Whether it’s catching a tennis match at the French Open, betting on the favorite in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe horse race, or cheering on a driver at Le Mans, Europe’s large selection of annual sporting events promises to satisfy fans of every kind. For some travelers, watching one of these world famous competitions represents only one segment of their European journey, and complementing their trips with a European Waterways luxury hotel barge cruise may be the perfect way to either commence or complete their adventure.
“Traveling on one of our many vessels is always a great way to experience a different aspect of European culture and to fully immerse yourself in all the wonderful sights, cuisine, and customs that Europe has to offer,” said European Waterways’ Managing Director, Derek Banks. “Since our hotel barges offer weekly departures, there are always cruises available before and after every major sporting event.”
Tennis and a Barge Cruise: A Perfect Match
Of the many athletic events hosted in Europe, two that always draw large crowds are the French Open in Paris and Wimbledon in London. Held in May and June, respectively, these tennis matches take place during Europe’s spring and summer seasons, prime times to experience the luxuries offered by European Waterways’ L’Art de Vivre in Burgundy and Magna Carta on the River Thames.
The 8-passenger L’Art de Vivre, which cruises Burgundy, comes equipped with a sun deck, a relaxing spa pool and newly renovated cabins, all of which create a comfortable and soothing pre or post tennis experience. The vessel’s itinerary features excursions ranging from exploring the cathedrals of Auxerre to private wine tastings at renowned cellars in the region. For the ultimate in convenience, guests are picked up and dropped off at a designated point in Paris and driven in air-conditioned comfort to the vessel. A number of cruise dates are available around the dates of the French Open, May 25 – June 8.
With weekly cruises on the Magna Carta departing from London on dates that align with Wimbledon’s June 23 – July 6 matches, this European Waterways vessel offers passengers the opportunity to spend a week relaxing in luxury while traveling on the River Thames. The Magna Carta offers multiple sightseeing excursions such as exploring Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace and experiencing great walking and bicycling opportunities along the Thames footpath, all of which will further enrich anyone’s European travels.
Bringing Luxury to the Fore
In late September, Scotland will be teeming with golf enthusiasts hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite players at the Ryder Cup. It is the first time in more than 40 years and only the second time in its history that this prestigious tournament will be held in Scotland.
The Ryder Cup offers another opportunity for spectators to extend their trip by embarking on a European Waterways cruise on the Scottish Highlander. An intimate 8-person hotel barge, the Scottish Highlander offers a wide range of sightseeing opportunities, including taking a tour of the Glen Ord whisky distillery; seeing Eilean Donan and Urquhart castles; exploring Cawdor Castle and gardens, home of Shakespeare’s Macbeth; as well as a chance to be the first to “finally” catch a glimpse of elusive Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster! With multiple departure dates that align with the Ryder Cup’s September 23 – 28 staging, a cruise on the Scottish Highlander is a great way to see the other, spectacular “greens” of the Scottish countryside.
“From tennis and golf, to cycling, motor racing and horse racing, Europe offers many popular spectator sports that draw millions of people each year from all around the world,” Banks noted. “The next time you’re planning to attend one, consider enhancing your vacation with one of our many cruises. We’re sure to be convenient to almost any sport you like.”