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  • Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge


    Thank you for visiting our ‘Barge of the Month’ page! The Barge Company spent the weekend of 3—6 March 2005 on the fantastic ‘Shannon Princess II’ barge that cruises the lower Shannon River in Ireland.
    We’re delighted to report that she is as spacious a barge as we have ever seen, with light, airy cabins, immaculate, gleaming bathrooms furbished with heaven scented organic bath products, a huge open plan living room and dining saloon where you can spread out and soak up the restful ambiance, and a gloriously huge sundeck with plenty of room to spread out and ‘relax, unwind and let the world float by’ TM Originally she was built to accommodate 200 day-cruising passengers, and that explains the luxury of space that is felt on board. Now of course standards are much higher as she has been brilliantly transformed by very able husband and wife team Ruairi and Olivia Gibbons into the warm and welcoming luxury barge that she is today. As the largest barge to cruise the lower Shannon River she is certainly not lacking in creature comforts and the level of gastronomy and personal service on board is literally second to none.

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    From top left, clockwise, the huge lounge area, the barge seen from the front, part of the sumptuous breakfast feast (all home made and fresh from the oven), cosy bedside tables in our twin cabin, and a double cabin. Click on any picture to enlarge.

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    Food on board the Shannon Princess II is all home-made and largely organic—a rare treat these days! The following sample menu gives an idea of the superb cuisine hand-prepared by Olivia, your personal barge chef, every single day. No corners are cut, and she rises at 5am each day to ensure that fresh breads, pies, tarts, scones and flapjacks are served fresh and warm, straight from the oven, to you each day.
    Olivia is also kind enough to give enthusiastic clients who are interested, a personal cooking lesson, and unlike many gourmet chefs, is happy to share some of her culinary secrets...

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    Here is one guests’ record of breakfast on board…
    “Our typical midsummer breakfast consisted of bowls of fresh berries – Raspberries, loganberries, boysenberries, strawberries, blueberries and cherries all from the walled kitchen gardens of Portumna Castle. Platters of Farmhouse cheese – a softly oozing Carrigburn, a nutty Carrigaline or a salty Cashel Blue.

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    Charcuteries of spiced local sausages and cured meats, bought in country markets. Smoked fishes from Lough Derg and the river Shannon, smoked eel, trout & salmon served with a rich tomato relish. Poached free range eggs or low fat organic yogurts and cottage cheeses were a success, as were poached Damsons, warm compots of gooseberries, rhubarb or maybe elderberries – lovely when sprinkled with muesli or even wholesome Irish porridge splashed with Bailey’s Irish Cream.
    Fresh from our galley oven came sweet buttermilk scones, coconut & bran muffins & sinless honey & oat biscuits (made with real honeycomb) eaten hot with homemade jams and jellies or salty Irish Butter. A firm favourite was Lemon Curd and cheese baked in buttery flaky pastry, washed down with leaf or infusion teas or a frothy cappuccino.
    But wait! – Soon its morning coffee & strawberry shortcake!” (To read full article, click here).


    Lunches are served as an extensive buffet, whilst evening meals are a 6 course extravanganza (with small delectable portions so you CAN manage it all!) See below’s sample menu.

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    SAMPLE DINNER MENU
    A warm Turbot, White Truffle & Prochiutto Terrine, Mizuna Leaves, Asparagus, Vine Tomato & Chervil Scented Vinagrette
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    Rosehip & Geranium Leaf Sorbet
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    Roast Garlic spiked Rumps of Lamb served Pink with Carmelized Beets, Chickpeas & Minted aged Balsamico, Herb & Leaf Salad
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    Farmers Market Cheeses, Warm Oatcakes, Apple Chutney
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    A Tasting Plate of Organic Raspberries, Bitter Chocolate Truffle, Buttermilk Ice Cream & Vanilla Shortcake
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    Fudge with Liqueur Coffees – Served on Deck

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    An example of a selection of breads served each course fresh from the galley ovens...

    Rosemary and Seasalt Foccacia
    Roast Garlic & Thyme, Blass - a traditional puff ballyeast bread Brown Soda
    Tomato & Pesto

    An insight into the Shannon Princess II itinerary and excursions...

    The cruise route is between Athlone and Killaloe on the lower River Shannon. To see the full itinerary, click here.

    The River Shannon is not narrow and straight, but meandering, wide and, at times, extends outwards to become a large lake (called a ‘lough’ in Ireland). This makes the cruise route varied and interesting, with everchanging scenery.

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    Excursions are of cultural and historic interest, such as Birr Castle (left), with its ornamental gardens, huge telescope, organic walled gardens and tallest box hedges in the world (left and below, left).
    A very special place with a spiritual atmosphere and significance is the ancientsite of Clonmacnoise, ‘crossroads of Ireland’ and place of religious significance for many centuries (see huge celtic cross, right).

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge
    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    KEEN FISHERMEN —you can be taken out in a ‘Guilly’ (see below) for a day (or more if you wish) fishing excursions with the accompaniment of a professional fishing guide. The fresh waters of the River Shannon and Lough Ree and Derg are renowned for their excellent fishing, and anything you catch can be cooked for dinner the same day (subject to your chef Olivia’s approval, of course!)

    You will be looked after on the excursions by Paddy, your personal barge guide, who will also drive you to and from places visited in this luxurious, leather-seated, topclass Mercedes minivan (below). There is plenty of space for everyone and there are even tables with 4 seats around them towards the back of the bus. See also interior (right).

    KEEN GOLFERS —Shannon Princess II offers all types of golfing charters, to suit all requests. If partners don’t wish to golf, then that’s no problem. Please ask us for details. (Click here to contact us).

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge
    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    BEAUTIFUL views and dramatic sunsets are the order of the day on the lower River Shannon and Lough’s Ree and Derg...
    These pictures were taken on the 4th + 5th March 2006, so imagine how beautiful it will be at the height of summer!

    The huge living room and dining room (open plan, below) plus large windows looking over the water, mean that you won’t miss anything whilst cruising… The long corridor (right) that runs along one side of the barge gives access to all cabins— no interior steps means great news for many people.

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge
    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    Why not choose a book and settle into this cosy corner of the saloon (right) whilst cocktails and canapes are prepared?

    Large wardrobes and compact dressing tables mean that space is used very resourcefully in the cabins, offering plenty of space for your clothes and toilette.

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge   Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge

    Bathrooms are gleaming and bright, with fantastic, organic soaps, shower gels and body lotion, plus endless fluffy towels...

    Images of the Shannon Princess II Barge


    TO CONTACT US

    Phone: +33 561 59 20 07, Fax: +33 561 59 23 54
    Phone (Toll-Free from USA + Canada): 1-800-688-0245
    Email: info@bargecompany.com
    Web: www.bargecompany.com

    The Barge Cruise Company Ltd, 2 Allée de Castelnouvel, 31490 Léguevin, FRANCE

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