Cruising the Canal du Midi on the 6 Passenger Roi Soleil

Converted to a  hotel barge in 1999, the Roi Solei is a deluxe six passenger barge cruising the Canal du Midi in Southern France.

The Roi Soleil  offers cruises in the Canal du Midi area in France, some of the highlights include: Medieval Carcassonne, a fortified Medieval fortress with a walled city and preserved ramparts, Narbonne (Roman capital), historic Cathar hilltop towns, as well as the experience of cruising on the man made Canal du midi – finished 350 years ago, and featuring 91 working locks.  Cruise through the magnificent vistas vineyards as far as the eye can see to the snow capped Pyrenees.

The Roi Soleil also offers special wine charter themed cruises.  With their contacts the owners can help you find some special vintages, they can offer daily wine tasting or even comparison tasting with other wine regions – at additional cost.

Family cruise charters are another specialty of the Roi Soleil.   Excursions can include cycling (bike and helmet sizes can be arranged in advance for children), horse back riding, 4 wheel riding, hot air balloon swimming at the beach, in the river or on the barge.  Excursions can be arranged for the children at the same time as the adults are out on excursions.

With a large saloon on the upper deck, with a fireplace, bar and elegant dining area, the barge has an open feel with many windows and skylights. The barge has two sundecks with a retractable canopy and a jacuzzi tub at one end.  The cabins can be configured for queen or twin, and ensuite bathroom with large showers, lave stone floors, and heated towel racks.  There is limited Wi-Fi depending on reception.

For excursions there is an air-conditioned eurovan with seating for 8, and there are six Giant Boulder Breeze Hybrid bikes and six helmets.

Continental breakfast includes fresh breads, pastries, cereals, fresh fruits, yogurt, freshly brewed coffee and tea.

  • Atypical lunch might consist of: Smoked duck and granny smith apple salad with fresh raspberry dressing,  braised quail served on creamy porcini mushroom risotto, and lemon soufflé.
  • A typical dinner might consist of: home made foie gras au torchon with pear and date, Charollais beef fillet on braised beetroot and fresh asparagus with chunky basil pesto and plum, apple chutney. Chilled blackberry & vanilla soup with caramel & balsamic ice cream on a chocolate truffle with pistachio spun sugar, followed by coffee, tea or liqueurs with fine chocolates. The galley on the Roi Soleil was specifically designed with an open plan to accommodate passengers who may be interested in participating in our Chef cooking demonstrations to learn new techniques or pick up a few tricks.

Included in the rate is 6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, all meals – from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, all wines with lunch & dinner open bar, daily escorted excursions and use of onboard bicycles.  Check out the Roi Soleil itinerary and our videos on the Roi Soleil barge and the Roi Soleil Dining.

For more information contact us at 888-869-7907   or europeanbarging.com   European River Cruise and Barge specialists since 1998.

Visiting Miltenberg on a Main River Cruise

 

The medieval town of Miltenberg, along the Main River,  has the most enchanting medieval charm around every cobblestone street, narrow alleys, and half-timbered houses, window baskets overflowing with fresh petunia flowers add to the flavor of the town.   Tourism plays  a major part in the local economy. In the Old Market Square is surrounded  by half timbered buildings, restaurants, bratwurst stalls, local handcraft stalls and the Old Town Hall as well. These structures are still in remarkable shape in spite of having been built in the 16th and 17th centuries.   The town also has 2 surviving gates from the Middle Ages – The Wurzburg Gate and the Mainz Gate.

Referred to as “The Pearl of the Main River”, today the city has a population of 9,000 – It was originally settled in  pre-Roman times and has enjoyed a rich and lively past. Being located near the Main River, it was a major trading location between Frankfurt and Nuremberg

A popular destination in Miltenberg is the famous hotel Gasrhaus zum Riesen.  Maybe the oldest hotel in all of Germany, originally built about 1411. Rebuilt nearly 200 years later in the half-timbered, Renaissance style. The hotel has since been renovated to include some more modern amenities.

Main attractions  in Miltenberg are: Miltenberg Castle (built in 11th century, the castle is now used as a museum of old and modern art work – Museum.Stadt.Miltenberg),  Fraenkischer Rotwein Wanderweg (medieval architecture), Brauhaus Faust (brewery), Mainbrucke, (a beautiful Bridge),  St. Kilian Kellerei, (Wine cellar).

Main festivals include –  the first weekend in July, the Town Festival (Stadtfest) is held;  In late July, the Mildenburger Theatertage (“Theatre Days”) takes place; beginning on the last weekend in August and for ten days, the Michaelismesse (“St Michael’s Fair”), the biggest fair on the Bavarian Lower Main (Bayerischer Untermain), is held (despite the similarity in names, it is not Michaelmas, which falls on 29 September, a month later).

One of the best ways to visit Miltenberg is from a Rhine/Main/Danube River Cruise. Check out our video on Miltenberg.  We have cruises available on AmaWaterways, Arosa, CroisiEurope and Amadeus Cruises and can assist in finding the perfect cruise for you.  Europeanbarging.com  888-869-7907

Cruising in Bordeaux with the Luxurious Saint Louis Barge

The Saint Louis is a charter only, luxury barge accommodating six passengers in cabins that can be configured as twin or double beds.   With en-suite shower facilities, retractable clothes lines, bath robes, hairdryers, heated towel rails, full length mirrors, and ample wardrobe space, you will be comfortable in your temporary home.

The salon on the barge includes a fully stocked open bar, comfortable seating area, coffee maker, music system with CD’s and Wi-Fi available.

Saint Louis has one of the largest open sundecks of any barge of comparable size where you will be able to relax and dine whilst enjoying the peace and tranquility of this wonderful, secluded canal. The sundeck is easily accessed via wide stairs directly from the salon.

Saint Louis cruises in South West France where the finest fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses and wines of great note are all produced.  Because of the outstanding quality of our ingredients and their freshness, our ethos in the kitchen is: cook it simply, cook it lightly, embrace seasonality and avoid heavy use of sugar, salt and fat, let the flavor and texture of the food be the focus. Over the past 6 years the chef Martin, has worked with some of the finest Michelin Star chefs in France, Biasibetti and Pourcel. His training and extensive knowledge of French cuisine and his love of food shows in every dish he prepares.

France is renowned for its cheeses and no meal would be complete without an offering of the area cheeses. A selection of cheeses are chosen each day to create cheese boards that may include dried fruits, nuts and honey for guests to enjoy.

Pairing wine with food is an art and the barge owners work closely with their wine distributor in St Émilion, himself an executive chef, to bring guests a wide variety of wines of great quality from across this region that are specifically selected to complement the food aboard the barge. The barge has an excellent cellar and carry approximately 600 bottles on board.

The enjoyment of food is central to what we do; it is not only a taste experience it is also a visual one. Each evening guests sit down to a different table setting featuring a variety of themes throughout the week.

The Saint Louis cruises the Bordeaux area, and offers 2 cruises:  Bordeaux Area between Castets en Dorthe and Serignac sur Garonne.  The other itinerary is a Gascony itinerary cruising between Boe Port and Lacourt St Pierre.  Some of the highlights of these cruises are:   The Lily Gardens that inspired Monet, 12th century hill top town of Lauzerte, Moissac Abbey and Cloisters, the town of St Emilion, A 1st Grand Crus Chateaux, 12th Century town of La Mas d’Agenais and its church, with an original Rembrandt painting of Christ on the Cross, Port Chateau d’Arche, Serignac and the local weekly market at Valence d’Agen.

Check out the itineraries offered by the Saint Louis Barge.  We also have videos on the Saint Louis barge, the cruising area and the gourmet food to be found on the Saint Louis.  888-869-7907 Europeanbarging.com

Festive Christmas Markets in Cologne

 

The Christmas Markets in Cologne are one of the 2 most visited markets in Germany, following behind Dortmund, with over 4 million visitors each year. Cologne is a stop offered on Christmas Market themed Rhine River Cruises. In Cologne, you have a choice of seven Christmas Markets.  Each Christmas Market features a different theme.

The entire city of Cologne comes to life during the holiday season like a Christmas Celebration Theme Park. There are seven markets, each with a unique and fun twist, to entice visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Regional specialties like baked apples, cinnamon cookies, chocolate and mulled wine will enthrall the senses – as will a host of delicious, sugary desserts.

The largest and arguably most spectacular of the markets is the grand Cathedral Market. Centrally located in the Cathedral Square of the city center, next to the Cologne central train station, wooden pavilions offer: wood carvings, children’s toys, and other holiday specialties, as well a a great variety of holiday food and cider. A must stop is the delicious chocolate workshop.   The market stalls surround one of the largest Christmas Trees in the region.  Next to the tree is a large stage where a variety of live music performances are held.

Another popular Christmas Market is Neumarkt.  this is the oldest Christmas Market in Cologne ‘Market of Angels’ Angels dressed in white and glittering powder spread cheer as they walk past rows of charming booths featuring Holiday décor.

Next to the Chocolate Museum, the Harbour Christmas Market celebrates Cologne’s maritime history with a three-mast wooden boat 50 feet wide and docked in the harbor serving mulled wine specialties out of its hull. Pagoda tents with pointed, billowed roofs continue the maritime theme reminding you of the planks and sails of a ship. “Rhine Pirates” wander through the park, delighting guests with sailor’s yarns and pirate juggling.

At the Old Market or Alter Markt, Gnomes lurk in every nook and cranny here, celebrating the legend of a curious wife attempt to get a glimpse of the fabled creatures causing them to flee. There are alleyways of specialty foods, fashion accessories and artisanal gifts also, a roundabout puppet theater and a special Santa Claus Quarter.  Visitors will be thrilled to find a spectacular skating rink.

Christmas Avenue is another new Christmas market holiday celebrating the season in LGBT and old German style. The annual festival is located in the heart of the gay district. You will find Pink, purple and sometimes glittering chalets, pink nutcrackers and purple pottery.  Along with more traditional gifts.

The idyllic market on the Stadtgarten, full of unusual holiday handicrafts, and the charming Rudolfplatz are other fun spots. A small green train, the Christmas-Market-Express, drives through streets of the old city and links visitors to four of the major markets.

Typically the Christmas Markets open around the 3rd – 4th weekend in November and stay open till Christmas Eve.

Anytime of the year is a good time to book a Christmas Market River Cruise, whether a short 5 night or a longer 14 night.  When cruising on a Christmas Market themed cruise, you have the opportunity to visit Christmas Markets in several towns and countries.  Check out our Christmas Market Cruise itineraries and our Cologne Christmas Market video.

Europeanbarging.com   888-869-7907

Jeanine barge cruising Burgundy

The Jeanine barge, cruises through the Saône-et-Loire and La Côte d’Or regions of France. Cruising along the Canal du Centre and canal de Bourgogne and its wonderful rural landscapes. At the crossroads of the great wine appellations, we cruise alongside the great vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise and the Côte de Continue reading