'CLAIR DE LUNE'

Sample Itinerary
Classic Canal du Midi Cruise
Between Le Somail and Carcassonne (or reverse)

Cruise route map
(Click to enlarge)

Sunday, Day 1
Le Somail
Guests are met at The Clarion Suites in Narbonne and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Clair de Lune. The crew welcomes you on board with a glass of chilled champagne and canapés. Time for a short cruise before your first dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2
Le Somail to Argens-Minervois
After breakfast, we cruise to Argens-Minervois, through beautiful, far reaching scenery as far as the foothills of the Pyrenees which you can admire from the sundeck. After lunch, we take you to the impressive village of Minerve, boasting a 12th century Cathar fort surrounded by deep limestone gorges. Besieged by Simon de Montfort in 1210, its hilltop location affords spectacular views. A fascinating recreation in miniature of the bloodthirsty Cathar rebellion and a small museum complete this intriguing visit. On the way back to the hotel barge we visit a producer of fine Minervois wines, Domaine Massamier La Mignarde, for a private tasting. Dinner on board.
The Clair de Lune Barge - Steps up to the sun drenched deck
Steps up to the sun drenched deck


Tuesday, Day 3
Argens-Minervois to La Redorte
This morning we cruise through a series of locks and the little port of Homps to moor at La Redorte, with plenty of opportunity to explore the Canal du Midi towpath on foot or bicycle. After lunch on board, we visit a local goats’ cheese farm at Combebelle to meet the cheese-makers and sample their award-winning products, then continue to “L’Oulibo”, a local olive oil press where we will sample the local Lucques olives. Return to the hotel barge, to relax with an aperitif in the shade of the plane trees. Dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4
La Redorte to Marseillette
After breakfast, we drive you to the beautiful city of Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy the Archbishop’s Palace and Roman Horreum and explore the indoor market – les Halles de Narbonnes - at the hub of this bustling town where you will have time to shop or simply absorb the relaxed atmosphere. Then we enjoy lunch in a typical French restaurant close to Les Halles. After returning to Clair de Lune, a relaxing afternoon cruise to Marseillette. Dinner on board.

Thursday, Day 5
Marseillette to Villedubert
Morning cruise to our mooring at the lock near the village of Villedubert, another perfect opportunity for walking or cycling, or just lying back in the spa pool and enjoying the day. Lunch is prepared by your chef, before we leave the hotel barge and drive to the medieval village of Lagrasse. It is one of the most beautiful villages in France, with an 8th century Benedictine abbey and many skilled artisans’ workshops located amongst the narrow, winding streets. Then enjoy a wine tasting at Château Villemagne, an established family-run domaine producing distinctive Corbières and other wines. Dinner on board.

Friday, Day 6
Villedubert to Carcassonne
This morning we cruise to our final destination and one of the highlights of the week, Carcassonne. After lunch on board, your guide will accompany you to the restored and most complete medieval fortified city in existence today, dating back to the Gallo Roman era. With its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences, it resisted the many armies that tried to storm this Camelot setting. You can walk the ramparts and step back in time. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7
Carcassonne
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Narbonne.

On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

Summer Canal du Midi Cruise
Between Trebes and Naurouze (or reverse)

Cruise route map
(Click to enlarge)

Sunday, Day 1
Trebes to Villedubert
Guests are met in Carcassonne and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Clair de Lune. The crew welcomes you on board with a glass of chilled champagne and canapés. Time for a short cruise before your first dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2
Villedubert to Herminis
This morning, we enjoy a relaxing cruise along the canal, negotiating a series of locks and crossing the aqueduct at Fresquel before passing through Carcassonne to moor at Herminis. After lunch on board, your guide will accompany you to Carcassonne, the restored and most complete medieval fortified city in existence today, dating back to the Gallo Roman era. With its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences, it resisted the many armies that tried to storm this Camelot setting. You can walk the ramparts and step back in time. Dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3
Herminis to Bram
After breakfast, we continue our meandering cruise along the canal with plenty of opportunity to walk or cycle the ever-present towpath, to moor at Bram, a wonderfully preserved example of a ‘Circulade’ village. This afternoon, we visit Limoux, home of the distinctive sparkling wine, for a private wine tasting at a renowned winery, before continuing to Rennes-le-Château. This picturesque hilltop village has been at the centre of some intriguing mysteries over time, from the search for the Holy Grail, to the supposed secret riches of a 19th century priest. Dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4
Bram to Lasbordes
This morning, we take a drive through the plains of the Lauraigais region, with its fields of sunflowers and views of the distant, snow-capped Pyrenées. We stop at the village of Fanjeaux to see its ancient Cathar citadel, before continuing on to the medieval town of Mirepoix, a town famed for its central square of half-timbered houses supported on wooden pillars creating a magnificent covered arcade. We enjoy lunch in a typical French restaurant, before returning to the hotel barge for our afternoon cruise through the delightful Lauraigais countryside, to our mooring near Lasbordes. Dinner on board.

Thursday, Day 5
Lasbordes to Castelnaudary
Our cruise this morning sees the barge climbing through triple and quadruple locks to Castelnaudary and we enter the renowned Grand Bassin, with its one kilometre circumference, negotiating one of the lowest bridges on the Canal du Midi. After lunch on board, we enjoy a tour of Castelnaudary itself, recognised as the world capital of the delicious French stew, cassoulet. There is a lot to see, including the town’s last remaining 17th century windmill, the unique Chapel of our Lady of Mercy housing an exceptional collection of gilded wooden panels and the Gothic Collegiale with its outstanding bell tower. Dinner on board.

Friday, Day 6
Castelnaudary to Naurouze
This morning we cruise to our final destination, Naurouze, which at around 620 feet, is the highest point on the Canal du Midi. Nearby, in a beautiful park is the outline of an octagonal basin and a monument erected to commemorate Pierre Paul Riquet’s amazing achievement in building the historic Canal du Midi. After lunch on board, we drive to beautiful Lac St. Ferreol. Here, an enormous earth dam was created back in the 1600’s and we see the intricate irrigation system that supplies water to the Canal du Midi that we love today. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7
Naurouze
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Carcassonne.

On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

TO CONTACT US
Phone: +33 561 59 20 07, Fax: +33 561 59 23 54
Phone (Toll-Free from USA + Canada): 1-800-688-0245
Email: info@bargecompany.com
Web: www.bargecompany.com

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