Hotel Barge: Saint Louis


Serenity itself; luxury cruising in peaceful Aquitaine

Hotel barge Saint Louis provides a luxury cruise along the beautiful, calm waterways in the historic lands of Aquitaine and Gascony in south-west France. Her style is ‘casual luxury’, providing perfect accommodation for up to six guests in three stateroom suites.

Aboard Saint Louis with her graceful lines you’ll cruise in peace and tranquillity through lush countryside, pretty villages and memorable towns in this relatively unknown corner of France. She’s a floating hotel haven of comfort and style amidst the culinary and historic delights of this fruit growing region and fascinating ‘Bastide’ area.

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 Saint Louis :: Key Features

    • Excellence class (4*)
    • Canal de Garonne, Aquitaine, south-west France
    • Charter, and cabin bookings on selected weeks, 6 nights, 7 days, May to October
    • Three double or twin ensuite cabins
    • Spacious living and dining area
    • Full board dining
    • Themed cruises: Wine, Golf, Custom
    • Huge sundeck with dining area, partial shade and loungers
    • Bicycles for exploring

Hotel Barge Saint Louis: Cruise Highlights

    • Excursion to St Emilion, explore the town and a private wine-tasting
    • Explore the village Serignac with its unusual church spire
    • Excursion to Le Temple-sur-Lot and the water-lily gardens that inspired Monet
    • Tour of Moissac (across an aqueduct) and its ancient Abbey and Cloisters
    • Visit to a barrel maker and a local Armagnac distillery for a tasting
    • Guided tour of Montauban; see the Montech Water Slope
    • Visit to the fascinating towns and local museums of Donzac and Agens
    • Walk and cycle the excellent towpath

Peter and Wendy Saint Louis french-waterways.comYour Hosts:
Peter and Wendy own and operate Saint Louis from their base on the Montauban embranchement. From a highly successful catering background, they are now providing the luxury market with delightful cruising in this major fruit and wine growing region of France.

Julia and Martin Saint Louis Aquitaine french-waterways.com New crew members for 2017 are Julia, hostess, and Martin, a 3* Michelin chef. They make up the perfect team for Saint Louis’ luxury guests. Read more about the hotel barge and the team here.

Included in your cruise fee:
6 nights/7 days accommodation, transfers to and from the barge, all meals and wines on board; daily excursions, fees, tour guide and associated transport.

Not included
Air fares and travel to and from the meeting point before and after cruise; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; personal expenses; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)

Hotel Barge Saint Louis: Guest Comments

“Our favourite vacation,a truly heavenly week, we look forward to returning for another voyage with our new friends, Peter, Wendy, Minnis and James”
Kathy & Brian, USA

Hotel barge st louis french-waterways.com aquitaine

Hotel Barge Saint Louis cruises in the Aquitaine region

Saint Louis follows two itineraries, both along the Canal de Garonne. The western route proceeds from Boé (near Agen) towards Bordeaux to Meilhan. The eastern, from near Montauban to Boé. The Canal de Garonne in the Aquitaine and Gascony region connects the river Garonne and the Gironde estuary with the Canal du Midi to the east and eventually the Mediterranean Sea at Narbonne.


Itinerary 1 – Boé to Meilhan-sur-Garonne, Canal de Garonne, southwest France

hotel barge france canal garonne saint louisDay 1 Saturday – Arrival
Pick up at 15:30 from Bordeaux or 16:30 from Agen train station for chauffeured transfer by private executive minibus to Saint Louis moored at Boe. A Champagne welcome, meet the crew and settle in before dinner on board.

Day 2 Sunday – Boé to Sérignac-sur-Garonne
Cruise to Agen, its lively town centre and fascinating Museum. Lunch on board whilst cruising on to the mooring at Sérignac-sur-Garonne, a peaceful village with an unusual twisted church spire, to explore before dinner on board.

Serignac church french-waterways.com

Day 3 Monday – Sérignac to Buzet-sur-Baïse
Excursion to Temple sur Lot, a small village, renowned for its remarkable water-lily (Nenuphar) nursery, home to over 250 species. Claude Monet visited and took some home to his own garden in northern France, providing the inspiration for his famous water-lily series of paintings. Return to Saint Louis for lunch on board and then cruise to the nights mooring at Buzet-sur-Baïse. Dinner on board.

Nenuphar Latour-Marliac 2 french-waterways.com

Nenuphar (Water Lily) Gardens, Latour-Marliac

Day 4 Tuesday – Buzet to Villeton
Visit to a 3rd generation wine barrel-maker, still important today for export round the world. Then, to an Armagnac Distillery (in a 12th Century church) for a tasting of this regional spirit. Return to Saint Louis for lunch and then cruise on to the mooring at Villeton, stopping at the Musee de la Fallotte for a guided tour on the way. Dinner on board.

Day 5 Wednesday – Villeton to Fourques-sur-Garonne
Cruise to Mas d’Agenais to explore its central square and visit the local Church famous for its Rembrandt painting. Lunch on board lunch and cruise on to Fourques and moor for the night. Time to cycle or walk beside Saint Louis this afternoon as she glides gently along. Dinner on board.

Day 6 Thursday – Fourques to Meilhan-sur-Garonne
Full day excursion to the important wine-producing town of St Emilion*, situated on the limestone terroir which gives unique flavours to its wines. Discover an underground church, lunch at one of the excellent local restaurants and then a private tasting of Bordeaux and St Emilion wines. Time for a stroll and shopping before cruising on to Meilhan for evening drinks and Captain’s dinner on board.

St Emilion Saint Louis hotel barge french-waterways.com

Day 7 Friday – Departure
Disembark after breakfast for chauffeured transfer to the pre-arranged drop off point and onward travel.

*See the ‘Special Options’Tab

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. The itinerary is in reverse direction on alternate weeks.


Itinerary 2 – Montauban to Boé, Canal de Garonne, southwest France

hotel barge france canal garonne saint louisDay 1 Saturday – Arrival
Pick up at 15:00 from Toulouse for chauffeured transfer by private executive minibus to Saint Louis. champagne reception on board and meet the crew. Settle in, and then a visit to the local Artisan Distillerie (aqua vita and liqueurs), or a stroll around the neighbouring town of Montech. Dinner on board.

Day 2 Sunday – Montauban to Castelsarrasin
Excursion to Montauban, its monuments and cobbled streets leading to the gorgeous central square with covered arcades and street cafes, the 13th century Pont Vieux (Old Bridge) spanning the Tarn river. Lunch on board and then cruise to Montech to view the Water Slope, a unique engineering marvel. Continue through the fruit growing countryside to the mooring at Castelsarrasin. Dinner on board.

Day 3 Monday – Castelsarrasin to Moissac
Continue towards the nights mooring at Moissac, crossing the River Tarn by aqueduct, 30 meters above the river. Lunch on board and then a tour of Moissac Abbey, the oldest in Europe with its famous Cloisters. There are numerous art shops, a glass blower and street cafes to sample in this fine Provincial French town. As an option, Saint Louis can leave the canal at Moissac, for a short cruise on the River Tarn and the River Garonne. Dinner on board.

saint louis french-waterways.com

Day 4 Tuesday – Moissac to Pommevic
Leave Moissac, heading west,into lovely countryside of hills and orchards. Lunch at Pommevic, alongside the pilgrims to Santiago di Compostella, still 1200km away at this point. Then an excursion to Auvillar, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France and who’s history includes the manufacture and export of china and quills. Dinner on board.

Day 5 Wednesday – Pommevic to Lamagistere
Cruise on through Valence and moor for lunch at Lamagistere, once a hugely important trading town on the Garonne river. Then, an excursion to nearby Donzac to the museum dedicated to the ancient trades of this corner of France – a world class display. Drive on to the ancient Bastide village of Dunes, with half-timbered houses and wall-plaques that detail some astounding events in the history of this small village. Dinner on board.

Saint Louis hotel barge french-waterways.com

Day 6 Thursday – Lamagistere to Agen
Excursion to Clermont-Soubiran, with views over the whole Valley of the Garonne, and see the Chateau. Then, cruise down towards the provincial city of Agen to moor at Boë. Lunch on board then a choice of excursions; a visit to the Musée des Beaux Arts in Agen or the first water-lily nursery in Europe, where Monet gained his inspiration at Le Temple sur Lot. Evening drinks and Captain’s dinner on board

Day 7 Friday – Departure
After breakfast, chauffeured transfer to the agreed drop off point for onward travel.

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. The itinerary is in reverse direction on alternate weeks.

For 2018, Saint Louis will be focusing on a new route between Serignac and Castets en Dorthe at the western end of the Canal de Garonne


The St Emilion and Bordeaux Wine Experience

If you’re keen to develop your knowledge and understanding of fine wine and vinification, Saint Louis’ week-long St Emilion and Bordeaux Wine Experience Cruise could be just what you’re looking for as a themed option.

Your week includes a day in St Emilion to learn about, and taste, the Grand Vins de Bordeaux. Dining on board also features some of the finest wines from Bordeaux and the South West of France. This exceptional trip is available to Charter groups of 4 or 6 cruising on the Agen to Castets leg of Saint Louis’ route and is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.

St Emilion Bordeaux wine

The highlight of the cruise will be the day at St Emilion. Your adventure will start after breakfast at around 08:00 with a scenic drive through the countryside to St Emilion. After a coffee break at a local cafe, a professional Tour Guide will escort you through the famous underground church of St Emilion, one of the stunning UNESCO world heritage sites – not to be missed.

Afterwards, you will be introduced to Patrick Marchal, the resident wine expert at one of the most respected and influential distributors in St Emilion. Patrick will be your guide for the day and will start by giving you a short briefing on Bordeaux wines in their petit salon. In this session you will learn about terroir and how it affects wine, the classification of Bordeaux wines and the technique of tasting wine. In addition, you’ll enjoy a delicious tasting of younger ‘Boutique wines’.

Lunch will be taken at one of the Michelin Starred restaurants of Hostellerie de Plaisance, the Logis de La Cadene or Chateau Troplong Mondot. During lunch, Patrick will help you to experience and understand the secret of fine food and wine pairing.

Unique Chateau Visit

Chateau Beau-Sejour
In the afternoon, Saint Louis offers a private visit to Chateau Beau-Séjour Duffaut Lagarosse, one of only 18 chateaux in the whole of France that is classified as Premier Grand Cru Classé. This Chateau is closed to the general public so this treat is a genuine exclusive; you will learn about the wine-making process and more about the local terroir and its influences on wine production. You will discover underground cellars dating back to the 13th century and see the vintages currently laid down, some of which are over 50 years old.

This private visit will be followed by a superb driving tour – around the vineyards of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol to discover famous names such as Petrus, Cheval Blanc and Angelus.

Then you will return to the distributors for a special tasting of Bordeaux vintages from the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. This tour and tasting will cover the subject of vintages and the ageing process, a key part of wine-making that has made the Grands Vins de Bordeaux famous worldwide.

Later, there will be free time to explore the town of St Emilion itself, to do some shopping and sightseeing if you wish, and still return to the barge in plenty of time for dinner on board.

Fabulous.

Bordeaux France

Bordeaux

Hotel Barge Saint Louis cruises through Aquitaine and Gascony, South-West France


Barge Cruising – Aquitaine

map aquitaine► Hotel Barges cruising in this locality

Canal de Garonne – Canal de Montech-Montauban

Aquitaine, in the far southwest corner of France, belonged to the English Crown during the middle ages and British wine lovers today may mourn the fact that it passed back to the French. The regional capital is Bordeaux, which is a stately presence on the estuary of the Garonne river and a name that is ineffably associated with fine wines, and claret in particular. The Maison du Vin in the city centre offers a broad-based introduction to many sought after vintages, but a visit to some of the prestigious vineyards themselves is hard to beat. St Emilion it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this beautiful town and its environs has been known for its vineyards since Roman times.

Helping to link Bordeaux to Toulouse, the Canal de Garonne has sometimes been overshadowed by its older sibling the Canal du Midi, which has had the benefit of leaving it largely unspoiled. It shadows a popular pilgrimage route to Compostella and one of its outstanding attractions is the town of Moissac, with its world famous Romanesque abbey cloister. There are a number of exquisite country villages to discover, including Serignac, whose church has a distinctive twisted spire, and Duras which is famed not just for its chateau, but as the birthplace of the French writer Marguerite Duras.

As you travel inland from the Atlantic and the vineyards peter out, they are replaced by orchards growing apples, pears and particularly Ente plums. The town of Agen has become synonymous with prunes and the Pruneau d’Agen is so fine that it has earned itself a Protected Geographical Indication, which governs the location and means of its production.

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

– [below] In the region: Bordeaux, Duras, Moissac, St Emilion, Bordeaux Wine, Canal de Garonne, Serignac, Agen –

bordeaux2-500x300  duras-500x300  moissac-500x300

st-emilion-500x300  winetasting-500x300  bordeaux-vineyard2-500x300

canal-garonne-500x300  serignac-500x300  agen-500x300

Duras © Michel Michelot | Bordeaux vineyard ©Chateau Raba | Tasting ©Nicolle Croft | Others ©FW, wikimedia, n/a

Hotel Barge Saint Louis: Details and Facilities

Saint Louis Hotel Barge Deck Plan

  • Dimensions: 96ft (29m) long
  • Cabins: 3 x queen-size double or twin-bedded, two windows, 127 sq ft including bathroom
  • Ensuite bathrooms have one window, shower, toilet and basin with toiletries
  • All cabins have hairdryer, full length mirror and dressing table
  • All cabins have individually controlled heating and air conditioning
  • Professional English-speaking crew of 4 – captain, hostess, deckhand and chef

Other items on board:

  • Library of books and games
  • TV/DVD/CD: CD, Sound System
  • Laptop for guest use with WIFI (limited availability in some area)
  • Large deck with loungers, parasols, dining table & chairs
  • Central heating and air conditioning throughout
  • Air-conditioned minivan for excursions and transfers
  • 6 bicycles and helmets
  • Numerous family games, cards, books, DVDs

Hotel Barge Saint Louis: Cuisine

hotel barge saint louis cuisine hotel barge saint louis cuisine hotel barge saint louis cuisine

South-west France is full of delicious, locally grown produce, cuisine and great wine and the French food tradition of Aquitaine and Gascony (so much praised by master chef Rick Stein in his French Odyssey) is an integral part of the barging experience. Whether enjoying your meal in the salon or alfresco on the sun deck, the cuisine will remind you that you are in a part of the world where food is treated lovingly and seriously.

hotel barge saint louis cuisine hotel barge saint louis cuisine hotel barge saint louis cuisine
The superb food on board is largely based on traditional recipes from Aquitaine and Gascony, and ingredients come fresh from local suppliers on a daily basis. Beautifully prepared by our resident chef, duck, foie gras and seafood are thus among the basics of the cuisine. Dietary preferences, vegetarian and special dietary needs are easily and cheerfully accommodated (but please tell us in advance).
hotel barge saint louis cuisine hotel barge saint louis cuisine hotel barge saint louis cuisine

^ click to enlarge images and open gallery ^

Hotel Barge Saint Louis – 2017 Rates   ➤ 2018 Rates

Charter only bookings
Saturday to Friday

Regular rate weeks:

May 6, 13, 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19, 26
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

4 guest charter: 25,000 USD
5 guest charter: 28,800 USD
6 guest charter: 29,900 USD


Hotel Barge Saint Louis – 2018 Rates

For 2018, Saint Louis will be focusing on a new route between Serignac and Castets en Dorthe at the western end of the Canal de Garonne

2017 rates held until 31 July 2017

Charter bookings, one or two weeks for cabin bookings
Saturday to Friday

Regular rate weeks:

May 6, 13, 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19, 26
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
October 7, 14, 21, 28

2 guest charter: 23,000 USD
3 guest
charter: 27,000 USD
4 guest
charter: 27,000 USD
5 guest charter: 31,500 USD
6 guest charter: 31,500 USD

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 13,000 USD per cabin
No Single Occupancy Supplement

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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advice-350x217We 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!

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