Call Special Places Travel 1-877-64-BARGE (1-877-642-2743)
Outside US: 001.443.321.3614, email: info@specialplacestravel.com
Barges In France: Colibri
Special Places Travel 
Logo.  EMAIL: info@specialplacestravel.com or PHONE: 1-877-642-2743 (001.443.321.3614 outside US/Canada). Click here to contact Barges in France, Barges in Europe

Cruise In France On the Canal du Midi Aboard the Deluxe Hotel-Barge COLIBRI

SIX DAYS / FIVE NIGHTS

The 4-passenger luxury hotel barge Colibri is one of the prettiest and most comfortable barges currently cruising the canals of France. Consider her your own private hotel with ever changing views. Come aboard and allow the crew to take care of every need and make you feel truly pampered. For 2016 the Colibri is offering private charters with full board (all meals included on board) from Sunday noon to Friday morning.

In 2016 the Colibri has returned to the Canal du Midi and is offering two different itineraries. Its preferred itinerary is from Carcassonne to the Summit of the Canal du Midi, passing through the country town of Castelnaudary. This section of the Canal is beautiful and mostly tree-lined with fabulous views across the countryside. It passes through locks every day of this cruise (21 locks, many of which are multiple basins) as it climbs and makes its way to the highest point of the canal, the Seuil de Naurouze. This lesser known stretch of canal is the real treasure of the Canal du Midi. The Colibri also offers an alternative cruise itinerary from Le Somail (near Narbonne) to Carcassonne. This is a lovely itinerary, a little less shaded and best cruised in the quieter months, early or late in the season.

Colibri is a classic Dutch Luxemotor canal barge built in Friesland, Holland in 1931 and lovingly converted into a hotel barge from her cargo carrying days. Colibri was completely refitted in 2004 with added touches of luxury and elegance. Despite her generous size, Colibri takes only four guests, thus affording space and maximum comfort for everyone. Sleeping accommodations include two staterooms with generous en-suite bathrooms with hairdryers and bathrobes. The beds are European king-size, or you may choose two twin beds to afford flexibility to guest’s arrangements. The cabins are furnished with French oak furniture with ample hanging space and drawers to unpack your belongings and to feel at home. The interior is air conditioned to ensure your well-being. The dining area and salon are light and spacious, the perfect place to relax and feel at home, read a book, or chat over dinner and a glass of wine. There is a music system and collection of music, a small library of books, games and DVD's available to you. Guidebooks for the area are available for you to browse and help us to customise the cruise to your wishes.

On deck, there is the canopied wheelhouse where you will be shaded while chatting with the Captain. The large deck space also allows for shaded al fresco dining, and the chance to relax and find yourselves in awe of the scenery as you pass ancient villages and vineyards.There are lounge chairs for those who wish to take some sun while cooled by the gentle breeze. Four bicycles are at your disposal for riding the towpaths or exploring the villages and surrounding areas. The chauffeured and air-conditioned minibus will take you on excursions so that you can enjoy the sights in the area surrounding the canal.

ABOUT YOUR HOSTS: Owners Earl and Fiona worked for many years in the luxury yachting industry, cruising the Mediterranean, Caribbean, from Australia to Alaska and have now chosen to make the canals of France their cruising ground. They married in France and fell in love with the country, life style, food and wines. They cannot think of a better place to cruise.With a background in catering and luxury service including chief stewardess / head of household on yachts up to 75 metres, Fiona delights guests with her gastronomic tour of the region and the Mediterranean. Earl is Australian, and has cruised widely with many ocean passages as an officer on vessels up to 75 meters, but is delighted to be in command of his own vessel. With the knowledge and experience gained from his super yacht chartering days and his love of people, Earl is fulfilling his dreams in welcoming and entertaining guests aboard his own boat. His enthusiasm for life will be evident as soon as you meet him. Earl and Fiona offer their service to make your holiday a magnificent experience that you will remember for a lifetime. They believe that after spending a great deal of their lives working on luxury super yachts, everyone deserves to be pampered in the same way!

The owners have two dogs, Harry and Toby, on board. They are calm and friendly, less than knee high, and are normally found lying in the shade, out of the way.


Features

  • Size of barge: 87 ft by 17 ft
  • Number of Passengers: 4
  • Number of Cabins (all with private bath): 2
  • Crew: 3
  • Air Conditioning and Central Heating: Yes
  • Salon: Light and airy salon with three windows, glass doors, two arm chairs and a sofa, plus a game table.
  • Bar: Open bar
  • Deck: Canopied wheelhouse with guest seating. Partially shaded deck with dining table for al fresco dining and lounge chairs. Teak deck furniture.
  • Spa Tub: No
  • Cabin Features: Aft cabin 156 sq ft, Forward cabin 132 sq ft, both with twin beds or king and large ensuite bathroom with shower.
  • Vehicle for Transfers/Excursions: Air-conditioned minibus seating for 4 passengers
  • Accessibility: Steps to salon and cabins.
  • Bicycles: Four 21-speed mountain bikes.
  • Meal Plan: Full board includes all meals on board. For half board four dinners are not included.
  • Wi-Fi: No - no internet access
  • 6 day/5 night cruise: Sunday lunch through Friday breakfast


Colibri's Deck Plan


Colibri's Deck Plan


Dining Aboard The Colibri:
SAMPLE MENU


Lunches are an assortment of salads and platters served ‘family style’ so you may help yourselves
and enjoy the relaxed informal setting. Dinners are four course feasts, using the best ingredients to
produce fine dining. Desserts are a favorite course of Fiona’s, they are all delicious and ‘mostly fruit’!

  • Caramelized pear and blue cheese salad
  • Poussins (chicken) with crunchy country ham & sage butter
  • Rosemary potatoes
  • Mediterranean vegetables
  • Lemon ricotta flan with berries
  • Selection of local cheese and figs


Passenger Comments:


The high points were the wine and the food. Earl and Fiona were most accomodating and a very delightful couple. the excursions were well planned and private with good information from the leader. There was nothing that could have been improved. I want to do a repeat in another part of the Canal.
D.H., KS, USA, October 2012

SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Canal du Midi
Carcassonne to Castelnaudary (Seuil de Narouze) 2016

Sunday
Guests are met by Earl, the Captain and owner, at 12 noon at an arranged meeting point and transferred to Colibri moored by Carcassonne. Warm welcome on board with a glass of bubbles and then a brief safety talk and outline of your week ahead. Relax and enjoying lunch, the first meal of your cruise. After lunch we will leave our mooring and cruise to a perfect location for our first overnight stop and dinner.

Monday

Guided tour of the Cite of Carcassonne, to take in the fascinating medieval city, a wonderful journey into history. In the afternoon we cruise through a tight and twisty section of the canal to a tranquil mooring for the evening near Bram and dinner aboard.

Tuesday
In the morning, we visit the town of Limoux, and a local winery, providing an insight into the wines and not forgetting tastings including the Crémants and Blanquettes of Limoux the oldest sparkling wines in the world made since 1531. We cruise a very pretty stretch of the canal today, stopping for the evening beneath the trees near Saint-Martin-Lalande.

Wednesday

We visit the medieval market town of Mirepoix with half-timbered houses and a beautiful square. On the way back to Colibri we visit an ancient church made in the rocks, an amazing site. We cruise in the afternoon through a series of locks, into the Grand Basin of Castelnaudary, the home town of Cassoulet, a local dish.

Thursday
Morning visit to Ravel, renowned for its covered market, furniture making and the Lac de Saint-Ferréol, taking in the new Museum du Canal du Midi and gardens. The museum beautifully shows the vision and working used to create and operate the Canal du Midi, with delightful gardens. We cruise the final leg of our journey to the Seuil de Naurouze located on the highest stretch of the Canal, a 194 metres (650ft) above sea level. This is the watershed between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. One can take a stroll and visit the obélisque to Pierre Paul Riquet, the builder of the canal set in a beautiful park. Farewell dinner aboard.

Friday

Leisurely breakfast, and transfer around to nominated drop of point.

Note: Our itineraries are a guideline and excursions can be adjusted to your interests. There are many sites, abbeys, Cathar castles, wineries and markets we can visit. We would be delighted to tailor our proposed excursions to enhance your cruise.

SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Canal du Midi
Narbonne (Le Somail) to Carcassonne, Alternate Itinerary 2016

Sunday
Guests are met by Earl, the Captain and owner, at 12 noon at an arranged meeting point and transferred to Colibri, moored in the village Le Somail. Warm welcome on board with a glass of bubbles and then a brief safety talk and outline of your week ahead. Relax and enjoying lunch, the first meal of your cruise. After lunch we cruise along the "Grand Bief" to a perfect location for our first overnight stop and dinner. The Grand Bief is a remarkable engineering feat, a stretch of canal 54.2 km long without a lock, from Beziers to Argens-Minervois, passing by villages and vineyards as it winds through the country side. We will moor in a tranquil spot for dinner tonight.

Monday
Today we visit the Abbey de Fontfroide. It is located in a beautiful tranquil setting and with its garden of 3000 rosebushes and Italian garden it is a wonderful place to visit. On the way back we can pop in and see the Oulibo olive oil press, where locals can take their olives for pressing. After lunch Colibri will make her way along the final section of the Grande Bief and entering the locks and starting the climb towards Carcassonne. We will head towards Homps and enjoy dinner aboard.

Tuesday
We visit Narbonne, with its beautiful cathedral, bustling colourful market and historic Roman sites, not to mention some lovely shops. This afternoon's cruise sees Fiona and Earl get busy, as there have five sets of locks making ten basins to climb to our evening mooring in the village of Marseillette.

Wednesday
Our excursion today is to the Cathar fort and hilltop village of Minerve, a stunning location with a museum that tells of its history. Everyone loves this beautiful village. It's a picture perfect postcard village from the south of France, without the crowds. On your return to Colibri you will enjoy a splendid lunch before we continue upstream, through the village of Trebes towards Villedubert, our secluded mooring for dinner and the night.

Thursday
This morning our excursion will be to the Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne, to take in the fascinating medieval city, a wonderful journey into history. We cruise this afternoon up through a series of locks and through Carcassonne for our final evening's dinner aboard.

Friday
After a leisurely breakfast and time to pack, Earl will transfer you to the nominated drop off point.

Note: Our itineraries are a guideline and excursions can be adjusted to your interests. There are many sites, abbeys, Cathar castles, wineries and markets we can visit. We would be delighted to tailor our proposed excursions to enhance your cruise.





Colibri
2016 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Apr 3 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Apr 10 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Apr 17 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Apr 24 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
May 1 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
May 8 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
May 15 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
May 22 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
May 29 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Jun 5 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Jun 12 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Jun 19 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Jun 26 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Jul 3 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Jul 10 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Jul 17 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Cruise Schedule* ... continued
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 24 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Jul 31 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Aug 7 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Aug 14 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Aug 21 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Aug 28 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Sep 4 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Sep 11 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Sep 18 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Sep 25 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Oct 2 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Oct 9 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Oct 16 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main
Oct 23 Carcassonne-Seuil de Naurouze Main
Oct 30 Seuil de Naurouze-Carcassonne Main

*Note: Cruise directions and sample itineraries may be in reverse and are subject to change and may depend on bookings and local navigation conditions. Alternate excursions of equal appeal are substituted when needed. For charter cruises special itineraries can be arranged.


The Colibri's route through the south of France, from Carcassonne to Seuil de Naurouze on the Canal du Midi.
The Colibri's route through the south of France, from Carcassonne to Seuil de Naurouze on the Canal du Midi. For a more detailed look at the cruise route, view our map of the Canal du Midi.



COLIBRI
2016 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
ACCOMMODATION MAIN
Apr 3 thru Nov 5
Charter for up to 4
$22,000
Half Board Charter for up to 4
$21,000


What's Included for 2016, Full Board
- 6 days and 5 nights on the barge in 2 cabins with private baths
- Transfers from local rail station, hotel or other point in the cruise area to the barge and return, as agreed with the barge owner
- All meals on board beginning with lunch on Sunday through breakfast on Friday
- All wines with lunches and dinners
- Open bar
- All escorted side-excursions (golf, etc at extra cost)
- Use of bicycles

What's Not Included for 2016, Full Board
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transfers from Paris to the barge pickup point and return
- Suggested minimum 5% gratuity for the crew, to be given to the captain in equivalent Euros

What's Included for 2016, Half Board
- 6 days and 5 nights on the barge in 2 cabins with private baths
- Transfers from local rail station, hotel or other point in the cruise area to the barge and return, as agreed with the barge owner
- All breakfasts, lunches and Sunday dinner on board, beginning with lunch on Sunday through breakfast on Friday
- All wines with lunches and Sunday dinner
- Open bar
- All escorted side-excursions (golf, etc at extra cost)
- Use of bicycles

What's Not Included for 2016, Half Board
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transfers from Paris to the barge pickup point and return
- Four dinners on shore at passenger's expense
- Any gratuities gratefully received

Please visit our Special Offers page to see potential discounts for this barge or many others.
Special Places Travel, LLC
"Barges in France (and the rest of Europe) ... for the experience of a lifetime!" ™

For booking information,
Phone (toll-free): 1-877-64-BARGE (1-877-642-2743)
Outside of the U.S.: 001.443.321.3614
or E-mail: info@specialplacestravel.com



Return to TOP of PAGE
Text and images Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 by Special Places Travel, LLC, Edgewater, MD, and by other copyright holders used by permission. Web design by Special Places Travel, LLC. All rights reserved. No further use without express written permission from copyright holders. Contact Special Places Travel LLC, +1-443-321-3614 for further information.
Last Update: March 10, 2016

Barges in France, A Division of Special Places Travel, LLC.
Barges in Europe, A Division of Special Places Travel, LLC.

Member: American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN). Bonded. Founded 1997. American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover accepted.
Accredited, Better Business Bureau

Accredited, Better Business Bureau. Member, ASTA-American Society of Travel Agents, 
CLIA-Cruise Lines International Association, OSSN-Outside Sales Support Network. 
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Cards Welcome
Accredited, Better Business Bureau. Member, ASTA-American Society of Travel Agents, 
CLIA-Cruise Lines International Association, OSSN-Outside Sales Support Network. 
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Cards Welcome