European Waterways posts record sales of luxury barge cruises

European Waterways posts record sales of luxury barge cruises

European Waterways is reporting record sales of its luxury hotel barge cruises as post-pandemic concerns continue to drive many of the major travel trends that speak to the company’s canal barging experience.

With some travellers still preferring to create “travel bubbles” composed of families and small groups for example, the company says that its private charter bookings have increased more than 45 per cent.

Travellers are also seeking experiences that take them “off the beaten path”; they want to be more than observers, but also become immersed in the local culture, gastronomy, and history of the region, all integral parts of the European Waterways experience.

“We had a record year in 2022, with bookings 16 percent higher than our previous record, because our cruises tick all the boxes,” said Derek Banks, European Waterways’ managing director.

“We offer exclusive ‘slow travel’ and ‘relaxed luxury’ experiences that are consistently among the most frequently cited industry trends.”

Exclusive Experiences

European Waterways has developed close relationships with many local businesses, vineyards, personalities, and restaurants along their routes.

For example, guests aboard La Bella Vita on Italy’s River Po can enjoy a private lunch with a Countess at her villa. As part of cruising Rosa in Gascony, guests will find themselves at the 18th century Château de la Motte, where the resident Baroness will give them a private tour, then take tea with them in her apartment.

Cruising the Champagne region on Panache, guests will enjoy a private tour, wine tasting and gastronomic meal at the boutique Grand Cru winery of Frerejean Frères. The company’s Scottish Highlander and Spirit of Scotland in Scotland include a private tour of the Dalwhinnie whisky distillery, followed by a tasting of several of its famous single malts. Anjodi on the UNESCO listed Canal du Midi includes a private wine tasting at the Château Pech-Celeyran and a unique truffle hunting “expedition” with trained “truffle hounds.”

Throughout all this, guests enjoy private chauffeured transportation in Mercedes-Benz minibuses to and from their excursions. Onboard their hotel barge, they are treated with exceptional gastronomic meals, prepared by a master chef, that include wine pairings from local vintages. Barges also include onboard amenities such as spa pools and bicycles.

“Our 2023 bookings are already on another record pace,” Banks said.

“We’re also seeing strong bookings for 2024 and even 2025. It reflects another travel trend of people feeling more confident about the future and booking their dream, ‘bucket list’ vacations far in advance.

“More and more travellers are discovering the ‘joys of luxury hotel barge cruising,’ and we are thrilled and honoured to be recognised as a pioneer and standard-bearer for the industry.”

Latest News

  • Food & Beverage

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney popular Aperitivo returns to Grain Bar

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is relaunching its popular Aperitivo, now located in the George St venue’s award-winning Grain Bar. Originally launched into Mode Kitchen & Bar in 2023, Aperitivo is inspired by the classic Italian evening ritual where guests enjoy a cocktail, paired with traditional Italian antipasti bites. It became a much-loved offering for Sydneysiders […]

  • Destinations
  • Hotels

The Myconian Collection adds Myconian Sunrise Agrari Beach to its portfolio

The Myconian Collection has announced the addition of Sunrise Agrari Beach to its portfolio of properties in Mykonos, Greece. The addition of the property brings the collection to a total of 14 properties located in breathtaking sites across the island. The new addition has been redesigned and relaunched, promising an idyllic escape for travellers seeking […]

  • Hotels

OUTRIGGER Kona Resort and Spa completes US$60 million renovation

Hawai’i’s OUTRIGGER Kona Resort & Spa has completed its US$60 million (AU$90 million) renovation as is once again ready to welcome guests to Keauhou, a name that signifies “New Era”. The revitalised 511 guest rooms/suites and meeting spaces blend the property’s heritage and reverence for voyaging with modern aesthetics. The concept of “koi au” inspired […]