Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dutch Tulip Cruises Hotel Barges SAVOIR FAIRE & LA NOUVELLE ETOILE - Holland Barging Vacations

Leave the winter blues behind and prepare to celebrate Spring with an explosion of color with a Dutch Tulip Cruise aboard the Hotel Barges SAVOIR FAIRE or LA NOUVELLE ETOILE.

Both of these Dutch Hotel Barges offer Dutch Tulip Cruises in April and May. This is an excellent time to visit Holland.

Some highlights of this all-inclusive, 7-day/6-night barging trip:
  • Tour the famous Keukenhof Gardens with the largest display of flowers in the world.
  • Visit a working windmill, clog maker and cheese maker
  • Explore the Aalsmeer flower auction and the mecca of Dutch cheese, the town of Gouda
  • Visit the Delft pottery works to see the world famous porcelain being hand made and painted
  • Visit the picturesque town of Haarlem and tour the museum of the famous Dutch painter, Franz Hals.

CURRENT AVAILABILITY (as of 30 January 2010):
SAVOIR FAIRE - up to 12 guests / 6 cabins
  • RATE = $3800/person, double occupancy ($7600/cabin)
  • March 28 - 6 cabins open
  • April 4 - 6 cabins open
  • April 11 - booked
  • April 18 - 2 cabins open
  • April 25 - 4 cabins open

LA NOUVELLE ETOILE - up to 8 guests / 4 cabins
  • RATE = $6,900/person, double occupancy ($13,800/cabin)
  • April 18 - 4 cabins open
  • April 25 - 3 cabins open

Here's a YouTube video of the Keukenhof Gardens that we hope you will enjoy...

Spring will be here before you know it, so contact Paradise Connections to book your all-inclusive, crewed, barging vacation soon!

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters for more information
View LA NOUVELLE ETOILE's online brochure
View SAVOIR FAIRE's online brochure
Visit our website :

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

French Hotel Barge ALEGRIA Canal du Midi, France

Olivier, owner-operator of the luxury Hotel Barge ALEGRIA, who charters canal du midi cruises in the south of France, sent us a photo today of a guest enjoying the barge's pool on a warm summer evening.

I'm sure that you would love to put yourself in that photo right now... especially those of you in the wintry climes :)

So, thaw out your fingers and send us an email to book your barging vacation, while there's still some openings!

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book ALEGRIA
View ALEGRIA's online brochure
Visit our website :

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Large Group Hotel Barge Charters - French Canals, Dutch Tulip Cruise, etc

Would you like to charter a hotel barge but you have a large group... say a dozen people?  More? No problem!

Here are a few barges that can accommodate 12 or more guests:

LA BELLE EPOQUE - Click for brochure
  • Burgundy
  • up to 13 guests
  • Charters and Cabin cruises

L'IMPRESSIONNISTE - Click for brochure
  • Burgundy
  • up to 13 guests
  • Charters and Cabin cruises

NAPOLEON - Click for brochure
  • Central & Southern Regions of France (Rhone - Saône - Provence)
  • up to 12 guests
  • Charters and Cabin cruises

SAVOIR FAIRE - Click for brochure
  • France (3 routes), Belgium, and Holland (Tulip Cruise), and 3-country Amsterdam-Paris Cruise (Spring & Autumn)
  • up to 12 guests
  • Charters and Cabin cruises

Or, there is the possibility of booking a "tandem" charter where you have more than one barge. Size doesn't matter. You can book two 6-person barges for up to 12 people (can be less), or perhaps two 8s and a 10 person barge.  Mix and match... It's up to you (and availability, of course)...

And, for single COUPLES, we have many barges that offer individual cabins for shared cruises.  Inquire!

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barging vacation
Visit our website :

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

French Hotel Barge EMMA - 2010 Season

We received New Years Wishes from our friends Liz and René, owner-operators of the French Hotel Barge EMMA who charter barge cruises in the south of France (canal du midi, Provence & Camargue).

They have recently returned from Ireland where they spent the holidays visiting family and friends. Next month (February already!), they will be hauling EMMA out in Sete for yearly maintenance and boatwork to keep her in tip-top condition for the coming season.

For the 2010 season, they will be including a new route... Carcassonne - Toulouse. We have added this route to EMMA's itinerary page of their online brochure, plus we have modified the Aigues-Mortes - Bezier route to include an excursion to visit the suspension bridge at Millau, which Liz says is truly spectacular. This bridge is reported to be the tallest suspension bridge in the world.

Remember that 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's calendar is already more than half full. They are a popular (and justifiably so) hotel barge and are filling up quickly... so BOOK SOON! Still available for Bastille Day (July 14).

Chris (French) and his wife Anita (Australian) will be returning as EMMA's crew for their 4th season!

We know that EMMA will take good care of you :)

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book EMMA
View EMMA's online brochure
Visit our website :

Monday, January 18, 2010

News from French Hotel Barge ENCHANTE - Canal du Midi in the South of France

We recently received an email (with photos!) from Roger & Louisa Gronow, owner-operators of the new French Hotel Barge Enchante...

Enchante was completed for the end of the 2009 season and completed seven consecutive weeks of cruising on the Canal du Midi in the south of France.  We are pleased to report the barge was very well received and they got wonderful comments from their guests, private charters and cabin bookings alike.

We'd like to share a bit of what Roger and Louisa had to say about Enchante...
"Enchante was drawn up by French architect Techni-carene and built in Belgium. As we wished to break away from the traditional inside fit out of wood and brass we asked the architect and interior designer for a contemporary look with a hint of Art Deco, clean lines with curves. We’ve kept the inside decor simple and uncluttered to give an over-all effect of lightness which is unusual on a midi boat.

"The toned down walls set off the hardwood framed windows which line the upper level and complement the oak floor. The fabrics of the corner sofa and armchairs in the salon are all Alcantara as are the curtains and dining chair covers. The glass dining table was designed and made especially for us to complete the modern look of the granite benches in our open galley. We would like to put particular emphasis on the involvement of cuisine as part of the holiday as we think the boat would appeal to food lovers with its demonstration galley. This has been a big success with many of our guests specifically mentioning how much they have enjoyed watching the chef at work before and during meals.

"Our aim with the boat was to get the biggest cabins on the Canal du Midi which we have achieved thanks to the design on two levels: we have 4 large en-suite cabins decorated in a white and linen theme with percale bed sheets, the furniture is made of mahogany and the carpet is very deep and comfortable. The bathroom flooring is solid teak, the tiles are Italian stone and the showers are very spacious.

"When the double front doors are open the salon becomes part of the outside deck which is complete with all-fresco dining possibility and an 8 person Jacuzzi. The walls of the salon are lined with picture windows enabling beautiful views at all times which means that if the weather is too hot or wet our guests don’t miss out on any of the cruising as it is very comfortable and spacious inside as well as temperature controlled  thanks to reversible air-conditioning.

"We chose the South of France routes for various reasons: one of the main attractions has to be the Mediterranean climate, we feel good weather is a big part of any holiday. The beauty of the canal and its changing faces over different sections means the cruising is just as entertaining as the excursions."
We hope you will consider Enchante for a barging vacation on the Canal du Midi or Provence. They are open for private, full-boat charters or individual cabin bookings on a shared cruise from March 7th through November 13, 2010.

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book ENCHANTE
View ENCHANTE's online brochure
Visit our website :

Thursday, January 14, 2010

3-Country Barging Cruise (May 2010) Booking Up

Chris of the Hotel Barge Savoir Faire wrote to us this morning to let us know that their 13-night, 3-country (Holland-Belgium-France) barging cruise is booking up. So, let this be a warning to you... Don't procrastinate further... Book NOW :)

(Hotel Barge Savoir Faire)
Chris said:
Our 3 Country cruise on MAY 2nd from Amsterdam to Paris is booking out.

We now have 4 passengers booked and 4 pending. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience the cruise of a lifetime and one which the SAVOIR FAIRE has done dozens of times.

At only 7600 USD pp for 2 weeks (based on 2 sharing double occupancy cabin) this offer is exceptional in every way.
DATES:  May 2-15, 2010 (13 nights)
RATE: $7,600/person, double occupancy for the 13-night, 3-country cruise
ITINERARY: Amsterdam to Paris - CLICK for itinerary

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book SAVOIR FAIRE
View SAVOIR FAIRE's online brochure
Visit our website :

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Guided Walking Tour Cruise Week in Burgundy France

[UPDATE: Feb 21, 2010] The French Hotel Barge LA BELLE EPOQUE has one cabin available (and maybe a second) for their Guided Walking Tour cruise, the week of October 24-30, 2010. The October 24, 2010 departure is now fully booked, so we are offering another Walking Cruise October 10-16, 2010.

There is NO extra charge or supplement for this special Walking Tour cruise whose itinerary is between Pouillenay and Tonnerre in Burgundy.

You can view their walking tour itinerary HERE.

This week falls within their "Value Season" so rates are only US$4,590/person, double occupancy for a Suite, and US$4,350/person, double occupancy for a Junior Suite, for an all-inclusive 6-night barging cruise.

Of course, if this week on La Belle Epoque appeals to you and you don't want to participate in the guided walks, that's OK too!

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book LA BELLE EPOQUE
View LA BELLE EPOQUE's online brochure
Visit our website :

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hotel Barge LA NOUVELLE ETOILE - Special cruise

Due to scheduled maintenance on a lock, the hotel barge LA NOUVELLE ETOILE offers a apecial cruise at a special rate for the week of April 4, 2010.

Because of the lock closure, they are unable to do their Haarlem-Haarlem itinerary and they are proposing a Bruges to Amsterdam trip with a 25% discount off their early season rate.

SPECIAL RATES: (instead of private, full-boat rate for up to 8 guests = $46,900)
  • Charter for 6 :  $ 26,380
  • Charter for 7 :  $ 30,775
  • Charter for 8 :  $ 35,175
There will be an option to book extra nights in Bruges, prior to the cruise or extra nights in Antwerp. LA NOUVELLE ETOILE will be  moored close to the center of these to great cities. Price includes all meals on board and full use of the minibus and tour guide to do visits in and around Bruges and Antwerp.

In case an extra night in Antwerp is booked, the cruise will depart one day earlier from Bruges.

  • Charter of 6 : $ 3000
  • Charter of 7 : $ 3500
  • Charter of 8 : $ 4000

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book LA NOUVELLE ETOILE
View LA NOUVELLE ETOILE's online brochure
Visit our website :

Saturday, January 09, 2010

PARIS MARATHON : Special Hotel Barge Cruise

The French Hotel Barge RENAISSANCE, is offering a special Paris Marathon cruise with also a special price... TEN nights for the price of SIX. Four nights in Paris, France followed by a 6-night cruise on the Seine & Yonne rivers to Sens. Now that's special :)

There are only 91 days (as of 9th January) until the Paris Marathon, so book now!

In 2010, the Paris Marathon takes place on Sunday April 11th, when 37,000 intrepid athletes will be pounding the streets of the world’s most beautiful city. Renaissance will be moored in central Paris for four days from Wednesday, April 7th, at an ideal location for exploring the city. The arrangement will allow their guests to visit the nearby Latin Quarter, Notre Dame, or perhaps watch the marathon, and to have the freedom to dine out independently in the evening at some of the many wonderful Paris restaurants.

And what's more, is that we are offering this special 10 night package aboard the luxurious hotel barge Renaissance at the same price as a standard 6 night cruise - just $5,450 per person, based on two people sharing a cabin suite. Renaissance has 4 suites accommodating 8 people so places on this unique cruise are strictly limited.

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book RENAISSANCE
View RENAISSANCE's online brochure
Visit our website :

Friday, January 08, 2010

Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander - winter snow

Here's a photo of the Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander that was taken yesterday (Jan.7,  2010).

Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander on the Calendonian Canal, Scotland

Very cold in the Highlands at the moment, minus 21 degrees Celsius (-6F), but it looks so beautiful.

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER
View SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER's online brochure
Visit our website :

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Current special offers on French Hotel Barges & Scotland, too!

There are some good deals on hotel barges if you confirm your booking before 31 January 2010.

ENCHANTE - Click for brochure
  • Canal du Midi, Camargue/ Provence
  • up to 8 guests
  • Charters and Cabin cruises

RENAISSANCE - Click for Paris Marathon itinerary
  • Burgundy
  • Special Paris Marathon cruise
  • up to 8 guests
  • Charters and Cabin cruises
Paris & Burgundy
10 nights for the price of 6 on Renaissance's unique Paris Marathon cruise
April 7-17, 2010

L'ART DE VIVRE - Click for brochure
  • Burgundy
  • up to 8 guests
  • Charters and Cabin cruises

RENAISSANCE - Click for brochure
  • Burgundy
  • up to 8 guests
  • Charters and Cabin cruises

ALEGRIA - Click for brochure
  • Canal du Midi
  • up to 4 guests
  • Charters only
Confirm your charter before February 28, 2010 and save 20% off standard rates.

SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER - Click for brochure
  • Caledonian Canal (includes Loch Ness)
  • up to 8 guests
  • Charters and Cabin cruises
  • Special Fishing, Golfing, and Walking cruises


We hope you will be able to take advantage of these current special offers.

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barging holiday
Visit our website:

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Hotel Barge SAVOIR FAIRE : 2010 Season & Congratulations on 30th

Chris & Fran of the French Hotel Barge SAVOIR FAIRE are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this week in Rome. We had our 30th last month and we would like to take this opportunity to wish Chris & Fran many more happy years together.

The Hotel Barge SAVOIR FAIRE not only cruises the French canals, but also Holland and Belgium.

Savoir Faire begins their barging vacation season in Holland with their Dutch Tulip Cruise.
  • March 28: Fully OPEN for cabin cruise or full-boat charter
  • April 4: Fully OPEN for cabin cruise or full-boat charter
  • April 11: Sorry, FULLY BOOKED
  • April 18: TWO cabins available
  • April 25: FIVE (of six) cabins available
They then have a 2-week cruise from Amsterdam to Paris which you can either do one or both weeks from May 2 through May 15!

Savoir Faire has three cruise routes in France (see Itineraries) and then at the end of the season they return to Amsterdam for the winter and once again offer the 2-week, 3-country cruise from October 17-30, 2010.

Just a reminder that for family charters between July 4th and August 28 Savoir Faire has a special rate of only $38,000 for a private charter for up to 12 people!

We've noticed that the hotel barges are booking up quickly this year (yes, even with the state of the economy as people highly value their vacation time) so don't wait too long to book your barging vacation!

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book SAVOIR FAIRE
View SAVOIR FAIRE's online brochure
Visit our website :