As a love letter to our guest’s favorite barges, we are pleased to announce the second in a series of Barge of the Month blog posts! The only vessel in the Barge Lady fleet cruising through five (!!!) countries each season, the 6-star, 8-passenger La Nouvelle Etoile was an obvious choice for our ongoing Barge of the Month feature. Welcome aboard, and enjoy!
Discover the exceptional world onboard the luxury barge La Nouvelle Etoile, a phrase translated from French to mean “the new star”. Gently making her way from Holland to Belgium to France to Luxembourg and Germany every season, La Nouvelle Etoile is owned and operated by the extraordinary Captain Jan Meijer, who was born into a Dutch shipping family and boasts a lifelong pedigree of navigating the inland waterways and petite rivers of Europe. Since 1988, he has offered passengers the utmost in luxurious comfort, gourmet gastronomy, and cultural connections.
Happy guests aboard “The Happy Wanderer” consistently rave about premium innovations exclusive to La Nouvelle Etoile’s sophisticated onboard experience. Passengers revel in amenities such as an elevator; exercise room; and, most enticingly to those for whom clean clothes are a must while traveling, laundry facilities.
Warm and welcoming public spaces add to an overall ambience of luxury onboard. Having recently undergone a major upgrade in design and décor, the vessel’s elite status is now freshly reflected in its upscale furnishings, deluxe linens, and thoughtful details. The refurbished salon and shaded deck are the perfect places to socialize while sipping small batch spirits from the open bar; and, when not lazing in the hot tub while enjoying glasses of Champagne, guests can select one of the onboard bicycles and explore their cruise region on two wheels. Happy wandering, indeed!
La Nouvelle Etoile’s comfortable cabins are one of the most enticing aspects to her high-end cruising experience. The four cabins are identical in size, measuring 200 square feet, boasting spacious ensuite bathrooms with double sinks, as well as appreciated touches such as satellite TVs with DVD players. Guests can choose between one queen or two twin bedded configuration.
Of course, no barge cruise is complete without an exquisite tasting tour of Europe’s culinary bounty! La Nouvelle Etoile’s dining program spotlights seasonal ingredients and local specialties from each cruising region. Wine pairings are selected from both area vineyards and New World producers, reflecting La Nouvelle Etoile’s European roamings. An open bar stocked with small batch spirits and boutique elixirs completes the barge’s sumptuous sojourn of discovery.
With eight culturally immersive itineraries from which to choose, La Nouvelle Etoile’s daily escorted excursions reveal historical treasures and cultural pleasures through a carefully curated collection of vineyard visits, area attractions, and epicurean experiences. Holland’s iconic tulips are of course on vivid display in spring; the summer sun sweetly ripens the pampered grapes of France’s endless vineyards; and the autumnal splendor of Germany’s Mosel River Valley beckons in the fall.
Understandably, many of La Nouvelle Etoile’s guests cruise with Captain Jan year after year, excitedly exploring new regions of Europe on “The Happy Wanderer”. Recently, Barge Lady repeat guest Jim H said of his cruise, “This was our second year in a row on La Nouvelle Etoile and our trip was everything we expected. We had a ball! The excellent crew made sure we enjoyed great food and great service. Cabins were clean, neat, and recently upgraded. The excursions were interesting and always modified to meet our group’s needs. You really couldn’t ask for more!”
A longtime Barge Lady favorite for luxury barge cruising in Europe, La Nouvelle Etoile continues to wander happily, cordially inviting her guests to join in her unhurried international journey.