3 to 6-night all-inclusive intimate cruise on the Canal du Midi
Cruise from Carcassone to Béziers on our intimate barge with our franco-italian chef!
- Your money is safe, we pay your host 2 days after check-in.
- 100% refund in the unlikely event the host cancels.
- Changing booking details is always free.
- Access to urgent phone line during your booking.
- Book Co2 positive, we compensate 3 times more than we emit.
River trip highlights
- Cross the 7 locks of Foncérannes and discover the canal
- Dive into the 6th century BC Oppidum of Enserune
- Visit the stunning medieval citadel of Carcassonne
- Discover the Cathar history and its hilltop villages
- Visit the Abbey of Fontfroide astonishingly conserved
- Visit the chateau at Colombiers and its wine cellars
River trip summary
EXPLORE OUR CONCEPT ON THE CANAL DU MIDI ;
- Our barge cruise aims at exploring the history of the former Cathar country, as we will go from the stunning citadel of Carcassone to the little town of Minerve, and visit the Abbey of Fontfroide! It is a new way to discover a country that we are proposing to you.
- Two chauffeured tours are included in our base price, and if you wish to have the driver available for another day, that is possible but you should let know your bookarivertrip.com agent. We also offer a shorter cruise (2 to 4 days) for those who wish to do a faster discovery of the Canal.
- Together, we will cruise for over 80km on the beautifully preserved Canal du Midi, at the heart of the Cathar former territory. That means 4 to 5 hours of daily navigation, seeing the beautiful landscapes passing by, while you relax onboard and take time to enjoy the quietness of French waterways.
- You could even decide to pilot the boat with our captain Jean François! The barge offers a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere, with gourmet food cooked by our franco Italian chef every day for you! Its a gastronomic cruise that we are therefore proposing to you, with each meal being paired with fine wines.
- The Canal is steeped in history and heritage, and you will see along with your cruise breathtaking cathedrals, beautiful Chateaux, ancient and powerful Cathar ruins, and our highlights; the citadel of Carcassone.
- The rural journey on which you will embark is peaceful and enchanting, as you will explore the variety of experiences that rural France has to offer such as fresh and locally made products, timeless towns and villages, at the crossroad of various influences; Gascony, the Mediterranean, Provence, Spain, the Pyrenees and Camargue.
- There is the possibility to arrange a tandem cruise with other local hotel barges to accommodate up to 10 people and share the experience with your family and friends.
YOUR BARGE FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS;
- Formerly and transport barge, as most barges on the canal, she has been renovated using natural oak that gives her a warm welcoming atmosphere. The barge itself is based at Port Cassafières near the city of Agde, at the heart of the Languedoc Roussillon region, and only 1,5 kilometers from the blue and warm waters of the Mediterranean.
- We will cruise at the eastern end of the Canal (it goes all the way up to Bordeaux!), to give you a good introduction to this multicultural fascinating area, which has lots to offer in terms of activities, history and human warmth!
- The interiors are equipped with a wood-burning stove that we chose for the charm it gives to the place, comfortable and large sofas, TV, DVD player, central heating and of course air conditioning when it is required.
- There is also a fully stocked bar that you will have the freedom to access. It will be our pleasure to prepare some top cocktails to prepare you for dinner every evening! Thanks to our open galley, you can see our chef at work, and even ask him cooking advice
- On our sundeck, you will be able to relax, have meals, or just take a nap while the barge is softly cruising through local wonders. We can make bikes available if you desire to have a more sporty cruise, and you will be able to follow the boat on the parallel towing-path which are perfectly maintained and easily accessible.
WHAT WILL YOU EAT ONBOARD ;
- As I told you, food and drinks are of paramount importance to us! We will, therefore, offer you a convivial and welcoming environment without compromising on the quality of service. We offer a mix of French and Italian cuisine, and we take pride in our seasonal and fresh food menus.
- Fresh vegetables and fruits from local markets, seafood from the nearby shores, regional and local wined, and of course, a selection of french cheeses! The South of France is composed of a delicious mix of flavors, colors, and aromas that we will reproduce in our food, to bring you the ultimate taste bud experience.
- All meals will be served in the large wheelhouse which has a very good view on landscapes, bridges and surrounding architecture, or on the deck, in the early evening, with the sun setting. We will always give priority to organic and locally sourced food, and there is the possibility to cook special meals (vegetarian or/and non-allergenic)
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN OUR FORMULA;
- Your 3 to 6 nights accommodation on the barge
- Two crew members and a private chauffeur (for two excursions)
- All meals required during your stay (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
- A fully stocked bar with a special selection of soft drinks, liquors, and cocktails
- Three guided tours, with transportation and all related fees.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN OUR FORMULA ;
- Your remaining personal expenses during the stay
- The gratuities for the crew (we recommend between 5 and 10% of the cruise rate)
- Additional transportation, activities, and furniture that you might require onboard, and that you can discuss with the bookarivertrip.com agent or with us directly.
River trip description
OUR CRUISE ROUTE ;
- The route we have selected will take us through the charming villages of Colombiers, Polhès, Capestang, Le Somail, Centenax, Argens in Minervois and Homps. It offers a visit to the heart of the Pays Cathar and its many impressive monuments.
- As the rest of the barges in the canal, we will cruise in between four and six Km/hour, according to legal legislation, with our objective being to cruise 4 to 6 hours/day.
- The trip that follows is our standard one, but it can be customized to your wish, depending on the towns and cities you want to visit, and the activities you wish to do. Visit of vineyards and wine tastings, watersports, beach excursions, are some of them.
- You will visit historical sites that are UNESCO labeled and are world known for their charms and level of conservation. Romanesque architecture, religious buildings, original museums, are just some of the wonders you will discover along our cruise!
Day 1-Sunday: Arrival onboard, bubble and walk along the canal
- We will be waiting for you at Portiragnes port in the late afternoon, where our barge is moored. There, you will have an immediate sense of what makes the canal so special!
- We will have a good bottle of Champagne waiting for you, and our chef will get your first dinner ready, with local ingredients fitting your requirements.
- After, you are free to go for a walk along the canal, take a taxi to visit one of the neighboring cities (Béziers, Agde or Narbonne), before starting your first romantic night in your comfortable cabin with its private balcony with view on the ship's bow and canal.
Day 2-Monday: Cruise to Villeneuve Les Béziers, and visit of the surrounding areas
- After a seasonal breakfast onboard, we will start our first cruise leg to the historic city of Béziers where we will moor for lunch, with view on its stunning walls!
- We will then continue cruising towards the famous "Pont Canal", passing just under the tall walls that have defended it against invaders, before reaching the astonishing "7 locks" of Foncérannes, our mooring for the night.
- After dinner served where you wish, it might be time to watch a documentary on the history of the Canal that was built in the late 17th century. The evening is then all yours, more night exploration through medieval streets, drinks onboard while listening to some typical french singers, you name it!
Day 3-Tuesday: Morning cruise to Colombiers and Enserune archeological site's visit
- This morning, we will cruise after you have enjoyed your breakfast! We will slowly make our way to our evening mooring at Colombiers, and visit its ancient wine cellar, which was the heart of the local castle at that time (they did not drink water, but wine)!
- After ou franco-Italian chef would have prepared us another gastronomic marvel, its excursion time. We will walk half an hour to Enserune and its archeological site and museum. Trust me, it is worth the walk!
- This type of village, at the top of hills, is quite typical from the Celtic world in the Iron Age in Southern Gaul. The site itself was discovered in the late 19th century, while the museum is housed in a beautiful villa redesigned and restored in the 1940s by Jules Formigé.
- Our cruise will lead you to the Malpas tunnel, which was the first tunnel canal ever built in the world! Water will lead us to Regiment Le Haut, a beautiful and bucolic village lost in the countryside. We will moor there for the night and enjoy cocktails and dinner.
Day 4-Wednesday: market visit, cathedral discovery and cruise to Capestang
- After our morning cruise to Capestang, we will visit the local market that is bustling with life and delicious products that we will buy for your next meals! Talk to producers, discover the beautiful square and enjoy a drink in one of its terraces.
- We will then go to visit the 13th-century cathedral of Saint Etienne, e few hundred meters away. Afterward, it is back on board for another succulent lunch.
- We will then have organized a tour to Minerve or Fontfroide Abbey, you decide! Minerve was a central stronghold of the middle ages, with the residence of the viscount of Minerve dominating the Minervois region.
- All around you, nature and wildlife are everywhere, as the area is part of Languedoc Regional Nature Park and protected area! The abbaye of Fontfroide is a whole religious complex and is known for being one of the best conserved in France, so you chose.
- We then return on board as our chef is being impatient to serve you the next surprises, and you are free to decide of your evening plans; more drinks onboard, night walk along the canal, a historic movie, you name it.
Day 5-Thursday: Cruise to Le Somail and discover its ancient library
- We will leave Capestang in the morning, and pass under its tiny arched bridge and you will be able to touch it with your hands! Our next destination for lunch is La Croisade, located in the heart of nowhere. Relax on deck, read your favorite book or walk through the surrounding fields and woods.
- Our last cruise lap will bring us to Le Somail, where you should not miss its typical architecture, old buildings and get a sense of local life by observing French people! We will go to the ancient library, which apart from its very peculiar setting, has some rare and very interesting books, prints and posters!
- Then you know it, it's back on YOUR barge for another evening of relaxing and culinary voyage. More flavors and local delicacies will be waiting for you.
Day 6-Friday: Carcassone Citadel and cruise to Argens in Minervois!
- Finally, you see it! Its the beginning of our tour in Carcassone, the famous medieval city, and its shop keepers. A Unesco World Heritage site, you will meander through its medieval streets, and discover this unique historical site.
- After another lunch served on board, we will cruise to Argens where our mooring for the evening might surprise you. During the way, you can also decide to bike or walk along with the barge, to discover another aspect of the canal.
- Evening cocktails, a diner on deck during the sunset, and more music to discover might be our activities for the evening... or maybe not?
Day 7-Saturday: our last cruise together and afternoon disembarkment
- Sad to say, but its already the end of our canal adventure together. We still have time for the last navigation to Homps, the crossing of several locks, and a sunbath on deck!
- After lunch on board, its time to say bye-bye to your floating home for the last couple of days. You will Disembark around 3 pm, and on the way to your next adventure.
- We hope to see you back on board for another cruise, with o course, different landscapes, visits, and experiences.
Type of experience
Heating / cooling
Languages spoken onboard
TV / DVD / movies available
Music-sound system / CD player
Books and magazines
How to get there
BY TRAIN AND RAIL ;
- Agde train station is in the heart of the city! Some regional high-speed trains stop there, but you might consider stopping in Montpellier if you need different time tables.
- You can reach it from French main cities (Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse and more) and other European capitals.
BY CAR ;
- There is only one motorway that connects Agde to the rest of the roads, it is A9. By taking it, you can easily reach other regional cities and neighboring countries such as Spain and Italy.
- There is also the option of driving through the French countryside and crossing its little towns and villages. This could be a good option as it will allow you to do stops in charming places and drive through very typical and picturesque places.
- You can also easily rent a car in the numerous renting agencies in the city.
BY PLANE ;
- The local airport is the one Béziers Cap d'Agde, that you can reach from destinations such as Odense, Bristol, or Paris.
- If you want to come from other destinations, you can decide to transfer from different regional and bigger airports such as Montpellier, Perpignan or Toulouse.
TAXI AND LIMOUSINE TRANSFERS ;
- Another option to reach the barge is professional airport transfers. You can choose to trust A2A taxis which are English speaking
About the area
- Agde is not the richest city in terms of historic and sightseeing in the region, but being at the center of the Occitane region, you can reach al these sites by car or public transportation quite easily.
- Within Agde, you can meander through the historical center, its cooler, and its museum, or decide to go on the marina side and walk by the sea.
- It is a very popular destination for water and water sports lovers. You can go to the aquatic center Archipelago / The City of Waer with its swimming pool, SPA, and whirlpool, or decide to go for some watersports in one of the numerous centers by the shore.
- Grau Agde is a fishing village very close to Agde itself, at the end of the river Hérault. On its dock, you will discover many shops and restaurants and can enjoy some time there and dine on one of its terraces. You will also find a village there that is open every day.
River trip owner
We cruise along the canal du midi for over 19 years.
17 Reviews - 3 to 6-night all-inclusive intimate cruise on the Canal du Midi
Roswitha & Kinley - Switzerland
This time it was our second time on board your stunning barge and like last year we enjoyed so much to stay here. We would like to visit every year ! we will follow your dreams because you two are so special to us. Michel we will never forget your delicious cuisine menus and service.
Jean François we will never forget your humor and hospitality. We felt really at home and all our wishes are with you and your future dreams. Thank you so much
Nadia & Evgeny - Russian Federation
Dear Jean François and Michel or dear friends ! it was a great voyage for us with fabulous cuisine. You have a very beautiful and comfortable barge. We felt at home and we were impressed by your friendliness.
We are so thankful that you made the best for us so that we had the most interesting tour. We will remember for a long time. Thank you Michel and Jean François that you remain the genuine representatives of your cultures and of your countries and share with your guests. From Russia with love.
Herman & Veronique - the Netherlands
Dear Michel and Jean François, thank you so much for the wonderful days we enjoyed on board of your barge in the company of Jung the dalmatian. It was an unforgettable experience sailing on le Canal du Midi with the beautiful landscapes, the locks, the wonderful sicilien and french cuisine on board and your great hearted company !
Thank you for the map on which Jean François indicated all the nice and interesting sites ! we felt at home with you. We both liked to navigate and thank you for the good instructions. All the best for you and good luck.
Fiona - England
What a beautiful holiday! Your barge was so welcoming, warm and so clean and comfortable. Michel and Jean François are the perfect hosts. The food was absolutely fantastic. I particulary enjoyed the outings to Carcassonne with the most amazing cassoulet.
Thank you so very much. I can't wait to return. A bientôt.
Jo & Michael - Australia
Dear Michel, Jean François and Jung, le bateau is a beautiful boat but to Jo and I it was much more as you immediately welcomed us into your home. For several years we have wanted experience the french locks and canals and how lucky we were to select your team . Your easy going and relaxed manner quickly had us enjoying the tranquil pace of le canal du midi from day one.
We marvelled at Jean François masterly navigation and ably supported by Michel. Both Michel's and Jean François cuisine always 5 stars, and together you made sure our time on board would be so memorable. Our day excursions with Gwen were both informative and interesting and gave us a good overview of the early history of the region.
Thank you both once again for sharing your life and home with us - we could not ask more. Merci beaucoup.