European Waterways has expanded its Ultra Deluxe barge category by adding two double-decker hotel vessels to its fleet, with a capacity of up to eight passengers and a crew of five.
Enchanté and Finesse reflect the ultimate in luxury canal barging. Hotel barge Enchanté cruises the Canal du Midi, while Finesse explores the Canal du Centre and the Canal de Bourgogne in Southern Burgundy.
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Their purchases strengthens European Waterways’ status as the largest operator of luxury hotel barges in Europe, now with a total of 17 vessels. The purchases also come as barging holidays move out of the niche market category and into the mainstream, with more travellers discovering “the joys of hotel barging.”
“The surge in canal barge cruising is part of a growing trend among travelers who seek out ‘slow travel’ experiences that allow them to become immerse in the history, culture and cuisine of the cruise region,” said Derek Banks, European Waterways’ Managing Director.
“They are also ideal for today’s travel environment, as they can be chartered by families and small groups to create an exclusive ‘travel bubble’ that allows them to stay together throughout the entire six-night, all-inclusive cruises,” Banks said.
Enchanté and Finesse offer the perfect mix of luxury accommodations and modern amenities. They feature luxurious ensuite cabins, large sun decks for alfresco dining, and a spa pool. Guests also have access to bicycles to pedal along the gentle towpaths or explore the nearby villages. Barge highlights also include a spacious saloon with an open demonstration galley where the master chef prepares the day’s gourmet meals in full view of guests.
European Waterways’ itineraries include wine tasting excursions to some of the region’s most prestigious vineyards, as well as tours of castles, aristocratic estates, and medieval villages. For the 2022 season, the company will also implement a series of upgrades that include the addition of Mercedes minibus to chauffer guests to their daily excursions, upgrades to interior décor and the expansion of unique “Insider Experiences” such as live onboard music and private tours.
Enchanté and Finesse are participating in European Waterways’ spring 2022 specials that offer up to 20% off full-boat charters, valid when booked before 21 February 2022. The complete list of specials is available at https://www.europeanwaterways.