Monday, June 24, 2019

Discover Strasbourg with Panache

Discover Strasbourg With Panache On A French Canal Barging Cruise

The Alsatian city of Strasbourg – whose name literally means ‘town at the crossing of roads’ – lies at a fascinating juncture between old and new, German and French. It is of course famous for its colossal Gothic cathedral, but also as the seat of the European Parliament, while its half-timbered German merchant dwellings sit next to elegant French townhouses.

During your escorted tour of this wonderful city on your cruise aboard Panache along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin in Alsace, highlights will include:

Cathédrale de Notre-Dame

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

No trip to Strasbourg would be complete without a visit to the awe-inspiring Cathédrale de Notre-Dame. It is hard not to be impressed by this huge, pink-sandstone masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Its 142-metre spire made it the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 250 years, and if you’re feeling fit, you can climb the 332 steps to the platform below its towers and admire the stunning views of the city from this lofty vantage point.

Make sure to admire the exquisite stained-glass windows when you walk around the cathedral, including the rose window in the western portal. In the south transept you’ll find an impressive astrological clock and at different hours of the day a host of mechanical figures, including angels, Death and the Apostles, are sent out on parade.

La Petite France

Just a short walk from the cathedral is La Petite France, the home of artisanal trade in medieval Strasbourg. This maze of narrow streets and canals is full of picturesque half-timbered houses blooming with flowers in the summer months. It’s a lovely place to do some boutique shopping, have a cup of coffee or just relax in one of the waterside parks.

Place Gutenberg

 Photo by Claude TRUONG-NGOC. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

It was in the city of Strasbourg in the 15th century that Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, first experimented with moveable type. His revolutionary ideas, which hugely cut down the time it took to reproduce a text compared with labour-intensive scribal reproduction, made a real contribution to the rise in literacy at the end of the medieval period in Europe.

You can see a bronze statue of Johannes Gutenberg in the appropriately named Place Gutenberg and perhaps as you read your guidebook, you can send a silent thank you to the father of printing!


Alsace-Lorraine is a unique corner of France. Discover a land of storybook castles, rolling vineyards of Alsatian wines as well as Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque architecture. For centuries, the great empires of Europe confronted one another at this strategic and military crossroads. The area's unique blend of French and German influences are strongly evident in its customs, cuisine, wines, architecture and language.

Revel in the beauty of Strasbourg, from its pink sandstone cathedral to the storybook looks of La Petite France, and partake in a scenic drive along the Route des Grand Vins, culminating in a private tasting of some of the most fragrant wines that France has on offer.

Feast on a delectable Duck a l’Alsacienne as you cruise by candlelight through the Arzviller tunnels, before a 450 foot ascent or descent on the mountainside Arzviller Boat Elevator.

Where French and German culture collide, this is a region for the adventurer in you. There can be no better view than from Panache’s hot tub as the leaves of the forested hillsides turn from green to gold to red to yellow.  

About The French Hotel Barge Panache

The Hotel Barge Panache is a 12-passenger barge offering 6-night cruises in Alsace-Lorraine from July through October.

Route: Between Niderviller and Krafft - Click for itinerary
Accommodations: up to 12 passengers
Charters and Cabin cruises 
Itineraries: All itineraries, Alsace Standard Classic, Alsace Family Cruise
Learn more: Online brochure


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.

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

French Hotel Barge Nymphea | Chateau de Chenonceau

Cruise through the Chateau de Chenonceau aboard the French Hotel Barge Nymphea

French Hotel Barge Nymphea Cruises The Loire Valley, France

The Château of Chenonceau is an architectural wonder and Renaissance masterpiece. Built in 1520 by a wealthy tax collector for his wife, it became a royal retreat for, among others, Catherine de Medici and Mary, Queen of Scots.

It is a five-arch bridge which was transformed into a château, with its galerie de bal, the scene of some legendary galas, spanning the River Cher. Inside the château are magnificent ceilings, fireplaces, furnishings, and paintings; many of the walls are covered with the famed Gobelin tapestries.

During WW I the château served as a military hospital. During WW II the château sat on the demarcation line between Vichy-ruled France and the territory held by the Germans, with the line running down the middle of the Cher. The southern exit of the château was in the free zone; its entrance was in the German-occupied zone.

Nymphea cruising through one of the arches

Please note that Nymphea has a 20% discount on select weeks for 2019. See details below.

About The French Hotel Barge Nymphea

French Hotel Barge Nymphea cruises the River Cher in the Loire Valley, France


Nymphea, a 6-passenger French hotel barge, is a classic Dutch design with shallow draft that makes her the ideal vessel for navigating the beautiful sandy reaches of the River Cher in the Loire Valley. Very few vessels are able to cruise this magical waterway.

We are delighted to offer Nymphea, currently the only hotel barge navigating the heart of the Loire Valley. The Valley of the Kings is as rich in history and legend as it is in beauty – little has changed over the centuries. The River Loire and its main tributary the River Cher have transported passengers and cargo for more than 2000 years.

There is much to discover in the Loire Valley, from the fabulous châteaux to the centuries-old villages dotted along the river. Wind your way through the narrow streets possibly discovering hidden shops with hand-painted pottery or stumble across an open market. Meet a winemaker or a cheese maker and learn why his goat cheese is the most famous in France.

Come celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Renaissance in Loire Valley aboard the charming Nymphea. In 2019, throughout the entire anniversary year, events, expositions, scientific symposiums, visits, and regional and European-themed courses revive the spirit of the Renaissance while confronting modern challenges, creating a dialogue between the history and the future.

Current Availability for 2019
  • June 30 - July 6 : 1 cabin open - 20% discount
  • July 7-13 : 1 cabin open - 20% discount
  • July 21-27 : 3 cabins open for private charter or cabin week. 20% discount for charter booking
  • July 28-Aug 3 : 3 cabins open for private charter or cabin week. 20% discount for charter booking
  • Aug 4-10 : 3 cabins open. Available for private charter or cabin cruise week
  • Aug 11-17 :  2 cabins open - 20% discount
  • Aug 18-24 : 3 cabins open for private charter or cabin week. 20% discount for charter booking
  • Aug 25-31 : 3 cabins open for private charter or cabin week. 20% discount for charter booking
  • Sept 8-14 :  1 cabin open
  • Sept 15-21 :  1 cabin open

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

Thursday, June 20, 2019

English Hotel Barge Magna Carta

The English Hotel Barge Magna Carta Caters To Their Guests

Recently, the English hotel barge Magna Carta, who cruises along the Royal River Thames, had a family charter with a young child so they toddler-proofed their sundeck!

Magna Carta is an excellent choice for family charters

About The English Hotel Barge Magna Carta

Magna Carta cruising the Royal River Thames
Moored at Winsor Castle

Magna Carta

The all-inclusive, crewed, luxury, English Hotel Barge Magna Carta accommodates up to 8 guests. She is approximately 120 feet in length and has two decks.

The lower deck boasts four full-width luxurious staterooms each averaging 200 square feet with private ensuite bathrooms. The staterooms may be configured as Kings or Twins according to your preference. Magna Carta has the most sophisticated modern amenities, including air conditioning, WI-FI internet access and underfloor heating in each of the four full width suites. Each suite has exceptionally spacious contemporary en-suite facilities and colour TVs and DVD players.

The upper deck comprises the main salon and dining areas with large picture windows and stylish furnishings. Outside you have the sundeck with comfortable seating and the spa pool/jacuzzi. There are eight bikes on board to take at your pleasure for rides along the tow paths.

The Magna Carta offers 6-night, all-inclusive private charters, as well as cabin cruises. Theme cruises such as golf, tennis, guided walking, family, flower shows, Henley regatta, antiques, etc, are available for private charters.

Current 2019 Availability

  • Aug 25-31 : 2 cabins open. Available for a cabin cruise week
  • Sept 22-28 : 1 cabin open. Available for a cabin cruise week
  • Oct 13-19 : 2 cabins open. Available for a cabin cruise week

Interested ?  Let's reserve your spot !

Contact Paradise Connections Yacht Charters to book MAGNA CARTA
View Magna Carta's online brochure
Visit our website for more info on our barges and barging:

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Enjoy summer with FINESSE

Summer is here! How about a little FINESSE in Burgundy?

A scrumptious starter on Finesse, Légumes du Jardin.

This looks really good. It is not only tasty but excellently presented.

About The French Hotel Barge Finesse


Current Availability for 2019
  • July 14-20 : 4 cabins open for private charter or cabin cruise
  • Aug 4-10 : 4 cabins open for private charter or cabin cruise
  • Oct 20-26 : 2 cabins open for cabin cruise
  • Oct 27-Nov 2 : 4 cabins open for private charter or cabin cruise

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

Friday, June 07, 2019

This Sunday in Carcassonne

This would be a great event to attend. Too bad we didn't know about it earlier :)

Google Translation of

CONCERT GONGS AND ORGAN - Basilique Saint-Nazaire, City of Carcassonne
These three musicians from the Bordeaux region have been offering a totally new concert for several years now. It is a dialogue between musical instruments serving the sacred in their respective cultures, Western and Eastern, church organ and Chinese gongs. The organ plays chorales harmonized by Johann Sebastian Bach, famous German composer of the XVIIIth century. To these chorales a set of twelve gongs responds in an improvised comment in an original use, smooth, very different from what we usually hear for a percussion instrument. It is an unprecedented sound experience, both meditative and sensitive, an invitation to let yourself be carried on an inner journey.

This training, resulting from improvised music workshops since 2006, occurs in small country churches in the South-West as well as in cathedrals such as Puy-en-Velay, Angoulême, Bazas, Montauban and Lourdes, Nevers, Pezenas ...

The entry is free participation.

Fancy an interesting trip in France? How about a barge charter?

Contact Paradise Connections

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