Canal du Midi River Cruise - 5 Days

Ute and Uli have been operating their luxury barge hotel for 12 years. They are experts at their trade and are passionate about welcoming guests aboard barge Caroline. They will provide this once-in-a-lifetime river cruise along the beautiful plane tree lined UNESCO world heritage Canal du Midi in the sunny south west of France.

On this luxury river cruise on the Canal du Midi you’ll have the option of daily excursions/land trips in the company of Captain Uli. Take your pick from Medieval villages, historic abbeys, olive oil producers, local markets and wine tasting experiences on small vineyards.

** Note that if there are more than 6 of you, a tandem cruise with a second luxury barge can be arranged for up to 12 people **

The barge

The huge flower-filled sun deck on the barge has comfortable teak seating and is the perfect spot for relaxing with that glass of local wine as you watch the wonderful French countryside float gently by.

The barge hotel has three air-conditioned spacious guest cabins, one with a double bed and the other two single beds. All three cabins have a private bathroom with shower, wardrobes and plenty of shelves for your clothes.

Food and wine

One of the main highlights of this luxury barge river cruise on the Canal du Midi is sure to be the Mediterranean food and local wine. All wines have been personally selected by Uli who regularly explores the local Languedoc wineries looking for regional gems.

Uli’s wine selections always pair brilliantly with Ute’s French, Spanish and Italian influenced cuisine. The best bit is that you have the opportunity to accompany Ute to market to select the freshest seasonal and local produce for you dinner!

Each day will start with a delicious continental breakfast. You’ll enjoy freshly brewed coffee, tea, fruit juices, croissants and baguettes as well as ham and cereals too.

Depending on the stretch of the canal you are on and how many locks you have to pass, the cruise may be either in the morning or the afternoon. See the outline Itinerary below. The waterway also offers walking and biking occasions along the flat and well maintained towpath.

You can expect to be thoroughly pampered on this luxury river cruise on the Canal du Midi in SW France. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and interesting sites of the Languedoc as you cruise down this scenic waterway.

The outline itinerary is fully flexible and will take into account what you want to see and do on your off-boat excursions.

If you’re a lover of good food and delicious wines then prepare to be thoroughly spoilt by your fun hosts on board their lovingly cared for barge hotel.

Day 1
Welcome

You should aim to arrive on a Sunday afternoon. Uli will collect you from your hotel, train station or the airport at Beziers, Narbonne or Carcassonne and drive you to the barge mooring.

On board you’ll enjoy a champagne welcome reception and then settle in while the barge meanders along the Canal to your evening mooring where you’ll sit down for a delicious 4 course welcome dinner.

Day 2
Roman sites and cruising

After a copious continental breakfast and before you start the daily cruise, you may like a morning visit with Uli to the pre-Roman site of Oppidum d’Enserunes. This historical site dates back to around 800 BC and has been part of the Roman Via Domitia. This area also overlooks the famous Etang de Montady.

Once back on board you’ll set off cruising through the truly stunning scenery along the Canal du Midi. Enjoy lunch on deck and then relax with a glass of something nice as you make your way to your mooring destination for the evening. If you fancy stretching your legs then why not walk or cycle along the towpath. You may go faster than the barge!

Day 3
Olonzac

After breakfast, Uli will take you for a morning tour to the fabulous farmers’ market in the pretty village of Olonzac. You’ll have time for a cheeky ‘café crème’ in one of the cafes or bars and do a bit of people watching too.

Return to the barge where Ute will prepare lunch using some of the produce you have brought back from the market.

On the afternoon cruise you’ll discover more of the beautiful Languedoc landscape. You’ll moor up for the night in a quaint little village where you can sample some local food in one of the restaurants.

Day 4
Minerve

Breakfast this morning will set you up for a guided visit to the pretty hilltop village of Minerve, one of the “Most Beautiful Villages of France”. The history of the village dates back to the 12th C and a visit to the village museum will tell you all about the events that happened here during the Cathar Crusades.

Your afternoon cruise will include a stop off at a vineyard estate which is on the banks of the Canal. There, you will enjoy a tasting of the chateau’s delicious AOC Minervois wines.

Return to the barge for another delicious 4 course meal expertly cooked by Ute.

Day 5
Narbonne

A trip with Uli this morning to visit the beautiful old Roman town of Narbonne which lies on the former trade route which connected Rome with Spain. You’ll visit the Archbishop’s Palace, the underground Roman caves and the Cathedral St Just too.

You’ll enjoy lunch in town in the buzzing Les Halles indoor market, a feast for all the senses!

The afternoon’s cruise will take you through 4 locks before you arrive at your evening stop in a small wine-producing village where you have a wide choice of restaurants for your dinner and an evening stroll afterwards.

Day 6
Carcassonne

After breakfast you’ll set off on your final cruise through a series of locks which transport you ‘up hill’ along the canal.

Your excursion today will be to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Carcassonne. This will be a real highlight of your trip as the fortified Medieval fortress of La Cité is a spectacular sight!

Your mooring for your final night is away from the villages in a bucolic countryside setting.

Here, you’ll enjoy your final gourmet 4 course dinner cooked by Ute and expertly accompanied by wines chosen by Uli.

Day 7
Departure

A sad day today as your river cruise on the Canal du Midi draws to a close.
Uli will transfer you to the rail station or airport for your homeward/onward journey

Included

  • Transfers to and from your station or airport at the beginning and end of your river cruise
  • 6 nights on board
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 5 four course dinners on board
  • 4 lunches, giving you the flexibility to sample local cuisine by taking one dinner and one or two lunches ashore
  • All beverages on board, wines, beers, soft drinks and drinks from the well supplied open bar as well as coffee and tea which are served at any time of the day.
  • All excursions and side trips with Uli in his luxury Mercedes V-Class Van

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Personal Insurance
  • Staff gratuities



Trip Facts

  • 2-12 people
  • April-October
  • 5 days
  • 3200€ per person