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

Welcome to the October edition of the lock-keeper.

This is the 28th edition of our popular newsletter and we are happy and pleased with its progress, and your feedback on the various articles we produce about the world of GoBarging.

If you have any ideas on content, or articles of your own to submit, then we would be very pleased to hear from you.

I was on board Impressionniste in Agde last Friday and took the opportunity to join the passengers for Captain's Dinner(its a tough job), what a splendid setting on the Herault river, and the barge looked like new. The meal was created by Rebecca, one of our long standing Chefs who has worked her way around our fleet over the past 5 years from Scotland to Provence.

Here we were, towards the end of a long and busy season and everything and everyone looked in top form. Captain Roger and Pilot Dene made a superb job of serving and explaining the wines. Housekeepers Amber and Julie laid a beautiful table with "dinner jacket" serviettes and gave an amusing explanation on the cheeses. The passengers were so impressed they are even considering financing their own barge to put in our fleet..!

In this month's Lockkeeper we continue our report from La Dolce Vita in Venice, and we follow-up on Rick Stein's French Odyssey with another great recipe from Rick's new book of his tv series French Odyssey.

We have some great feedback from some very satisfied guests who have cruised with us this year - it's always nice to hear that people have enjoyed themselves so much, as it makes the hard work all worthwhile and is a great incentive to our very proud crews.

This month we profile Captain Bernard Rogeon of barge Rosa and we have a summary of our up-and-coming Trans European cruise on L'Impressionniste.

We conclude this October edition with the winners of our Rick Stein Champagne and Truffles and announce our new October competition.

Lastly, we announce our Scottish Highlander Christmas and New Year (referred to as "Hogmanay" in Scotland) cruises.

So, once again, lots of hopefully interesting stories for you to read.

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 and Barge skipper

in this issue:

La Dolce Vita

Rick Stein recipe

Guest feedback

Captain profile

Trans Euro cruise

September competition winner

October competition


back issues:

january 05

february 05

march 05

april 05

may 05

june 05

july 05

august 05

september 05

(please note that past competitions are now closed)

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La Dolce Vita
by Christina Tarantelli & Karen Ungaro

highlights of La Dolce Vita barge cruise around Venice and the Veneto Lagoon Christina and Karen won our La Dolce Vita cruise competition and have just returned from their trip to Venice. They kept a diary and took lots of great holiday photos and have kindly offered to share their story with us. We continue the tale from last month's edition...

Some Highlights....see the photos below

Burano is the most colourful of the islands in the Lagoon. Legend has it that the fishermen of the village painted their houses in these bright colours so they would be easier to spot from the water.

St. Mark is the patron saint of Venice and every visitor to the city must visit the Basilica of San Marco! Our guide Martina took us into the Basilica, which is filled with dazzling mosaics from ceiling to floor.

We were able to see the Pala d'Oro -- the most valuable "treasure" of the Basilica di San Marco. It's a stunning altarpiece, a tableau of gold and precious jewels which hidden behind one of the smaller chapels within the Basilica. The Pala d'Oro was commissioned in 976 AD and embellished over the centuries; it consists of 250 enamel paintings on gold foil and is studded with pearls, rubies, sapphires, and other jewels. Breathtaking!

As do all the islands, Burano has its own churches. We found a beautiful piece hidden away in a side altar in a dark church.

A typical view from the Grand Canal of Venice with gondola parked outside a hotel.

We had a private tour of a Glass Master at work! He's one of only eight remaining Masters in Burano; his specialty is goblets.

On our last night, Captain GiamPaolo joined us for dinner. Karen & I were privileged to be able to sit on each side of him!

Wednesday 14 September
Burano - known for lace, colorful homes. Leo, our ship steward & new friend, told us of the legend surrounding the colorful homes. Shopping, a lace-making demonstration & entrance to the museum all "arranged" & ready to go at our convenience.

Torcello, the first inhabited island of the Lagoon. Very old, several stayed behind to relax while 3 of us went into the village, climbed the bell tower in order to appreciate the beauty of the area from above.

St, Francis of the Desert - Beautiful quiet island retreat owned by a contemplative order of Franciscans. Met by spiritual young friar who welcomed us onto the grounds, into the ancient chapel & allowed us to walk through the peaceful gardens.

Thursday 15 September
Murano- known for beautiful hand-blown glass. Welcomed to go onto island to see demonstration & then, shop, of course! Met a shop owner who enjoyed our stories of the wonderful La Dolce Vita cruise we were on, marveling at the thought of living on a barge, eating gourmet fare with every meal, peacefully winding down rivers & around canals, Lagoon. Naturally, we shared the information of this simpatico shop owner with our cruise-mates, who had to see for themselves.

Taxi ride down the Grand Canal in a highly polished wooden speed boat. Beautiful opportunity to take photos, watch people, notice waterside architecture, people.

La Dolce Vita - continued
by Christina Tarantelli & Karen Ungaro

highlights of La Dolce Vita barge cruise around Venice and the Veneto Lagoon Friday 16 September
Villa Tour (by bike) or choose to flow down the Brenta River. Read, relax on the sunny deck, watch the workings of a lock. Watching people ride by on bikes, walking, fishing. Wonderful true view of local life.

Went into largest Villa in the area- owned by a former "Doge", the Title given to rulers of Venice prior to conquest by Napoleon. [This Villa had a garden maze which was open to the public, but no one was willing to venture too deep into it!]

Vast edifice, unbelievable to consider the times that the villa must have surely seen. [We had a different guide for the Villas of Venice -- Paola. She explained that the Villas were the summer homes of the rich & famous, used for only a few weeks each year. Apparently their parties were legendary, with music & dancing into the wee hours! Many of the Villas are now in ruins, abandoned by the owners because of the high cost of maintenance and luxury taxes. Paola told us that the Italian government currently has a restoration project in place -- abandoned or decrepit villas can be purchased at a very low price with the promise that the new owner will repair and restore the property!]

Captain's dinner. Karen & I agreed to sit on either side of Captain Giampaolo at dinner, since we were the only passengers with any knowledge of Italian. We engaged him in conversation and did our best to interpret what our shipmates had to say.

We were startled to discover that the Captain wanted to visit the United States so he could travel on Route 66, an east-west highway made famous by an American television show from the 1960's called Route 66, which chronicled the adventures of two good-looking young guys in a sports car travelling cross-country on this famous road!

Saturday 17 September
Last day, packing. Sad to know that the La Dolce Vita was coming to an end for us. Knowing that we will keep in touch with our cruise-mates who provided laughter, stories of their past travel adventures, & insight into their lives. Leo, who kept us wined & dined, happy, sharing stories, legends, jokes - the perfect man for his job. Always an enthusiastic & positive approach to the day. Massimiliano & Davide -- our chefs for the ride, who were as creative as artists. Captain Gianpaolo who kept us safe & on our way through the river, canals, Laguna.

The cruise was well put together- allowing us freedom to choose activity (or not), to choose our manner of activity- shopping, walking, biking. Meals were at a specified time, but never seemed rushed to meet "deadline". Food was fabulous throughout, as though we had our own gourmand on hand.


Visit La Dolce Vita   back to top

Rick Stein's French Odyssey Bouillabaisse
(serves 8)


Rick Stein's French Odyssey Bouillabaisse
  • 4 x 175-200g small monkfish tails
  • 4 x 250-300g gurnard
  • 4 x 250-300g John Dory
  • 2 x 500g cooked lobsters
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ small bulb fennel, finely chopped
  • Pinch crushed dried chillies
  • 1 conger eel or pollack, skinned and cut into small chunks
  • 100g tomato puree
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • A bouquet garni made from thyme sprigs, bay leaves and parsley stalks
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon saffron strands
  • ½ teaspoon mild curry powder
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper

For the croutons:

  • A little olive oil, for shallow frying
  • 12 thin slices French bread
  • 2-3 whole garlic cloves

To serve:

  • 100g Rouille (see below)
  • 25g finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 450g small potatoes (optional)


First prepare all the fish. Skin the monkfish tails and remove the fillets, and fillet the gurnard and John Dory. Break off the legs and claws of the lobsters and set aside the thinner legs for the stock. Crack the shells of the claws with the back of a knife and break at the joints into smaller pieces. Cut the rest of the lobster in half lengthways, detach the head from the tail and cut each tailpiece across into three evenly sized pieces. Put the fish fillets and lobster pieces into a tray, cover with clingfilm and keep chilled until needed.

Now make a fish stock by putting the fish bones, lobster legs and 2.25 litres of water into a large pan. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then strain into a clean pan. You should have about 2 litres. If not, make up with a little water. Set aside.

For the soup, heat the oil in a large pan. Add the vegetables and crushed dried chillies and cook gently for 20 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the conger eel or pollack and fry briskly with the vegetables for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato puree, white wine and fish stock. Bring to the boil, add the bouquet garni, garlic, saffron, curry powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper and leave to simmer very gently, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Rick Stein's French Odyssey Bouillabaisse - continued
(serves 8)

Rick Stein's French Odyssey Bouillabaisse Meanwhile, make the rouille (see below) and the croutons. For the croutons, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the slices of bread and fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain briefly on kitchen paper then rub one side of each with garlic. Keep warm in a low oven.

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 3. Pass the soup through a sieve into a clean pan, pressing as much of the liquid through the sieve as you can with the back of a ladle. Return the soup to a wide-based, shallow, clean pan, season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and bring back to a simmer. Add the monkfish fillets and cook for 1 minute. Then add the gurnard and John Dory fillets and the pieces of lobster, making sure that they are fully submerged in the soup, and simmer for a further 2 minutes.

The fish will still be slightly undercooked at this point.

Carefully lift the fish fillets and lobster pieces out of the soup onto a warmed serving plate, ladle over a small amount of the soup, cover with foil and put in the oven to keep warm, but don't leave any more than 10 minutes. Ladle the soup into warmed soup plates and serve as a first course with the croutons, rouille and Parmesan cheese. Then serve the fish as a main course, with, if you wish, more rouille and some small potatoes cooked in the soup.


  • 25g slice day-old crustless white bread
  • A little fish stock or water
  • 3 fat garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 250 ml olive oil
Makes about 300 ml

For the harissa:

  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • A pinch of saffron strands
  • 2 medium-hot red chillies, stalks removed and roughly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the harissa, put the roasted red pepper flesh, tomato puree, ground coriander, saffron, chillies, cayenne pepper and ¼ teaspoon of the salt into a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

For the rouille, cover the slice of bread with the fish stock or water and leave to soften. Squeeze out the excess liquid and put the bread into the food processor with 2 tablespoons of the harissa, the garlic, egg yolk and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth. With the machine still running, gradually add the oil until you have a smooth, thick mayonnaise-like mixture. This will store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Recipes courtesy of Rick Stein's French Odyssey - BBC BooksRecipes courtesy of "Rick Stein's French Odyssey - BBC Books"
Images courtesy of James Murphy.

Visit Anjodi   back to top

Guest feedback
some kind comments from a range of satisfied guests

We thought you might like to read what some of our recent guests have told us about their barge cruise experiences..

Impressionniste - 5th June 2005

Impressionniste luxury barge cruise in Provence, FranceI just can't get a grip on the correct words to thank you and your team for such a marvelous voyage and glorious experience we had aboard the MV L'Impressionniste.

Your staff of Alfie O' Donnell, Rebecca Clair, Dean Savage, Lucy Ward and Steven Kennedy were outstanding ambassadors for Go Barging and left no opportunity undone to satisfy the passengers aboard. It would not be fair to single out any one of them for special commendation, as they were all outstanding in their own divisions. More important was the exemplary manner in which they handled the demands of passengers aboard-it left me gasping sometimes-Well done crew, you are a credit to your Company.

Rebecca is a very creative and exciting chef and we enjoyed her great attitude and effort for all aboard. Alfie and Lucy never stopped tidying up and generally keeping L'Impressionniste neat and ship shape and just generally came across as being very proud of their boat.

Really they are, "Can do, Will do, Have done," sort of people. Dean Savage has put a lot of work into studying the historical venues ashore and is a walking encyclopaedia on the topic and was also immensely proud of the boat as well. Nothing was too much for him to do. Steve Kennedy proved to be a great star as well and put himself out for the passengers at every opportunity and was the instigator of creating a great atmosphere aboard and ashore. He also has a great future in your company.

When we left on the final day we were abnormally sad and felt towards the crew, as if we were leaving family behind. We want them to know how grateful we are for their efforts and also to thank you and your admin staff for making our trip marvelous, exciting and educational.

Thanks to all once again for an outstanding voyage. Please write to your crew and let them have our views on their extraordinary abilities. Sincerely, Bucky and Genie Maguire

Scottish Highlander - 10th July, 2005

Scottish Highlander luxury barge cruise in ScotlandCaptain Dan was a very safe, competent and congenial skipper. Divinia convinced him to give us an accordion recital on our last night on the boat and it was very enjoyable for all of us. It was compelling enough for several of us to seek out Scottish music CDs before we left the country on our ways back home. The boat was kept well and our every request was fulfilled by the always-cheerful and ever-busy Divinia. Anthony did a good job as the Chef; we were surprised that he was new at that occupation as he seemed like an old hand in the kitchen. Moshy was a careful and observant driver and great tour guide for the excursions we took away from the boat.

Of particular enjoyment was a side trip we took with Dan's father Jimmy to see some sheep shearing. We met Jimmy and his Border Collie Meg at one of the locks and wanted to take Meg with us (Dan said no because dogs weren't allowed in the accommodations. Dan said we could have Jimmy but we declined.). The owner of the farm welcomed us like family and the visit there was quite a treat for all of us.

We wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Scottish Highlander experience to everyone we know. It was a splendid and thoroughly enjoyable few days in bonnie Scotland for all of the Cummings clan. Please pass along our good wishes and appreciation to Dan and his crew. Kind regards, Bill. W. J. (Bill) Cummings

La Belle Epoque - 31st July August, 2005

luxury barge cruise on La Belle Epoque in Burgundy, FranceWe just got back from a week on the Belle Epoque and we had to tell you that it was the most perfect holiday experience we have ever had--it was beyond all expectations.The service, the ambience,the quiet yet exciting environment,the side trips and the marvellous elegant yet healthful meals all blended into the finest totality of living indeed a modern Belle Epoque. Capt Nick,to say the least a character, ran a great ship and the crew worked like a happy,efficient team . Louie the cook was beyond description--James the no 1 was especially kind, helpful and a pleasure to be helped by. Regards ,Gerry and Bill Goldberg

La Belle Epoque - 28th August, 2005

I have just returned to the U.S. after spending 6 glorious days on La Belle Epoque along with 5 other friends.and wanted to compliment the wonderful crew...They were all delightful and very informative...The two girls, Alex and Emily were charming and saw to all of our needs...The food prepared by Louie was scrumptious...a culinary delight!! James and Dean were always there to help us...even an emergency trip to the dentist where he did not speak English and James acted as translator... We were all very impressed with the trip and the crew...such a restful and stress free week!!! We will definitely "go barging" again!!!! - Claire Johnston

Captain's Profile

Rosa Captain Bernard Rogeon - from a sketch by guest Lesley Nixon, of Norfolk England Captain Bernard has been quite famous recently, appearing on TV in Rick Stein's "French Odyssey" programme, steering Rick gently through the glorious French countryside from Bordeaux to Toulouse on his journey between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

It's high time we found out a bit more about this modest French captain.

Captain Bernard has been involved in the hotel and catering industry from an early age, although we're not going to tell you how old he is!

His interest in cooking and wine were cultivated by his grandparents in Poitiers, where he spent many happy holidays with his grandmother in the kitchen and amongst his grandfather's vines and vegetable gardens. It was a good environment for a child to get a good grounding (pardon the pun!) into the important things in life!

At the age of 16 Bernard decided to take a course in hotel management in the delightful town of Strasbourg in Alsace where he spent 5 years learning all aspects of the hotel trade, including hands-on studies in cooking, restaurant management and hotel management.

Following his spell in Strasbourg, Captain Bernard felt the need to reinforce the Entente Cordiale on the shores of Jolly Old Blighty and spent 6 months working for a large hotel in Edinburgh - whether or not he tried the haggis is another question.

After doing his obligatory French military service, Bernard threw himself into his chosen profession. Hotel and restaurant management work took him across the country and back from Nancy in Lorraine to Lorient in Brittany to Aix-les-Bains in Savoie. On his return from Savoie, his career took a slightly different turn when a large hotel chain called upon his expertise to help them with their building designs for brand new hotels all over Europe, especially in England, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Bernard's experience of running hotels and kitchens were a perfect source from which the designers could draw so that the interiors of the hotels they built were practical as well as stylish.

The association with land-based hotels shifted when Bernard's friend Michel told him in 1993 about floating hotels - especially barges. Rosa was originally based in Burgundy at St Jean de Losnes, but later on she was brought down to the Garonne where she now has her home.

Captain Bernard has his home close by and you can tell from the way he speaks that he is very fond of this part of the country. He has many friends and a wealth of knowledge about the area and its people. That is why the production team for the TV programme "French Odyssey" found it so easy to plan their schedule, because Bernard was the perfect encyclopaedia to help them to put together a great programme.

Captain Bernard is very proud of the products of south west France - all visitors to Rosa are assured of a special insight into secret places hitherto unvisited by tourists where lovingly produced high quality products are nurtured.

Here is a run down on some of the culinary specialities of France with which you will be serenaded when you step on board Rosa:
  • "Garbure Gasconne" a chunky vegetable soup made from carrots, potatoes, cabbage, parsnips (poireaux), white Tarbais beans and preserved duck meat.
  • "Rocher Pyrénéen" special pastry dish cooked on a cone-shaped mould in the heat of the chimney breast - the pastry on the mould is cooked on a spit - this dish is unique to this part of France.
  • "Salmis de Palombe" - prepared in wine and blood - comme un civet des pigeon migrateurs, We are currently just coming into the season for pigeon shooting - this is a Gascony speciality.
  • "Cépes" delicious mushrooms which can be found at this time of the year. Prepared in a parsley sauce - un REGAL ! Bernard went up into the mountains on 25th September and picked 3.5 kilos in 4 hours.
  • In the middle of September, some clients tried noix fraiches et de vin blanc"bourru" - that's to say - grape "must" in the process of fermentation - still cloudy, a little fizzy, still sweet.

Visit Rosa   back to top

Trans Europe six week cruise
Avignon to Amsterdam Aboard Impressionniste
13th November to 23rd December 2005

Back in February we introduced our six week Trans Europe Cruise. Since then we have had quite a few enquiries about this voyage and l'Impressionniste's cabins are gradually filling up with enthusiastic folk wishing to stay two, three or six week on board.

For those who want to know more about this voyage of a lifetime, let us give you a more flavoursome description of the whole journey.

L'Impressionniste begins her journey at the French Provencal town of Avignon on the river Rhone on 13th November. A Champagne welcome is followed by the Captain's introduction to the cruise and a delicious gastronomic dinner, setting the scene for the glories to come.

A memorable tour of the walled town of Avignon with its famous bridge and Popes' palace plus a visit to the wine-making town of Chateauneuf du Pape are a great introduction to the region. The journey continues into prime vineyard country - past the vineyards of the Cotes du Rhone, Beaujolais and Maconnais - before entering Burgundy.

On route, we visit the historic town of Lyon with its wealth of Roman monuments, medieval churches and renaissance houses. France's second largest city, Lyon is at the confluence of the Rhone and the Saone and it's here where we join the second river on our cruise.

In Burgundy we explore Chalon-sur-Saone, the birthplace of modern-day photography. The great Romanesque Abbey of Cluny is but a hop, skip and jump from here and the photographic museum at St Loup de Varenne is an interesting visit. We leave the Saone and join the waters of the Burgundy Canal. The administrative and gastronomic capital of the Burgundy region is Dijon. Its historic treasures and beautiful architecture are well worth seeing. More wine-tasting opportunities are available at the Nuits St Georges vineyards.

Life becomes more pastoral as we head off along the tree-lined Burgundy Canal for a couple of days. Farms and villages dot the route and it's a perfect opportunity to wind down properly, enjoying l'Impressionniste's Jacuzzi, comfortable lounge and bar and the chance to cycle between the locks.

We begin our approach towards Paris on arrival at Fontainebleau, location of a beautiful Renaissance chateau and favourite residence of Napoleon in the 19th century. Just outside Paris we join the Seine, which takes us into the thriving capital city where we moor for a couple of days to explore. There are ample opportunities for shopping, museum visits, socialising, watching shows and getting the full flavour of the capital.

Leaving Paris, we head out eastwards into the region of Champagne and onto another river, the Marne. A visit to the region's capital, Reims, is an absolute "must" with its Roman catacombs, its mediaeval cathedral, coronation place of French kings, and headquarters to numerous Champagne manufacturers. Reims was also the location where the German capitulation was signed at the end of the 2nd World War. A visit to one of the famous French Champagne makers is of course included in our trip!

Leaving Champagne, we enter the region of Lorraine, with its undulating hills. The impressive fortified town of Toul is quite breathtaking and we can get a real feel for it as we sail through the fortifications of Vauban, one of France's greatest historical military architects, on the canal. On arrival in the magical town of Nancy, the capital of Lorraine, we are wowed by this wrought-iron masterpiece, with gates, balconies and fountains bearing witness to the great craftsmen of the time.

From there we continue to the German-sounding Metz, where the French language mingles with "Elsesserdutsch" which is an amazing mixture of French and German. Half-timbered houses gradually pepper the route and we know we're not far from a different culture.

Our journey continues through Thionville, one of the powerhouses of France, before we cross the border into the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, one of the three headquarters of the EEC.

Joining the river Moselle we head towards the German border. The countryside changes quite dramatically - steep slate cliffs surround us and we find ourselves surrounded by vertical vineyards. A visit to the lively town of Bernkastel provides us with our first chance to taste the wines of Germany. Our cruise continues along the winding river, past castles perched on cliffs to Koblenz where we meet the broad waters of the Rhine. Koblenz is another former Roman base, its name meaning "castle at the confluence" and an animated and charming town.

We continue downstream along the Rhine to Cologne, whose most famous tourist souvenir is Eau de Cologne or 4711. The cathedral is a mediaeval jewel, housing remains of the Three Wise Men and miraculously saved from war damage when the rest of the town was destroyed. We continue north to the border with the Netherlands, heading to Arnhem, a pleasant riverside town, but also place of pilgrimage for veterans of the 2nd World War.

From Arnhem, we continue across the Dutch countryside, enjoying the sight of the wildlife on the numerous canals and maybe the sight of people ice-skating on the fields. Farm houses and water-towers dot the countryside and cheerfully decorated shops and fairy-lights remind us that Christmas is near. Soon we arrive in Rotterdam, industrial capital, major international shipping centre and location of some modern architectural surprises.

The last day of the cruise, two days before Christmas, is in Amsterdam, business and entertainment centre of the Netherlands and man-made wonder with its 17th century houses on a ring-work of canals.

Trans Europe 6 Week Cruise Rates for 2005

Per person: £6,000
Per person: US $12,000

Visit Impressionniste for more details or contact us today to find out more

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September Competition Winner

Last month you could win a superb prize featured on Rick Stein's website - Champagne and Truffles for three lucky winners. View the competition winners

October Competition

Spring Cruise for two on L'Impressionniste in Provence

This month you can win a cruise for two next Spring in Provence, aboard L'Impressionniste. Enter the competition

Thank you GoBarging

We thought we'd share this thank you note from one of our previous competition winners...

Dear Go Barging,

Just a quick note to let you know that the copy of "Rick Stein's French Odyssey" arrived today. The recipes sound truly appetizing and while I enjoy eating, it has never been my ambition to learn to cook. However, my wife, Erika promises that she is going to attempt to cook at least one or two of the recipes a week. Let's hope that I won't be writing to you at the end of winter to say that thanks to my Go Barging prize, I have gained 10 lbs.

Once again, many thanks for the book.

Best Wishes - Phillip Lane



Scottish Highlander is cruising gracefully into the Autumn months now and the scenery at this time of the year is glorious. Before we know it, Hallowe'en and St Andrew's Day will be upon us and then it will be Christmas! Scottish Highlander is available to receive guests all year round and offers cruises lasting 4 and 3 nights, in addition to her standard 6 night cruises.

In our eternal quest to be ready for the Winter season, the itineraries for Scottish Highlander's Christmas and New Year (or Hogmanay) cruises are now ready to view, with good old traditional Scottish entertainment, special festive menus, romantic scenery, invigorating Scottish air and a hearty welcome from our dedicated crew.

see our
New Year and Christmas Cruise itineraries here

Scottish Highlander Winter Breaks:
6 -8 pax charter - 5 days, 4 nights - from $13,000 or £7,500
6 -8 pax charter - 4 days, 3 nights -from $ 11,000 or £6,300

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 all for this 28th 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 November, 2005, so we'll see you then.

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