The Esperance is owned and operated by the charming and artistic Mathias Gilles. His passion for hospitality is reflected in the barge’s sophisticated amenities, literate itineraries, and deluxe accommodations.
Captain Mathias has practically spent his life on the water, having been raised on a yacht and spending his formative years in North Africa and the Canary Islands. Today, he personally introduces guests aboard the Esperance to the many delights of the Canal du Midi. Accordingly, the daily excursions reflect the region’s artisanal specialties, charming villages, and historic landmarks through a very personal lens.
The Esperance’s aesthetically pleasing interior is no accident, as Mathias is an admitted perfectionist about décor and style. Beautifully appointed cabins provide havens of quiet comfort through modern design. A true Renaissance Man, Captain Mathias creates elegant and memorable table settings as yet another of his many talents.
Epicurean adventures on the Esperance abound; cooking enthusiasts are encouraged to join Chef in the open kitchen for informal culinary demonstrations, special samplings, and winetastings, while fellow seafarers are always welcome to join Captain Mathias in his wheelhouse. Alternatively, guests can watch the idyllic French countryside gloriously float by while socializing on the expansive deck, or just relaxing in the hot tub.
Onboard meals are fresh and flavorful, and emphasize seasonally inspired menus with a rich southern influence. Carefully curated with an emphasis on the region’s emerging wineries, the wine pairings encourage guests to discover the nuanced bounty of the Languedoc’s many vineyards. Guests wishing to sample the local cuisine scene can choose the half board cruise, with four dinners ashore at their expense.
Last visited in 2017