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
- Fully air conditioned
- Hot-tub on deck
- Private Mercedes minivan
- Half covered sun deck
- lounge chairs
- Indoor and outdoor dinning
- Internet access
- TVs for videos
A member of the crew will welcome you at Beziers railway station at 4 PM and transfer you to your beautiful Hotel barge Esperance moored in the enchanting countryside of the famous Canal du Midi. A champagne reception will be served on deck as a nice premise to your week cruise. You will then have plenty of time to discover the barge, its environment and to settle in your bedroom before dinner.
After breakfast your guide will come and pick you up to go and visit Pezenas a magical city full of art and history .The entire old town is rich with period mansions, wonderful wrought iron balconies, stone sculpture and ornate doorways. Molière is reputed to have created some of his famous characters right here in Pézenas in the barber’s shop . This town is as perfect shopping place with many beautiful little shops to discover . After an afternoon cruise with many turns and loops we will find a romantic mooring in the middle of the vines and arched trees ; a perfect spot in the nature to enjoy a gourmet meal .
Let the world float by as the barge is moving slowly on this elegant canal . we will cruise to Le Somail a famous local village with a fascinating antique bookshops and local potters and artists. After lunch a very short drive to visit the Olive factory at L’Oulibo, a prize winning olive oil mill and a great place to experiment an olive oil tasting . After this a very scenic drive into the Minervois hills and les gorges de la Cesse to get to Minerve. This amazing medieval village is perched on a spectacular rocky outcrop formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian. Famous for its Cathar history and its wine countryside, this village is full of charm and history.
This morning a 15 minutes drive will take you to Narbonne, a lively city dating back from the Roman time. This city has much to offer like the Archbishop’s Palace but one of the highlights is the beautiful and famous covered morning market . After this city tour it could be a good time to enjoy a wine tasting in this superb area already known by the Romans.The afternoon cruise will take us trough a couple of typical wine villages and some tiny bridges , and our goal will be to find the perfect mooring to enjoy a great evening meals under the stars in the country side .
After Going thru a couple of traditional locks and some double ones the barge will cruise to Homps ; a typical village where most of barges used to stop to load and unload wine barrels . After lunch a short drive will give you plenty of time to discover the world famous walled medieval town of la Cité de Carcassonne. This extraordinary place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to be the most visited site in France.If you have already visited ” the Cité,” we will visit Lagrasse, an attractive village now home to numerous pottery workers and artists attracted by the place itself and the renowned natural light of the region. The two ‘highlights’ of the village are perhaps the Abbey and the bridges, although the narrow medieval streets of the village itself are also very attractive, and remains of the town walls can still be seen.
This is the perfect day to relax and enjoy your barge facilities or go bicycling . After a lazy morning cruise we will more in the country side for our gourmet lunch . Your luxury barge will get back on the move in the afternoon to get to l aiguille lock , quite an unusual place with an artist lock keeper . His art work is all around the place ! what about a nice cocktail in the hot tub before your last festive dinner ?
After a wonderful breakfast your guide will take you to your hotel in Carcassonne or to the railway station to get to your next destination.