European Waterways announced the opening of a new base of operation in Burgundy, France, where it will carry out its winter refurbishing and regular maintenance of its France-based luxury hotel barges. The canal-side facility allows the company to perform upgrades and repairs more efficiently and with optimal quality control, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained across the European Waterways fleet.
European Waterways also carried out an array of upgrades across its fleet this winter that included renovating the interiors and exteriors of several barges, upgrading spa pools and sundecks, replacing carpets and furniture, and installing new air conditioning systems where needed. It installed brand new air conditioning systems on luxury barges Renaissance, which cruises Burgundy and the Upper Loire, and Panache, which cruises Alsace-Lorraine and Holland. It also installed a new sundeck canopy on Enchanté, which tours the Canal du Midi.
Meanwhile, luxury barges Anjodi on Canal du Midi and L’Art de Vivre in Burgundy received new on-deck spa pools. Various hotel barges in the fleet also received new saloon seating, cabin and bathroom interiors, and furnishings, including new carpets in the cabins on L’Impressionniste and L’Art de Vivre, and new lighting in the saloon and bar areas on La Bella Vita in Italy.
“We are committed to keeping our vessels in tip-top shape, constantly working on upgrades and improvements in order to ensure the best possible experience for our guests,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “Our modern new facility will provide us with more control over the entire renovation and maintenance process, ultimately enhancing our product and ensuring that every vessel is as comfortable, stylish, and structurally sound as possible.”
New Operation Base Conveniently Located
European Waterways’ new base of operation involved an investment of more than $400,000 and a grant from the regional government, reflecting European Waterways’ success and growth over the past decade as the leading luxury hotel barge cruising company in Europe. The facility has been immediately put to work for the 2014 cruising season.
Located in the village of Ravieres, the new facility is ideally situated along the Burgundy Canal and is fully equipped to perform all necessary maintenance and refurbishment work. It features workshops for engineering and woodwork repairs and a central stock of consumables and spare parts to supply the hotel barges throughout the operating season. The new building also features offices for operations management and training.
“With its team of highly skilled engineers and craftsmen, European Waterways’ new central facility in the heart of Burgundy will allow us to more easily and efficiently address the individual needs of each barge in our fleet,” said Banks. “Ravieres is already an overnight stop on La Belle Epoque’s summer cruise route, so the base will never be far away from the action.”
About European Waterways
The hotel barging experience is different from large vessel river cruising. It offers a slower paced, “gentle voyage of discovery” along the more intimate canals and waterways of Europe, allowing a small number of guests to become more fully immersed in the culture, history and gastronomy of the region. European Waterways is Europe’s largest all-inclusive luxury hotel barging group, offering vacations in nine countries and carrying over 2,000 passengers a year. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, today they own and operate a fleet of luxury barges and market cruises in France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Pioneers in hotel barging, they were the first company to offer a cruise on the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy, and through the “chateau region” of the Loire Valley. They are also the only cruise company offering barge cruises in Scotland and in the Venetian lagoon and River Po valley.