Monday, 15 April 2013

The TV (And Film) Inspired Luxury Hotel Barge Cruises!

Luxury Hotel Barge Tours Highlight Popular Attractions from Movies and Television Shows Set in England, Ireland and Scotland

European Waterways is offering an exciting array of culture-rich excursions on its luxury hotel barge cruises in England, Ireland and Scotland in 2013, including newly added tours to the castle where the popular TV series “Downton Abbey” is filmed.

Down the Thames to Downton Abbey
Meandering down the famous River Thames, cruises aboard luxury hotel barge Magna Carta feature royal adventures to majestic castles, palaces and cathedrals that are literally “fit for a king.” For select departures, the company has added Highclere Castle, setting for the renowned period drama series “Downton Abbey”. The hugely impressive Victorian castle sits on an expansive 1,000 acre estate surrounded by gardens, and is the iconic home to the fictional Crawley family on the show. The “real” Downton Abbey has been owned by the Carnarvon family since 1679, and Lord and Lady Carnarvon still live there today.

The itinerary also features a private tour of Dorney Court, a beautiful Tudor home on the banks of the Thames, where “Elizabeth”, “The Other Boleyn Girl”, and Agatha Christie’s series “Poirot” were all filmed. The cruise concludes with a tour of Christ Church, one of the most prestigious colleges at the University of Oxford and one of the settings for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. An excellent video of the Magna Carta cruise in England is available on European Waterways' YouTube channel on this link.

The Scottish Highlands – Land of Legend and Conflict
Luxury hotel barge The Scottish Highlander cruises the Caledonian Canal through varied lochs across the sprawling Scottish Highlands. Featured in nine videos on European Waterways’ YouTube page, the tours on these cruises traverse Scotland’s medieval wonders, beautiful scenery and wildlife, and rich battle history, including the charming village of Fort Augustus, gateway to famous Loch Ness, and magnificent Eilean Donan Castle, setting for the film “Highlander”, which sits ideally positioned on an island where three lochs meet. 

Excursions will further explore the battle history of the Jacobite Risings, a series of rebellions across the British Isles in the 17th and 18th centuries, with visits to Culloden Moor, site of the last battle on British soil where the Jacobites were defeated in 1746, and to the battlefields of the massacre of Glencoe

The Crafts of Ireland
Shannon Princess II is the only luxury hotel barge navigating the picturesque inner lakes and canals of Ireland and the cruise itineraries feature unique excursions for exploring the folklore and majestic landscape of the Emerald Isle.  For 2013, European Waterways has added tours that emphasise the crafts of local Irish specialities, allowing guests to experience the age-old traditions that tell the story of Ireland’s past and present cultures. These include Kilbeggan Distillery, the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world, dating back to 1757. Before tasting some of Kilbeggan’s finest, guests will witness the traditional method for making whiskey, which originated here from age-old pot stills. 

Also new to the itinerary are visits to Meadowsweet Farm, where the owner will reward visitors with samples of wild Irish honey and other organic produce grown at the farm. Guests will visit Mossfield Organic Farm, set on lush pastoral fields at the foot of a mountain, and taste award-winning Gouda cheeses made from fresh organic ingredients.  

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's luxury river-cruising specialists.