Excursions Offer Intimate Glimpses into Local Heritage and Historical Wonders
European Waterways, Europe's largest luxury hotel barge cruising company, offers an array of cruises that immerse passengers in the cultural traditions of some of the most fascinating regions of Europe. Of these, European Waterways' hotel barge cruises along the Canal Du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, provide guests with an especially wide range of opportunities.
With its own renowned cultural history, cruising along the Canal Du Midi allows travelers to participate in various festivals and visit celebrated sites. American guests will especially appreciate that they will be following in the footsteps of none other than U.S. Constitution author, Thomas Jefferson, who studied the canal in 1787 in the hope of replicating it in America. He concluded, of his experience: "Of all the methods of traveling I have ever tried, this is the pleasantest!"
Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways said, "We have the largest number of luxury hotel barges in the South of France, and each of these barges offers its own unique charm and excursion options. On every cruise, our passengers can take in the picturesque countryside and quaint European towns at a leisurely pace, all while experiencing the local history and culture, unique architecture and wonderful regional cuisine that draw travelers from around the world."
An Excursion to the Molière Festival
Aboard European Waterways' recently refurbished 8-passenger hotel barge, Anjodi, passengers are catered to by a highly experienced and attentive crew while enjoying the hotel barge's many amenities, including a spacious sun deck and spa pool. The cruise offers a variety of excursions, such as a winery tour and wine tasting at the 14th century Chateau de Perdiguier, a visit to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived, and an excursion to Minerve, the ancient 12th century Cathar capital of Minervois, the world's largest wine-growing region.
Anjodi's itinerary also includes a visit to Pezenas, a town well known for its associations with the French actor and playwright Molière, one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Molière classics such as "The Misanthrope," "The School for Wives," and "The Miser," are still performed today all over the world.
An added bonus for passengers aboard the June cruises is the annual Molière Festival, a 10-day celebration that invites the public to walk in the footsteps of Molière and to (re)discover his works.
A Visit to the 'Village of the Books'
While cruising past canalside villages and vineyards, the Clair de Lune, a sophisticated 6-passenger vessel, offers passengers lavish amenities such as a stylish dining area and saloon, a large sundeck with a spa pool, and bicycles for exploring the famous towpath. Throughout its week-long itinerary, passengers participate in "mini-expeditions", such as a private tasting of fine Minervois wines at a renowned local domaine, and a visit to Carcassonne, Europe's most complete fortified city with 52 turrets.
An itinerary highlight aboard Clair de Lune is a trip to Montolieu, well known as the "Village of the Books." A commune in the South of France, Montolieu is often referred to as a cultural meeting point, where people come together to educate, pass on, and share the art of the written word. With bookstores, secondhand booksellers, illustrators, graphic artists, printers, craftsmen, museums, and galleries lining the streets, a visit to this delightful village offers a unique glimpse into age-old traditions and celebrations.
A Trip to 'Plus Beaux Villages de France'
A state-of-the-art, double-decker 8-passenger vessel, Enchante provides passengers with lavish accommodations, including spacious cabins, a vast saloon, grand sun deck, and elegant spa pool. Enchante features a tour of Lagrasse, a village with an 8th century Benedictine abbey and many artisan workshops. Its narrow streets and medieval bridges have earned it the title of "the most beautiful village in France." Like Montolieu, Lagrasse also enjoys a strong literary tradition and is home to Le Banquet du Livre, "Banquet of the Books," a literary festival that boasts philosophical meetings with writers and thinkers, readings of texts and musical pieces by talented authors, as well as literary workshops and film screenings.
"The Canal du Midi in the South of France is a cultural cornucopia, with annual events and festivities close by that highlight the region's rich historical legacy," said Derek Banks.
During July and August, European Waterways is offering $1,000 off cabins and up to $6,000 off full boat charters for Enchante and Anjodi, and $5,000 off full boat charters of Clair de Lune. Visit www.gobarging.com for conditions and restrictions.
About European Waterways
The hotel barging experience is different from large vessel river cruising. It offers a slower paced, "gentle voyage of discovery" along the more intimate canals and waterways of Europe, allowing a small number of guests to become more fully immersed in the culture, history and gastronomy of the region. European Waterways is Europe's largest all-inclusive luxury hotel barging company, offering vacations in nine countries and carrying over 2,000 passengers a year. Founded nearly 40 years ago, they own, operate and market a private fleet of luxury hotel barges with cruises in France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Pioneers in hotel barging, they were the first company to operate a hotel barge on the Upper Nivernais in Burgundy, and the "real" Loire Valley. They are also the only cruise company offering barge cruises in Scotland and in the Venetian lagoon and River Po valley.
Please visit www.gobarging.com or call Toll Free 1 877 879 8808 for more information, pricing, cruise schedules, brochures. Follow European Waterways on Facebook and Twitter and view their YouTube channel.