Harry Potter movies come to life on European Waterways' "Scottish Highlander" luxury barge cruise
Friday 25, June 2010
The world of Harry Potter comes to life on European Waterways’ Scottish Highlander family themed cruise. The Scottish Highlander evokes the feeling of a Scottish Country House, with tartan furnishings and landscape paintings.
The family cruise takes passengers through some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery, and which is featured in numerous Harry Potter films. It provides families of all ages a unique experience that is a world away from the noise and artificial entertainment of crowded amusement parks. And families can save 25% chartering an entire barge on select dates, if they deposit by July 31, 2010.
“A family themed cruise on the Scottish Highlander is an unforgettable experience that brings families together in ways that no amusement park ever could,” said Derek Banks, Chairman of European Waterways. “It is an ideal family vacation that allows children the unique opportunity to enter the ‘real world’ of the famous Boy Wizard.”
Banks noted that with the final installment of the popular movie series premiering in November, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the generous 25% discount for a full-vessel charter. Accommodating up to eight people, chartering the whole hotel barge is $20,400 with the discount. The price is comparable to the cost of an all-inclusive land vacation for eight people at a top hotel, but the Scottish Highlander cruise offers the intimacy and charm of having the entire vessel exclusively for one family. It also boasts an on-board master chef who prepares gourmet meals that include traditional Scottish fare such as venison, game, salmon and seafood, as well as fine wines and whiskies for the grown-ups! Passengers also enjoy en-suite accommodation, with a front-row seat to some of the most striking scenery in the world from the vessel’s comfortable deck, and amazing shore excursions with an experienced guide.
All Aboard the “Hogwarts Express”
Among the highlights of the Scottish Highlander family cruise is a picnic on the famous Silver Sands of Morar, a stretch of coastline known for its beautiful seascapes of white beaches. It is followed by a ride on “The Scarborough Spa Express” steam train, better known to Harry Potter fans as the Hogwarts Express. The historic train features the actual steam engine and some of the carriages prominent in the Harry Potter films. At one point of the trip, it glides across the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, a towering 21-arch, single-track structure built in 1901. For the children, it is another unmistakable landmark made famous in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and other films in the series. The ride itself has been recognized among the Top Railway Journeys in the World by many leading travel magazines.
In addition to the Harry Potter experiences, there are other optional excursions and activities, including: a cruise across Loch Ness and along the Caledonian Canal, where guests go “Nessie spotting” with the Highlander’s own sonic “fish finder;” a visit to the 13th century Urquhart Castle; trout fishing on the River Oich; an afternoon of go-kart racing; a visit to a local water park; and a walking tour of a 17th century living museum that features performers dressed in period costume engaged in work and leisure activities of the time.
A sample family itinerary is available at the European Waterways’ website, http://www.gobarging.com
“On a European Waterways themed cruise in Scotland, France or elsewhere in Europe, the possibilities are endless,” said Banks. “Whether your cruise concentrates on golfing or fishing – or it’s a honeymoon or family vacation, our whole-boat charters offer tremendous flexibility. And right now, with so many charter cruises available at a 25 % discount, they are among today’s best travel deals.”
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