• Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Deluxe Barges
  • First Class Barges
  • Season
  • Video
  • Cost

Date: Possible from April to end of October
Experience: Crewed Luxury Yacht Experience
Trip Type:
Private Yacht, Family Experiences

A gentle cruise on a hotel barge is the perfect way to discover the very soul of South of France, exploring its wonderful countryside and historical treasures and meeting its many friendly, diverse people. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, this journey allows you to travel in luxury without the strains of packing and unpacking, whilst enjoying a balanced blend of daily excursions and fascinating cruising.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Canal du Midi is defined by its beauty, lined with shady plane trees which often touch to form an arc of green above the water from bank to bank, and crossed by pretty arched bridges. The warm Mediterranean weather and relaxed pace of life is sure to lull you into unwinding as your luxury Canal du Midi barge meanders gently downstream.

You will discover a marvellous blend of ancient Gallo-Roman and traditional influences reflected throughout this very historic region. Explore this further with your tour guide when you visit the medieval walled city of Carcassonne, the cathar stronghold of Minerve or the underground Roman market in Narbonne.

Highlights

  • Discover spectacular historical sites
  • Cycle or walk along scenic tow paths
  • Watch the scenery pass by as you relax on the deck
  • Enjoy private wine tastings at one of the various chateaux

Questions? Please contact one of the Civilized Adventures’ Adventure Travel Specialists at info@civilizedadv.com

Sample itinerary

Day 1: Sallèles d’Aude

You will be met in Narbonne and transferred by private vehicle to your barge. A champagne welcome and an introduction to the Captain and crew, followed by dinner on board.

Day 2: Sallèles d’Aude to Roubia

Morning cruise along the Grand Bief, a technological achievement unique to the Canal du Midi to link Narbonne to the Mediterranean, to the charming historical village of Roubia. Afternoon excursion to “L’Oulibo”, a local co-operative olive oil press where we will sample the famous Lucques olives. We continue on to Minerve, the ancient capital of the Minervois, which boasts a 12th century Cathar fort surrounded by deep limestone gorges. Besieged by Simon de Montfort in 1210, its hilltop location affords spectacular views. Dinner on board. 

Day 3: Roubia to Homps

After breakfast, our excursion is to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy a visit to the Archbishop’s Palace, Roman Horreum and the indoor market at the hub of this bustling canalside town, where you will have time to shop or simply absorb the vibrant atmosphere. Afternoon cruise past vineyards and pine trees to Homps. This picturesque mooring in the heart of a French village presents a perfect opportunity to try your hand at a game of boules, followed by an alfresco dinner on board.

Day 4: Homps to Puichéric

This morning we visit a Benedictine Abbey founded in the 8th century. Nestled in Lagrasse, a village awarded the title of “Plus beaux villages de France” and home to many artisans who have set up workshops in the medieval centre, the restored Abbey was once one of the most prosperous thanks to Charlemagne’s charter. Then we sample some local cuisine with lunch ashore in a spectacular setting overlooking the Corbieres vineyards, before returning to the barge to cruise to Puicheric, past “l’Epanchoir”, one of the bridges invented by Pierre Paul Riquet for the Canal du Midi. Dinner on board.

Day 5: Puichéric to Marseillette

Today we cruise along the 330-year-old canal ascending its trademark locks as the relief becomes steeper. This is a great opportunity to walk or cycle from one lock to the next as your barge cruises on, navigating the triple locking system. The afternoon excursion is a wine tour and tasting at Château Saint Jacques d’Albas in Minervois, one of the few regions to receive the much-envied French mark of approval for wines known as A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Controlée). This informative tour offers an opportunity to sample wine in situ and find out more about the Languedoc’s long-standing and continuing wine trade. Dinner on board

Day 6: Marseillette to Trèbes

Fascinating morning tour of Carcassonne. Dating back to the Gallo-Roman era, this is the most complete medieval fortified city in existence today with its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences, which resisted the many armies that tried to storm this glorious Camelot setting. This afternoon we squeeze through tight bridges and glide past picturesque vineyards and hamlets to Trèbes. Once a major ally to Carcassonne, this medieval town still retains unique paintings within its 13th century church. Farewell Dinner on board.

Day 7: Marseillette to Trèbes

After breakfast, you will be transferred by private chauffeured vehicle to your choice of location in Narbonne.

Please note that this itinerary serves only as a brief example of what we can arrange and is subject to change, depending on weather conditions, progressing harbor clearances and other deciding factors.

We offer a wide selection of themed itineraries for example – family, golf, biking, walking, culinary and wine appreciation, which appeal to all types of interest groups, large or small. Please contact us to customize your barge adventure and to know more about our options for extensions in France.

Our deluxe barges are an essay in contemporary and traditional luxury, designed with comfort and elegance in mind. See below for a glimpse of our deluxe barges in Canal du Midi:

ENCHANTE
4 CABINS – 8 GUESTS –  5 CREW

Enchanté is a spacious, double-decker hotel barge that has been built to the highest standard to offer a stylish on board ambience that is perfect for enjoying a cruise through this sun-drenched region.

The hotel barge is tastefully furnished in a contemporary style, creating a bright, art deco atmosphere. She has a large saloon with outstanding attention to detail, including an open-plan demonstration galley where guests can see their skilled chef at work. On the lower deck, there is also a computer with internet connection for guests’ use, as well as the requisite Wi-Fi onboard.

The luxurious air-conditioned accommodation is in four equally spacious twin or double-bedded suites, the largest of any hotel barge on the Canal du Midi and all with superbly appointed en suite shower rooms.

Outside, the spacious sun deck boasts an alfresco dining area, a gorgeous spa pool and comfortable loungers to relax in while the countryside drifts slowly by.

Enchanté is a hotel barge that offers an alluring blend of luxury and modernity. She is a vessel that will charm any discerning traveller on her sedate.

Click here for yacht details.

Other options and vessels available. Please contact us to discover all our charter fleet and help you choose your stylish barge that suits you and your France travel needs.

Our first class barge selection offer a cost-effective alternative to the deluxe barge. All the barges have been handpicked for their comfortable accommodation and good service. See below for a glimpse of our first class barges:

ANJODI
4 CABINS – 8 GUESTS –  4 CREW

Anjodi is very much a hotel barge of the classic Dutch design and also the founding member of our fleet, embarking on her first cruises along the historic Canal du Midi 35 years ago.

Her beautiful interior makes the most of traditional materials such as African hardwoods and shining brass to create a warm onboard feel, reminiscent of a classic yacht.

The charming saloon is particularly welcoming, with its combination of richly coloured wooden flooring, elegant French dining furniture and comfortable banquette seating, as well as a fully stocked bar.

The four compact, cleverly-designed cabins, featuring hardwood panelling and brass portholes, offer a choice of twin or double bedded accommodation, each with en suite facilities.

The spacious sundeck is shaded by an adjustable canopy and there are comfortable sun loungers and a spa pool to soak in with a glass of chilled white wine.

Click here for yacht details.

Other options and vessels available. Please contact us to discover all our charter fleet and help you choose your stylish barge that suits you and your France travel needs.

Barging in France is possible from beginning of April until end of October.

This area is beautiful and less crowded in the spring and fall. Summer can be quite hot and more crowded in major cities, but it is still a great time to discover the region. August can be very crowded in some regions as this is vacation season for the locals as well.

See this video for a glimpse of barge cruising in the Canal du Midi.

Cost to charter your private barge

FIRST CLASS Barge private charter starts from US$35,500 for a 6 night itinerary (shoulder season)
DELUXE Barge private charter starts from US$47,200 for a 6 night itinerary (shoulder season)

Enjoy an all-inclusive experience including the service of a crew, all your meals and selected drinks, use of bicycle and all sightseeing with a private guide.

Sound Interesting? Call us, we offer barge itineraries in Europe’s small canals, a great intimate way to explore Europe.

Scheduled departures are also available if you prefer to share a small group experience. Please contact us for more details.