Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hotel Barge Shannon Princess - Golf Cruise in Ireland

We have a guest post today from Ruairi and Olivia, owner-operators of the Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess regarding their Golf Cruise while journeying through the countryside of Ireland along the Shannon River.

Golfing in Ireland

History of Golf

Golf in its current form has been around since the 15th century, the origins of which are traced to Scotland. Through the centuries it has seen a lot of changes including a ban by the Scottish Parliament in 1457 because it was interfering with archery practice which was a cause of concern for the nation’s defence! Thankfully the ban was lifted in 1500 and by 1552 the Old Course at St Andrew’s, Scotland, was opened to residents of the area.

The first of Ireland’s golf clubs were founded in the 1880’s, one of which is Lahinch golf club which we visit during our golf cruise. In 1910 the Irish Golfer’s Guide was published and by 1911 the Irish Professional Golfers’ Association was established.

Combining Golf with a Luxury Barge Cruise

What better way to play golf in Ireland than to combine it with a luxury barge cruise on board the Shannon Princess.

During the 6-day break, we visit four world class golf courses:

The Golf Cruise Experience

Starting the morning with a scrumptious breakfast, we will then transport you by luxury coach to the golf course.  With an average transfer time of one hour, it won't be long before you will be playing a round of golf.

Set among the backdrop of lush Irish countryside and scenery, you will play on some of the finest golf courses in Europe.

No doubt all that fresh air will have created an appetite and in the evening you can sit back on board the barge and relax while we present you with a 7-course gourmet dinner.

With an array of elegant dishes, our foods are freshly sourced, free range and organic. We will cater to your dietary needs and can offer low fat, healthy eating options.  If you still have energy after all of this, perhaps a visit to one of the local bars onshore for a bit of Irish craic and banter will finish the day in true style!

Thanks for your contribution, Ruairi and Olivia. We appreciate it!

Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess

Visit the Emerald Isle aboard the owner-operated hotel barge, ShannonPrincess II, cruising the River Shannon between Athlone and Killaloe. Explore the lovely Irish countryside... not only the rich wildlife and spectacular scenery, but their myths and legends as well. Pass by ancient monasteries, prehistoric cities, forts and Celtic vilages, while floating along the tranquil Shannon river.

Shannon Princess accommodates up to 10 guests in 5 cabins which can be configured as either doubles or twins, as you prefer. Throughout the barge, you will find antiquities, crafts, and art with many works by Irish and local artists.

Shannon Princess is available for private charters and individual cabin booking for shared charter weeks.

View our online brochure for the Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess which includes their various themed itineraries such as their golfing cruise. Then contact Paradise Connections to start planning your barging vacation.

Why wait any longer... Go barging in Ireland !
and do a bit of golf, too...

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:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hotel Barge La Bella Vita Opera Cruises in Italy

Opera Cruises in Italy - Hotel Barge La Bella Vita

For the opera lovers amongst you, we are delighted to inform you about a special Opera Cruise aboard the Hotel Barge La Bella Vita in Italy which is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience.

Courtesy of Fondazione Arena di Verona
Photo Courtesy of Fondazione Arena di Verona

Before your cruise from Venice to Mantua begins, you will be taken to Verona to visit to the fascinating Arena Muse Opera, a wonderful museum devoted to the history of opera, followed by dinner in the delightful courtyard restaurant.

Then comes the real highlight as you take your top-priced front stalls seats to enjoy a performance of one of the best-known operas, such as Puccini’s ‘Tosca’ or Verdi’s ‘Nabucco’, in the magnificent setting of the Roman amphitheatre, the Arena di Verona.

At the end of a memorable evening, you are transferred back to your hotel in Padua, where next day, there will be a guided tour of this, one of the Veneto’s most charming cities, before joining La Bella Vita in Venice.

During the 6-night cruise, there are visits to some wonderful baroque theatres, such as the Gran Teatro La Fenice, where the premières of operas by composers such as Rossini and Verdi were performed, and the intimate Teatro Bibiena in Mantua, with its bell-shaped interior that opened with a concert by a 13-year-old Mozart in 1770.

Courtesy of Fondazione Arena di Verona
Photo Courtesy of Fondazione Arena di Verona

And, of course, there is a lot more to see as you cruise across the Venetian Lagoon past its colourful islands and on through the Po Valley - visits to the famous fish market in Chioggia, the Schifanoia Palace in Ferrara and the stunning Ducal Palace in Mantua, as well as wine tastings and dinner in a private stately home where Lord Byron wrote some of his best poetry.

This 7-day adventure is a wonderful combination for what Italy is famous for – wonderful food and wine, Renaissance architecture and of course – opera!

Opera Cruise in 2015
  • ITINERARY: This is a 7-night special "Opera Cruise"  - Includes 1 night, Saturday September 5, in a hotel in Padua and a performance of Verdi’s ‘Nabucco’ at the Arena di Verona (best seats in the house). The cruise is then for 6 nights and the direction is between Venice & Mantua. See the itinerary in full
  • DATES: September 5-12, 2015
  • AVAILABILITY: There are currently 5 cabins open and 5 cabins booked.  
  • PRICES, for the 7-night itinerary: 
    • Michelangelo (upper deck) Junior Suite: $5940/person, double occupancy
    • Tintoretto (lower deck) Stateroom: $5140/person, dbl occ
    • Veronese (lower deck) Stateroom: $5140/person, dbl occ
    • Caravaggio (lower deck) Stateroom: $5140/person, dbl occ
    • Tiepolo (lower deck) Stateroom: $5149/person, dbl occ

La Bella Vita is a stylish 20-passenger vessel offering comfortable, fully air-conditioned accommodations with a choice of single or double beds. She has two upper-deck junior suites and eight lower-deck staterooms, all with en-suite facilities; and a bright, spacious dining room/bar area. Louvred doors open to the side decks to give a perfect viewing platform. Above, there is a huge sun deck with comfortable loungers to relax on with a drink and a good book, or just watch the world go by.

Click on map to enlarge
The variety of charming waterways between Venice and Mantua (Mantova) promises a unique and magical cruising experience. The itinerary includes fascinating excursions that offer a real insight into the many cultures -- Roman, Etruscan, Istrian, Byzantine and, of course, Renaissance -- that have influenced the arts, architecture and history of the region over many centuries. Enjoy the diverse landscapes and nature en route, from picturesque lagoon islands with their colourful houses, to wild beach dunes and pine woods with an abundance of birdlife; from the charming Venetian port of Chioggia via the River Po and Bianca Canal to the captivating lakeside setting of the Renaissance city, Mantua.

Looking forward to your inquiries...

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book LA BELLA VITA 
View La Bella Vita's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

It's not how far nor how fast, it's the pleasure of the journey that keeps people coming back for more.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

RECIPE for Clafoutis from Hotel Barge Rosa

Chef Mike Crowson from the French Hotel Barge Rosa has sent us this recipe for the French dessert clafoutis (pronounced kla-foo-TEE).

Clafoutis, a popular French dessert aboard Hotel Barge Rosa

The most popular lunch dessert & most requested recipe at the beginning of this season has been the classic & humble Clafoutis.

Clafoutis is a sweet batter mix that is baked filled with unstoned cherries. The stones are left in because they give the batter a slight almond flavour during baking.

Clafoutis comes from the Limousin just north of our crousing route & its popularity spread throughout France during 19th century. The name comes from the Occitan word clafotis meaning to fill, as in a batter filled with cherries, which describes the dish perfectly.

These days clafoutis are filled with lots of different fruits such as apricots, apples, pears & nectarines. However, when filled with anything other than cherries it should be called a flaugnarde, a similar dish from the Limousin & Perigord.


  • Flour, 100 grams
  • Eggs, 3 + 1 yolk
  • Milk, 160 ml
  • Cream, 160 ml
  • Caster sugar, 90 grams
  • Lemon zested, 1
  • Salt, pinch
  • Butter, melted, 70 grams
  • Cherries, with or without stones (pits), 600 grams

  1. Using a 24-28 cm baking dish or cake tin, either line with baking parchment or in a baking dish brush with butter & coat with sugar as you would a soufflé.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 180 C, 350 F, gas 4
  3. Put the flour, lemon zest & sugar in a mixing bowl. In a jug, mix all the wet ingredients then add this to the flour mixture to create a smooth batter.
  4. Finally, fold the cherries into the batter & pour into the prepared baking dish & bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, cool just slightly & sprinkle with caster sugar,
  5. Serve with a warm crème anglaise, pouring cream, or crème fraîche.

Thanks, Mike!

 French Hotel Barge Rosa at their mooring at the port in Montauban

Rosa's charming accommodation for eight guests features two double and two twin-bedded staterooms, all with private ensuite bathrooms, and a saloon that gives direct access onto the spacious sundeck. A cruise on Hotel Barge Rosa is the ideal way to explore this beautiful, pastoral region of Southwest France.

Rosa has two routes for cruising the Gascony/Bordeaux area:
  1. Agen to Montauban (view itinerary): from March 29 through August 22, 2015
  2. Castet-en-Dorthe to Boé  (view itinerary): from August 23 through October 31, 2015

See if Rosa has any special offers/discounts available:  CLICK HERE

Enjoy yourself this summer with a cruise aboard Rosa!

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book ROSA 
View Rosa's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

Friday, May 08, 2015


Book Now and Save
 Special Offers for 2015 Barging Cruises / Barge 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 :

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

HOTEL BARGE PANACHE Cruise the Champagne Region of France

NEW 6-night itinerary for the Champagne Region in France aboard the Hotel Barge PANACHE departing June 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2015 and with discounted rates!

Two routes: Paris to Condé sur Marne AND between Chalons en Champagne and La Ferté sur Jouarre

To meet demands for their popular fully-crewed, all-inclusive hotel barge cruises through France’s Champagne Region, Panache has added four new departures this June. These special departures are available June 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2015 (click for itinerary). Transfers to and from the vessel from central Paris are included in the price, so passengers have the extra opportunity to linger on their own in the “City of Lights” prior to or after the cruise.

Panache also has a repositioning cruise from Paris to Condé sur la Marne for the week of May 31-June 6, 2015 (click for itinerary).

Highlights of the 6-night Champagne Cruise include:
  • Cruising the historic River Marne and the Canal Lateral à la Marne
  • Private tastings at three Champagne houses, including one in Epernay
  • Visit to the WW1 battlefield of Château Thierry and the cemetery at Belleau Wood
  • Tour of Reims, featuring the city’s majestic, 800-year-old Gothic cathedral and a tasting at a  renowned “fromagier”, or cheese maker
  • Visit to the hilltop village of Hautvillers, where Dom Perignon discovered the “Méthode Champenoise”, the special way of getting the sparkle into the wine


After touring the Champagne area, Panache moves on to region of Alsace-Lorraine (click for itinerary) and offers barging cruises from July 12 - October 31, 2015 between Strasbourg and Niderviller. Alsace-Lorraine is in Eastern France with a unique mix of French and German cultures.


Dates mentioned for private charters may also be available for cabin cruises, but not necessarily at the discounted cabin rate... Inquire

  • Cabin cruise: $2500 discount per cabin: May 31 -- Now only $8000/cabin, double occupancy, i.e. $4000/person

  • Cabin cruises: $2500 discount per cabin: June 21, 28 -- Now only $8000/cabin, double occupancy, i.e. $4000/person
  • Private charter: $15,000 off full 12-person rate (this is also a savings if you are a group of 8): June 7, 14 --- Only $42,000 for up to 12 guests

  • Cabin cruises: $2500 discount per cabin: July 12, August 2 -- Now only $8000/cabin, double occupancy, i.e. $4000/person
  • Private charter: $15,000 off full 12-person rate (this is also a savings if you are a group of 8): July 26, August 9, 16, 23 (Only $42,000 for up to 12 guests), and August 30 (Regular season so $51,000 for up to 12 guests)

The price for these 6-night cruises includes gourmet meals prepared by an on-board chef and served with fine wines, open bar, and daily escorted excursions. It also includes admission fees and transportation, and local round trip transfers between Paris and Panache (between Strasbourg and the barge for Alsace-Lorraine cruises) by private air-conditioned minibus.


The 128-foot Panache is a 12-passenger luxury hotel barge of classic Dutch design, fully air conditioned with spacious public areas and six en-suite cabins, with your choice of twin or double bed configuration. En-suite bathrooms have twin sinks and oversize showers with massage jets.

Panache is traditionally furnished in an old ship style with brass and mahogany, creating a comfortable and charming ambience. The salon and dining room have large panoramic windows for viewing the passing countryside, as well as comfortable sofas, books and music, and an always open inclusive bar. The sun deck is spacious and has a heated spa pool; a perfect place to watch the sun set after dinner.

Panache has a highly professional crew of six, comprised of Master Chef, Deck Hand, Tour guide, two Housekeepers, and led by a knowledgeable and experienced Captain, who will ensure your cruise is memorable and more. Their knowledge of the region, combined with fascinating chauffeur-driven private excursions and the 12 bikes provided, will allow you to explore the areas you cruise through in as much detail as you desire.

Find more information about Panache (such as amenities, itineraries, photos, videos, etc) in our online brochure:  CLICK HERE

Visit France with Panache! Contact us!

Contact Paradise Connections to book PANACHE
View Panache's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre: only remaining 5 weeks open for 2015

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.

French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre - Barging Cruise in Burgundy France


Savoir Vivre is offering a 20% discount off of private charters. Open weeks are available for private charters and cabin cruses.

PRIVATE CHARTER, Regular Season: 
May 17-23, 2015
July 5-11, 2015
July 26-August 1, 2015 
  • up to 6 guests: $22,400 (normally $28,000)
  • 7 guests: $23,200 (normally $29,000)
  • 8 guests: $24,000 (normally $30,000) 
October 18-24, 2015
October 25-31, 2015
  • up to 6 guests: $20,800 (normally $26,000)
  • 7 guests: $21,600 (normally $27,000)
  • 8 guests: $22,400 (normally $28,000) 
CABIN CRUISES, Value and Regular Season
  • Standard rate of $3750/person, double occupancy (i.e. $7500/cabin)

The French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre has become a very popular barge for cruising the canals of Burgundy as you can tell by their calendar. The 2015 barging season has just started and they only have five open weeks left.

French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre - Barging in France - Barge Cruises in Burgundy

Savoir Vivre offers both cabin cruises and private charters. They currently have 5 weeks which can be for private charters or individual cabin bookings as all cabins are open.

Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre moored for the night on the Burgundy Canal, France

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).

Lunch is catered by local professional chefs

Dinners are ashore at interesting local restaurants

Savoir Vivre is 80 feet long, air conditioned (and has central heat, too), 4 identical guest cabins which can be configured with a queen or two twin beds, each having ensuite private bathrooms, flat screen TV, internet where available, 8 bicycles, etc...
SAVOIR VIVRE: Ability to live life well and with intelligent enjoyment, meeting every situation with poise, good manners, and elegance. Etymology: French, to know (how) to live.

Looking forward to your inquiries

Contact Paradise Connections to book SAVOIR VIVRE 
View Savoir Vivre's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging: