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MS Elisabeth

Belgium

Barge © MS ElisabethMartine and Bernard - The ownersLiving-room - MS Elisabeth © Sonia Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruise from Namur to Charleville-Mézières (Belgium/France) or

from Strépy-Thieux to Bruges (Belgium)

 

“Motor Ship Elisabeth” or MS Elisabeth is a very stylish and exceptionally spacious luxury barge on the Belgium waterways. She was originally commissioned as a private luxury barge by a Belgian industrialist with no expense spared and the interior walnut fittings have been inspired by the Hermès style.

In 2004, the owners-operators Martine and Bernard remodeled the barge to create a unique, luxury cruise vessel accommodating up to 9 passengers on two decks in 4 spacious cabins. Martine and Bernard have long experience of high quality hospitality and you can be assured of a discreet, very friendly and highly professional welcome aboard from them and their three crew members.

 

Features

Dimensions: 38,75 m x 5,09 m
Built in 1960 and remodeled in 2005
Number of passengers: up to 9
Crew: 5

4 guest cabins on the lower deck

Les Mouettes Cabin - MS Elisabeth © Sonia Jonesº Les Mouettes (17.9 sq. meters): 1 queen bed + 1 twin bed and ensuite (shower over bath, wash basin and toilet)
º Les Canards (11.6 sq. meters): 1 queen bed and ensuite (shower, wash basin and toilet)
º Les Cygnes (10.2 sq. meters): 2 twin beds and ensuite (shower, wash basin and toilet)
º Les Oies (10.2 sq. meters): 2 twin beds and ensuite (shower, wash basin and toilet)

 

A large dining room and an elegant living room on the upper deck

Living-room - MS Elisabeth © Sonia JonesIn the large saloon-dining area there are leather sofas and armchairs, with views out through panoramic windows. The space is beautifully detailed and appointed and a very special feature is the direct, level, access out to the superb aft sun-deck terrace. Also on the same level is the forward wheelhouse, complete with a comfortable seating area – a fascinating place to watch the skipper, Bernard, guiding the boat through bridges and locks. There is also a spacious terrace at the back.

 

Transfers and excursions in a comfortable 9-passenger minibus (Renault Traffic)
4-passenger car (Renault Twingo) in an indoor garage on-board
8 bikes to enjoy the villages alongside the canals or between two locks
Wi-Fi and laptops available
TV and Nintendo games including Wii Fit+

 

 High gastronomic standard dining accompanied with excellent wines

Gourmet Food © MS ElisabethMartine is a superb chef. You will be served daily breakfast, lunch and dinner with first quality and healthy products (including organic products when available – herbs are grown on board). You will have the opportunity to shop with her for fresh products at the local markets. Should you wish, Martine stands ready to share her culinary secrets (cookery demonstrations and tuition can also be arranged). Meals can be ordered to accommodate dietary requirements (e.g.: gluten/lactose/sugar free; low sodium).

Floorplan

Floor-plan © MS Elisabeth

 

Location map

 

Namur to Charleville-Mézières itinerary
Strépy-Thieux to Bruges itinerary    

 

 

Belgium/France Sample Itinerary: Namur to Charleville-Mézières

Day 1 – Saturday

 

MS Elisabeth © Sonia Jones14:30 – Arrive at the barge moored in Namur. The city of Namur is located one hour drive south-east of Brussels. It is the main city of the Wallonie region, the french speaking part of Belgium. Enjoy a welcome drink and settle in your cabin.

15:30 – Depart for a guided tour of the Citadelle of Namur, the largest fortress in Europe, and visit the old city. This site and its fortifications are classified and recognized as an exceptional heritage of the region, illustrating several centuries of occupation and military architecture.

18:00 – Return to the barge for a short cruise around Namur, before your first delicious dinner on-board.

 

Day 2 – Sunday

 

Maredsous Beer Triple

10:00 – Cruise to Dinant

14:00 – Visit of the Abbey of Maredsous, one of the most beautiful in Belgium, with a tasting of the beer and cheese from the Abbey. The Abbey was founded in the 19th century. The Maredsous monastery has a much more important past (more than a 1,000 years old) and is a place of relaxation and meditation, perpetuating the traditional hospitality of the Benedictine Monks in an exceptional natural setting.

18:00 – Return on the barge moored in Dinant for an apéritif and dinner on-board.

 

Day 3 – Monday

 

© Château de Freÿr10:00 – Discover one of the rare vineyards in Belgium with her owner, followed with a wine tasting. A couple of years ago, Jeanette and her husband came near Namur to start a vineyard in the Meuse valley near Profondeville. From “good” they wanted to get to “terrific”, from “tasteful” to “culinary” and from “acceptable” to “spirited” and “characteristic”. Jeanette will explain how they succeeded in producing such a marvelous wine and will let you taste their entire range of wines.

13:00 – Navigate while savouring lunch before arriving to the Castle of Freÿr, located along the river.

14:00 – Visit the Castle of Freÿr and its harmonious premises, furnished by the 20 generations who have been living here. The walled terraced gardens, in the style of Lenotre, offer splendor and intimacy. The babblings of the fountains, the perfume of the 300 years old orange trees will seduce both younger and older visitors.

16:00 – Afternoon cruise towards Givet, your mooring for the night. Enjoy a walk in the city before another feast on-board.

 

Day 4 – Tuesday

 

© Caves of Han-sur-Lesse10:00 – Visit the Caves of Han-sur-Lesse. A century-old tram will take you to the entrance of one of the most beautiful caves in Europe. With an entirely new lighting system, the galleries are revealed as more and more impressive, more and more enchanting. From the gigantic hall of the Dome to the hall of the Draperies with his magic reflections, you will experience the most unforgettable excursion. The Caves of Han, exceptional by the beauty of its concretions and the immensity of its galleries sculpted by the river Lesse, passing through it from one side to the other, has received almost 30 millions visitors in over 250 years. It certainly deserves its 3 stars in the Michelin green guide.

13:00 – Return to the barge for lunch and an afternoon cruise to Fumay, in Northern France. You will navigate through a 565 meters long underground canal. Dinner on-board.

 

Day 5 – Wednesday

 

Monthermé Monthermé © Ardennes10:00 – Appreciate a wonderful cruise in the nature towards Monthermé. Relax on deck, walk or cycle in a splendid environment.

17:00 – Arrive in Monthermé and visit of the roman church of Saint-Léger, where you can admire various interesting wall paintings. Its construction dates back to the 12th century. Dinner on board.

 

Day 6 – Thursday

 

Bastogne © MS Elisabeth10:00 – Navigation to Charleville-Mézières, in the Champagne region of France.

15:00 – Private transfer to Bastogne to visit of the war museum. It’s a very interesting museum to understand the famous Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 16 January 1945), also known as the Ardennes Offensive, which was the largest battle fought on the Western Front in Europe during World War II. Return on-board for another succulent diner.

 

Day 7 – Friday

 

09:30 – Visit the famous Place Ducale and the center of Charleville-Mézières.

10:00 – Transfer to Brussels in private vehicle.

 

Belgium Sample Itinerary: Strépy-Thieux to Bruges

Day 1 – Saturday

 

Strépy-Thieu © MS ElisabethOur private van will meet you at your hotel or at the airport in Brussels around 2 pm and will drive you to the barge, moored about 2 hours away in Strépy, just in front of the famous elevator. The Strépy-Thieu boat lift lies on a branch of the Canal du Centre in Belgium. With a height difference of 73.15 metres between the upstream and downstream reaches, it is the tallest boat lift in the world.

After a welcome drink, hop on a bike to go and explore the old elevator and the Strépy–Thieu elevator. Back on-board, your first gourmet dinner on the MS Elisabeth will be served.

 

Day 2 – Sunday

 

Castle of Beloeil © MS ElisabethAround 9am, we will leave and cruise towards Tournai (Doornik in flemish).

While the barge navigates, visit the marvelous Castle of Beloeil. Since the XIVth century, the domain of Beloeil has been the residence of Princes of Ligne. The park is 25 ha large and forms with the castle one of the most beautiful curiosities of Belgium. In each room, real ancient furniture and unique collected pieces testify of the glorious past history, which lays each day the link with present and future.

Return to the barge moored in Tournai and enjoy a beautiful dinner on-board.

 

Day 3 – Monday

 

Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Lille © Atout France - Michel AngotIn the morning, relax on deck while enjoying the beauty of navigation.

In the afternoon, discover the beautiful paved streets and squares of Lille, in France. Learn about the heritage, history and “art of living” of the town through its main sites and monuments: the Palais Rihour, the Main Square, the old stock exchange, the Opera House, the Chamber of Commerce And the Notre-Dame de la Treille cathedral.

Come back to the barge moored in Courtrai (Kortrijk in flemish).

 

Day 4 – Tuesday

 

Ghent - Belgium © MS ElisabethThis morning, we will cruise towards Ghent and enjoy a guided visit of the iconic sights of this bubbling city: the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb in the St Bavo’s Cathedral (1432, painted by the Van Eyck brothers), the Herb Dock and the Belfry. According to the National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Ghent is the most authentic historical city in the world.

Tonight, the Chef will prepare and serve a typical Flemish dinner.

 

Day 5 – Wednesday

 

Lunch on deck © MS ElisabethThis morning, enjoy the most scenic cruise part of the canal, which connects Ghent to Bruges.

We will reach the attractive harbour of Beernem and then depart for an excursion to Knokke-le-Zoute, the most beautiful seaside resort town of Belgium. Make the most of it and savour a waffle at the famous Siska house.

Return to the barge for another sumptuous dinner.

 

Day 6 – Thursday

 

Bruges © Tourism Bruges - Jan DhondtThis morning, enjoy an early and relaxing cruise to Bruges, the biggest city of the province of West Flanders and often referred to as the “Venice of the North” because of its numerous canals.

In the afternoon, head out to visit the serene « Béguinage » of Bruges. A béguinage, is an architectural complex which was created to house béguines (lay religious women who lived in community without taking vows or retiring from the world). The two entrances are adjacent to two bridges over a beautiful canal and the whole area is laid out around a lush green garden.

For our farewell dinner, we will enjoy a gastronomic meal in a very good restaurant of Bruges, followed by a walking guided tour at night.

 

Day 7 – Friday

 

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Brussels in a private vehicle for your onward journey.

 

Photo Gallery

Cruise Fares

MS Elisabeth cruise fares for 2017:

 

 Private charter – Full board: from €4,125 per person based on 8 passengers

 

Included in the fare:

– Six nights accommodation
– All gourmet meals prepared by your private chef
– All wines, bar, and refreshment drinks aboard
– Transfers to and from the barge from the designated meeting point
– Daily excursions with your tour guide in private vehicle
– Use of on-board bicycles, library and sound system

 

 

 

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