Wednesday, November 21, 2018

BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL



*** BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL ***
30% Off Private Barge Charters


Black Friday Special Offers

Valid on the vessels and dates below: Book between Thursday November 22nd and Tuesday November 27th November 2018 to receive 30% OFF listed charter rates. (Not to be combined with other special offers).



L'Art de Vivre


Departing April 14th 2019
Region - Burgundy
Capacity - 8 Passengers

Panache


Departing March 31st 2019
Region - Holland
Capacity - 12 Passengers




La Belle Epoque
 
 
Departing March 31st 2019
Region - Northern Burgundy
Capacity - 12 Passengers

Scottish Highlander
 
 
Departing April 14th 2019
Region - Scottish Highlands
Capacity - 8 Passengers




Anjodi
 
 
Departing April 28th 2019
Region - Canal du Midi
Capacity - 8 Passengers





Paradise Connections represents luxury hotel barges along various European waterways where attentive crew will pamper you with personalized service to ensure your enjoyment of this unique vacation.





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



Sunday, November 18, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving from Irish Barge Shannon Princess

Happy Thanksgiving

The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess (and Paradise Connections, too) would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

We would like to thank Ruairi and Olivia for this interesting and informative article on harvest time in Ireland.


from the Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess...

Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess - Barging cruises in Ireland

With Thanksgiving being this week, it got us thinking about the origins of harvest festivals and how the celebrations included ceremonies, family get togethers, games and food, a lot like today. In Ireland, the pre-Christian traditional harvest festival was known as Lughnasadh (pronounced loo-na-suh), named after the god of craftsmanship, Lugh. Of pagan origin, it marked the start of the harvest season, some time in August.

One of the few harvest celebrations to have remained to date, with links to Lughnasadh, is the Puck Fair in Co. Kerry. A tradition stretching back 400 years, it is a 3-day festival of storytelling, traditional music, horse fairs, street traders and a mountain goat is crowned King.  The itinerary includes lots of family fun such as puppet shows and face painting.


Harvest festivals – it's all about the food

From late Summer into Autumn, berries are in abundance and can be picked to make home made jams and preserves, a practice that is done less and less nowadays. Before the advent of the industrial era, humans relied on what nature provided and a bountiful harvest meant survival for families, unlike today where items are easily found in supermarkets.


Wild garlic, apples & nuts – the sight of nature’s provisions, with all their glorious colours, smells and tastes would have been a time for joy and celebration.

Of course, the most well-known harvest celebration is Thanksgiving in the US. Dating back to the early 17th century, it was originally only celebrated in New England by the pilgrims as a thanks for their first harvest.

Beginning in 1846, Sarah Josepha Hale wrote to five American presidents over 17 years, to advocate Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the American South. President Lincoln established a national holiday in 1863.

Traditional autumnal vegetables such as butternut squash & pumpkin are served with the main star of the show being the humble turkey.  One of the nicest elements to the tradition of Thanksgiving is that it brings families and friends together.


Celebrating food with Shannon Princess

All of the harvest festivals throughout history have their own origins but the one thing they have in common is being thankful for nature’s harvest and commemorating this with a celebration of food.

Here on the Shannon Princess, we like to celebrate the joy of food with our guests, every day of their vacation. Our chef Olivia, brings healthy, organic, homegrown produce to life in a multitude of scrumptious dishes from breakfast time right through to dinner. If you would like to know more, visit our menu pages.

Our classic cruise brings guests to some of Ireland’s most traditional locations. From castles and christian settlements to historical cities such as Galway, there are lots of places to explore when we moor up. Once back on the water, the Irish scenery is beautiful and ever changing as we cruise along the River Shannon – a real feast for the eyes!

Enjoy the mouth-watering food aboard the Shannon Princess

Happy Thanksgiving from all on board the Shannon Princess.

Thank you and Happy Holidays, Olivia & Ruairi...



About The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess

The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess - Cruising the waterways of Ireland


The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess is a very popular barge and they book up quickly. They are almost sold out for the 2019 season. 


Current availability for 2019:
  • July 21-27 : 2 cabins open
  • July 28-August 3 : 5 cabins open - available for either a private charter or a cabin cruise week
  • Aug 4-10 : 4 cabins open
  • Sept 1-7 : 4 cabins open
We are now accepting bookings for the 2020 season.


Shannon Princess

The Shannon Princess has been thoughtfully designed throughout. The barge's inviting interior makes a charming floating living space – a perfect "Home away from home" for guests to enjoy. The welcoming atmosphere is enhanced by Ruairi and Olivia’s love of antiquities, crafts, pottery and art with many works by established and local Irish artists.  On board the barge a friendly & relaxed mood has been created by carefully mixing casual informality with quality service.

The Shannon Princess provides accommodation for up to 10 guests in 5 cabins which can be configured as double or twins, each with ensuite facilities. This barge is owner-operated with a total of five professional crew in attendance.You will be charmed with excellent but friendly service, gorgeous food & wines, and share in a slice of local life and knowledge.







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


Monday, November 05, 2018

Irish Barge Shannon Princess Shares Brownie Recipe

The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess, turns our attention to a recipe on IrishCentral.com...


Bailey’s Irish Cream Swirl Brownie

A delicious Irish-ified recipe for delectable, boozy brownies.


Ingredients

For the Brownies:
  • 6 ounces sweet baking chocolate (I used semisweet), chopped
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½  cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½  cup all-purpose flour
  • ½  tsp baking powder
  • ¼  tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the Swirl:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼  cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Bailey’s Irish cream  

For the Glaze:
  • 4 ounces sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp Bailey’s Irish cream
  • Milk to thin out (amount will vary) 

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 8-inch square nonstick baking pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat until well blended. Beat in egg. Mix in flour, Irish Cream, and vanilla. Set mixture aside.

Stir baking chocolate and butter in a heavy small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in large bowl until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in chocolate mixture and extracts. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread half of chocolate batter (about 1 1/4 cups) in prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula, spread cream cheese mixture over chocolate batter. Spoon remaining chocolate batter over top of cream cheese mixture. Using the tip of a knife, gently swirl through the batter, forming marble design. Bake brownies until tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes.

Make glaze. Combine powdered sugar and Irish cream. If too thick thin out with milk.

While still warm brush (using a pastry brush) glaze over brownies. Let sit for 15 minutes. Cut into squares.

Enjoy.

There's still a few dates open for 2019.


About The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess


Shannon Princess entering a lock


Shannon Princess

The Shannon Princess has been thoughtfully designed throughout. The barge's inviting interior makes a charming floating living space – a perfect "Home away from home" for guests to enjoy. The welcoming atmosphere is enhanced by Ruairi and Olivia’s love of antiquities, crafts, pottery and art with many works by established and local Irish artists.  On board the barge a friendly & relaxed mood has been created by carefully mixing casual informality with quality service.

The Shannon Princess provides accommodation for up to 10 guests in 5 cabins which can be configured as double or twins, each with ensuite facilities. This barge is owner-operated with a total of five professional crew in attendance.You will be charmed with excellent but friendly service, gorgeous food & wines, and share in a slice of local life and knowledge.






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



Thursday, October 25, 2018

Special offer for French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre

The French Hotel Barge SAVOIR VIVRE has a very special offer for their first week of the 2019 season...

French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre Cruises The Canal de Bourgogne in Burgundy


Savoir Vivre - Special Offer


Savoir Vivre has a very special offer for the first week (March 31 - April 6) of their 2019 barging season with cabins discounted to $2500 per person. That's only $5000 for a cabin for two! You save $2500 off their normal value season rate of $7500/cabin.


  About The French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre 



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. They have just announced that beginning next season (2019), Savoir Vivre will be including transfers from Paris to Burgundy where the barge is moored.


Savoir Vivre is 80 feet long, air conditioned (central heating, too), has 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, onboard 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).


Book now! Contact Paradise Connections.
CLICK HERE




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
 



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Availability 2019 for Irish Barge Shannon Princess


We recently did a post on the Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess and exploring Irish folklore. CLICK HERE to read October 5th 2018 post.


Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess - Up to 10 guests

It looks like Shannon Princess is going to fill up and sell out 2019 very soon, so please book now for 2019 or plan well in advance for the 2020 barging season. We are taking bookings for 2020.


Current 2019 availability for Shannon Princess


Open weeks - UPDATED NOV. 18, 2018

Current availability for 2019:
  • July 21-27 : 2 cabins open
  • July 28-August 3 : 5 cabins open - available for either a private charter or a cabin cruise week
  • Aug 4-10 : 4 cabins open
  • Sept 1-7 : 4 cabins open
We are now accepting bookings for the 2020 season.

Rates
  • Individual cabin bookings: $5350/person, double occupancy, For single occupancy add $1800.
  • Private charter for up to  6 guests=$48,300 | 8 guests=46,800 | 10 guests=$49,599

2020
The 2020 calendar is currently completely open... Go For It!


About The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess


Shannon Princess entering a lock


Shannon Princess

The Shannon Princess has been thoughtfully designed throughout. The barge's inviting interior makes a charming floating living space – a perfect "Home away from home" for guests to enjoy. The welcoming atmosphere is enhanced by Ruairi and Olivia’s love of antiquities, crafts, pottery and art with many works by established and local Irish artists.  On board the barge a friendly & relaxed mood has been created by carefully mixing casual informality with quality service.

The Shannon Princess provides accommodation for up to 10 guests in 5 cabins which can be configured as double or twins, each with ensuite facilities. This barge is owner-operated with a total of five professional crew in attendance.You will be charmed with excellent but friendly service, gorgeous food & wines, and share in a slice of local life and knowledge.






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


Friday, October 05, 2018

IRISH BARGE SHANNON PRINCESS : Folklore

from the Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess...

Explore Irish Folklore on the River Shannon




The Land of Saints and Scholars


The island of Ireland, the "land of saints and scholars" is associated with many mythological tales from the past. As we cruise along the Shannon we visit medieval and ancient sites steeped in Irish folklore and history. According to mythology, the River Shannon is named after the Celtic goddess "Sionna". Throughout the years the river was a vital source of survival for many prehistoric people that lived along its shores.

Our barge skipper, Ruairi, will escort you to many historical sites along the river cruise. Throughout the journey we explore medieval towns and take you to ancient ruins that have become popular places of pilgrimage for lovers of Irish folklore. We travel to Killaloe, once a court town to the High Kings of Ireland and now a quiet riverside village. We also take a trip to the spiritual Clonmacnoise (see picture below) founded by St Ciaran, in the 6th Century. This is a monastic settlement with an ancient burial ground where the High Kings of Tara and Connacht rest.





The Folklore and Legend of Queen Maeve

The Tain Bo Culaine is a legendary tale of Queen Maeve of Connacht and the prized Bull of Cooley. We join the route of the Tain Trail along the charming lake shores of Lough Ree where we retrace the journey and the battles between Maeve and her armies and Cuchulainn. It was here where Queen Maeve sought refuge for many years. She died at the hands of Conor of Ulster who struck her with a single sling fired from a mile across the lake.


Exploring Lough Ree

The third largest lake in Ireland running from Lanesborough, Co. Longford to Athlone, Co. Roscommon and Westmeath. Lough Ree translates as "The Lake of Kings". Locals suggests it was called this due to seven kings all named John who once ruled a place close by called Rindoon. Lough Ree is the scene of many sightings of the Lough Ree monster. You can read more about the Lough Ree monster here. It so happened that St. Ciaran’s book of gospels were dropped into the lake by his brother and it is believed that many years later were retrieved fully intact along with his altar bell.




Quaker Island/Inchcleraun Island

The island was a place of pilgrimage and religious learning with the remains of seven churches including a monastery. This is an example of how Ireland got its nickname of “The Land of Saints and Scholars” as it became the refuge for pilgrims after the period of Christianity. The largest church on the island is called the Templemurray. According to old folklore any woman who enters will meet her death within twelve months (the curse of Templemurray).


Celts at Craggaunoowen

Moving down southwards on the River Shannon, we explore the living past at a Celtic bronze age settlement at Craggaunowen located near Quin, Co. Clare. Craggaunowen features an open air museum including reconstructions of ancient Irish architecture, dolmens, crannogs and currachs. Experience how the Celts made their homes on a Crannog and gain a fascinating insight to how they lived.




Throughout your journey on the Shannon Princess, you will experience snippets of Irish folklore as we take you to some fascinating locations steeped in ancient history. Our barge cruise combines a luxurious environment with a relaxing pace, what better way to learn about Ireland’s past?



About The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess



Shannon Princess entering a lock

The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess is a very popular barge and they book up quickly. They are almost sold out for next season (2019). Current availability for 2019: July 14-20 (2 cabins open),  July 21-27 (3 cabins open, Aug 4-10 (5 cabins open).We are now accepting bookings for the 2020 season.

Shannon Princess


The Shannon Princess has been thoughtfully designed throughout. The barge's inviting interior makes a charming floating living space – a perfect "Home away from home" for guests to enjoy. The welcoming atmosphere is enhanced by Ruairi and Olivia’s love of antiquities, crafts, pottery and art with many works by established and local Irish artists.  On board the barge a friendly & relaxed mood has been created by carefully mixing casual informality with quality service.

The Shannon Princess provides accommodation for up to 10 guests in 5 cabins which can be configured as double or twins, each with ensuite facilities. This barge is owner-operated with a total of five professional crew in attendance.You will be charmed with excellent but friendly service, gorgeous food & wines, and share in a slice of local life and knowledge.






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


Thursday, October 04, 2018

RECIPE: Ratatouille Nicoise

A Perfect Recipe For Autumn : Ratatouille Nicoise

This time of year is when many vegetables are harvested at their best having benefited from the summer warmth. Our barge chefs like to buy this fresh produce from local markets or canal lock-keepers along the cruise route who have grown them in their waterside gardens, enabling them to prepare tasty dishes to accompany their fish and meat main courses,.

One of these dishes is Ratatouille Nicoise, a popular dish with the French. We hope you will give this recipe a try.

Ratatouille Nicoise



Serves
Six

Ingredients

3 tbs Olive oil
1 large Onion, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 large Green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 pounds Tomatoes
1 Aubergine (eggplant), peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 tsp Thyme
1 Bay leaf
12 Black olives, pitted & halved
Salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and the onion and green pepper. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until just softened but not brown.
  2. Increase the heat slightly and stir in the garlic and tomatoes. Cook for another 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the diced aubergine, courgette, thyme and bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the olives and cook covered for about 10 minutes. Avoid overcooking so that the vegetables don’t disintegrate.

Serve Hot or Cold






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



Thursday, September 20, 2018

French Hotel Barge Enchante - Harvest Time

I love the Doctor Who reference!


"No, they're not Daleks! It's harvest time and half of these stainless steel tanks are now full of grapes picked these past few weeks. The whites will stay in there 3-4 months and the reds 8-12."
 — Barge Enchante at Chateau Saint Jacques d'Albas
September 16, 2018



About The French Hotel Barge Enchante


Enchante

Enchanté moored in Le Somail


Book now! Contact Paradise Connections.
CLICK HERE




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


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Barge Finesse : Visit the Chateau de Germolles


Château de Germolles - Southern Burgundy



As one of the finest surviving examples of a Burgundian ducal residence, a visit to Château de Germolles is a popular excursion on French Hotel Barge Finesse's itinerary in Southern Burgundy. It’s a serene setting in which to learn more about the influential dukes who shaped Burgundy in the late medieval and early Renaissance periods.


Philip the Bold

The Valois Dukes of Burgundy – Philip the Bold, John the Fearless, Philip the Good and Charles the Bold – were thought to have ruled over the “Golden Age” of medieval Burgundy, when the groundwork was laid for both a cultural and an economic Renaissance in the region. Philip made the impressive Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy in Dijon his central seat, adding a vast ceremonial hall and kitchens where 30 chefs could prepare a banquet all at once.

In 1380 the Château de Germolles, described as “austere” at first, was offered by Philip to his wife, Margaret III of Flanders. The house would soon be turned into a refined and luxurious country retreat by the Duchess, boasting murals painted by the best artists from the Burgundian School.

Although the palace at Dijon retains very little of its architecture from this period, the house at Germolles is a wonderfully preserved example of the splendour of the ducal court on the eve of the Renaissance.


Visiting the Château



Heraldic frescos decorate the private apartments of Margaret’s country residence; the chapels and the Hall of Honour are also impressive late medieval statements, while the thirteenth-century storeroom gives you a glimpse into the effort it would have taken downstairs to maintain such a grand house. Tours are often conducted by the present-day owners of the property, who are able to share a great deal of the château’s history. History lovers aboard the hotel barge Finesse are always impressed and enlightened by this fascinating visit.


About The French Hotel Barge Finesse


Finesse


Book now! Contact Paradise Connections.
CLICK HERE




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