Luxury Hotel Barges of “European Waterways”

Please Note: Firefox and some other Search Engines may not be suitable

Use Google Chrome for this Web Page to load perfectly!


Please Note: Cruise-Australia and associate sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned. Be assured that the author is NOT associated with any cruise or shipping company, or is connected with any travel or cruise agency, nor any other organisation! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960, but has been retired foe quite some time. Over the years, I have written on well over 1,365 classic liners on providing classic ship enthusiasts a great deal of information and pleasure! As well I have also covered hundreds of cruise ships and companies. I will continue to write the occasional cruise review and add any new ship information in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts and thus provide the best possible information available for those intending a luxury, or an expedition cruise, alternatively an inexpensive happy cruise vacation somewhere in the Pacific, New Zealand or somewhere around world in the near future!




Introducing the Wonderful World of “European Waterways”:

For over 40 years “European Waterways” has specialised in operating luxury Barge Cruise vacations on many of the most beautiful waterways throughout Europe.

Their vessels will not only introduce you to some of Europe’s finest scenery, but also introduce you to the fascinating history of the countries and regions visited, as well as experience the wonderful local culture.

Each “European Waterways” six-night barge cruise includes wonderful gourmet meals prepared by fine chefs, regional wines are included, and there is an open bar. Also included are local transfers and the use of all on board facilities, including onboard located bicycles in order to explore the region. Each barge has a sundeck to laze on, and many have a spa pool to relax in. Also available are daily escorted “off the beaten track” excursions to wineries, castles, markets or to see craftsmen busily at work.

On a “European Waterways” Hotel Barge Cruise you can discover a variety of fascinating worlds, such as the vineyards of Burgundy, on the shady “Canal du Midi” in Southern France, the historic “Po Valley” in Italy, or the “River Shannon” in rustic Ireland. Navigate the “Royal River Thames|, through the stunningly rugged landscapes of “Scotland”, picturesque “Alsace & Lorraine”, or the colourful tulip fields of “Holland”.

Here is a map showing where “European Waterways” Barges cruise.

This page features four very different style Barges, one is the “Spirit of Scotland” that obviously cruises the Scottish regions, and the second Barge is the delightfully somewhat more traditional “Panache”, which cruises Holland in tulip time in March & May, and then in “Champagne” region, and finally in glorious “Alsace & Lorraine”, France. These are followed by one of the most traditional of barges, being the wonderful Dutch built “Nymphea” which cruises one of the most famed regions of France. And finally I will introduce another Dutch built barge the simply delightful Rosa which has become a famous TV star, and cruises the famed “Canal de Garonnewhich is dotted with 53 locks and many canal-bridges, including the celebrated Pont-Canal d’Agen.

Hotel Barge “Spirit of Scotland”:

The “Spirit of Scotland” is without a doubt an elegant hotel barge and it features extensive public areas both in her interiors as well as outside. No matter where you are on board, it will be the perfect place to admire the breathtaking Highlands scenery in comfort whilst your barge cruises the Caledonian Canal and the Lochs of the Great Glen.

The “Spirit of Scotland” was purpose-built to be a luxury hotel barge, and her style evokes that of some traditional steamers that once plied the lochs of Scotland in times long gone.

This fine barge accommodates up to 12 passengers in sheer comfort, and her interiors features a bright and spacious Saloon and Dining area fitted with spacious picture windows, there is a separate Bar, and an integral forward wheelhouse giving views of the cruise route ahead.

The luxurious Saloon


The Brage’s Bar offers an excellent range of drinks and wide range of whiskies are available


The Dinning area

There are 6 fully air-conditioned staterooms offering a choice of twin or double beds and each is complemented by a well-designed en-suite bathroom fitted with a shower.


Above & below: Here we see a double and a twin bedded stateroom



One of the bathrooms


Top quality toiletries are provided in all bathrooms

Outside, there are three separate areas, forward, aft and topside, where you can enjoy a drink on a recliner, or perhaps relax in the heated spa pool, and there is also a covered dining terrace on the upper sun deck, which is also the perfect place to admire the dramatic scenery as you cruise on the deep-water lochs like “Loch Oich” and past historic landmarks along the way.

Be assured, your voyage aboard the “Spirit of Scotland” will be an unforgettable experience, giving you the opportunity to appreciate the very best that this dramatic region of Scotland has to offer from what is certainly a unique perspective.

All this, together with the traditional Scottish cuisine, fine wines and a wide range of whiskies served on board by an attentive crew of 6, combine to ensure that you will have a truly memorable, one of a kind cruise experience.

The Chef is preparing pastries and salads


Deck Plan of the Pride of Scotland




Hotel Barge “Panache”:

Hotel Barge “Panache” has been fitted out in a traditional yacht style with abundant brass and mahogany fittings in the spacious public areas and her very comfortable all suite accommodations. In the saloon her panoramic windows allow ample natural light in, and the tempting cocktail bar and the comfortable leather sofas are complemented by polished hardwood flooring. The separate spacious dining area provides a congenial setting for up to 12 guests to enjoy the gourmet meals and fine wines that are served on board.

Suite accommodation comprises six generously-sized junior suites which can be either in twin or double-bedded configurations. All the en suite bathrooms have twin hand-basins and oversized showers.

Outside, the spacious Sun Deck is the perfect place to unwind and admire the passing scenery in one of the comfortable chairs, or to enjoy being served a long, lazy alfresco lunch at the outside dining table. There is a heated spa pool and a plentiful number of bicycles for you to use whenever you wish to head off ashore.

The wonderful Panache is see cruising in picturesque “Alsace & LorraineFrance



Above & below: Here are two views of the Saloon and the Dining area



A view from the saloon of the windmills in Holland


Panache’s Chef is preparing a delicious fish luncheon


The dining room



Above & below: Two views of the accommodations



Part of her deck with the outdoor dining area and the spa pool


The Panache in a Dutch town


The Panache is seen sailing in the Netherlands in April-May


Deck Plan of the Panache




Hotel Barge “Nymphea”:

I am delighted to also introduce the most traditional of all the barges, being the wonderful “Nymphea” which is of a Dutch design and because of her shallow draft she is the perfect barge for navigating the beautiful sandy reaches of the “River Cher” in the “Loire Valley”. Very few other barges are able to sail this magical waterway.

Her traditional interiors are reminiscent of a classic yacht, and she features a warm décor of rich varnished hardwoods, with beautiful stained glass and shining brass. The traditionally furnished saloon and dining area have a warm and welcoming country house atmosphere and there is an additional upper saloon area with comfortable seating for relaxing. The Nymphea accommodates just 6 guests, as she has three compact, but comfortable cabins, there are two twin staterooms and one that is available as either a twin bedded or a double bed stateroom, each has air conditioning and en-suite facilities.

The delightful traditional barge “Nymphea” is seen on the “River Cher”


The Saloon and dining area

There is another Saloon on the upper Deck



Above & below: Two views of the Dining area




Above & below: Two views of Nymphea’s Decks



A twin bedded cabin, the basin is in the cabin, whilst the shower & WC is in the en suite


The forward located cabins can be made up as a double bedded room

The basin & WC is in one locked area, and the shower in another


The “Nymphea” is an amazingly popular barge as she brings back an older style of barge cruising

together with superb cuisine and the best of service and great excursions ashore!


Deck Plan of the Nymphea


“Nymphea’s” Cruise Highlights:

Cruise under the famed Château de Chenonceau.

Visit a Troglodyte cave dwelling and see the silkworm nursery.

Excursions to the Château d’Amboise and Château du Clos Lucé.

Private wine tastings at Montrichard and the Domaine de Fontenay.

Visit to Château de Villandry and its magnificent gardens.

Tour of Château de Chenonceau and gardens.

Colourful street markets.

Optional hot air ballooning.


Hotel Barge “Rosa

Hotel Barge “Rosa” will take cruising along the countryside and along the famed “Canal de Garonnewhich is dotted with 53 locks and many canal-bridges, including the celebrated Pont-Canal d’Agen, the second-longest canal-bridge in France.

The Rosa was featured with in the successful television series, where Rick Stein sailed on her during his “French Odyssey” and you also can enjoy your own personal “odyssey’ through this colourful and captivating part of southwest France.

The historic but tastefully modernised “Rosa

The delightful “Rosa” is another old Dutch barge, but she is what is known as a “Klipper barge” which was built early in the last century to carry a variety of cargo on the offshore waterways of the Netherlands. Today, she is a most charming Hotel barge as she navigates the calmer canals of southwest France.

She has a delightfully decorated saloon that is particularly welcoming and it features attractive wood panelling, with comfortable seating, a dining area and of course a cosy bar. There are four staterooms accommodating just eight passengers who have individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and full en suite facilities. Two staterooms have double beds; the other two staterooms have twin beds.

Outside there is a spacious Sun Deck with a Dining area with parasols perfect to enjoying an alfresco meal prepared by your on board Chef. Comfortable loungers are also provided to relax in as you take in the passing views.

The delightful Saloon looking forward to the Library corner and the Bar


Another view of the Salon looking aft to the Dining area


The Dining area, the door goes into the Galley


The Library or book corner


The Open Bar


Outdoor dining area and deck


A double bed cabin


A twin bedded cabin


The TV Barge “Rosa” chosen by popular TV Chef Rick Stein


Deck Plan of the Rosa




Hotel Barge Cruises Include:

Fares start from around AU$5,600 October (September 1, 2021) / 3,500€ / £3,000 per person per week and it includes:

• Comfortable accommodation.

• All gourmet meals prepared by the on-board Chef, fine wines and an open bar.

• Daily escorted excursions.

• Local transfers e.g. to and from Paris or Amsterdam, etc.

• Bicycles and, on most hotel barges an on-deck spa pool.

• Attentive service from an experienced crew.



Remember these are just four of the 17 wonderful Luxury Hotel Barges operated by “European Waterways”, to view the other barges, please visit their site via the link below. There you can also obtain a brochure.

For further information visit; European Waterways 

Or contact your regular travel agent.




Return to the - - INDEX


Email Me Click Here

When emailing please name the ship or company you are requesting information about!

Classic Liner Enthusiasts visit … &

Where you will discover well over 1,365 Classic Liners & the 1914 built M/V Doulos Story

The Author has been in Passenger Shipping & the Cruise Industry for over 60 years!


Photographs on are: 1. By the author. 2. From the author’s private collection. 3. As provided by Shipping Companies and their Publicity Companies as well as by private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided without details regarding the photographer concerned., therefore I hereby invite if owners of those images to be so kind and make them-selves known to me, in order that due credit may be given!


This notice covers all pages, although, I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displayed on each page, that is, when a page is updated!


Cruise-Australia is owned/operated and © Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved