Alouette

Cruising the Canal du Midi

between Beziers and Carcassonne

Cruise route map

With just two luxurious staterooms, a delightfully pretty and spacious open plan living room / dining salon flooded in natural light and a sundeck with high quality deck chairs and sheltering umbrellas, the Alouette is very well equipped to make the most of the beautiful landscapes through which she cruises. Built in 1908 and converted into a luxury cruise barge in 1986 she offers an elegant, informal atmosphere coupled with exceedingly high standards of food, drink and accommodation.
Guests can expect to be pleasantly surprised by new wines, cheeses and other tabletop delights comparatively unknown outside of France. Sightseeing is wonderful on this cruise as you will explore the most scenic stretch of the Canal du Midi, and every section of this route has exceptional points of interest. Alouette carries bicycles for her passengers to enjoy as they wish and an air-conditioned minibus accompanies the barge for sightseeing excursions.

 

Prices and Dates

 
The Alouette Barge
  • 98 FEET LONG
  • 4 GUESTS
  • 4 CREW
  • 2 LUXURIOUS DOUBLE OR TWIN SUITES, EACH WITH PRIVATE BATHROOM
  • 4 GOOD QUALITY BICYCLES
  • AIR CONDITIONING
  • AIR CONDITIONED PRIVATE MERCEDES MINIBUS FOR EXCURSIONS
  • ON-BOARD WIFI
  • CD, STEREO, BOOK AND GAMES LIBRARY
Canal du Midi cruise highlights may include:
Tour of the lovely town of Beziers with its many squares, fountains and 13th Century cathedral
Vibrant undercover market in Narbonne
Stunning hilltop village of Minerve— home of the world famous Minervois wine
The superb 11th Century Cistercian Abbey of Fontfroide
The renowned medieval fortressed city of Carcassonne
INCLUSIONS:
  • Luxury minivan transfers to and from Paris
  • All food, drinks and wine served on board
  • Paris TGV high speed train transfers to the barge meeting point
PICK-UP:
  • By minivan from your central Paris Hotel or from Gare du Nord (Eurostar platform), approximately one hour before your TGV transfer to the barge is due to depart
DROP-OFF:
  • Central Paris, following TGV transfer
CRUISES START ON A SUNDAY AND END ON THE FOLLOWING SATURDAY
2017 PRICES (EURO) VALUE SEASON REGULAR SEASON
Charter for 2 guests €21,290 €23,650
Charter for 3 guests €23,420 €26,020
Charter for 4 guests €25,540 €28,380

2018 PRICES (EURO) VALUE SEASON REGULAR SEASON
Charter for 2 guests €18,950 €23,650
Charter for 3 guests €20,850 €26,050
Charter for 4 guests €22,750 €28,400
2017 Cruise Dates
APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT
2 - 8
Lyon - Avignon
or reverse
9 - 15
Avignon - Beziers
or reverse
15 - 21
Avignon - Beziers
or reverse
22 - 28
Lyon - Avignon
or reverse




29 - 4

2018 Cruise Dates

MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT
25 - 31
St.Jean - Lyon
or reverse
1 - 7
Lyon - Avignon
or reverse

8 - 14
Avignon - Beziers
or reverse
14 - 20
Avignon - Beziers
or reverse

21 - 27
Lyon - Avignon
or reverse

28 - 3


Value
Season
Regular
Season




Itinerary

Carcassonne to Beziers (or reverse)
on the Canal du Midi
Cruise route map

Sunday
Carcassonne
A champagne reception welcomes you on board and gives you a chance to meet the crew. Later that evening enjoy your first dining experience on board.

Monday
Visit Carcassonne. Cruise to Trebes
Tour the wonderful medieval fortress of Carcassonne. Explore the intricate fortifications of the two castellated walls, one inside the other, about a mile in circumference. The views from the battlements towards the Pyrenées are stunning. Visit the Cathedral remarkable for its stained glass rose windows, elegant Romanesque nave and Gothic transepts. Back to the barge for lunch and an afternoon cruise to Trebes on the beautiful Canal du Midi, one of the most stunning canals in France.

Tuesday
Cruise to Homps. Visit Minerve
Enjoy a relaxing morning cruise from the comfort of the sun deck, or perhaps walk or cycle along the tow path. After lunch visit Minerve, an old village on a limestone cliff, which dominates the vineyards below. Its now ruined castle was once a Cathar stronghold besieged and captured by Simon de Montfort. On the way back to the boat stop at Peyriac-Minervois for wine tasting.

The Alouette Barge - Hilltop village of Minerve
The hilltop village of Minerve
Wednesday
Cruise to Le Somail. Visit Narbonne
This morning, experience the wonderful under-cover market in Narbonne with the chef, and why not help choose dinner tonight! Narbonne is a lively Mediterranean city playing an important role as a wine producing centre. The municipal, military and religious architecture, the river banks of the Robine and its shaded boulevards all contribute to its charm. Enjoy lunch at a bistro just in front of the market then return to the barge for an afternoon cruise to Le Somail.

Thursday
Visit l'Abbaye de Fontfroide. Cruise to Capestang
Discover the Abbaye de Fontfroide, a Cistercian monastery founded in the 11th century. Now privately owned, the abbey has been lovingly restored with a well-kept garden and peaceful cloister. On the way back to the boat, stop at Château Auris for a wine tasting. Back on board for lunch. Take in the grandeur and beauty of the Canal du Midi while you cruise to Capestang.

Friday
Cruise to Béziers. Visit Oppidum d'Ensérune
A morning cruise to Béziers. In the afternoon, visit Oppidum d'Ensérune, a pre-Roman hill-top settlement and one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. The top of the hill affords a panoramic view of the pond of Montady drained in 1247 and transformed into a curious pattern of cultivation. Meanwhile the chef is busy preparing your farewell gala dinner on board.

Saturday
Béziers
After breakfast disembark the barge for your onward travel arrangements.

PLEASE NOTE— This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change without notice. The cruise runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

Client Quotes



Here are just a few of the wonderful things that past clients have had to say about their cruise on the ALOUETTE...

I got up from lunch every day thinking "That was the best lunch I have ever eaten". I got up from the dinner table every night think "That was the best dinner I have ever eaten". Everything was superb. Thanks so much for an extraordinary experience. We'll be back!

HS, PA USA

I wasn't sure what to expect when I boarded the Alouette. I hoped for relaxation, peace and fun, concentrating on the barging experience itself. I did find relaxation and I learned so much about canals. But little did I expect that what would make the week so wonderful was being with all of you. You created an atmosphere of friendly fun and a homely family atmosphere. Thank you for being open, friendly, accepting and mature. Each of you has a talent for this type of work and I wish and hope for each of you the fulfilment of your dreams and ambitions. Au revoir!
BR, CA USA

Thank-you for a spectacular week aboard the Alouette. From the moment we stepped onboard in Beziers to the end of our cruise in Carcassonne, we enjoyed ourselves. It was the perfect mix of relaxation, adventure, education and delicious meals. Your hospitality was warm and professional.
We will cherish the memories and will enjoy looking at the many photos we took. Many thanks!
W's, MA+FL USA

Many thanks for a memorable and wonderful trip! This week far exceeded our expectations, and we thought our first Alouette cruise in Burgundy could not be topped! Best wishes to a great crew of terrific people!
JH+CC, Canada


Food and Wine

SAMPLE MENU

BREAKFAST

Local Pastries
Croissants, Pain au Raison, Pain au Chocolat and Brioche

Fresh Baguettes
Cereal Bread, Wholemeal Bread and Walnut Bread
Butters, Jams and Honey

Yogurts
Plain and Fruit

Fresh & Dried Fruits
Apricots, Prunes, Dates and Figs

LUNCH

Curried Chicken salad
Tomato tart filled with sautéed shallots and garlic
--
Tri coloured pasta salad with cucumber and cherry tomatoes
--
Greek salad with feta and roasted peppers
Fancy green leaf salad with raspberry vinaigrette
--
Brie du Meux with grapes and celery with cheese biscuits and fresh baguette
--
Coffee and tea
Cookies or cake

DINNER

Marinated confit of duck orange and grape salad
--
Crispy salmon
--
Hazelnut & Coriander sticky rice
--
Shellfish and lemongrass butter
--
3 cheeses
--
Apple tart tatin, vanilla pod ice-cream
--
Accompanied by wines representative of the main wine regions of France

Deckplan