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Cruise Destinations

-France, Canal Du Midi on Barge Athos-

Cruise Details:

  • Up to 10 guests
  • 100 Ft. Long
  • Rating: First Class
  • Charter & Cabin bookings
  • Hosts: Captain Julian Farrant
  • English Speaking Crew of 5
  • 10 Bicycles
  • Air Conditioned
  • Last Visited 2015

Cruise Rate Includes:

6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath,transportation to and from Beziers to the barge, 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.

Cruise Rate Does NOT Include

Airfare to and from France, transportation to the cruise route (we will assist you with this), cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)


Athos

Barge Lady Stephanie Sack spent a most delightful barge cruise on the Athos in October of 2015, full of intriguing expeditions, divine meals, and peaceful scenery. Her report is below:

“I arrived at the 10-passenger Athos on a beautiful Sunday evening to find a warmly welcoming ambiance, a professional and personable crew -and a scrumptious serving of canapes! This wonderful arrival set the tone for what MAY HAVE BEEN my favorite barge cruise yet…!

Owned and operated by the husband-wife team of Julian and Dannielle Farrant (They met years ago as crew aboard Athos!), this barge fits perfectly into the relaxed and restful lifestyle found along the historic Canal du Midi. While socializing on the large and partially shaded deck, I reveled in the abundant wildlife and expansive vistas along the canal. As the Athos serenely cruised, the region’s many vineyards came into view, while the pretty ports, Mediterranean influences, and sweeping ancient hilltops added immeasurably to an indelible sense of place.

Captain Julian, assisted by four in crew, operates the barge. Dannielle is land-based and works behind the scenes to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Here I am with Dannielle! Together this attractive couple has a wealth of experience and ideas about what makes a barge cruise special and fun. My cozy cabin was “country French” in feel, with fresh flower bouquets, and the tiled baths featured premium personal care products. The barge itself is a charming space to read, relax, and converse. As seen here, the salon’s cushy couches and library of hand-selected cookbooks encouraged lots of chatter about food and cooking, while the “always open” corner bar ensured there was a glass of wine or hot cup of tea at the ready. Walks along the canal revealed the depth and breadth of the area’s flora, and cycling opportunities were maximized by easy-to-use bikes perfect for the flatter paths of the Languedoc.

The infinite pleasures of the region’s gastronomy were front and center at mealtimes -- this is DEFINITELY a cruise for those who appreciate cuisine! The chef-driven menus perfectly reflected the region’s rich flavors and complex Mediterranean influences. Savory and sumptuous, the seasonally-inspired luncheon buffets highlighted filling salads and lighter fare; at dinner, individual courses were distinctively presented paired with wines selected by the crew from the region’s iconic wineries. Cheese platters – my FAVORITE -- were creatively served with fresh fruits and local honey for a flavorful journey into one of France’s signature foods. Of course, I started out the day with village-baked pastries, and the visit to a regional produce market with Chef Emma, seen below selecting ingredients for dinner, revealed a cornucopia of ripe fruits, colorful vegetables, gorgeous flowers, and just-out-of-the-oven breads. On-shore tastings, including a sampling of freshly-pressed olive oil (DELICIOUS), rounded out the many gourmet adventures on Athos!

Led by the Athos’ incomparable Tour Guide Mathieu, the fascinating itinerary featured on the Athos has major appeal to history buffs, Europhiles, and culture vultures. Mathieu, as seen above explaining everything I ever wanted to know about olives, took the group on private tours of preserved landmarks, got us behind-the-scenes peeks into venerable churches, and offered the most fascinating explanations of the area’s storied military import. His friendly relationships with the personalities in the area also translated to an intimate visit to a locally-owned vineyard where the wines were poured by the owner, and a VIP tasting at the Vermouth distillery in Marseillan! His sense of humor, gregarious personality, and infectious laughter was a key element to the social experience both on and off the barge.

After spending six amazing nights on the Athos, it’s easy to see why this boat is Barge Lady favorite for five couples looking for a private charter with a lively yet laid-back ambiance. Three-generation families eager for a unique vacation opportunity are another perfect match for the Athos experience. As well, I can confidently recommend the Athos to individual couples looking to meet new people while exploring a historically-rich region of France. Located a four hour TGV train ride from Paris, the cruise route is as well easily reached by car from Provence or Bordeaux. It’s so easy to enjoy an Athos cruise as part of exciting travels in France, and of course the Barge Ladies will have ideas to make this planning seamless. I very much look forward to returning to Athos, and the memorable welcome of Julian and Dannielle!”


Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise
2017 value season dates

Whole-Boat Charter for up to 6: $36,800
Whole-Boat Charter for 8: $39,400
Whole-Boat Charter for 10: $42,000
Individuals: $4,550 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $1,500

2017 value season dates
April 2 - 8 April 23 - 29 October 15 - 21
April 9 - 15 October 8 - 14 October 22 - 28
April 16 - 22    

 

2017 regular season Rates

Whole-Boat Charter for up to 6: $41,500
Whole-Boat Charter for 8: $44,500
Whole-Boat Charter for 10: $47,500
Individuals: $4,990 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $1,700

2017 regular season dates
April 30 - May 6 June 11 - 17 July 23 - 29 September 3 - 9
May 7 - 13 June 18 - 24 July 30 - August 5 September 10 - 16
May 14 - 20 June 25 - July 1 August 6 - 12 September 17 - 23
May 21 - 27 July 2 - 8 August 13 - 19 September 24 - 30
May 28 - June 3 July 9 - 15 August 20 - 26 October 1 - 7
June 4 - 10 July 16 - 22 August 27 - September 2
Barge Cruise

Athos Accommodations and Amenities

  • 100 Feet Long
  • Five cabins 93 - 108 sq feet
  • Choice of one queen or two twin beds
  • Ensuite tiled baths with shower
  • Also in the Cabins
  • Teak flooring, Upscale toiletries
  • Egyptian cotton linens
  • In the Public Areas
  • Salon/dining room with picture windows
  • Large picture windows
  • Large sun deck with canopy
  • WIFI with limited availability
  • 10 bicycles
  • B-Twin Hybrid mountain/road bicycles with 18 gears



















Athos Canal du Midi Barge Cruise Itinerary

Argeliers to Marseillan on the Canal du Midi

Sunday: Beziers to Salleles D'Aude
Welcome Aboard!
Guests will be met at 4:30pm at the Beziers Train Station. (The cost of transfers to/from Beziers is additional to the cruise fare and must be booked separately.) You will be met by ATHOS Captain and Manager. In the comfort of ATHOS' private air-conditioned Chrysler minivans, you will be chauffeured to the ATHOS. You will be treated to a full-crew Welcome Aboard, whilst toasting with Champagne and Mediterranean canapés. Once you are settled into your cabin, enjoy the first of many gourmet dinners on board.

Monday: Salleles D'Aude to Argeliers
Medieval Walled Town of Carcassonne
Continental-style breakfast is served at your leisure, beginning at 8:30 am. The morning visit is a drive to the famous Medieval walled city of Carcassonne, pictured above. Your knowledgeable on-board guide will offer the historical guided visit -- making sure that you have time to browse those shops! While the Captain gets ATHOS underway for an afternoon's cruise to Argeliers, Chef will serve another 3-course gourmet meal. By early evening you have arrived in Argeliers. Dinner on board.

Tuesday: Argeliers to Capestang
Relaxing Cruise on the Canal du Midi
After breakfast, visit a tasting at the Oulibo - the local olive oil pressoir. After which a short drive up the Gorge de la Cesse and into the hilltop village of Minerve is in order. A long lunch and an afternoon of relaxation await your return to the ATHOS, see us floating below. We arrive early evening in the charming village of Capestang. ATHOS will be moored with a clear view of the flood-lit St. Etienne cathedral. The village is a 5-minute walk -- and dinner will be waiting on your return!

Wednesday: Capestang to Fonserannes
Traditional Methods of Winemaking - and Winetasting
After breakfast, come along on a visit to the 6th century establishment and archeological site at the Oppidum d'Enserune and amazing look-out and landscape of the Lac de Montady, pictured below at right. To maintain your enthusiasm for local fare, we invite you to a wine-tasting at one of the few remaining traditional-method 19th century wineries On returning to ATHOS, a stylish al-fresco lunch awaits you. The afternoon promises spectacular views of the Pyrenees across the sunny, clear Plain. This evening's mooring is the breath-taking view-point at the Fonserannes. Dinner on board.

Thursday: Fonserannes to Villeneuve les Beziers
Narbonne - pastel-colored homes, cobblestoned streets, Roman ruins
After breakfast, take a trip to the market  in Narbonne, pictured below. Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia, or browse through the well-compiled Roman Museum, or, discover the beauty of St. Juste Cathedral. Captain Julian and his deck hand are busy getting ATHOS underway. This 17th century feat of engineering, the "Neuf Ecluses" (or staircase locks), is sure to impress! ATHOS crew expertly tie her up in each lock, and wait for the gates to close safely behind her before the water levels empty out and allow her to pass from one lock into the next. But it's not over yet! Coming up next is the 18th century Canal Bridge which will carry the ATHOS over the Orb River. The evening's mooring will be at the small village of Villeneuve les Beziers. The paved tow path and the many locks leading to this village make it an ideal afternoon for walking or cycling alongside the ATHOS. Dinner on board.

Friday: Villeneuve les Beziers to Agde to Marseillan

Noilly Prat Vermouth Distillery
After breakfast, we get underway to make it into the Greek-established village of Agde before lunch. Take the opportunity to explore the Old Town and the Romanesque Cathedral which overlooks the River Herault. Late morning, ATHOS leaves your mooring at Agde, and cruises towards Marseillan, our last mooring - pictured below. A spectacular seafood lunch awaits you, as you enter the open-waters of the Etang de Thau. The Etang hosts Europe's largest mussel and oyster park. ATHOS comes to moor in the port at Marseillan, notice the Noilly Prat Vermouth distillery. End a perfect day with a fascinating tour of the Distillery -- and, of course, a taste of Noilly Prat vermouth! Chef's efforts are sure to make this evening worth remembering! Captain Julian will join your party for your final dinner onboard this evening.

Saturday: Return to Beziers
A Sad Farewell
You will be chauffeured back to the Beziers train station in time for the early morning train returning to Paris (or your other destination). We hope you enjoyed your cruise on Athos! (All transfers to and from the cruise route are in addition to the cruise fare and must be booked separately.) We hope you enjoyed your cruise on Athos!

Please note: this is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions. The route will run in reverse on alternate weeks. Contact The Barge Lady for reservations and more information about Cruises on the hotel-barge Athos and barging the Canal du Midi Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.

Athos Sample Menus

Dinner
Foie Gras sauteed in Armangac on Brioche Toasts
Caramelized Pears, Melted Camembert
* * *
Rack of Lamb in a Dijon Mustard and Rosemary Crust
Served on Chilled Polenta Cakes
Mediterranean Vegetables,
Tomato and Black Olive Salsa
* * *
Cheese Platter
Roquefort
Crottin de Chavignol
Laguiole
****
Molten Fondant au Chocolat with Creme Anglaise
Fresh Raspberries
* * * * *
~ Wines ~
Hugues de Beauvignac
AOC Picpoul de Pinet
Domaine de la Barroubio
AOC Muscat St. Jean de Minervois

Lunch
Salad of Fresh Greens and Roquette with
Garlic Roasted, Peppers Pine Nuts
* * *
Moules Marinieres with White Wine Sauce and Parsley,
Herb-Crusted Roast Potato Wedges
* * *
White Chocolate Mousse with Passionfruit Coulis
* * * * *

Picture a Barge Cruise on Athos

 France barge cruise Athos, cruising on the Canal du Midi in the South of France

Athos Guest Book

guests on canal du midi barge athos

"We would go again in a heartbeat, and we would book the Athos first. It was a great experience in every way. Wow! The crew could not have been nicer, or more helpful, or more informative, or more talented in so many ways. They are a great team. Tour Guide Matthieu was one of the best tour guides we have ever experienced. He is very customer-centered, always focused on what activities would appeal to our group, and how to make our excursions as informative and as enjoyable as possible. And he was great fun besides. Chef Emma's cuisine was of uniformly high quality, and the presentation was always lovely. Highest marks! We especially enjoyed the local wines served and the accompanying commentary, and ditto the cheese. The beds in our cabin was extremely comfortable. The air conditioning wasn't necessary most of the time, but on the few occasions we needed it, it worked perfectly. The bathroom was excellent. The pre-trip information provided by the Barge Lady was very helpful and of an appropriate amount. We have only the happiest of memories of our trip."

- Lor and Mike Gehret, cruised September, 2016

"Our cruise on the Athos was an experience we will recommend highly to friends. Crew was beyond fabulous! Consistently upbeat, smiling and energetic. Tour Guide Mathieu was additionally helpful with after tour ideas that made our next few days in the region. Hostesses Zusa and Marianna were wonderful and much appreciated by all of us. Captain Julian was a great raconteur at the Captain's dinner. He also made sure all connections before and after the cruise were smoothly made. Chef Emma produced exceptional food and delightful, cheery commentary. Her cuisine was excellent. Varied, locally sourced, featured local specialties and was superbly cooked and presented. Excursion were fun and varied. Cabins offered plenty of room to stow everything in an accessible manner. Very clean and maintained that way during the week. Nice toiletries. The individual room-controlled air/heat and the good water pressure and ample hot water were pleasant surprises. Barge Lady support was excellent, and services were all performed in a timely, professional, and friendly manner."

- Beth Watson, cruised September, 2016

"An awesome time. The Athos crew could not have been better -- very engaged and caring about the comfort of all of the passengers. We LOVED the cuisine -- Chef Andy is a genius. We really enjoyed the excursions, and the time spent exploring new areas. Barge Lady Lori was great. She was very communicative and always immediately responsive to all of my questions. Keep doing what you're doing, Barge Ladies."

- Ken Wilson, cruised May, 2016

"A most pleasant and relaxing six days. We enjoyed the crew very much, all lovely people, who work together as a team. Good food and excellent wine selection, and we liked all the excursions. The cabin was clean with good space for luggage under the bed. Pre-trip infomation was very detailed and delivered on timely basis."

- Kevin Meehan, cruised September, 2015

"Our trip on the Athos was fabulous! I cannot say enough nice things about the crew. The pilot, Pierre, was very good, and a delightful person to chat with. Mathieu, the Tour Guide, was fabulous!!! I asked him how he learned so much history, and he said that he loves it so he has read and listened. The daily tours were varied and informative. I’m not sure I can say which one I enjoyed the most as I liked them all. Steven, the Chef, was quite skilled and we loved everything he fixed. His presentations were fun and the plates were always beautifully presented. We thoroughly enjoyed everyone on the crew, all were quite personable and interesting.

The cabin was very nice. They had made the beds up into a queen, which was great, and very comfortable. We slept quite well, just not enough as we were having such a wonderful time at dinner we didn’t want to stop and go to bed! The storage under the bed was quite adequate as was the closet space. The bathroom was great, and the linens were very nice, much nicer than I expected.

We felt we had been very well served by The Barge Lady and had recommended you to several people even before we left, but since we have been back we will continue to do so with even more zeal. The pre-trip information was great and I can’t think of anything else we needed. It was great to already have our train tickets. Your services were perfect and if we ever go on another barge trip, we will certainly call you so you can give us another wonderful experience. Thank you for giving us such a great vacation!"

- Caroline Morton, cruised May, 2015

"My overall experience of the barge: Excellent..Memorable...I would highly recommend this barge and its crew. I have come to realize that while traveling I have certain standards of expectation. My expectations were exceeded on this barge.

The crew made each person feel like 'Kings and Queens'. So attentive, kind, and thoughtful, each and every one. Give them an A+++! As far as cuisine goes, I'm a complete and certified 'foodie', and the cuisine, wine list, and cheese selection surpassed what I had even imagined. This rating goes off chart. Sightseeing excursions were enjoyable. The Tour Guide, Mathew, was entertaining and educational with a fantastic list of things to see and do. I would give him a triple A rating as well.

I must confess, I was a little apprehensive going on the barge as I am a boat person, and know how some boats don't leave much in the way of comfort, especially when it comes to storage space and bathroom facilities. However, the barge was so well designed that even the most selective of travelers could be very comfortable and 'at home'. A good design is everything and this barge had a great design. For example, cabins were way better than expected. Shower was wonderful, great water temperature and good pressure. Loved having my own air conditioning unit which was nice and cold. The bed was very comfortable, and my 6'4'' husband had plenty of head room.

I understand each guest has certain requirements, but for those who want a wonderful experience on the Canal du Midi, fabulous foods, wines and cheeses, great crew, well designed and comfortable rooms, personal attention on all tours and connections to and from the barge -- then this barge is the one I would personally recommend. With ten total passengers on board having five crew members who did everything they could to make the experience a positive and enjoyable one, from the Captain, to the Tour Guide, to the two Hostesses, to the Chef -- I felt like a Queen!

Can you tell I LOVED THIS BARGE EXPERIENCE!!! It will always be a treasured memory in my path of life's special experiences. I might never pass that way again...but when I did...It was a wonderful and memorable moment in time."

- Janet Pyle, cruised May, 2015

 

Athos Blog Posts,Recipes, Articles and Videos

Ask any Barge Lady, and she’ll tell you: when it comes to travel, more is better! Explore below for more of everything we love – videos, articles, blog posts, recipes and MORE!

 

Put Some Mussel into Your Bastille Day Celebration
Atho's Favorite Mussels in White Wine - Chef Carlene's original (and doable!) recipe from her wonderful mussel pot. Enjoy a taste of the Canal du Midi – right in your home!

 

 

Romantic Route: Seeing France up close from a luxury canal barge
By Cheryl Blackerby, Special to the Palm Beach Daily News

 

 

 

+ - Overview

Cruise Details:

  • Up to 10 guests
  • 100 Ft. Long
  • Rating: First Class
  • Charter & Cabin bookings
  • Hosts: Captain Julian Farrant
  • English Speaking Crew of 5
  • 10 Bicycles
  • Air Conditioned
  • Last Visited 2015

Cruise Rate Includes:

6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath,transportation to and from Beziers to the barge, 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.

Cruise Rate Does NOT Include

Airfare to and from France, transportation to the cruise route (we will assist you with this), cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)


Athos

Barge Lady Stephanie Sack spent a most delightful barge cruise on the Athos in October of 2015, full of intriguing expeditions, divine meals, and peaceful scenery. Her report is below:

“I arrived at the 10-passenger Athos on a beautiful Sunday evening to find a warmly welcoming ambiance, a professional and personable crew -and a scrumptious serving of canapes! This wonderful arrival set the tone for what MAY HAVE BEEN my favorite barge cruise yet…!

Owned and operated by the husband-wife team of Julian and Dannielle Farrant (They met years ago as crew aboard Athos!), this barge fits perfectly into the relaxed and restful lifestyle found along the historic Canal du Midi. While socializing on the large and partially shaded deck, I reveled in the abundant wildlife and expansive vistas along the canal. As the Athos serenely cruised, the region’s many vineyards came into view, while the pretty ports, Mediterranean influences, and sweeping ancient hilltops added immeasurably to an indelible sense of place.

Captain Julian, assisted by four in crew, operates the barge. Dannielle is land-based and works behind the scenes to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Here I am with Dannielle! Together this attractive couple has a wealth of experience and ideas about what makes a barge cruise special and fun. My cozy cabin was “country French” in feel, with fresh flower bouquets, and the tiled baths featured premium personal care products. The barge itself is a charming space to read, relax, and converse. As seen here, the salon’s cushy couches and library of hand-selected cookbooks encouraged lots of chatter about food and cooking, while the “always open” corner bar ensured there was a glass of wine or hot cup of tea at the ready. Walks along the canal revealed the depth and breadth of the area’s flora, and cycling opportunities were maximized by easy-to-use bikes perfect for the flatter paths of the Languedoc.

The infinite pleasures of the region’s gastronomy were front and center at mealtimes -- this is DEFINITELY a cruise for those who appreciate cuisine! The chef-driven menus perfectly reflected the region’s rich flavors and complex Mediterranean influences. Savory and sumptuous, the seasonally-inspired luncheon buffets highlighted filling salads and lighter fare; at dinner, individual courses were distinctively presented paired with wines selected by the crew from the region’s iconic wineries. Cheese platters – my FAVORITE -- were creatively served with fresh fruits and local honey for a flavorful journey into one of France’s signature foods. Of course, I started out the day with village-baked pastries, and the visit to a regional produce market with Chef Emma, seen below selecting ingredients for dinner, revealed a cornucopia of ripe fruits, colorful vegetables, gorgeous flowers, and just-out-of-the-oven breads. On-shore tastings, including a sampling of freshly-pressed olive oil (DELICIOUS), rounded out the many gourmet adventures on Athos!

Led by the Athos’ incomparable Tour Guide Mathieu, the fascinating itinerary featured on the Athos has major appeal to history buffs, Europhiles, and culture vultures. Mathieu, as seen above explaining everything I ever wanted to know about olives, took the group on private tours of preserved landmarks, got us behind-the-scenes peeks into venerable churches, and offered the most fascinating explanations of the area’s storied military import. His friendly relationships with the personalities in the area also translated to an intimate visit to a locally-owned vineyard where the wines were poured by the owner, and a VIP tasting at the Vermouth distillery in Marseillan! His sense of humor, gregarious personality, and infectious laughter was a key element to the social experience both on and off the barge.

After spending six amazing nights on the Athos, it’s easy to see why this boat is Barge Lady favorite for five couples looking for a private charter with a lively yet laid-back ambiance. Three-generation families eager for a unique vacation opportunity are another perfect match for the Athos experience. As well, I can confidently recommend the Athos to individual couples looking to meet new people while exploring a historically-rich region of France. Located a four hour TGV train ride from Paris, the cruise route is as well easily reached by car from Provence or Bordeaux. It’s so easy to enjoy an Athos cruise as part of exciting travels in France, and of course the Barge Ladies will have ideas to make this planning seamless. I very much look forward to returning to Athos, and the memorable welcome of Julian and Dannielle!”


Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise
2017 value season dates

Whole-Boat Charter for up to 6: $36,800
Whole-Boat Charter for 8: $39,400
Whole-Boat Charter for 10: $42,000
Individuals: $4,550 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $1,500

2017 value season dates
April 2 - 8 April 23 - 29 October 15 - 21
April 9 - 15 October 8 - 14 October 22 - 28
April 16 - 22    

 

2017 regular season Rates

Whole-Boat Charter for up to 6: $41,500
Whole-Boat Charter for 8: $44,500
Whole-Boat Charter for 10: $47,500
Individuals: $4,990 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $1,700

2017 regular season dates
April 30 - May 6 June 11 - 17 July 23 - 29 September 3 - 9
May 7 - 13 June 18 - 24 July 30 - August 5 September 10 - 16
May 14 - 20 June 25 - July 1 August 6 - 12 September 17 - 23
May 21 - 27 July 2 - 8 August 13 - 19 September 24 - 30
May 28 - June 3 July 9 - 15 August 20 - 26 October 1 - 7
June 4 - 10 July 16 - 22 August 27 - September 2

Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise

Athos Accommodations and Amenities

  • 100 Feet Long
  • Five cabins 93 - 108 sq feet
  • Choice of one queen or two twin beds
  • Ensuite tiled baths with shower
  • Also in the Cabins
  • Teak flooring, Upscale toiletries
  • Egyptian cotton linens
  • In the Public Areas
  • Salon/dining room with picture windows
  • Large picture windows
  • Large sun deck with canopy
  • WIFI with limited availability
  • 10 bicycles
  • B-Twin Hybrid mountain/road bicycles with 18 gears



















Athos Canal du Midi Barge Cruise Itinerary

Argeliers to Marseillan on the Canal du Midi

Sunday: Beziers to Salleles D'Aude
Welcome Aboard!
Guests will be met at 4:30pm at the Beziers Train Station. (The cost of transfers to/from Beziers is additional to the cruise fare and must be booked separately.) You will be met by ATHOS Captain and Manager. In the comfort of ATHOS' private air-conditioned Chrysler minivans, you will be chauffeured to the ATHOS. You will be treated to a full-crew Welcome Aboard, whilst toasting with Champagne and Mediterranean canapés. Once you are settled into your cabin, enjoy the first of many gourmet dinners on board.

Monday: Salleles D'Aude to Argeliers
Medieval Walled Town of Carcassonne
Continental-style breakfast is served at your leisure, beginning at 8:30 am. The morning visit is a drive to the famous Medieval walled city of Carcassonne, pictured above. Your knowledgeable on-board guide will offer the historical guided visit -- making sure that you have time to browse those shops! While the Captain gets ATHOS underway for an afternoon's cruise to Argeliers, Chef will serve another 3-course gourmet meal. By early evening you have arrived in Argeliers. Dinner on board.

Tuesday: Argeliers to Capestang
Relaxing Cruise on the Canal du Midi
After breakfast, visit a tasting at the Oulibo - the local olive oil pressoir. After which a short drive up the Gorge de la Cesse and into the hilltop village of Minerve is in order. A long lunch and an afternoon of relaxation await your return to the ATHOS, see us floating below. We arrive early evening in the charming village of Capestang. ATHOS will be moored with a clear view of the flood-lit St. Etienne cathedral. The village is a 5-minute walk -- and dinner will be waiting on your return!

Wednesday: Capestang to Fonserannes
Traditional Methods of Winemaking - and Winetasting
After breakfast, come along on a visit to the 6th century establishment and archeological site at the Oppidum d'Enserune and amazing look-out and landscape of the Lac de Montady, pictured below at right. To maintain your enthusiasm for local fare, we invite you to a wine-tasting at one of the few remaining traditional-method 19th century wineries On returning to ATHOS, a stylish al-fresco lunch awaits you. The afternoon promises spectacular views of the Pyrenees across the sunny, clear Plain. This evening's mooring is the breath-taking view-point at the Fonserannes. Dinner on board.

Thursday: Fonserannes to Villeneuve les Beziers
Narbonne - pastel-colored homes, cobblestoned streets, Roman ruins
After breakfast, take a trip to the market  in Narbonne, pictured below. Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia, or browse through the well-compiled Roman Museum, or, discover the beauty of St. Juste Cathedral. Captain Julian and his deck hand are busy getting ATHOS underway. This 17th century feat of engineering, the "Neuf Ecluses" (or staircase locks), is sure to impress! ATHOS crew expertly tie her up in each lock, and wait for the gates to close safely behind her before the water levels empty out and allow her to pass from one lock into the next. But it's not over yet! Coming up next is the 18th century Canal Bridge which will carry the ATHOS over the Orb River. The evening's mooring will be at the small village of Villeneuve les Beziers. The paved tow path and the many locks leading to this village make it an ideal afternoon for walking or cycling alongside the ATHOS. Dinner on board.

Friday: Villeneuve les Beziers to Agde to Marseillan

Noilly Prat Vermouth Distillery
After breakfast, we get underway to make it into the Greek-established village of Agde before lunch. Take the opportunity to explore the Old Town and the Romanesque Cathedral which overlooks the River Herault. Late morning, ATHOS leaves your mooring at Agde, and cruises towards Marseillan, our last mooring - pictured below. A spectacular seafood lunch awaits you, as you enter the open-waters of the Etang de Thau. The Etang hosts Europe's largest mussel and oyster park. ATHOS comes to moor in the port at Marseillan, notice the Noilly Prat Vermouth distillery. End a perfect day with a fascinating tour of the Distillery -- and, of course, a taste of Noilly Prat vermouth! Chef's efforts are sure to make this evening worth remembering! Captain Julian will join your party for your final dinner onboard this evening.

Saturday: Return to Beziers
A Sad Farewell
You will be chauffeured back to the Beziers train station in time for the early morning train returning to Paris (or your other destination). We hope you enjoyed your cruise on Athos! (All transfers to and from the cruise route are in addition to the cruise fare and must be booked separately.) We hope you enjoyed your cruise on Athos!

Please note: this is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions. The route will run in reverse on alternate weeks. Contact The Barge Lady for reservations and more information about Cruises on the hotel-barge Athos and barging the Canal du Midi Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.

+ - Menu

Athos Sample Menus

Dinner
Foie Gras sauteed in Armangac on Brioche Toasts
Caramelized Pears, Melted Camembert
* * *
Rack of Lamb in a Dijon Mustard and Rosemary Crust
Served on Chilled Polenta Cakes
Mediterranean Vegetables,
Tomato and Black Olive Salsa
* * *
Cheese Platter
Roquefort
Crottin de Chavignol
Laguiole
****
Molten Fondant au Chocolat with Creme Anglaise
Fresh Raspberries
* * * * *
~ Wines ~
Hugues de Beauvignac
AOC Picpoul de Pinet
Domaine de la Barroubio
AOC Muscat St. Jean de Minervois

Lunch
Salad of Fresh Greens and Roquette with
Garlic Roasted, Peppers Pine Nuts
* * *
Moules Marinieres with White Wine Sauce and Parsley,
Herb-Crusted Roast Potato Wedges
* * *
White Chocolate Mousse with Passionfruit Coulis
* * * * *

Picture a Barge Cruise on Athos

 France barge cruise Athos, cruising on the Canal du Midi in the South of France

Athos Guest Book

guests on canal du midi barge athos

"We would go again in a heartbeat, and we would book the Athos first. It was a great experience in every way. Wow! The crew could not have been nicer, or more helpful, or more informative, or more talented in so many ways. They are a great team. Tour Guide Matthieu was one of the best tour guides we have ever experienced. He is very customer-centered, always focused on what activities would appeal to our group, and how to make our excursions as informative and as enjoyable as possible. And he was great fun besides. Chef Emma's cuisine was of uniformly high quality, and the presentation was always lovely. Highest marks! We especially enjoyed the local wines served and the accompanying commentary, and ditto the cheese. The beds in our cabin was extremely comfortable. The air conditioning wasn't necessary most of the time, but on the few occasions we needed it, it worked perfectly. The bathroom was excellent. The pre-trip information provided by the Barge Lady was very helpful and of an appropriate amount. We have only the happiest of memories of our trip."

- Lor and Mike Gehret, cruised September, 2016

"Our cruise on the Athos was an experience we will recommend highly to friends. Crew was beyond fabulous! Consistently upbeat, smiling and energetic. Tour Guide Mathieu was additionally helpful with after tour ideas that made our next few days in the region. Hostesses Zusa and Marianna were wonderful and much appreciated by all of us. Captain Julian was a great raconteur at the Captain's dinner. He also made sure all connections before and after the cruise were smoothly made. Chef Emma produced exceptional food and delightful, cheery commentary. Her cuisine was excellent. Varied, locally sourced, featured local specialties and was superbly cooked and presented. Excursion were fun and varied. Cabins offered plenty of room to stow everything in an accessible manner. Very clean and maintained that way during the week. Nice toiletries. The individual room-controlled air/heat and the good water pressure and ample hot water were pleasant surprises. Barge Lady support was excellent, and services were all performed in a timely, professional, and friendly manner."

- Beth Watson, cruised September, 2016

"An awesome time. The Athos crew could not have been better -- very engaged and caring about the comfort of all of the passengers. We LOVED the cuisine -- Chef Andy is a genius. We really enjoyed the excursions, and the time spent exploring new areas. Barge Lady Lori was great. She was very communicative and always immediately responsive to all of my questions. Keep doing what you're doing, Barge Ladies."

- Ken Wilson, cruised May, 2016

"A most pleasant and relaxing six days. We enjoyed the crew very much, all lovely people, who work together as a team. Good food and excellent wine selection, and we liked all the excursions. The cabin was clean with good space for luggage under the bed. Pre-trip infomation was very detailed and delivered on timely basis."

- Kevin Meehan, cruised September, 2015

"Our trip on the Athos was fabulous! I cannot say enough nice things about the crew. The pilot, Pierre, was very good, and a delightful person to chat with. Mathieu, the Tour Guide, was fabulous!!! I asked him how he learned so much history, and he said that he loves it so he has read and listened. The daily tours were varied and informative. I’m not sure I can say which one I enjoyed the most as I liked them all. Steven, the Chef, was quite skilled and we loved everything he fixed. His presentations were fun and the plates were always beautifully presented. We thoroughly enjoyed everyone on the crew, all were quite personable and interesting.

The cabin was very nice. They had made the beds up into a queen, which was great, and very comfortable. We slept quite well, just not enough as we were having such a wonderful time at dinner we didn’t want to stop and go to bed! The storage under the bed was quite adequate as was the closet space. The bathroom was great, and the linens were very nice, much nicer than I expected.

We felt we had been very well served by The Barge Lady and had recommended you to several people even before we left, but since we have been back we will continue to do so with even more zeal. The pre-trip information was great and I can’t think of anything else we needed. It was great to already have our train tickets. Your services were perfect and if we ever go on another barge trip, we will certainly call you so you can give us another wonderful experience. Thank you for giving us such a great vacation!"

- Caroline Morton, cruised May, 2015

"My overall experience of the barge: Excellent..Memorable...I would highly recommend this barge and its crew. I have come to realize that while traveling I have certain standards of expectation. My expectations were exceeded on this barge.

The crew made each person feel like 'Kings and Queens'. So attentive, kind, and thoughtful, each and every one. Give them an A+++! As far as cuisine goes, I'm a complete and certified 'foodie', and the cuisine, wine list, and cheese selection surpassed what I had even imagined. This rating goes off chart. Sightseeing excursions were enjoyable. The Tour Guide, Mathew, was entertaining and educational with a fantastic list of things to see and do. I would give him a triple A rating as well.

I must confess, I was a little apprehensive going on the barge as I am a boat person, and know how some boats don't leave much in the way of comfort, especially when it comes to storage space and bathroom facilities. However, the barge was so well designed that even the most selective of travelers could be very comfortable and 'at home'. A good design is everything and this barge had a great design. For example, cabins were way better than expected. Shower was wonderful, great water temperature and good pressure. Loved having my own air conditioning unit which was nice and cold. The bed was very comfortable, and my 6'4'' husband had plenty of head room.

I understand each guest has certain requirements, but for those who want a wonderful experience on the Canal du Midi, fabulous foods, wines and cheeses, great crew, well designed and comfortable rooms, personal attention on all tours and connections to and from the barge -- then this barge is the one I would personally recommend. With ten total passengers on board having five crew members who did everything they could to make the experience a positive and enjoyable one, from the Captain, to the Tour Guide, to the two Hostesses, to the Chef -- I felt like a Queen!

Can you tell I LOVED THIS BARGE EXPERIENCE!!! It will always be a treasured memory in my path of life's special experiences. I might never pass that way again...but when I did...It was a wonderful and memorable moment in time."

- Janet Pyle, cruised May, 2015

 

+ - More!

Athos Blog Posts,Recipes, Articles and Videos

Ask any Barge Lady, and she’ll tell you: when it comes to travel, more is better! Explore below for more of everything we love – videos, articles, blog posts, recipes and MORE!

 

Put Some Mussel into Your Bastille Day Celebration
Atho's Favorite Mussels in White Wine - Chef Carlene's original (and doable!) recipe from her wonderful mussel pot. Enjoy a taste of the Canal du Midi – right in your home!

 

 

Romantic Route: Seeing France up close from a luxury canal barge
By Cheryl Blackerby, Special to the Palm Beach Daily News

 

 

 


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