Luxury River Cruise in SW France

5 Days

This fabulous luxury river cruise will take you through the heart of Gascony in SW France on the beautiful Canal de Garonne.

En route, you’ll discover a land of art, history, culture and some of the finest gastronomy and wines that France has to offer.

Daily guided excursions include visits to historic fortified hilltop villages such as Valence d’Agen, medieval towns such as Nerac and the 11th century Château de Goudourville.

You’ll meet local artists and artisans for a taste of rural culture in the picturesque old villages and quaint farms of the area.

Food-lovers will have the opportunity to indulge their passion on visits to local producers where you’ll taste foie gras and regional cheeses, locally grown fruit and veg, delicious Armagnac and fine wines produced in SW France.

The Barge

This lovely old 30m long Dutch “Clipper” barge, built in 1907, was transformed in 2010 into a fabulous luxury floating barge hotel with comfortable en suite accommodation for up to 8 passengers.

Sleeping accommodation is in four comfortable staterooms, two with double beds and two with twin beds, each with the following amenities;

  • full en-suite facilities that include toilet, shower and washbasin
  • washing gel, hand soap and shampoo
  • towels and face cloths
  • a 110V plug for shaving
  • individually controlled air conditioning and heating
  • WiFi

The beautifully decorated Saloon is a lovely space in which to relax with its wood panelling, comfortable seating, dining room and cosy bar.

There is a small library of books, maps, games and a music center/CD player

Of course on those balmy sunny days you’ll spend most of your time on the sun deck from where you can watch that beautiful Gascony scenery slowly pass by.

If you fancy a bit of exercise then borrow one of the barge’s bikes for an hour or two. Route advice will be provided.


This 6 night luxury river cruise on the waterways of Gascony in SW France is a fabulous experience for lovers of French gastronomy, wine, history and culture.

Your cruise from Montauban to Agen will include shore excursions to visit vineyards, meet Armagnac producers and discover historic monuments and medieval villages.

You’ll naturally enjoy delicious gourmet food on board and sleep well in the beautifully appointed luxury cabins.


Guests are met in Toulouse and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to your barge, Rosa.

Following a champagne welcome, there is time for a tour of the beautiful old town of Montauban, set on the River Tarn, before returning for your first dinner on board.

This morning you will be taken on a short drive to an artisanal dairy farm at Ramier, where you'll experience the entire cheese making process, culminating in a delicious tasting with the opportunity to purchase a few slices to take home!

Next, you head to old Montauban for a stroll around this charming redbrick town on the banks of the River Tarn.

Following lunch on board, Rosa meanders up the flight of nine locks on the beautiful, recently restored branch canal skirting the Forest of Agre and moors in the heart of the little town of Montech.

Dinner on board.

After breakfast, your guide will whisk you off to the Côtes du Frontonnais wine region in the minibus for a wine tasting at the renowned Château Bellevue la Fôret.

Here, you'll be introduced to the outstanding cuvée ‘Optimum’ by Diane Germain, the Boston-educated daughter of the house.

It's then back to the barge for lunch on board which is followed by a guided tour of the remarkable inclined Water Slope, an amazing feat of engineering that by-passes five locks and, when back in service in the near future, will lower vessels 43 feet all in one go.

In the afternoon you'll cruise to Castelsarrasin, where there may even be time for a game or two of boules before dinner on board.

This morning the barge crosses the River Tarn via the 1,000 foot long aqueduct, the Pont Canal du Cacor, then descends towards Moissac through a staircase of delightful locks.

In Moissac, you'll moor for lunch on the River Tarn below the old watermill.

After lunch, look forward to a cruise downstream to St. Livrade for an optional afternoon’s swimming or canoeing and a visit to the UNESCO-classified 7th century Abbaye St-Pierre de Moissac with its wonderfully preserved cloisters and chapel.

This evening, perhaps after a game of boules, stroll ashore to savour regional specialties at the excellent restaurant ‘Le Florentin’, in front of the spectacular entrance portal of the abbey.

After a visit to market this morning, you'll start the next stage of your cruise, when Rosa rises up from the Tarn and turns west on the brick-lined canal through Moissac.

After negotiating the swing bridge, you'll cruise between the placidly-flowing waters of the Garonne and the foothills of the Quercy massif, before mooring at Pommevic.

After lunch, you have a fabulous visit to the 18th century Château de Lamotte Bardigues to look forward to.

Here, you will be given a private guided tour by the resident Countess.

At the end of the tour, you will even be invited to take tea with her in the private apartments where she'll tell you all about her family’s famous association with the Kings of France.

Before returning to Rosa you'll see the 15th century hillside village of Auvillar, as well as tour the old “Bastide” town of Valence d’Agen, with its Palladian canal side public wash-house and arcaded market place.

Dinner on board.

You'll have a leisurely morning cruise today, through the bucolic countryside to your final mooring at Boé.

After lunch, you'll visit Domaine de Lapeyrade for a guided tour and private tastings of their esteemed Armagnac and Floc du Gascogne wines in delightful surroundings.

You can also look forward to a visit to the medieval town of Nérac and its castle, once home to Henry IV of France.

Your fabulous river cruise will be rounded off with the Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Toulouse.


  • Local transfers to and from the barge
  • 6 days of river cruising
  • All meals on board provided by your personal chef
  • An open bar 24/7
  • All wines served throughout the river cruise
  • Excursions and admittance fees

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Personal Insurance
  • Crew gratuities

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