Argeliers to Marseillan (or reverse)
Sunday, Day 1Argeliers
Cruise route map
(Click to enlarge)
Guests are met at the Les Carrasses Hotel
in Capestang, just 20 minutes drive from Beziers, and transferred to the Athos moored in Argeliers. Your Captain and crew welcome you on board with champagne and Mediterranean canapés. Once you are settled into your cabin, you enjoy your first dinner on board
Monday, Day 2Argeliers to Capestang
Enjoy breakfast in a comfortable chair on the upper deck of the barge. After breakfast 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 an afternoon's cruise to Capestang, whilst your chef will serve lunch (perhaps including the famous duck confit stew, Cassoulet. By early evening we have arrived in Capestang, where we moor with a view of the flood-lit and Collegiale St. Etienne. Time for a brisk stroll into the village before dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3Capestang to Régimont-le-Haut
After breakfast we enjoy a tasting at “L'Oulibo”, the local olive oil pressoir. 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 Régimont le Haut or you can enjoy a wine tasting at a local château, such as Château Cabezac. Return to the hotel barge for dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4Régimont-le-Haut to Fonserannes
After breakfast, we enjoy the weekly morning market in Narbonne, where even for non-shoppers, Narbonne offers much entertainment. Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia, browse through the well-compiled Roman Museum, discover the beauty of St. Juste Cathedral or simply take a moment to blend into the scene and sit and relax in one of the many cafés. Return to the hotel barge for lunch on board and then we begin our cruise to Fonserannes. From our mooring tonight you will have a glorious view of the town of Beziers and the Cathedral St. Nazaire. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5Fonserannes to Portiragnes
The 'Neuf Ecluses' (Nine Locks) at Fonseranes
This morning we drive to the old market town of Pezenas, which was the first seat of the Languedoc court. The architecture is particular to the town 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 the Fonserannes Staircase. This 17th century feat of engineering, the "Neuf Ecluses" (or staircase locks), is sure to impress! Then the 18th century canal bridge, which will carry us over the Orb River. The evening's mooring will be just outside the small village of Portiragnes, where the paved tow path and the many locks leading to this mooring, make it an ideal afternoon for walking or cycling alongside the barge. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6Portiragnes to Marseillan
From the shaded and scenic mooring of Portiragnes, we get underway earlier than usual, cruising through the area known as the “Petit Camargue”. Bird watchers look out for the local species such as Pink Flamingos, African Rollers and Bee Eaters that frequent the surrounding estuaries. After crossing through the exceptional “round lock” at Agde, you find that a spectacular (and appropriate!) seafood lunch awaits you, as you enter the open-waters of the Etang de Thau.
The Etang hosts Europe's largest mussel and oyster park. As we moor in the port at Marseillan, you will notice the enclosure which makes up the Noillly Prat Vermouth distillery. End a perfect day with a fascinating tour of the distillery and, if you choose, a taste of Noilly Prat vermouth! Your captain will join your party for your final dinner on board this evening. During the evening, he will also invite the crew to make a farewell toast with you.
Saturday, Day 7Marseillan
After breakfast transfer to Beziers.
On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.