Cruising on the Canal du Midi

The following barges cruise in this area:

Barge Name Price Range (per person) and Maximum number of guests
ALEGRIA $4000-$6000
4 guests
ALOUETTE **Special Offer Available**
4 guests
ANJODI $4000-$5000
8 guests
ATHOS **Special Offer Available**
10 guests
CAROLINE $3000-$4000
6 guests
CLAIR DE LUNE $4000-$6000
6 guests
ENCHANTE $5000-$7000
8 guests
EMMA **Special Offer Available**
6 guests
ESPERANCE $4000-$5000
6 guests
ROI SOLEIL **Special Offer Available**
6 guests
SARAPHINA **Special Offer Available**
4 guests
SAVANNAH $4000-$5000
7 guests
Interactive Map
Click to explore this region and see barge cruise routes

Where is it?

This waterway runs from Ramonville-St-Agne (just south of Toulouse) to Les Onglous (east of Agde).

What are the cruises like?

You’ll cruise under the famous overhanging avenues of poplar trees (see above right) and hear cicadas buzzing away all around you in fields that are full of golden corn, blood red poppies or smiling yellow sunflowers. You’ll pass through tiny villages made of creamy coloured stone, hewn centuries ago.

This is a very popular route and for a very good reason. Built from 1666 on, by up to 12,000 men, crossing rivers and tunnelling through hills, the Canal du Midi flows with a grace, beauty and physical agility for 235 kilometres through some of the most beautiful countryside in Europe. This stretch of wonderful waterway cruises through the world-famous town of Carcassonne with its amazingly preserved medieval citadel perched on the hill above you, and extends from just under Toulouse to the Mediterranean Sea. Now over 300 years old, the Canal du Midi has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are lots of fun things to do along this route and because of the fantastic beaches that are well within reach, this waterway is very popular with families who wish to charter cruise, as well as groups of friends or couples who wish to soak up ‘la bonne vie’ (the good life!) and enjoy the wonderful mediterranean climate, cuisine and lifestyle. The possibilities for water sports are numerous and there are also water parks and many similar attractions designed to give children and parents a really fun time. There are many excellent excursions for the adults, many of which explore the fascinating history of the area.

From left, below, watermelon and jacuzzi on the Clair de Lune, and the pretty Emma interior...

Images of the Canal du Midi - Watermelon served on the Clair de Lune
Images of the Canal du Mid - The Clair de Lune jacuzzi
Images of the Canal du Midi - Interior of the Emma Barge

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

A wonderful ‘vacation atmosphere’ pervades this route as people come to experience the amazingly brilliant sun light that the Impressionist painters tried to capture in their art works. Tall cypress trees, palm cypresses, poppy and sunflower fields typify the Languedoc landscape through which you’ll cruise. Minute little villages, founded hundreds of years ago due to passing trade on the canal, remain today, often still as little cafés or restaurants where you may stop and soak up the atmosphere. A wonderful tradition of fresh cuisine is enjoyed in this region as in other areas of France, with olive trees growing in many of the fields, and often just by the side of the road. The wine-producing areas of Corbières, Minervois, St Chinian and Faugères are all here to be explored and savoured.

Why would I want to cruise here?

So many reasons—you’d be crazy not to want to! - Because you love the mediterranean cuisine, because you enjoy lots of sunshine, because you love fantastic countryside and wonderful scenery, European history and architecture, you want to escape to a paradise, away from the city ‘grind’ and enjoy the freedom of exploring a region of great natural richness, because it’s romantic, because it’s great for cycling....the list of reasons is endless!

From bottom-left, clockwise, a Roi Soleil luxury suite, dining on Athos’s sundeck at sunset, the Alouette's pretty saloon, and the Roi Soleil moored up.
Enjoy the Canal du Midi on any of these barges...

Cruise highlights may include-

- Carcassonne, the largest fortified medieval city in Europe (see bottom right)

- The ancient Roman town of Narbonne and its vibrant market, cathedral and art gallery, plus the recently discovered Roman road, the ‘via Domitia’.

- the precariously perched village of Minerve, home of the famous Minervois wines

- The amazing Roman Oppidum d’Ensérune which offers spectacular views from the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees

And much, much more...
Relax on the sun deck of the charming Clair de Lune (left).

Enjoy hearty French cuisine on the cheerful sundeck of the Caroline, (left and below left).

Visit the mysterious medieval citadel at Carcassonne (below).

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 Aftrica, including many daily shuttle flights to and from Paris
  • Carcassonne - 5km from the city centre
    Offers scheduled flights from some UK airports
  • Beziers - 14km from the city centre
    Offers scheduled flights from some European airports
  • Montpellier International - 9km from the city centre
    A large airport offering flights all over Europe and North Aftrica, including many daily shuttle flights to and from Paris
TGV train stations
  • Toulouse (Matabiau)
  • Carcassonne
  • Narbonne
  • Beziers
  • Montpellier (St.Roch)
Click here to go to the Barge Company dedicated 'trains' webpage 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