Monday, April 16, 2018

Dutch Tulip Cruise for 2018


Fancy barging in Holland this spring? There is still a chance!

The Hotel Barge Panache has two of six cabins available on their May 6-12, 2018 Dutch Tulip trip. They also have four open on their Two-Country Holland-Belgium cruise May 20-26, 2018.

Both of these weeks offer a 20% discount.



The Netherlands are famous, of course, for tulips, but as a land with a rich artistic and cultural history, it has a lot more besides. The western provinces of this land of water are populated by windmills which sit above the polders and along the very river that gave its name to Amsterdam, while cities such as Haarlem and Delft are meccas for lovers of pottery and art. A barging cruise uncovers some of Holland's hidden gems and is the perfect way to experience the best the country has to offer.

Panache cruising in the Netherlands

About Hotel Barge Panache

The 128-foot Panache is a 12-passenger luxury hotel barge of classic Dutch design, fully air conditioned with spacious public areas and six en-suite cabins, with your choice of twin or double bed configuration. En-suite bathrooms have twin sinks and oversize showers with massage jets. Panache is traditionally furnished in a traditional ship style with brass and mahogany, creating a comfortable and charming ambience. The salon and dining room have large panoramic windows for viewing the passing countryside, as well as comfortable sofas, books and music, and an always open inclusive bar. The sun deck is spacious and has a heated spa pool; a perfect place to watch the sun set after dinner.

For current pricing and availability contact Paradise Connections.
CLICK HERE




Let's Tip Toe Through The Tulips !


Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book PANACHE
View Panache's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com
 



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Special offers & discounts updated

Please visit our SPECIAL OFFERS page for details on discounts and the special offers mentioned below.

Discounts

Many of our barges have 10% or 20% off their normal rates for selected weeks during the 2018 barging season. The majority of these discounts expire on May 14, 2018.


Special Offers

We also have a number of interesting special offers, such as:
  • Free Hotel Night for 2018 private charter bookings in France:











Visit Highclere Castle - English Hotel Barge Magna Carta - Royal River Thames

Select weeks will include a visit to Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey), one of England's most beautiful Victorian castles set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland.
  • July 15-21, 2018 : Two cabins open
  • Aug 12-18, 2018 : One cabin open



  • For the Single Traveler... No Single Supplement on select dates


Available on the following 2018 Departures (offer expires May 14, 2018):
 Please note: cannot be combined with other special offers.




Some visitors make sure their outfits are as eyecatching
as the floral displays in the Great Pavilion

  • May 20-26, 2018 - One cabin open with 20% discount



Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.



Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barge trip
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com
 





Friday, April 06, 2018

How to cut the cheese

Liz, from the French Hotel Barge EMMA who cruises the Canal du Midi, pointed out this cheese cutting graphic found on http://eating.be.


Liz says:
All our guests will remember getting the cheese cutting lesson. Although we always said not to cut the point off the Brie but to angle it.


Thanks, Liz, but I love cheese no matter how it is cut. Just put the platter in front of me!



Emma is a wonderful barge with a tip-top crew...

Emma moored along the canal du midi in the South of France

French Barge Emma

The French Hotel Barge EMMA is owned and operated by Liz and René Jacquot and are assisted by two additional crew members. They cruise along the Canal du Midi in the south of France between Beziers & Carcassonne and Carcassonne & Toulouse. They also have a Beziers to Aigues-Mortes itinerary available upon request.

EMMA is fully air conditioned and also has central heating, if needed. There are three guest cabins with ensuite private bathrooms; one cabin has a queen bed, while the other two can be configured as either queens or twins.

The interior is bright and spacious with beautiful arched double glazed windows which give you a good view of the outside countryside while cruising. The French oak furniture has been hand made by a master craftsman and the whole effect is warm and inviting.

View Emma's online brochure to learn more. Contact Paradise Connections: Send us an email for pricing and current availability.


EMMA can tailor your charter to your interests... wine tastings & vineyard visits, cooking, golf, tennis, walking tours, cycling tours, or just time out to relax and enjoy a side of France that most travellers don't experience.

Emma is available for private charters and individual cabin bookings for shared charter weeks. They also offer 5-night charters if that works better for your vacation plans and budget.



Take a break and enjoy the south of France this summer!


Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book EMMA 
View Emma's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com
 


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Go Barging This Spring on the European Waterways

Here are just 4 great examples...

After the frosty storms of this past winter, there’s nothing like a rejuvenating spring break to blow away the cobwebs and show your face some sunshine. March, April and May are the ideal months for a barge cruise on continental Europe, when temperatures are high enough to soak up some much needed Vitamin D, yet mild enough to explore fully without worrying about the heat.



Burgundy

The beautiful Burgundian countryside can be fully appreciated on a cruise early in the year. Whether you’re biking down the picturesque towpath of the Canal du Bourgogne, driving through the region’s rolling vineyards, or simply relaxing with a glass of wine on the barge’s sun deck as you glide down the canal – we believe that Burgundy is superb in the spring.


We have several barges in Burgundy. Click on their names to view their online brochures:




Italy

The city of Venice is a fascinating feast for the eyes at any time of the year, but the beauty of the lagoon is especially apparent in the spring months. Nothing can beat a stroll along the Istrian sea wall, constructed in the nineteenth century, with astounding views of the Adriatic.


View online brochure: La Bella Vita


Canal du Midi

Birdwatchers will be in their element cruising the Canal du Midi in the spring when cruising through the “Petite Camargue”. This region is a haven for wildfowl such as Bee Eaters, African Rollers and the iconic pink flamingo.


We have several barges on the Canal du Midi. Click on their names to view their online brochures:



Holland

Last but not least... Holland, of course! In late March and early April its world-famous tulips are in full and riotous bloom. If you’d like to witness the spectacle yourself, get in touch to find out about the special tulip cruises that we have at this time of the year with excursions to Keukenhof Gardens and the Aalsmeer flower auction.


Two barges to choose from:  La Nouvelle Etoile  —   Panache




Make the Most of Spring with a Barging Cruise


Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barge trip
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com
 




Saturday, March 24, 2018

RECIPE: Breaded Camembert with a Port and Red Currant Sauce




This beautiful Baked Breaded Camembert with a Port and Red Currant Sauce recipe is a clear champion when it comes to dinner parties. Baked breaded Camembert is hassle-free and full of with flavor.

INGREDIENTS - Serves 4
  • 1 Camembert (not too ripe)
  • 4 oz fine bread crumbs
  • 1 beaten egg yolk
  • Small jar red currants in their natural juices
  • 3/4 cup port
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tbs red currant jelly
  • Salt and ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Cut the Camembert into quarters. Dip the quarters in the beaten egg yolk and then in the bread crumbs, making sure they are well covered. Place the Camembert in the freezer.
  2. To make the sauce, place the red currants, including the juice, into a saucepan. Add the port, lemon juice, red currant jelly, and seasoning. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Keep sauce on a low heat while cooking the Camembert.
  3. To cook the breaded Camembert, remove from the freezer 30 minutes before cooking. Lightly brush with nut oil and bake in a 475°F (245°C) oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  4. Serve with the port and red currant sauce.



Enjoy


Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barge trip
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com
 




Thursday, March 08, 2018

French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre - Special Offer

AVAILABILITY UPDATED: APRIL 6, 2018 
(Hurry, booking up quickly)

The luxury crewed French Hotel Barge SAVOIR VIVRE offers both cabin cruises and private barge charters along the Canal de Bourgogne in the Burgundy region of France. This popular hotel barge has a special offer that we'd like to share...


French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre - Barging cruises in Burgundy France


SPECIAL OFFER

20% discount off remaining open dates for 2018 season.

Dates open for private charters or cabin bookings (4 cabins currently available):
  • April 1 (value season), 22, 29
  • July 22
  • August 19

Dates open for cabin bookings:
  • Aug 12

 Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.


ABOUT SAVOIR VIVRE

Savoir Vivre is an 8-passenger, hotel barge that cruises along the Canal de Bourgogne in the Burgundy region of France.

Savoir Vivre is 80 feet long, air conditioned (central heating, too), 4 identical guest cabins which can be configured with a queen or two twin beds, each having ensuite private bathrooms, flat screen TV, DVD, iPod dock,  internet where available, 8 bicycles, etc...

Savoir Vivre is a bit different to the other hotel barges that we represent as they do not have an onboard chef. Pastries for the continental breakfast are supplied by the local baker. Lunch is catered by professional chefs who meet up with the boat with their prepared meal. Dinners are off the boat in locally selected restaurants (included in charter fee).

 Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.



Shall we pencil you in ?

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book SAVOIR VIVRE
View Savoir Vivre's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com
 


Monday, March 05, 2018

Italian Hotel Barge La Bella Vita - Visit Villa Ca’Zen

The Italian Hotel Barge La Bella Vita, accommodating a maximum of 20 guests, offers canal/ river cruises in Italy including Venice, the Islands of the Venetian Lagoon, the Bianca Canal, and Po Valley. The Po River flows through the north of the country and provides the perfect setting from which to discover its landscape, people and history in the most delightful way.

One popular excursion on this Italian river cruise through the Veneto region is the lovely Villa Ca’Zen, a 17th-century villa in the Po Delta Nature Reserve, Italy’s biggest regional park. The villa’s long and interesting history also has a link to one of Britain’s greatest poets: Lord Byron (more about that later).
 Ca'Zen

Early History

In the early 1700s, many wealthy Venetian families established grand estates throughout the Po Delta region, using the area for shooting, fishing and crop cultivation. The Ca’Zen estate was built by the Zen family around that time, and is situated on the site of a small stone tabernacle that dates back to 1459 and is dedicated to Saint Margherita.

The original estate included the Venetian-style villa, along with a chapel, stables and a portico. The chapel has a beautiful aspect directly facing the River Po and contains two important statues (from the famous Bolognese School) that depict Mary and the Archangel Gabriel during the Annunciation.

In the early 1800s, when the estate passed from the Zen family’s hands to the Marchesi Guiccioli of Ravenna, two extra wings were added to the villa, along with some outlying cottages and several large granary barns.


Lord Byron

The history of the villa took on a romantic twist through its association with Lord Byron, who is perhaps the most romantic of all the great Romantic poets. Byron fell deeply in love with Contessa Teresa Gamba who was already spoken for as the wife of Alessandro Guiccioli.

Despite her marriage to Guiccioli, the attraction between the Contessa and Byron was instant and mutual and they became lovers. Angered by their liaison, her husband sent her away to languish in the family estate (Ca’Zen) far from the social life of Venice in an attempt to place distance between the lovers. Alas for Guiccioli, Byron instead pursued his passion and secretly travelled to the estate to be with Teresa. It was from here that the poet penned some of his most celebrated and beautiful works, many of which were dedicated to his lady love and the river.


Beyond Byron

In the ensuing years, the estate was taken over by the Casalicchio-Avanzo family, and it was the wife of Cavalier Pericle Avanzo, Elaine Avanzo Westropp Bennett, who suggested using part of the country house to rent out to visitors. Its location in the heart of the environmental reserve is ideal for a host of outdoor pursuits. Today, the villa is also very popular as a wedding venue.

The romance, history, culture and landscape of this relatively unspoilt region combine to create a truly memorable experience both on and off the water.


About La Bella Vita


La Bella Vita

La Bella Vita is a stylish 20-passenger vessel offering comfortable, fully air-conditioned accommodations with a choice of single or double beds. She has two upper-deck junior suites and eight lower-deck staterooms, all with en-suite facilities; and a bright, spacious dining room/bar area. Louvred doors open to the side decks to give a perfect viewing platform. Above, there is a huge sun deck with an awning and comfortable loungers to relax on with a drink and a good book, or just watch the world go by.


See our newly updated brochure for La Bella Vita: CLICK HERE


Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.



Visit Italy this year, with La Bella Vita

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book LA BELLA VITA
View La Bella Vita's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com
 


Saturday, March 03, 2018

Walking The Scottish Highlands

Scotland’s popularity as a tourist destination has soared over the last few years, and with its spellbinding natural landscapes, historic cities and unique culture it’s not hard to see why.

Barge Cruises Through The Highlands of Scotland

Scottish Hotel Barge Spirit of Scotland

An all-inclusive, crewed barging charter is an excellent platform for a walking trip through the Scottish Highlands. We have two hotel barges that offer guided walking-themed cruises:


Munros and Glencoe


With some 282 Munros (a Scottish mountain at least 3,000 feet in height) and more than 30,000 lochs, Scotland is the ideal place for a stroll. The Munros were first listed in 1891 by Sir Hugh Munro, at the time his list caused a fair amount of uproar as there were only thought to be around 30 mountains of that stature. Since its inception “Munro Bagging” has become a popular pursuit for walkers and hikers alike, this refers to the practice of reaching the summit of a Munro, although with 282 to tick off your list you’d have to be fairly dedicated!

Somewhat of a mecca for British walkers, Glencoe is an enigmatic blend of troubled history and dramatic glens, infamous for both the MacDonald massacre of 1692 and the towering peaks of the three sisters; here you will find a myriad of trails from the light (at 45 minutes) to the somewhat strenuous (at 7-9 hours).


Highland Castles & Cities

Eilean Dolan Castle

Encounter the incandescent yellow of the wild gorse and the deep purple of the heather carpeted highlands as you stroll around the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle or the incredibly scenic Loch Oich, the highest point of the Caledonian Canal. A short drive away is the stunning Eilean Dolan castle, featuring in the films “Highlander” and “The World Is Not Enough” the castle overlooks three sea lochs and there is no shortage of space for exploration.

In the unlikely event you don’t find yourself enamoured with the beautiful Scottish countryside, Inverness, considered the capital city of the Highlands, is a gem of a place for a ramble. Bursting at the seams with culture, music and ancient architecture it is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, and yet despite its rapidly expanding population it still retains the authentic feel of a time honoured Highland town. If you’re interested in hiking in Scotland or walking holidays then you might consider a hotel barge cruise as the perfect way to get to the heart of the highlands.


Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections


Scottish Hotel Barges

While the waterway itself is very interesting, there are many other fascinating aspects of the Scottish Highlands that you will enjoy.

Click map to enlarge


We represent two hotel barges who travel this route...


SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER


SPIRIT OF SCOTLAND


Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.




Take a trip to Scotland this year


Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barge trip
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com
 




Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Special Offers UPDATED

Earlier in the week we updated our Special Offers page for European Barging Cruises.

Of the barges participating, many have 10% or 20% off their normal rates for selected weeks. The majority of these discounts expire on April 3, 2013.

There are also "extras" such as a free Gondola ride with Italian Hotel Barge La Bella Vita.



We are in the process of updating our online brochures for hotel barges in our fleet. This includes updating the code, photos, specifications, layout diagrams, itineraries, cuisine, etc. We have just finished updating our fleet in Great Britain: Scottish Highlander, Spirit of Scotland, Shannon Princess and Magna Carta. Last night we started on Italian Hotel Barge La Bella Vita.

Magna Carta is offering their "Downton Abbey" cruise this season. Even though the TV series has now ended, Downton Abbey enthusiasts are still excited about walking in the footsteps of the talented actors and actresses who made it such a captivating drama. Select weeks will include a visit to Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey), one of England's most beautiful Victorian castles set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland. The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679, and the current castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which in turn was built on the foundations of the medieval palace owned by the Bishops of Winchester for some 800 years.

Visit Highclere Castle - English Hotel Barge Magna Carta - Royal River Thames

The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess has two cabins available. Check it out! Of course, you can book early for the 2019 season as spots book up fast.


Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.



Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barge trip
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com