Thursday, June 28, 2012

French Hotel Barge Alegria for 2013: Early Bird Special

Olivier, owner-operator of the French Hotel Barge Alegria which cruises the Canal du Midi, tells us that they have an early bird special for 2013 barging charters.

Enjoying dinner aboard barge Alegria while moored near the bridge of La Croisade

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL OFFER: Book your 2013 Alegria barge trip by July 31, 2012 and pay 2012 rates!

PARADISE CONNECTIONS SPECIAL OFFER: Book a barge with us for 2012 or 2013 by July 16, 2012 and we will give you a Kindle as a thank you gift (one Kindle per cabin booked). See details HERE.

Alegria hosts a maximum of four guests in two large cabins fitted with king size beds and ensuite bathrooms. The large, beautiful cabins are distinctive, light and bright. Intimacy and privacy are ensured, thanks to two entrance doors from each cabin leading either directly to the outside of the barge or inside to the lounge. Each guest cabin has a mini fridge and is equipped with a coffee & tea tray.

Do not hesitate to enjoy the heated pool after a warm afternoon… or just relax while enjoying some pre-dinner drinks …

Barge cruising offers a week of relaxation, gastronomy, excellent wines, fascinating culture, great landscapes and friendship with a warm nation.

Every day is a new day of discoveries ... and of unexpected surprises!

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book ALEGRIA 
View Alegria's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges & barging:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Book a Barge by Bastille Day: Free Gift

Book a barge with us by Bastille Day 2012 and Paradise Connections will send you a thank you gift.

This is the perfect Kindle for travelling as it is small, lightweight, and FREE!
The all-new Kindle - Lighter, smaller, faster:
  • 30% lighter, less than 6 ounces
  • 18% smaller body, same 6" screen size - fits in your pocket
  • Most advanced E Ink display, reads like paper
  • Built in Wi-Fi - get books in 60 seconds
  • Massive book selection, over 800,000 titles are $9.99 or less
  • Borrow Kindle books from your public library
As Bastille Day falls on a Saturday this year, we will extend this offer through Monday, July 16, 2012.

This offer is good for any Paradise Connections booking of a barging vacation (either a private charter or a cabin cruise) for either the 2012 or 2013 season confirmed by Monday, July 16, 2012. One Kindle for each cabin booked.

Many of our barges have special offers to fill in their remaining open dates for the 2012 season. Click here to see our previous post for a list of barges with discounted rates.

There are also some early bird specials for the 2013 barging season. We will have a post soon, but in the meantime you can send us an email.

We hope you'll be able to take advantage of this special offer from us at Paradise Connections.


Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barging holiday
For more information on our barges and barging, visit our website :

Monday, June 25, 2012

French Barge ROI SOLEIL : 2013 Prices

Guillaume and Tracey of the French Hotel Barge ROI SOLEIL informs us that they will have a small price increase for the 2013 season due to a rise in VAT and inflation... BUT...

French River Yacht / Hotel Barge ROI SOLEIL
Barging Cruises on the French Canals: Provence/Camargue & Canal du Midi Barge Trips

River Yacht ROI SOLEIL is offering 2012 prices for 2013 charters if booked before September 30, 2012.  You will find that Roi Soleil maintains an excellent quality/price ratio and a very competitive price point in the ultra deluxe segment.

Roi Soleil is available for private, luxury, barge cruises in the South of France and accommodates up to six guests in three double cabins with Queen-sized berths. Roi Soleil is fully air conditioned throughout and has a spa pool, Bose sound system, DVD library, bicycles, even a fireplace!

Every day, during the course of your barge trip, your private chef will cater to your preferences while surprising you with an imaginative cuisine, taking on the best accents of the Mediterranean.

Cooking demonstrations are open to all who wish to learn. The galley was designed for this with an open plan and a bar where you can watch with a glass in hand while the chef happily explains what she is doing.

The wines are carefully selected by the owner with the best sommeliers of the region. They represent the quintessence of Languedoc & Provence as well as the top appellations of the whole of France. You will also find the bar stocked with your favourite drinks.

Roi Soleil still has some openings for the 2012 season... inquire!

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book ROI SOLEIL 
View Roi Soleil's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Irish Barge SHANNON PRINCESS: Special offer Aug 26 2012

The Irish hotel barge Shannon Princess II is offering a discount for the week of August 26 - September 1, 2012...

Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess II - Barging Cruises Along the River Shannon, Ireland

Ruari & Olivia tells us that there is a big "American" football game in Dublin on September 1st featuring Navy vs Notre Dame. A cruise on the Shannon Princess is an excellent pre-game warm up.  Get a bit of Irish culture, see the sights, enjoy the food, and taste various beverages, then cheer on the "Fighting Irish" or, perhaps you are a Navy fan... either way, it works :)

Read a bit about the game here.

Accommodation might be a bit limited in Dublin so make sure you have plans for Saturday night.

August 26 - September 1, 2012: BOOKED !
The charter fee includes: local transfer to and from the barge, a luxury 6-night cruise, all meals on board catered for by the on board Master Chef, an open bar 24/7 with a large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, the services of 5 crew and use of barge facilities, which includes wireless internet access.

Visit Ireland and enjoy seeing the sights and soaking up the Irish culture with Ruairi & Olivia, owner-operators of the Barge Shannon Princess, along with their attentive crew. The barge accommodates up to 10 guests in 5 cabins which can be configured as either doubles or twins, as you prefer. Shannon Princess is available for private charters and individual cabin booking for shared charter weeks.

See our recent post about the new themed Artisan Itinerary aboard Shannon Princess.

Don't put it off any longer... Go barging in Ireland this year!

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:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Barging in Scotland: Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander

When most people think about barging it is about a barge cruise along the French canals. France is fantastic, of course, but we want to let you know that you can also experience barging in SCOTLAND all year round!

Click image to enlarge
The highlands of Scotland hold the very essence of this awe inspiring country. Cruise along the Great Glen from Inverness towards Fort William, through lochs, along rivers and the scenic and absorbing Caledonian Canal.

Ancient castles leading to the water's edge, heather-clad hillsides and arguably the finest inland cruising scenery in the world.

Anchor below castles and explore the Glens, Munroes and Bens of this spectacular land.

The legends of the past, the taste of single malt and the mythical inhabitant of Loch Ness all contribute to a special magic only experienced in Scotland's dramatic Highlands.

The hotel barge Scottish Highlander has the atmosphere of a Scottish country house with subtle use of tartan furnishings and landscape paintings. At 117 feet, Scottish Highlander is spacious and has every comfort for year-round cruising. Scottish Highlander accommodates up to eight guests in staterooms that can either be configured for doubles or singles, each with ensuite bathrooms.

Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander Moored Below Urquhart Castle

The experienced crew of four, led by your captain, ensure attention to your every need. Cuisine is traditional Scottish fare, salmon, game, venison and seafood, prepared by your own master chef.

Some of the Single Malt Whiskies served aboard:

  • Ben Nevis 10-year old
  • Lagavulin
  • Glenfiddich 12-year old
  • Dalwhinnie
  • Glenmorangie
  • Glen Moray
  • Bowmore18-year old
  • Isle of Jura 18-year old
  • Auchentoshan 12-year old

Besides the Standard Classic Cruise itinerary, Scottish Highlander also offers themed cruises:
Scottish Highlander will also tailor your charter towards your specific interests such as hiking, or a whisky distillery cruise...

A cruise aboard Scottish Highlander along the Great Glen as you admire some of Scotland's finest scenery will be unforgettable.

Say "Hello" to Nessie for us :)

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER 
View Scottish Highlander's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

French Barge SAINT LOUIS : Cabin Week Sept 8-14, 2012 Open

Alasdair, owner-operator of the French Hotel Barge SAINT LOUIS which offers barging cruises in the Gascony / Aquitaine region in southwest France, advises us that they have two cabins available for the week of September 8-14, 2012. As we have mentioned before, September is the most popular month for barging trips and now you have the opportunity to book an individual cabin rather than a private charter.

 French Hotel Barge Saint Louis - Barging cruises charters in southwest France, Gascony / Aquitaine

The route for September 8th is Montauban to Agen and you can see Saint Louis' sample itinerary in their online brochure HERE.

Here are some places you might visit during your Montauban to Agen barge cruise...
  • Montauban

Founded by the Count of Toulouse in 1144 as a fortified city on the banks of the River Tarn, Edward the English ‘Black Prince’ built his castle in Montauban in the mid-1300s. His lower Grand Hall still survives and can be visited, part of the Musee d’Ingres that was originally built (over the castle remains) as the seat of the bishops of Montauban. Ingres, the nineteenth century painter, was born in Montauban, and the museum contains the world’s largest collection of his works. From the fourteenth century (photo above) the adjacent Old Bridge is both picturesque and a remarkable survivor from over six hundred years ago.

We visit Montauban as a morning excursion by car, as part of our normal cruise itinerary. Saint Louis’ home port is close by, on the pretty Montech-Montauban canal embranchment.

  • Moissac

The great abbey at Moissac was founded by Saint Didier in the 7th century; and the 11th and 12th saw a golden age of culture and importance, including the construction of the doorway and the tympanum over; and the wonderful cloister – world famous (and almost perfect) surviving examples of Romanesque art. The town itself is thoroughly authentic, with an excellent weekend market, a spectacular 19th century road bridge over the river and with the canal’s route taking it straight through the middle of the town. Moissac is known for its delicious dessert (eating) grapes – of the Chasselas variety.

Saint Louis berths in Moissac during the cruise and guests have at least half a day to explore the abbey and the town.

  • River Tarn and River Garonne

In addition, Saint Louis can leave the canal at Moissac, for a short luxury hotel barge cruise on the River Tarn and the River Garonne. This option is unique among hotel barges in France.

Via the double lock at Moissac, we descend onto the River Tarn. If we head upstream we pass under the canal aqueduct – another unique experience. Some kilometres further on, we reach the barrage at Saint-Livrade. There is an impressive old water mill beside the barrage, and on a nearby escarpment the historic Chateau de Saint-Livrade overlooks the river. Heading downstream from Moissac, Saint Louis passes under the Pont Napoleon and later arrives at a wide expanse of water where the Tarn joins the River Garonne at Saint-Nicholas. From here we can cruise some way up the Garonne, past a bird sanctuary (350 species, most of them migrants) where we can also anchor in the quiet, safe, water and observe in perfect tranquillity.

  • Auvillar

Auvillar is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful villages of France, perched on a rocky escarpment overlooking the River Garonne. It dates back to pre-Roman times and the fortified village was the property of the Counts of Armagnac and then the King of Navarre. Its rich history tells of its former importance in the grain trade and in the production of pottery and writing quills – all of which were exported from Auvillar down the River Garonne, before the advent of the canal.

We visit Auvillar as an afternoon excursion by car, as part of our normal cruise barge itinerary.

  • Lamagistere and Clermont-Soubiran

Lamagistere is a village of elegant architecture, like Auvillar once busy and prosperous from trade on the river. Nowadays the river carries no commercial traffic and this once bustling place is quiet and lovely; to wander around and enjoy. Overlooking Lamagistere lies Clermont-Soubiran like Auvillar perched on a rocky outcrop with stunning views, a medieval village with an outstanding chateau castle.

Lamagistere is an easy 15-20 minute stroll from our peaceful rural mooring place close-by. We often visit Clermont as a morning excursion by car.

  • Toulouse
Toulouse is France’s fourth biggest and probably most go-ahead city. A centre of space research, aeronautics and science, but also the seat of one of Europe’s oldest universities (1229). You will normally fly in and out of the city’s smart modern airport, collected or returned by us in our comfortable Mercedes people-carrier. Other arrival/departure locations are equally possible.

Hotel barge Saint Louis does not cruise into Toulouse itself. However, many people choose to spend a day or two, before or after their cruise, visiting the "Ville Rose" of Toulouse and some of the other fascinating places thereabouts. One option is to visit the nearby fortified World Heritage castle of Carcassonne ("Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" and many other films) in addition to your cruise on Saint Louis. While Carcassonne is an excellent option, we would also suggest (as an alternative) visiting the stunning medieval town of Cordes-sur-Ciel – less well-known, less crowded, but equally fascinating, equally historic and equally architecturally magnificent.

The French hotel barge Saint Louis cruises the beautiful calm waterways of Southwest France, including the historic lands of Aquitaine and Gascony. She does so in "casual luxury", providing the perfect accommodation for up to six guests in three stateroom suites (configured as twins or doubles, as desired). To cruise aboard Saint Louis is to experience peace and tranquillity as one passes through the lush countryside, pretty villages and memorable towns. It also means enjoying delicious French cuisine, prepared with fresh local produce, and savouring local wines and aperitifs. Your hosts, Alasdair and Barbara, together with their friendly and expert crew, will ensure that your holiday or vacation is the ultimate in relaxed pleasure.

Barbara & Alasdair
Read about the regional wines in a previous post by Saint Louis.

Perhaps you can partake in the Au Fil de l'Eau spectacle that occurs annually around the first two weeks of August. (Week of August 4-10, 2012 currently available). See Alasdair's previous post about this event.

Please contact us for current availability for 2012 and 2013 barging cruises.

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book SAINT LOUIS 
View Saint Louis' online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: