Alouette

Just four privileged passengers travel in style aboard what is one of the most luxurious barges in France. The craft is yours as you float along the tree-shaded Canal du Midi between Carcassonne and Beziers. On deck, stretch out on a sun lounger, beneath a sheltering parasol, to view the passing villages and fields. Or step inside, where the spacious lounge—with its huge picture windows—has a library, writing desk and soft armchairs.

 

CANAL DU MIDI


Cruise Highlights

  • Tour Carcassonne, the most complete medieval fortified city in existence
  • Narbonne's Archbishop's Palace and colorful market
  • Explore the hilltop village of Minerve 
  • Discover the Abbaye de Fontfroide
  • The archeological site of the Oppidum of Ensérune  
  • Excellent towpath for walking and cycling

 Alouette also cruises between Lyon & Avignon, and between Avignon & Beziers (Early April and Late October)


Detailed Itinerary: Carcassonne to Beziers

Sunday, Day 1 - Carcassonne 

A champagne reception welcomes you on board and gives you a chance to meet the crew. Later that evening enjoy your first dining experience on board.

Monday, Day 2 - Visit Carcassonne. Cruise to Trebes 

Tour the wonderful medieval fortress of Carcassonne. Explore the intricate fortifications of the two castellated walls, one inside the other, about a mile in circumference. The views from the battlements towards the Pyrenées are stunning. Visit the Cathedral remarkable for its stained glass rose windows, elegant Romanesque nave and Gothic transepts. Back to the barge for lunch and an afternoon cruise to Trebes on the beautiful Canal du Midi, one of the most stunning canals in France.

Tuesday, Day 3 - Cruise to Homps. Visit Minerve  

Enjoy a relaxing morning cruise from the comfort of the sun deck, or perhaps walk or cycle along the tow path. After lunch visit Minerve, an old village on a limestone cliff, which dominates the vineyards below. Its now ruined castle was once a Cathar stronghold besieged and captured by Simon de Montfort. On the way back to the boat stop at Peyriac-Minervois for wine tasting.

Wednesday, Day 4 - Cruise to Le Somail. Visit Narbonne  

This morning, experience the wonderful under-cover market in Narbonne with the chef, and why not help choose dinner tonight!
Narbonne is a lively Mediterranean city playing an important role as a wine producing center. The municipal, military and religious architecture, the river banks of the Robine and its shaded boulevards all contribute to its charm. Enjoy lunch at a bistro just in front of the market then return to the barge for an afternoon cruise to Le Somail.

Thursday, Day 5 - Visit l'Abbaye de Fontfroide. Cruise to Capestang  

Discover the Abbaye de Fontfroide, a Cistercian monastery founded in the 11th century. Now privately owned, the abbey has been lovingly restored with a well-kept garden and peaceful cloister. On the way back to the boat, stop at Château Auris for a wine tasting. Back on board for lunch. Take in the grandeur and beauty of the Canal du Midi while you cruise to Capestang.

Friday, Day 6 - Cruise to Béziers. Visit Oppidum d'Ensérune  

A morning cruise to Béziers. In the afternoon, visit Oppidum d'Ensérune, a pre-Roman hill-top settlement and one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. The top of the hill affords a panoramic view of the pond of Montady drained in 1247 and transformed into a curious pattern of cultivation. Meanwhile the chef is busy preparing your farewell gala dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7 - Béziers  

After breakfast disembark the barge for your onward travel arrangements.


This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.

 

At A Glance

  •  Up to 4 passengers, Luxury & Signature

  • From USD$6,000 per person
    (Private Charter Only)

  • Region: South of France, Midi Region

  • Access: Paris TGV / Airport

  • Start City: Carcassonne or Béziers

  • End City: Béziers or Carcassonne

  • Cruise Highlights: visit Pézenas, a beautiful town where Louis XV held court, stop at Château Auris for a wine tasting, & tour Europe’s largest medieval fortress La Cité de Carcassonne.
     

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