athos - canal du midi

canal cruising in france

hotel barge holidays in france

canal cruising in france

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Athos - canal du midi

Canal Barge in France

"Absolutely the way to see this part of France."

Convivial and comfortable for 10 passengers, Athos offers reasonable size en-suite cabins. While cruising the Canal du Midi you will enjoy delicious meals prepared by a Chef onboard and appreciate the excursions through Languedoc, a renowned winemaking region and home of charming villages and castles. The fortified city of Carcassonne is part of the itinerary.



The 10-passenger Athos was built in 1964 as a commercial sand, grain and wine barge and was converted into a luxury hotel barge in 1982. Her five cabins offer all modern comforts and spaciousness and her saloon, dining area, bar and sun deck are perfect for relaxation. An English-speaking crew of 5 efficiently attends to your comfort and entertainment and ensures an unforgettable experience.

on board

itinerary - Argeliers to Marseillan

SUNDAY - Argeliers

You will be met at the designated meeting point and transferred to where the Athos awaits you at her moorings in Argeliers. A full-crew Welcome Aboard follows, with Champagne and Mediterranean canapés. Once you are settled into your cabin, you will be invited to a 4-course dinner, prepared by our highly acclaimed on board Chef.

MONDAY - Argeliers to Capestang

The proposed morning visit is a drive to the famous medieval double-walled city of Carcassonne. Your knowledgeable on-board guide will offer a guided, historical visit. Shoppers should never fear, your Guide will be sure to give you time to have a good look! While the Captain gets ATHOS underway for an afternoon's cruise to Argeliers, on the historic Canal du Midi, Chef will serve up another local, gourmet 3-course meal (perhaps including the famous duck confit stew, Cassoulet?) By early evening, you have arrived in Capestang, and ATHOS will moor with a view of the flood-lit and picturesque Collegiale St. Etienne. There ought to be enough time for a stroll into the village before dinner on board.

TUESDAY- Capestang to Regismont le Haut

This morning’s suggested visit is a tasting at the Oulibo, the local olive oil pressoir. After tasting a variety of delicious, organic olives, accompanied by a small glass of rose, it is just a short drive up the Gorge de la Cesse and into the hilltop village of Minerve. Your Guide will delight you with the harrowing tale of the Cathar siege launched at Minerve during the 13th C. In the afternoon, you may choose to either relax after a long lunch and an afternoon of cruising, or perhaps your Guide’s invite to a sociable wine-tasting at the local Chateau will appeal to you? Dinner on board.

WEDNESDAY - Regismont le Haut to Fonserannes

Time this morning to visit the weekly morning market in Narbonne. Even for non-shoppers, Narbonne offers great entertainment on a Thursday morning! Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia, browse through the well-compiled Roman Museum, discover the beauty of the St. Juste Cathedral, or simply take a moment to blend into the lively, local café scene. We arrive early evening above the Fonserannes, the seven staircase locks at Beziers. Here you’ll have a glorious evening view of the town of Beziers and the Cathedral St. Nazaire. Dinner on board.

THURSDAY - Fonserannes to Portiragnes

This morning, your Guide suggests driving to the old market town of Pezenas, which was the first seat of the Languedoc court. The architecture is unique to the town because of the “Hotels Particuliers,” or Mansions belonging to the noble families who followed the Court. Pezenas is filled with an eclectic mix of artisan shops, including potters, painters, hat makers, and costume designers. In addition to learning about the history of this exceptional town, your Guide will make sure there is plenty of time for browsing. Back on the boat, Chef and the hostess begin serving up today's luxury meal while Captain Julian and his deck hand are busy getting ATHOS underway. The 17th C. 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. Coming up next is the 18th C. Canal Bridge which will carry the ATHOS over the Orb River. The evening's mooring will be just outside the small village of Portiragnes. The paved tow path, and the many locks leading to this mooring, makes it ideal for walking or cycling alongside the ATHOS. Dinner on board.

FRIDAY- Portiragnes to Agde to Marseillan

From the shaded and scenic mooring of Portiragnes, we get underway earlier than usual, cruising through the area known as the “Petit Camargue”. Bird watchers should look out for local species such as the Pink Flamingos, African Rollers and Bee Eaters that frequent the surrounding estuaries. After crossing through the exceptional “round lock” at Agde, you find that a spectacular (and appropriate!) 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. End a perfect day with a fascinating tour of the Noilly Prat Distillery and, if you choose, a taste of Noilly Prat vermouth. Captains Farewell Dinner on board.

SATURDAY - Marseillan
After breakfast transfer to the designated drop off point.

On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

  • cruise
    2020 - 2021

    individual or charter

    us$ price on request


    single supplement

    6 person charter

    8 person charter

    10 person charter

  • value season
    6 nights all inclusive

    29 Mar - 19 Apr / 11 - 25 Oct

    4150 Euros per person

    1400 Euros


    36800 Euros

    39200 Euros

  • regular season
    6 nights all inclusive

    26 April to 4 october

    4750 Euros per person


    38900 Euros

    41700 Euros

    44500 Euros

Price for Athos includes:

Local transfer to and from the barge, a luxury 6 night cruise, all meals on board catered for by the on board Master Chef, an open bar 24/7 with a large range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, the services of 4 crew and use of barge facilities, which includes bicycles.

These rates do not include:

• Insurance • Personal expenses • Gratuities to the crew (between 7 and 10%)

To avoid currency exchange fees,

• Australians can pay in Australian dollars by direct deposit or credit card. • New Zealanders can pay in New Zealand dollars by direct deposit or credit card. • US citizens will be charged in US dollars using credit card.


Bon voyage!