Fabulous luxury cruising for 6 guests on the Canal du MidiClair de Lune offers relaxed superior cruising for four to six guests, and has a choice of two routes along the iconic Canal du Midi. She is tastefully furnished with cherrywood and African hardwoods to combine a traditional sophistication with comfortable contemporary interiors. She has large picture windows to the salon providing light and excellent views of the passing scenery, and with a gorgeous sundeck and pool on board, she is all set for your family, group or summertime cruise for just the two of you.
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, 6 nights, 7 days, April to October
- 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
- 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
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 administrator.
Transfers to and from Paris, all meals and drinks on board, excursion fees and associated transport
Air fares to and 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
Cruise 1. Le Somail to Carcassonne, Canal du Midi – March to July
Sunday, Day 1 Le Somail
Guests are met at The Clarion Suites in Narbonne for transfer to Clair de Lune for a glass of chilled champagne and canapés. Time for a short cruise before your first dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Le Somail to Argens-Minervois
After breakfast, cruise to Argens-Minervois, through beautiful scenery with views to the foothills of the Pyrenees. After lunch on board, visit the ancient village of Minerve with its 12th century Cathar fort surrounded by deep limestone gorges. On the way back visit a producer of fine Minervois wines, Domaine Massamier La Mignarde, for a private tasting. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Argens-Minervois to La Redorte
Cruise through a series of locks and the little port of Homps to moor at La Redorte, with plenty of opportunity to explore the Canal du Midi towpath on foot or bicycle. After lunch on board, visit a local goats’ cheese farm at Combebelle, meet the cheese-makers and sample their award-winning products, then continue to ‘L’Oulibo’, a local olive oil press to sample the local Lucques olives. Return to the hotel barge for dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 La Redorte to Marseillette
Excursion to the beautiful city of Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy the Archbishop’s Palace and Roman Horreum and explore the indoor market – les Halles de Narbonnes. Lunch is in a typical French restaurant close to Les Halles. After returning to Clair de Lune, a relaxing afternoon cruise to Marseillette. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 Marseillette to Villedubert
Morning cruise towards Villedubert, another perfect opportunity for walking or cycling, or relaxing in the spa pool. Lunch on board before a drive to the medieval village of Lagrasse, one of the most beautiful villages in France, with an 8th century Benedictine abbey and many skilled artisans’ workshops. Then enjoy a wine tasting at Château Villemagne, an established family-run domaine producing distinctive Corbières and other wines. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Villedubert to Carcassonne
This morning, cruise to the final destination of the week, Carcassonne. After lunch on board, the tour guide will accompany you to the restored and most complete medieval fortified city in existence today, dating back to the Gallo Roman era. Walk the ramparts and step back in time. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Carcassonne
After breakfast, guests are transferred to Narbonne for onward journey
*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
Cruise 2. Trebes to Naurouze, Canal du Midi – July to September
Sunday, Day 1 Trebes to Villedubert
Guests are met in Carcassonne and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Clair de Lune. The crew welcomes you on board with a glass of chilled champagne and canapés. Time for a short cruise before your first dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Villedubert to Herminis
Cruise to Herminis, negotiating a series of locks and crossing the aqueduct at Fresquel before passing through Carcassonne to the mooring. After lunch on board, a guided tour of Carcassonne, the restored and most complete medieval fortified city in existence today, dating back to the Gallo Roman era. Walk the ramparts and step back in time. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Herminis to Bram
Morning cruise to Bram, a wonderfully preserved example of a ‘Circulade’ village. After lunch on board a visit to Limoux, home of the distinctive sparkling wine for a private tasting before continuing to Rennes-le-Château. This picturesque hilltop village has been at the centre of some intriguing mysteries over time, from the search for the Holy Grail, to the supposed secret riches of a 19th century priest. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 Bram to Lasbordes
Drive through the scenery of the Lauragais region with views of the distant, snow-capped Pyrenées, and stop at the village of Fanjeaux to see its ancient Cathar citadel. Continue on to the medieval town of Mirepoix, a town famed for its central square of half-timbered houses. Enjoy lunch in a typical French restaurant, before returning to the hotel barge for our afternoon cruise towards Lasbordes. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 Lasbordes to Castelnaudary
Cruise up through triple and quadruple locks to Castelnaudary and enter the renowned Grand Basin, with its one kilometre circumference, negotiating one of the lowest bridges on the Canal du Midi. After lunch on board, a tour of Castelnaudary itself, recognised as the world capital of the delicious French stew, cassoulet. Visit the town’s last remaining 17th century windmill, the unique Chapel of our Lady of Mercy housing an exceptional collection of gilded wooden panels and the Gothic Collegiale with its outstanding bell tower. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Castelnaudary to Naurouze
Cruise to the final destination, Naurouze, the highest point on the Canal du Midi. A monument commemorates Pierre Paul Riquet’s amazing achievement as architect of the historic Canal du Midi. After lunch on board, drive to beautiful Lac St. Ferreol, source of the Midi’s water. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Naurouze
After breakfast, guests are transferred to Carcassonne for onward journey.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
Clair de Lune’s new Itinerary for 2018 cruises the Canal du Midi between Beziers and Homps
Sunday, Day 1 Beziers
Guests are met at Beziers or Narbonne and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Clair de Lune. The crew welcomes you on board with a glass of chilled champagne and canapés and after settling in there’s time for a short cruise before your first dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Colombier to Capestang
During the morning cruise you can delight in the scenery from the sundeck or perhaps cycle or walk along towpath of the Canal du Midi. After lunch on board enjoy a private wine-tasting and a visit to the extra-ordinary Oppidum d’Enserune, a 2,000 year old hilltop archaeological city-site located near the mooring. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Capestang to La Croisade
After breakfast, a leisurely cruise on to La Croisade with lunch on board. Then an excursion to Pezenas, a delightful village to explore, known for its associations with the famous French playwright Molière, who is said to have written many plays while staying there. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 La Croisade to Le Somail
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
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
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.
*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
Please note that Clair de Lune also offers shorter cruises and half-board options. Enquire for further details. (rn©french-waterways,com)
Hotel Barge Clair de Lune cruises through Midi-Languedoc, southern France
Barge Cruising – Midi-Languedoc
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.
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 –
Hotel Barge Clair de Lune: Details and Facilities
- 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)
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
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.
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
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
Roquefort; Pélardon; Gaperons; Époisse; Brebis; Tomme de Lozère; Causses Bleu
Clair de Lune will not be offering single cabin bookings during 2018
Sundays to Saturdays
Regular rate weeks:
April 8, 15, 22, 29
May 6, 13, 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24, 30
July No sailings
August 5, 12, 19, 26
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
October 7, 14, 21, 28
4 guest charter: 25,300 EUR
5 guest charter: 26,500 EUR
6 guest charter: 27,700 EUR
All rates and prices will be confirmed at time of booking. Special Offers are available from time to time – contact us
We feature information about 50 wonderful hotel barges, of various sizes and price/style levels, more than 100 individual cruises to choose from every week of the season, in 8 regions across France. Some book flexibly by the cabin, others exclusively charter the entire hotel barge. Quite a choice!
Every one of our hotel barge information pages has been carefully crafted and written by us, from our own unique first hand-hand experience – but we also understand that there’s nothing like speaking to a friendly expert to help see the wood for the trees and make the best possible decision about the vacation cruise of a lifetime.
So please, send us a Booking Enquiry form (click on the red tab above) or just pick up the phone and give us a call.
We love France, we love the rivers and canals of France, we love hotel barging – and we love talking about all three!
+33 609 740 064 -or- +44 7590 287 178
We have been cruising and exploring France
aboard our own river boat since 2003.
– we also have expert colleagues in North America and Australia –