Published on : Friday, May 23, 2014
European Waterways, Europe’s largest luxury hotel barge cruising company, offers an assortment of themed cruises featuring specialized itineraries that allow travelers to experience the history and culture of Europe.
Among the most notable of the company’s tailored cruises is the Classic Northern France World War One voyage in 2015 aboard the hotel barge La Belle Epoque. The cruise travels between the charming cities of Lille and Compiegne in Northern France, with tours to some of the most significant battlefields, museums and memorials of what is often called “The Great War” that took place 100 years ago.
With other departures later in April having nearly sold out, European Waterways has added two new departures for April 5 and April 12, 2015.“European Waterways’ World War One themed cruises offer travelers a chance to fully experience an integral chapter of world history,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “Our six-day itineraries on La Belle Epoque transport passengers back in time to explore historic sites while traveling in luxury and comfort along the canals of Northern France. Guests will be able to take in the passing Picardy countryside, visit some of the most poignant memorials and battlefields, and enjoy fine dining, great French wines and exceptional service by our attentive and experienced crew.”
From Lille to Compiegne
La Belle Epoque is a spacious 12 passenger vessel with a crew of 6 that offers lavish amenities such as a sun deck with spa pool, a beautiful wood-paneled saloon and dining room, and other services to ensure the utmost comfort and convenience.
Among the immersive excursions is a visit to Vimy Ridge, the site of the striking Canadian National Memorial – Canada’s largest overseas national memorial – which recognizes its soldiers who fought in World War One. Another noteworthy excursion is a tour of the Thiepval memorial, a heartrending monument to 75,000 missing soldiers who fell during the Battle of the Somme, but who have no known graves.
The tour includes a viewing of the fascinating archival film footage and photographs at the visitor center, as well as walking beside some of the actual trenches. Passengers will also visit sites in Flanders, such as the Menin Gate in Ypres for the daily and very moving Last Post ceremony, the battlefields and museums of the Somme, and the forest clearing at Compiegne where the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.
Rates for this 6-night cruise through the historic and poignant battlefields of the Great War start at $5,090 per person, and $51,400 for a whole barge charter. Cabin rates are based on double occupancy.