Belmond introduces Pivoine and Lilas, two new luxury boats joining the fleet of luxury barges, Belmond Afloat in France. Scheduled to launch in summer 2017, Belmond Lilas (Lilac) and Belmond Pivoine (Peony) are set to cruise along the picturesque canals and rivers throughout Alsace and Champagne. Six-night itineraries feature private visits to family-owned vineyards and breweries and spectacular Châteaux. Travelling with Belmond Afloat in France is an escape from the everyday, a chance to slow down and savour the moment, gently gliding through the beautiful French countryside.
Belmond Pivoine is to cruise between Meaux and Châlons-en-Champagne along the River Marne and Canal Lateral de Marne, passing undulating hills filled with vines and pretty canal-side villages. Steeped in rich history, Champagne is not only famous for its sparkling namesake but is home to rich and cultural locations that played an important part in historical events in the early 20th century. Highlights include a visit to the historical city of Reims and Château Vaux-Le-Vicomte, famous for its beautifully manicured gardens and grounds.
Cruising the Canal de la Marne au Rhin through the heart of the Alsace region, Belmond Lilas passes forests abundant with pine trees and small ruin castles on isolated hilltops between Arzviller and Strasbourg. Along the canal, guests can visit small villages and towns including Lutzelbourg and Saverne before exploring Strasbourg, the culinary capital of the Alsace region and highlight of the cruise.
To reinforce the extraordinary experience of connecting with nature, the new barges are inspired by Biophilia, a design approach that brings the outside world into the interior space. Each barge is individually designed to reflect the tones of the flowers and landscapes they represent.
Commenting on the design, Inge Moore, Interior Designer from The Gallery HBA, London says, ‘I want to create spaces where guests can really unwind and reconnect with what is important in their lives. I believe in order to do this, we need to look back towards nature – an antidote to our busy everyday lives. The aim of the design is to kindle a strong connection with the living, breathing world – a design which embraces a love for life and all pure living forms’.
Pivoine reflects the soft, romantic yellows and whites of Peonies and champagne. Organic and naturally shaped furnishings with comfortable seating inspire complete relaxation. Lilas is filled with the vibrant, fresh colours of the lilac flower and furnishings reflect the rustic character and spicy wines of the Alsace region. Natural linens, handcrafted ironmongery and timber wood furnishing come together to create a casual and welcoming environment.
Both feature open decks evoking the sense of being in secret floating garden, with handmade furniture and a swimming pool surrounded by potted plants. Accommodating eight guests in four en-suite cabins, the barges offer an intimate and unique experience with exclusive personal service and a space to take time and reconnect with things that matter most.
The two new barges will bring the fleet to a total of seven. Belmond Afloat in France also offers tailor-made itineraries around Burgundy, Cote D’Or, France Comte, Saone, Provence, Valle du Rhone and Canal du Midi. The barges can accommodate between four and 12 passengers each with an experienced crew, en-suite cabins, living space and dining room. Other activities available are cycling along the canal paths, market tours and cooking classes with the private chef.
Prices start from €5,200 per person for a six-night cruise on an all-inclusive basis based on eight guests travelling.
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