Athos offers Canal du Midi cruises to suit both couples looking for a romantic French holiday and groups celebrating a special deluxe event or planning the ultimate family holiday. If you choose to cruise by booking an Individual deluxe Cabin, you’ll experience our popular “Best of the Languedoc” cruise route. “Best of Languedoc” is an inspired itinerary that includes daily cruising on the Canal du Midi as well as a full selection of irresistible shore excursions, from hilltop towns to wine tasting to outdoor market mornings for all our guests. If you’d like to cruise the Canal du Midi with your closest friends and family, you have the option of booking a Whole Boat Charter and choosing from our Special Interest itineraries. Do you have a shared passion for wine, painting, golf or tennis? These French Canal cruises integrate the “Best of the Languedoc” route, daily barge cruising AND time dedicated for specialty activities as part of your luxury barge boat holiday. For Wine and Painting cruises, Athos is happy to recommend a professional Master of Wine or a qualified Painting Instructor to accompany and guide your activities while on your Canal du Midi cruise holiday. Whether you opt to book as a group Charter or by Individual Cabin, a typical day onboard Athos might begin with a leisurely breakfast on deck, followed by a chauffeur-driven ride through the Languedoc countryside to a morning visit of the local Olive Pressoir. The onboard guide will then show you the magic and history that surround the scenic hilltop town of Minerve. Once you’re back on the Athos, a gourmet al fresco lunch, a chilled glass of wine, and a shaded and comfortable reclining chair makes for a perfect afternoon of cruising on the Canal du Midi. Standard Cruises "Best of Languedoc" Our "Best of the Languedoc '' cruise brings you highlights of the Languedoc region. You’ll walk the ramparts of the fortified city of Carcassonne; drive alongside the dramatic Gorge de la Cesse and explore the hilltop village of Minerve; visit a local olive oil pressoir; wander open air markets; and cruise past the marshlands of the “Petite Camargue”, ideal for spotting pink flamingos. Argeliers Upon arrival in Beziers, you’ll be chauffeured to the Athos at her mooring in the charming Argeliers port, located at the southern edge of the Haut-Minervois. Champagne reception and gourmet canapés await. Once settled in to your cabin, you’ll enjoy a four-course dinner under the Plane trees and overlooking an original 18th century stone bridge. Capestang & Carcassonne Carcassonne is one of Europe’s largest fortified castles. Your private guide will take you through this remarkable historical setting and give you time to look through the myriad of local shops and cafés. Once back onboard and spoiled by Chef’s delicious lunch, Athos will cruise on to the romantic countryside mooring at La Croisade. There is time over the course of the afternoon for a cycle ride, a jog along the tow-path, or just a leisurely stroll before dinner onboard. Regismont le Haut & Minerve Ever wanted to see how olive oil was made in the old-fashioned way? A morning drive to the local olive pressoir will be informative and tasty! From the Oulibo, your guide drives you through the spectacular scenery of the Gorge de la Cesse and into the magical hilltop village of Minerve, where important events in Languedoc Cathar history left their mark. Following the afternoon’s cruising to Capestang leaves time to cycle, walk, or play petanque with the crew! Active family members might even be keen to do a bit of horse-back riding at the local riding centre rather than cruising on this particular afternoon? Fonserannes & Narbonne Your Languedoc experience would not be complete without a visit to a French market. That’s what we’ll do in the charming town of Narbonne. We’ll also explore an excavated original Roman road, take-in the Roman Museum and enjoy a cafe au lait while blending in with the town’s lively cafe scene. The week’s cruising highlight is the Fonserannes, the seven staircase locks at Beziers. Fonserannes has eight lock chambers and nine gates, allowing the Athos to be raised a remarkable 21.5 meters in a distance of just 300 meters. Portiragnes and Pezenas Your family’s experience in the Languedoc would not be complete without a visit to a French open-air market and covered food market. We’ll do just this in the pleasant town of Narbonne. You’ll also see the excavated Roman Road, the Via Domitia, the extensive Roman museum, and enjoy a cafe au last while blending in with the crowd. The week’s cruising highlight is the Fonserannes the seven staircase locks at Beziers. Fonserannes has eight lock chambers and nine gates, allowing the Athos to descend a remarkable 21.5 meters in a distance of just 300 meters. Portiragnes & Marseillan Active family members might like to cycle to the Mediterranean for a morning swim (only a quick 2kms away), and then pedal to catch up to the cruising barge at one of the bridges towards Agde. As the barge approaches the saltwater Etang de Thau, the crew invites everyone for a swim. Following a spectacular seafood lunch prepared by Chef and enjoyed while floating across the Etang, Athos comes to her final mooring in Marseillan Port. Your guide offers a choice of activities: a game of tennis on the clay courts at the Marseillan Tennis club, or a tour and tasting at Noilly Prat vermouth distillery. Family and Friends Cruise Argeliers Upon arrival in Beziers, Athos crew will collect your family and chauffeur you to Athos at her mooring under the pretty 18thC bridge in the little port of Argeliers. A warm welcome onboard begins with Champagne or lemonade, canapés, and an introduction to the Athos crew - including Ship’s Dog DIESEL - for those families who’d otherwise miss their canine friends! Once parents, children, grandchildren have settled into cabins, the hostesses invite you to a family 4-course dinner prepared by your private onboard Chef. The Athos deck is the perfect outdoor setting for the start of a relaxed family holiday. Specialty Cruises Wine Tasting Cruise There's no better way to treat your inner oenophile than on an Athos wine cruise. From extraordinary tastings to lively discussions with our Master of Wine who provides wine education and daily wine touring, this week is dedicated to the wonders of wine. Join us for a truly unique way to discover the best wines of the Languedoc. Tennis Cruise What's a holiday for tennis aficionados without a match or two? The Athos Tennis Cruise brings you the best of French scenery, history, cuisine and cruising with plenty of time set aside for the tennis court. You'll enjoy some of France's most picturesque views from the courts we select alongside our Canal du Midi route. Want a post-match cool down? Hop on one of our hybrid bikes and cycle alongside the canal and through scenic villages. Golf Cruise The Athos Golf Cruise marries your love of the game with the good life. Combine historical and cultural excursions with golf games under the Mediterranean sun. You'll be chauffeured to and from some of France's best courses, only to arrive back on board where Chef has prepared a decadent four-course meal. Contact us to find out more about the golfing opportunities in Languedoc. Painting Cruise Calling all art lovers. Join talented artist and teacher Andrew John for a week-long floating art course aboard the Athos. Flanked by some of France's most beautiful countryside, you'll encounter inspiration everywhere! The painting cruise combines lessons and practice time with excursions and the very best of French cuisine.
By choosing to travel on the Esperance you will experience the authenticity of the region, its heritage and its cultural diversity. The boat is an authentic 100 ft Canal du Midi barge built in 1968 to carry wines between Bordeaux and Sète . Esperance has preserved her original lines as well as her name.The interior on the other hand has been redesigned as a private yacht with 3 huge ensuite bedrooms of 200 sq. ft, offering an incomparable level of quality and comfort. the layout is bright and spacious; the furniture is built of solid teak, with white wool carpets and beautiful art work . Esperance can accommodate up to 6 guests and 4 crew will take care of your well being during your stay .
Make lasting memories with a cruise aboard the colourful and charming Saraphina. Explore the wonders of the Languedoc-Roussillon and discover the 350-year-old masterpiece that is the Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We endeavour to make your holiday one to remember. From the moment you step onboard you will have only one thing to do, RELAX and let a crew of 3 take care of your every need. We invite you to cruise with us through tiny bridges, unique oval locks, and the French countryside enveloped by vines. Saraphina is a Dutch barge built in 1924. During her early life, she was used for transporting freight throughout Holland. She has now been lovingly converted into a hotel barge, carefully and tastefully designed to ensure all guests enjoy a relaxed and comfortable stay. Saraphina is a charismatic, old-fashioned boat with a contemporary, bright and welcoming interior. During a stay on-board you'll not only enjoy full hotel services and a personal service from owners and hosts Finnegan and Emily, but the opportunity to wine, dine and relax whilst taking in some of the most beautiful and historic places along the Canal du Midi.
The 6-passenger Roi Soleil has established herself as one of Europe's preeminent canal and river cruisers that offers the 5 star comfort and style of a luxury motor yacht. There are 3 spacious, bright and airy cabins with skylights and en-suite bathrooms decorated in the provençal style. Each bathroom is equipped with thermostatically controlled showers, heated towel racks, handmade Provencal tiles, lava in the bathrooms and the rich hues of stylish Pierre Frey fabrics. Roi Soleil has more to do with luxury yachting than barging - hence the term 'River Yacht'. Her classic lines and mahogany and brass trim are inspired by the classic motor yachts of the 1920s, while her interior brings you the best of contemporary design and comfort. The stylish salon with fireplace, elegant dining area, bar and panoramic views through her 20 windows, offer you a level of comfort equivalent to that of luxury motor yachts. The separate forward sun deck, the aft teak deck with Spa Pool and the outside dining area under the retractable canopy are all measures of pure luxury yachting at its best. The Roi Soleil cruises primarily on the historic Canal du Midi in the south of France — between Beziers and Carcassonne but also offers cruises in Provence on the Rhone River and the Camargue National Park in the fall upon request.
When we built Emma, we wanted a barge where our guests would feel welcomed and at home. There are 3 air-conditioned cabins, two of which (the green and the blue) can be either a queen bed or 2 single beds and the third (the yellow) which is a fixed double. Each cabin has a fully equipped bathroom with full-sized shower. Beautiful French linens and handmade Irish quilts add to the luxury of your cabin. Your hostess looks after your cabin on a daily basis. The air-conditioned salon and dining room were designed for conviviality. You will find a fully equipped bar,( beers, soft drinks and spirits) a well-stocked library, a selection of DVD’s (in case of a rainy day) and CD’s, a station for your I pod and also a connection Internet for keeping in touch. Large picture windows make it very bright and airy. The outside deck is where you will spend the most of your time, just watching the beautiful countryside float by. Emma has one of the biggest decks on the canal. There is ample room for dining, a covered area for shade on those hot sunny days, and an area for enjoying your aperitifs while dinner is being prepared. There is a canopy which covers the deck when Emma is moored up to give shade during your meal times on deck. Bikes are at your disposal if you feel like a ride along the towpath or through the vineyards.
Savannah is a luxury hotel barge able to accommodate up to 7 passengers in luxuriously fitted cabins with both inside salon and dining rooms and a large deck to enjoy throughout the cruising season. Initially built in 1938 as a cargo tanker specifically to the dimensions of the Royal Canal du Midi (30m x 5m) and navigating between Bordeaux and Sète, this barge was transformed into a luxurious showroom for the prestigious cosmetic group l’Occitane de Provence in the 80’. The mahogany woodwork and ceramic tiles date from this period and have naturally remained as the signature of this unique canal hotel barge. Savannah was completely refurbished and decorated with luxurious contemporary furniture in 2014.