European Waterways provides ‘Travel Bubbles’ for small groups
Guests aboard Spirit of Scotland hotel barge

European Waterways provides ‘Travel Bubbles’ for small groups

DATCHET — European Waterways says guests looking forward to group travel in 2021 can take advantage of ‘Travel Bubbles’ aboard its luxury hotel barges.

Groups can charter an entire vessel and have it to themselves all week, cruising together through the countryside in the safety of a single group.

“Our guests are definitely more optimistic,” says Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, whose season begins in late March. “Hotel barge cruising has proven to be especially attractive during this time.  It offers the ideal ‘travel bubble’ for families, small groups of friends and like-minded guests.”

European Waterways follows strict health and hygiene protocols onboard, and crew members personally chauffeur guests in private air-conditioned transport to all excursions. Some of the tours are to outdoor attractions or, if indoor, usually conducted exclusively for the benefit of European Waterways’ guests.

“Hotel barges are like self-contained luxury villas on the water,” Banks explains. “They offer enough amenities to keep everyone entertained as long as they want, including bicycles for pleasant pedaling on the canal towpath beside the hotel barge or through charming, postcard-perfect villages. Gourmet meals are prepared and served onboard by a master chef, with lunch and dinner featuring at least two fine vintages selected from local vineyards.”

The remote landscapes of the Scottish Highlands are increasingly popular for guests who want to get back to nature and experience the wonders of this legendary region – its scenic beauty, its rustic cuisine and, most certainly, its whisky. European Waterways’ deluxe, 12-passenger Spirit of Scotland and eight-passenger Scottish Highlander cruise across Scotland’s Great Glen, along the stunning Caledonian Canal. They feature open bars with an excellent selection of 18 single malts, as well as a private tour and tasting at the famed Tomatin whisky distillery.

European Waterways is offering a 10% off early-bird special on selected 2021 Scottish Highlander charters, valid for April 4, 11 and 18, 2021 departures.  With the special, charters start at $31,950, a saving of $3,550 off the regular $35,500 price. Charters must be booked by Jan. 8, 2021 and other restrictions may apply. Cabins start at $4,590 per person, based on double occupancy.

In France, European Waterways’ 12-passenger Panache hotel barge allows guests to explore the region of Champagne in late May and June. In Champagne, guests enjoy private tours and tastings at renowned champagne houses such as Moët & Chandon and Maison Pannier. Excursions include a visit to the 800-year-old Reims Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece that once served as the site for the coronation of the kings of France.

“We are the largest hotel barging company in Europe, so you’re bound to find the perfect cruise that caters to your interests, whether its historical, cultural, artistic, or gastronomic,” says Banks. “Our guests book many months and often years in advance to ensure they can celebrate special occasions like wedding anniversaries and birthdays, as well as family reunions and group get-togethers.”

European Waterways’ ‘Book with Confidence’ policy provides greater flexibility in rescheduling future cruises, should they be impacted by government restrictions.

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