Wednesday, March 29

Visit Movie Settings on European Waterways

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If you’re looking for an excuse to charter a luxury hotel barge on some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers and waterways, think about this: Now you can charter a barge to visit the sites of some of your favorite movies and TV shows, in England, Scotland, France, and Italy on a European Waterways boat. Why not?

These visits are what the travel industry now calls “set-jetting,” but I’d prefer to think of them as just plain fun, a fillip on an already memory-making vacation. European Waterways is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe. It started out 40 years ago with a barge on the beautiful Canal du Midi in France. It now has fleets in nine countries, and it has enough boats so you can enjoy a variety of side interests, from golf to wine tastings, as well as the new set-jetting possibilities.

Each barge holds six to 12 (pampered) guests. One, the Magna Carta (pictured), is 118-foot long, carrying eight guests in four suites plus four crew. Built in the 1930s, it’s virtually an upscale floating country hotel, fitted out with classic mahogany and teak plus such modern amenities as under-floor heating and TV/DVD players in the cabins; there’s even a heated spa pool in deck.

For set-jetting, the Magna Carta is hard to beat. It will take you on the Thames to Highclere Castle, the set for Downton Abbey, where you can wander through many of the rooms you’ve seen on the show or go outside to the explore the 1,000-acre estate. The Magna Carta also has a Harry Potter-themed six-night, all-inclusive cruise including tours of the sound stages and backlots in London.

Harry Potter fans also can charter the Scottish Highlander barge to visit the route to Hogwarts, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a 1,000-foot-long, 100-foot high railway. Charter guests can book a ride on the Hogwarts Express locomotive from May to October.

In Southwest France, the Rosa cruises along the town of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, the real life setting for Chocolat and The Hundred-Foot Journey.

And in Italy, La Bella Vita will carry guests along the Grand Canal in Venice, the site of James Bonds’ From Russia with Love and Casino Royal, The Tourist, with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, and many, many more. Read more at and see the video below:


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