pleased to offer a 25% discount per cabin or charter the whole barge and receive 20% discount on the charter price.

L’Art de Vivre in Burgundy
Book one cabin departing in May and June and receive 50% discount on a second cabin on the same cruise or charter the whole barge and receive 20% discount on the charter price.

L’Impressionniste in Provence & Camargue in Southern France
For all remaining cabins on cruises departing in May and June we are pleased to offer a 25% discount per cabin or charter the whole barge and receive 20% discount on the charter price.

Savoir Faire in Upper Loire
Mid-Season CHARTER dates departing July and August only $38,000/£19,000 for groups of up to 12 passengers.

Saint Louis in South West France
10% discount on all remaining available cabins and charters departing in May and June 2008.


Magna Carta in England
Book one cabin departing in May and receive 50% discount on a second cabin on the same cruise or charter the whole barge and receive 20% discount on the charter price.

The discount is applied to the lower priced cabin when booking the 2 cabin offer and no more than 2 single passengers on one cruise.

Our normal Terms & Conditions apply.

Visit gobarging special offers page

La Dolce Vita - 6 Night Cruise


La Dolce Vita

Lagoon Cruise aboard La Dolce Vita

Venetian Gondola's

Colorful pageant along the Canal Grande, showcasing Venetians' rowing skills, with ornamented boats and period costumes.

Festive commemoration of the 1574 visit of King Henry IV, involving all the towns along the Riviera.

Riviera Fiorita 6 Night Cruise


Sun 14th Sept 2008 to Sat 21st Sept 2008

For this special occasion, our normal cruise program will slightly change to offer the possibility for our guests to admire the Riviera Fiorita Regatta from the sundeck of our barge on the River Brenta.

The Riviera Fiorita takes place on Sunday, September 14th September 2008 and we meet you at 11.30 am at the meeting hotel and transfer you to La Dolce Vita by water taxi. At lunch-time we will serve a typical Venetian menu and in the early afternoon you will be able to admire the boats parade from the sundeck of the barge.

Riviera Fiorita Regatta

The Riviera Fiorita - Flowering River - Regatta is a splendid echo of the Historic Regatta taking place in Venice the previous Sunday. It is probably the most important event on the Brenta River, all the villages along the banks of the Naviglio canal joining in. The event started in 1977 to re-enact the passage along the river of Henry III, King of France. Originally that took place in 1574, the year the sovereign visited Venice. He entered the city after having followed the course of river Brenta from Padua, passing the great country villas of the Venetian nobility and was warmly welcomed. Along the riverside there were rejoicing crowds and music as the nobles looked on from their lavish villas. Today, as then, on the second Sunday of September people watch the procession of colourful vessels as they bear their distinguished visitors beautifully apparelled in historic costumes. First there is a boating competition for the rowing clubs’ boats. The prize-giving for the best team takes place at Malcontenta, point of arrival for the historic procession.

After the regatta in the late afternoon we will cruise down the river into the lagoon to follow our normal itinerary.

It's a great start to an amazing week and places are strictly limited.

La Dolce Vita - 6 Night Cruise


Venetian Gondola's

La Dolce Vita Venice Lagoon Cruise

Rialto Bridge Venice

Riviera Fiorita 6 Night Cruise (cont'd)


Guests are met at 11.30 AM the meeting Hotel in Dolo and transfer to Mira, where the barge is moored and the crew is ready to serve a welcome drink of Prosecco and lunch.  In the early afternoon you will enjoy the boat parade from La Dolce Vita's sundeck. Later we will cruise down the river to enter the Venetian lagoon. Sailing past Venice and the coast of Sant'Erasmo, we head to our mooring in Burano, the fishermen's island in the northern lagoon, where we serve your a superb fish dinner.

In the morning La Dolce Vita hugs the coast of Sant'Erasmo with its orchards and vegetable gardens and arrives in Torcello , the first island of the lagoon to be colonised 2000 years ago. We see the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, a beautiful example of Veneto-Byzantine style. We have lunch while cruising on the Siloncello canal and in the afternoon we visit Burano, a picturesque fishermen's island in the northern lagoon. W e walk through the colourful streets of Burano and visit the Lace Museum. We moor for the night on the calm waters of Burano.  Dinner on board.

We start our cruise passing by San Francesco del Deserto Island, where we can moor and visit the monastery. We then proceed to San Lazzaro degli Armeni where we visit one of the most interesting libraries of Venice with 150,000 volumes and more than 4,000 Armenian manuscripts, some nearly 1,300 years old.  The monks of the San Lazzaro monastery have welcomed visitors for more than two centuries.  We end the day with a short cruise around Venice to reach Murano and moor for the night on the Grand Canal of the island of glass.  Dinner on board.

We visit a glass-blowing workshop in Murano. Then we move on for a tour of the Grand Canal in Venice aboard a water taxi and reach San Giorgio Island for our lunch facing Saint Mark. In the afternoon we take you on a guided tour of the Doge's Palace and Saint Mark in Venice. Later you have some free time to visit Venice. We moor for dinner on San Giorgio Island.

This morning we cruise up River Brenta to Mira, passing by Villa Foscari in Malcontenta, a masterpiece of the Renaissance architect Palladio. We visit Villa Widmann, a typical Venetian luxurious villa with wonderful frescos. In the afternoon we move on for 2 more hours to Dolo, where we moor for the night. For those who like cycling, it is possible to follow the barge on a bicycle today. Before dinner we take you for a glass of wine at the old water mill of Dolo.

Further ascent of river Brenta to Stra, where we visit Villa Pisani, an 18th century masterpiece of Venetian architecture with frescos from Tiepolo.  Whilst we cruise you can follow the barge by bicycle along the river and by the afternoon our cruise brings us in Padua, where we moor at Portello gate, one of the best preserved parts of the ancient city walls. We then visit Giotto's Chapel and then we walk into the centre, which is as full of history as Venice herself. The Farewell Dinner will be at a restaurant in the centre of Padua.

After breakfast at 9 am you are transferred to Hotel Villa Goetzen in Dolo or Marco Polo Airport. If you have an early flight or if you are staying at a hotel in Venice, we can make custom arrangements for you at your expense.

1 stateroom still available price is US $3350 per person or £1840 per person based on 2 sharing the stateroom.

Visit La Dolce Vita or contact us today about a cruise in Italy.

L'Impressionniste new route for 1009


Dijon, Burgundy

Clos de Vougeot

Chateau de Commarin

15th century Hotel Dieu Hospice

L'Impressionniste New Route for 2009



Sunday - Dijon
You are met at the meeting hotel at 4.30pm and transferred to the elegant L'Impressionniste moored in the Port of Dijon for your cruise through Burgundy a Champagne reception welcomes you on board and provides you with a chance to meet the crew. Later that evening experience your first Dinner aboard.

Monday - Dijon to Fleurey sur Ouche
This morning experience your first day's cruise along this enchanting canal which also promises a walk or cycle along the ever present towpath as we ascend gradually to the canal summit level past sleepy villages and pretty lock houses. We pass Lake Kir leaving Dijon and cruise by the limestone escarpments which feed the nearby vineyards. After lunch we visit  Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of the esteemed  Chevaliers du Tastevin who award every year a special prized label to the finest Cote d 'Or vintages. We offer a private tasting of Vosne Romanee, Gevrey Chambertin, Cote de Nuits and Nuits-St-Georges at the family run Domaine Jafflin in the heart of Nuits-St-Georges on the route des Grands Crus. Our excellent relationship with the Jafflin family goes back over 20 years.  Dinner aboard. 

Tuesday - Fleurey sur Ouche to Gissey sur Ouche
After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of old Dijon including a visit to the vivid flower and produce market, mustard shops and the flamboyant 14th century Ducal Palace  (or enjoy some excellent shopping time). Return to the boat for lunch and leisurely afternoon cruise to Gissey sur Ouche.  Dinner aboard.

Wednesday - Gissey sur Ouche to La Bussiere
This morning we visit the moat - encircled 13th century Chateau de Commarin.   Going back 26 generations, the de Vogue family ownership portrays an insight into the glamorous lives of French aristocracy as well as showing off the Chateau, stables and landscaped gardens. After lunch we cruise to La Bussiere, passing grazing white Charolais cattle, rolling hills and sleepy villages.  Dinner aboard.

Thursday - La Bussiere to Cruge

Early morning cruise and exclusive tour of the magnificent 12th century Abbaye de la Bussiere. The ornamental gardens and lake, wine press, crypt and cellars are interwoven with ancient colonnades, stone staircases and huge stained glass windows. After a Kir Royale aperitif in the private music room, the former chapel we enjoy the gastronomic delights of Master Kir (cocktail) -Chef Olivier Elzer in the vaulted Michelin starred restaurant whilst enjoying the sommelier's choice of local burgundies. This afternoon we continue to the Mediaeval village, craft shops and castle of Chateauneuf - en- Auxois , once an outpost of the Dukes of Burgundy and offering a fine overview of the feeder lakes, canal and surrounding country side. Dinner aboard

Friday - Crugey to Escommes
Our last day's leisurely cruise takes us to the canal summit,1250 feet above sea level, just before the Pouilly tunnel. We cross the premier cru vineyards into Beaune, capital of Burgundy wine country with a history going back over 2000 years. We absorb the fascinating 15th century Hotel Dieu Hospice and visit Maison Champy, Beaune'soldest winery established in 1720 with even older cellars.  Captain's Farewell Dinner aboard

Saturday - Dijon-Paris
After breakfast disembark the barge and transfer to Dijon station by 9.00. (suggested train to Paris TGV 6710 departing Dijon at 9.57 and arrive in Paris, Gare de Lyon at 11.37am).
Itinerary is subject to change. On alternative weeks, the cruise is in reverse direction.

Contact us today about a cruise on Impressionniste

Visit L'Impressionniste, Burgundy Cruise

GoBarging Cruise Competition


L'Impressionniste Cruise

Relax on the Sun Deck or even in the Spa Pool

L'Impressionniste's light and airy interior features picture windows

Win a cruise for 2 aboard Luxury Barge L'impressionniste...
click here to enter>

GoBarging Cruise Competition


For our May Lockkeeper competition we have fabulous prize to give away, a cabin for 2 on L'Impressionniste as it cruises through the breathtakingly beautiful Ouche Valley in Burgundy.

L'Impressionniste Deck Plan L'Impressionniste Deck Plan

L'Impressionniste began life as a cargo barge in Holland before undergoing a complete transformation into the powerful canal and river cruiser she is today. Her light and airy interior features picture windows and a selection of prints, fabrics and wall colorings reminiscent of the turn of the century era after which she has been named. She is crewed by a knowledgeable Captain, Master Chef and crew of three. L'Impressionniste's classic route covers some fine Burgundy cruising with plenty of opportunity to cycle and stroll along the tow-path and wander into nearby villages.

Cruise Highlights

  • All-inclusive open bar
  • Free Wines, Gourmet Cuisine, Entry fees to excursions
  • Clos de Vougeot, Domaine Jafflin wine tasting
  • Walking tour of old Dijon, 14th century Ducal Palace
  • Moat - encircled 13th century Chateau de Commarin
  • 12th century Abbaye de la Bussiere
  • 15th century Hotel-Dieu Hospice
  • Visit Maison Champy, Beaune's oldest winery established in 1720

Enter L'Impressionniste Cruise Competition

Scotland Golf Cruise


Scottish Highlander Master Bedroom

Scotland Golf Cruise

Scottish Highlander moored under Urquhart Castle - for more details listen to our latest radio interview

The Scottish Highlander’s Golf Cruise is available for immediate booking. Prices start from £2050.p.p based on two person sharing a double cabin.

Charters available form £14,000 based on 6 passengers.

Warning: Scotland can be cold in the winter…

Visit Scottish Highlander>

Six-night, Seven-day Scottish Highlander Golf Cruise


Author:- Dave Bowers | Editor Chip n Pin Magazine

Apparently Rick Stein travelled in a barge down the canals and rivers between Bordeaux and Marseille in the making of a TV programme. So if it's good enough for the man who masterminded Glasgow Celtic to the first British success in the European Cup, it's good enough for me.

Ah, apparently I'm confusing my Steins. It was Jock who managed Celtic and Scotland , not Rick. No wonder Jock's fish recipes tasted so bad. Anyway, Jock would certainly approve of travelling through the Scottish Highlands by barge to enjoy some of the region's top golf courses - and that's just what is possible with Go Barging, a Middlesex-based company specialising in luxurious barge travel on the inland waterways of nine European countries.

It was to Go Barging to whom Stein turned when he planned his French Odyssey - he travelled on the barges Rosa and Anjodi - and it was the same company which whisked me off to the Scottish Highlands. Actually, the company offers nine golf cruises in total, in Scotland , England (two on offer), Ireland and France (a choice of five). But I felt the best place for a golf magazine to start was in the home of golf - wash your mouth out if you said The Netherlands .

The six-night, seven-day Scottish Highlander's Golf Cruise travels between Dochgarroch and Banavie - in different directions in alternate weeks. And you'll be relieved to know it does include some whisky tasting. Not surprisingly, such splendour - the barge is described in the pamphlet as an "exclusive boutique hotel-on-the-water" and it's hard to argue with the assertion - amid a historic setting proves immensely popular with our cousins across the Atlantic, so if you're not in a party chartering the whole vessel you may find yourself teeing up alongside an 18-stone guy in capacious shorts and a loud shirt. But as I'm an 18-stone guy in capacious shorts and a loud shirt it didn't bother me.

The first full day of the cruise - you board the Scottish Highlander on Sunday afternoon - saw us teeing off at Royal Dornoch before returning to the barge for a cruise to Fort Augustus, passing Urqhuart Castle.

Originally designed by Old Tom Morris, the Royal Dornoch links is often cited as one of the best golf venues anywhere in the world. It is not long by modern standards – at 6,276 yards or 6,514 yards off the championship tees – but it’s subtly undulating greens will prove a tough test for any golfer. The following day we were given a packed lunch and travelled by car to play the championship course at Nairn. It was just like being waved off by our mums back in the days when we used to wear shorts without worrying about our legs – only the lunch was significantly nicer and Nairn Golf Course is a lot more awe inspiring than Miss Murray, my former class teacher.

Nairn has played host to many professional and top amateur events and therefore would probably not have looked too kindly on my efforts on what is arguably Scotland’s driest and windiest golf course, located as it is adjacent to the North Sea. A par-72, 6,705-yard course, it again provides a tough test – as did Miss Murray if memory serves correctly.

Wednesday’s round was played in the afternoon at Fort Augustus, allowing time in the morning for a bit of sight-seeing in the village – ideal if you have a penchant for antique of craft shops, but Ikea addicts need not apply. There is also the opportunity to visit the Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre. The 29-lock Caledonian Canal – one of Scotland’s greatest 19th century engineering achievements – is more than 60 miles long, including as it does three connected lochs: Loch Ness, Loch Oich and Loch Lochy.

Scotland Golf Cruise


Scotlands Great Glen

Locks at Fort Augustus

Fine Scottish Fayre

Six-night, Seven-day Scottish Highlander Golf Cruise - Cont'd


Author:- Dave Bowers | Editor Chip n Pin Magazine

Fortunately Fort Augustus’ golf course is considerably shorter at just 5,454 yards and comprises nine holes and 18 tees in a challenging canalside setting. A thinned approach shot and you might find yourself in the soup; literally, as dinner is served back on board the Scottish Highlander as it cruises to its overnight mooring at Cullochy Lock.

Thursday was a rest day as far the golf was concerned but there is still plenty to occupy you providing you’ve finished totting up the shot count for the previous three days.

We enjoyed a morning cruise along the tree-lined canal and across Loch Lochy, amid some stunning scenery, before mooring at the pretty hamlet of Gairlochy. I have to be honest and say I eschewed the available visit to the Spean Bridge Woollen Mill – offering “traditional knitwear and tweeds” – in favour of resting the aging limbs and saving myself for the subsequent tasting at the Glen Nevis Whisky Distillery. It’s a dirty job but some poor journalist had to do it.

The final full day of the cruise saw us descending – does one descend a lock? – Neptune’s Staircase, another remarkable piece of engineering which elevates vessels 64 feet above sea-level through a series of eight locks.

After an on-board lunch we headed off to Newtonmore for an afternoon tee time. Thankfully, given the previous on-course exertions and the accessibility of whisky, Newtonmore is a comparatively flat, easy walking, parkland course – a par-70, 6,041-yard effort dating from 1893 – nestling appealingly amid the Monadhliath and Grampian Mountains and on the banks of the River Spey.

The transfer back to the barge allowed just enough time for me to dig out my copy of How to Break 100 from the bottom of my golf bag as I once again discovered flat does not necessarily equal ‘easy’. Back on board the Scottish Highlander we enjoyed (another) wee dram with a local piper before the captain’s farewell dinner. Do you know, every piper I’ve ever met claims to have played on Paul McCartney’s 1977 massive hit Mull of Kintyre. Anybody would think I was a tourist or something…

The following morning, after a hearty breakfast sans whisky, we bade a fond farewell at Fort William to our captain and to the barge which had been our home for six nights. It had been more than just a home; it had been an exclusive restaurant where the master chef prepared for us delightful Scottish fare – including venison, Angus beef and seafood dishes – and a local snug bar where we discussed the one that lipped out and sampled even more whisky. It also had a well-stocked wine cellar – a cellar on a barge? – which thankfully held a plethora of whiskies.

The fully staffed Scottish Highlander afforded the sort of luxury of which the bargemen of a couple of hundred years ago could never have dreamt. All it didn’t do was improve my golf game. But I’ll happily swap that for the memories of this trip.

Visit Scotland Cruise and Scottish Highlander barge page

GoBarging News


Venice gets tough with the Pigeons


Scottish Highlander moored under Urquhart Castle - for more details listen to our latest radio interview

GoBarging News


Report by Chitra Mogul / weekend travel mole

As of May 7 feeding pigeons in St. Mark's Square will be illegal and tourists found guilty of feeding their feathered friends will have to cough up a fine of 50 euros ($78).

The mayor's office has placed a ban on the sale and distribution of grain to feed the birds as they hold it responsible for attracting the pigeons and their droppings, according to a report by eTurbo news.

The pigeons are also being accused of eating away at the city's marble statues and buildings by pecking at small gaps in the facades to reach for scraps of food that were blown inside. One study  estimated that cleaning up monuments and repairing the damage cost each Venetian taxpayer 275 euros a year.


Travel writer Alison Gardner and C-Fax travel radio

An illuminating radio discussion, where Alison Gardner, editor of Travel with a Challenge magazine talks to Terry Spence of C-Fax travel radio. Hear all about Alison's luxury barge experience aboard the Scottish Highlander and her fascinating journey down the the beautiful Great Glen in Scotland. Go to the radio interview page on the GoBarging.com

If you have any suggestions, feedback on our new Lock-Keeper format or barging stories to tell us, then please e-mail us. We'll be glad to hear from you and share your inputs in future editions of 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 57th 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 June 2008, so we'll see you then.