Spacious staterooms and high style on the Canal du Midi
A simply enchanting hotel barge offering exceptionally spacious accommodation for up to 8 passengers. With luxury oozing from all quarters and excellent cuisine and wines to savour, your absolute enjoyment is guaranteed.
Enchante is currently based in the south of France, cruising along the famous 300 year old Canal du Midi, an historic journey through Cathar country and sunny rural vineyards with easy connections from Narbonne.
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 Enchante :: Key Features
- Grand Luxe class (5*)
- Canal du Midi, southern France
- Charter and cabin bookings, 6 nights, 7 days, March to October
- 8 guests / 4 cabins with ensuite bathrooms
- Individual control conditioning and heating throughout
- Full board, on-board dining
- Sun deck with spa tub
- 8 all-terrain bicycles
- Wifi (limited in some places)
- Air-conditioned minibus for transfers and excursions
Hotel Barge Enchante: Cruise Highlights
- Tour the vineyards of Minervois plus delicious wine-tasting
- Discover Narbonne’s Archbishop’s Palace and its famous colourful market
- Visit an olive oil press to sample the famous Lucques olives
- Excursion to Lagrasse village, its winding streets and 8th century abbey; lunch in a local restaurant with stunning views across the countryside
- See the historic Cathar town of Minerve in its spectacular hilltop setting
- Tour of the spectacular medieval city of Carcassonne, the largest surviving in Europe
- Excellent towpath for walking and cycling
Hotel Barge Enchante is owned and operated by Roger and Louisa Gronow. Between them they have 20 years experience of working aboard various hotels barges and now provide the 5* service for which they are renowned, aboard Enchante and their sister ship, Finesse in Burgundy.
Transfers to and from Narbonne, all meals and drinks on board, excursion fees and transport
Air fares to and within France; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)
“We had the most amazing week with fabulous food and wine, gorgeous scenery, and the best comfort all round. The staff were exceptional, the tours were interesting and I would recommend this to anyone. Plus each evening we had cocktails in the spa on deck. How can you beat that!! I would give this 10 stars!!”
Coral and Ron Pedley Canberra, Australia
Enchante Classic Cruise on the Canal du Midi, southern France
Trebes to Salleles d’Aude
Sunday, Day 1 Trèbes
Guests are met in Narbonne and chauffeured by private minibus to the Enchanté for a champagne welcome and introduction to the captain and crew, followed by dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Trèbes to Puichéric
A morning tour of the Cite of Carcassonne, the most complete medieval fortified city in Europe and a spectacular venue for lunch a a little shopping perhaps. In the afternoon, a glorious cruise with countryside views to Puicheiric, the night’s mooring and setting for dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Puichéric to Jouarres
Continue today through the Midi’s ovoid locks descending to the valley, a great opportunity for downhill walking or cycling from lock to lock. The afternoon excursion is a wine tour and tasting at Château Saint Jacques d’Albas in Minervois, one of the few regions approved by the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlée). Find out more about the Languedoc’s long-standing and continuing wine trade and then dinner on board – with a few of today’s wines perhaps.
Wednesday, Day 4 Jouarres to Roubia
An excursion to Lagrasse, a beautiful village, to see a Benedictine Abbey founded in the 8th century and many artisans who have set up workshops here. Lunch is taken ashore in a restaurant with stunning views over the Corbières. Then cruise to Roubia passing under the canal bridge “l’Epanchoir”, one of the many feats of engineering invented by Pierre Riquet for the Canal du Midi. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 Roubia to Le Somail
A morning cruise through vineyards and umbrella pine trees to the charming village of Le Somail, purpose-built for the Canal du Midi with its famous bridge and ‘grand bief’, another engineering feat unique to the Canal du Midi. Take time to explore the remarkable book-store of Le Somail. An afternoon excursion to l’Oulibo, a local olive oil press, to sample the famous Lucques olives. Then on to Minerve, the ancient capital of the Minervois, with its 12th century Cathar fort surrounded by deep limestone gorges. Besieged by Simon de Montfort in 1210, its hilltop location affords spectacular views. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Le Somail to Salleles d’Aude
The excursion today is to the lovely Roman city of Narbonne, where the Visigoth monarchs once lived, now a bustling centre of trade and tourism. See the Archbishop’s Palace and the colourful indoor market, shop or simply absorb the vibrant atmosphere. The afternoon’s cruise is along the delightful Robine Canal, down towards the Mediterranean. Perhaps cycle ahead and explore the village of Sallèles d’Aude, our final mooring. Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Sallèles d’Aude
After breakfast, guests are chauffeured to their choice of location in Narbonne.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.
Hotel Barge Enchanté – Culinary Themed Cruise
Between Sallèles d’Aude and Trèbes, Canal du Midi
Each Culinary Themed cruise includes cooking demonstrations in the open galley by the on board chef, wine and food pairings for each meal, and Mediterranean cuisine focusing on the freshest local produce and presentations of all cheeses and wines.
Sunday, Day 1 – Sallèles d’Aude
Guests are met in Narbonne and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Enchanté. A champagne welcome and an introduction to the Captain and crew, followed by the first excellent dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 – Sallèles d’Aude to Roubia
We start the day with the ancient art of cavage, French for truffle hunting, in the oak forests of the Minervois hills. After a successful search and then a savouring of the white truffle, we will stop at ‘La Cargolade’ on the way back to the barge. This farm, named after a traditional Languedoc dish, specialises in the Petit Gris variety of escargot. Then an afternoon cruise during which you can watch a truffle cooking demonstration by our chef. This evening’s mooring will be in the village of Roubia. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 – Roubia to Homps
This morning’s excursion is to ‘Oulibo’, Occitan for olive. This small but reputable olive oil press is a great opportunity to find out what Extra Virgin really means. Home to the famous Lucques olive, you will also enjoy tasting some Picholine or Ascolana tapenades or olive oils. We continue to the Combebelle goat farm for a comparative tasting of young and mature goats’ cheeses. Upon returning to the boat we enjoy a lunchtime cruise to the charming and historical village of Homps, followed by a tour of a local boulangerie where you will be overwhelmed by the wonderful smell of freshly-baked bread and patisseries. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 – Homps to Aiguille
This morning, we drive to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. We enjoy a tour of Narbonne’s indoor food market where Enchanté’s chef will be on hand to help you select your evening’s dinner menu. After lunch in the market, we return to the barge, then cruise through vineyards and pine trees to Aiguille, followed by a wine tour coupled with a wine tasting at Château Saint Jacques d’Albas in the Minervois, one of the few regions to receive the much envied French mark of approval for wines known as A.O.C. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 – Aiguille to Marseillette
This morning we take you for a French cooking class alongside the Canal du Midi. This is a hands-on experience where the focus is on seasonal produce and classic recipes with a modern twist! You will then enjoy the meal you will have prepared in a stunning setting on the canal side. In the afternoon we cruise further along the 330-year-old Midi canal ascending its trademark locks as the relief becomes steeper. This is a great opportunity to walk from one lock to the next as Enchanté cruises on and witness your vessel navigate the triple-locking system. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 – Marseillette to Trèbes
This morning, there is a fascinating morning tour of Carcassonne. Dating back to the Gallo-Roman era, this is the most complete medieval fortified city in existence today with its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences. Home to many artisanal confectioners this is a perfect opportunity to indulge in some nougats and chocolates. We cruise in the afternoon through the dappled Cathedral-like canopy of the plane trees to Trèbes. Once a major ally for Carcassonne this medieval town still retains unique paintings within its 13th century church. Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 – Trèbes to Narbonne
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. It may also run in the reverse direction.
Hotel Barge Enchante 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 Enchante: Details and Facilities
- Dimensions: 100ft (30.58m) x 16ft 6″ (5.05m)
- All the suites are similar in size measuring 165ft² (15.5m²).
- The bathrooms each measure 33ft² (3m²) and are included in the suite sizes above.
- All suites can be configured with 2 single beds or a double.
- All cabins are air conditioned
- New for 2017 season:
Saloon and dining area – new curtains and light fittings
Cabin suites – new carpets and curtains
Bathrooms – new vanitory units, basins and taps in each of the 4 bathrooms
- Professional English-speaking crew of 5 – Captain, tour director, chef,
housekeeper and hostess
Other items on board:
- 8 person spa-pool (hot tub) with electronic thermostat
- 8 bicycles
- A small library of books and maps
- A collection of board games
- Computer with 3G internet connection
- Sound System iPod / MP3 / CD player
Hotel Barge Enchante: 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.
Noisette d’Agneau en Croûte de Sel avec Sauce Romari; Ragout de Calamars “Provençàle”
Domaine de Nalys; Châteauneuf du Pape; Château Haut Gléo; Corbières; Domaine Corsin; Pouilly Fuissé; Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre; Château Les Ollieux Romanis; Domaine Alquier; Faugères; Château de Gourgazau; Minervois La Livinière
Le Saint-Remoi;, Fromage de Chévre au Poivre et au Thyme;
Tomme de Valdeblore
Some sample menus
~ Lunch ~
Pissaladiere with sun blushed tomatoes & mesclun salad
Chicken breast served with spiced sweet potatoes, braised haricots verts and a warm tomato & olive salsa
French Caesar with smoked Magret, quail eggs & radishes
Caramelized mangoes & pistachio cream
Roasted Mediterranean tartelette with roquette, Bayonne ham & ricotta cheese salad
Red berries with Sabayon sauce
~ Dinner ~
Foie Gras, Duck & Poussin terrine served with spiced chutney
Filet of Lamb served with a puree of pomme de terre, tagliatelle of Summer vegetables & a Port and mint Jus
Selection of Cheeses
White chocolate cheesecake with peach coulis
Thai fish cakes with sweet & sour cucumber dressing
Magret of Duck & Confit with leeks & prunes in a filo pastry basket, spring onion and ginger sauce
Selection of Cheeses
Pink Champagne jelly
Gorgonzola, apple, crystallised walnuts and roquette salad
Medallions of monkfish with crevette and tarragon beurre blanc, crispy pancetta on a tagliatelle of summer vegetables
Selection of Cheeses
Red berry Summer pudding
Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday
Value rate weeks:
March 18, 25
April 1, 8, 15, 22
July 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19
October 7, 14, 21
6 guest charter: 41,300 USD / 27,600 GBP / 35,600 EUR
7 guest charter: 43,200 USD / 28,600 GBP / 36,900 EUR
8 guest charter: 45,100 USD / 29,600 GBP / 38,200 EUR
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 5,990 USD / 3,950 GBP / 5,090 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 2,200 USD / 1,450 GBP / 1,900 EUR
Regular rate weeks:
May 6, 13, 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8, 15
September 2, 9, 16, 23. 30
6 guest charter: 47,300 USD / 31,700 GBP / 40,800 EUR
7 guest charter: 49,500 USD / 32,800 GBP / 42,200 EUR
8 guest charter: 51,700 USD / 33,900 GBP / 43,600 EUR
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 6,850 USD / 4,490 GBP / 5,850 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 2,500 USD / 1,650 GBP / 2,100 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 –