Thursday, December 25, 2014

Provençal Christmas Traditions - Provence, France

This morning I read an email from "Le Petit Journal for December 24" which had a link to an article about a Provençal Christmas.

This article on (which you can read HERE) is mainly about food and Christmas traditions. It mentioned that there is a traditional French Christmas song claiming that Jesus was born in Provence — Jésus Est Né en Provence — between Avignon and the town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

From YouTube:  Robert Miras sings Jésus Est Né en Provence

Here are the lyrics (found HERE):
Jésus est né en Provence
Entre Avignon et les Saintes-Maries
Jésus est né en Provence
C'est un berger qui me l'a dit
Dans le Midi de la France
Sous la dentelle des tamaris
Jésus est né en Provence
Jésus est né dans le Midi

Il m'a dit le berger, il m'a dit
Qu'un olivier avec ses branches
Lui avait fait comme un tapis
Et puis et puis la brebis blanche
Qu'il y avait auprès de lui
Sentait le thym et la lavande
Des montagnes de mon pays
Peut-être n'est-ce qu'une légende
On blague un peu dans le Midi ...
{au Refrain}

Et le berger s'il m'a menti peuchère !
C'était par malveillance
A vrai dire, dans ce paradis
Entre le Rhône et la Durance,
On pouvait croire que le petit
Ne pouvait naître qu'en Provence
Dans une étable vers Saint-Rémy
Quand les étoiles se balancent
Dans notre ciel à la minuit ...
{au Refrain} 

The holiday season is an excellent time to discuss and plan your barging vacation with friends and family. Contact Paradise Connections and we will be happy to assist!

Happy Holidays!

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

Friday, December 12, 2014

Barge Cruises: September 2015 Availability

As you probably already know, September is the most popular month for barging and it books up quickly.

So, if you are interested in a barge cruise for September 2015, look at the list below for current availability and contact Paradise Connections.

UPDATED: January 17, 2015

August 30 - September 5, 2015

September 6 - 12

September 13-19

September 20-26

September 27 - October 3

Don't Wait Until They're All Gone... BOOK NOW

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

Thursday, December 11, 2014


 Click link below to see current special offers / discounts for
Barging cruises / Barge charters / Barge trips / Barging vacations

Want to go cruising on a luxury crewed hotel barge? We have some great special offers for you.

Contact Paradise Connections for both cabin bookings or private charters.

Looking forward to your inquiries

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

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Barge Cruises: World War One (WWI) Picardy France

World War One Commemorative Cruises aboard Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque

Just a reminder that we still have availability on the French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque for their World War One Commemorative Cruises in April 2015.

It is 100 years since the outbreak of World War One, which ran from July 1914 through November 1918, and we will be offering a number of 6-night, all-inclusive, World War One commemorative cruises each spring over the next few years. See below for 2015 availability (as of Dec. 4, 2014).

In 2015, La Belle Epoque, a superb 12-passenger hotel barge, will have a special theme cruise along the Canal du Nord, while another route will also branch along the Canal de la Somme. Both these waterways were the at the center of battles during the War and there will be excursions to some of the most significant sites and memorials in Flanders and the Somme, including:

Menin Gate Memorial
Thiepval Memorial
Vimy Ridge Memorial
  • The Menin Gate in Ypres for the very moving Last Post ceremony.
  • The Thiepval memorial, a heart-rending monument to 75,000 missing soldiers who fell during the Battle of the Somme.
  • Vimy Ridge, site of the Canadian National Memorial, Canada's largest overseas memorial.
  • The forest clearing at Compiegne where the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.

Two cruises will follow the Canal de la Somme, starting or finishing near Villers Bretonneux on the weekend of the ANZAC Day Dawn Service, an event of deep significance to Australians and New Zealanders.

The excursion program for the four cruises will have some flexibility built in to allow, where possible, guests of different nationalities to visit sites of particular significance to their own countries. In addition, there will be interesting cruising through the spring Picardy countryside with highlights such as passing through the historic city of Lille and negotiating the 3-mile-long Ruyaulcourt Tunnel.

The departure dates for La Belle Epoque's 2015 WWI cruises:
  • April 5-11, 2015: Compiegne to Lille
  • April 12-18, 2015: Lille to Compiegne
  • April 19-25, 2015: Compiegne to Villers-Bretonneux
    • 2 cabins open, 4 cabins booked
  • April 26–May 2, 2015: Villers-Bretonneux to Compiegne
These WWI cruises are available for individual cabin bookin gs and the first two weeks are still open (current as of December 2, 2014) for private charter.

La Belle Epoque would love to welcome you aboard for one of these fascinating voyages through the landscapes of Northern France that witnessed events a century ago that changed the course of history.

Sounds interesting? 

Contact Paradise Connections and let's get started. This will be a very popular cruise that will book up quickly. Don't miss this special opportunity!

Looking forward to your inquiries

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

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Barge Scottish Highlander: Experience Spring in Scotland

If you are a lover of spectacular scenery, wildlife and malt whisky, spring is a great time of year to cruise through the Great Glen in the Highlands of Scotland aboard the luxury, all-inclusive, crewed hotel barge Scottish Highlander.

Luxury Canal Cruises in Scotland - The Caledonian Canal, Loch Ness & the Highlands
Scottish Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander More Videos


"Why would anyone want to cruise in the Scottish Highlands in April? Isn’t it cold and dark?,” you may ask.

Well, perhaps you should come aboard the barge Scottish Highlander and find out for yourself. The glorious, dramatic scenery that you will cruise by is set off by some of the highest snow-capped mountains and colorful displays of heather, wild flowers and cherry blossom. Flowering cherry trees, with their double blossom, were introduced long ago from Japan and they have thrived in this part of Scotland.

The many seabird colonies on the coast are at their most spectacular during the spring nesting season and nature reserves see the start of huge flocks of migrating ducks and geese. Seals, dolphins and porpoises can be seen almost all year round in coastal areas near towns like Muirtown, which is the beginning or end point of your barging cruise,

Besides the warmth you will feel from your professional and attentive crew, Scottish Highlander has central heating throughout to keep your toes toasty.  The large picture windows in the comfortable saloon means that you can enjoy the spectacular views from inside as you cruise Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal, perhaps while enjoying one of the many single malts on board!

What more could you ask for at this time of year? Hmmmm... a special offer, perhaps?

Private Charters and Cabin Cruises: April 5, 12, 19, 26 departures: 10% discount off standard rates. 

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. The experienced crew of four, led by your captain, ensure attention to your every need.

A six-night cruise includes all meals, open bar, daily escorted excursions, local transfers and use of barge facilities such as bicycles.

Cabins for the Golfing Cabin Cruise weeks are still available.
10-16 May and 4-10 October 2014
See HERE for more info.

Scottish Highlander, like all of our barges, is booking up quickly for the 2015 season so please contact us as soon as possible to book your Scottish Highland adventure cruise.

Bring snacks for Nessie in case she stops by...

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

Thursday, December 04, 2014

French Hotel Barges for Bastille Day Celebrations 2015

"Vive La France" on July 14th!

Our 6-night barging cruises departing on July 12th along various French canals, will give passengers the chance to celebrate Bastille Day, the National Day of France, in true French style. Guests will be able to watch firework displays and join in the celebrations, perhaps from the deck of their hotel barge whilst being served champagne, or amongst townfolk in a local village.

During the rest of the week, our fully-crewed, luxury hotel barges will glide along their respective routes offering the perfect blend of excitement and tranquillity.

Click on the barge's name to access their online brochure. For further information on our barges, contact Paradise Connections HERE.

AVAILABILITY for the week of 12-18 July 2015 (as of December 14, 2014):
Only three of our barges are available for private charter while the others are open for a cabin cruise week.

This video is from the producers of firework spectacles, Ruggieri.

For those of you who will not be in attendance, the video above shows the festivities in Carcassonne from 14 July 2012. It is very good footage but nothing like being there in person with the beautiful colors, the sounds of the rockets taking off, the percussion of the soundwaves striking your body, the oohs and ahs of the crowd... Good stuff. The French can really put on a show :)

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet

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

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

2015 Burgundy Walking Tour Barging Cruise with Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque

The French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque has completely sold out for the two weeks designated for their annual guided 2015 walking tour cruises in Burgundy, France. If we get enough interest, perhaps we can ask them to add another week... doesn't hurt to ask :)

Please book early for the 2016 season.

Barging & Walking in Burgundy, France - A wonderful combination

With autumn colors transforming the countryside, this is the perfect time of year to explore Burgundy with its rolling landscape, quaint villages and ruined castles.

2015 DATES and AVAILABILITY (as of December 14, 2014):
  • October 11-17, 2015: BOOKED
  • October 18-24, 2015: BOOKED

  • $10,500/cabin ($5250/person) for a Junior Suite
  • $10,180/cabin ($5090/person) for a Stateroom
You can view the full itinerary for the Guided Walking Tour cruise on La Belle Epoque's brochure.

The difference with this theme cruise is that it is available for individuals or couples to book a cabin and join others on board. No need to charter the whole barge and no extra supplements to pay for the services of the professional walking guide.

If you are part of a couple and not as keen about walking as your "better half", pas de problème... There are other activities available if you wish, or you can just chill out on La Belle Epoque and watch the countryside glide by while listening to tunes on your iPod or reading a book in the jacuzzi!

The French Hotel Barge La Belle Epoque - Barging in France

La Belle Epoque has been designed with both elegance and passenger comfort in mind. This all-inclusive deluxe barge is 128 feet long, has two interior deck levels (fully air conditioned & heated), a crew of 5, and accommodates up to 12 guests in 6 cabins, each with private, ensuite bathrooms. The salon & dining room has beautiful wood panelling, with an always-open inclusive bar. The sundeck has steamer chairs, recliners, parasols, a large dining table, and a Jacuzzi spa pool. They have 12 touring bikes, plus a tandem! These, together with other luxury facilities, create a vessel perfect for a relaxing, luxurious cruise.

Burgundy is among the most popular hotel barging areas in Europe. It is renowned for its vineyards, Gothic churches, Renaissance châteaux and picturesque villages. This is a region of France in which gastronomic delights and the art of living have reigned supreme since Roman times.

Sounds interesting? 

Contact Paradise Connections and let's get started. This is a very popular cruise and it books up quickly. Don't miss this opportunity!

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

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Spring 2015 - Dutch Tulip Cruises / Barging in Holland

From late March to mid-May, we offer "Dutch Tulip Cruises" when the countryside of Holland is covered in blooms of all colors... tulips, daffordils, crocus, hyacinth, iris...

Guests aboard the barges Panache, Savoir Faire, and La Nouvelle Etoile (click on link to view barge's online brochure) will experience the culture, architecture, and beauty of Holland.  Renowned for its famous windmills, charming waterside villages, and its millions of colorful flowers in full bloom every Spring.

Guided by your professional and experienced crew, visit the famous Keukenhof Gardens, the Gouda cheese markets and the Aalsmeer flower auction – where up to 20 million flowers are sold daily. Delight in the various tastes, fragrances, and spectacular views of this region.

Besides flowers and cheese, you may also tour various museums, homes of famous painters, Delft pottery works, windmills, clogmakers... Take a ride on one of the barge's bicycles and do a bit more exploring.

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