Special and luxurious - with some unique options
Savannah cruises along the world-famous Canal du Midi and is a stunning hotel barge, her warm exterior colouring attracting envious looks all round. Her livery is complemented with excellent interior décor; she is superbly fitted and finished throughout in rich mahogany, classic ceramic tiling in the bathrooms, and a tasteful selection of high-quality contemporary furniture in the saloon.
Up to seven guests are treated to a full and fascinating itinerary, with visits to pretty villages and historic towns and cities. Savannah operates for charters and cabin bookings, and provides unique 3-night cruises as well as overnight stays in a fabulous Chateau.
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 Savannah:: Key Features
- Grand Luxe class (5*)
- Canal du Midi, southern France
- Charter and cabin bookings, 6 nights, 7 days, April to October
- 7 guests / 1 double cabin, 2 double/twin cabins, 1 single cabin, all with ensuite bathrooms
- Individually controlled air conditioning and heating
- Full board, on-board dining
- Spacious sun deck with shaded dining area and loungers
- 7 all-terrain bicycles
- Wifi (limited in some places)
- Air-conditioned minibus for transfers and excursions
- Visit the pretty village of Minerve and taste the Minervois wines
- Excursion to Narbonne, the ancient regional capital, a tour and lunch out at a fine local restaurant beside its lively market
- On-board musicians while you dine
- Discover Carcassonne’s fairytale medieval castle, the largest in Europe
- Optional tour of countryside in your own 2-CV
- Visit to Château de Pennautier for a wine-tasting and gourmet lunch
- Excursion to Mirepoix, a magnificent medieval town in the foothills of the Pyrenees
- Savour the delicious wines of Languedoc-Roussillon
- Excellent tow-path for walking and cycling, and sunny deck for pure relaxation
Adrien Bramoullé is one of the most energetic and creative owner/operators on the Canal du Midi. With a background in veterinary science, and a flourishing Safari business during the winter months in South Africa, he delivers extraordinarily high levels of quality and professionalism for his guests aboard Savannah.Unique excursions – chateau nights, helicopter flights and plenty of activity days for children make Savannah cruises very special indeed.
6 nights or 3 nights accommodation, transfers to and from the pick up point, all meals and drinks on board, excursion guide, fees and associated transport
Air fares to and within France; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (5–10% suggested)
Hotel Barge Savannah: Guest Comments
“Thank you so much for the most wonderful week on your lovely barge Savannah. The care and effort you put in to ensure the most perfect week for all of us is so very much appreciated. Also your consideration of my mother and making her birthday fantastic is something she will always treasure.
The itinerary was just what we all enjoyed – the wine tastings and learning about French wines; the drive in the “little red car”; the history of the towns, villages and the market.
Valerie is the best Chef I have experienced – the presentation and quality were superb and I really liked how she explained all the meals. Our night of dancing and birthday cake with the musicians was fantastic.
As to our great Captain, you are the best! Our time with you is something none of us will forget.”
Christine P and family, Australia, May 2017
“Adrien: Betsy and I want to thank you and Valerie for that wonderful experience you provided us. Everything was perfect and exceeded our expectations….We greatly appreciated and respected how you had everything so under control… And, as will come as no surprise to you, we just loved Valerie. She and her cooking, but her personality alone, are/were truly memorable.”
John & Betsy G, USA, May 2017
“The barge is impeccable, Adrien was excellent, and the region of course is fantastic. Overall, great experience – I would recommend to anyone.”
Sasha P and family, Russia, July 2016
“Although I haven’t yet returned home I am already dreading it! It means I’ll have to make my own bed, fix our meals, do the dishes and worst of all be exposed to the same stagnant scenery! How will we manage?! You and your crew certainly spoiled us royally and we loved every minute of it! Your photos are proof of the beauty in which we were surrounded. Our trip will be long remembered.”
H Sullivan and tandem party, USA, May 2016
Hotel Barge Savannah has been rigorously appraised and selected by the Cercle Prestige Sud de France to be promoted internationally as a unique asset to France’s Languedoc Roussillon region. This constitutes a guarantee of high standards in both luxury and authenticity.
Hotel Barge Savannah: 6 and 3 night luxury cruises on the Canal du Midi
Classic 6 Night Hotel Barge Cruise: La Redorte (Homps) to Bram, Canal du Midi
Cruise the flowing sunflower valley of the Lauragais into the vineyards of Corbières and Minervois
Day 1 Sunday : Arrival
Meet your guide at the pre-arranged meeting point for chauffeured transfer by executive mini-bus to Savannah, moored at the quayside. A champagne reception awaits, during which you will meet the crew and set off on your first cruise to a countryside mooring.
Day 2 Monday : Cruise to Millepetit
Excursion to Minerve, considered one of the prettiest villages in France, perched on a heart shaped rocky spur at the meeting point of two valleys. This village is also one of the emblematic sites of the Cathars and was besieged by Simon de Montfort during the Albigensian crusade. The surrounding Minervois wines have been appreciated since Roman times.
Then, a guided tour of an exceptional Minervois vineyard to meet the wine maker for your first wine tasting of the week. Lunch on board and a leisurely afternoon cruise through the unique olive-shaped locks, over aqueducts and under low stone bridges. Choose to relax on the sun-deck or take the opportunity to stroll and cycle along the canal. Moor at Millepetit and dinner on board.
Day 3 Tuesday : Millepetit to Villedubert lock
Excursion to Narbonne, founded in 118 BC as a Roman colony with numerous historical and architectural reminders of a prestigious past: the Roman road ‘Via Domitia’, Saint Just Cathedral and the Episcopal Palace. At the famous covered market you can help chef choose fresh ingredients from the Languedoc Roussillon region for dinner this evening. Lunch in an excellent restaurant by the market, then cruise the outskirts of Carcassonne towards the palm-tree lined mooring at Villedubert. Dinner on board.
Day 4 Wednesday : Villedubert lock to Ladouce lock (Carcassonne)
Cruise to Carcassonne port for lunch on board. Then a guided visit to the fortified city of Carcassonne; ascend the ramparts dating back to Gallo-Roman times, discover the medieval town, its fort and the cathedral. Roam and shop in the 19th century ‘bastide’ of this regional capital. Then, cruise onwards to the countryside mooring for dinner on board.
Day 5 Thursday : Ladouce Lock to Villeseque lock
Excursion to Château de Pennautier for a wine tasting and lunch in the domain and time to relax and enjoy a siesta afterwards in the château gardens. Then cruise on through the superb locks and awe inspiring views of Herminis and Lalande to the countryside mooring and dinner on board.
Day 6 Friday : Villesque Lock to Bram
Excursion into the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains to Mirepoix, a magnificent medieval town in Ariège. Visit the lively market and stroll in small pedestrian streets with overhanging arcades and colourful half-beamed houses. Or a visit to the museum at St Ferréol’s reservoir near Revel and its market. Follow the Rigole, and drive through the mountains to Saissac with its Cathar castle. Return to Savannah and cruise through the Lauragais to the mooring at Bram for the Captain’s dinner on board.
Day 7 Saturday : Departure
After breakfast depart at 09:00 for chauffeured transfer to the drop off point and onward travel.
Please note: this itinerary is subject to change and on alternate weeks runs in the reverse direction.
For a limited period only, Hotel Barge Savannah’s 6 night cruise* on the Canal du Midi will include a sensational luxury flight over this iconic canal. The circular route starts from Montpellier and flies out over the lakes and lagoons of the beautiful Camargue. The luxury 5 seater Ecureuil helicopter, based at Montpellier airport, gives you a breathtaking birds-eye view over the major landmarks of the area – Montpellier, Pic St Loup, St Guilhem le Desert, the Canal du midi, the Etang de Thau and Sète. The flight plans have been carefully designed to include the most fascinating sights and best views of the region, but can be modified according to guests’ preferences.
Always Included: 2CV Outings
Take to the country roads and explore Languedoc at the wheel of France’s most iconic, best loved, car – the Citroen 2CV. Our cars are in tip-top, brightly sparkling, ‘concours’ condition. This kind of fun is guaranteed to put a smile on everybody’s face!
Hotel Barge Savannah: 3 Night Short Cruise
Bram to Carcassonne (Ladouce Lock), Canal du Midi
One evening and night in the 5* Hotel de la Cité with incomparable views over the medieval city of Carcassonne, including:
- Luxury bedroom with welcome cocktail
- Swimming pool and SPA
- Gastronomical dinner in the Michelin starred restaurant (wines and drinks extra)
Two nights aboard Hotel Barge Savannah, including:
- 3 hour cruise each day
- Breakfast and dinner, with lunches as per guests preferences (and not inclusive)
- Visit to Mirepoix village and market
- Visit to Rennes le Château or Château Pennautier for superb wine-tastings
3 night cruise Schedules
The 3 night cruises run back to back during the week, from Sunday evening to Wednesday morning, and Wednesday evening to Saturday morning.
Sunday – arrival in Carcassonne and evening at the Hotel de la Cité
Monday and Tuesday on board Savannah.
Wednesday departure at 09h00
Wednesday – arrival in Carcassonne and evening at the Hotel de la Cité.
Thursday and Friday on board Savannah.
Saturday departure at 09h00
Price: 5,000 € per couple (2,500 € per person sharing a double cabin)
Hotel Barge Savannah:Tour de France cruise | July 2018
Join a unique cruise with Hotel Barge Savannah dedicated to the 2018 Tour de France. Cruise on the Canal du Midi and enjoy all the action with luxury accommodation and service aboard a 5 star hotel barge.
Savannah’s week-long cruise for a party of up to six guests will be from 22 – 28 July 2018. The tour itself will spend 3 days in Carcassonne, the world famous medieval city, the most intact in Europe, and a must-see destination.
Stage 16 of the Tour de France starts from Millau and wends its way south-westwards to Carcassonne and on towards Pau. The stage is 2,375km in length covering varied terrain along valleys and up into the Pyrennées.
Savannah’s cruise will be from Bram towards Carcassonne. Two to five days will be spent there and the cruise will finish at Puicheric or Trèbes.
The Cruise itinerary will include excursions to the Chàteau Pennautier, the ancient Cité de Carcassonne and the historic and bustling city of Narbonne. See the standard itinerary here.
Savannah’s Tour de France cruise offers you the chance to cycle the same route with a professional guide in safety, with the added incentive of delicious meals and superb accommodation on your cruise – with fascinating excursions along one of the most iconic waterways in the world. Included in the cruise:
- Professional Carbon racing cycles on board, adapted to each guests exact requirements
- Guided cycling tours with a professional cyclist on sections of the tour course (with back-up technical support). One outing of up to 2 – 4 hours every day.
- Visit either the BMC or TREK cycling team during the Tour de France rest day in Carcassonne on 22 July.
- Branded Cycling gear (guests to bring only their shoes, pedals and helmets)
Savannah will be delighted to adapt the cruise according to your requirements. Of course, this needs discussion well in advance.
Price, for a charter for 6 guests: 30 000 EUR / 36 000 USD
For more information and to book this Tour de France cruise, email us.
When it’s gone, it’s gone.
Hotel Barge Savannah: 6 night Chateâu Cruise
Hotel Barge Cruise including a stay at the Chateáu de Pennautier
For a few selected weeks during the year, Savannah is offering exclusive one-night stays in the Chateau Pennautier as part of the cruise; Pennautier has been in the same family for hundreds of years, is still lived-in and is one of the major wine producers in the region, close to Carcassonne.
A unique luxury cruise aboard hotel barge Savannah, including one night in an authentic French chateau with six vineyards.
A visit to a French chateau should be towards the top of your to-do list when you visit France. These homes of the nobility in times past offer a fascinating glimpse of social and political history stretching back centuries, and a chance to really savour the true culture of France.
There are, sadly, plenty of stately ruins with perhaps one turret remaining intact, scattered throughout the countryside, most numerous in the Burgundy region. But many are restored and maintained, offering visitors a glimpse of the great halls, period furniture, the kitchens and gardens – a waft of domestic life for the honoured and wealthy in previous centuries.
French Châteaux are not all fairy-tale castles like Carcassonne, famed world-wide as a stunning example of a Medieval fortress. Some (less ancient) are of palatial style, such as the renowned Palace of Versailles, with architects designing not just to protect inhabitants from enemy hordes but to impress and entertain. A stately home.
The Château of Pennautier is one such, dating from 1620, and situated not far from Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi in the south of France. The Château is set in French style gardens amidst the vineyards of the Lorgeril family within the Languedoc Roussillon region. They are the 10th generation descendants of the original owners of Pennautier and this is an important point, since the family still live there and have recently made their home available to private guests in an exclusive association with one of the superb floating vacations available on a luxury hotel barge cruise.
As part of an exclusive hotel barge cruise aboard Hotel Barge Savannah you can fine dine in Château Pennautier and stay the night, explore the grounds and breakfast in the kitchen in the morning. You may also like to have exceptional tuition with master oenologist and a master chef as part of this wonderful experience.
Hotel Barge Savannah has three gorgeous double cabins for six guests and one single cabin, and is immaculately decorated throughout with quality furnishings, including upholstery by Christian Lacroix.
Delicious foods and wines are served throughout the cruise, in the dining room or on the shaded sun-deck, whilst the Canal du Midi floats gently by.
The Hotel Barge Savannah Cruise and Chateau Experience
This cruise aboard the Grand Luxe rated hotel barge Savannah includes five nights aboard and an exclusive two days and one night at the Château, immersed in its history and culture, the beauty of its decorations and furniture, its cuisine and of course its wine produced from 360 hectares of vineyards in the Languedoc region.
As part of the experience you will enjoy an extensive (and delicious) introduction to their Domaines*, to taste and savour distinctive red and white wines, aged and young, fermented in steel vats and oak barrels. You will explore the subtle differences between combinations of grape varieties and the ways in which the soil, style and fermentation processes affect the flavour and character of their wines.
Dining at the Château de Pennautier
Champagne from Bollinger is served as an aperitif in the high-ceilinged first floor salon, where the original decor and furnishings are still there for you to touch and enjoy, centuries old family heirlooms for you to walk on and sit upon. You will be charmed by this setting, especially when the musicians arrive to serenade you with classics from the folk tradition as well as Edith Piaf and Serge Gainsbourg.
Typical Evening Menu
Cheese-cake d’avocat et chips de chorizo
Delices de cailles
Mille feullies de legumes et pommes cocotte
Plateau de fromages
Ananas roti, tartare de mangue au gingembre et creme coco
Le Marquis de Pennautier, 2013
Le Chateau de Pennautier Terroir d’altitude, 2012
L’Esprit de Pennautier, 2004
Your 5 course dinner, with carefully chosen wines, will be served in the lower dining hall, a room adorned with original Classical-themed tapestries by Aubusson, a pink-marbled fireplace and a huge 16th C brass chandelier from Holland.
As this is a family home and not a hotel, the charming owners, Nicolas and Miren de Lorgeril, always make a point of welcoming guests personally and if they are in residence they will find the time during your dinner to come and greet you.
This is an evening of atmosphere like no other – soft lighting, gentle harmonies permeating along the corridors and from room to room, superb cuisine from Savannah’s own master chef and top quality wines from the family vineyards – with the promise of heading up the sweeping staircase to your suite for the night. Perfect.
Your room is large, renovated to the highest standards to combine original features – tiled floors, heirloom chairs and tables, wallpapers, window and lights fittings – with modern sanitary ware, plumbing, and super comfy beds and bed-linen. And when you wake, you will have a view over the extensive gardens and vineyards, where you might like to stroll before breakfast.
Your delicious start to the morning is served in a room full of personal family artefacts – a quiver and rapier, a dresser of books and photos – with two chandeliers in the style of antlers, a huge armoire, a large stone fireplace and antique chairs. It feels like a family room into which the gamekeeper might stroll with a couple of pheasant for lunch or the coachman might take a quick nip of brandy before setting off to Carcassonne or further afield.
Indeed, your morning may continue with a wine workshop with Caroline de Beaulieu, Oenologist, a chance to savour and learn about the structure of different wines, and perhaps how and why they go together so well with cheeses and chocolate.
After a good lunch, you may like a cookery class at the Château by Stephane Reau and Frederic Vivas, which includes not only a demonstration of 17th century cuisine, but also kitchen equipment, presentation of dishes, menus and table manners.
Book by cabin or charter for your family and friends for the trip of a lifetime.
The Lorgeril family estate now consists of 6 vineyards in the Languedoc Roussillon region, each producing distinctive wines:
- Château de Pennautier
- Château de Caunettes
- Domaine de Garille
- Domaine de la Borie Blanche
- Château Moulin de Ciffre
- Mas des Montagnes
Hotel Barge Savannah 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 Savannah: Details and Facilities
- Dimensions: 30m x 5m
- Corbieres and Minervois cabins, 130 sq feet with king size or twin beds
Laurgais cabin, 160 sq feet with king size double bed and private entrance from the deck
Malpere cabin, 85 sq feet with single bed
- Ensuite bathrooms (sizes included in the dimensions above) have bathrobes and slippers for each guest, shaving point (please bring adaptors for all electrical equipment, hair dryer, and all toiletries provided by l’Occitaine
- All cabins have TV for DVD player
- All cabins have individually controlled heating and air conditioning
- Professional English-speaking crew of 4 – captain, hostess, deckhand and chef. All speak fluent English as well as other languages
Other items on board:
- Central heating and air conditioning throughout
- HiFi system with iPod and DVD player
- WIFI with limited availability
- Large deck with loungers, dining table & chairs
- Air-conditioned Mercedes Viano for excursions and transfers
- 6 touring bicycles – Italian brand PIXIE Jumper Trek (ideal for the canal pathway and countryside roads). Standard size helmets available.
- Musicians for one evening, 2CV drive to Chateau Pennautier
- Numerous family games, cards, books, DVDs.
Hotel Barge Savannah: Cuisine
Savannah is passionate about its on-board cuisine and uses local producers from the markets of
- Narbonne, Carcassonne and Mirepoix, as well as:
- Boucherie Bareil, Beef, Lamb and Porc www.bareil.com
- Ferme de Las Cases, Porc and Charcuteriewww.lascases.fr
- Boucherie Cargoles Emmanuel : Beef, Lamb, Pork
- Poissonnerie Moderne, Fishmonger www.poissonnerie-moderne-trebes.fr
- Ferme de Cabriole,cheese www.ferme-de-cabriole.com
- Les Jardins de Riquet, Fruits and Vegetables
- Artisan Boulangeries : Artisan bakery in local villages
- Damman Frères Carcassonne, Tea www.dammann.fr
Wines are permanently sourced from regional vineyards and oenologues so as to offer exceptional products from this wine producing region: Minervois, Corbières, Saint Chinian, Cabardès, Fitou and other local regions.
Wines and Champagnes from other regions are also stocked on board.
At least two wine tastings are organized in prestigious vineyards allowing you to meet the wine maker, visit their domains and discover their acclaimed creations, for example:
- Château Massamier Lamignarde www.massamier-la-mignarde.com
- Château Pennautier www.lorgeril.com
- Domaine Gayda www.domainegayda.com
Charter and Occasional Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday
Regular rate weeks:
April 8, 15, 22, 29
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
November 4, 11
4 guest charter: 20,700 USD / 18,000 EUR
5 guest charter: 25,875 USD / 22,500 EUR
6 guest charter: 29,325 USD / 25,500 EUR
7 guest charter: 34,200 USD / 29,750 EUR
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 5,175 USD / 4,500 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 1,450 USD / 1,250 EUR
Single Cabin: 5,175 USD / 4,500 EUR
Sunday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Saturday
Double Cabin: 5,500 USD / 5,000 EUR per couple
Single Cabin: 2,250 USD / 2,500 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 –