MARIA is a classic Dutch Luxemotor canal barge built in Hoogezand, Holland in 1931. She is 25 meters long, 4.8 meters wide, is constructed of riveted steel and weighs approximately 80 tons. She is TRIWV certified until June 2024 and registered in the Netherlands.
Her unusually graceful lines and luxurious amenities, together with the meticulous care with which she has been maintained, set her apart as a foremost example of a classic Dutch canal barge.
MARIA was fully converted and professionally refitted to her current high standard in 1992 by master shipwrights in Haren (Ems), Germany. The conversion included a luxuriously appointed interior, a new 216 horsepower Mercedes-Benz V-6 diesel engine (her original Kromhout engine is on display at a maritime museum in the Netherlands) and hydraulic steering. In 2001 (Germany) and again in 2004 and 2006 (France) she was further upgraded with new equipment including a SidePower bow thruster, a Victron Phoenix MultiPlus inverter/battery charger, a new central heating system with independently controlled radiators throughout the barge, a Permo water purification and filtration system, a completely upgraded aft/owner's cabin, and new opening skylights.
MARIA’s interior is luxuriously fitted out to extraordinary detail with abundant amenities and finished with solid mahogany and teak. Unlike many converted barges on the canals today, one enters MARIA by way of a large companionway staircase designed for safe, forward-facing descent. Upon entering, one steps into her high-ceilinged dining room and galley area. The dining room is furnished with an expandable dining room table suitable for seating up to eight. Her large, open galley includes a propane stove and oven, ample counter space, cabinets, storage pantries and a dishwasher. Adjacent is a utility room with two refrigerators, a microwave oven, a washer and dryer, and storage space. Moving forward and up two steps leads you to the living room/saloon with its built-in curved settee and upholstered cane chair, book cases, TV and CD/DVD with high definition sound system, and built in niches with antique ship models. The living room/saloon and kitchen settees have recently been professionally reupholstered, and there is ample storage space beneath all the built-in settees. The living room/saloon and separate dining area have opening bronze ports and a large opening skylight that provide an abundance of natural light and fresh air. Moving further forward past a doorway and through a small hallway are two spacious, private en-suite staterooms, each with its own bathroom with sink, electric macerating toilet and shower. Each room has plenty of storage space in mahogany cabinets, drawers and wardrobes. The port-side stateroom has a king size bed; the the starboard-side stateroom has a queen size bed, each with large built-in storage space underneath. The staterooms and bathrooms have opening bronze ports for natural light and fresh air.
Aft of the wheelhouse and accessible from the wheelhouse is the owner's cabin which was completely upgraded in 2006. Much of the wood and stained glass from the original cabin was used in the upgrade. The stained glass was reglazed by an artisan working at a chateau. The wood for the new cabinetry, wardrobes and built-in desk was selected to match the original wood. New skylights were added to enhance the natural light and air circulation. Like the forward en-suite staterooms, the aft cabin has its own bathroom with sink, electric macerating toilet, and separate shower. It has a full-size bed with built-in drawers underneath.
We will deliver MARIA to her new owners with a full complement of linen, bedding, towels, dinnerware, cookware, flatware, cutlery, appliances (including a Nespresso coffee machine and food processor), glassware, and additional housewares needed for everyday living. Included also is MARIA's inventory of hand tools, power tools, hardware, spare parts, outdoor furniture, and even pots for flowers and herbs.
MARIA’s exterior is accented by a large sundeck with a hardwood dining table with six matching chairs and umbrella, teak steamer deck lounges, two teak folding armchairs, and colorful plants …. a perfect place for lunch while cruising or enjoying the sunset with apéros and dinner. There is also a roomy foredeck area with a large built-in teak bench to enjoy the passing scenery or sip wine.
MARIA is an exceptional cruising barge and floating home. Her interior design provides exceptional comfort, spacious accommodations and considerable headroom throughout. She is as much at home on the smallest canals in France as she is on the large European rivers. Her wonderful Mercedes-Benz engine powers effortlessly on France’s big rivers like the Seine, Saone and Moselle, and she is gentle and responsive on the smaller canals as well ….. from mooring in Port de l’Arsenal la Bastille in Paris or champagne-laid-back Epernay, to wild-moored on the side of a canal alongside a picturesque village hamlet or vineyard. Her responsive hydraulic steering, bow thruster, bilge keels and excellent visibility from her wheelhouse make MARIA a dream to handle. Her always freshly varnished wheel house can comfortably accommodate several guests on newly reupholstered seats while underway or enjoying wine and cheese. To quote a friend and fellow bargee, “the joy of travel is more about the voyage than the destination.” Or as William Faulkner once said, “we do not take a trip, a trip takes us.”
MARIA is entirely self-sufficient and can cruise independently for weeks over long distances with her economical Mercedes-Benz engine, well-sized fuel tank, large fresh water tank and additional water filtration system, large house battery bank (690 amp hours), and reliable 7kW Kohler generator to restore battery capacity while at rest. She is not dependent on harbors, electric shore power or frequent fuel or water supplies. So picture yourself cruising in self-sufficient, self-contained comfort on your luxurious canal barge while immersing yourself in the beauty, history and diverse culture of France (or maybe Belgium, the Netherlands or Germany). You can do this easily on MARIA for she is ideally suited for year-round living for a cruising couple or with four additional guests or family members in the en-suite cabins.
We purchased MARIA in 2002 and have cruised extensively in France as well as the Saar River Valley borderlands of Germany and France. With MARIA we have traveled the canals and rivers of Alsace and Lorraine, Burgundy, Champagne-Ardennes, Val-d’Oise (the valley of the Impressionists), Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, Franche-Comté, Picardy, the Seine River to Paris as well as the Meuse, Moselle, Oise and Saone rivers. We have covered a lot of territory at a meandering canal-cruising pace that allows for total immersion into the beauty, culture and hospitality of villages, towns and small cities. Along the way, we have picked fruit at canal locks; stopped at châteaux and vineyards; pedaled our bikes, or walked, along canal towpaths and into vineyards; stopped and talked with villagers or bought fruit and vegetables from their backyards; and made many new friends from all over the world. At the same time, there is nothing that compares with the attention MARIA gets from passersby in villages, on canals and in locks, and especially while cruising MARIA leisurely through Paris on the Seine, something we have now done six times!
From 2003 through 2008 we offered luxury week-long charter cruises and hosted guests from the United States, South Africa, Australia and Canada. Since 2009 we have used her as a private barge sharing her with family and friends. She is exceptionally well-suited for use either as a floating home or as a business charter barge.
Unlike many converted barges in service today, MARIA has retained her original name. She was named after the wife of her first owner, who, together with his wife, operated MARIA as a commercial barge. Whether cruising or moored, it is not unusual to hear passersby break into song singing "Ave Maria" or one of the other "Maria" show tunes. For the first sixty years of her life she carried grains, flowers and other commodities through the waterways of Holland, Belgium and France. After the Second World War, she was lengthened to 30 meters to provide additional cargo capacity. At her refitting in 1992 by her second owners, she was returned to her original, and current, length of 25 meters.
We have maintained MARIA with meticulous care and pride. She is an exceptional barge and has been issued the required TRIWV certification and the mandatory EIN vessel identification number. Having this certification in place and maintained will save the new owners much time, effort and expense to meet these stringent requirements.
Feel free to explore this web site with its drop-down menu featuring photos of MARIA and listing her extensive equipment inventory. If you wish, you can also see MARIA’s cruising web site which includes the blog “Cruising with Maria.” Here is the link to that site: www.thebargemaria.com
MARIA is currently cruising the Burgundy region of France. If you would like to view her, please contact us at any time by using the contact form in the "Contact" drop-down menu. We can easily arrange a time and place to stop and meet.
In July 2016 she was dry-docked and surveyed to determine her hull thickness below the waterline. The survey disclosed an exceptionally strong ship with no discrepancies, no work required and considerable hull thickness throughout. While out of the water, her hull below the waterline was recoated and her hull above the waterline repainted.
In June 2017 MARIA's TRIWV certificate was renewed through June 2024.
After fifteen wonderful and unforgettable years with MARIA, we are ready to move on to new adventures. We would like to find new owners for MARIA who will continue her outstanding legacy. She is ready to start her engine, drop her mooring lines and take you on wonderful cruising adventures as you meander through the idyllic French countryside and soak up the local culture at your own pace.
MARIA’S selling price: 365,000 €uros
MARIA moored at sunset on the Fragnes green, Canal du Centre