Shropshire Star

New themed cruises from specialists

Responding to the ever-increasing demand for experiential travel, luxury hotel barge operator European Waterways is now offering a wider range of new, themed cruise departures for 2020 that can be booked on a per-cabin basis.


Cruises eligible for cabin bookings include: the April 5, 2020 Whisky Trail cruise aboard the Scottish Highlander and the April 26, 2020, Golf Cruise aboard the Spirit of Scotland, both on Scotland’s Caledonian Canal; the April 12, 2020 Wine Appreciation Cruise aboard L’Impressionniste in Burgundy, France; and the August 16, 2020 Opera Cruise aboard La Bella Vita, which sails out of Venice.

Visiting the vineyards

Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, explained that these themed cruises feature enhanced itineraries that highlight the guests’ particular interests.

For example, wine cruises will contain more exclusive tastings on a variety of vintages than on the classic cruises, while golf cruises include guaranteed tee times at world-class courses.

The cruises are also appealing to small groups, or local clubs that share a common pastime, or passion.

Chateau de Chailly Golf

“Our guests don’t want to be ‘spectators’ of history and culture, they want to be participants,” said Banks.

“From sharing a glass of Pastis with a friendly lock keeper, to gourmet lunch with a baroness, to playing golf in the country that invented the sport, they seek immersive experiences that are both memorable and meaningful in providing insight into the local cultures.”

For single malt whisky enthusiasts, Whisky Trail cruise aboard the Scottish Highlander is ideal.

Whisky distillery

Guests will visit at least three distilleries, for private tours and tastings.

Among these is the family-run Benromach Distillery near Forres, as well as the Tomatin and Dalwhinnie distilleries.

Whisky selection

The April 12, 2020 Wine Appreciation Cruise aboard the L’Impressionniste in Southern Burgundy features private tastings at some of the best, “off the beaten path” vineyards. Guests will enjoy such Burgundies as Nuits St-Georges, Santenay and Vosne Romanée, with premier, or grand cru vintages hand-picked by the knowledgeable guides. Regions visited include the Loire Valley, Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Alsace.

Wine tasting

It is generally accepted that golf was developed in Scotland, where rules for the modern game and the first 18-hole courses were established. European Waterways’ Spirit of Scotland Golf Cruise offers the opportunity to play the game with the Highlands providing a dramatic background. The barge’s April 26, 2020 departures let players tee up at four championship courses that include Castle Stuart, Royal Dornoch, Fort Augustus, and Newtonmore.

For opera lovers, Venice’s Arena di Verona offers one of the most impressive settings to enjoy a performance of some of the world’s most famous operas. The August 16, 2020 departure on the 20-passenger La Bella Vita includes premium seats at this internationally-famous venue for a performance of Verdi’s “Nabucco”. “

Visit for information. For reservations call 01753 598555.

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