mirage - canal du midi
canal cruising in france
hotel barge in france
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mirage - canal du midi
Canal Barge in France
Truly this was one of our best travel experiences.
"Our first barge cruising experience was a 5 night / 6 day cruise on board the barge Mirage down the Canal du Midi. What a truly awesome experience, every day had a wow factor. The cruise was carefully plannedso that each day we went to a different attraction with plenty of time to enjoy the visit, have lunch and get an hour or cruising on the canal in. The Capatain altered the daily plan to suit the weather for us. We visited gardens, a local market , castles etc , everything we wanted to see. Nothing was done in a rush. They chose some excellent local restaurants for lunches. The meals on board the barge were very nice. We were served some very nice local wines to compliment the meals. The cabins on board are well appointed and there is plenty of room. The top deck of the barge is perfect to laze on and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the canal. We will be planning another cruise on Mirage in the future. Thank you guys so much for a very enjoyable week . Adrian and Di.
Everything was above beyond expectation.
"Thank you so much for the wonderful week! It was truly a delight! Everything was above beyond expectation “our expectations were high”. We had a fabulous time “thoroughly enjoyed learning” seeing so much about the area. Floating, cruising down the canal with such suck a capable pilot, enjoying French wine severed by the lovely Manon followed by the best French cuisine prepared by the multi-talented Mimi was just a treat beyond compare. I can begin to name all the many things that you did to make this suck a pleasurable week so I will say once again Thank you! If you are even in the US we’d love to have you come see us friendly." Karen & Kirk
Thank you for sharing your home and barge with us.
"Thank you so much for everything you did to make this a very memorable experience! The canal was beautiful, the dinners and wines exquisite, the daily trips informative and fun! Thank you especially for sharing your home and barge with us. You are wonderful and beautiful people and a wish for you all the very best in the many years to come!"
THE 6 PASSENGER BARGE mirage
Mirage is an authentic 1950 French barge, lovingly transformed into an elegant floating boutique hotel. Mirage cruises the historic Canal du Midi in southwestern France, providing luxury accommodations for two to six passengers. A central grand saloon area is filled with light and air from the large portholes that line both sides of the barge. Relax and enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine from the fully stocked bar, with its unique decor, reminiscent of a 1940s aviator's lounge. The open galley allows you to watch as your meals are prepared, and pick up tips from your personal onboard chef. Meals are served deck-side, to enjoy the peaceful and scenic surroundings, or should weather not cooperate, the interior dining area provides a convivial atmosphere to savor cuisine prepared from the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. A portion of each day devotes time to cruising along the canal, navigating the locks, and watching the beautiful countryside roll by, while lounging on the well-appointed teak deck.
itinerary - Trebes to Castelnaudary
SUNDAY - Welcome Aboard
The crew will pick you up at your rendez-vous point, and transfer you to Mirage's mooring in the charming port of Carcassonne. Welcome on board with a grand cru Champagne toast. While you settle in, enjoy a leisurely hour cruising to the Foucault's Epanchoir, which will be your mooring for the night. Enjoy the peaceful and scenic surroundings as you are served a delicious dinner prepared by your personal host. Night at Foucault's épanchoir.
MONDAY - Visit to Mirepoix
Wake up to a classic French breakfast of croissant, pastries, fresh fruits, coffee, tea, and juices served on the sun deck. To begin your day, our tour guide will escort you to the medieval town of Mirepoix, where half-timbered houses line the market square. You will have time to explore the shops and street market stalls before taking lunch at one of the local auberges, offering regional cuisine and wines for a relaxed meal. Following lunch you'll return to the barge for a cruise toward your next mooring at the port of Carcassonne, with views of the historic fortified city above the canal. As the barges passes through several locks, you'll have an opportunity to walk or bike along the canal tow path, or simply relax in one of the comfortable deck chairs as the countryside glides by. As evening nears, sit in the salon with a glass of wine and watch as we prepare your dinner with fresh ingredients gathered from the local market. Night at Villesequelande lock.
TUESDAY - Visit to Narbonne
This morning's excursion will take you to the lively Mediterranean city of Narbonne. Established in 118 BC, located on the Via Domitia, the first Roman road in Gaul, which connected Italy to Spain. Remains of this ancient highway are still visible at the city center. You'll enjoy Narbonne's impressive architecture that spans the centuries, including the 11th century Cathedral, still one of the tallest in France, but unfinished to this day. The reasons why the Cathedral was never finished are many, the most important being that the completed cathedral would have required demolishing the city wall. A highlight of your trip to Narbonne will be a visit to the Les Halles covered market, where you can help Chef choose what will be on the menu for your dinner! Enjoy a bistro lunch before leaving Narbonne to return to Mirage for an afternoon cruise past quiet field's trees and through an elegant series of locks. Your day wraps up with another delicious dinner on board, served with carefully selected wines. Night at Beteille lock.
WEDNESDAY - Visit to Carcassonne
A cruise on Canal du Midi wouldn't be complete without a visit to the historic Cité de Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will step back in time as you explore the restored medieval fortified town. Carcassonne also affords the chance to shop in boutiques lining the cobblestone streets. Step after step, your appetite will be worked up for a succulent cassoulet, the region's most famous dish of beans and duck confit prepared at the Auberge des Lices. An afternoon cruise allows time to relax and enjoy views of the Pyrenees as you make your way to the quaint port of Bram, just below the picturesque village of the same name. Bram was a Roman outpost and the largest circulade Cathar town of Europe. Take in the scenery as you are served another fabulous dinner on deck. Night at Villepinte lock.
THURSDAY - Wine tasting in Limoux
This morning we visit the town of Limoux in the Pyrenee foothills. A thorough instruction in wine making at the cellars of Ginot winery (with sound & lights spectacle) will reveal all there is to know about putting bubbles in white wine; Cremants, Blanquettes and the most famous of all, Champagne. Limoux lays claim to inventing this titillating beverage. Lunch is served at a typical restaurant before an afternoon cruise with many pretty locks, and some more opportunities for exercise for those who don’t want to just laze on deck. Dinner will be served aboard Mirage on the sun deck. Night at St Sernin lock.
FRIDAY - Visit to the Bassin de Saint-Ferréol
This morning we take a beautiful drive up to the lake of St. Ferréol in the Black Mountains. We'll visit an impressive museum with exhibits explaining the complicated engineering needed to keep the water flowing from this storage lake to both sides of the Canal du Midi, one to the Atlantic and one to the Mediterranean. We'll make a stop in Revel to browse the open-air farmer's market and take time out for a coffee or aperitif in the town square. Following a leisurely lunch at Revel, the Antique dealers' village, an afternoon of cruising brings us to our final mooring at Castelnaudary bassin. A romantic view of the town serves as the backdrop for your farewell dinner on board. Night at Castelnaudary.
SATURDAY - Departure
In the morning, after breakfast on the deck, you depart in the van to either the train station or airport for the continuation of your journey.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
Pick up and Drop off: Carcassonne, Narbonne TGV station or Toulouse airport are the best, closest regional rendezvous points. The barge will individually plan these pick up and drop off with each group of passengers.
individual or charter
2 person charter
3 person charter
4 person charter
5 person charter
6 person charter
we pilot the boat
you do the rest!
book now for 2018
7 day 6 night cruise
US$ 14100 ( 7050 / person)
US$ 15800 ( 5266 / person)
US$ 18350 (4587 / person)
US$ 21750 (4350/ person)
US$ 24300 ( 4050 / person)
US$ 8100 for 6 persons
book now for 2018
2 / 3 or 4 night cruise
US$ 1200 / passenger / night
US$ 890 / passenger / night
US$ 790 / passenger / night
US$ 730 / passenger / night
US$ 710 / passenger / night
Price for 7 days full board includes:
• 7 days and 6 nights or 4 days and 3 nights on the barge, in a cabin with ensuite bathroom • Transfers from Carcassonne or Narbonne train station or hotel or Toulouse airport to the barge and return • All meals beginning with dinner on Sunday, through breakfast on Saturday, with lunch on shore at a quality restaurant of the Captain's choice. • All wines with dinner on board • Open bar: all wines, bar, and refreshment drinks aboard. • All escorted side excursions and visits to historical sites, museums, entrance fees, vineyards for wine-tasting, markets and restaurant, in our air-conditioned minivan. • Use of bicycles, deck-side spa, library, CD/DVD collection and player, Wi-Fi.
These rates do not include:• Insurance • Personal expenses • Gratuities to the crew (between 7 and 10%)
Price for 7 days self catering includes:
· Six night Charter Saturday-Friday, including diesel, power, water.
• Air conditioned Cabins, Double or Twin with en-suite facilities.
• Spacious living areas and sun deck.
• Use of Galley and its equipment/utensils.
• Basic pantry staples, salt/pepper/flour/sugar/oil etc.
• One washing machine load per cabin per charter.
• Transfers from / to Carcassonne on days 1 and 7.
• Shopping excursions x2 for Galley provisions in owner’s vehicle.
• Transport to / from local restaurants (if required).
• Use of bikes.
• Wi-Fi (subject to local reception).
• Friendly advice and local knowledge from the Barge
These rate does not include:
• Food and beverage • Transportation services (except where mentioned as included). • Gratuities (at own discretion). • Optional : Breakfast aboard every morning: 490 USD / Excursions: 100€ per person.
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.