While historic drought conditions are drying up major European rivers, European Waterways is reporting that its canal cruises are not being affected.
The company has been able to operate its many luxury hotel barges in Europe and the UK with less disruption than cruise operators on larger rivers that include the Rhine and the Danube.
Cruising between Venice and the Renaissance city of Mantua, European Waterways’ La Bella Vita hotel barge has not been affected. The vessel is bypassing stretches of the Po River impacted by the drought and utilizing the Canal Bianco, which continues to support normal traffic.
Many regions in France remain unaffected. Most notably are cruises on the Canal du Midi, which is recognized as the best in France for water management. In Southern Burgundy, the company continues to cruise its usual routes with Finesse and L’Impressionniste. It’s also smooth sailing for L’Art de Vivre, which cruises the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy.
In the UK, the company’s Magna Carta hotel barge is currently operating in the middle section of the River Thames, where water levels are normal; and it is business as usual in Scotland, where the company’s Scottish Highlander and Spirit of Scotland cruise the Caledonian Canal.
The 2023 prices for a 6-night cruise, based on double occupancy lead in at £3,290pp aboard La Bella Vita in italy; or £52,000 for a whole boat charter of 10 people.
“In addition to the nature of canals, the smaller sizes of our vessels give us more flexibility to relocate them, if necessary, to nearby waterways that are less affected,” says Derek Banks, European Waterways’ Managing Director.
“Therefore, we can operate many of the same, scheduled excursions to ensure the cruise experience remains at the highest standards.”