The Garonne valley between Montauban and Agen (or reverse)
Sunday, Day 1Agen
Cruise route map
(Click to enlarge)
Guests are met in Toulouse and escorted in the air-conditioned minibus to Rosa, moored in the Port of Boe in the town of Agen. Following a Champagne Welcome, there is time for a stroll around the port, before returning for your first dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2Agen to Valence d’Agen
This morning we visit Domaine Lapeyrade, near Nerac, for private tastings of their esteemed Armagnac and Floc de Gascogne wines in delightful surroundings. After lunch aboard we enjoy a short leisurely cruise through the bucolic countryside to Valence d’Agen, an 18th C "Bastide" town with its Palladian canal side public wash-house and its arcaded market place. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3Valence d’Agen to Moissac
After breakfast we visit ancient Château de Gourdourville before a drive to Auvillar, a 15th century village renowned for its circular 17th century covered market perched high on the side of a gorge above the River Garonne. Return to the barge for lunch, and our cruise this afternoon sees the Rosa rising up from the Tarn and turning west on the brick-lined canal through Moissac. This evening, perhaps after an amusing game of boules, we stroll ashore to savour regional specialties at the excellent restaurant ‘Le Florentin’, in front of the spectacular entrance portal of the Abbaye St-Pierre de Moissac.
Wednesday, Day 4Moissac to Castelsarrasin
An hour’s cruise on the Tarn takes us to the nautical base of St. Livrade for a morning swimming or canoeing and a visit Moissac's ancient Abbey, one of the architectural highlights of the region, founded in the 7th century with its wonderfully preserved cloisters and chapel. After lunch we continue our cruise towards Castelsarrasin crossing the River Tarn via a 1000 foot long, red brick aqueduct. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5Castelsarrasin to Montech
Cloisters of Moissac Abbey
A leisurely cruise this morning allows us to enjoy the barge’s sundeck, or walk and cycle along the towpath. We tour the remarkable inclined Water Plane an amazing feat of engineering that by-passes five locks and will raise vessels 43 feet all in one go when back in service in 2014/15. After lunch aboard, a short drive takes us to the Ferme des Jauberts at Angeville where we can tour the estate and taste the foie gras of Eric Couderc. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6Montech to Montauban
This morning Rosa meanders down the flight of ten locks on the beautiful and recently restored branch canal skirting the Forest of Agre, and moors in the port of the historical town of Montauban. In the afternoon we head into the Côtes du Frontonnais wine region in the minibus, for a tasting at the renowned Chateau Bellevue la Foret. Our introduction to the outstanding cuvee ‘Optimum’ is in the skilled hands of Diane Germain, the Boston educated daughter of the house. Captains Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7Montauban
After breakfast, guests disembark the barge and transfer to Toulouse.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.