Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News from Irish Barge Shannon Princess

Thank you Ruairi & Olivia for sharing.

News from Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess

Cruising Ireland with local produce & handcrafted products


Our love of fresh, organic produce and local handmade goods means that we carefully source the suppliers that we use while cruising Ireland on our luxury barge. Nestled along the River Shannon are a myriad of local organic farms and artisan companies.

From farmhouse cheese to toiletries, each of our suppliers hand crafts their product and we are delighted to use them on board the Shannon Princess.

Cheese


We have a good variety of cheeses to serve to our guests and three of them originate from local cheese makers in the region.

Cais na Tire is located in Terryglass and is an award winning, family run, cheese making business. They allow their ewes to roam freely around the pastures of their lush farm, ensuring that their appetising, hand made sheep’s cheese is packed full of flavour.


The limestone pasture at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, County Offaly, provides perfect grazing for the cows at Mossfield Organic another of our cheese suppliers. From crumbly to creamy textures, the delicious taste is always well received.

Vegetables


We select our vegetables from both Killaloe Farmers market & Portumna Castle Gardens. We love the abundance of organic produce available from both of these outlets. The vegetables are always fresh because they are picked and sold on the same day.

We always choose organic produce to ensure that the quality of the vegetables have not been compromised during the growing stage.

Meat


Sustainable farming is at the heart of John Stone, our supplier of meat produce. Their farmers use environmentally produced feed for their cattle and this results in a wealth of health benefits. Their grass-fed herd are provided with a healthy and varied diet throughout the year, which results in meat with a unique and delicious flavour.

Shellfish


We select our shellfish from Liscannor Shellfish, Co. Clare. We are very lucky in Ireland to have a coastline that is rich in both the quality and variety of seafood, especially along the west coast of the country. Our shellfish is always fresh, caught and served on the same day for optimum flavour.

Wine


Some of the most frequent questions we are asked about on board the Shannon Princess, are about our wine list!  Wines Direct in Mullingar are a local company who stock a fantastic selection of wine. We are able to choose wines from all over the world and each bottle we serve is perfectly matched to accompany our cuisine of the day.

Liqueurs & Spirits


Whether you want a night cap or an aperitif, we have a good selection of liqueurs and spirits on board the Shannon Princess. Two of our most popular drinks are created in Knockanore, Co. Waterford The award winning Muldoon Irish Whiskey is a big favourite with our guests, due to its luxurious toffee and hazelnut flavour.

Their signature gin, Thin Gin, is also an award winning spirit with just the right balance of herbs, spices and fruits. The refreshing, unique taste is perfect for sipping out on deck while watching the sun set over the River Shannon.

Chocolates


We know that our guests are conscious of eating healthily but we recommend they indulge just a little by tasting chocolate created by Aine Handmade Chocolates.


The handmade products created at this small business are renowned for their quality and taste. Their use of fresh fruit and herbs enables them to create seasonal chocolate collections which are a real treat for the senses.

Rainforest friendly toiletries


We want our guests to be pampered on board the Shannon Princess and our hand made soap comes from Palm Free Irish Soap in Killaloe. With vast amounts of precious rainforest being decimated to make way for palm oil plantations, they have created a suitable alternative that doesn’t use palm oil in its production.

Crystal clear, filtered, Irish rainwater combine with skin loving butters and oils which results in a selection of soaps which not only look good, they smell divine too.

Rugs


The rugs & throws located throughout the barge are handcrafted at Foxford Mills in Co. Mayo. Dating back to 1891, the mill is steeped in history and in the late 19th century, was an important source of employment in the region. Having been rebuilt in 1942, after a fire decimated the factory, the company is now a thriving mill, where talented craftspeople create beautiful pieces.

Cruising Ireland


Our cruise is a celebration of Ireland.  A combination of beautiful scenery along the River Shannon, the lovely towns and villages we visit and the local produce we use that has enabled us to gain a reputation for fantastic food. For more information on our gourmet meals see our food and wine pages.



Thanks again...



Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess - Barging River Cruises In Ireland

The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess is a very popular barge and they book up quickly. Their 2018 season was fully booked by the end of January.


The 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.

Cruise Highlights

During your cruise, there is a program of fascinating excursions that will you give you a true immersion into the heritage and traditions of this part of Ireland, such as a personal tour of a castle by its eccentric owner, a birds of prey display, visits to a whiskey distillery and hand-weaving workshop and, of course, the chance to sample a pint or two of the ‘black stuff’ – Guinness.
  • Tour the legendary 6th century Clonmacnoise ruins
  • Full day excursion to Portumna Castle and Galway
  • Traditional Guinness and oyster lunch
  • Visit the unusual haunted Leap Castle
  • Tour Birr Castle’s Gardens and Science Centre
  • Visit the Craggaunowen Re-Creation Project
  • Tour of the Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery with a private tasting
  • Visit a traditional Irish hand-weaving workshop
  • Hear traditional Irish music
  • Excellent walking and fishing opportunities





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



Monday, June 18, 2018

French Hotel Barge Grand Cru - PHOTOS

French Hotel Barge Grand Cru - We have photos


French Hotel Barge Grand Cru - Burgundy, France

We have received the long-awaited photos of the French Hotel Barge Grand Cru who made their debut earlier this season in April 2018. We will be posting the pictures on our electronic brochure for Grand Cru as soon as possible, but we will treat you to a few in this blog post.

Grand Cru offers six night/seven day journeys on a route featuring "The Best of Burgundy's Best." With their gastronomic program, guests enjoy pours of Grand Cru wines with every lunch and dinner. Selected from France's famous wine region, these Grand Cru samplings pair perfectly with the Chef's gourmet cuisine. Other superior libations will be served as well, such as the "créme de la créme" of regional spirits and liqueurs.


The Grand Cru's eye-catching modern design effortlessly reflects the clean lines and open spaces of contemporary living. Four generously-sized cabins accommodate up to eight guests in beautifully-appointed staterooms, while the comfortable furniture throughout the spacious salon and expansive deck encourages hours of casual socializing. While cruising, guests can relax on deck and enjoy the unspoiled scenery along the waterways or explore the route's charming canalside villages riding the barge's bicycles or taking a bit of a stroll.


Private charter availability for 2018

Grand Cru currently has open weeks available for 2018 for private charters with a special discount of 15%:
  • July 15-21
  • July 29-August 4
  • August 5-11
  • August 12-18
  • August 19-25

TWO cabin cruise weeks open

Another cabin cruise week has just opened up: October 21-27, 2018. There are THREE cabins currently available for the price of only $12,500/cabin (i.e. $6250/person, double occupancy). The route for this week is Vandenesse to Plombieres-les-Dijon.

September is the most popular month for barging in France and we are happy to announce that the Barge Grand Cru has ONE cabin still available on their cabin cruise week beginning Sunday, September 9 through Saturday, September 15, 2018. The price of this cabin is $16,000 (i.e. $8000 per person, double occupancy).



A few photos...








We hope you will be able to cruise aboard the French Hotel Barge Grand Cru this season and take advantages of their special pricing for remaining open dates.




Burgundy Itinerary

Grand Cru cruises on the Canal du Rhone au Rhin and Canal du Centre between St. Leger-sur-Dheune and Dole.



Grand Cru




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





Thursday, June 07, 2018

About French Barge La Belle Epoque

French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque — A Bit Of History



A Working Girl at Heart

La Belle Epoque, a spits barge originally named Savornin Lohmann, was built in 1930 in the Netherlands in order to transport timber. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, the barge was relocated to France along with her owners, the Kruijt family. For many decades she assisted in the transportation of logs from the forests of Morvan to the warehouses of Paris on the Canal du Nivernais.

The Great Makeover

After more than 70 years of hard work, Savornin Lohmann retired from lumber transportation in 1993. Unlike many working vessels that were dismantled for scrap, this historic barge was purchased by European Waterways and joined the only other barge in their fleet at the time: Anjodi.

A complete renovation followed, transforming this humble spits barge into La Belle Epoque, the glorious floating hotel that guests still enjoy today. With her six luxurious cabins each with marble ensuite bathrooms, the wood-paneled salon/dining area, and a sun deck complete with hot tub, La Belle Epoque is the epitome of barging elegance and sophistication.

Barging in Burgundy

There are many reasons to select La Belle Epoque as your vessel of choice on your next barging cruise. She plies the peaceful Canal de Bourgogne in Northern Burgundy, boasting an itinerary that includes Chablis wine tasting, an excursion to the Abbaye de Fontenay and an optional (and unforgettable) hot air balloon flight. Champagne Wednesdays are a new and popular addition to her itinerary, and keen cyclists can take advantage of their “Biking Plus” option and admire her from the towpath.

A Quick Video Tour of La Belle Epoque



The French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque is available for barging cruises on the Canal de Bourgogne in Burgundy, France. She accommodates up to 12 passengers in 6 guest cabins, each with ensuite, private bathrooms. There is a crew of six to pamper you during your barging vacation.




Burgundy Itinerary

La Belle Epoque cruises between Venarey-les-Laumes and Tanlay on the Canal de Bourgogne in Burgundy, France

Click image to enlarge

La Belle Epoque




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, June 06, 2018

Birds of Prey on the Celtic Waterways

Birds of Prey on the Waterways

 

Sensational Excursion For Our Scottish & Irish Hotel Barges


For the wildlife enthusiasts among you or those that are in the market for a thrilling new experience, here's an exciting prospect for you. You can now be treated to magnificent demonstrations of the art of falconry as part of our hotel barge classic cruises aboard the Spirit of Scotland and Scottish Highlander in Scotland; and Shannon Princess in Ireland.

The Experience

Adare Manor, Ireland

These striking displays feature aerial acrobatics from birds of prey that include falcons, hawks, eagles, owls, and vultures. Set against the backdrop of the Scottish Highlands, or the walled gardens of a stately manor in Ireland, guests are also invited to get "up close and personal" with the birds, as they perch and take off from their arms, swooping high above the countryside.  It's all part of a rather spectacular day which will culminate in a delicious dinner ashore at a local restaurant where you’ll have certainly have plenty to talk about!

The Venue

 

Adare Manor, Ireland


Naturally, the scenery is a big part of the experience, and we’re spoiled for choice. Adare Manor, Ireland, is a romantic neo-gothic delight, sitting on the banks of the River Maigue. Its facade of brilliant stone and wood carvings is a welcome reminder of the lavish and intricate planning that once went into constructing such buildings.  It is also, one of the few remaining examples of a calendar house, consisting of 365 stained-glass windows, 52 chimneys, 7 pillars and 4 towers, marking each of the seasons. The 840-acre estate surrounding the manor is somewhat of a pastoral paradise with sloping, verdant fields giving way to ancient forests and traditional French-style gardens that one could easily spend days exploring!


Highland Club, Scotland


The Highland Club, Scotland, is a spectacular set of private residences and a former 19th-century Benedictine monastery set on the banks of the famed Loch Ness. Set within 20 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds on the southern shores of the loch it occupies the Grade A Gothic buildings of the original 1729 English fortification, Fort Augustus, which were later transformed into St Benedict’s Abbey. In terms of natural beauty, this is a spectacular venue to participate in a Falconry display. The sight of these majestic creatures buffeting about on the wind above one of the world’s most famous lochs, is one that will live long in the memory.



Book now! Contact Paradise Connections.
CLICK HERE



Scottish Highlander - Scotland

Spirit Of Scotland - Scotland

Shannon Princess - Ireland



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




Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Burgundy Barge Grand Cru - September cabin opening

French Hotel Barge Grand Cru - September Cabin Week


French Hotel Barge Grand Cru - Burgundy, France

September is the most popular month for barging in France and we are happy to announce that the French Hotel Barge Grand Cru has ONE cabin available on their cabin cruise week beginning Sunday, September 9 through Saturday, September 15, 2018.

The price of the cabin is $16,000 (i.e. $8000 per person, double occupancy). We hope you will be able to take advantage of this opportunity.

The French Hotel Barge Grand Cru made their debut in April 2018, offering six night/seven day journeys on a route featuring "The Best of Burgundy's Best." With Grand Cru's gastronomic program, guests enjoy pours of Grand Cru wines with every lunch and dinner. Selected from France's famous wine region, these Grand Cru samplings pair perfectly with the Chef's gourmet cuisine. Other superior libations will be served as well, such as the "créme de la créme" of regional spirits and liqueurs.

The Grand Cru's eye-catching modern design effortlessly reflects the clean lines and open spaces of contemporary living. Four generously-sized cabins accommodate up to eight guests in beautifully-appointed staterooms, while the comfortable furniture throughout the spacious salon and expansive deck encourages hours of casual socializing. While cruising, guests can relax on deck and enjoy the unspoiled scenery along the waterways or explore the route's charming canalside villages riding the barge's bicycles or taking a bit of a stroll.

Private charter availability for 2018

Grand Cru currently has open weeks available for 2018 for private charters with a special discount of 15%:
  • July 15-21
  • July 29-August 4
  • August 5-11
  • August 12-18
  • August 19-25




Burgundy Itinerary

Grand Cru cruises on the Canal du Rhone au Rhin and Canal du Centre between St. Leger-sur-Dheune and Dole.



Grand Cru




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




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