esperance - canal du midi

canal cruising in france

hotel barge holidays in france

10% off on 2020 charters

esperance - canal du midi

canal cruising in france

hotel barge in france

"We offer high-end cruises to explore the inland waterways
of southern France on board a romantique canal barge
cruising on the famous Canal du Midi."

Click here to check our specials

esperance - canal du midi

Canal Barge in France

We travelled a lot over more than 50 years but this was one of the rare cruises when we said:" What a pity it's over, it should have lasted longer"

There is something very special about Esperance. Mathias, owner, captain an occasionally cook has a unique talent to deliver personal and dedicated attention to his guests and at the same time make them feel at home. The decoration inside Esperance is refined, elegant, the service is excellent, the food delicious. As a guest wrote, the decisive factor is Mathias, Esperance, the chef and the crew. All together a perfect combination.

virtual tour



This beautiful barge has been converted into a luxury, private yacht with no expense spared. Esperance is now available for charter. Three options are available: full-board, half-board, bare-boat. We strongly recommend full board as food and wines are exquisite, but half-board will allow you to test a new regional French restaurant each evening and Esperance is also available for bare-boat charter. Service on board is excellent. Mathias, owner and Captain will make your cruise on board Esperance a very memorable experience in France.. Eperance is cruising on the Canal du Midi

on board

customised itinerary along the Canal du Midi

(sample itinerary)

A member of the crew will welcome you at Beziers railway station at 4 pm and after a short drive, you will board your beautiful barge Esperance moored in the enchanting country side atmosphere of the famous Canal du Midi. Upon your arrival, Champagne will be served on deck as a nice premise for your week to come. Then you will have plenty time to discover the Barge, its environment and to settle in your bedroom before dinner .


In the morning, we will go and visit the nearby Oppidum d'Enserunes and admire its superb view over the etang the Montady drained in 1247 and transformed into a curious pattern of fields. This hill top is one of the most important archaeological site in the region. You will be able to visit the remains of "Gaulois" villages and enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding countryside in which our cruise is going to take place. We will be back on board for lunch and in the afternoon our first cruise will take us to Capestang going thru the exciting tunnel de Malpa with its unique structure; quite an experience !


This morning we will drive to Narbonne, a lively city full of art and history. Free time to visit the city. The choice is yours; you can go shopping in one of the pedestrian streets around the old town center, visit the colorful covered market , the Archbishop's Palace , the archaeological museum .... In the afternoon, your second cruise will be beautiful, following a very scenic winding itinerary. In the evening we will stop at Le Somail, a romantic village with a fascinating antique bookshop, local potters and many artists.


For those keen on religious history, Fontfroide is a unique site. This Abbey was founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1093 and affiliated later to the Cistercians in 1145. It is a beautiful collection of religious buildings and the gardens around it are stunning. But maybe you would prefer to see the Olive factory at L’Oulibo a prize winning olive oil mill a great place for tasting and buying olive oil or tapenade. This afternoon let the world float by. Your lunch will be served on deck while the barge is moving slowly on this peaceful tree lined canal all the way to Homps.


Today we will take a very scenic drive into the Minervois hills and les gorges de la Cesse to get to Minerve .This amazing mediaeval village is perched on a spectacular rocky outcrop formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian. Famous for its Cathar history and it's wine country side this village is charming and full of history .On the way back a wine tasting stop will allow you to discover more about the excellent wines of the region. You will relax on deck while your floating hotel is on the move and in the evening we will reach a quiet mooring close to Puicheric .


This morning, the barge will go through a couple of traditional locks and cruise to our last mooring for the week, close to Carcassonne. After lunch you will have plenty time to discover the world famous walled Medieval town la Cité de Carcassonne . This extraordinary place is a Unesco World Heritage Site and is said to be the most visited site in France. If you have already visited " the Cité ", we will then go and visit Lagrasse, an attractive village, now home to numerous pottery workers and artists, attracted by the place itself and the renowned natural light of the region. The two 'highlights' of the village are the Abbey and the bridges, although the narrow Medieval streets of the village are also very attractive; Remains of the town walls can still be seen.


After a wonderful breakfast your guide will take you to your hotel in Carcassonne or to the railway station to get to your next destination

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

  • cruise


    6 person charter

    4 person charter

    2 person charter

  • Half Board
    7 day - 6 night cruise

    US$ 26000

    US$ 21000

    US$ 15500

  • full Board
    7 day - 6 night cruise

    US$ 29000

    US$ 23000

    US$ 17000

Price for Esperance includes:

Half Board / Dine out Cruise: This Half Board meal option includes the first night’s dinner onboard Esperance, and all breakfasts & lunches thereafter. The five other dinners 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.

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.

Click on image to check availability.

Bon voyage!