European Waterways

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European Waterways Limited
Type Private Limited Company
Industry Travel
Founded 1977
Headquarters Datchet, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Key people Derek Banks, John Wood-Dow
Products Hotel Barging
Employees 35
Website www.gobarging.com

European Waterways is an international company based in Berkshire, England that operates a fleet of 21 river cruising vessels along the rivers and canals of Europe. The company takes old trading barges and converts them into "boutique" hotel barges.

Company history[edit]

European Waterways, a UK company based in England, was established in 1977 by owner Derek Banks with the purchase of an existing French inland waterways cruising company which had been created 3 years earlier in 1974.[citation needed] The first hotel barge was Anjodi, which was originally renovated at a cost in excess of £100,000. In 1994 the company built the 12 passenger La Belle Epoque followed by its sister ship, 12 passenger L'Impressionniste, in 1995. After these acquisitions European Waterways expanded steadily and, as a result of cooperation with several companies in the travel industry and additional acquisitions, now operates a fleet of 18 hotel barges along the inland waterways of 9 countries in Europe.

Derek Banks, the company founder, was brought up on the River Thames and has enjoyed all aspects of life afloat. It was as a result of this early exposure to the inland waterways that he was inspired to move to a lock house in the middle of France in the mid 1970s and start the now thriving European Waterways.[citation needed]

The company originally focused on the Canal du Nivernais in central Burgundy, France, but as the company grew, cruises were programmed all over Europe. With purchases such as the barges L'Art de Vivre, Scottish Highlander and Panache the company expanded to cover Scotland, France,[1] Italy, Holland, Belgium, England, Germany, Luxembourg and Ireland. Today, with an international clientele, European Waterways has clients from all over the world, primarily from the United Kingdom, USA, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, France, Canada and Hong Kong.[citation needed]

Cruising with European Waterways[edit]

European Waterways' barges carry between 6 to 20 passengers and also provide tandem cruises to accommodate up to 20 passengers. The cruises are marketed as being unique from other tours in that they provide the inland cruising vacationer, views and access to areas that, in a car or on a bus tour, are not ordinarily accessible in addition to other tourist attractions such as Châteaux, markets and villages

The cruises are a minimum of 6 nights long and take place on the Nivernais Canal, the River Yonne, the Burgundy Canal, the River Rhône, the Rhône-Sète Canal, the Canal du Midi,[2][3] the River Cher the Venetian lagoon, the River Brenta, the River Amstel, the Caledonian Canal,[4] the River Thames and the River Shannon. All voyages include at least one guided shore excursion per day.

Geared toward the North American and UK tourist market, European Waterways provides English-speaking staff on its barges and fully escorted tours. Many of the tours are guided walks that showcase history, culture, art and architecture of the visited towns and villages.[5]

Current fleet[edit]

Ship name Year built Year Converted Last Renovated Length Crew Guests
La Belle Epoque 1930 1995 2009 128 feet 5 12
L'Art de Vivre 1917 1970 2009 100 feet 4 8
L'Impressionniste 1960 1996 2009 128 feet 5 12
Rosa 1907 1990 2010 98 feet 4 8
Enchanté 1958 2008 2009 100 feet 4 8
Anjodi[6][7] 1930 1977 2009 100 feet 4 8
Athos 1964 1982 2006 103 feet 4 10
Nymphea 1921 1985 2006 80 feet 3 6
La Renaissance 1960 1997 2006 128 feet 5 8
Savoir Faire 1932 1979 2005 132 feet 6 12
La Nouvelle Etoile 1964 2002 2009 129 feet 5 8
Scottish Highlander[8][9] 1931 1992 2009 117 feet 4 8
Magna Carta 1931 2001 2009 117 feet 8 4
Shannon Princess II 2003 2003 2003 107 feet 5 10
Absoluut2 1994 1994 2013 128 feet 5 8
Clair de Lune 1960 1998 2011 100 feet 4 6
La Bella Vita 1960 2010 2010 140 feet 5-8 20
Panache 1959 1998 2011 128 feet 6 12

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hill, Richard (May 1997). "Lost in France". Canal & Riverboat. 
  2. ^ Fuller-Love, Heidi (February 2005). "French Waterways". Living France. 
  3. ^ Kay Kritzwiser. "Six slow days on the canal". Globe and Mail. 
  4. ^ "www.thetraveleditor.com/article/2358/Feature_Article_Cruise_Cruising_the_Caledonian_Canal.html". [unreliable source?]
  5. ^ Stern, Steven (2009). Stern's Guide to the Cruise Vacation. Pelican Publishing Company. p. 356. ISBN 978-1-58980-614-6. 
  6. ^ Pritchard, David (2009). Shooting the cook. FSC AND Harper Colins. ISBN 978-0-00-727830-5. 
  7. ^ Bowler, Vivian (2005). Rick Stein's French Odyssey. BBC Books. ISBN 0-563-52213-5. 
  8. ^ Gardner, Alison (2009). "Barging Across Scotland, Clan History, Nature and Scottish Cuisine". Travel with a Challenge. Retrieved October 2, 2009. [unreliable source?]
  9. ^ "www.intltravelnews.com/2009/02/cruising-scotlands-caledonian-canal-thomas/". [unreliable source?]

External links[edit]