Tuesday, May 22, 2018

English Hotel Barge Magna Carta -- New Itinerary

The Royal Treatment - Our Most Regal Cruise


In celebration of the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle, the 8-passenger, English Hotel Barge Magna Carta is launching a new and highly exclusive "Royal Cruise” along the River Thames.  This new itinerary, created through a special arrangement with members of several historic households, gives guests the "royal treatment," with private, guided tours of fabulous castles and stately homes, as well as onboard luxuries and gourmet meals "fit for a king.” Among itinerary highlights, the vessel moors beneath Windsor Castle and guests enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour led by a serving Military Knight that includes the site of the wedding, St Georges Chapel.

Downton Abbey & The Home of the Crown

The "Royal Cruise" provides guests an incredible opportunity to stand on some of the most iconic grounds where kings, dukes and earls once walked, in the company of actual descendants of these royal lineages. Thanks to the wedding, Windsor Castle looms large on the itinerary, but it is just one of the many sites and attractions enjoyed by guests as they cruise one of the most idyllic stretches of the River Thames.

Throughout the cruise, the legendary beauty of the English countryside is on full display, populated by royal palaces, majestic homes, and sites steeped in British history.  Among these is Highclere Castle, home of the Earl of Carnarvon and the "real" Downton Abbey, where guests will be given exclusive access to the house and grounds in the company of members of the household. Guests also visit Stonor Park, one of the oldest, and still inhabited, stately homes, where the Honorable William Stonor, son of the present Baron Camoys and heir to the title, rewards them with a private tour.

Secrets from The Butler...

Other exclusive tours include Dorney Court, a 15th century Tudor Manor House that should be well-known to fans of master sleuth Hercule Poirot, as much of his escapades were filmed here.  Guests will also indulge in a traditional English afternoon tea at the 350-year old Cliveden estate, former home to William Waldorf Astor, and enjoy a tour of the grounds that include a Parterre, Chinese water garden and topiary.  At tea, they will be regaled with a "butler’s talk" from a Cliveden staff member that encompasses the intrigues, secrets and scandals of aristocratic life over the years.


Book now! Contact Paradise Connections.
CLICK HERE


Originally built in the 1930’s, the Magna Carta’s design and interior décor reflect the charm, grace and elegance of its English surroundings.  A true “floating country hotel,” it features generous use of fine mahogany, teak and oak woods, and a spacious saloon and dining area with large, picture windows.  The décor is complemented by modern conveniences such as underfloor heating, air conditioned en suite cabins, and Wi-Fi.


Whether walking the historic estate of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, on a personal guided tour by a member of the palace community, or cruising past the Magna Carta Memorial – the actual site where the document was sealed – the "Royal Cruise" offers a true immersion into British history and its royal families. See the full itinerary here.




Interested ?  Let's reserve your spot !




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



Sunday, May 13, 2018

Barging in Scotland : Destinations, Sights


Scotland : 5 Must See Destinations


See the settings that inspired Skyfall, walk the halls of Macbeth’s castle and sample smooth scotch amidst the savage highlands.


Glencoe


Often described as a highland paradise, Glencoe’s turbulent, Skyfall-esque scenery is jaw dropping. Wildlife, undulating mountain walks, and cosy cabins abound. For the movie aficionados, you might even spot Hagrid’s Hut, as much of the Harry Potter series was filmed in these highlands.


Cawdor Castle


Constructed in the 14th century as a private fortress, Cawdor Castle is among the most iconic of the world’s castles. Perhaps you recognise the name from Shakespeare’s “Scottish play” when Duncan makes Macbeth Thane of Cawdor? What you probably won’t be aware of is the magnificent gardens that surround the castle; well worth a visit of themselves.


Glen Ord Distillery


Glen Ord is somewhat of a Scottish institution. In 2018 they will celebrate their 180th anniversary; almost two centuries of creating world-class scotch, including the renowned Singleton of Glen Ord. Whisky aside, the distillery is a marvel with gargantuan stills and archaic oak barrels that will interest even those who are teatotal.


Urquhart Castle


Situated on the banks of Loch Ness, these spectacular ruins comprise battlements, tower, prison cell, and a completely functional trebuchet. A long and bloody history surrounds them, not to mention the thick fog that often enshrouds the lake and nearby mountains.


See these sights and more...

If the thought of these historic sights interest you, then there can be only one way to see them. We have two barges to choose from: The Spirit of Scotland and Scottish Highlander.

Imagine rounding the bend to Loch Ness and viewing Urquhart Castle from the water, sipping a 20-year old single malt as you gaze out to the green and purple gorse of the mountainside. Your cruise is just a click away.


Book now! Contact Paradise Connections.
CLICK HERE


Scottish Hotel Barges

The Caledonian Canal itself is very interesting. Our barges cruise between Banavie and Muirtown.

Click map to enlarge

Scottish Highlander

Spirit Of Scotland




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, May 10, 2018

Making Roquefort in 1927

Thanks to Liz, owner-operator of the French Hotel Barge EMMA, for sharing this YouTube video with us.

 
Roquefort: Fabrication du Roquefort en 1927

Living in France for over a decade made us cheese aficionados. J'aime le fromage!

The above is an edited version of a 20-minute digitalized film from 1927 on the Roquefort AOP channel that has explanatory text about the process of making Roquefort.




If you are a regular reader of All About Hotel Barges, you know that 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
 


Monday, April 30, 2018

Burgundy Recipe: Chicken with Sherry and Tarragon

Here's a recipe you may experience aboard your Burgundy Barge Cruise. It looks yummy... Enjoy!

The town of Bresse in Burgundy claims to produce some of the world’s best poultry, free-range birds that are fed on creamy milk and wheat. In fact, Poulet de Bresse has the renowned AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) status and the chefs on our Burgundy barges always try to source this distinguished bird when creating their imaginative chicken dishes.

Chicken with Sherry and Tarragon

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 1 free-range Bresse chicken, cut into 4 pieces (2 breasts, 2 legs)
  • 2/3 cups sherry vinegar
  • 1-3/4 cup medium dry sherry
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 tbs freshly-chopped tarragon
  • A little oil for cooking
  • 2 heaping tbs crème fraîche
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Method
  • Heat the oil in the frying pan. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then fry the chicken on both sides until golden brown. Remove chicken from the pan and put to one side.
  • In the oil, fry the shallots until translucent and golden brown. Add the garlic cloves and cook until slightly colored.
  • Reduce heat and return the chicken to the pan.
  • Scatter the freshly-chopped tarragon over the chicken, then pour over the vinegar and the sherry. 
  • Simmer for about 10 minutes, then turn the heat to very low and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes, turning the chicken hallway through.
  • When cooking is completed, remove chicken from the pan along with the shallots and garlic.
  • Add the crème fraiche and seasonings to the liquid in the pan, mix, then pour the sauce over the chicken.

To Serve

Decorate the chicken with fresh tarragon and serve with seasonable green vegetables such as French beans.



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
 







Saturday, April 28, 2018

Barge Anjodi - Chateau de Perdiguier Wine Visit

Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting at the Château de Perdiguier with Barge Anjodi

As you cruise the peaceful inland waterways of France, you will glimpse a number of impressive châteaux from the deck of your hotel barge. Guests aboard French Hotel Barge Anjodi have the chance to explore a particularly special estate while cruising the Canal du Midi: the Château de Perdiguier.



Local History

Set within a gorgeous 700-hectare estate, the Château de Perdiguier is known as both a grand seat since the medieval period and a thriving modern producer of Languedoc wine. One can still spot the original 13th-century architecture in certain places – the north wing, for example – which hints at the long history of the house. It was built in 1280 and came under royal control within a decade. In 1375 it was given by King Charles V to Jean Perdiguier, the region’s royal treasurer – the earliest record of vineyards on the site dates back to this time.

Although gifted a beautiful estate, Jean Perdiguier was not destined to enjoy the house and its grounds. He was killed in the Montpellier Rebellion just four years after he became its master. The Château was passed down the female line until 1793, a period which the building was extensively restructured and reimagined. Today, visitors see the central courtyard, round towers, irregularly spaced mullion windows and steep tiled roofs that were added at this time.


An Abundant Estate

The Château is not only famous for its long history and romantic façade; it is a working estate that produces cereals, fruit, honey and wine. Eight varieties of grape are nurtured in its small but hardworking vineyard, famously including the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes that are blended to produce its delicious En Auger wines.  A tour around the Château will give you a glimpse of the amazing vaulted cellars where the wines are aged to perfection, and a private tasting with a master sommelier will give you a taste of its stellar produce.


French Hotel Barge Anjodi

French Hotel Barge Anjodi - Canal du Midi barging cruises

Sporting a classic Dutch design, the 8-passenger Anjodi hotel barge had a recent facelift in 2016, with cabins and salon skillfully refurbished to create a lighter, more spacious ambience that complements its African hardwood paneling and shining brass fittings.

The well planned accommodation offers a choice of four air-conditioned staterooms (which can be configured as twins or double according to your preference), each with full en-suite facilities. The sun deck is spacious and has a heated spa pool (hot tub) — the perfect place, to watch the sun set after dinner on a warm Mediterranean evening.

Anjodi's highly professional crew of four is comprised of Master Chef, Tour Guide and Host/Hostess, led by a knowledgeable and experienced Captain who will ensure your cruise is memorable and more. Their knowledge of the region combined with the 8 bikes provided, will allow you to explore the areas you cruise through in as much detail as you desire.


Cruise Highlights:
  • Tour Carcassonne, the most complete medieval fortified city in existence
  • Narbonne's Archbishop's Palace and colorful market
  • Explore the hilltop village of Minerve
  • Private wine tasting at the 14th-century Château de Perdiguier
  • View the Pyrenees mountains across the vineyards and discover Cathar history
  • Visit Pezenas, a village associated with the playwright Molière
  • Cruise through the world's oldest canal tunnel at Malpas
  • Excellent towpath for walking and cycling
  • "Biking Plus" option available

Book now! Contact Paradise Connections.
CLICK HERE


Anjodi offers private, whole-boat charters as well as individual cabin cruises where you share the barge with others. Special offers are current available (CLICK HERE) with discounts of 10% and 20% off standard rates depending upon dates.



 Allons-y ! 
Cruise the Canal du Midi with Barge Anjodi



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


Friday, April 27, 2018

Barge L'Art de Vivre - Dine at 5-star Chateau

Enjoy 5-Star Dining at Le Château de Vault-de-Lugny

On one evening during the week, guests aboard the French Hotel Barge L'Art de Vivre will be treated to dinner ashore at the 5-star Château de Vault-de-Lugny in a truly astounding setting. Built between the 13th and 17th centuries, the Château is situated amidst the lush green of a 40 hectare park between Vezelay and Chablis.

Le Château de Vault-de-Lugny

A Historic Hotel

Initially built for the House or Arcy, the castle was decimated during the Hundred Years War, as it underwent assaults from both the English and the ominously named “Flayers”. In 1450 it was obtained by Guy de Jaucourt who built a large house on the grounds along with several other buildings, attempting to restore it to its former glory. In 1971 it was classified as a historic monument in order to safeguard it for the future, and with good reason, its moated façade and undulating lawns are a sight to behold.

 Le Château de Vault-de-Lugny

The Dining Experience

Burgundy as a region is often a haven for foodies, but the gourmet fare on offer at Le Château de Vault-de-Lugny is a cut above. Dine beneath the 17th century ribbed vaults of the original kitchen as the fire crackles merrily away or beneath the shade of a 400-year old plane tree in the park gardens at sunset. Each month contains a culinary “theme” including truffle harvest season in September and Blue Lobster in May, and regular dishes on the menu include Charolais Beef in a Perigueux sauce and Sea Scallops with seaweed butter and pan-sautéed porcinis. This is to say nothing of the incredible array of Burgundy wines on offer to accompany the culinary delights of your meal and the breath-taking views across the gardens.


Hotel Barge L'Art de Vivre

French Hotel Barge L'Art de Vivre

L'Art de Vivre is an 8-passenger, luxury hotel barge that cruises the Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne in Burgundy from April to October. For more information on the French Hotel Barge L'Art de Vivre, visit their online brochure.

Cruise highlights:
  • Explore enchanting Auxerre and its magnificent cathedral
  • Private wine tasting of Chablis and Petit Chablis in the cellars of a renowned Domaine
  • Tour Noyers-sur-Serein, one of the most beautiful villages in Burgundy
  • Visit the picturesque village of Vezelay and its hilltop basilica
  • Visit elegant Château de Bazoches
  • Dinner at the 5 Star Château de Vault-de-Lugny
  • Excellent walking and bicycling
  • "Biking Plus" option available
  • Optional Hot Air Ballooning





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




Thursday, April 26, 2018

Take a Quick Getaway on Dutch Barge Cruise

Looking for an extra-special, quick & easy getaway with that special certain someone in your life?  What about a romantic break on a luxury barge cruise in Holland aboard the Hotel Barge Panache, where you can take in the beautiful blooms, winding waterways, and culture-rich towns that The Netherlands has to offer.

Here are a few of the romantic stops on the Panache itinerary:


Romance in Flowers at Keukenhof

Whenever you choose to visit the world-famous gardens at Keukenhof, you are sure to be swept away by the charm of its immensely beautiful flower displays. Each year the park has a different theme. In 2018 it is “Romance in Flowers”.


Gardeners prepped the ground with 50,000 tulip, crocus and grape hyacinth bulbs in the autumn, ensuring a stunning flower mosaic for lovestruck guests to admire in the spring.

Just imagine walking hand-in-hand through the Love Paradise or sharing a kiss in the Cupid Garden… after all, the best way to profess your love is to say it with flowers!


Explore Leiden from the Towpath

With its towering townhouses, elegant stone bridges and criss-crossing of canals, the historic university town of Leiden is as pretty as a picture.


We believe that one of the best ways to appreciate its charm is to explore it on two wheels – just like the locals do! Grab one of our onboard bikes and take off down the tree-lined towpaths for a bicycle tour made for two.

Admire the Organ at St Bavo’s Cathedral


If you’re the kind of couple who find romance in beauty and music, you will be blown away by the Müller organ, which can be found in St Bavo’s Cathedral in Haarlem. Rising 30m into the air against the whole west wall of the cathedral, the intricately decorated organ is a truly impressive sight.

Famous players of this magnificent instrument include Handel in 1740 and 1750, and a ten-year-old Mozart in 1766. If you’re lucky you might visit while its sonorous sound floods the cathedral – an uplifting accompaniment to any declaration of love.




We have two cabins available on Panache for the week of May 6-12, 2018.  The price of a cabin for two people (not each) is $12,380 less a 20% discount brings the price down to only $9904.

This cruise departs in less than two weeks but there is plenty of time to get organized if you act quickly.


Book now! Contact Paradise Connections.
CLICK HERE





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
 




Wednesday, April 25, 2018

50% Discount - Panache in Champagne France

50% OFF Burgundy & Champagne Cruise

Get 50% off a Champagne Cruise aboard hotel barge Panache when booked back to back with a qualifying Burgundy cruise.

French Hotel Barge Panache


This cruise combines a full-priced Burgundy cruise on L’Impressionniste, La Belle Epoque or Renaissance with a one-week cruise on Panache in neighboring Champagne before or after the Burgundy cruise. The price includes a romantic bed and breakfast stay in Paris in between and transfers to and from the hotel and both hotel barges.

This offer cannot be combined with other offers and is limited to select dates in June and July, 2018.

Online brochures:



Interested? Contact Paradise Connections for price and availability.



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





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