6-night all-inclusive cruise on the mythical Canal du Midi with 5 star service and gastronomy
Cruise from the medieval town of Béziers to the UNESCO heritage citadel of Carcassone on our fully crewed barge
River trip highlights
- Discover the rich and fascinating Cathar history
- Cruise with all comfort through an engineering marvel
- Visit the gorgeous cities of Narbonne and Carcassonne
- Enjoy the delicious meals and discover local products
- Visit small villages and wonder in their streets
- Discover stunning landscapes and views
River trip summary
YOUR BARGE FOR THE NEXT DAYS ;
- Upon arrival, the captain and his crew will welcome you onboard your new floating home! We are waiting for you to show you all the wonders a cruise on the Canal du Midi has to offer. Not surprising for a site that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage from Béziers to Carcassone.
- The aim is to let the river pace take over your daily one and feel the water under the keel while the barge takes you through one of the most amazing regions of France.
- The calm and the magic of the Canal du Midi's landscapes, the sumptuous Languedoc's sunsets and sunrises, the Cathar castles (of Carcassone, Béziers, Narbonne, and Minerve), will make you wonder why you took so long to try a cruise on the Canal!
- Your days will be quite simple; listen to birdsong, relax on deck with a cocktail, and let nature all around you take it over! The whole crew will do their best to make it an unforgettable vacation, as everything from food to excursions is taken care of for you.
YOUR CREW FOR THE NEXT DAYS;
- Our highly experienced and professional crew of four is composed of an experienced Captain, a Master chef, our Tour Guide, a Housekeeper, and Stewardess. As a French poet used to say; all experiences are a human experience.
- They have all been hand-picked for their personal skills, their personalities, and trained by us to provide a service that meets our standard; thanks to them, you will enjoy gourmet food, first-class service, and fascinating excursions!
- Your Chef will prepare delicious local menus for you, inspired by the best French culinary tradition and its thousands of recipes, but with a modern touch to it. Beautifully looking dishes, and prepared with the best local ingredients, sourced from surrounding markets, in line with the season, a selection of french cheeses, all that paired with fine wines.
- Your Captain is an experienced barge driver, will tell you everything he knows about river navigation, his experience cruising on rivers and canals, and will astonish you with his ability to drive our long barge through the lowest bridges and the smallest locks!
- Your tour guide will make your sightseeing unforgettable, through all the little anecdotes he knows. He will take you around fine castles, beautiful landscapes, and family-owned vineyards, always keeping in mind to bring you back on board for the next culinary adventure!
- Your hostess and deck-hand will spend their day making sure all is tidy and clean, your rooms are spotless, and that the deck is ready to welcome you lazy and sunny afternoons. And of course, they know how to make good cocktails.
Click HERE to view the owner's Terms & Conditions relating to this river cruise.
River trip description
- This is a sample itinerary, and it is subject to change depending on navigational events or on your wishes.
- Ask your Bookarivertrip.com agent about it, he knows well the possibilities!
- Please note that this itinerary goes two ways depending on the week of the year.
Day 1-Sunday: arrival onboard, a glass of champagne and evening dinner!
- We will meet you at Béziers, Narbonne or Carcassone cities, and you will be driven onboard by our private chauffeur in the barge's minibus.
- The crew welcomes you, show you the barge and your rooms, you get to meet them before it is time for a chilled bottle of Champagne! We will tell you more about your cruise and you can ask all the questions you might still have to ask.
- We then go for a short cruise to get a sense of the incoming week and finish the bottle of champagne, before we bo back to our mooring for your welcome dinner!
Day 2-Monday: Cruise from Colombier to Capestang and archeological visit
- This morning, its navigation time! While you quietly enjoy your breakfast in the salon or on the deck, our captain will drive the barge towards our next destination; Capestang.
- While we cruise, you can either relax on the deck loungers while seeing the beautiful landscapes passing by or decide to go for a more sporty morning by taking the bikes or just walking on the towpath that runs parallel to the canal, while we cruise at 5km/h.
- After we reach the town of Nissan-lez-Enserune where we will moor for lunch, we will go for our first adventure; a wine tasting session at a local vineyard. We will then go on and visit the famous Oppidum d'Enserune, a two thousand years old archeological site.
- We will then be back on board for your first evening with us; time for more champagne, some appetizers cooked by the chef that will then give way to his next culinary wonder!
Day 3-Tuesday: Cruise to La Croisade, visit Pezenas and enjoy the views
- Its morning cruise again! You now know what to do, where is the breakfast, and more than all, our deck jacuzzi. Take your time, because we will then be off for a walking excursion at the charming and picturesque village of Pezenas.
- Known for its links to the famous playwriter Molière, he is said to have written some of its masterpieces in one of the village houses overlooking the green hills.
- Your chef will have prepared you for a particular dinner tonight, which will surely surprise you! In the meantime, you can go and ask him about his recipes, his cooking, and the nature of the great variety of ingredients that can be found in the area.
Day 4-Wednesday: Cruise to Le Somail and visit the Archibishop's Palace
- Today we will walk quite a bit in one of the regional medieval wonders; the city of Narbonne. It has been a roman Mediterranean capital, a residency for the Visigoth monarchs, and later on a nobility stronghold!
- You will have time to wander in its beautiful streets, visit the indoor market where you can taste some dishes and take a drink at one of the numerous cafe terraces. The Archibishop's Palace and the Roman Horreum are worth visiting as you will see.
- We will then enjoy a delicious lunch in a typical French restaurant that we will have selected for you, close the Les Halles, allowing to observe local life while enjoying it!
- After this long day of discoveries, we will go back on board for an afternoon cruise to our next mooring destination; le Somail; and enjoy another gastronomic dinner on board.
Day 5-Thursday: Cruise from Le Somail to Argens-Minervois
- This morning, we will cruise towards Argens-Minervois, our destination for the evening. After having enjoyed lunch onboard, it is time to visit the village of Minerve and the impressive 12th-century fort that was built at its center by the Cathars.
- Besieged in the early 13th century by Simon de Montfort, the time when the Cathars were designated by the church as the enemy to defeat, it offers stunning views on the surrounding countryside, perfect position to observe the invaders.
- You will also see a small museum that explains more about the fascinating history of this rebellion opposed to the orthodoxy of the church, represented by a miniature of their bloody rebellion against the authorities.
- After this dive in local history, we will visit a local producer of wine from the Domaine de Massamier La Mignarde, that will please us with a wine and cheese tasting
- A fascinating recreation in miniature of the bloodthirsty Cathar rebellion and a small museum complete this intriguing visit. On the way back to the hotel barge we visit a producer of fine Minervois wines, Domaine Massamier La Mignarde, for a private tasting.
- Dinner will be prepared on board by our chef, and you will let us know how we can help you make your evening a perfect one! Maybe listen to some french music on the sound system and discover our most famous singers while drinking a glass of Champagne?
Day 6-Friday: Cruise from Argens-Minervois to Homps
- Today it is our last day of cruising as we embark on our lap towards Homps, one of the Canal's main commercial harbor of the past. After passing 4 locks, our chef will have prepared us some delicacies for lunch, that we will have on deck if the weather allows it.
- Our guide will then drive you to Carcassone, to discover this stunning citadel city, the best restored and conserved medieval city in the whole world, which foundation date back to the Gallo-Roman era.
- Its 52 watchtowers, the long list of defense equipment and the portcullis allowed it to resist the numerous invasions and attacks along the centuries. Today, you will have the occasion to meander in its streets, visit the local shops, and learn about its history.
- Our last dinner on board should be a memorable one, and our chef will put all his energy and talent in transcribing it in his dishes! Then, the evening is all yours, and don't forget that you can enjoy the jacuzzi, while our hostess will be preparing you some of her signature cocktails, or decide to enjoy your spacious rooms.
Day 7-Saturday: Day of departure, leaving Homps
- After breakfast, you will have the occasion to enjoy the facilities one last time, relax in the salon, take a quick sunbath on deck, or simply enjoy your bed a bit longer!
- Our guide will then drop you where was agreed, either at Béziers, Narbonne or Carcassonne. We hope to see you or your friends back onboard very soon.
Number of double beds: 3
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 PLANE ;
- You can decide to fly there using the Bèziers-Cap d'Agde airport, with regular flights from Bristol, London, Dusseldorf or Stockholm.
- If you prefer a bigger airport, you can easily reach Béziers within an hour from Montpellier, Carcassonne and Perpignan international airports.
BY CAR ;
- You can choose to come by car from your previous destination, in that case, the best choice is using the motorway as three of them connect the city; A75, A9, and A61.
- You can also decide to rent a car in one of the numerous rental agencies in the city, at the airport or at the train station.
BY TRAIN ;
- France has a very good railway system, so if you have some ecological double thoughts, that might be the best option for you.
- Both regional trains (intercité) and high-speed trains (TGV) arrive at Béziers train station, from Paris Gare de Lyon and link to many other French and European cities.
About the area
- When thinking about it, the construction of the Canal du Midi was quite a crazy idea! Connecting the Atlantic Ocean (actually the River Garonne) to the Mediterranean Sea through a waterway that still did not exist. That was the plan of the King Louis XIV, and that what happened a few decades later, with the inauguration of this 240 kilometers long river path.
- You could be a lover of gastronomy, of architecture, of culture or just like new experiences, the Canal du Midi can offer you all that! Cruising through typical villages, stopping in the middle of nature for dinner under the stars, visiting medieval towns such as Carcassone, there will be plenty to do during your week on board.
- Our river trip will either start from Béziers, a beautiful medieval town, or from Carcassone, depending on the time of the year you book your trip. Feel free to ask our Bookarivertrip.com agent for any interrogations you might have.
River trip owner
We love living and working in the River! I discovered this environment many years ago, and since then I have been cruising on the river, attending my guests, and building up my life in this wonderful Aude department.
Our highly professional crew with who we have been working for years, and we know they are the best persons to take care of you during your experience onboard. Gourmet meals, fresh cocktails, and local insights are only some of their expertise!