L'Impressionniste barge

L'Impressionniste barge cruise ship

Cruise line
European Waterways

Specifications of L'Impressionniste barge

Year of build1960  /  Age: 64
Classhotel barge
Speed12 kn / 22 km/h / 14 mph
Length (LOA)38 m / 125 ft
Beam (width)5 m / 16 ft
Gross Tonnage180 gt
Passengers6 - 12
Decks with cabins1

L'Impressionniste barge Review

Review of L'Impressionniste barge

The L'Impressionniste barge (translated as "The Impressionist") is a spitz barge ship built in Belgium in 1960 with a Dutch motor-style bow. Hull's shape is a combination of Dutch and French building designs. In 1996, the vessel was converted into a luxury hotel barge and is currently owned and operated by European Waterways. The barge ship cruises exclusively on the Burgundy Canal in central-eastern France.

L'Impressionniste barge cruise ship

The hotel barge is slab-sided and features a flat lower part of the hull. It means she was cheap to build and space was maximized as the hull is a box section. The L'Impressionniste used to carry grain and timber during the 1960s, making regular trips between Brussels and Paris. The ship had a long commercial hold for a vessel with LOA 38 m (overall length), and this was one of the reasons her hull was suited to be converted into a hotel barge.

The ship conversion took place in 1996, done by two English engineers - Geoffrey Foot and Verr Ian Gray. The design and layout of the L'Impressionniste ship were based on La Belle Epoque, built the year before, so the original owners bought the plans from European Waterways. Originally, the L'Impressionniste was powered by an 8-cylinder Deutz diesel engine producing 200 horsepower (150 kW) and giving the barge a top speed of 8,6 knots (16 kph). She features a single rudder and chain-link steering. This, coupled with the relatively fine bow, ensures practical maneuverability. In 2000, the barge was re-engined with Scania 190 kW (250 hp) and spent several of the next years on Rhone River, which has a strong current and needs a lot of horsepowers.

Today, the L'Impressionniste barge has 6 double cabins which allow her to carry up to twelve passengers. She has separate crew quarters housing the 5 crew (master chef, two housekeepers, and waiters, deckhand and tour guide, Captain and pilot).

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