I’m not one to sit on my laurels. I’m a half-glass-full person, a positive-thinker, a go-getter, and some might even say, obstinate woman!
When life gives me lemons, I’ll make barrels of lemonade. I firmly believe that for every problem there is a solution and that life is all about adapting.
So, you’ll not be surprised to know that the last few weeks and months have been absolutely manic.
While many companies may have been closed, I’ve been taking stock and planning for the ‘new reality’.
Hotels Afloat remained open, dealing promptly with guests needing or wishing to re-arrange their holiday plans due to Covid-19.
We continued to answer all emails within 24 hours, and often much sooner.
We continued to plan ahead, after all, the sun always shines after the rain, launching our new Hotels Afloat website in May: Over a year in the conception and our guests love it!
When we were told to plan staycations, we turned our eyes to new horizons, creating Vacances Fluviales, our French-language site, in less than 3 weeks! We welcomed our first guests in July and are now fielding up to 10 enquiries per day: My written French is improving rapidly.
We collaborated with one of our favourite barges to create a new type of hotel barge experience, with prices to reflect the current market.
Our first self-drive clients have now cruised on peaceful waterways, far from crowds. Two groups are now looking to book again for August, saying it’s the perfect, safe getaway.
While a lovely couple, Catherine and Shawn, from Ireland, had the most fabulous staycation on the River Shannon with their dog, Leila.
Our first hotel barge clients have just returned from a week in the south of France, writing a glowing email:
“Just to let you know we finished our week onboard the Saraphina this morning – and what a wonderful week it was! The boat is lovely, very characterful and comfortable too, and Finn is the most knowledgeable and accommodating host imaginable. He really went out of his way to make our stay special. The boys loved it, so many happy memories were made!”
This season, we’re able to offer some fabulous bargains too, and although August is now almost fully booked in most regions, if anyone can find that last-minute cruise, “Emma can”.
What could have been a very sad year for tourism in France is turning a bright, sunny corner.
With the European borders now open, increased sanitation protocols on all our boats and adapted check-in procedures, you can look forward to getting back afloat.
We’ll see you soon!