Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Special Offers UPDATED

Earlier in the week we updated our Special Offers page for European Barging Cruises.

Of the barges participating, many have 10% or 20% off their normal rates for selected weeks. The majority of these discounts expire on April 3, 2013.

There are also "extras" such as a free Gondola ride with Italian Hotel Barge La Bella Vita.

We are in the process of updating our online brochures for hotel barges in our fleet. This includes updating the code, photos, specifications, layout diagrams, itineraries, cuisine, etc. We have just finished updating our fleet in Great Britain: Scottish Highlander, Spirit of Scotland, Shannon Princess and Magna Carta. Last night we started on Italian Hotel Barge La Bella Vita.

Magna Carta is offering their "Downton Abbey" cruise this season. Even though the TV series has now ended, Downton Abbey enthusiasts are still excited about walking in the footsteps of the talented actors and actresses who made it such a captivating drama. Select weeks will include a visit to Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey), one of England's most beautiful Victorian castles set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland. The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679, and the current castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which in turn was built on the foundations of the medieval palace owned by the Bishops of Winchester for some 800 years.

Visit Highclere Castle - English Hotel Barge Magna Carta - Royal River Thames

The Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess has two cabins available. Check it out! Of course, you can book early for the 2019 season as spots book up fast.

Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barge trip
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

Thursday, February 22, 2018

IRELAND - 2 cabins re-open on Shannon Princess

We are pleased to announce that TWO cabins are now available for 2018 aboard the Irish Hotel Barge SHANNON PRINCESS.

You have another chance for barging in Ireland this season as the Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess has a couple of cancellations.

Irish Hotel Barge Shannon Princess - Barge Cruises In Ireland

Shannon Princess currently has:
  • 1 cabin open for May 27-June 2, 2018
  • 1 cabin open for June 24-30, 2018

Price is $10,100/cabin for 2 people ($5050/person, double occupancy).

This price includes: Local transfers between Dublin and the hotel barge (the approximate transfer duration is 2hrs or 2hrs 30mins depending on the cruise direction), 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 include wireless internet access, spa-pool (hot tub) . Bicycles are available upon request at no extra charge.

These cabins will go quickly as Shannon Princess is otherwise completely booked up for 2018.

See our newly updated brochure for Shannon Princess: CLICK HERE

Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.

Ireland: River Shannon

The River Shannon and its lakes represent Ireland at its finest and your cruise aboard Shannon Princess features a landscape of rolling green fields, ancient Celtic landmarks and an abundance of wildlife.

The legends and fables of Ireland are found everywhere and are well understood by the hospitable Irish people who will be happy to tell you more about the ancient culture. The history of Ireland has been varied and sometimes difficult, but the locals always find the time to chat and perhaps charm you a tale or two of folklore.

The 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.

Cruise Highlights

During your cruise, there is a program of fascinating excursions that will you give you a true immersion into the heritage and traditions of this part of Ireland, such as a personal tour of a castle by its eccentric owner, a birds of prey display, visits to a whiskey distillery and hand-weaving workshop and, of course, the chance to sample a pint or two of the ‘black stuff’ – Guinness.
  • Tour the legendary 6th century Clonmacnoise ruins
  • Full day excursion to Portumna Castle and Galway
  • Traditional Guinness and oyster lunch
  • Visit the unusual haunted Leap Castle
  • Tour Birr Castle’s Gardens and Science Centre
  • Birds of prey demonstration at Adare Manor
  • Tour of the Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery with a private tasting
  • Visit a traditional Irish hand-weaving workshop
  • Hear traditional Irish music
  • Excellent walking and fishing opportunities

Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.

Don't miss out again... 
Book your 2018 Shannon Princess cruise NOW

Contact Paradise Connections to book SHANNON PRINCESS
View Shannon Princess's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Scotland's Caledonian Canal in the Scottish Highlands

Cruising The Caledonian Canal in the Scottish Highlands

We are not alone in the belief that cruising the Caledonian Canal is the perfect way to appreciate the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands. This 60-mile waterway, which bisects the Highlands from Fort William in the southwest to Inverness in the northeast, passes brooding castles and connects dramatic, deep-water lochs.

A Two-Pronged Project

The canal was first conceived by James Watt, inventor of the Watt steam engine, in 1773. It would join the lochs of the Great Glen – namely Loch Ness, Loch Oich and Loch Lochy – which lie in a remarkably straight line along a geological fault, connecting eastern and western Scotland. However, it was in 1803, 30 years later, that the project was approved by the Scottish government with canal engineer Thomas Telford at the helm.

The benefits of the canal would be two-fold: it would save sailors from making the often perilous trip around the north and west of Scotland, and it would provide work for the many unemployed men who had been deprived of their jobs in the Highland Clearances. However, the project exceeded both its deadline and its budget. Its local workforce was significantly reduced during the peat cutting season and the potato harvest, resulting in the hiring of Irish navvies (unskilled manual laborers) to continue the work and leading to criticism that it wasn’t fulfilling its aim to reduce local unemployment.

Better Late Than Never?

The fact that the canal took 19 years to complete – 12 years longer than expected – meant that the wooden sailing ships it had originally been designed to accommodate were somewhat outdated by the time it opened. Steamer ships with iron hulls were now able to make the journey around the coast of Scotland with much less risk. To make matters worse, many of these new ships were too big to use the canal.

Scottish Highland & other pleasure boats in Fort Augustus lock
 Although, commercially, this impressive waterway was not the success its designers had envisaged, its stunning route through the Highlands made it a popular tourist attraction. Queen Victoria’s cruise along it in 1873 led to an increase in interest which has not abated ever since.

Fabulous Features

Cruising aboard the hotel barges Scottish Highlander and Spirit of Scotland allow you to appreciate the incredible feats of engineering that Thomas Telford and his team achieved when building this remarkable canal. The area is called "the Highlands" for a reason: there are an impressive 29 locks, 10 bridges and four aqueducts along the 60-mile route. Of particular note is Neptune’s Staircase, the longest staircase lock in the UK. It takes a vessel 90 minutes to rise 70 feet over a distance of 500 yards, passing through 8 locks along the way.

Neptune's Staircase

Scottish Hotel Barges

While the waterway itself is very interesting, there are many other fascinating aspects of the Scottish Highlands that you will enjoy.

Click map to enlarge

We represent two hotel barges who travel this route...



Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.

Take a trip to Scotland this year

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barge trip
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

Monday, February 12, 2018

French Hotel Barge Anjodi has a new route

French Hotel Barge ANJODI has a new itinerary from Marseillan to Avignon in the south of France. It is a dream come true for foodies, historians and nature lovers alike.

You will experience oyster farms, Muscat wine tasting, and the incredibly colorful wildlife of the Camargue National park. It's more than likely that you'll spot a flock of pink flamingos or wild white horses charging across wide open expanses, as Anjodi gently cruises by.

Pink flamingos in the Camargue

If Muscat isn't your thing (do you know what you're missing?) then there's a marvellous Mediterranean beach within walking distance from where Anjodi is moored. The next day you can stroll about the parapet of the beautiful walled town of Aigues Mortes, admiring the sunset from spectacular heights!

Visiting Arles, you'll understand why it was the inspiration for over 300 of Van Gogh’s paintings, plus you'll also see the 1st Century Roman Arena and St Trophime’s Basilica. The old Camargue capital is a stunning cornucopia of architecture and incredible Mediterranean cuisine.

Palais des Papes

And, of course, there’s wine!. On Friday, following an exquisite lunch, a tour has been arranged of the world-renowned Chateau Neuf du Papes commune, accompanied by a private tasting with one of the region’s most prestigious wine makers. After the tour and tasting it's back to the barge for one final balmy evening of cocktails and the Captain’s farewell dinner.

Does this float your boat? Then check out the full itinerary in Anjodi's online brochure.

Have QUESTIONS or you'd like to BOOK? Contact Paradise Connections.

This itinerary is offered for the VALUE week of October 28 to November 3, 2018. Currently, no cabins are booked so Anjodi is open for private charter or individual cabin bookings.

This itinerary is only offered once this year, so
grab it with gusto

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

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Savings for the single traveler

Single travelers... 

No single supplement on select cruise dates for cabin bookings made by February 19, 2018. 
[2/11/2018 - Update: added Barge Emma, canal du midi]

Click on the barge's name to view their online brochure.




Enjoy Barging in 2018 !

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barge trip
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Free Gondola Tours on Italian Hotel Barge La Bella Vita

FREE Gondola Rides & 20% Off Cabins

For cruises departing 6th May, 10th June and 24th June 2018, guests aboard hotel barge La Bella Vita are offered a free Gondola ride through Venice. In addition to this, there's a 20% discount for the 6th May cruise departure and 10% off the 10th and 24th June cruises, respectively.

Special offer: Free Gondola Ride through Venice on select dates


Emblematic of Venice, the Gondola has to be one of the most romantic modes of transport available to us today. It is a vessel steeped in history which over time has become a must do activity for those who visit The Floating City. At the turn of the 18th century it is estimated that there were some 4000 gondolas in operation on the waterways of Venice, a monumental number when you consider that today, there are only 400.

The Gondolas are 36 feet (10.87 metres) in length and weigh a staggering 1545 pounds (700kg). A quirk of their design is that they have one side longer than the other, created to counterbalance the weight of the gondolier. This unique feature gives them their distinctive lean as they cruise along.

Becoming a gondolier is no easy feat. The prospective applicant must be vetted, and pass a series of tests before they can obtain their full licence. Even then the number of gondoliers in Venice is capped, so they must wait for their chance to get out on the water. Besides the obvious perks of the outdoor life and the physique one must obtain from rowing every day, owning and operating a Gondola is a lucrative business, average earnings are said to be between $83,000 and $140,000 per year.


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.

La Bella Vita

Learn more... View their online brochure and/or Contact Paradise Connections.

Experience Italy from Your Floating Hotel on the Water
La Bella Vita

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:

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Barge Scottish Highlander: updated online brochure

We are happy to announce that we have updated our online brochure for the Scottish Hotel Barge Scottish Highlander.

Scottish Highlander - Cruising the Highlands of Scotland

We have updated the photos, itineraries (including the Whisky Trail) and have generally freshened things up a bit.

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:

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Barge Rendez-Vous Updates

Ta Da! We've just completed updating the online brochure for Hotel Barge RENDEZ-VOUS.

French Hotel Barge Rendez-Vous -- Barging Cruises in Burgundy France

We have updated itineraries, including theme cruises of Golfing, and Cycling. Plus, we have added more photos, information about layout, specifications, amenities, and cuisine.

Barge Rendez-Vous cruises in Southern Burgundy along the Canal de Bourgogne between Fleury-sur-Ouche and Vandenesse en Auxois. They accommodate up to 6 guests in 3 guests staterooms which can be configured as either Twins or Queens according to your preference.

Learn more... View their online brochure and/or Contact Paradise Connections.


15% discount on all remaining open July/August weeks.

Experience Burgundy This Season aboard
French Hotel Barge Rendez-Vous

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book RENDEZ-VOUS
View Rendez-Vous' online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Everyone Should Do This...

Imagine the sense of relaxation and enjoyment as your floating hotel carries you from one peaceful mooring to the next with more than enough opportunity to explore little villages, shops, the delightful countryside and much, much more, without the need to pack and repack every day....

Everyone should do this at least once in their life

Paradise Connections represents luxury hotel barges that accommodate small groups from 2 to 20 guests depending upon the barge. If you're a larger group, we can arrange for a tandem cruise. The attentive crew will pamper you with personalized service to ensure your enjoyment of this unique vacation. The cuisine is superb with carefully selected cheese and wines to accompany your meals aboard. Every day offers interesting local guided excursions, or you may choose to stay "home" with a good book and listen to some tunes... the choice is up to you. You can always do a bit of activity such as cycling and walking along the towpath as your barge makes its way along the canal.

Let's Go Barging in 2018 !

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book your barge trip
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.