NEW YORK -- The Dijon, France-based Continental Waterways barge
fleet will grow to 12 vessels with the launching of two new barges.
In March, the company will debut the Princesse Royal, sailing on
six-night cruises on its first venture onto the canals of Belgium
and southern Holland.
The 160-foot clipper-style vessel accommodates 22 passengers in
12 cabins, including two suites, eight twin cabins and two singles,
located on the lower deck of the two-deck vessel.
All cabins feature private bathrooms and porthole windows.
Suites have a living area with sofa and twin beds that can be
converted into doubles. The main deck has a sundeck, a dining room
and an interior lounge with a bar.
The Princesse Royal offers a Tulip Cruise in Holland, with
departures from March 25 through May 13.
The Tulip Cruise begins in Vreeswijk and travels along the Lek
River to Schoonhoven, the windmill country at Kinderkijk and then
along the Hollandse Ijssel River past Rotterdam. A cruise of
Southern Holland, departing May 20 through Oct. 27, also visits
Ghent and Bruges in Belgium.
An excursion to Keukenhof Gardens highlights Holland's famous
fields of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. The cruise also includes
the village of Zaans Schans and a walking tour of Amsterdam.
Cruise costs are $2,190 for single cabins, $2,290 per person,
double, and $2,490 per person for suite accommodations; the charter
cost is $46,660 for up to 22 people.
While canal barge cruising underscores waterway life in the slow
lane, larger hotel barges take to the rivers, as Continental
Waterways will do when it launches the first all-suite barge, the
50-passenger Chardonnay, cruising for six nights on the Saone River
in France between Lyon and Saint-Jean-de-Losne.
This spacious river craft has 23 suites, ranging in size from
190 to 208 square feet, as well as four single cabins. Main deck
facilities include a forward bar, an inside lounge with a piano
bar, a boutique, a dining room and two Jacuzzis.
The vessel will cruise along waterways through Burgundy,
Beaujolais and Lyonnais, and visit Old Lyon, the medieval town of
Perouges, the vineyards of Beaujolais, the abbey of Saint Philibert
Rates during the main season, May 6 through Oct. 14, range from
$2,490 to $2,690 per person, double; single cabins are priced at
$2,190, and the full boat charter cost is $117,740.