6-night all inclusive cruise onboard our casual luxury barge in Bordeaux's region
Softly cruise through the Bordeaux region from Serignac to Castets en Dorthe; wines, villages and culinary wonders!
River trip highlights
- Saint Emilion and private wine tasting
- Visit Sauternes and tastings
- Learn about Armagnac production and tasting
- Discover small and historic town and villages
- Walk in the Lily gardens that inspired Monet
- Authentic weekly market at Valence d'Agen
River trip summary
THE BARGE ITSELF ;
- Our barge is one of the most luxurious and best-appointed barges on the canal network in France today. The team will work hard to bring you the ultimate experience in luxury cruising! We are one of the only barges to cruise on this route.
THE TEAM AT YOUR SERVICE ;
- Onboard the barge we have four full time experienced crew members to manage all aspects of your cruise and make sure you will feel at ease and well taken care of.
- From the moment you are met at your hotel for transfer to the barge at the beginning of your week to the final transfer to your agreed point of departure at the end of your cruise, our crew will be there to provide for you and deliver an outstanding service.
- The Barge cruises in the extremely abundant South West France where some of the finest fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and wines are all produced. The Atlantic is nearby and the lively local markets here are bursting with varieties of fish, oysters and "fruit de mer".
- Our aim is to introduce to the rich gastronomy of this great region; your chef will tailor each week's menu to the cater for the food preference of each individual group.
- We can arrange for some cooking lessons & tips with our chef: these lessons will be based on the preparation of fish, oysters or a stuffed filet mignon.
- You will learn how to select the right cut of meat for a specific dish, how to cook different meats, and lots more! We can also engage the guests with the pairing of wine with food, what to look for and how to do it successfully without having extensive knowledge of wines.
OUR FOOD ;
- We have developed strong and lasting relationships with the top local producers to ensure that we bring to your table distinguished locally sourced and seasonal products of the highest quality that rightly represents this region, it’s culture and traditions. Because of the unique quality of our ingredients and their freshness, our belief in the kitchen is:
- "cook it simply, cook it lightly, embrace seasonality and avoid heavy use of sugar, salt and fat, let the flavor and texture of the food be the focus " – and our guests always love it this way!
OUR WINES ;
- Pairing wine with food is an art and we work closely with our wine distributor in Saint Émilion's famous wine town, himself a famous chef, to bring you a wide variety of wines of great quality from across this region that is specifically selected to accompany our food.
- We have an exceptional cellar and cruise with approximately 600 bottles on board. No worries, you won't get thirsty!
THE TABLE ;
- The enjoyment of food is central to what we do; it is not only a taste experience it is also a visual one.
- Each evening our guests sit down to a different table setting, we carry a wide selection of table cloths, jacquard linen napkins, candles and other decorative finishings that uses to great effect to create a variety of themed table settings throughout the week – she’s even been known to hold napkin folding classes with inquisitive guests!
Click HERE to view the owner's Terms & Conditions relating to this river cruise.
River trip description
This trip runs two ways depending on the previous charter:
EITHER Bordeaux Cruise from Serignac Sur Garonne to Castets en Dorthe, OR from Castets-en-Dorthe to Serignac Sur Garonne.
- A crew member will meet guests at the agreed point of arrival and all transfers and tours will take place thanks to our fully air-conditioned Mercedes V Series minibus.
- Pick-up locations: Agen train station or possibly Toulouse or Bordeaux (airports or city)
- Departure locations: Bordeaux City or Airport (Merignac)
- Please note: cycling and walking is always available along our route on the level thanks to well-maintained and practical former towpaths. Each evening we tell the guests about the next day’s agenda, the cruise distances and times between locks. At the beginning of the week, we leave the week’s schedule day by day in the salon with a canal map for them to refer to.
Day 1-Saturday: Day of arrival and bubbles onboard!
- Collection from agreed pick-up point in the early afternoon in order to arrive at barge around 5 PM and enjoy a champagne reception, meet our crew, and discuss the cruise to come!
- While making our way to the barge, we will do a quick stop in order to have a look at the Aqueduct, which is the second-longest one ever to be built in France, and opened in 1849.
- It carries the Canal de Garonne over the Garonne river and is an engineering masterpiece.
Day 2-Sunday: morning cruise to Buzet Port and lunch on board before visiting the famous Lily gardens that inspired Monet
- We will leave Serignac shortly after breakfast to cruise to Buzet Port
- Lunch onboard
- After lunch, we take the car to the Lily gardens where you will be free to stroll around the gardens and inspire the artist that is within you. Then it's back to the barge in time for canapés and pre-dinner aperitifs before dinner
Day 3-Monday: Visit a 4th generation Armagnac producer and Nerac, the seat of Henry IV
- Take your time in the morning, and enjoy the traditional breakfast that will have been put together by our chef! We will then go to visit a local Armagnac producer to learn about and taste this the oldest eau de vie in France, pore-dating cognac by some 200 years!
- You will learn about the production process, and of course, taste this stunning local product. Guests will have the opportunity to choose a year that has a particular significance for them and have their own Armagnac bottled in front of them. It will be corked and wax sealed just as it has been for a few hundred years!
- later our guests will have the opportunity to try our signature cocktail, the Saint Louis Sundowner. Of course, as our base ingredient, we will use Armagnac from our 4th generation friends!
- If our time schedule allows it, or if Armagnac is not to your taste, we can decide to visit the 11th-century town of Nérac. With the Garenne royal park in its surroundings and the magnificent Chateau of Henry IV which originates in the 15th century and was home to the King and his wife Margot in the late 16th century, this visit is an opportunity to learn about local history and medieval architecture.
- We can also visit the medieval Bastide town of Vianne. Such towns were built during the 13th and 14th centuries in the South of France in order to allow trade to develop and of course, taxes to be collected!
- If you visit us in July and August, we will have the opportunity to discover the night market of Damazan, which is worth your time! It is a tiny village, but as many villages in France, they organize a market once a week, during which they feature local producers, handicrafts, local musicians play, and much more. As you will see, even a small village can throw a great party
- In the afternoon cruise through to Le Mas D'Agenais where we moor for the evening and where we can take a short walk before dinner to explore the charming center of this 12th-century village and discover its church where an original Rembrandt painting representing the Christ on the Cross stands and its 15th Century market square.
Day 4-Tuesday: Visit the authentic weekly market at Valence d'Agen
- This morning we drive to this superb weekly market and spend some time exploring all this vibrant market has to offer. We gather fresh produce for your dinner with our chef before returning for lunch on board.
- After lunch, we cruise to the beautiful port of Meilhan-Sur-Garonne, where we will moor for the evening.
- There is an exceptional view overlooking the port just a 5-minute walk from our mooring point, a visit is highly recommended!
Day 5: Full-day visit to Saint-Emilion
- Today, its time to visit the world-famous town of Saint Emilion and its world-renowned wines. After breakfast, we drive to this beautiful town.
- You will have a private wine tasting with our merchant, a guided tour of the 12th-century underground church which is a UNESCO world heritage site.
- You will enjoy lunch in one of the best restaurants in Saint Emilion.
- For wine lovers eager to learn more about their favorite beverage, we can organize a full wine experience day. Our specialists will meet you at 10.30 am to begin a full day excursion and immersion in the Bordeaux wine environment. You will learn about St Emilion wine classification, an introduction on how to taste wine properly, how to pair it with food, visit 2 local private 1er Grand Crus chateaux and a Michelin star lunch! (this option is 495 euros/person for a minimum of fours person, and should be booked in advance).
- Afterward, it's back to the barge for canapés and another wonderful dinner.
Day 6-Thursday: morning cruise followed by a visit to 1er Grand Crus Sauternes Chateau Guiraud
- This morning we will cruise through to our final mooring at Castets en Dorthe followed by lunch on board.
- We will then have a short drive to visit Chateau Guiraud. You will have the opportunity to learn about the production process, visit their caves and of course, taste the wine!
- There is the possibility to organize a guided tour of the famous Chateau d'Yquem. This Sauternes wine also has a great international reputation. The tour and tasting is an optional extra and costs currently 75 Euro per person and must be booked well in advance.
- We return to the barge for the last evening canapés and dinner.
Day 7-Friday: day of departure
- Guests will be transferred to the agreed drop off locations leaving the barge around 10.00 AM (earlier departure times can be arranged if necessary).
How to get there
BY ROAD ;
Bordeaux is an important road and motorway the South West of France. The city is connected to Paris through the A10, with Lyon through the A89, to Toulouse by the A62 and even with Spain with the A63. So needless to see that options to continue your journey are plenty!
You can easily rent a car in the agencies in the city center, at the train stations or in the airport of Merignac, in order to continue your voyage after your cruise with bookarivertrip.com!
BY RAIL ;
The main railway station is Gare de Bordeaux Saint-Jean, which is very close to the city center. Served by the SNCF, it welcomes not less than 12 million passengers a year, and hosts a direct High-Speed Train to Paris, in only 2h04. Connections allow reaching quickly other cities such as Lille, Brussels, Amsterdam, Cologne, Geneva or London. Many region capitals can also be reached from there, such as Toulouse, Irun, Marseille, Lyon, Limoges, Perigueux, Pau, Angoulême and more.
BY THE AIR ;
You can reach the city through the Bordeaux Merignac Airport, located only 8 km from the city center, in the nearby suburb city of Merignac. Many international destinations are accessible from there.
About the area
Being one of the biggest departments in France, Gironde has a variety of treasures and a multitude of landscapes to offer to travelers. It is in terms of nature, architecture, or gastronomy, you will be pleased with all the aspects of this historical region. There is the capital city of Bordeaux, the Atlantic coast and its sandy beaches for surfers and watersport amateurs, the amazing castles of Cazeneuve, La Brède or Roquetaillade, the Arcachon Bay and its seafood, and of course, the river Garonne, its canal, and the regions hundreds of wines. There are enough activities and things to do for you to spend weeks and weeks exploring the charms of this historical part of France, so start with a discovery of the heart of the region with us and our expert and local advice, is the perfect way to start this discovery!
River trip owner
Cruising onboard our 5* luxury hotel barge is a very personal affair. We will attend to you and your party as a family and take care of all the arrangements from pick up to drop off. Our guests love our hospitality, our style, our varied and interesting excursions and of course our great food, wines and local cheeses.
We have the largest sundeck of any barge of our size and class, we are air-conditioned throughout all guest areas and pride ourselves in delivering what has been described as the unforgettable experience of a once in a life-time holiday.
For full details and reviews please ask our Bookarivertrip.com agent!
12 Reviews - 6-night all inclusive cruise onboard our casual luxury barge in Bordeaux's region
Brad & Sherry, Lynn & Karen - the United States
Wonderful and relaxing week. Better than we could have hoped for, the attention to detail, the food, the wine and the friendships.
M & G - the United States
A truly unique and life changing, life affirming experience!!
An unforgettable week of making connections with our cousins and the barge team! A truly unique and life changing, life affirming experience!! If one looks up the word “perfection” – this canal, this barge, the itinerary, of course the gastronomy, the wine but most of all Peter, Wendy & Minnis defines it!
K & R, D & R, D & A - Canada
A trip to remember! Our expectations were exceeded, not just occasionally, but every day. Your professionalism, friendliness and flexibility coupled with your first class accommodation and attention to detail was quite remarkable.
Together with yourselves, Martin and Julia, the barge is in a class of its own.
Bob & Denise - Ireland
Dear Hotel barge team,
Well, let’s talk about 6 consecutive days of exploring, exercising, eating, drinking and sleeping; all in luxurious surroundings and comfort (and effort only if you want it)!
Owner/operators Peter and Wendy, together with their very talented French culinary crew, look after every detail imaginable.
The barge has all the furnishings above and below deck to meet your every need. Completely different table settings for every dinner, imaginative food sourced locally and fresh whenever possible, delicious French cooking of Michelin quality and world class service – all designed and done to meet your specific likes and requirements. Private, very well appointed sleeping accommodation gives every guest an opportunity to rest in total comfort.
Then each day there is serene cruising along the most idyllic of canals in the beautiful French countryside, and always near or in an historic village or town where there is much to see and experience. The daily tours offered informative insights into the local area and introduced to things we would not, as regular tourists, easily found. Bike, walk, drive or remain on board – all these options are always available, depending on your daily mood and personal desire.
Can it be any better than this? Certainly not, the barge is in a class of its own!
This review has been freely offered and reflects the experience of all 6 guests in our party. Our cruise was in May 2017.
Diane - the United States
“Magnifique! The excellence of the exquisitely presented culinary treats and superb wines was only exceeded by the warmth and outstanding service provided by Peter, Wendy and Minnis.”