Citing increasing demand for experiential travel, European Waterways will offer four new themed cruises in 2020 that can be booked by individual travelers.
The "hotel barge" operator, with vessels that carry between four and 20 passengers, usually operates its theme cruises only on full-charter sailings.
The new theme sailings are the April 5 Whisky Trail cruise aboard the Scottish Highlander and the April 26 Golf Cruise aboard the Spirit of Scotland, both on Scotland's Caledonian Canal; the April 12 Wine Appreciation Cruise aboard L'Impressionniste in Burgundy, France; and the August 16, 2020 Opera Cruise aboard La Bella Vita, which sails out of Venice.
Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, said the cruises feature enhanced itineraries that highlight guests' particular interests. For example, wine cruises will contain more exclusive tastings of a variety of vintages than the classic cruises do, while golf cruises include guaranteed tee times at world-class courses.
"Our guests don't want to be 'spectators' of history and culture, they want to be participants," said Banks. "From sharing a glass of Pastis with a friendly lock keeper, to gourmet lunch with a baroness, to playing golf in the country that invented the sport, they seek immersive experiences that are both memorable and meaningful in providing insight into the local cultures."