hotel barge holidays in france
canal cruising in france
10% off on selected 2021 departures
Caroline - canal du midiCanal Barge in France
Carcassonne: explore "La Cité" the ancient fairy-tale castle.
Minerve: 12th century hilltop village, Walk in the footsteps of the Cathars.
Narbonne: Discover the city founded by the romans around 200 BC.
Fontfroide: one of the best preserved Cistercian abbey in France.
Wine tasting: Enjoy well-known Chateaux of the Languedoc-Roussillon.
Lagrasse: medieval town busy with skilled craftmen along narrow streets.
Markets: Explore a colorful fruits and vegetables French market
"Do we really have to leave today? Please may we stay?
We could wash the decks, hide in a cupboard maybe."
John & Elisabeth from Australia
The Australian's favourite barge on the Canal du Midi:
50% of guests are from Downunder!
There seems to be a love affair between Australians and the barge Caroline. May be it has something to do with the contagious smile of Ute & Uli? On board Caroline you will find a relaxed atmosphere with a comfortable lounge and dining area and a well equipped kitchen where Ute will prepare gourmet dishes for you. Caroline offers huge flowered sun deck, has comfortable teak seating and is carpeted . You will be able to relax on deck and watch the picturesque French landscape glide past at a serene 3 miles per hour.
THE 6 PASSENGER BARGE Caroline
The three air-conditioned guest cabins aboard are spacious (one double and two twin). Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower, wardrobe and shelves for your clothes.
Along the way you will be able to visit medieval villages, stroll through local markets or enjoy culinary delights in a local "auberge". Visit one of the many vineyards and taste the wonderful wines of the Languedoc. The Languedoc is the world´s largest wine producing area. Why not use the comfortable bikes, Caroline carries on board? Or take a walk on the old, but well maintained towpath under the shade of the old plane trees. You may find that you are walking faster than Caroline.
itinerary - BEZIERS TO CARCASSONNE
Guests are picked up at approximately 4 p.m. by Uli, your Captain, at the pre-arranged meeting point and transferred by private air-conditioned minivan to the Caroline mooring. Champagne welcome reception aboard by Ute, your Chef, and time to settle in while Caroline is starting her first little cruise to your evening mooring. Relax on deck and watch the picturesque French landscape glide past. On this first evening you will enjoy the first four course welcome gourmet dinner on board.
Awaken to enjoy an extensive continental breakfast with freshly brewed coffee, tea, fruit juices, croissants and baguettes, jams, ham, cereals... Before we start the daily cruise you might decide to have a morning visit to the pre-Roman site of Oppidum d'Enserunes, which is a historical site from around 800 BC and has been part of the Roman Via Domitia. This area also overlooks the famous Etang de Montady. We set off cruising, meandering through truly unbelievable and stunning scenery. While we pass by the petite village of Capestang, with its extremely small and narrow ancient bridge, the Caroline almost appears to not fit! Ute will serve the lunch on deck al fresco. This afternoon while relaxing on deck with a chilled drink enjoy yourself and watch the countryside pass by as we cruise to our mooring destination for the evening. Each day the Canal du Midi offers walking and biking along the flat and well maintained towpath. Perhaps a stroll into a little village? Caroline can stop nearly everywhere along the Canal. And you might find that you are walking faster than Caroline can follow you.
After another rich breakfast, we will drive by car into the pretty village of Olonzac. Here we explore the local farmers market with their colourful display of fresh fruit and vegetables. Here, your Captain will introduce you - among other - to local cheeses and seafood. Maybe you like to have a "café crème" in one of the typical bars, watching the crowd passing by? Than we will return to the Caroline, where Ute is preparing your lunch, in which you will find lots of the local products, your Captain has bought with you on the market. The afternoon cruise with the barge will guide you through the pleasant landscape of Languedoc-Roussillon, which is known as the biggest wine producing area worldwide. Probably we will moor at night in Le Somail, a very charming little Hameau. Here you have the chance sampling the local food in one of the restaurants nearby. When, after having had your dinner ashore, you´re coming home, enjoy the evening sitting on deck with a glass of wine or digestive, talking, laughing ...
Today’s morning visit is the little scenic hilltop village of Minerve, one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France". Still there are about 100 people living. Minerve´s history is old and connected to the Cathar Crusades which took place in the early 12th century. Visiting the little Museum of Hurepel, telling everything about the cruelties which have happened in this area 800 years ago, you´ll find out about their hard lives. The cruise this afternoon will take us to the first look this week. But before getting there, we will make a stop-over in Ventenac. Here Caroline will moor in front of the local Chateau which sits directly on the banks of the canal. Chateau Ventenac invites you in for a wine tasting of their famous "AOC Minervois". The vines of the "Appellation Minervois" have been introduced by the romans. When we have reached the mooring later on, maybe you like to take a walk or a short bike ride along the towpath before Ute gives you a call for starting the dinner tonight.
Having had another wonderful breakfast, we´re taking off by Multivan to see ancient Narbonne. We visit the Palace of the Archbishop, the Roman underground cave storages and the Cathedral St Just, with its impressive organ. From this vantage the ancient Via Domitia can be seen. Narbonne was founded 118 BC by the Romans along the Via Domitia. This is the more than 2000 years old trade route connecting ancient Rome with Spain. While enjoying the town you can chase for souvenirs before your Captain Uli invites you for Lunch at a typical bar in the covered food market in the centre of Narbonne. Today's cruise will take us through the first locks. The first one has a single chamber while the next lock has a double chamber. A total of 4 locks with 6 chambers will bring us to our evening stop at Homps, a small vineyard village. We moor along a quay in the middle of this village where guests have a wide choice of restaurants for your dinner and a stroll tonight.
Today’s excursion will be another highlight of your week! La Cité! Tour of the famous walled city of Carcassonne, a fascinating fortified medieval fortress, situated on top of Carcassonne overlooking the city. Caroline takes off after breakfast, leaving Homps, cruising again through locks, transporting us 'uphill' to the next level of the Canal. Our evening mooring tonight is away from the villages and somewhere in the countryside. The dinner tonight will be - sad enough - the Farewell dinner. Again Ute will serve a spectacular 4 course gourmet meal. Once more you can enjoy her cuisine, corresponding wines followed by cheeses and desert with matching wines, coffee and liquors.
After a relaxing breakfast, we will say goodbye and take our guests to their next destination, leaving at approximately 10 a.m. Drop-off may be coordinated at your hotel, the rail station, or depending on our cruise direction, the Carcassonne Airport.
On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
2020 - 2021
2/3 person charter
4 person charter
5 person charter
6 person charter
1 Apr to 31 Oct
Price for Caroline includes:
Accommodation in spacious cabins with individual shower/bath. Excursions ashore with our private VW T5 Multivan. Full board: Breakfast, lunch & dinner. All on board wines, bar drinks, beers and soft drinks.
These rates do not include:Insurance - Personal expenses - Gratuities to the crew (between 7 and 10%)
To avoid currency exchange fees,
• Australians can pay in Australian dollars by direct deposit or credit card.
• New Zealanders can pay in New Zealand dollars by direct deposit or credit card.
• US citizens will be charged in US dollars using credit card.