It’s a sparkly new day for a shiny new star! La Nouvelle Etoile, which translates from French to The New Star, is a longtime Barge Lady favorite for Ultra Deluxe barge cruising. Having taken our guests on luxurious and leisurely journeys across five top European destinations, a fresh chapter now begins for the vessel we call “The Happy Wanderer”. Beginning in the 2022 season, La Nouvelle Etoile will be under the direction of Bill and Lisa Desmond, the vessel’s new owners and operators.
This American couple bring a wealth of business skills and consulting experience to their goal of maintaining the elite experience for which this barge is known. Bill began his career with 14 years in hospitality management and marketing. He then went on to over three decades as principal designer, engineer, and property development consultant for an array of building projects including international airports, military, retail, and entertainment venues. Lisa’s qualifications are equally as diverse; having worked in hospitality tour operations and retail store management, she then started her own company specializing in land use entitlement. Along the way, she also stayed home to raise their four daughters.
Onboard, Bill will serve as Host and Lisa as both Hostess and Government and Community Affairs Liaison. They will be joined by five in crew, many of whom have worked under former owner-operator Captain Jan Meijer. Bill and Lisa have set up headquarters in Amsterdam from where they are preparing to take charge of La Nouvelle Etoile, as well as begin their new life in Europe. About this change in both careers and lifestyle, the Desmonds recently told Barge Lady Ellen:
“We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been able to acquire this extraordinary vessel, and look forward to working alongside Jan in 2022. It is our intention to preserve and build further upon La Nouvelle Etoile’s ‘stellar’ international reputation.”
With new ownership comes new adventures on Europe’s inland waterways, especially for the Barge Ladies. “We are delighted to welcome Bill and Lisa to our floating family!” said Barge Lady Ellen. “As I regularly dream of the sophisticated sailings exclusively found on Ultra Deluxe barges, I am hoping to cruise with the Desmonds on La Nouvelle Etoile soon.”
It’s a new day for the new star! For a more intimate look into La Nouvelle Etoile’s international cruise routes, click here. For a travel expert’s review of her experience on La Nouvelle Etoile in the Alsace-Lorraine, click here. Finally, to contact a Barge Lady about booking your Ultra Deluxe cruise on La Nouvelle Etoile, click here.
Special thanks to Barge Lady Ellen, who is sparkly, shiny, AND an excellent co-author for all things European barge cruising!