saint louis - bordeaux & gascony

canal cruising in france

hotel barge holidays in france

canal cruising in france

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saint louis - bordeaux & gascony

Canal Barge Cruise in France

welcome on board

Idyllic canal cruising in South West France

Charter for up to 6 guests

six night luxury cruise - fully air-conditioned

Three double or twin en-suite cabins

Gourmet dining

Extensive cellar on board

Daily tours to discover hidden France

use of on board bikes and wi-fi

the ultimate wine experiencecruise

Click here for details

"A trip to remember!"

" Our expectations were exceeded, not just occasionally, but every day. Professionalism, friendliness and flexibility coupled with first class accommodation and attention to detail was quite remarkable. The Saint Louis is in a class of its own".



The Saint Louis is one of the most luxurious and best appointed barges on the canal du Midi today and the crew spares no effort in delivering the ultimate in luxury cruising. Saint Louis has the largest open sundeck of any barge of comparable size. You will be able to relax and dine whilst enjoying the peace and tranquility of the canal. The salon, tastefully decorated offers comfortable seating, dining area for six, open bar, music system, and library. Three double or twin spacious cabins are equipped with luxurious en-suite facilities.

on board

1 - bordeaux itinerary - Castets en Dorthe to Serignac sur Garonne

Saturday: Barge is moored at CASTETS EN DORTHE

Collection from agreed pick-up point 15.30hrs to arrive at barge around 16.30hrs and champagne reception. At Castets en Dorthe we can visit “The end of the canal” before it joins the mighty Garonne river on its way to Bordeaux. Guests may walk with me (or can be driven) to see the huge double lock that was the gateway to the river and the trade route to the Mediterranean via the Canal de Midi in one direction and to the Atlantic ocean in the other. The river is spanned at this point by a bridge designed by Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame!).

Sunday: Cruise and then visit St Emilion

A day visit to this world heritage site, the heart of Bordeaux wines with private wine tastings with our negociant, Patrick, and a 1st Grand Crus Chateaux visit. Return to meet the barge and a further cruise into MEILHAN Port for the evening and dinner on board. There should be time to go to the superb view point at the port which provides a fantastic vista out over the Garonne river and the canal below. About a 5 minute walk up steps from the mooring point. For wine lovers we can also organise a full wine experience day with Patrick. He takes the guests from 10.30 to 17.00 and gives the guests a complete run through the region, the classification of St Emilion wines, how to taste wine, pairing wine with food, tasting of fine old wines, a private Chateaux visit, a tour of the 1st Grand Crus estates by car and a Michelin Star lunch. The price is 450Euro per person, minimum of 4 people, to be paid to us upon arrival as we shall have booked and paid for the day long before the guests arrive.

Monday: Morning cruise followed by lunch on board.

. After lunch guests are driven to a private visit to Chateau d’Arche, one of the top Grand Crus Sauternes Chateaux. The visit includes a guided tour of the production process, their cave and tastings. We return to the barge which will have moved on a little to our evening mooring near Forques. Alternatively we can arrange a guided tour of Chateau d’Yquem, the number one Sauterne Chateaux with a global reputation. The tour lasts approx. 1hr 20mins and costs 100Euro per person and must be booked in advance by us.

Tuesday: Morning cruise through to Le Mas d’Agenais and lunch on board.

Whilst lunch is being prepared we take a short walk from our mooring to visit the centre of this quaint and unspoilt 12th Century town and go inside its church where there is an original Rembrandt painting of Christ on the Cross. After lunch we continue our cruise through to our mooring at LAFALOTTE where there is a privately owned semi-precious gem museum just a short stroll across their garden where we can visit the museum and the owners give us a guided tour through their unique collection of fossils, minerals and semi-precious gems from around the world collected by them over 50 years of travels. A thought provoking visit for those who enjoy natural history.

Wednesday: Enjoy a morning cruise through to BUZET PORT and lunch on board.

Afterwards we visit a 4th generation Armagnac producer to learn about and taste this traditional local spirit. Armagnac pre-dates Cognac by approx. 200 years and is still produced in the time honoured way. During the visit guests have the opportunity if they wish to choose a year (perhaps of their wedding, birth of a child etc), select a bottle size and then watch the armagnac being drawn from their chosen barrel, corked and the wax seal applied. A unique memento of their visit and it tastes great as well! Back at the barge guests will learn the secrets of the Saint Louis Sundowner from hostess Julia, a cocktail featuring Armagnac from their visit. Time permitting (or if Armagnac is not a preferred visit) we may also visit the 11th Century town of Nérac; which includes the Château Henry IV (built around 15th Century) and home to the King and his wife Queen Margot between 1577 and 1582. There is also the Garenne royal park nearby. The visit is an opportunity to explore this ancient town and learn about the development of this region. We also visit the medieval Bastide town of Vianne. Bastide towns were built across southern France during the 13th and 14th centuries to provide security and safety and to develop trade. The barge remains moored at BUZET for the evening. In July and August, a visit to the night market at Damazan can be arranged. A very small local village, about 25 mins from our mooring by car, this is a taste of rural France in full swing. The night market is entirely geared to locals, it features live music, food stalls and is an interesting insight into local festivities. We usually go after the dinner main course on board and return for dessert!

Thursday: Morning cruise followed by lunch and afterwards our visit to The Latour-Marliac

Lily Gardens at Temple Sur Lot and the Agen aqueduct. The garden is the original one that inspired and provided Monet with his lilies for his paintings and his own gardens at Giverny. Dating from 1875 the Latour-Marliac gardens are a delight to visit and explore. On our return to the barge from the Lily gardens we stop to see the Aqueduct, the second largest aqueduct in France which opened in 1849. It carries the Canal de Garonne over the Garonne river and is an engineering marvel. We return to the barge which will now be moored for the evening at SERIGNAC for dinner.


Friday morning, guests will be transferred to agreed drop off locations leaving the barge around 10.00am.

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

2 - gascony itinerary - Lacourt St. Pierre to Boé Port


Transfer to the barge to arrive around 5.00pm. Champagne reception upon arrival, then time to settle in, get to know your crew, a short safety briefing and a general talk through the itinerary for the week.


After breakfast we enjoy our first cruise through to a flight of 5 locks where we disembark and drive to the 12th century town of Lauzerte. A hill top castle-nau with a bloody past but now a way point for pilgrims on the Saint Jaques trail to Santiago de Compostella. We enjoy lunch together before returning to the barge at St. Porquier and our cruise continues through to our mooring at Castelsarassin for the evening.


After breakfast there is time to explore the local village before we cruise along the tree lined canal to our wild mooring for lunch. Tour: Afterwards we cross the aquaduct and enter Moissac port and then descend onto the mighty river Tarn for an afternoon river cruise followed by a visit to the Monastery and Cloisters at Moissac Abbey, a renowned world heritage site. We then return to the barge for dinner.


After breakfast it’s off to Valence d’Agen and its bustling weekly market. See pictures. We enjoy a coffee in the local square and meander through the maze of stalls offering a staggering array of fresh local produce, fish, meats and cheeses amongst so much else! We return to the barge for lunch and our afternoon cruise through to our quiet evening mooring point at Pommevic.


This morning we explore visit the beautiful town of Auvillar, in the past a major trading town with a fascinating history. We see the grain exchange and learn about the mighty trading route along the river before the canal network opened up and overtook it. Afterwards we return to pick up the barge as cruise through to our wild mooring at La Magistere for the night.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then a beautiful drive through rich countryside to visit the Lily Gardens at Temple sur Lot that were founded in 1875 and inspired Monet. We arrive in time to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the ponds and gardens before lunch overlooking the lake. Afterwards we return to pick up the barge for the final cruise through to Boé port.


After breakfast depart the barge for transfer onwards.

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

Price for saint louis includes:

• Four full time crew members. • Transfers to and from the barge from an agreed point of arrival/departure in fully air-conditioned Mercedes V Series people carrier. • All meals, wines, spirits & other drinks during your cruise whether on-board or ashore during tours. • All tours including any entrance costs. • Use of on-board bicycles. • On-board Wi-Fi.

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!