Cruising in the Garonne Valley
Interactive Map
Click to explore this region and see barge cruise routes

The following barges cruise in this area:

Barge Name Price Range (per person) and Maximum number of guests
MIRABELLE $2000-$4000
24 guests
ROSA $3000-$5000
8 guests
SAINT LOUIS $4000-$5000
6 guests

Where is it?

This region includes the Gironde estuary near Bordeaux plus the Canal Lateral a La Garonne which runs between Castets-en-Dorthe (south east of Bordeaux) and Ramonville-St-Agne (just south of Toulouse).

What are the cruises like?

You’ll cruise through delightful, lush, peaceful countryside, little-known small towns that are steeped in history, with often open fields of crops to your left and right—sometimes tobacco, often luscious fruits and vegetables— at times under overhanging cliffs, and through avenues of tall green poplar trees. Roman chateaux, abbeys, bastides and cathedrals also characterize the cruises on this waterway. The pace is slow and the life is quiet, but there are many beautiful gems of towns to be discovered and explored in all their richness. Agen, Moissac, Montauban and Toulouse are cultural treasure-troves to be enjoyed. Interesting architecture abounds and largely reflects the region’s rich history, whilst regional specialities include the prunes of Agen and the famous Cassoulet (a rich, savoury dish with meat and vegetables).

How does this canal compare with the others in the south of France?

There are fewer tourists about than on the Canal du Midi or in Provence, and also fewer boats on the canal generally, so your barge is unlikely to have to queue at a lock, for example. The weather is likely to be slightly cooler than in Provence or on the Canal du Midi, so those seeking less heat will enjoy these cruises.

Why would I want to cruise here?

- Because you are seeking a calm and tranquil cruise where you can hear the birds singing overhead among the poplar trees when you awake, and you don’t want a cruise with a hectic schedule of excursions around sites which attract big crowds of tourists. This is a gentler region to cruise in, exploring places of great charm that are as yet largely undiscovered and slightly off the usual tourist trail. This is the ‘real France’, vibrant with multi-coloured open air markets and an abundance of locally grown fresh produce.

- Because the Bordeaux wines - including the famous and excellent ‘Sauterne’ sweeter vintages are magnificent and are just being discovered by many international wine critics of note.

- Because it’s great for cycling—follow the tow path or small country lanes.

How can I travel to this area?

As well as the extensive road network, there are several airports and train stations in this region:

  • Toulouse (Blagnac) International - 9km from the city centre.
    A large airport offering flights all over Europe and North Africa, including many daily shuttle flights to and from Paris
  • Bordeaux (Mérignac) - 8km from the city centre.
    A large airport offering scheduled and charter flights all over Europe, North Africa and North America, including many daily shuttle flights to and from Paris
  • Bergerac - 4km from the city centre.
    Offers scheduled flights to and from UK, Belgian and Dutch destinations.
  • Agen - 2km from the city centre.
    Offers scheduled flights to and from Paris.
TGV train stations
  • Toulouse (Matabiau)
  • Montauban
  • Agen
  • Bordeaux
Click here to go to the Barge Company dedicated 'trains' website to find out more about travelling around France on the TGV High Speed Rail network
Phone: +33 561 59 20 07, Fax: +33 561 59 23 54
Phone (Toll-Free from USA + Canada): 1-800-688-0245

The Barge Cruise Company Ltd, 2 Allée de Castelnouvel, 31490 Léguevin