Fabulous luxury cruising for 6 guests on the Canal du Midi

Clair de Lune offers relaxed superior cruising for four to six guests along the iconic Canal du Midi in southern France. She is tastefully furnished with cherry wood and African hardwoods to combine a traditional sophistication with comfortable contemporary interiors.

She has large picture windows to the saloon providing plenty of light and excellent views of the passing scenery, and with a gorgeous sundeck and pool on board, she is all set for your family and group summertime cruise.

At a Glance

Style: The 'nature' of the hotel barge. Outline subjective guidance as to the quality or comfort level that might be expected on board.
Price Band: Per person. Outline guidance only, on a relative or comparative basis. The bands do not represent accurate low or high season rates.

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune :: Key Features

  • Excellence class (4*)
  • Canal du Midi, Languedoc
  • Charter (and cabin bookings for 2019), 6 night or 4 night cruises, April to October
  • Half-board option
  • 6 guests / 3 cabins with ensuite bathrooms
  • Air conditioning and heating throughout
  • Opening picture windows
  • Full board, on-board dining
  • Sun deck with loungers and heated spa tub
  • 6 bicycles
  • Wifi (limited in some places)
  • Air-conditioned minibus for transfers and excursions

Cruise Highlights

  • Winery tour and tasting of fine Minervois wines
  • Tour Narbonne’s Archbishop’s Palace and colourful market
  • Visit an olive oil press to sample the famous Lucques olives
  • Tour of beautiful Lagrasse and its 8th century abbey
  • See the Cathar hilltop town of Minerve with its spectacular setting
  • Tour of the medieval city of Carcassonne
  • Excellent towpath for walking and cycling

yves-nathalie-304x220Your Hosts
Nathalie Sery and Yves Pastor. Yves bought the Clair de Lune a few years ago with partner Nathalie as part of a life long love affair with boats. After starting as a marine mechanic in St Tropez, he discovered the inland waterways and obtained his barge pilot’s licence. Now Yves has his own barge and an intimate knowledge of the Canal du Midi and its surroundings. Nathalie is Clair de Lune’s talented Chef and administrator, Manora is hostess and Olivia your Tour Guide.

What’s included:
Transfers to and from the meeting point, all meals and drinks on board, excursion fees and associated transport

Not included:
Air fares to and travel within France; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune cruises on the Canal du Midi, southern France

Sunday, Day 1 Beziers

Hotel Barge Enchante Narbonne Canal du Midi

Guests are met at Beziers or Narbonne and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to barge Clair de Lune at her mooring. The crew welcomes you on board with a glass of chilled champagne and delicious canapés, and after settling in there’s time perhaps for a short cruise before your first dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2 Colombier to Capestang

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune Canal du Midi

After a delightful breakfast with breads fresh from the bakery enjoy a leisurely cruise towards the delightful evening’s mooring at Capestang. Relax on the sundeck and delight in the passing scenery  or alight at one of the locks perhaps and cycle or walk along tow-path of the Canal du Midi. After lunch on board, enjoy an excursion to a local vineyard for a private wine-tasting and then a visit to the extra-ordinary Oppidum d’Enserune, a 2,000 year old archaeological city-site located within sight of the canal. Return to Clair de Lune for aperitifs and dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 Capestang to La Croisade

Hotel barge Clair de Lune Canal du Midi

After breakfast, continue your leisurely cruise along the winding canal to La Croisade, the mooring for this evening. Take a light lunch on board and then enjoy an excursion to Pezenas, a delightfully well-preserved ancient village with local craftsmen and shops to browse. It is also well-known for its associations with the famous French playwright, Molière, who is said to have bee inspired to write many of his plays whilst staying here..
Another superb dinner on board this evening.

Wednesday, Day 4 La Croisade to Le Somail

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune Canal du Midi

After breakfast, we drive you to the beautiful city of Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy the Archbishop’s Palace and Roman Horreum as well as the colourful indoor market – les Halles de Narbonnes – at the hub of this bustling town. There’s time to shop or simply relax and absorb the warm sunshine and street-cafe atmosphere. Then we take a delicious lunch in a typical French restaurant close to Les Halles. After returning to Clair de Lune, a relaxing afternoon cruise to Le Somail for dinner on board.

Thursday, Day 5 Le Somail to Argens-Minervois

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune Canal du Midi

In the morning, cruise on to Argens-Minervois and after lunch on board, there’s an excursion to the impressive village of Minerve, with its 12th century Cathar fortress surrounded by deep limestone gorges. Besieged by Simon de Montfort in 1210, its hilltop location affords spectacular views across the countryside. A fascinating miniature recreation of the bloodthirsty Cathar rebellion and a small museum complete this intriguing visit. On the way back to Clair de Lune we visit a producer of fine Minervois wines, Domaine Massamier La Mignarde, for a private tasting. Dinner at a delightful local restaurant this evening.

Friday, Day 5 Argens-Minervois to Homps

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune Canal du Midi

This morning the last cruise is to Homps, one of the main commercial harbours in times past. We pass 4 locks and then lunch ashore in the Homps restaurant on the banks of the Canal du Midi. Then your guide will accompany you to Carcassonne, the restored and most complete medieval fortified city in existence today, dating back to the Gallo Roman era. With its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences, the Cité of Carcassonne resisted the many armies that tried to storm this Camelot setting. You can walk the ramparts and step back in time. Last Gala dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7 Departure
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Narbonne.

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune Canal du MidiOn alternate weeks this cruise runs in the reverse direction.

Please note that Clair de Lune also offers shorter cruises and half-board options. Enquire for further details.

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune cruises through Midi-Languedoc, southern France

Barge Cruising – Midi-Languedoc

map midi languedoc► Hotel Barges cruising in this locality

Canal du Midi – Canal de la Robine

The Canal du Midi has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in acknowledgement of the astonishing feat carried out by its 17th century architect Pierre-Paul Riquet in linking the Etang du Thau in the south east with the River Garonne in Toulouse, effectively making it possible to convey goods from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Riquet’s audacity in engineering can be seen in the flight of nine characteristically oval-shaped locks at Fonserannes, near the ancient city of Beziers which is famous not just for its 13th century cathedral, but for its bullfighting festival too. If ticking off UNESCO sites is your thing, then you get two for one in Carcassonne, where the canal passes close to the ancient citadel that forms one of the most iconic skylines in the whole country.

The 240 km length of this historic waterway is extraordinarily beautiful, meandering between the vineyards of Corbieres to the south and the Minervois to the north and a visit to the wine town of Minerve, which has been designated as one of the most beautiful in France, is a treat. A diversion along the Canal de la Robine leads to Narbonne, which dates back to Roman times when it was a strategic trading centre, and even today its covered market, supplied by local producers, is a kind of foodie heaven.

Getting There
Hotel barges often collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Toulouse or Narbonne hotel. French international airports are at Toulouse, Bordeaux – and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. There are also European-flight airports at Carcassonne and Montpellier. TGV express train stations are located at Toulouse, Carcassonne, Narbonne and Montpellier; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.

– [below] In the region: Minervois, Minerve, Canal du Midi, Beziers, Narbonne, Carcassonne –

minervois2-500x300  midi-sunflowers-500x300  minerve2-500x300

midi-lock-500x300  midi-somail2-500x300  midi-canal-500x300

beziers3-500x300  narbonne-500x300  carcassonne-musicians-500x300

Minerve ©Ian Cameron | Others ©FW, wikimedia, n/a

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune: Details and Facilities

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune Canal du Midi Deck Plan

  • Dimensions: 100ft (30.5m) x 16′ 6” (5.05m)
  • Cabins: All 3 Junior Suites are the same size: 135ft² (12.5m²) including ensuite bathroom. Ceiling height in all cabins – 6ft 7” (2.05m).
    All cabins can be double or twin bedded.
    Size of beds: single – 2ft 7” x 6ft 3” (0.8m x 1.9m); as doubles – 5ft 3”x 6ft 3” (1.6m x 1.9m).
  • Bathrooms: wash basin, shower and WC. Supplied with washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels, bathrobes and hair dryer
  • Professional English and French-speaking crew of 4 – captain, tour guide/deckhand, chef and housekeeper

Other items on board:
5 person spa pool (hot tub) on the sundeck (heated to 40 degrees)
6 Mixte bicycles, 21 gears. Helmets supplied if required
A small library of books and maps
A collection of board games
Binoculars for watching the wild bird life
Hi-Fi system with CD player – guests are welcome to bring their favourite CDs from home.

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune: Cuisine

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune Canal du Midi french-waterways.com
All meals on board are freshly prepared by your chef and most meals are a set-menu (there is no choice available). However, vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan dishes, and non-allergenic dishes, can be served given at least 8 weeks notice prior to your departure date.

Breakfast: wholesome and balanced variety of breakfast foods, along with fresh breads & pastries, freshly-squeezed orange juice and hot beverages.
Lunch: regional specialities, accompanied by a selection of quality wines.
Dinner: a candlelit four-course gourmet experience.
Captain’s farewell dinner is held on the last night. Guests may choose to dress slightly formal.

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune Canal du Midi french-waterways.com

Regional Specialities
Foie Gras sur Pain D’Épice Tiède et Confit de Figue; Cuisses de Canards Confites Sauce Forestière; Fondant D’Agneau au Riz de Marseillette; Magret de Canard Confit Sauce Griotte

Wine Cellar
Château de Gorgazaud, Viognier; Domaine Beauvignac, Picpoul de Pinet; Château La Liquiere, Cistus; Domaine des Ânes, Fontanilles; Domaine de l’Hortus, Pic Saint Loup; Domaine de l’Ancienne; Mercerie, Fougères; Château Puech-Haut, Coteaux du Languedoc Prestige; Château Aqueria, Tavel

Cheese Board
Roquefort; Pélardon; Gaperons; Époisse; Brebis; Tomme de Lozère; Causses Bleu

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune Canal du Midi french-waterways.com

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune – 2019 Rates  ➤ 2020 Rates

Charter, with one or two by-cabin weeks
Sundays to Saturdays

Regular rate weeks: 6 night cruises, full board

April 7, 14, 21, 28
May 5, 12, 19, 26
June 2, 9, 16, 23, 29
July No sailings
August 4, 11, 18, 25
September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
October 6, 13, 20, 27

4 guest charter: 21,100 EUR
5 guest charter: 22,100 EUR
6 guest charter: 23,000 EUR

Price, per person sharing a double cabin: 4,000 EUR

4 night cruises – charter only

4 guest charter: 14,000 EUR
5 guest charter: 14,750 EUR
6 guest charter: 15,500 EUR

Half-board cruises – charter only

5 meals at local restaurants; 4 at guests own expense, 1 included in the cruise price

4 guest charter: 17,500 EUR
5 guest charter: 18,200 EUR
6 guest charter: 19,000 EUR

All rates and prices will be confirmed at time of booking. Special Offers are available from time to time – contact us

Hotel Barge Clair de Lune – 2020 Rates

Charter and per cabin bookings
Sundays to Saturdays

Regular rate weeks: 6 night cruises, full board

April 5, 12, 19, 26
May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
June 7, 14, 21, 27
July No sailings
August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
September 6, 13, 20, 27
October 4, 11, 18, 25

4 guest charter: 21,100 EUR
5 guest charter: 22,100 EUR
6 guest charter: 23,000 EUR

Price, per person sharing a double cabin: 4,000 EUR

4 night cruises – charter only

4 guest charter: 14,000 EUR
5 guest charter: 14,750 EUR
6 guest charter: 15,500 EUR

Half-board cruises – charter only

5 meals at local restaurants; 4 at guests own expense, 1 included in the cruise price

4 guest charter: 17,500 EUR
5 guest charter: 18,200 EUR
6 guest charter: 19,000 EUR

All rates and prices will be confirmed at time of booking. Special Offers are available from time to time – contact us

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