European Waterways has announced the completion of a £500,000 upgrade and refurbishing programme across the company’s fleet as it prepares to launch its 2018 season.

The upgrades have addressed every aspect of the company’s hotel barges, from the operation of the vessels, to the dining, entertainment and sleeping areas, as well as the off-shore transportation of its guests, who are treated to daily guided excursions.

According to Managing Director Derek Banks, the company’s upgrades always begin at their most basic, with a thorough inspection and repair, where necessary, of all its vessels to ensure they operate smoothly and quietly. He said: “It’s the small details that make the difference between a good vacation and a great one. Once we have the engineering work completed, we are free to focus upon the exclusive, personalised service that our guests expect. This includes working with renowned interior designer Marion Falchi and her team to create interiors that are a wonderful mixture of homely tradition and contemporary style.”

The company’s latest upgrades include a complete redesign of the saloon for the 12-passenger L’Impressionniste hotel barge, which cruises Southern Burgundy, France. The hotel barge also received a new staircase, bar area, banquettes and an oval dining table to help create more space and seating. The eight-passenger L’Art de Vivre, cruising Northern Burgundy, was upgraded with new bathrooms, while the Anjodi, an eight-passenger vessel on the Canal du Midi, was fitted with a new hardwood sundeck to complement a new saloon last year. Deck furniture has also been upgraded across many of the vessels.

The company's luxury hotel barges in Scotland, which cruise Loch Ness and the Great Glen between Inverness and Fort William on the Caledonian Canal, have been spruced up for the new season. The eight-passenger Scottish Highlander, whose subtle use of tartan furnishing recalls a comfortable country house, has been improved with a new guest entrance and easier access. Meanwhile, the elegant 12-passenger Spirit of Scotland, the most recent addition to the fleet, has received a new Jacuzzi, new curtains, carpets and improved interior lighting.

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