Hotel barge cruising specialist European Waterways announced the completion of a $500,000 upgrade and refurbishing program across the company’s fleet as it prepares to launch its 2018 season. The upgrades addressed every aspect of the company’s hotel barges, from the operation of the vessels themselves, to the dining, entertainment and sleeping areas, as well as the off-shore transportation of its guests, who are treated to daily guided excursions.
According to Managing Director Derek Banks, the company’s upgrades always begin at their most basic, with a thorough inspection and repair, where necessary, of all its vessels to ensure they operate smoothly and quietly. The maintenance is part of a rolling annual program to provide its guests with the most comfortable experience as they cruise the canals and waterways of some of the world’s most picturesque countryside.
“It’s the small details that make the difference between a good vacation and a great one,” said Banks. “Once we have the engineering work completed, we are free to focus upon the exclusive, personalized service that our guests adore. This includes working with renowned interior designer Marion Falchi and her team to create interiors that are a wonderful mixture of homely tradition and contemporary style.”
Making the Grade
The company’s latest upgrades include a complete redesign of the saloon for the 12-passenger L’Impressionniste hotel barge, which cruises Southern Burgundy, France. The hotel barge also received a new staircase, bar area, banquettes, and an oval dining table to help create more space and seating. The 8-passenger L’Art de Vivre, cruising Northern Burgundy, was upgraded with new bathrooms, while the Anjodi, an 8-passenger vessel on the Canal du Midi, was fitted with a new hardwood sundeck to complement a new saloon last year. Deck furniture has also been upgraded across many of the vessels.
European Waterways’ luxury hotel barges in Scotland, which cruise Loch Ness and the Great Glen between Inverness and Fort William on the Caledonian Canal, have been spruced up for the new season. The 8-passenger Scottish Highlander, whose subtle use of tartan furnishing recalls a comfortable country house, has been improved with a new guest entrance and easier access. Meanwhile, the elegant 12-passenger Spirit of Scotland, the most recent addition to the fleet, has received a new Jacuzzi, new curtains, carpets and improved interior lighting.
European Waterways also purchased new Mercedes-Benz vans to chauffeur their guests during off-shore excursions.