Wednesday, February 13, 2019

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES FOR VALENTINES DAY

Let's Make Chocolate Truffles for Valentines

The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess has an easy recipe to make chocolate truffles for Valentines Day. Let's check it out!

Chocolate Truffle recipe
Yummy Delights

Olivia says:
For me Chocolates and St Valentine’s Day go hand in hand. Chocolate is always delicious as a treat & perhaps the most romantic gift after red roses. As a committed Chocoholic I look for any excuse to cook with and eat chocolate! To make this as guilt free as possible I always share with family and friends.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb. of 70% Dark Chocolate
  • 1 pint of Double Cream.
  • 1 big splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon of Flaked Sea Salt.
  • Cocoa powder or pistachio nuts to decorate


Method
  1. Pour the cream into a heavy bottomed saucepan over a gentle heat until the cream  reaches the simmering stage.
  2. Remove from the heat and then pour over the chocolate. Stir gently until you have a smooth silky texture.
  3. Add the Bailey’s Cream Liqueur along with a pinch of sea salt to the mixture. Pour the mixture into a tub and allow to set in fridge for a couple of hours.
  4. Fill a cup with boiling water and heat a melon baller or a spoon by dipping into the boiling water. Use this method to shape the truffles.
  5. Coat your truffles in cocoa powder or pistachio nuts immediately after shaping.
  6. Place on a plate and allow to set in the fridge for an hour. Then share for guilt free enjoyment!

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' online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com
 


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Special offer for Value Week Cabin : French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre

Only One Cabin Left

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 for an all-inclusive barge trip! Only one cabin left.


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 recently 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
 



Monday, February 11, 2019

Culinary Delight on the Caledonian Canal


Fancy a barging trip in Scotland this year?


Take a jaunt on the legendary Caledonian Canal and delve into traditional Scottish cuisine aboard Scottish Highlander or Spirit of Scotland.


Those who choose to explore these beautiful waterways are in for a real treat. Gorgeous barges, decorated in typical Scottish country style furnishings, offer a comfortable and luxurious experience; a wonderful way to enjoy the countryside as you meander past.

As you travel slowly along the Caledonian Canal, you will find yourself unwinding to the sedate pace of life on the water. Your days will be spent on shore excursions (that you can opt in or out of if you wish), watching the scenery languidly pass by, and eating wonderful freshly-prepared marvels by your on-board chef – with much of the menu drawn on authentic Scottish heritage.


The On Board Culinary Experience

Meats

Scotland has an incredible gastronomic heritage — from its game to its fish, and its puddings to its oatcakes — this small country is rich in culinary delights.


Some of the fabulous dishes you can expect to sample while on board include the celebrated Aberdeen Angus beef, known for being tender, succulent and deliciously subtle in flavor. Well matured, with a marble appearance, this cut of beef is associated with classic quality cooking.

Scottish lamb is another fine meat that you will have the opportunity to sample. Often served as a rack and on a broth of risotto made with either rice or barley, this fine cut of meat is justly famous for its flavor and texture.

Of course, Scottish salmon and venison will both likely feature on the menu, too.


Cheeses

Every classic Scottish cruise menu is complemented by a daily cheeseboard, comprising local offerings. Although Scotland’s cheese may not be the best known in culinary circles, discerning food lovers that have not sampled them are definitely missing out.


While on board you will more than likely have the chance to taste the Isle of Kintyre Mature Cheddar, the Caboc, and the Stratton Blue.

The Gruth Dhu is a particular favorite and is a soft creamy cheese that boasts a sour tangy flavor. Hand rolled in pinhead oats and crushed peppercorns, it is thought to have been brought to the country by the Vikings, in the 8th century. As an aside, apparently it prevents a whiskey hangover too! So if you plan on over-imbibing on board, make sure you wash your whiskey down with plenty of cheese!


Wines and Ales


Of course, as befit a fine dining experience, all your evening meals will be accompanied by a fine selection of local and international wines and there will be ales and single malts as well. After all, what’s a visit to Scotland without a scotch?


Barging in Scotland

For a magical barge cruise, Scotland is hard to surpass. Travel sedately through the Great Glen between Inverness and Fort William, navigating beautiful lochs and the engineering masterpiece that is the Caledonian Canal. Unforgettable experiences are offered by ancient castles perched on the water's edge, heather-clad hillsides and arguably the finest inland cruising in the world. Scotland’s legends of the past, the taste of single malt and the mythical inhabitant of Loch Ness all contribute to a magical charm only experienced in the dramatic Highlands.


If you’re considering a cruise on the Caledonian Canal, the cuisine is just one, albeit very important, facet of the experience. The accommodation on board, the relaxing ambience, and the spectacular landscape combine to create a memorable holiday unlike any other.





Scottish Hotel Barges

Scottish Highlander

Spirit Of Scotland


Book now! Contact Paradise Connections.
CLICK HERE


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, February 07, 2019

Meet The Captain Of Anjodi

French Hotel Barge Anjodi - Meet The Captain

 French Hotel Barge Anjodi - Barge Cruises on the Canal du Midi


Laurent Charbonnier

A well-known figure on the Canal du Midi, Laurent has over ten years barging experience with our good friends at European Waterways. 2019 will be his sixth year at the helm of Anjodi. With an impeccable understanding of customer service and an impish sense of humor, Laurent charms all of his guests.

He met his wife, Sarah, when they were both crew members on the French Barge L’Impressionniste in Burgundy. They now live with their two sons near the Canal du Midi.


Anjodi moored at Le Somail on the Canal du Midi, south of France


About The French Hotel Barge Anjodi


French Hotel Barge Anjodi - Canal du Midi barging cruises

Sporting a classic Dutch design, the 8-passenger Anjodi offers a choice of four air-conditioned staterooms which can be configured as either 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.

Anjodi


Cruise Highlights:
  • Tour Carcassonne, the most complete medieval fortified city in existence
  • Narbonne's Archbishop's Palace and colorful market
  • Explore the spectacular 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
  • 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


Learn More: Click for Anjodi's online brochure

See Special Offers: Click for current special offers on barges



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



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




Wednesday, February 06, 2019

French Hotel Barge Grand Cru - cabin weeks

French Hotel Barge Grand Cru - Cabin Weeks 2019

The French Hotel Barge Grand Cru is basically a "charter only" type of barge and rarely offers cabin cruise weeks where you can book an individual cabin and share the barge with other passengers. A great way to do a barge cruise on a budget.

French Hotel Barge Grand Cru - Burgundy, France


Price per cabin for each of the weeks below is $8000/person, double occupancy, which comes to $16,000/cabin.

2019 Cabin Weeks:
  • May 5-11, 2019 (one cabin open)
  • May 12-18, 2019 (one cabin open)

Want to book the entire barge?  No problem... Grand Cru has a good selection of weeks open for private charters, including Value Season weeks.






Hotel Barge Grand Cru
  • Route: Cruising Southern Burgundy, France on the Canal du Rhone au Rhin and Canal du Centre between St. Leger-sur-Dheune and Dole
  • Up to 8 guests
  • Private charters and the occasional Cabin Cruise Week
  • Itineraries: Standard classic, Golfing
  • See more: Online Brochure




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
 





Saturday, February 02, 2019

New Special Offers for French Hotel Barges


Extra Special Offers for Burgundy Barges


French Hotel Barge L'Impression


French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque

Burgundy barges L'Impressionniste and La Belle Epoque have increased their special offers to 25% if booked by Monday, February 8, 2019.


Special Offer Details

 25% Off on the following 2019 departures (deposit before February 8, 2019) :
  • La Belle Epoque (Charter) – Mar 31; Apr 28; May 12, 19
  • La Belle Epoque (Cabin) – Apr 14, 21, May 5
  • L’Impressionniste (Cabin) – Apr 14, 21, May 5, 12, 19
If you miss this deadline, you can still receive 20% discounts for booking by February 18, 2019.




La Belle Epoque


L'Impressionniste





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




Friday, February 01, 2019

French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque : Champagne Wednesdays


The French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque:
Enjoy Champagne Wednesdays

French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque

The luxury Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque spends her time cruising through the diverse and scenic wine country of Northern Burgundy. They have decided to bolster their itinerary with a weekly trip to a unique section of the Champagne region.




A Private Tasting at a Champagne Institution

Found on the sun-drenched slopes of central Côte des Bar in the south of Champagne is Les Riceys. This area is renowned for some 2,086 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines and famed for being the only region in the world with three Appellations d’Origine contrôlée.


Following breakfast aboard the barge, guests will be driven to the charming Maison Alexandre Bonnet for a private champagne tasting; lauded for its exceptional Blanc de Noirs and iconic Rosé des Riceys. The Alexandre Bonnet Champagne House sits on a quiet, picturesque street at the heart of the town.


Lunch With Aristocracy

Next there is a short drive to Château de Ricey-Bas. With its 12th century vaulted cellars and thousand year history, it’s the ideal location to appreciate the rolling vineyards and enjoy a glimpse of family life in a rural château. 

Château de Ricey-Bas

Here, guests will be greeted with a Champagne aperitif and a gourmet lunch with the Baroness herself, which will be taken in either a private salon or the atmospheric vaulted 13th century kitchen. The remainder of the afternoon may be spent strolling the beautiful gardens or exploring the regal château interiors.

Upon returning to La Belle Epoque, she will begin her cruise to Ancy-le-Franc, with plenty of opportunity to walk or cycle along the towpath… or sit on deck with another glass of bubbly!

 Sit back and enjoy the view with glass in hand




About French Hotel Barge 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.

La Belle Epoque






Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book LA BELLE EPOQUE
View La Belle Epoque' online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com
 




Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess : Walking Themed Cruise 2020

Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess 

I was surprised to receive this itinerary for the 2020 Shannon Princess' Walking Themed Cruise (see below, scroll down). This coming season is 2019... is it a typo? No, because...

Once again, the Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess is fully booked (except for 1 cabin) for 2019 and it is only January! This is a very popular barge and must be booked well in advance. They already have 4 weeks booked for 2020.

Shannon Princess - Crewed Hotel Barge - River Shannon, Ireland


If you are interested in their last cabin for the 2019 season, the week is August 4-10. The rate for this individual cabin is $5350/person, double occupancy.



While their standard cruise is lovely, check out their various themed cruises (for private charters) CLICK HERE


2020 Walking Itinerary

Ireland has some of the finest scenery in the world. This isn’t just us boasting! According to a number of the world's leading travel sites, there is an abundance of natural and unspoilt beauty. The Lonely Planet refer to Ireland’s "breathtaking, ancient landscape" while Rough Guide describes how "an uncommon geological richness and the warming effect of the Atlantic produce an astonishing diversity of terrain on this small island".

With all this scenery on our doorstep, we believe the best way to see some of it is on foot. We've developed  a walking itinerary to enable our guests to incorporate a walking holiday with a luxury cruise, visiting carefully selected areas of interest and taking place over 5 days of the 6-nights cruise.

Relax and enjoy the first of many gourmet dinners on the day of arrival

The first day of the vacation is all about settling in onboard the luxurious Shannon Princess and enjoying the first of many gourmet dinners, so the guided walks commence on day 2.


Walk 1 – The Grand Canal

The first walk incorporates a pleasant stroll through middle Ireland, along the towpaths of the Grand Canal.

Grand Canal
 The Grand Canal offers a peaceful and scenic introductory walk

The canal commenced building in 1756 to connect Dublin with the West of Ireland. All goods manufactured in Dublin and required in the West of Ireland were taken via barge to the Shannon and further afield. It was the motorway or railroad of its day.

We will also see peat or as it is more commonly known in Ireland ‘turf’ being saved. It will be a quiet and peaceful introductory walk.

Dinner will be served on board the Shannon Princess at 7:00 pm.


Walk 2 – Kinnitty Castle

The second walk brings us to Kinnitty Village in County Offaly.

 A walk through woodland and forestry tracks

This tranquil woodland loop on forestry tracks passes close to the grounds of Kinnitty Castle (now a hotel) and fords several tinkling little streams which passes the scant ruins of Glinsk Castle with many fine broadleaf trees evident. There are beautiful views over Co.Offaly and the surrounding mountain valleys.

This walk may be amended to accommodate a visit to Leap Castle reputed to be "Ireland’' most haunted house." You will be greeted by Sean Ryan and his family who will invite you in to their unusual home and Sean, a renowned musician, will tell you the fascinating history of the castle and the part it played in founding the American Constitution.

Dinner will be served on board Shannon Princess at 7:00pm.


Walk 3 – Lough (Lake) Derg

Today we travel along a very pretty stretch of the Shannon River onto the idyllic Lough (Lake) Derg where an ever-changing landscape slips by.


After lunch in the village, the walkers will depart with their walking guide to the nearby Slieve Bloom Mountains. Steeped in history and folklore, the Slieve Blooms dominate the landscape as it straddles the border of counties Offaly and Laois. Its highest peak, 529m Arderin, translates from Irish as the height of Ireland.

Connections with the past are everywhere as the area is dusted with monuments dating back as far as 4,500 years. This is a 3 to 4 hour walk along riverside paths & bog tracks and through woodland trails.

Dinner will be served on board the Shannon Princess at 7:00pm.


Walk 4 – The East Clare Way

For the penultimate walk we depart after lunch for The East Clare Way walk which starts in Mountshannon and will be conducted by the walking guide. This is a 127km route of marked Highways and Byways. You will be guided through what is considered the most beautiful section.

Enjoy the stunning views overlooking Lough Derg

A gentle climb takes us up through riverside villages and into the Slieve Bernagh hills until we overlook some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole of Munster. Here, Lough Derg and its many islands are at our feet creating a landscape rich in beauty, colour and variety. 

This is a 3 to 4 hour walk on natural terrain and trails with moderate gradients.

Dinner will be served on board the Shannon Princess at 7:00pm.


Walk 5 – Arra Mountains

Our final walk commences after lunch, where the walkers will depart with the walking guide for a hike into the Arra Mountains. At The Summit of Tountinna is the "Graves of the Leinstermen", today one stone is standing, the rest are covered in undergrowth. The site may have originally been a stone circle or a Neolithic Tomb.

 The Arra Mountains provide magnificent views

Keep a lookout for evidence of the area's great slate quarrying tradition. Magnificent views can be had from these parts, and blanket bog and several varieties of heather add to the allure of the landscape.

This is an excellent walk and can take between 3 to 5 hours, walking on natural terrain with moderate gradients.


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' online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: www.BargeCharters.com