Exuding classy comfort and airy charm, the Alouette functions as a floating country cottage for its four lucky guests.
A soft and soothing color scheme of sepia and butterscotch unites all of the interior areas, including the lovely light-filled salon with its signature picture windows. The spacious cabins beckon with elegant bedding, and also boast an intercom system to directly contact the crew. Handmade tiles line the bathrooms, adding a luxurious artisan touch.
Expansive and comfortable, the deck encourages hours of relaxation while enjoying a glass of wine and just watching the gorgeous southern scenery drift by; more active guests can take a bicycle out for a leisurely ride along the tree-lined canal. Foodies and gastronomes are encouraged to join the informal cooking demonstrations by the gourmet Chef in the unusually large galley.
A further highlight of the Alouette’s epicurean experiences, the candlelit dinners are a particularly special treat, with menus focusing on the region’s many seafood specialties and abundant seasonal produce. Carefully selected fine wines are paired with lunches and dinners, typically sourced from a local Languedoc vineyard.
What is included in the tour
- 6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath
- transfers via First Class TGV train from Paris to the barge and return (Train tickets are booked for the specific first and last dates of your barge cruise and are non-changeable or refundable.)
- all meals – from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning
- all wines with lunch & dinner
- open bar
- daily escorted excursions and use of onboard bicycles.
What is NOT included in the tour
- Airfare to and from France
- Cancellation insurance
- Crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)
- Welcome Aboardsunday image
- Welcome Aboard
- Travel: Paris to BeziersMeals: Dinner onboard
- A transfer agent will meet your party at late morning in the lobby of your Paris hotel, chauffeur you to the Paris Gare de Lyon Train Station, and provide First Class tickets on a mid-day TGV train to the Canal du Midi. As you alight, Alouette crew will be waiting on the platform. From here, you will be driven to the Alouette moored nearby. A traditional champagne welcome and introduction to the rest of the crew awaits you, before your first gourmet dinner onboard.
- Gorgeous Grounds at an Ancient Abbayemonday image
- Gorgeous Grounds at an Ancient Abbaye
- Travel: Beziers to CapestangMeals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner onboard
- The adventure begins with a leisurely morning cruise. Take a brisk bicycle ride on the towpath, or relax on deck while admiring the rustic scenery slipping by. This afternoon, a guided visit to the l'Abbaye de Fontfroide reveals a Cistercian monastery founded in the 11th century. Now privately owned, the abbey has been meticulously restored with a colorful garden and peaceful cloister. Then, sip and sample the Languedoc's bounty at a winetasting at a local domaine. Drinks and dinner onboard culminate the day.
- The Epicurean Experience Continuestuesday image
- The Epicurean Experience Continues
- Travel: Capestang to Le SomailMeals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner onboard
- A morning cruise reveals more of the Canal du Midi's flora and fauna. Gourmands and gastronomes are invited to join Chef in the galley for an informal cooking demonstration, while active guests can explore the towpath by bicycle or on foot. This afternoon, the epicurean experience continues at a local olive pressoir. Enjoy a private tasting of small batch olive oils before browsing the onsite gourmet boutique. Your Tour Guide returns you to the barge where cocktails and canapes precede tonight's delicious dinner.
- Market Morning With Chefwednesday image
- Market Morning With Chef
- Travel: Le Somail to HompsMeals: Breakfast & dinner onboard, lunch ashore
- The morning begins with a visit to the town of Narbonne, a regional capital established in 118 BCE as a Roman colony. Here you will visit the market to help Chef select the ingredients for this evening's dinner. Mingle with the locals as you explore vendors of seasonal produce, handmade cheese, and artisanal breads. After lunch ashore at a local bistro, your Tour Guide chauffeurs you back to the barge for an unhurried afternoon cruise. Socialize in the salon or on deck before Chef presents tonight’s dinner.
- Magnificent Minervethursday image
- Magnificent Minerve
- Travel: Homps to TrebesMeals: Breakfast & lunch onboard, dinner ashore
- In the morning your Tour Guide escorts you to Minerve, a preserved Medieval city with fascinating social, historical, and military import. Explore the evocative remnants of what was once a Cathar stronghold. Back onboard, a lazy afternoon cruise provides the perfect opportunity to lounge on deck and admire the countryside, or explore the towpath with a gentle pedal or leisurely stroll. Tonight's dinner is very special, as it is taken ashore at a local bistro. Bon appetit!
- Captivating Carcassonnefriday image
- Captivating Carcassonne
- Travel: Trebes to CarcassonneMeals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner onboard
- A morning cruise is the perfect time to laze on deck with a cup of coffee, or explore the tree-shaded towpath by bicycle or on foot. This afternoon, visit Carcassonne, a fortified Medieval fortress with a walled city. Your Tour Guide will escort you through the ancient castle and preserved ramparts to admire the mighty 53 Roman towers. Stroll the cobblestone boulevards into local cafes and specialty boutiques. Back onboard, freshen up for tonight's Captain's Dinner, culminating your Canal du Midi cruise in style.
- A Sad Farewellsaturday image
- A Sad Farewell
- Travel: Carcassonne to ParisMeals: Breakfast onboard
- After breakfast, you will be chauffeured to the closest train station for your return trip to Paris. You will be provided with First Class tickets for a morning train, arriving mid-day at the Paris Gare de Lyon Train Station. As you alight, a representative of the Alouette will be waiting on the platform and will help you and your luggage to the taxi line or to a pre-arranged private transfer to your next destination. The services of the Alouette end at the Gare de Lyon.
Please note: this is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions.