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- Canal Du Midi
- Provence - Camargue
- Paris to Burgundy
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- Upper Loire
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Canal Du Midi, France
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Canal du Midi Cruises
|Passengers: 4||Your Hosts: Earl and Fiona Pilatti|
|Size: 87 feet long||English Speaking Crew of: 3|
|Last Visited: 2007||Bicycles: 4|
|Rating: Deluxe||Air Conditioned: Yes|
SOLD OUT FOR 2013...CHECK BACK FOR THE 2014 RATES AND DATES!Full Board Whole Boat Charter: $19,500
Half Board Whole Boat Charter: $18,500 - Dinner every night is taken ashore at the expense of the guest
Enchanting is the word for attractive, young owners Earl and Fiona Pilatti, who, after careers in luxury yachting, decided to settle on the Canal du Midi, purchase Colibri, and offer extremely personalized cruises. When the Pilatti's acquired Colibri, she was in such sad shape that it took them 2½ years to gut and rebuild! But, the results are spectacular!
The vessel is gorgeous, with classic lines and a huge deck. The interior reflects Earl and Fiona's youthful sensibility: a French Provincial look with gorgeous oak wood floors, country French antiques and soft pastel color schemes. The two staterooms are spacious, homey, warm in feeling. As crew on major yachts, Earl and Fiona roamed the world. They also worked in the provisioning and construction side of yachting. Their dream of working together on their own boat has come together with Colibri.
Colibri provides intimacy and elegance for just four guests! The program includes a barbeque (hoted by Earl) and a night out at a local auberge. You will always eat well on Colibri!
Choose a photo below to view larger:
Canal du Midi
Barge Cruise Itinerary
Beziers to Trebes (Carcassonne) on the Canal du MidiSunday: Welcome in Beziers
Monday: Port Guery to Capestang
Morning visit to the Enserune Oppidum, a site inhabited by man since 800BC. We then pass through one of the oldest tunnels on the French canals at Malpas and on to Capestang. A small town dominated by a huge church and a good place to stretch the legs. A short journey will bring us to a restaurant for this evening's gastronomic feast.
Tuesday: Capestang to Ventenac
The bustling markets or the historic sites of Narbonne are on offer for today's excursion. In the afternoon we cruise to Le Somail, a small and delightful village for a stroll, and on to Ventenac. Here we visit their Chateau for wine tasting. There is the chance for a game of boules (French bowls), and should you desire it Earl would be thrilled at the chance to show off his Australian flair with the barbecue.
Wednesday: Ventenac to Homps
The Abbey de Fontfroide is a beautiful tranquil setting and with its garden of 3,000 rosebushes it's a wonderful place to visit. We cruise to Homps, another sleepy town, steeped in history, and with a fine winery to visit. We may then cruise on to La Redorte for a sensational dinner aboard.
Thursday: Homps to Puicheric
Visit to the Cathar fort and hill top village of Minerve, a stunning location with a museum that tells of its history. We cruise just beyond Puicheric this afternoon, a great place to sit under the trees and relax. Tonight you dine ashore, at a beautiful Chateau, offering surroundings that will take you back to the days of old. A chance to view the Cite of Carcassonne by night to fire your imaginations of fairy tale castles.
Friday: Puicheric to Trebes
Tour of the Cite of Carcassonne, to take in the fascinating medieval city, a wonderful journey into history. In the afternoon we cruise through Trebes to a quiet location for the Captains farewell dinner aboard.
Saturday: Depart Colibri
Leisurely breakfast, and transfer between 10 and 11am to nominated drop off point. This itinerary floats in the opposite direction every other week.
An Alternative Itinerary
Carcassonne to castelnaudary(sometimes available upon request)
Guests are meet by the Captain, Earl. Between 4:00 and 5:00 PM at the arranged meeting point. Warm welcome on board with aperitifs, and cruise slowly through the 'heights' of Carcassonne, to whet your appetites for dinner and the days to come.
Monday: Carcassonne to Sauzens
Tour of the Cite of Carcassonne, to take in the fascinating medieval city, a wonderful journey into history. In the afternoon we cruise through Carcassonne to Sauzens a quiet location for the dinner aboard.
Tuesday: Sauzens to Limoux
We cruise to Villesequelande this morning, a pretty and relaxing cruise. In the afternoon we visit the Sieur d'Arques winery in Limoux, with a guided tour of the winery, information on wines from their wine school and not forgetting tastings including the Cremants and Blanquettes of Limoux.
Wednesday: Limoux to Bram
Cruise to Bram; a village built on a circular pattern. In the afternoon we can visit the village of Montolieu situated on a rocky outcrop, known as the book village with its museum, numerous bookshops and crafts build around the publishing industry. On the way back to Colibri we can visit the Verrerie du Canal with its exhibition of stained and blown glass.
Morning visit to the Cathar castle of Saissac, the remains of a beautiful castle in a stunning location, perched in the hills of the Montagne Noire. The hilltop village of Fanjeaux is an alternate visit, a medevil village with half-timber houses and still a centre for the Dominican nuns and monks. We cruise in the afternoon through a series of locks, stopping under the trees for a peaceful evening.
Friday: to Castelnaudary
Cruise on towards Castelnaudary with the central basin of the Canal du Midi, steeped in history, and the home of the local dish Cassoulet. We make an excursion to the obelisque erected to the memory of Paul Riquet the man of vision who built the canal.
Saturday: Depart Colibri
Leisurely breakfast, and transfer between 10 and 11am to nominated drop of point.
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 Colibri and barging the Canal du Midi Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.
"The Barge Colibri was the highlight of our trip. It met or exceeded ALL expectations."
-Satisfied 2010 Guests
"We were treated like royalty: hospitality, meals, nightly turn-down! Our guide Lydia was very knowledgeable and personable. She knew the history of the area, the vineyards and the canal. To sum up: Unforgettable, fantastic and relaxing!"
-Bob Simmonds, Lu Abbott and Geraldine Abbott, 2008
"Colibri was wonderful. We felt like we were in a fairy tale when cruising on the gorgeous canal. Earl and Fiona know how to make you comfortable right away! They were born to operate a barge."
-Steve and Barbara Klem, 2008
"By the time we left the Colibri, we felt like we were saying goodby to family. Earl and Fiona welcomed us into their barge/home and provided all comforts. The scenery was magnificent, the food was outstanding, and our accommodations were excellent. The experience exceeded our expectations."
-Jim and Darlene Sobel, 2008
"F-U-N! - Truly the most fabulous vacation we have experienced together in 20 years of marriage full of travel. The Colibri experience is the best of all worlds combined into one - wonderful gourmet meals with fine wine pairings, luxury living quarters, pampering beyond belief by Earl & Fiona, and a chance to take in wonderful scenery, fascinating history and culture , unique villages and some shopping fun along the way. We loved that we got in lots of walking exercise along the canal as we had the opportunity to hop on and off the barge as desired."
-Brian and Janet Hillier, 2007
"More than expected (and I expected a lot!) Fiona and Earl, as promised, were delightful. Colibri extremely beautiful and comfortable. Fiona's meals beyond wonderful. One of the best weeks of my relatively long life."
-Jim and Linda Myers, 2007
"It was the best vacation we have ever had - everything was perfect. Earl was very knowledgable on history, his boating skills excellent and he made sure we were very well taken care of. Fiona was superwoman with the most incredible cooking. Her meals were well-planned and great! Ellen, we don't think you give Colibri enough kudos - It was first class in every way!"
-Bill and Karen Long, 2007
Millefeuilles of Warm Foie Gras
~ Wine ~
Louis Jadot - Couvent des Jacobins, 2003
Mas Amiel - Muscat de Rivesalttes, 2005
Colibri Floor Plan87 Feet long
Two cabins -156 and 132 sq feet
-One King or two twin beds
-Ensuite bathrooms with shower
-Heated towel rails
-Hair dryers and bathrobes
-French oak furniture
In the Public Areas
Light and spacious salon and dining room
-Large deck with lounge chairs and umbrellas
-Canopied wheelhouse for guest seating
-Ipod friendly music system