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.
What is included in the tour
- 7 days and 6 nights on the barge in cabins with private baths
- Transfers from Montpellier, Beziers, Carcassonne, Avignon (depending on cruise route) to the barge and return
- All meals beginning with dinner on Sunday, through breakfast on Saturday
- All wines with lunches and dinners
- Open bar
- All escorted side-excursions (golf, etc. at additional cost)
- Use of bicycles
What is NOT included in the tour
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transfers from Paris to Montpellier, Beziers, Carcassonne, or Avignon (depending on the cruise route) and return
- Suggested 5-10% gratuity for the crew (to be paid in equivalent euros to the captain)
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Number of Passengers: 6
- Number of Cabins (all with private bath): 3
- Crew: 4
- Air Conditioning and Central Heating: Yes
- Salon: Large open plan saloon on upper deck with comfortable seating, fireplace, bar, and elegant dining area. Panoramic views from its 20 windows, skylights. Spacious wheelhouse with banquette couch and panoramic views.
- Bar: Open bar
- Deck: Two sundecks: aft teak deck with spa pool, wrap-around seating under retractable canopy, teak table and seating for 12, with roll-down sides for protection from the elements.
- Spa Tub: Yes
- Cabin Features: Three cabins 160 sq ft each with Pierre Frey fabrics, opening skylights, twin beds or queen bed, and ensuite bathroom with oversized shower, heated towel rack, Provencal tiles, and enamelled lava stone floors.
- Vehicle for Transfers/Excursions: Air-conditioned VW Eurovan Comfort, seating 8
- Accessibility: Wide steel-framed gangplank; 10 steps from salon to cabins and 3 steps to forward deck
- Bicycles: 6 Giant Boulder Breeze Hybrid bikes, 6 helmets.
- Wi-Fi: Yes - limited in some areas
Canal du Midi
Beziers to Carcassonne
Sunday - Béziers East-Cassafiere to Portiragnes
- Transfer, welcome on-board, and cocktails
- Navigation along the canal through a rural area with wetlands, a reserve for flamingos and horses.
Monday - Portiragnes to Fonserannes
- Sailing through the great locks of Fonserannes (9 locks staircase)
- excursion to historical city of Pézenas (famed architecture, many artisans & antiques, option to add a wine tasting at a prized property)
- or excursion to the impressive hill village of Roquebrun (possible to swim or kayak)
- and /or visit to the pre-roman Oppidum of Enserune, a major archaeological site with panoramic views of the surrounding valleys
- and /or visit Béziers historical centre and shops
Tuesday - Fonserrannes to Capestang
- sailing into the heart of the historic village of Capestang
- private visit to the Cistercian Abbey of Fontfroide, one of the finest examples in France
- or excursion to the impressive hilltop village of Roquebrun (possible to swim or kayak)
- and / or visit a Camargue bull and horse ranch with the opportunity to round up the bulls on horseback
- and / or wine tasting at the cellar of a top sommelier who supplies Michelin starred chefs.
Wednesday - Capestang to La Croisade or Somail
- morning excursion to the charming City of Narbonne that was the Roman Capital of the early Gaulle with its vibrant food market and the famed art and roman archeology museums within the Bishop Palace and many shops and cafès along cobbled streets and plazas, a highlight of the week
- afternoon sailing to the peaceful country village of Somail with an impressive antique bookstore
- sailing beneath the smallest canal bridge in France
Thursday - Somail to Paraza
- morning visit to the hilltop village of Minerve, which is a beautiful natural site that has a dramatic history dating back to the Crusades.
- visit to prized olive oil mill, Oulibo, and a historic Languedoc village
- an afternoon sail to Paraza and mooring by an ancient canal bridge with views across the valley
- private wine tasting at a renowned Minervois domain with up to 15 varietals
Friday - Paraza to Homps
- visit to the fortified city of Carcassonne - Europe's largest Medieval Fortress, a great place to be transported into medieval history and a shopping opportunity.
- or visit the medieval village of Lagrasse and its artisans.
- afternoon sailing to Homps with many locks
Saturday - Homps
- a leisurely breakfast on board then transfer to the departure point at 10 am
Provence, Camargue & Canal du Midi:
Avignon to Beziers
Sunday - Welcome
- Transfer to the barge in Avignon, welcome on board, and cocktails before your first dinner on board.
Monday - Rhone River
- Cruise from Avignon or Vallabregues - possible excursions:
- the Pope's Palace and Arts Museum,
- and /or Châteauneuf du Pape (private tasting with the winemaker)
- and/or Pont du Gard
- and/or Uzès (similar to St. Remy but with much more elaborate architecture)
- and/or St. Quentin la Pottery (a center for traditional and contemporary earthenware).
Tuesday - Rhone River
- Cruise from Arles - possible excursions:
- Arles city with its Roman and Medieval history and architecture; van Gogh tour; shopping; and cafes
- and St. Remy de Provence,
- and/or Baux de Provence
- and/or Roman ruins,
- and/or Isle sur la Sorgue antique dealers,
- and/or the Villages of Provence
Wednesday - Petit Rhone River and Canal du Rhone a Sete
- Cruise from Aigues Mortes - possible excursions:
- the battlement tower, shops and art galleries,
- bull ranches with Camargue "cowboys"
- and/or bird watching
- Cruise from Cabannes du Roc - possible excursions
- the Montpellier historic center, shops, and antiques
- and/or wine tasting in historic domains
Thursday - Lagoon of Thau
- Cruise from Sète, easterly approach - possible excursions:
- walk along the Mediterranean
- visit the Sète historic center and lively market,
- see the panoramic view from Mont-St.-Clair
- Cruise from Marseillan - possible excursions:
- wine tasting
- and/or the Valmagne Abbey
- and/or a Roman villa and museum
Friday - Canal du Midi
- Cruise from Agde - possible excursions:
- the city of Agde
- and/or Pézenas and its shops
- and/or Beziers and its shops,
Saturday - departure at 10 am - departure at 10 am.
- Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on board then transfer to the departure point.
Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. It may run in reverse on alternate weeks.