Hotel barge cruising company European Waterways has announced the launch of the Finesse, an eight-passenger double-decker luxury hotel barge, in 2016, as well as $600,000 in fleet upgrades for 2015.
The Finesse will cruise Southern Burgundy from St-Jean-de-Losne to Montchanin, an area not currently offered in the European Waterways program. It is scheduled to launch in April 2016 and will be priced at $7,000 - $7,500 per person.
Designed by Roger and Louis Gronow, the owners of Enchanté, the eight-passenger Finesse will have a classic design with panoramic saloon windows, and cabins of approximately 260 square feet. It will also be equipped with amenities such as a sun deck, a spa pool, touring bikes and Wi-Fi, and will pick up passengers in Lyon or Dijon.
Highlights aboard the Finesse include cruising down the Saône River and the Canal du Centre. The barge will also make its way through the Burgundy vineyards and past the wine village of Santenay. Guests will visit the Roman city of Autun and the pilgrimage town of Paray-le-Monial. The cruise will also feature a wine tasting in Beaune and a private lunch prepared by a Michelin chef at the Chateau de Bouchard Pere et Fils Orangery. A visit to Chateau de Gemolles, home of the Dukes of Burgundy, is also on the itinerary.
2015 Fleet Upgrades
For 2015, European Waterways is working with British designer Marion Falchi on interior renovations of several hotel barges in its fleet, including new floors, upholstery and general décor for La Belle Époque’s cabin area. The Renaissance has also been equipped with new cabins, bathrooms and bedding. To prevent disturbances during rest hours, hotel barges have been fitted with silent night generators for when plug-in power is not available. As part of the upgrades and repairs, onboard Wi-Fi has also been enhanced.
European Waterways will also be providing international English-language newspapers on board all of their hotel barges. It has restructured all programs to include at least one cooking demonstration on each cruise and has updated the itineraries of L’Impressioniste and La Belle Époque. Savoir Faire, another 12-passenger vessel, will be cruising a new route in the Upper Loire region during the summer, and the Panache will be back on the Niderviller to Strasbourg route in Alsace starting mid-July.