European Waterways Adds Falconry to Barge Cruises

Published on : Thursday, February 14, 2019

European Waterways continues to invest in unique experiential excursions for guests aboard their popular hotel barges, adding new experiences for 2019 that include a “Birds of Prey” demonstration and private wine tastings at such prestigious wineries as Domaine Laroche in Burgundy, France. They reflect the company’s ongoing commitment to providing guests with unique and memorable experiences that immerse them in the history, traditions and cuisine of the cruise regions.

Last-minute promotions of 20% off on charters and cabins on select departures in April and May 2019 are still available on La Belle Epoque, one of the hotel barges offering this new excursion, when booked by February 18, 2019. Charters are available starting at $47,6000, a saving of $11,900 off the regular price of $59,500. Cabin prices start as low as $4,232 per person, based on double occupancy, a saving of $1,058 off the regular price of $5,290. It’s an excellent opportunity to enjoy these excursions while also getting a great value on the cruise.

A Bird in the Hand
Guests will enjoy a demonstration of the medieval sport of falconry at the Château de Commarin, where they will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with hawks, owls and eagles, all under the watchful eye of a trained falconer. After the birds have returned to their nests, it’s time to meet Count Bertrand de Vogue, the current resident of the château and 26th generation of the de Vogue family. The Count will regale guests with tales of the château, after which they will be treated to a private tour of the building.


The thrilling falconry display at this sprawling aristocratic estate has now been incorporated into the 2019 itineraries for L’Impressionniste and La Belle Epoque, both of which cruise the Burgundy region. Called “the Grand Dame” of Burgundy, La Belle Epoque was acquired by European Waterways in 1993 and transformed into one of the regions first “floating boutique hotels,” complete with marble en suite cabins, a wood-paneled saloon and a sundeck with hot tub.


In addition to the falconry experience, La Belle Epoque’s extensive array of excursions includes a visit to the town of Chablis, where guests will enjoy an upgraded private wine tasting at the prestigious Domaine Laroche. There, they will also tour the 1000-year-old Obédiencerie, originally part of the monastery of St. Martin, where the monks developed the craft of winemaking in the Middle Ages and where the wines are still aged today.

Other cruise highlights include a private tasting at a boutique Champagne house, dinner with a Baroness at the Château de Ricey-Bas, a former castle and now monument historique, and a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Abbaye de Fontenay, a former Cistercian abbey founded by St. Bernard in 1118.

“European Waterways is committed to making our hotel barge cruises memorable in every way, from the excellent accommodations to the exceptional service provided by an attentive crew,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “Whatever the cruise region, guests will enjoy some of the most unique experiences in Europe.”

In addition to classic cruises, the La Belle Epoque itinerary can highlight golf, family, culinary, and walking vacations. La Belle Epoque also offers private transfer to the vessel from a designated location in Paris.



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