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Published on : Tuesday, December 8, 2015
With the increasing popularity of themed cruises, European Waterways, Europe’s largest hotel barge operator, continues to expand its offerings. Themed cruises allow guests to pursue their favorite pastimes and hobbies as they cruise some of the most picturesque inland waterways of Europe, Italy and the British Isles. From golfing in Scotland, to taking in the opera in Italy, or visiting spectacular flower shows and gardens, there’s a cruise for many interests. Themed cruises are available to book individually or as a whole-boat charter.
“European Waterways’ themed cruises are unique because they offer the best of both worlds – the pure pleasure of the hotel barging experience and the opportunity to become fully immersed in your favorite pastime,” says Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “It’s a great way to not only meet people who share similar interests, but also for friends or families to bond through activities they can do together.”
‘Fore’ at the Top Four
Golf themed cruises allow guests to play their way through their favorite destinations, and there’s no better experience than playing where the game originated – in Scotland. European Waterways’ golf cruises on the hotel barge Scottish Highlander take the avid golfer to four of Scotland’s finest courses while cruising through the spectacular Great Glen between Inverness and Fort William.
These charter cruises introduce up to eight guests to top-class golf courses such as Royal Dornoch, which offers panoramic views in a designated Natural Scenic Area, and Castle Stuart, a Championship course that overlooks the beautiful coastline of the Moray Firth. The challenging golf courses of Fort Augustus and Newtonmore golf courses make up the four during the 6-night cruise. Tours ashore are also arranged for non-golfing guests, such as to Cawdor Castle and the Glen Ord distillery.
Back on board, guests will be served exceptional regional cuisine, sampling classic dishes such as Munro of marinated salmon, or hickory smoked venison, as well as a wide range of single malt whiskies such as 10-year-old Laphroaig and 12-year-olds like Glen Moray, Bowmore and Highland Park.
A Night at the Opera, a Week in Paradise
Guests can experience much of what Italy is famous for on European Waterways’ opera themed cruises – food, wine, Renaissance architecture and of course, opera. Before the 6-night trip from Venice to Mantua begins on the 20-passenger hotel barge La Bella Vita, guests will tour Verona’s Arena Museo Opera, a museum devoted to the history of opera. They will then take in a spectacular opera performance of Verdi’s ‘Aida’ or Bizet’s ‘Carmen’, in the world-renowned Roman amphitheater, the Arena di Verona, in top-priced front seats
Throughout the cruise, guests will not only enjoy regional gourmet food and wine, but also be given escorted tours of sites and attraction that feature prominently in the history of opera. Excursions include visits to baroque theatres such as Gran Teatro La Fenice, one of the most famous landmarks in the history of opera, and Teatro Bibiena in Mantua, known for a visit by 13-year-old Mozart in 1770, who opened it with a concert.
“Whatever your interest, themed cruises can help you get the most out of your vacation,” said Banks. “The Magna Carta, for example, an 8-passenger hotel barge, which cruises the delightful Upper River Thames in England, offers a number of unique themes. If you love period dramas like the popular Downton Abbey series, it features excursions to Highclere Castle, home to the fictional Crawley family. If gardening is your passion, join us on one of our themed cruises that include visits to the famous Chelsea Flower Show in May and the Hampton Court Flower Show in July.”
Tags: European Waterways