Water-based holidays to enjoy in summer and early autumn

June 12, 2017 | Kirker Holidays

Kirker Holidays

Sail into summer with cruises for ‘non-cruisers’ 

from Kirker Holidays

Water-based holidays for discerning travellers in Europe & the UK

Discerning travellers for whom the classic ‘big ship’ experience holds little appeal need look no further than Kirker’s new collection of cruises for summer and early autumn departures. Featuring ’boutique’ vessels and luxury hotel barges – and working in partnership with respected small cruise experts, Silversea and European Waterways – Kirker now offers an array of civilised water-based holidays that combine comfort, personal service and picturesque scenery with fine food and wine. Each itinerary also includes a two-night stay at one of Kirker’s carefully-selected hotels in the region, to create a relaxing and unforgettable experience.

Departing until October, choose from tempting tailor-made itineraries in France, Italy and the UK that include:

LUXURY HOTEL BARGE HOLIDAYS

There is no more relaxing way to enjoy the bucolic delights of the canals and waterways of Europe than on board a luxury hotel barge as it meanders past historic towns, pretty villages and verdant vineyards. In partnership with European Waterways, Kirker presents a selection of new eight-night holidays that blend six nights on the water with flights, transfers and two nights in an hotel (or longer, if preferred).

Each characterful vessel offers comfortable en-suite accommodation (for between 6 and 20 guests) with exceptional regional wines and locally-sourced cuisine, prepared by on-board chefs, as well as a programme of excursions to vineyards, châteaux and historic towns en route, all included in the price. These itineraries also include travel from the UK by air or rail, transfers and two nights’ hotel accommodation with breakfast. Kirker clients choosing a holiday that encompasses Paris also receive a two-day Museum Pass, Seine cruise, carnet of Métro tickets and Kirker’s unique Guide Notes to restaurants and sightseeing, to help them make the very most of their time in the city.

FRANCE

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  • Paris & Northern Burgundy – cruise the Nivernais Canal between mediaeval Auxerre and the pretty village of Chevroches on board L’Art de Vivre, a former First World War supply vessel that has has been lovingly converted. As well as six nights’ full board on the barge, during which excursions include a visit to a cellar in Chablis for a tasting of the famous Petit Chablis and Chablis white wines, enjoy two nights at the four-star deluxe Hotel Westminster in Paris. The price for this eight-night holiday is from £4,398 pp (two sharing).
  • Southern Burgundy & Beaujolais – enjoy wine tasting in some of the region’s most renowned vineyards, exceptional Burgundian cuisine, and visits to Dijon and Beaune, during a six-night cruise on L’Impressionniste along the Burgundy Canal between Fleurey-sur-Ouche and Escommes. Work up an appetite with a walk or cycle (bikes carried on board) on the towpath that follows almost the entire route of the canal as it passes through the scenic Ouche valley, and spend two nights in the Beaujolais countryside at the five-star Chateau de Bagnols, near Lyon. The price for this eight-night holiday is from from £4,398 pp (two sharing).
  • Canal Du Midi – sailing on the vessel featured in Rick Stein’s ‘French Odyssey’, Anjodi, explore one of the world’s most picturesque waterways. Dating back to the 17th century and featuring the oldest canal tunnel in the world, the Canal du Midi traverses the south west corner of France – a region dotted with castles and ancient Roman relics – and now enjoys the protection of UNESCO World Heritage status. Cruise through the vineyards and villages of the Languedoc before finishing your holiday with a two-night stay at the iconic Hotel de la Cité, set within the walls of the mediaeval fortress town of Carcassonne. The price for this eight-night holiday is from £3,998 pp (two sharing).water-based
  • The Marne-Rhine Canal, Alsace – fusing French style and flair with German-influenced architecture and cuisine, the Alsace region is the fascinating setting for this six-night cruise on Panache as it navigates the Canal de la Marne au Rhin between Krafft and Niderviller. After a weekend in Paris at the four-star deluxe Hotel Westminster, travel by rail to Strasbourg to embark upon the cruise, highlights of which include the pink sandstone Gothic façade of Strasbourg’s Notre Dame cathedral, the Marc Chagall chapel in Sarrebourg, the unique collection of Art Nouveau glassware in the René Lalique Musuem, and the Alsatian wineries of the Route des Grands Vins. The price for this eight-night holiday is from £4,298 pp (two sharing).
  • Bordeaux & The Canal de Garonne, Aquitaine – visit Saint-Émilion, Marmande, the historic towns of Vianne and Barbaste, and an an Armagnac producer during a six-night cruise on board Rosa, that also includes tastings with a local cheese maker and a viticulture lesson at a premier grand cru château. Travelling on the Canal de Garonne between Castet-en-Dorthe and Boé, the route crosses the Pont Canal d’Agen, one of France’s longest aqueducts, whilst two nights at the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux & Spa offers ample opportunity to explore the city at the heart of some of the most highly prized vineyards in the world. The price for this eight-night holiday is from £3,785 pp (two sharing).
  • Châteaux & Vineyards of the Loire – one of France’s most historic regions, the Loire Valley is a perfect destination to explore from the comfort of the elegant hotel barge, Renaissance. Glide along the oldest canal in France, past glorious châteaux, charming villages and over Gustave Eiffel’s aqueduct, which crosses the Loire at Briare. Visit the home of Faience ceramics, dine at the Michelin-starred Auberge des Templiers and sip Sancerre at a wine tasting. This holiday also includes two nights at the four-star superior Domaine de la Tortinière, close to the palaces of Villandry, Amboise and Chenonceau. The price of this eight-night holiday is from £5,397 pp (two sharing).

ITALY

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  • Venice, Mantua & The Veneto – traverse the historic waterways of northern Italy, between the splendour of Venice and the lakeside city of Mantua, on board La Bella Vita. Sail to the smaller islands of the Venice lagoon and the Roman city of Chiogga, pass through the delta of the River Po (home to flamingos and wild birds), cruise the Canal Bianco, and visit the Etruscan town of Adria, Renaissance Ferrara and local vineyards. This holiday also includes two nights at the four-star superior Liassidi Palace in Venice with guaranteed entrance tickets to the Doge’s Palace, Accademia or Guggenheim, and Kirker’s unique Guide Notes to restaurants and sightseeing. The price of this eight-night holiday is from £3,199 pp (two sharing).

UK

  • The Lochs and Glens of Scotland – a wonderfully relaxing way to appreciate Scotland’s wild countryside and panoramic scenery, this holiday combines a two-night stay on the Speyside coast with a six-night cruise on board the latest addition to European Waterways’ fleet, Spirit of Scotland. Travelling through the Caledonian Canal and the lochs of the Great Glen, there are excursions to historic sites such as Glencoe, Culloden Moor and the romantic castles of Eilen Donan and Urquhart. The vessel comes fully stocked with a range of single malt whiskies to try on board, while guests will have a further chance to sample the delights of the Glen Ord distillery (dating back to 1838) during a private tasting. The price of this eight-night holiday is from £3,598 pp (two sharing).

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Special interest cruises are also available throughout the year including an Art Cruise along the Canal du Midi in the company of a resident artist, with ample time set aside for painting sessions as well as a programme of excursions that will appeal to painters and non-painters alike. Discerning travellers who enjoy a wee dram will enjoy the Whisky Trail, a sublime cruise through the Scottish Highlands with guided visits to selected distillers including Benromach (the smallest distillery on Speyside) and Dalwhinnie (set amid the dramatic scenery of the Cairngorms) as well as tutored tastings of a range of excellent single malts.

Celebrating a special occasion or looking for a stylish way to holiday with friends and family this year? Kirker’s expert team can create an itinerary tailored specifically to clients’ personal requirements that incorporates a private charter of one of European Waterways’ luxury hotel barges. Enjoy exclusive use of the vessel, the freedom to plan a bespoke itinerary and delicious meals prepared to guests’ gastronomic preferences by the on-board chef. Follow a wine-tasting route through Alsace or Burgundy, a culinary experience in Bordeaux or Gascony, or perhaps a golfing week in Scotland or Ireland, the Kirker team taking care of all the the pre and post-cruise travel arrangements including flights or rail travel, private  transfers and hotel accommodation before and/or after the journey.

STYLISH BOUTIQUE CRUISE HOLIDAYS

Blending exceptional service, delicious cuisine and comfortable suites – each with a private balcony – that far surpass the cabins on much larger ships, Silversea Cruises’ fine fleet of vessels offers one of the most stylish and relaxing ways to travel. Dine on sumptuous meals, freshly prepared by Relais & Châteaux chefs, accompanied by fine wine, champagne and other drinks (including minibar drinks), all of which are covered in the holiday price.

Kirker has negotiated special rates for its clients on several Silversea Cruises this summer and early autumn, offering tailor-made itineraries which include flights, private transfers between airport, port and hotel, and accommodation in selected Kirker hotels before and after each sailing. For example:

  • Copenhagen to Stockholm: Departing 19 July 2017, the price is from £3,502 pp (two sharing) including flights (London) to Copenhagen/from Stockholm, private car transfers between airports, hotels and ports, two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the four-star superior Absalon in Copenhagen, a seven-night cruise on board ‘Silver Whisper’ from Copenhagen to Stockholm, and one night’s accommodation with breakfast at the four-star superior First Reisen in Stockholm.
  • Greece and Dalmatia: Departing 19 September 2017, the price is from £3,010 pp (two sharing) including flights (London) to Athens/from Venice, private car transfers between airports, hotels and ports, one night’s accommodation with breakfast at the five-star deluxe King George Hotel in Athens, entrance tickets to the Acropolis Museum, a seven-night cruise on board ‘Silver Spirit’ from Athens to Venice, two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the four-star deluxe Splendid Hotel in Venice, and entrance tickets to the Doge’s Palace.

Tailor-made itineraries based around any of Silversea Cruises’ worldwide programme can also be created by the Kirker team.

EXCLUSIVE MUSIC CRUISES

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Indulge a love of music, sailing and sightseeing on a Kirker Exclusive Music Cruise, combining private concerts from world-class performers – on board Fred.Olsen’s Black Watch – with superb shore excursions. Departing 24 September, there are some cabins still available for the Music Cruise Through the Baltic to St. Petersburg, which is a ten-night sailing from Scotland (Rosyth) to Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Tallinn, with music performances by Joshua Ellicott (tenor), Monika-Evelin Liiv (mezzo-soprano), Paul Janes (piano), The Carducci Quartet and The Ferio Saxophone Quartet. The price is from £1,970 pp* (two sharing) including full board and afternoon tea each day, private drinks parties and admission to all the concerts.

Kirker has also just announced its 2018 programme of Exclusive Music Cruises. Choose from Atlantic Discovery (a 14-night cruise visiting the Azores, Madeira,  Lisbon and Porto, departing 4 May 2018), Spitsbergen & The Arctic Circle (a 15-night cruise visiting the Lofoten Islands, Tromso,  Honningsvåg, the Svalbard archipelago and the Faroe Islands, departing 25 June 2018) and The West Coast of Scotland & Orkney (a seven-night cruise visiting Kirkwall, Invergordon, Ullapool and Tobermory, departing 15 September 2018).

For more information, to request a brochureand to book, call Kirker Holidays’ expert team on 020 7593 2283 or visit www.kirkerholidays.com

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