Enchanting discovery cruise along the Canal du Midi
Enchanting discovery cruise along the Canal du Midi, cruise between Bram and La Redorte (or reverse route)
River trip highlights
- Enjoy the unique landscapes of the Canal du Midi
- Discover Mirepoix, one of Lower Pyrenees top villages
- Enjoy the confort of a barge designed by the Occitane's owner
- Discover local products, sourced and cooked by the chef
- Visit Carcassonne and wander through its tall walls
- Learn about the rivers&canals and the art of navigation
River trip summary
HOW AND WHERE YOU WILL CRUISE ;
Our barge is a one-of 30 meters barge, which was specifically designed in 1938 to fit the complex river navigation settings of this canal (low bridges, small draft). It was recently renovated and equipped with four large cabins, in order to be able to host 4 to 7 guests onboard for days and days.
Take time to appreciate our barge with its large cabins with central heating and air-coniditioning all year long. You can alsdecide to take place on our luxurious terrace, in order to relax and enjoy our chef's delicate and original cuisine. You wil soflty be cruising, discovering hideenvillages and towns, fortified cities, remarkable food, cultural traditions, opne-air markets and gorgeous wines.
Cruise on the historic Canal du Midi, that is one of the masterpieces of architecture and infrastructure along the french waterways. It was conceived by Pierre Paul Riquet, and decide for by the King Louis XIV, who saw it as essential for economic and social development of the Pyrénée and Languedoc Roussilon regions (South West of France).
The diversity and quality of the products that can be found in the regions we will cruise through (Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc and Roussillon) wil allow an incredible gastronomic experience in the expert hands of our chef, that has been working with us for years now.
The chef will be walking around with you during market days, and will instruct you about these amazing products, and tell you how to recognize the best of local supplies. The cheese, fruits, meat and fish that will be served on your table are supplied by local farmers and artisans. We will constantly look to provide you organic products when these are available.
Our regular suppliers are
- Local producers in the markets of Narbonne, Carcassonne and Mirepoix
- Boucherie Bareil, Beef, Lamb and Porc
- Ferme de Las Cases, Porc and Charcuterie
- Boucherie Cargoles Emmanuel : Beef, Lamb, Porc
- Poissonnerie Moderne, Fishmonger
- Ferme de Cabriole, cheese
- Les Jardins de Riquet, Fruits and Vegetables
- Artisan Boulangeries : Artisan bakery in local villages
- Damman Frères Carcassonne, Tea
- Wines are permanently sourced from regional vineyards and œnologues so as to offer exceptional products from our wine producing region: Minervois, Corbières, Saint Chinian, Cabardès, Fitou and other local regions.
Wines and Champagnes from your preferred regions are also held on board.
At least two wine tastings are organized in prestigious vineyards allowing your to meet the wine maker, visit their domains and discover their acclaimed creations.
This season we will discover
Château Massamier Lamignarde
River trip description
Technological exploit and witness of historic times, conceived by Pierre Paul Riquet during the XVII century and classified a UNESCO world heritage site since 1996, the Canal du Midi links the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean offering unique scenery, historic sites, and gastronomy.
Our Riverboat cruises between Bram and La Redorte (or reverse route) through the flowing sunflower valley of the Lauragais into the vineyards of Crobières and Minervois.
Est to west cruise from la Redorte to Bram, 6 nights onboard.
Day 1-Sunday: La Dinée
Upon your arrival at the planned meeting point, your guide will accompany you to the barge.
Once settled in comfortably, A glass of champagne will be the ideal moment to meet the crew and set off on your first cruise.
It’s in a most enchanting countryside mooring that you will enjoy the exclusiveness of this adventure and experience the refined dinner prepared by your chef, the outstanding wines and champagnes and the joy of being on board as the night falls.
Day 2-Monday: Millepetit
Discover Minerve, considered one of the prettiest villages in France « plus beaux villages de France », perched on a heart-shaped rocky spur at the meeting point of two valleys. This village is also one of the emblematic sites of Catharism and was besieged by Simon de Montford during the Albigensian crusade. The surrounding Minervois wines have been appreciated since Roman times.
After a walk through this unique village and the surrounding valley, your guide will accompany you to an exceptional Minervois vineyard where you will meet the winemaker as he joins you for your first wine tasting of the week. A selection of these internationally acclaimed wines will be served during your lunch prepared on board.
Enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruise through olive-shaped locks, over aqueducts and under low stone bridges. Choose to relax on the sundeck or take the opportunity to stroll and cycle along the canal.
3-Tuesday: Villedubert lock
After breakfast, a morning visit to Narbonne, regional capital established in 118 BCE as a Roman Colonia boasts numerous historical and architectural tracks of the town’s prestigious past. Discover the roman pavements of the Via Domitia and visit the Saint-Just Cathedral and Episcopal Palace.
A relaxed « promenade » through the shady pedestrian streets will lead you past local boutiques to the covered marketplace. Colors, aromas and flavors! The chef will join you and together you will discover the exceptional produce of Languedoc Roussillon region and choose the fresh ingredients that will compose the gastronomic meals onboard our riverboat.
This perfect morning will be followed by lunch in the marketplace, and the afternoon dedicated to cruising the outskirts of Carcassonne towards the palm tree-lined lock of Villedubert.
Day 4-Wednesday: Ladouce lock
Breakfast will be served whilst slowly cruising towards the port of Carcassonne, our lunchtime destination.
Occupied since the Neolithic and symbol of the middle age, you will visit the fortified city of Carcassonne, ascend the ramparts dating back to Gallo-Roman times, discover the medieval town, its fort, the cathedral. Roam and shop in the 19th century bastide of this regional capital Carcassonne will delight you.
At the end of the day, your nautical stroll on our barge will lead you towards the Lauragais and a change from the previous vineyard countryside into undulating valleys of sunflowers and wheat..
.. Music ''
Either on Tuesday or Thursday evenings weather permitting, musicians Yanick and Virginie enchant guests during dinner and late into the evening playing the accordion and guitar whilst singing classics from Edith Piaf, Aznavour, Trenet and many more...
Often guests have joined in and sung their preferred songs too...
Day 5-Thursday: Villeseque lock
After breakfast on board, visit the Château de Pennautier. Wine tasting and lunch will be hosted in the domain and time will be spent thereafter to relax and enjoy a siesta in the castle gardens.
This marvelous discovery will be followed by a cruise through the superb locks and awe inspiring views of Herminis and Lalande on your way to a new idyllic countryside mooring for the evening.
Day 6-Friday: Bram Port
After breakfast, abandon the Canal du Midi for the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains.
Mirepoix, magnificent medieval town in Ariège waits for you. The market is always bustling, held under the village hall, in small pedestrian streets and under overhanging arcades with colorful half beamed houses. You will have a foresight of the Midi Pyrénées region, architecturally and visually different from the Languedoc visited previously.
In contrast, if you prefer, our crew will help you discover the origins and museum of the Canal du midi at St Ferréol's reservoir, near Revel and it’s market. Follow the Rigole, an artificial brook built to supply water from the Montagne Noir “Black mountains” to the canal.Drive through the mountains and Saissac with its Cathar castle.
Upon your return, navigate through the Lauragais to your final destination, champagne farewell drink with the crew and your last exclusive dinner on board in the Port of Bram.
Day 7-Saturday: Departure after breakfast, already!
After breakfast, the time has come to say Goodbye and safe onward journey.
Your guide will accompany you to your departure point (train station, hotel or airport).
Per your interests, it will be a great pleasure to adapt the excursions.
Please inform us of your desires and needs when booking.
- Six nights on board.
- All meals on board and two meals in selected restaurants
- Transfers to and from the barge from the local train station or hotel. A 125€ supplement for transfers to and from Toulouse and Montpellier.
- All excursions and visits to historical sites, villages, museums (inclusive of entrance fees). Wine-tastings in two vineyards, markets, and two restaurants.
- All regional wines, bar, and refreshment drinks onboard. A selection of guests preffered drinks.
- Use of on-board bicycles, library, CD/DVD collection and player. On board WiFi and internet access
- Trip insurance which is strongly recommended.
- The wines and alcohol on shore, any personal purchases, telephone and internet access, laundry (can be arranged with on shore cleaners).
- Crew gratuities (5-10% of cruise price recommended) normally presented to the Captain in local currency at the end of the cruise.
About the area
Formerly a place of passage of tin in the third century before Christ, the village of Homps was one of the places of important steps of the old Roman road between the Corbières and the Minervois. Also a long time high place of wine transport, it has always lived to the rhythm of its port and its boaters. The completion of the Canal du Midi at the end of the seventeenth century allowed him especially to experience an economic boom of great importance.
Always a place of production of great wines such as Minervois (AOC), Languedoc (AOC) or Coteaux-de-
River trip owner
I have spent life travelling between Africa and Europe and having dedicated much time to animal health and conservation programs I now solely and thoroughly enjoy my second passion hosting guests on exclusive trips cruising the canal du midi or during adventurous safaris in a luxurious private lodge in Southern Africa.
Together with your Tour Guide Marie Hélène, Hostess Andréa and Chef Valérie, your 2015 cruise will be a unique moment of relaxation, discovery and culinary delight. All whilst ensuring a discrete and high standard of service.
The Barge’s crew of 4 offer their service to ensure your trip becomes a dream journey along the canal du midi..
Being privately owned and operated, we can tailor your cruise to your specific needs. Please inform us whilst booking on specific sites you wish to visit, activities you enjoy most or special dishes and wines you would like to discover…we will happily adapt our cruise and program !
Your transfers and excursions will all be on board our luxurious air conditioned vehicle.