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Athos – Canal du Midi Cruise

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Treat yourself to a wonderful experience on board Athos, a first-class hotel barge cruising through the Canal du Midi. Savour delicious wines and gourmet dishes prepared by an expert chef. Venture to the spectacular towns and villages of Carcassonne, Minerve, Capestang, Narbonne, Portiragnes, and Marseillan.
France / Barge
Luxury
Independent Holiday Packages
Barge

Highlights

Cruise through the natural haven that is the “Petit Camargue”

Tour of the medieval city of Carcassonne

Private tour and tasting at a Minervois winery

Tour and tasting at the Noilly Prat vermouth distillery

Organic Olive Tasting at L’Oulibo

Excellent towpath for walking and cycling

Originally built as a commercial sand, grain and wine barge, Athos is one of the most traditional hotel barges cruising the Canal du Midi. It features a cosy saloon and spacious sundeck where you can relax with a good book or enjoy a refreshing cocktail whilst admiring the slowly passing countryside. Stay in a chic stateroom with modern ensuite shower room and enjoy gourmet meals accompanied with fine wines at an elegant dining table. For the more energetic, bicycles are available. You can cycle along the towpath to the next lock or two. Take part in exciting excursions to explore some of the medieval towns along the way. Visit famous wineries, shop for souvenirs in local markets, and discover regional delicacies, including the organic olive oil of L’Oulibo.

This tour departs on Sunday from Beziers. Cruise starts from Argeliers and ends in Marseillan.

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Included

6 nights onboard at Hotel Barge Athos in a Stateroom
Crew of 5 (Captain, tour guide, chef and 2 hostesses)
Transfers by an air-conditioned minivan
All meals and drinks on board
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily prepared by your chef
Captains farewell dinner on your last night
Selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
Excursions as per itinerary
Use of barge facilities

On-Board Facilities

  • Maximum of 10 passengers
  • 5 cabin staterooms
  • 10 bicycles
  • A small library of books and maps
  • A collection of board games
  • Boules
  • Sundeck
  • Binoculars for watching birds
  • iPod speaker mount for use with Athos iPod or passengers’ own devices
  • Guitar (on request)
  • Free Wi-Fi (connectivity limited in remote locations)

Itinerary

Expand Collapse  all days
Day 1
Beziers → Argeliers

Guests are met in Beziers** and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Athos. A full-crew Welcome Aboard follows, with champagne and Mediterranean canapés. Once you are settled into your cabin, you will be invited to your first 4-course dinner on board, prepared by the highly skilled chef.

Overnight stay onboard Hotel Barge Athos in a Stateroom.

Selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included.

Dinner
Beziers → Argeliers
Dinner on Athos
Day 2
Argeliers → La Croisade

Enjoy breakfast in a comfortable chair on the upper deck of the hotel barge, before we drive to the famous medieval double-walled city of Carcassonne. Your knowledgeable guide will provide a full tour of this historical place and ensure that you also have time to browse the shops. Return to the barge for a gourmet lunch (perhaps including the famous duck confit stew, cassoulet) and an afternoon’s cruise to La Croisade, with plenty of opportunity to walk or bicycle along the towpath. Dinner on board.

Overnight stay onboard Hotel Barge Athos in a Stateroom.

Selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Argeliers → La Croisade
Medieval town of Carcassonne
Day 3
La Croisade → Capestang

After breakfast, we enjoy a tasting at “L’Oulibo”, the local olive oil press. After tasting those organic and wholesome olives accompanied by a glass of rosé, we take a short drive up the Gorge de la Cesse and into the hilltop village of Minerve. Your guide will regale you with the harrowing tale of the Cathar siege launched at Minerve during the 13th century. Relax after lunch on board, whilst we cruise to Capestang, or you can enjoy a wine tasting at a local château, such as Château Cabezac. Return to the hotel barge for dinner on board and admire the floodlit Collegiale St. Etienne.

Overnight stay onboard Hotel Barge Athos in a Stateroom.

Selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
La Croisade → Capestang
Hilltop village of Minerve
Day 4
Capestang → Fonserannes

After breakfast, take a trip to the weekly morning market in Narbonne. Even for non-shoppers, Narbonne offers much entertainment. Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia, browse through the Roman Museum, discover the beauty of St. Juste Cathedral, or simply relax at one of the many cafés. After lunch in the atmospheric market, return to Athos and cruise to Fonserannes. From your mooring tonight, you will have a glorious view of the town of Beziers and the Cathedral St. Nazaire. Dinner on board.

Overnight stay onboard Hotel Barge Athos in a Stateroom.

Selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Capestang → Fonserannes
Market in Narbonne
Day 5
Fonserannes → Portiragnes

This morning we drive to the old market town of Pezenas, which was the first seat of the Languedoc court. The architecture is unique within this region because of the “Hotels Particuliers” or mansions belonging to the noble families who followed the Court. It is filled with artisans’ shops, including painters, hat makers, and costume designers. Once again, your guide makes sure that there is time to browse, as well as learning about the history. After lunch we begin our negotiation of a 17th century feat of engineering, the Fonserannes Staircase Locks. Then we traverse the 18th century aqueduct over the River Orb. The paved towpath and the many locks leading to our mooring make it an ideal afternoon for walking or bicycling alongside the barge. Dinner on board.

Overnight stay onboard Hotel Barge Athos in a Stateroom.

Selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fonserannes → Portiragnes
Relaxing on the sundeck
Day 6
Portiragnes → Marseillan

This morning, we get underway earlier than usual, cruising through the area known as the “Petit Camargue”. Bird watchers should look out for the local species such as pink flamingos, African Rollers and Bee Eaters. After crossing through the exceptional “round lock” at Agde, a spectacular and appropriate seafood lunch awaits you, as you enter the open-waters of the Etang de Thau, which boasts Europe’s largest mussel and oyster beds. As we moor in the port at Marseillan, you will notice the enclosure of the Noilly Prat vermouth distillery. End a perfect day with a fascinating tour of the distillery and if you choose, a tasting of Noilly Prat before the Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Overnight stay onboard Hotel Barge Athos in a Stateroom.

Selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Portiragnes → Marseillan
Flamingos in the National Nature Reserve of La Petite Camargue
Day 7
Marseillan → Beziers

After breakfast, transfer by a private chauffeured minibus to your choice of location in Beziers**.

Breakfast

Additional information

Official language
French
Currency
EUR
Book now for 2021 and 2022

Book your 2021 and 2022 barge today!

6 nights
from AUD7,034
per person, twin share
France
Argeliers
Marseillan
Luxury
Independent Holiday Packages
28 March 2021 – 22 October 2021 | 27 March 2022 – 23 October 2022

Optional Extras

  • Special meals for any preferences (e.g. vegetarian, no fish, or vegan) or allergies must be arranged at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date
  • Children’s bikes, helmets & child bike seats can be arranged at least 8 weeks prior to your departure
  • Wine Appreciation, Tennis, Golf & Family cruise itineraries are available for charter groups. Supplements apply.

Departure dates and pricing:

2021 dates:

  • 28 March - $7,034pp
  • 4,11,18 April - $7,155pp
  • 25 April - $8,190pp
  • 2,9,16,23,30 May - $8,190pp
  • 6,13,20,27 June - $8,333pp
  • 4,11,18,25 July - $8,333pp
  • 1,8,15,22,29 August - $8,482pp
  • 5,12,19,26 September - $8,482pp
  • 3 October - $8,636pp
  • 10,17,24 October - $7,545pp

2022 dates:

  • 27 March - $7,545pp
  • 3,10,17,24 April  - $7,545pp
  • 1,8,15,22,29 May - $8,636pp
  • 5,12,19,26 June - $8,636pp
  • 3,10,17,24,31 July - $8,636pp
  • 7,14,21,28 August - $8,636pp
  • 4,11,18,25 September - $8,636pp
  • 2 October - $8,636pp
  • 9,16,23 October - $7,545pp

Important notes

  • Price is per person based on double occupancy per cabin. Single supplement applies.
  • This tour departs every Sunday from Beziers.
  • This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks, the cruise will be in the reverse direction.
  • Approximate transfer duration between Beziers & Athos is 30 minutes
  • **Other locations available for private Charter bookings

Pick-up Point

  • Cabin bookings - Guests choice of location in Beziers between 4:00 pm and 4:30 pm
  • Charter bookings - On a request basis to be agreed prior to booking: One location of the group’s choice in Beziers, Carcassonne, Narbonne or Montpellier starting from  4:00 pm.

Drop-off Point

  • Cabin bookings - Guests choice of location in Beziers by 10:00 am or  guests who wish to take the 8:30 am train from Beziers can be dropped at the station at 8:00 am
  • Charter bookings - On a request basis to be agreed prior to booking: One location of the group’s choice in Beziers, Carcassonne, Narbonne or Montpellier  by 10:00 am.

Food & Drink

Most meals are a set-menu (there is no choice available)

  • Breakfast: Wholesome and balanced variety of breakfast foods, along with fresh breads & pastries, freshly squeezed orange juice and hot beverages
  • Lunch: A selection of colourful salads, pates and cold meats accompanied by hot soup or entrée, delectable desserts and a different selection of regional cheeses accompanied by quality wines selected by the chef
  • Dinner: Always a gastronomic adventure created by your talented chef.  A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, complemented by fine wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee and liqueurs.
  • Captain’s farewell dinner is held on the last night of your cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.
  • Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated tea and coffee, whole or low-fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24 hours, which includes wines, spirits, beers & soft drinks. All wines are provided with meals and there is a Champagne welcome on arrival.
  • Drinks NOT included:  Some Champagnes (with the exception of the Captain’s reception) and special vintage wines

Accommodation

  • Maximum of 10 passengers - 12 passengers permitted if a charter group with 4 children
  • All cabins can be configured with twin beds or a double bed
  • All cabins have en-suite shower, wash basin and WC

 

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