Sunday, March 25, 2018

Go Barging This Spring on the European Waterways

Here are just 4 great examples...

After the frosty storms of this past winter, there’s nothing like a rejuvenating spring break to blow away the cobwebs and show your face some sunshine. March, April and May are the ideal months for a barge cruise on continental Europe, when temperatures are high enough to soak up some much needed Vitamin D, yet mild enough to explore fully without worrying about the heat.


The beautiful Burgundian countryside can be fully appreciated on a cruise early in the year. Whether you’re biking down the picturesque towpath of the Canal du Bourgogne, driving through the region’s rolling vineyards, or simply relaxing with a glass of wine on the barge’s sun deck as you glide down the canal – we believe that Burgundy is superb in the spring.

We have several barges in Burgundy. Click on their names to view their online brochures:


The city of Venice is a fascinating feast for the eyes at any time of the year, but the beauty of the lagoon is especially apparent in the spring months. Nothing can beat a stroll along the Istrian sea wall, constructed in the nineteenth century, with astounding views of the Adriatic.

View online brochure: La Bella Vita

Canal du Midi

Birdwatchers will be in their element cruising the Canal du Midi in the spring when cruising through the “Petite Camargue”. This region is a haven for wildfowl such as Bee Eaters, African Rollers and the iconic pink flamingo.

We have several barges on the Canal du Midi. Click on their names to view their online brochures:


Last but not least... Holland, of course! In late March and early April its world-famous tulips are in full and riotous bloom. If you’d like to witness the spectacle yourself, get in touch to find out about the special tulip cruises that we have at this time of the year with excursions to Keukenhof Gardens and the Aalsmeer flower auction.

Two barges to choose from:  La Nouvelle Etoile  —   Panache

Make the Most of Spring with a Barging Cruise

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

Saturday, March 24, 2018

RECIPE: Breaded Camembert with a Port and Red Currant Sauce

This beautiful Baked Breaded Camembert with a Port and Red Currant Sauce recipe is a clear champion when it comes to dinner parties. Baked breaded Camembert is hassle-free and full of with flavor.

  • 1 Camembert (not too ripe)
  • 4 oz fine bread crumbs
  • 1 beaten egg yolk
  • Small jar red currants in their natural juices
  • 3/4 cup port
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tbs red currant jelly
  • Salt and ground black pepper


  1. Cut the Camembert into quarters. Dip the quarters in the beaten egg yolk and then in the bread crumbs, making sure they are well covered. Place the Camembert in the freezer.
  2. To make the sauce, place the red currants, including the juice, into a saucepan. Add the port, lemon juice, red currant jelly, and seasoning. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Keep sauce on a low heat while cooking the Camembert.
  3. To cook the breaded Camembert, remove from the freezer 30 minutes before cooking. Lightly brush with nut oil and bake in a 475°F (245°C) oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  4. Serve with the port and red currant sauce.


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

Thursday, March 08, 2018

French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre - Special Offer

(Hurry, booking up quickly)

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. This popular hotel barge has a special offer that we'd like to share...

French Hotel Barge Savoir Vivre - Barging cruises in Burgundy France


20% discount off remaining open dates for 2018 season.

Dates open for private charters or cabin bookings (4 cabins currently available):
  • April 1 (value season), 22, 29
  • July 22
  • August 19

Dates open for cabin bookings:
  • Aug 12

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


Savoir Vivre is an 8-passenger, hotel barge that cruises along the Canal de Bourgogne in the Burgundy region of France.

Savoir Vivre is 80 feet long, air conditioned (central heating, too), 4 identical guest cabins which can be configured with a queen or two twin beds, each having ensuite private bathrooms, flat screen TV, DVD, iPod dock,  internet where available, 8 bicycles, etc...

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).

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

Shall we pencil you in ?

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

Monday, March 05, 2018

Italian Hotel Barge La Bella Vita - Visit Villa Ca’Zen

The Italian Hotel Barge La Bella Vita, accommodating a maximum of 20 guests, offers canal/ river cruises in Italy including Venice, the Islands of the Venetian Lagoon, the Bianca Canal, and Po Valley. The Po River flows through the north of the country and provides the perfect setting from which to discover its landscape, people and history in the most delightful way.

One popular excursion on this Italian river cruise through the Veneto region is the lovely Villa Ca’Zen, a 17th-century villa in the Po Delta Nature Reserve, Italy’s biggest regional park. The villa’s long and interesting history also has a link to one of Britain’s greatest poets: Lord Byron (more about that later).

Early History

In the early 1700s, many wealthy Venetian families established grand estates throughout the Po Delta region, using the area for shooting, fishing and crop cultivation. The Ca’Zen estate was built by the Zen family around that time, and is situated on the site of a small stone tabernacle that dates back to 1459 and is dedicated to Saint Margherita.

The original estate included the Venetian-style villa, along with a chapel, stables and a portico. The chapel has a beautiful aspect directly facing the River Po and contains two important statues (from the famous Bolognese School) that depict Mary and the Archangel Gabriel during the Annunciation.

In the early 1800s, when the estate passed from the Zen family’s hands to the Marchesi Guiccioli of Ravenna, two extra wings were added to the villa, along with some outlying cottages and several large granary barns.

Lord Byron

The history of the villa took on a romantic twist through its association with Lord Byron, who is perhaps the most romantic of all the great Romantic poets. Byron fell deeply in love with Contessa Teresa Gamba who was already spoken for as the wife of Alessandro Guiccioli.

Despite her marriage to Guiccioli, the attraction between the Contessa and Byron was instant and mutual and they became lovers. Angered by their liaison, her husband sent her away to languish in the family estate (Ca’Zen) far from the social life of Venice in an attempt to place distance between the lovers. Alas for Guiccioli, Byron instead pursued his passion and secretly travelled to the estate to be with Teresa. It was from here that the poet penned some of his most celebrated and beautiful works, many of which were dedicated to his lady love and the river.

Beyond Byron

In the ensuing years, the estate was taken over by the Casalicchio-Avanzo family, and it was the wife of Cavalier Pericle Avanzo, Elaine Avanzo Westropp Bennett, who suggested using part of the country house to rent out to visitors. Its location in the heart of the environmental reserve is ideal for a host of outdoor pursuits. Today, the villa is also very popular as a wedding venue.

The romance, history, culture and landscape of this relatively unspoilt region combine to create a truly memorable experience both on and off the water.

About La Bella Vita

La Bella Vita

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 an awning and comfortable loungers to relax on with a drink and a good book, or just watch the world go by.

See our newly updated brochure for La Bella Vita: CLICK HERE

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

Visit Italy this year, with 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:

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Walking The Scottish Highlands

Scotland’s popularity as a tourist destination has soared over the last few years, and with its spellbinding natural landscapes, historic cities and unique culture it’s not hard to see why.

Barge Cruises Through The Highlands of Scotland

Scottish Hotel Barge Spirit of Scotland

An all-inclusive, crewed barging charter is an excellent platform for a walking trip through the Scottish Highlands. We have two hotel barges that offer guided walking-themed cruises:

Munros and Glencoe

With some 282 Munros (a Scottish mountain at least 3,000 feet in height) and more than 30,000 lochs, Scotland is the ideal place for a stroll. The Munros were first listed in 1891 by Sir Hugh Munro, at the time his list caused a fair amount of uproar as there were only thought to be around 30 mountains of that stature. Since its inception “Munro Bagging” has become a popular pursuit for walkers and hikers alike, this refers to the practice of reaching the summit of a Munro, although with 282 to tick off your list you’d have to be fairly dedicated!

Somewhat of a mecca for British walkers, Glencoe is an enigmatic blend of troubled history and dramatic glens, infamous for both the MacDonald massacre of 1692 and the towering peaks of the three sisters; here you will find a myriad of trails from the light (at 45 minutes) to the somewhat strenuous (at 7-9 hours).

Highland Castles & Cities

Eilean Dolan Castle

Encounter the incandescent yellow of the wild gorse and the deep purple of the heather carpeted highlands as you stroll around the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle or the incredibly scenic Loch Oich, the highest point of the Caledonian Canal. A short drive away is the stunning Eilean Dolan castle, featuring in the films “Highlander” and “The World Is Not Enough” the castle overlooks three sea lochs and there is no shortage of space for exploration.

In the unlikely event you don’t find yourself enamoured with the beautiful Scottish countryside, Inverness, considered the capital city of the Highlands, is a gem of a place for a ramble. Bursting at the seams with culture, music and ancient architecture it is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, and yet despite its rapidly expanding population it still retains the authentic feel of a time honoured Highland town. If you’re interested in hiking in Scotland or walking holidays then you might consider a hotel barge cruise as the perfect way to get to the heart of the highlands.

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

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: