Hotel Barge in France and Europe

Countries

France Regions

Sleeps
4
Cabins
2
Crew
4
From $5,475 per person

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  • Phone Contact

    888-550-8580

  • Phone Contact

    530-274-0764

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  • Connection Contact

    Barge Connection,
    2036 Nevada City Hwy #311
    Grass Valley, CA 95945

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Print Boat Info

The Alouette is a luxurious canal barge that is a true treasure to be enjoyed. With her spacious living and dining areas, along with her large cabins the Alouette makes it impossible not to relax. Her enjoyable sun deck is the perfect place for sunbathing or the prime location for observing the breath-taking Canal du Midi countryside, as she cruises along the picturesque waterways.

Boat Details

Boat Size: 98 x 17 ft
Number of Cabins: 2
Crew: 4
Cruise Length: 3 | 6 nights
Departure Day: Sunday

Cabin Information

Suite 1
  • Twin or Queen
  • 270 sq ft
Suite 2
  • Twin or Queen
  • 205 sq ft
Note: All cabin sizes are approximate.

Boat Amenities

A/C
Bicycles
Multiple Regions
DVD
Books & Games
Open Bar
Transfers
TV
WIFI
iPod docking station
Computer with printer
Music System
Demonstration Kitchen

Cabin Amenities

A/C
TV
Satellite TV
DVD player
Hairdryers
Heating
Safe
WIFI
Bathrobes
Cabin to Cabin Telephones
Opening Portholes

Pickup Location

12:00 PM, Paris (rail tickets included), Beziers or Narbonne

Note: Pickup locations may be TBD on charter bookings.

Dropoff Location

10:00 AM, Paris (rail tickets included), Beziers or Narbonne

Note: dropoff locations may be TBD on charter bookings.

Boat Diagram

alouette_boat_diagram
Beziers to Carcassonne
Sunday
Beziers - Welcome Aboard!
A champagne reception welcomes you on board and gives you a chance to meet the crew. Time permitting, enjoy your first cruising experience to the pretty village of Colombieres. Later that evening, enjoy your first dining experience on board. 
 
Monday
Visit Abbaye de Fontfroide. Cruise to Capestang
This morning visit l'Abbaye de Fontfroide, a Cistercian monastery founded in the 11th century. Now privately owned, the abbey has been lovingly restored with a well-kept garden and peaceful cloister. Return to the barge for lunch and then an afternoon cruise along the beautiful Canal du Midi to Capestang.
 
Tuesday
Tour Oppidum d'Enserune. Cruise to Le Somail
After breakfast enjoy a visit to Oppidum d'Enserune, a pre-Roman hill-top settlement and one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. The top of the hill affords a panoramic view of the pond of Montady drained in 1247 and transformed into a curious pattern of cultivation. On the way back to the boat we stop off at local wine producer for a tasting. Return to the barge for lunch followed by a relaxing afternoon taking in the grandeur and beauty of the Canal du Midi, with its fine locks, buildings and aqueducts, scarcely changed from their completion over 300 years ago. 
 
Wednesday
 Visit Narbonne and the market. Cruise to Homps
 This morning, experience the wonderful covered market in Narbonne with the chef and help choose what is on the menu for dinner! Narbonne is a lively Mediterranean city playing an important role as a wine-producing centre. The municipal, military and religious architecture, the river banks of the Robine and its shaded boulevards, all contribute to its charm. Enjoy lunch at a bistro just in front of the market and then return to the barge for an afternoon's cruise to the port at Homps.
 
Thursday
Visit Minerve. Cruise to Trebes 
After breakfast, visit Minerve, an old village on a limestone cliff, which dominates the vineyards below. Its now ruined castle was once a Cathar stronghold besieged and captured by Simon de Montfort. This village is full of history of days gone by. On the way back to the boat stop at Peyriac-Minervois for wine tasting. Return to the barge for lunch and then enjoy the ever changing views from the comfort of the deck, or perhaps walk or cycle along the tow path. Tonight we moor in the pretty town of Trebes. 
 
Friday
Cruise to Carcassonne. Visit Carcassonne 
Finish the week with a tour of Europe's largest medieval fortress - Carcassonne. Explore the intricate fortifications of the two castellated walls, one inside the other, about a mile in circumference. The views from the battlements towards the Pyrenées are stunning. Visit the Cathedral remarkable for its stained glass rose windows, elegant Romanesque nave and Gothic transepts. Meanwhile the chef is busy preparing your farewell gala dinner on board. 
 
Saturday
Carcassonne 
After breakfast disembark the boat for your onward travel arrangements.
 
Carcassonne to Beziers
Sunday
Welcome Aboard!
Meet your crew and guide for a Champagne reception. Later, feast on the region's seasonal dishes, paired with fine wines.
 
Monday
Medieval Fortress
Explore Carcassonne, Europe's largest medieval fortress. See stunning views of the Pyrenees from the battements and castellated walls.
Visit the cathedral with its remarkable stained glass, Romanesque nave and Gothic transepts.In the afternoon cruise to Trèbes on the beautiful Canal du Midi.
 
Tuesday
Wine Tasting in Minervois
Spend the morning relaxing on deck, or walk or cycle along the towpath. After lunch, visit Minerve, an ancient village set on a cliff overlooking vineyards.
Discover the historic ruined castle, once captured by Simon de Montfort. Stop at Peyriac-Minervois for a wine tasting. Dine on board at pretty Trèbes village.
 
Wednesday
Market Day in Narbonne
Visit the colorful morning market in Narbonne and help choose ingredients for dinner. Enjoy the city’s fine architecture, shaded boulevards and riverside location.Have lunch at a wonderful bistro next to the market before cruising to Le Somail.
 
Thursday
11th Century Abbey
Discover l'Abbaye de Fontfroide, an 11th-century Cistercian monastery.The abbey has been lovingly restored with a peaceful garden and cloister. On the way back stop at Château Auris for a wine tasting. Lunch is followed by a cruise to Capestang, admiring the beautiful Canal du Midi along the way.
 
Friday
Visit Beziers
Cruise to Béziers then visit Oppidum d'Ensérune, an important pre-Roman hilltop settlement. Look down on Montady pond, a spectacular 13th-century sunburst-shaped ditch. Stop at a local wine producer for a tasting.Lunch on board then spend the afternoon watching the beauty of the Canal du Midi slip by. Enjoy a delicious farewell gala dinner on board.
 
Saturday
Breakfast and Farewell
Have breakfast before the crew bids you farewell and you disembark.
Beziers to Avignon
Sunday
Welcome Aboard! 
Meet your crew and guide for a Champagne reception.Begin your adventure by cruising the Canal du Midi, then feast on a gourmet dinner.
 
Monday
Afternoon in Marseillan and Vermouth Tasting
After breakfast, cruise towards the port of Agde. In the afternoon, drive to the charming port of Marseillan. Visit Noilly Prat and sample this unique Mediterranean-style vermouth. Spend the evening moored at Agde.
 
Tuesday
Sete the Second Largest Port City in France
Visit Sète, the second-largest port city in France. Wander through the quays, where fishermen lay their nets to dry. Enjoy lunch on the barge, while cruising to Frontignan, famous for its sweet, natural wine.
 
Wednesday
Aigues-Mortes a Fortress in the Camargue
From Aigues-Mortes visit the Spanish-influenced area of Camargue. Discover salt marshes and sand dunes filled with flamingos, wild horses and black bulls.Take a walk around Aigues-Mortes, a well-preserved village founded by Louis IX in 1241.
 
Thursday
Visit Arles a Famous Roman Town
Cruise the Canal du Rhône à Sète, Petit Rhône and the River Rhône.Marvel at the 15th-century castles of Beaucaire and Tarascon from the deck.Visit the Roman town of Arles, made famous by Van Gogh, who once stayed there.
 
Friday
Palace of the Popes
Cruise the River Rhône, passing Le Pont St Bénézet (Le Pont d'Avignon), to Avignon. Explore this magnificent walled city taking in the Palace of the Popes and the Cathedral of Nôtre Dame.Come evening, feast upon a farewell gala dinner.
 
Saturday
Breakfast and Farewell
Have breakfast before the crew bids you farewell and you disembark.
Burgundy & Beaujolais Lyon to St Jean de Losne
Sunday
Welcome Aboard!
Board in Lyon and meet the crew for a Champagne reception. Cruise along the River Saône and through Burgundy. Enjoy an evening cocktail party and dinner on board. 
 
Monday
Lyon Gastronomic Haven
Visit Lyon, France's second city and a little-known cultural and gastronomic haven. The ornate Basilica of Nôtre-Dame de Fourvière dominates the skyline. Browse chic boutiques or relax in a sunny pavement café. Then sit on deck as you watch the scenery along the River Saône. The ornate Basilica of Nôtre-Dame de Fourvière dominates the skyline. Browse chic boutiques or relax in a sunny pavement café. Then sit on deck as you watch the scenery along the River Saône.
 
Tuesday
Beaujolais Vineyards and Wine Tasting
Cruise to Mâcon and visit Roche de Solutré. This iconic limestone rock has superb views of Mâcon, the River Saône and the vineyards. Stop to enjoy wine tasting in Fuissé village. Moor at Mâcon, a thriving market town bordering the Mâconnais and Beaujolais vineyards.
 
Wednesday
Chateau and Gardens
After breakfast, cruise the River Saône to Tournus, savouring the beauty of Burgundy and Beaujolais. Enjoy a delicious lunch before driving to the magnificent Château de Cormatin.Wander around this 17th-century Renaissance-style château with elegant gardens.
 
Thursday
Visit Wine Capitol of Burgundy 
Cruise to Chalon-sur-Saône before lunching at Loiseau des Vignes in Beaune.
This town is the capital of the wine region of Burgundy.Tour the magnificent 15th-century charity hospital Hôtel-Dieu, Hospice de Beaune.Explore Joseph Drouhin’s cellar, where the King of France and Duke of Burgundy stored wine.
 
Friday
Walking tour of Chalon sur Saone
Enjoy a walking tour of Chalon-sur-Saône. Soak up the market day atmosphere in the grand square.Back on board, cruise the River Saône to St-Jean-de-Losne. Stroll to the port and see the many barges.Enjoy a magnificent farewell feast.
 
Saturday
Breakfast and Farewell
Have breakfast before the crew bids you farewell and you disembark.
Beziers to Carcassonne Cooking Cruise
Sunday
Welcome Aboard!
A champagne reception welcomes you on board and gives you a chance to meet the crew. During this first evening there is an opportunity to talk with the chef and discuss your cooking interests and you will discover what you will prepare during your week on board. Later that evening, enjoy your first dining experience on board.
 
Monday
Cruise to Capestang - Quiche & Terrine
Tour Oppidum d’Enserune. Cooking lesson Tarte au Citron and Caramel sauce. A morning cruise along the beautiful Canal du Midi to Capestang. The Canal is one of the most beautiful in France, with many locks, bridges and tunnels. This morning we start with our first cookery lesson in the well equipped kitchen of the Alouette, we are preparing lunch today and learning how to cook the classic French Quiche Lorriane and also a county style terrine, which is very popular in this area. In the afternoon, visit Oppidum d’Enserune, a pre-Roman hill-top settlement and one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. The top of the hill affords a panoramic view of the pond of Montady drained in 1247 and transformed into a curious pattern of cultivation. Return to the barge, and continue with the cookery lessons, this afternoon we will prepare a wonderful lemon tart served with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Perfect for your dessert tonight on board.
 
Tuesday
Cruise to Le Somail - Gazpacho Summer Soup
Visit Abbaye de Fontfroide. Lesson Rack of lamb and red wine and tarragon sauce.
Enjoy a relaxing breakfast as you take in the grandeur and beauty of the Canal du Midi, with its fine locks, buildings and aqueducts, scarcely changed from their completion over 300 years ago. During the morning, there will be chance to return to the kitchen and prepare a summer soup – an avocado and cherry tomato gazpacho which we present in a long tall glass for maximum effect! After lunch, visit l’Abbaye de Fontfroide, a Cistercian monastery founded in the 11th century. Now privately owned, the abbey has been lovingly restored with a well-kept garden and peaceful cloister. On the way back to the boat, stop at Château Auris for a wine tasting. Tonight Rack of lamb is on the menu, this can be a tricky dish to cook correctly and we learn how to marinate and prepare this dish, also served with this is a rich sauce made with red wine and tarragon that goes wonderfully with this meat.
 
Wednesday
Visit Narbonne - Prepare Bourride
This morning, experience the wonderful covered market in Narbonne with the chef, help choose the ingredients for dinner tonight. The market is ablaze with colours, smells and sounds, it is a truly amazing sight. Narbonne is a lively Mediterranean city playing an important role as a wine-producing centre. The municipal, military and religious architecture, the river banks of the Robine and its shaded boulevards, all contribute to its charm. Enjoy lunch at a bistro just in front of the market, which specializes in local seafood fresh from the Mediterranean sea, just a few miles away. Then return to the barge for an afternoon’s cruise to the port at Homps. Tonight, with the fish we purchased at the market we prepare the local delicacy – Bourride, this is a stunning dish made with fresh local vegetables and finished at the last minute with the addition of monkfish and mussels and served with a garlic mayonnaise.
 
Thursday
Visit Minerve - Mediterranean Cooking Lesson
After breakfast, visit Minerve, an old village on a limestone cliff, which dominates the vineyards below. Its now ruined castle was once a Cathar stronghold besieged and captured by Simon de Montfort. This village is full of history of days gone by. On the way back to the boat stop at Peyriac-Minervois for a wine tasting. Return to the barge for lunch and then enjoy the ever changing views from the comfort of the deck or perhaps walk or cycle along the tow path. There is another cookery lesson planned this afternoon, using produce purchased from the market, we learn all about Mediterranean style cooking, with the emphasis on light fresh ingredients using olive oil, herbs and vegetables. Tonight we moor in the pretty town of Trebes.
 
Friday
Roman Castle of Carcasonne - Cassoulet Lunch and Fresh Pasta Making
Finish the week with a tour of Europe’s largest medieval fortress – Carcassonne. Explore the intricate fortifications of the two castellated walls, one inside the other, about a mile in circumference. The views from the battlements towards the Pyrenées are stunning. Visit the Cathedral remarkable for its stained glass rose windows, elegant Romanesque nave and Gothic transepts. Carcassonne is famous for the dish Casssolet, it is a casserole combining beans and sausages, we visit a restaurant in the old Cite and the chef explains how this dish is made and we stay here for lunch. Mean while the chef is busy preparing for your final cookery lesson, homemade pasta. Pasta is an amazing dish, very easy to prepare and so versatile, we prepare a ravioli filled with some seafood, and then prepare a white wine reduction sauce, a scattering of baby vegetable and sprinkled with fresh dill. A perfect dish to finish the week with. There is a farewell gala dinner on board.
 
Saturday
Breakfast and Farewell
After breakfast disembark and transfer to the local train station. (If you wish to make alternative transfer arrangements, please discuss your requirements at the time of booking.)

 

Sample Menu

Bisque de Tomates a la creme d’avocat

(Tomato bisque with avocado cream)

Cordon de truite, farci d’epinard et d’aneth, Mousse de Carottes a l’estragon, Haricots verts

aux amandes

(Trout stuffed with spinach, carrot mousse with basil, green beans with almonds)

Salades and fromages (st. Agur, Chabichon, Epoisses)

~

Salad and Regional Cheeses

Melon et sorbet au citron vert et framboise

~

Wines: Chateauneuf de Pape, Gigondas

Coffee/Tea & Chocolates

 

 

2019 RATES
ACCOMMODATION REG VALUE  LOW
Charter 2 Passenger €24,850 €22,500 €20,250
Charter 3 Passenger €27,300 €26,300 €23,670
Charter 4 Passenger €29,800 €27,450 €24,705

 

2020 RATES
ACCOMMODATION LOW REG
Charter 2 Passenger €17,903 €27,290
Charter 3 Passenger €19,903 €29,290
Charter 4 Passenger €21,903 €31,290

 

2020 DEPARTURE DATES
April 5-11, 12-18, 19-25, 26-2 LOW SEASON
May 3-9, 10-16, 17-23, 24-30, 31-6 REG SEASON
June 7-13, 14-20, 21-27, 28-4 REG SEASON
July 5-11, 12-18, 19-25, 26-1 LOW SEASON
August 2-8, 9-15, 16-22, 23-29, 30-5 LOW SEASON
Sept 6-12, 13-19, 20-26, 27-3 REG SEASON
Oct 4-10, 11-17, 18-24 REG SEASON

Cruise cost includes

Six night accommodations, transfers via First Class TGV train from Paris to the barge and return (These rail tickets are included in the price - they are non-changeable and non refundable.), all meals, from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, all wines with lunch and dinner, open bar, daily escorted excursions and use of bicycles.

Cruise cost does not include

Airfare to and from your destination, cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)

2020 CRUISING SCHEDULE
DEPARTURE DATE ROUTE RATE SEASON
March 22 St. Jean - Lyon Low
March 29 Lyon - Avignon Low
April 5 Avignon - Beziers Low
April 12 Beziers - Carcassonne Low
April 19 Carcassonne - Beziers Low
April 26 Beziers - Carcassonne  Low
May 3 Carcassonne - Beziers  High
May 10 Beziers - Carcassonne  High
May 17 Carcassonne - Beziers  High
May 24 Beziers - Carcassonne  High
May 31 Carcassonne - Beziers  High
June 7 Beziers - Carcassonne  High
June 14 Carcassonne - Beziers  High
June 21 Beziers - Carcassonne  High
June 28 Carcassonne - Beziers  High
July 5 Beziers - Carcassonne  Value
July 12 Carcassonne - Beziers  Value
July 19 Beziers - Carcassonne  Value
July 26 Carcassonne - Beziers  Value
August 2 Beziers - Carcassonne  Value
August 9 Carcassonne - Beziers  Value
August 16 Beziers - Carcassonne  Value
August 23 Carcassonne - Beziers  Value
September 6 Beziers - Carcassonne  High
September 13 Carcassonne - Beziers  High
September 20 Beziers - Carcassonne  High
September 27 Carcassonne - Beziers  High
October 4 Beziers - Carcassonne High
October 11 Beziers to Avignon High
October 18 Avignon to Lyon High