Specifications of La Belle Epoque barge
|Year of build||1930 / Age: 93|
|Speed||10 kn / 19 km/h / 12 mph|
|Length (LOA)||38 m / 125 ft|
|Beam (width)||5 m / 16 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||200 gt|
|Decks with cabins||1|
|Former names||Savornin Lohmann|
|Owner||European Waterways Ltd|
|Operator||European Waterways Barge Cruises|
La Belle Epoque barge Review
Review of La Belle Epoque barge
MS La Belle Epoque barge is a premium cruise ship was built in Holland in 1930 as cargo barge for timber shipping. The vessel was completely reconstructed in 1995. The hotel barge is owned and operated by European Waterways and currently cruises on Burgundy Canal (eastern France) on 7-day itineraries between homeports Pouillenay to Tonnerre.
The barge's original name was "Savornin Lohmann", with shipowner Leendert Kruijt. Growing up on the barge of his father, Leendert went from one school to another, travelling with his parents and often spending just a few hours in one school before going to another. In 1939 which bought the start of the WW2 (1939-1945), Kruijt family had to escape to France with the barge. La Belle Epoque became a timber barge and carried wood along the rivers and canals of France. Later, the Kruijt family grew in number, moved ashore and left someone else in charge of their barge. The timber business ceased and the cargo-carrying days of La Belle Epoque came to an end.
In 1993, the Kruijt family decided to sell the barge ship and retire. However, they found a buyer 3 years later but Leendert did not agree with the boat on which he had grown up to end up as recycled iron and wooden planks. In 1995 the barge was bought by European Waterways, renamed "La Belle Epoque" and renovated. Added were a jacuzzi, bike store, luxury cabins and everything else needed to transform her into a luxury boutique hotel barge.
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