Gascony River Cruise

5 Days

This fabulous luxury river cruise will take you through the heart of Gascony in SW France, from Agen through to Montauban just north of Toulouse, cruising on the beautiful Canal de Garonne. Along the way 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 will 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 learn about local artists and artisans as well as about the rural culture here as you soak up the picturesque old villages and quaint farms.

Gascony is a foodie’s paradise so you will naturally visit local producers and taste foie gras and regional cheeses, locally grown fruit and veg, delicious Armagnac and fine wines produced in the south west of 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. All rooms have full en-suite facilities that include toilet, shower and washbasin. All are supplied with washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels, face cloths and a 110V plug for shaving. Each cabin also has individually controlled air conditioning and heating.

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, and WiFi to connect to the internet.

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 during your river cruise, take one of the eight bikes out for an excursion. Your onboard tour guide will be happy to advise you on the best routes to cycle

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.

<p>Guests are met at the designated meeting point and taken in the air-conditioned minibus to the barge which will be moored in the charming town of Agen. </p><p></p><p>You'll enjoy a champagne welcome and then have time for a stroll around the lovely port before returning for your first dinner on board.</p>

<p>Your first shore excursion will be to Domaine Lapeyrade where you'll enjoy private tastings of their highly regarded Armagnac and Floc du Gascogne wines in delightful surroundings. You'll then visit the nearby medieval town of Nérac and its castle which was once home to Henry IV of France. </p><p></p><p>After a delicious lunch on board you'll spend the afternoon cruising through the bucolic countryside to Valence d'Agen, an 18th century "Bastide" town with its Palladian canalside public wash-house and arcaded market place. Dinner on board.</p>

<p>A shore excursion to the fantastic 11th century Chateau de Goudourville will start your day from where you'll have a short drive to Auvillar, a stunning medieval village overlooking the Garonne river. It's renowned for its circular 17th C covered market.</p><p></p><p>After lunch on the barge, a cruise on the River Tarn followed by a meander along the canal to Moissac. Maybe enjoy a game of boules before you head out to sample the regional specialities at the superb 'le Florentin' restaurant.</p>

<p>You'll love your shore excursion to the historic abbey in Moissac with its beautifully preserved cloisters. It was founded in the 7th century and is one of the architectural highlights of the region.</p><p></p><p>Visit the numerous little arts and crafts workshops of Moissac before returning to the barge for a cruise