Century celebrations for European Waterways’ L’Art de Vivre
Popular hotel barge celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2017
European Waterways is celebrating the 100th birthday of its popular hotel barge L’Art de Vivre. During 2017, European Waterways is offering 10% off selected cruises on board the luxury 8-passenger vessel, which cruises the Burgundy region of France.
Life started for L’Art de Vivre in 1917 carrying munitions to the Allied troops on the Western Front during World War One. After many ‘career’ changes, she is now a hotel barge that embodies the Burgundian ‘good life’, with en suite cabins, an elegant saloon where guests enjoy fine wines and gourmet meals, a spacious sundeck with a spa pool, and bicycles to explore the ever-present towpath and surrounding countryside.
“Many of our hotel barges have enjoyed colourful lives like L’Art de Vivre. It’s all part of the immersive experience we offer our guests, who soak up the historical, cultural and culinary lore of the region as they cruise gently and in comfort,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “At 100 years of age, L’Art de Vivre may be our ‘Grand Dame,’ but she’s as spry as ever! Like all vessels in our fleet, she has been expertly upgraded and modernised by skilled craftsmen and designers, so that today she offers the ultimate in modern convenience and style.”
A Spirited History
European Waterways’ L’Art de Vivre boasts a fascinating past that includes a series of name changes throughout the years evocative of alcoholic spirits. She was originally christened Marie Brizard after the 18th century creator of Anisette, the anise-flavoured liqueur. After helping to win the war for the Allies, she began delivering barrels of cognac from Angoulême to Rochefort along France’s River Charente. Name changes over the decades ahead included Cognac, Royal Cognac, Napoleon, Mark Twain, Magellan and Kir Royal.
The barge was purchased in 1975 by Florian Walewski, a descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte, before finally joining the European Waterways family in 1999 and being renamed L’Art de Vivre. Today, L’Art de Vivre cruises the scenic Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy and guests are pampered by an attentive crew of four – a captain, master chef, tour guide and hostess.
“You could say the spirit of L’Art de Vivre is in all our hotel barges,” said Banks. “By offering fine wines and spirits, gourmet meals, and chauffeured tours that include private wine tastings, every European Waterways cruise gives our guests the opportunity to enjoy ‘the good life.’ We look forward to toasting her centenary with our guests on board in 2017, perhaps with a glass of Napoleon brandy?”
Visit www.gobarging.com or call 1800 828 050 for information on pricing, cruises and schedules on these barges and more.
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About European Waterways
The hotel barging experience is different from large vessel river cruising. It offers a slower paced, “gentle voyage of discovery” along the more intimate canals and waterways of Europe, allowing a small number of guests to become more fully immersed in the culture, history and gastronomy of the region. European Waterways is Europe’s largest all-inclusive luxury hotel barging company, offering vacations in nine countries and carrying over 2,000 passengers a year. Founded over 40 years ago, they own, operate and market a private fleet of luxury hotel barges with cruises in France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Pioneers in hotel barging, they were the first company to operate a hotel barge on the Upper Nivernais in Burgundy, and the “real” Loire Valley. They are also the only cruise company offering barge cruises in Scotland and in the Venetian lagoon and River Po valley. Please visit www.gobarging.com for more information.