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Cruise Destinations

-France, Canal Du Midi on Barge Emma-

Cruise Details:

  • Up to 6 guests
  • 92 Ft. Long
  • Rating: First Class
  • Charter & Cabin bookings
  • Hosts: Liz and Rene
  • English Speaking Crew of 4
  • 6 Bicycles
  • Air Conditioned
  • Last Visited 2015

Cruise Rate Includes:

6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, transfers to and from Narbonne/Beziers to the barge, all meals, from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning,(unless the charter books a half-board cruise in which case four dinners, two lunches and all breakfasts are included on board) all wines with lunch & dinner onboard, open bar, daily escorted excursions and use of onboard bicycles.

Cruise Rate Does NOT Include

Airfare to and from France, transportation to and from Narbonne/Beziers (we will assist you with this), cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price). if a half-board charter cruise is booked then two dinners and three lunches are taken ashore at the guests expense.


Emma

Barge Lady Sales Manager Lori Young visited Emma in August 2013. Lori says:

"Returning to barge Emma was as divine as always! I applaud Liz and Rene Jacquot for creating the perfect ambiance on their floating hotel. They always seem to strike the right balance, whether it’s the food, the accompanying wines, the table setting and dishes, the off the track excursion, it’s always just right!

Emma’s charming deck is a cozy retreat with a glass of wine as Rene expertly glides Emma along the canal. The new deck furniture offers ample combinations of conversational seating for a party of six. With well-designed (by Rene) shade covered options on deck, don’t be afraid to come south! The Languedoc region has a temperate climate with unique palm trees, hardwoods, and even cactus. There’s also no shortage of good birding if you’re into wildlife.

gourmet food and wine on languedoc barge emmaRegional cooking and flavours of the Mediterranean are showcased by Liz. Her cuisine is recognizable and not in the least bit 'fussed over'. She takes full advantage of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, and local meats.

Crew Rosy and Amanda are a delightful asset to making a week aboard Emma special. Rosy is a historian in her own right and superbly balances wit, knowledge and charm. Amanda keeps Emma ship shape and spotless. She’s a bit of an artist and has a passion for wines, introducing guests to a variety of styles throughout the cruise week.

In August you can experience the local village fêtes. I enjoyed the one in Capestang this summer, so much people watching and mingling about with the locals! If you would like to dip your toes in the Mediterranean Sea just let Liz or Rosy know, they will happily take you for a seaside picnic! On Emma, flexibility is paramount to creating a vacation week that is uniquely yours.

hotel barge emma cruises on the Canal du Midi FranceThe Canal du Midi is a fascinating labyrinth as you float through the changing scenery, almost able to touch the vineyards and orchards. Mooring near ancient villages affords many opportunities to explore on your own, go early enough in the morning and your nose will lead you right to the local boulangerie!

I encourage you to be mesmerized by a region that time seems to have not touched and join Emma on the tranquil and historical Canal du Midi.”


Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise
2017 rates
Full Board Charter
Half Board Charter
4 passengers - $25,000 4 passengers - $22,500
5 passengers - $27,000 5 passengers - $24,300
6 passengers - $30,000 6 passengers - $27,000

Individuals: $5,500 - All Season per person double occupancy
$1,500- Single Supplement

Half Board / Dine Around Cruise: Includes four dinners, two lunches and all breakfasts onboard Emma. Two dinners and three lunches will be at passenger’s expense in authentic local restaurants along the route, all carefully selected and recommended by your Captain, for a true regional French dining experience.

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

Emma Accommodations and Amenities

  • 92 Feet Long
  • Three cabins with ensuite shower bath
  • All 100 square feet
  • Yellow - double bed
  • Green & Blue - two twin beds or queen bed
  • In the Public Areas
  • Salon with handcrafted furniture & TV
  • WIFI with limited availability
  • Deck & Wheelhouse
  • Spacious deck with canopy for lounging or dining
  • 6  bicycles
  • All have gears & are suitable for towpath
  • Mixture of men's and women's; helmets included









 barge emma salonbarge emma blue cabin
green cabin on canal du midi hotel barge emma

Emma Canal du Midi Cruise Itinerary

Carcassone (Trebes) to Beziers on the Canal du Midi

Saturday: Trebes

Welcome aboard!

We will assign you a train that arrives into Beziers at approximately 4:30 pm. (Transfers to/from the cruise route are in addition to the cruise fare and must be booked separately.) As you alight, a member of Emma crew will be on the platform and will chauffeur you to the barge moored in Trebes. Other pickup points may include a rental car office at the Narbonne Station or various points in Carcassonne. There will be time to meet your crew, pictured below, and enjoy a champagne reception. We shall let you get settled in and unpacked which is the most strenuous task of the week, and then sit back and relax while we take a short cruise so that you feel you really are on a boat. During this time the first of your gourmet dinners will be prepared.

Sunday: Trebes to Carcassonne

Medieval Walled City - Plus Shopping

After a leisurely breakfast of fresh fruit, croissants, homemade jams, cereal and coffee you will be taken off in the minivan to explore the wonderful medieval city of Carcassonne. A stroll through the cobbled streets with the array of boutiques, a visit to the Feudal Castle, a foray into the Inquisition museum or a walk along the ramparts. Carcassonne has something for everyone to enjoy. Back to the boat for a lunch of tasty homemade pâtés, quiches and salads followed by a selection of the 365 cheeses which France has to offer and washed down with some of the finest wines of the Languedoc Rouissillon region. After lunch we shall cruise off to our next mooring spot along the canal, going down several locks as we start our descent towards the Mediterranean. Emma will stop at another lovely setting where your evening dinner will be served.

Monday

Many Excursion Choices

After breakfast today you will be whisked off again to discover another delight of the region. We could go to Lagrasse, a little village in the heart of the Corbières with a magnificent Benedictine Abbey perched on the banks of the river Orbiel and where the little cobbled streets house a multitude of potters, artists, wood carvers, etc. Or we could go and visit the giant underground cave at Cabrespine, or again visit the ruins of the old Cathar stronghold Chateau Lastours. Another delicious lunch will be ready for you when you get back and you will be able to relax while we cruise on to our next stop.

Tuesday

Mingle with the locals at an Open Air Market

France is famous for its open air markets and today you will have the chance to experience this for yourself when we visit the market at Olonzac, pictured at right. The smells of the olives and herbs and the roasting chickens will make your mouth water and the arrays of fresh fruit and vegetables are a picture. We will then go up into the heart of the Minervois region to Minerve a spectacular village set on a rocky outcrop in the gorges formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian. There are lovely walks here, just the thing to build up your appetite for lunch. If you have plenty of energy after lunch while Emma is cruising to her next stop maybe you would like to take a bicycle ride or a stroll. The towpath follows the canal all the way so any time you want to this option is available.

Wednesday: Narbonne

Narbonne - Ancient Capital of Roman Gaul

Narbonne is our tour for today. The ancient capital of Roman Gaul still retains a lot of its history. You will see the Via Domitia, a road 2000 years old with its chariot ruts still visible, visit the old Roman storehouses, the Archbishop's palace, the Cathedral St Just with its cloister, high altar, and splendid organ.

For those of you who enjoy food and markets, the indoor market at Narbonne is one of the best. You will see the finest display of fish, shellfish, fruit, vegetables, meats, herbs, spices, olives, cheese, and the list goes on. Perhaps you would like to dip your feet in the blue water of the Mediterranean, or visit the little fishing port of Gruissan. Such wonderful choices.

Thursday: Narbonne to Beziers

Gala Dinner - then its music on Deck!

Today we continue our lazy cruise which takes us under the smallest bridge in France, if you can get under this, you can go anywhere on the canal system! A choice of visits awaits you. A wine tasting at Guery or at St Chinian, a visit to the Abbey at Fontcaud, a trip up to the prehistoric site of Enserune with its panoramic views, there is so much to see, you will be spoiled for choices! End the cruise in style at our final Gala Dinner, followed by an informal concert under the stars.

Friday: Beziers

A Sad Farewell!

Emma will be moored in or near Beziers.  Between 9-10 am, you will be chauffeured back to the Narbonne Train Station.  Breakfast is your last on-board meal. We hope to see you again on Emma!

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 Emma and barging the Canal du Midi Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071(800) 880-0071.

 


 Emma Canal du Midi Cruise Itinerary

Carcassone (Trebes) to toulouse on the Canal du Midi

Saturday: Meet your fabulous crew!

We will assign you a train that arrives into Narbonne between 3-4 pm. (Transfers to/from the cruise route are in addition to the cruise price and must be booked separately.) As you alight, a member of Emma crew will be on the platform and will chauffeur you to the barge moored in Trebes. Other pickup points may include a rental car office at the Narbonne Station or various points in Carcassonne. Once you are settled on board we shall cruise off with champagne cocktails out into the vineyards, through 2 locks to Leveque.

Sunday:
This mornings visit will take you either to the walled city of Carcassonne or over the Alaric Mountains to the medieval village of Lagrasse with its beautiful bridges over the River Orbeil, its 14th century Abbey, cloister, Monks dormitory, and for those who like a spot of retail therapy, fabulous pottery, wooden and leather craft shops and art galleries. Return to Emma for lunch.

Monday:
This morning your guide will take you to Limoux, home of the famous sparkling wine. Can we tempt you to a little degustation? You will then carry on to Rennes le Chateau, which if you have read Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code; you will remember the story of the Cure Saunier who all of a sudden had great riches. Did he find the treasure? This is a very interesting visit, through beautiful scenery, but keep your eye out for the lost treasure. After lunch we shall cruise to the typical languedocian village of Brams. It is known as a circulade due to its resemblance to the spiral of a snail's shell.

Tuesday:
From Brams this morning your visit will take you through the rolling plains of the Lauraigais, fields of sunflowers in summer and views of the snow capped mountains on a clear day, to the town of Mirepoix. We shall stop off at Fanjeaux, home of St. Dominic and the Dominican Convent; the views are spectacular. Mirepoix itself is renowned for its wooden columns surrounding the main market square, its colombaged houses and its cathedral. After lunch your Captain will gently guide you along the canal, going through a selection of lovely locks to moor up in the lovely Lauragais countryside.

Wednesday:
This morning we will shall cruise to the town of Castelnaudary. This afternoon your guide will take you to visit Castelnaudary. One of the contenders for "the original and best Cassoulet", the others being Carcassonne and Toulouse. The Grand Bassin, the Gothic Callegiale with its 56 meter bell tower, the 17th century windmill the vestiges of the Presidial, partly destroyed by Louis XII and the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Pitie with its gold covered wood sculptures depicting ten episodes in the life of Christ are all on the visit.

Thursday:
We leave Castelnaudary this morning and continue our cruise to The Seuil de Narouze. This is the highest point on the Canal de Midi after which it descends the other side towards the Atlantic. Here the plane trees are the same age as the canal - amazing! This afternoon's visit is to the reason why the Canal du Midi was possible, the Lac St. Ferrol. It was the only land which had slopes both to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. You will see the intricate irrigation system, which allows us to have the canal we love today. To think this was all discovered int he 1600's on horseback by Paul Riquet. Return to Emma for your final gala dinner lovingly prepared by your personal chef.

Friday: A Sad Farewell!
After breakfast, we’ll say our farewells and then chauffeur you to the Toulouse Train Station. You will be on a departing train between 9-10 am.  We hope to see you on Emma again!

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 Emma and barging the Canal du Midi Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.

Emma
Sample Menus


The Barge Lady Enjoyed these menus aboard Emma.

 Lunch
Chicken Nougatine
* * *
Warm Salade of
Sweet Potatoes
Rocket
Cherry Tomatoes
* * *
Green Salade
with
Nuts and oranges
* * *
Cheeses
Cantal
Camembert
* * * * *



Dinner
Warm Goats Cheese Salad
on a bed of Rocket
Raspberry Vinagrette
* * *
Guinea Fowl
Porcini Mushroom Sauce
Roasted Onions
stuffed with
Mushrooms, Peas and Bacon

* * *
"The Emma Fromage Experience"
Roquefort
 with
Frozen Grapes

Muscat Saint Jean de Minervois 
****
Pear Poached in
Star Anise and Orange
on a dollop of
Poire William Marscapone
* * * * *


Celeriac Smoothie
(served straight up)

* * *
Garlic Prawns
in Pastis
served in a
Filo Basket
* * *
Dorade
on a confit of Fennel
New Season Potatoes
Fennel and Lemon Sauce
* * *
Cheese Platter
Crotin de Chavignal
St. Nectaire Fermier
* * *
Panna Cotta
Raspberry Coulis
Fresh Summer Fruits
* * * * *

 Dinner
Seared Foie Gras
served on
a Toast of Spice Bread
with
a Marmalade of
Figs, Cranberries
and Grelot Onions
***
Grilled Duck Breast
with
Potataoes Sarladaises
French Beans
in

Almonds and Garlic
and a
Fricassée of

Wild Mushrooms

***
Cheese Platter
Camembert
with

Fresh Fruit
****
Gratin of Red Berries
with
Champagne Sabayon

* * * * *


 

Fresh Scallops
Sauce au Noilly Prat
served on
Braised Endive
* * *
Supreme of Guinea Fowl
accompanied by a
Vegetable Flan
of Leeks,

Carrots & Ceps
* * *
Dark Chocolate Fondant
with
White Chocolate
Ice cream

and
Red Currants

* * * * *



 




Picture a Barge Cruise on Emma

 Canal du Midi France cruise on hotel barge Emma

Emma Guest Book

Barge Lady and Caroline with barge Emma owners

"A marvelous week. Excellent crew and programs. Food 5 star!"

- Ian Delaney, cruised September, 2016

"Crew was the best, and we enjoyed getting the local flavor the most in an intimate setting with our private Tour Guide, Rosy. The cuisine was over the top, and cabins were comfortable and well-maintained. Best vacation we've ever had!"

- Gail Schwartz, cruised May, 2016

"The Emma was a wonderful and special adventure. Captain Rene and Chef Liz really know how to make guests feel special, and are an outstanding host and hostess. They were such fun to get to know. Both have a fun sense of humor and they were more that hospitable. They are more like friends now. They really do an outstanding job and we will definitely highly recommend them to anyone thinking of a barge cruise.

Mathew was our Tour Guide and did a great job. He chose fun and interesting outings and is very knowledgeable about French history. They were varied and met everyone's interests, and we learned a lot! We really enjoyed the beautiful churches and castles, and the outdoor market was especially great fun. Amanda is so interesting with her amazing knowledge of wine and cheese. She is gracious and charming. She kept the cabins spotless at all times and even turned our beds down at night. She was always very pleasant and positive and seems to really love her job.

Cuisine -- Wow! Where to start...Chef Liz began our cruise by asking us if there was any food we did not like, etc. She clearly wanted to always prepare meals that pleased everyone. One of the other guests and I casually mentioned french onion soup and the next evening Liz served the soup as our appetizer. She really does know how to treat guests! Each meal was perfect. The table was always lovely and she even decorates the butter pat! The meals were excellent and it was fun to try dishes that we have never had. Morning pastry was fresh from the local bakery and Liz said she purchases her supplies from local resources. So the food was fresh and always great. We all felt the meals were outstanding in all respects.

Our cabins were nicely decorated and the storage was wonderful! Closet and shelves were more than adequate. We were not wanting a large cabin as we wanted to spend every minute outside and topside. The cabins were spotlessly maintained and towels changed often. The bathroom was fine and the shower much larger than one would expect on a barge.

We would definitely recommend the Barge Lady to anyone planning a barge cruise. I think you often went over and above when we had questions. All pre-trip information information was complete and very detailed. It really helped us with planning our adventure. You were also very helpful and responsive when we called to ask questions, etc. Some larger travel agencies would probably not be as one on one and we appreciated your support with our planning details.

The cruise was fabulous and actually more than we anticipated. We knew it would be special...but the Emma crew made it even more outstanding! We would do the cruise with the Emma again with no concerns. It was such a great trip in all respects."

- Jack and Pat Thomas, cruised September, 2015

"We feel lucky, pampered, relaxed and so very happy to have spent this time on the Emma. We owed those feelings to Liz, Rene, Amanda and Matthew. They were friendly, engaging, delightful people who knew what they were doing and how to do it! We loved Liz's cuisine. It was beautiful, fresh, flavorful and arranged with expertise every meal of every day! Amanda was very knowledgeable about the wines and cheeses and we loved talking and sharing our day with her. The daily sightseeing excursions were wonderful. Matthew our guide was enthusiastic about what he was sharing and a delight! We loved the opportunity to see the countryside and towns from our drives to the historic spots. We especially loved the open markets. Our cabin was great and the bed was very comfortable. Barge Lady services were accurate and timely."

- Janet Ziebell, cruised May, 2015

"Everything was absolutely delightful. Andrea and Liz were excellent hosts, and did not miss a step in making us feel both at home and looked after, while Captain Rene made it a very pleasant journey. Matthew, the tour guide, was an enthusiastic wealth of information on all the day trips. Everyday we had something interesting and different to look forward to! Cuisine was incredible -- delicious and beautifully presented. The Barge Lady services were well-planned and put together perfectly. A truly once in a life time experience!"

- Karen Lewis, cruised May, 2015

Emma 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!

Happy Crew Year!
Barge Emma's 'Hostess with the Mostest' was a no brainer for our spotlight on hardworking and personable crew helping make barge cruises extraordinary experiences with happy memories.

 

 

Afternoon Cruise Aboard Emma
Barge Lady's Kelly soaks up  Languedoc vistas along the Canal du Midi, savors Liz's delicious cuisine and finds a new favorite goat cheese on an afternoon cruise aboard barge Emma.

+ - Overview

Cruise Details:

  • Up to 6 guests
  • 92 Ft. Long
  • Rating: First Class
  • Charter & Cabin bookings
  • Hosts: Liz and Rene
  • English Speaking Crew of 4
  • 6 Bicycles
  • Air Conditioned
  • Last Visited 2015

Cruise Rate Includes:

6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, transfers to and from Narbonne/Beziers to the barge, all meals, from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning,(unless the charter books a half-board cruise in which case four dinners, two lunches and all breakfasts are included on board) all wines with lunch & dinner onboard, open bar, daily escorted excursions and use of onboard bicycles.

Cruise Rate Does NOT Include

Airfare to and from France, transportation to and from Narbonne/Beziers (we will assist you with this), cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price). if a half-board charter cruise is booked then two dinners and three lunches are taken ashore at the guests expense.


Emma

Barge Lady Sales Manager Lori Young visited Emma in August 2013. Lori says:

"Returning to barge Emma was as divine as always! I applaud Liz and Rene Jacquot for creating the perfect ambiance on their floating hotel. They always seem to strike the right balance, whether it’s the food, the accompanying wines, the table setting and dishes, the off the track excursion, it’s always just right!

Emma’s charming deck is a cozy retreat with a glass of wine as Rene expertly glides Emma along the canal. The new deck furniture offers ample combinations of conversational seating for a party of six. With well-designed (by Rene) shade covered options on deck, don’t be afraid to come south! The Languedoc region has a temperate climate with unique palm trees, hardwoods, and even cactus. There’s also no shortage of good birding if you’re into wildlife.

gourmet food and wine on languedoc barge emmaRegional cooking and flavours of the Mediterranean are showcased by Liz. Her cuisine is recognizable and not in the least bit 'fussed over'. She takes full advantage of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, and local meats.

Crew Rosy and Amanda are a delightful asset to making a week aboard Emma special. Rosy is a historian in her own right and superbly balances wit, knowledge and charm. Amanda keeps Emma ship shape and spotless. She’s a bit of an artist and has a passion for wines, introducing guests to a variety of styles throughout the cruise week.

In August you can experience the local village fêtes. I enjoyed the one in Capestang this summer, so much people watching and mingling about with the locals! If you would like to dip your toes in the Mediterranean Sea just let Liz or Rosy know, they will happily take you for a seaside picnic! On Emma, flexibility is paramount to creating a vacation week that is uniquely yours.

hotel barge emma cruises on the Canal du Midi FranceThe Canal du Midi is a fascinating labyrinth as you float through the changing scenery, almost able to touch the vineyards and orchards. Mooring near ancient villages affords many opportunities to explore on your own, go early enough in the morning and your nose will lead you right to the local boulangerie!

I encourage you to be mesmerized by a region that time seems to have not touched and join Emma on the tranquil and historical Canal du Midi.”


Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise
2017 rates
Full Board Charter
Half Board Charter
4 passengers - $25,000 4 passengers - $22,500
5 passengers - $27,000 5 passengers - $24,300
6 passengers - $30,000 6 passengers - $27,000

Individuals: $5,500 - All Season per person double occupancy
$1,500- Single Supplement

Half Board / Dine Around Cruise: Includes four dinners, two lunches and all breakfasts onboard Emma. Two dinners and three lunches will be at passenger’s expense in authentic local restaurants along the route, all carefully selected and recommended by your Captain, for a true regional French dining experience.

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

Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise

Emma Accommodations and Amenities

  • 92 Feet Long
  • Three cabins with ensuite shower bath
  • All 100 square feet
  • Yellow - double bed
  • Green & Blue - two twin beds or queen bed
  • In the Public Areas
  • Salon with handcrafted furniture & TV
  • WIFI with limited availability
  • Deck & Wheelhouse
  • Spacious deck with canopy for lounging or dining
  • 6  bicycles
  • All have gears & are suitable for towpath
  • Mixture of men's and women's; helmets included









 barge emma salonbarge emma blue cabin
green cabin on canal du midi hotel barge emma

Emma Canal du Midi Cruise Itinerary

Carcassone (Trebes) to Beziers on the Canal du Midi

Saturday: Trebes

Welcome aboard!

We will assign you a train that arrives into Beziers at approximately 4:30 pm. (Transfers to/from the cruise route are in addition to the cruise fare and must be booked separately.) As you alight, a member of Emma crew will be on the platform and will chauffeur you to the barge moored in Trebes. Other pickup points may include a rental car office at the Narbonne Station or various points in Carcassonne. There will be time to meet your crew, pictured below, and enjoy a champagne reception. We shall let you get settled in and unpacked which is the most strenuous task of the week, and then sit back and relax while we take a short cruise so that you feel you really are on a boat. During this time the first of your gourmet dinners will be prepared.

Sunday: Trebes to Carcassonne

Medieval Walled City - Plus Shopping

After a leisurely breakfast of fresh fruit, croissants, homemade jams, cereal and coffee you will be taken off in the minivan to explore the wonderful medieval city of Carcassonne. A stroll through the cobbled streets with the array of boutiques, a visit to the Feudal Castle, a foray into the Inquisition museum or a walk along the ramparts. Carcassonne has something for everyone to enjoy. Back to the boat for a lunch of tasty homemade pâtés, quiches and salads followed by a selection of the 365 cheeses which France has to offer and washed down with some of the finest wines of the Languedoc Rouissillon region. After lunch we shall cruise off to our next mooring spot along the canal, going down several locks as we start our descent towards the Mediterranean. Emma will stop at another lovely setting where your evening dinner will be served.

Monday

Many Excursion Choices

After breakfast today you will be whisked off again to discover another delight of the region. We could go to Lagrasse, a little village in the heart of the Corbières with a magnificent Benedictine Abbey perched on the banks of the river Orbiel and where the little cobbled streets house a multitude of potters, artists, wood carvers, etc. Or we could go and visit the giant underground cave at Cabrespine, or again visit the ruins of the old Cathar stronghold Chateau Lastours. Another delicious lunch will be ready for you when you get back and you will be able to relax while we cruise on to our next stop.

Tuesday

Mingle with the locals at an Open Air Market

France is famous for its open air markets and today you will have the chance to experience this for yourself when we visit the market at Olonzac, pictured at right. The smells of the olives and herbs and the roasting chickens will make your mouth water and the arrays of fresh fruit and vegetables are a picture. We will then go up into the heart of the Minervois region to Minerve a spectacular village set on a rocky outcrop in the gorges formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian. There are lovely walks here, just the thing to build up your appetite for lunch. If you have plenty of energy after lunch while Emma is cruising to her next stop maybe you would like to take a bicycle ride or a stroll. The towpath follows the canal all the way so any time you want to this option is available.

Wednesday: Narbonne

Narbonne - Ancient Capital of Roman Gaul

Narbonne is our tour for today. The ancient capital of Roman Gaul still retains a lot of its history. You will see the Via Domitia, a road 2000 years old with its chariot ruts still visible, visit the old Roman storehouses, the Archbishop's palace, the Cathedral St Just with its cloister, high altar, and splendid organ.

For those of you who enjoy food and markets, the indoor market at Narbonne is one of the best. You will see the finest display of fish, shellfish, fruit, vegetables, meats, herbs, spices, olives, cheese, and the list goes on. Perhaps you would like to dip your feet in the blue water of the Mediterranean, or visit the little fishing port of Gruissan. Such wonderful choices.

Thursday: Narbonne to Beziers

Gala Dinner - then its music on Deck!

Today we continue our lazy cruise which takes us under the smallest bridge in France, if you can get under this, you can go anywhere on the canal system! A choice of visits awaits you. A wine tasting at Guery or at St Chinian, a visit to the Abbey at Fontcaud, a trip up to the prehistoric site of Enserune with its panoramic views, there is so much to see, you will be spoiled for choices! End the cruise in style at our final Gala Dinner, followed by an informal concert under the stars.

Friday: Beziers

A Sad Farewell!

Emma will be moored in or near Beziers.  Between 9-10 am, you will be chauffeured back to the Narbonne Train Station.  Breakfast is your last on-board meal. We hope to see you again on Emma!

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 Emma and barging the Canal du Midi Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071(800) 880-0071.

 


 Emma Canal du Midi Cruise Itinerary

Carcassone (Trebes) to toulouse on the Canal du Midi

Saturday: Meet your fabulous crew!

We will assign you a train that arrives into Narbonne between 3-4 pm. (Transfers to/from the cruise route are in addition to the cruise price and must be booked separately.) As you alight, a member of Emma crew will be on the platform and will chauffeur you to the barge moored in Trebes. Other pickup points may include a rental car office at the Narbonne Station or various points in Carcassonne. Once you are settled on board we shall cruise off with champagne cocktails out into the vineyards, through 2 locks to Leveque.

Sunday:
This mornings visit will take you either to the walled city of Carcassonne or over the Alaric Mountains to the medieval village of Lagrasse with its beautiful bridges over the River Orbeil, its 14th century Abbey, cloister, Monks dormitory, and for those who like a spot of retail therapy, fabulous pottery, wooden and leather craft shops and art galleries. Return to Emma for lunch.

Monday:
This morning your guide will take you to Limoux, home of the famous sparkling wine. Can we tempt you to a little degustation? You will then carry on to Rennes le Chateau, which if you have read Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code; you will remember the story of the Cure Saunier who all of a sudden had great riches. Did he find the treasure? This is a very interesting visit, through beautiful scenery, but keep your eye out for the lost treasure. After lunch we shall cruise to the typical languedocian village of Brams. It is known as a circulade due to its resemblance to the spiral of a snail's shell.

Tuesday:
From Brams this morning your visit will take you through the rolling plains of the Lauraigais, fields of sunflowers in summer and views of the snow capped mountains on a clear day, to the town of Mirepoix. We shall stop off at Fanjeaux, home of St. Dominic and the Dominican Convent; the views are spectacular. Mirepoix itself is renowned for its wooden columns surrounding the main market square, its colombaged houses and its cathedral. After lunch your Captain will gently guide you along the canal, going through a selection of lovely locks to moor up in the lovely Lauragais countryside.

Wednesday:
This morning we will shall cruise to the town of Castelnaudary. This afternoon your guide will take you to visit Castelnaudary. One of the contenders for "the original and best Cassoulet", the others being Carcassonne and Toulouse. The Grand Bassin, the Gothic Callegiale with its 56 meter bell tower, the 17th century windmill the vestiges of the Presidial, partly destroyed by Louis XII and the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Pitie with its gold covered wood sculptures depicting ten episodes in the life of Christ are all on the visit.

Thursday:
We leave Castelnaudary this morning and continue our cruise to The Seuil de Narouze. This is the highest point on the Canal de Midi after which it descends the other side towards the Atlantic. Here the plane trees are the same age as the canal - amazing! This afternoon's visit is to the reason why the Canal du Midi was possible, the Lac St. Ferrol. It was the only land which had slopes both to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. You will see the intricate irrigation system, which allows us to have the canal we love today. To think this was all discovered int he 1600's on horseback by Paul Riquet. Return to Emma for your final gala dinner lovingly prepared by your personal chef.

Friday: A Sad Farewell!
After breakfast, we’ll say our farewells and then chauffeur you to the Toulouse Train Station. You will be on a departing train between 9-10 am.  We hope to see you on Emma again!

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 Emma and barging the Canal du Midi Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.

+ - Menu

Emma
Sample Menus


The Barge Lady Enjoyed these menus aboard Emma.

 Lunch
Chicken Nougatine
* * *
Warm Salade of
Sweet Potatoes
Rocket
Cherry Tomatoes
* * *
Green Salade
with
Nuts and oranges
* * *
Cheeses
Cantal
Camembert
* * * * *



Dinner
Warm Goats Cheese Salad
on a bed of Rocket
Raspberry Vinagrette
* * *
Guinea Fowl
Porcini Mushroom Sauce
Roasted Onions
stuffed with
Mushrooms, Peas and Bacon

* * *
"The Emma Fromage Experience"
Roquefort
 with
Frozen Grapes

Muscat Saint Jean de Minervois 
****
Pear Poached in
Star Anise and Orange
on a dollop of
Poire William Marscapone
* * * * *


Celeriac Smoothie
(served straight up)

* * *
Garlic Prawns
in Pastis
served in a
Filo Basket
* * *
Dorade
on a confit of Fennel
New Season Potatoes
Fennel and Lemon Sauce
* * *
Cheese Platter
Crotin de Chavignal
St. Nectaire Fermier
* * *
Panna Cotta
Raspberry Coulis
Fresh Summer Fruits
* * * * *

 Dinner
Seared Foie Gras
served on
a Toast of Spice Bread
with
a Marmalade of
Figs, Cranberries
and Grelot Onions
***
Grilled Duck Breast
with
Potataoes Sarladaises
French Beans
in

Almonds and Garlic
and a
Fricassée of

Wild Mushrooms

***
Cheese Platter
Camembert
with

Fresh Fruit
****
Gratin of Red Berries
with
Champagne Sabayon

* * * * *


 

Fresh Scallops
Sauce au Noilly Prat
served on
Braised Endive
* * *
Supreme of Guinea Fowl
accompanied by a
Vegetable Flan
of Leeks,

Carrots & Ceps
* * *
Dark Chocolate Fondant
with
White Chocolate
Ice cream

and
Red Currants

* * * * *



 




Picture a Barge Cruise on Emma

 Canal du Midi France cruise on hotel barge Emma

Emma Guest Book

Barge Lady and Caroline with barge Emma owners

"A marvelous week. Excellent crew and programs. Food 5 star!"

- Ian Delaney, cruised September, 2016

"Crew was the best, and we enjoyed getting the local flavor the most in an intimate setting with our private Tour Guide, Rosy. The cuisine was over the top, and cabins were comfortable and well-maintained. Best vacation we've ever had!"

- Gail Schwartz, cruised May, 2016

"The Emma was a wonderful and special adventure. Captain Rene and Chef Liz really know how to make guests feel special, and are an outstanding host and hostess. They were such fun to get to know. Both have a fun sense of humor and they were more that hospitable. They are more like friends now. They really do an outstanding job and we will definitely highly recommend them to anyone thinking of a barge cruise.

Mathew was our Tour Guide and did a great job. He chose fun and interesting outings and is very knowledgeable about French history. They were varied and met everyone's interests, and we learned a lot! We really enjoyed the beautiful churches and castles, and the outdoor market was especially great fun. Amanda is so interesting with her amazing knowledge of wine and cheese. She is gracious and charming. She kept the cabins spotless at all times and even turned our beds down at night. She was always very pleasant and positive and seems to really love her job.

Cuisine -- Wow! Where to start...Chef Liz began our cruise by asking us if there was any food we did not like, etc. She clearly wanted to always prepare meals that pleased everyone. One of the other guests and I casually mentioned french onion soup and the next evening Liz served the soup as our appetizer. She really does know how to treat guests! Each meal was perfect. The table was always lovely and she even decorates the butter pat! The meals were excellent and it was fun to try dishes that we have never had. Morning pastry was fresh from the local bakery and Liz said she purchases her supplies from local resources. So the food was fresh and always great. We all felt the meals were outstanding in all respects.

Our cabins were nicely decorated and the storage was wonderful! Closet and shelves were more than adequate. We were not wanting a large cabin as we wanted to spend every minute outside and topside. The cabins were spotlessly maintained and towels changed often. The bathroom was fine and the shower much larger than one would expect on a barge.

We would definitely recommend the Barge Lady to anyone planning a barge cruise. I think you often went over and above when we had questions. All pre-trip information information was complete and very detailed. It really helped us with planning our adventure. You were also very helpful and responsive when we called to ask questions, etc. Some larger travel agencies would probably not be as one on one and we appreciated your support with our planning details.

The cruise was fabulous and actually more than we anticipated. We knew it would be special...but the Emma crew made it even more outstanding! We would do the cruise with the Emma again with no concerns. It was such a great trip in all respects."

- Jack and Pat Thomas, cruised September, 2015

"We feel lucky, pampered, relaxed and so very happy to have spent this time on the Emma. We owed those feelings to Liz, Rene, Amanda and Matthew. They were friendly, engaging, delightful people who knew what they were doing and how to do it! We loved Liz's cuisine. It was beautiful, fresh, flavorful and arranged with expertise every meal of every day! Amanda was very knowledgeable about the wines and cheeses and we loved talking and sharing our day with her. The daily sightseeing excursions were wonderful. Matthew our guide was enthusiastic about what he was sharing and a delight! We loved the opportunity to see the countryside and towns from our drives to the historic spots. We especially loved the open markets. Our cabin was great and the bed was very comfortable. Barge Lady services were accurate and timely."

- Janet Ziebell, cruised May, 2015

"Everything was absolutely delightful. Andrea and Liz were excellent hosts, and did not miss a step in making us feel both at home and looked after, while Captain Rene made it a very pleasant journey. Matthew, the tour guide, was an enthusiastic wealth of information on all the day trips. Everyday we had something interesting and different to look forward to! Cuisine was incredible -- delicious and beautifully presented. The Barge Lady services were well-planned and put together perfectly. A truly once in a life time experience!"

- Karen Lewis, cruised May, 2015

+ - More!

Emma 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!

Happy Crew Year!
Barge Emma's 'Hostess with the Mostest' was a no brainer for our spotlight on hardworking and personable crew helping make barge cruises extraordinary experiences with happy memories.

 

 

Afternoon Cruise Aboard Emma
Barge Lady's Kelly soaks up  Languedoc vistas along the Canal du Midi, savors Liz's delicious cuisine and finds a new favorite goat cheese on an afternoon cruise aboard barge Emma.


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