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La Nouvelle Etoile
Barging in Holland
|Passengers: 8||Your Hosts: Jan and Diana Meijer|
|Size: 128 feet long||English Speaking Crew of: 5|
|Last Visited: 2012||Bicycles: 8|
|Rating: Ultra Deluxe||Air Conditioned: Yes|
Cruise Rate Does NOT Include: Airfare to and from Holland, cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)
2014 Early Season RatesWhole Boat Charter: $49,900
Individuals: $6,540 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $3,270
2014 early Season Holland DatesMarch 23 - 29 Haarlem to Haarlem
March 30 - April 5 Haarlem to Haarlem
2014 Regular Season RatesWhole Boat Charter: $55,900
Individuals: $7,290 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $3,395
2014 Regular Season Holland and Belgium Dates
|April 6 - 12||Haarlem to Haarlem||May 4 - 10||Haarlem to Haarlem|
|April 13 - 19||Haarlem to Haarlem||May 11 - 17||Amsterdam to Bruges|
|April 20 - 26||Haarlem to Haarlem ||May 18 - 29||Bruges to Paris|
|April 27 - May 3||Haarlem to Haarlem |
Dutch hosts Jan and Diana Meijer are perfect guides to Holland at Tulip Time - and Nouvelle Etoile is the only Ultra-Deluxe barge cruising in Holland.We visited NOUVELLE ETOILE in April 2007 - moored in the delightful port of Haarlem, Holland. (Haarlem is a great favorite of our guests.) As always, we were welcomed warmly and as always, came away extremely impressed with the vessel, the owners and the program. NOUVELLE ETOILE begins every season in Holland, then transiting to France for routes in Burgundy, Champagne and Alsace (some combinable into 13-night cruises), finally ending the season on Germany's idyllic River Mosel.
Jan and Diana Meijer run one of the most accomplished and congenial operations in barging - beginning with the vessel itself. NOUVELLE ETOILE boasts a long list of innovations: an elevator, a handicap access cabin, computers in every cabin (with e-mail and a navigational system that the passengers can access), an exercise room, a washer and dryer for the guests and sput poles that allow the barge to stop anywhere without tying up.
NOUVELLE ETOILE ("New Star") is the dream barge of Captain Meijer, who was born into a Dutch shipping familly - and thus knows more than the average barge captain about design and navigation. But not at the expense of elegance and comfort!
The spacious suites boast oversized showers, double sinks and rich interiors design. The salon-dining room is designed for socializing. Guests congregate at the gorgeous bar. There is lots of good seating - even a piano for those so inclined.
The Meijers run a top operation - one defined by divine cuisine, the depth and breadth of the wine selection, and extremely literate sightseeing. This attractive couple is front and center; tending bar, pouring champagne, and creating a lighthearted on-board ambiance.
The Barge Lady and her husband Monsieur Le Barge Lady criused in summer, 2008. Please go to The Barge Lady Blog for my day to day diary of this fabulous trip! We now understand due to our own first-hand experience why Jan and Diana have so many repeat guests!
La Nouvelle Etoile
Holland Barge Cruise Itinerary
Haarlem To Haarlem
Sunday: Haarlem to Zaandam
Let's Start to Float!
We'll meet you at 3:00pm in the lobby of your Amsterdam hotel, followed by chauffeured transfer to LA NOUVELLE ETOILE moored in nearby Haarlem. Haarlem is quite a charming and cosmopolitan city full of historical beauty. St. Bavo’s Cathedral in the main square is where both Mozart and Handel played on its magnificent Muller organ. You are welcomed on board with champagne reception and there’s time to relax as you cruise this afternoon to Zaandam before your first gourmet dinner on board.
Monday: Zaandam to Ulthoorn
Cruise Through the Heart of Amsterdam
Wake up to an elegant breakfast and then take an excursion to the reconstructed historic village of Zaanse Schans with its working windmills, clog makers, cheese farm and mustard mill. Everything the Dutch are known for can be found in this quaint village. This afternoon cruise through the heart of Amsterdam where the small canals and architecture take you back to a previous century, see below. Continue cruising along the Amstel River to Ulthoorn where we will moor for the night.
Tuesday: Ulthoorn to Gouda
Buy Gouda cheese in Gouda!
A leisure cruise to Gouda, famous for its cheese, pipes and candles. After lunch, visit a local cheese farm. Later, explore Gouda’s gorgeous architecture, excellent shopping and also the most beautiful stained glass windows in Holland. These remarkable windows in St. John’s church date back to the 15th century.
Wednesday: Gouda to Delft
Still painting by hand at the Delft Pottery Works
This morning cruise Rotterdam, the world’s largest port, stopping at a vodka distillery en route. Ketel One is the oldest distillery in Holland still owned by the same family. Then continuing to Delft. Delft is a beautiful town with many historic connections including being one of the starting chambers of the Dutch East India Company and the birthplace of artist Jan Vermeer. The day’s visit also includes a tour of a factory to learn how the world famous pottery is made, see visit at right. Spend the rest of the afternoon strolling around this delightful and historic Dutch city.
Thursday: Delft to Oude Wettering
Largest display of flowers in the world!
Continuing our voyage, we cruise through the canals past Leiden, a charming University town. It is also where many of the Pilgrims lived before they ventured to the New World. Cross the Brasemmer Lakes to Oude Wetering. Spend the afternoon at the famous Keukenhof Gardens, a 70 acre showcase for the Dutch floral industry. From late March to mid-May, visitors are treated to an ever-changing display of spring flowers beginning with narcissus followed by hyacinths and tulips a few weeks later, see below.
Friday: Oude Wettering to Haarlem
Elegance in Haarlem
An early morning visit brings you to the worlds largest flower auction in Aalsmeer, where some 10 billion flowers are sold every year. Return to La Nouvelle for a cruise to Haarlem with an optional visit to the Cruquius Museum along the way. The Cruquius pumping station is a beautiful neo-Gothic building built in 1846. This draining station contains a Cruquis steam engine, with a cylinder having the largest diameter in the world – almost 144 inches! Visit the picturesque town of Haarlem and the Frans Hals Museum which has an internationally well-known collection of Old Masters and works representative of the Dutch Golden Age. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner on board.
Saturday: Return to Amsterdam
A Sad Farewell
This will be your last wonderful breakfast on board and then you will be taken to either your hotel or the airport depending on your travel plans.
Please note: this is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions. The route will run in reverse on alternate weeks. Contact The Barge Lady for reservations and more information about Barging in Holland. Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.
Amsterdam to Bruges
Sunday: Amsterdam to Haarlem
Your group will be met at 3:30pm in the lobby of your Amsterdam hotel and chauffeured to the barge at anchor in Haarlem. Haarlem is a gorgeous town, very wonderful to walk in. Peek in the famed St. Bavo Church, browse the square, follow the riverside road. Tonight is the first of many gourmet dinners on board.
Monday: Haarlem to Delft
Flowers, Flowers Flowers!
Flowers are center stage today; After all, you ARE in Holland! Right after breakfast is an early visit to the amazing Aaalsmeer flower auction, from which millions of flowers are priced and shipped daily. Return to cruise to the town of Lisse, from where you will be taken after lunch to Keukenhof, renowned showcase of the Dutch flower industry.(You can arrange for the purchase and shipment of bulbs here.)While you visit Keukenhof, the barge will cruise to Delft, an enchanting town criss-crossed by canals and bridges. There may be time to visit the Delft Pottery Works. Delft was the home of artist Johannes Vermeer. Stroll after dinner to discover scenes straight out of Dutch masterpiece paintings.
Tuesday: Delft to Willemstad
Cruise right through Rotterdam!
This morning’s visit is to the Ketel One Distillery, where this prestigious vodka is made. Return to the barge and an amazing cruise through
Wednesday: Willemstad to Antwerp
Float into Belgium!
This morning, we cruise from Holland to Belgium, arriving to Antwerp after lunch. Excursion choices include the Cathedral of Our Lady, a masterpiece of Gothic design begun in 1352 and the studio of artist Peter Paul Rubens. (Major works by Rubens can be seen in the Cathedral.) A walk around the old quarter will end your day in a romantic manner.
Thursday: Antwerp to Ghent
Elegant Medieval City
We’ll float on the flood tide on the “Sea Schelde,” which takes La Nouvelle Etoile to
Friday: Ghent to Bruges
Lace and Cobblestoned Streets
Saturday: Goodbye in Bruges
A Sad Farewell
You’ll depart at 9:00am and taken to your hotel in
La Nouvelle Etoile "La Nouvelle is the best barge! Jan and Diana are wonderful, and the chef is amazing."
Larry and Beth Burtschy (repeat guests),
cruised May, 2013
"The cruise exceeded expectations. The ship was perfectly appointed and comfortable; the owners and crew warm and welcoming. The super chef created excellent cuisine for all of us, including one guest who is a vegan and another who eats no carbs. We hope to take another cruise on La Nouvelle Etoile.”
-Barbara Martinsons, cruised May, 2013
"Our trip on the Nouvelle Etoile was wonderful. We had high expectations, but this exceeded them. Jan and Diana were most gracious and tireless hosts. It soon became clear that Jan had thought of everything for the comfort of his guests. Frank was most knowledgeable about the places we visited, an excellent tour guide. In addition he entertained us in the evenings with his piano playing, and some of us even danced. As to Chef Richard - what can we say! Any five star restaurant would be happy to have him as their chef. We loved Diana's wine and cheese explanations. Also, her flowers on deck were so beautiful. The cabin facilities and deck were extremely comfortable, and reflected the great care Jan had given to outfitting the Nouvelle Etoile. We hope to take another trip on the Nouvelle Etoile next year."
- Dorit and Gerald Paul, cruised June, 2012
"Dear Ellen, I wanted to drop you a note telling you how FABULOUS our trip on La Nouvelle Etoile was! WOW---Jan and Diana are fabulous----Frank, the tour guide is magnificent, and Richard, the chef could easily open a Michelin starred restaurant---the food was sublime. I was skeptical that anything could top the Horizon II (our first barge cruise we took a few years ago) , but this DID! The barge is so lovely and well cared for---what a shell shock to re-enter the "real world" when we left. I can't rave enough about how wonderful the entire experience was---it far exceeded any of our expectations. Many thanks!"
"The La Nouvelle Etoile cruise exceeded our expectations! It was a "top shelf", and Ultra deluxe experience. The cabin was so spacious with lots of storage. We could not believe how large the bathrooms were - even double sinks! Each cabin had a computer, and this was a nice feature. The cuisine was excellent, and was 5-star restaurant quality. The crew was superb, friendly, helpful, and welcoming. We had a lot of fun with the crew, and they each did his/her job extremely well. The excursions were well organized. We were very, very pleased from beginning to end, and hope to go on another barge trip"
- Barri and David Drury, cruised April, 2012
"Jan and Diana are fabulous hosts. What can one say about Chef Richard? His cuisine has probably ruined us for anyone else! Each meal was gourmet quality and outstanding. The cabins ere beyond expectations. They were much roomier than previous barge cabins we have been in. The fresh flowers were a nice touch - loved it! Overall, our group a wonderful experience. No one felt hurried, and the meals were on time and delicious. Everything was done exceptionally well! We were the only ones in our charter group who had barged before and everyone loved the experience. It is the best way to travel...we hope to repeat the trip again."
- Judy and Gary Jorgensen (repeat guests), cruised April, 2012
"The crew was excellent! They were very friendly, professional, and did everything they could to ensure we were enjoying ourselves. Richard is a gourmet chef, and every meal was terrific! We ate all three meals and enjoyed every one of them. The wine selection was outstanding! Our cabin was much nicer than we anticipated - lots of room, large bathroom and very clean. Overall, Nouvelle Etoile was absolutely fabulous! It was a Five Star experience! We would definitely cruise again on the Nouvelle Etoile.
- Mary and Carl Strohmaier, cruised April, 2012
"Thank you Ellen for arranging another wonderful trip for us! We received a very warm welcome from Jan and Diana and their crew. The care and attention that they have given to their barge and to making the trip a perfect experience for their guests is evident. Thoughtful extras such as the use of laundry facilities and being able to keep in touch with friends and family by email were appreciated. We were extremely comfortable and our room (I refuse to call it a cabin as this was a proper room!) and shower room were truly spacious. The food was beautifully balanced and accompanied by an interesting selection of wines. I adore Champagne and I certainly got my share on this trip, both on and off the barge! It was fascinating to visit both a major Champagne House and a smaller, family run, business; the two visits were quite different but together provided a wealth of information about the production and storage of my favorite drink. The daily trips were very well chosen and, perhaps surprisingly, one which stood out for us was a thought provoking visit to Belleau woods and cemeteries near Château Thierry where US and German troops, who fought and died in June 1918 during a strategically important engagement of World War I, are buried or commemorated. We can't wait for next summer and our return to La Nouvelle Etoile for our Nancy/Strasbourg trip!"
-Margaret Harding and Paul Hewitt, 2010
"The cruise was deluxe and better than anything we expected. The Meijers were not only superb operators, they are delightful, cheerful, entertaining people. Richard the Chef was over the top wonderful. I would follow him on any barge. Every effort was made to accommodate all wishes. We got off and walked - much needed as food and wine was abundant at meals. I would do the trip again but lose at least 5 pounds before departure!"
-Deborah and Richard Kessler, 2010
~ Wines ~
Julianas '09 Burgundy
Domaine de Gry Sablon"
Sancerre '03 vin de Loire
Les Tuileres" Michel Redde
Florimont Riesling Grand cru '02
Alsace "Jean Maeffelin"
Pouilly fuisse '04 Burgundy
Dom. La Soufrandise "Clos Marie"
Chateaueuf du Pape '03 Rhone
"Nicolas Thienpont" Valley
Valpolicella '05 Italy
Chateauneuf du Pape (blanc)'04 Rhone
"Lazaret" Jerome Quiot" Valley
Chateau Margaux '02 Bordeaux
" Alter Ego"
Chablis 1er Cru '04 "Dom. Laroche"
Sauternes '04 Bordeaux
Chassagne Montrachet '04
Cote de Beaune "Le Morgeot"
La Nouvelle Etoile
Floor Plan128 feet long
Four suites over 200 sq ft
-One queen or two twin beds
-TV, internet access, picture windows
-Brand new touch-screen computer in each cabin
-Ensuite bathroom with shower and double sinks
-One suite wheelchair accessible
In the Public Areas
-Beautiful, elegant salon/dining area with picture windows
-Lovely piano in the salon
-Washer/dryer for guest use
-Exercise room with treadmill, home trainer bicycle, free weights and step
-Large screen satellite television (hidden behind a sofa in the salon)
-Sun deck with retractable canopy for shade
-Jacuzzi on deck
-Wifi on board
Batavus Weekend model. Four are women’s with a frame height of 48 inches, Four are men’s with a frame height of 53 inches. Features include: 8 gears, adjustable handle bars and seats, front/back shock absorbers and a bell.