Special Places Travel Barges In France:
Alegria







Alegria: Luxury Canal Cruise in France on the Canal du Midi Cruise In The South Of France On The Canal du Midi Aboard The Deluxe Hotel-Barge ALEGRIA


BARGE CRUISES: SEVEN DAYS / SIX NIGHTS

Special Places Travel Logo.  EMAIL: info@specialplacestravel.com or PHONE: 1-877-642-2743 (001.443.321.3614 outside US/Canada). The 4-passenger Alegria started offering private charters on the beautiful Canal du Midi in 2008. The Alegria is a Freyssinet type barge, built in 1937 at a shipyard in Thuin, Belgium. She was originally 39 meters long and 5.07 meters wide, designed for loads of 400 tons, but in 1999 the ship was converted to a houseboat and shortened to 29.37 meters (100 feet). Her present length now allows passage through the smaller locks of the Canal du Midi.

It has two large cabins, each with its own en-suite bathrooms with heated towel racks. Each cabin has two entrances: one leading directly outside to the front of the barge near the pool and another one opening inside to the lounge. This allows privacy and quick access to public areas. The cabins have large portholes which offer beautiful panoramic views of the canal as the barge floats by. The cabins are distinctive, light and bright, and cn be configured with either a king-size or two twin sized in beds. You will be supplied with bath robes, bath amenities (from " L'Occitane en Provence " ) and a hair dryer. In your cabin, you'll also find a mini-fridge full of cool drinks and a tea & coffee tray with biscuits. Both cabins have heating and air conditioning to ensure your comfort and enjoyment, especially on those cool nights at the end of each season.

The large lounge/dining room has two big portholes offering direct views of the Canal. A home theatre with a selection of CDs can provide added entertainment in addition to a selection of books and games. We offer internet access through the connection of a 3G+ USB key to your laptop. For your important documents or anything else of value, a safe is located near the lounge.

On deck enjoy the heated pool after a warm afternoon or just relax while enjoying some pre-dinner drinks. Come by and visit the Captain in the wheelhouse and see the barges original 1937 wheel, teak woodwork and traditional Provencal flooring.

The barge cruise offers a week of relaxation, gastronomy, excellent wines, fascinating culture, great landscapes and friendship in a beautiful country setting. Every day is a new day of discoveries and of unexpected surprises. The Alegria is docked near Poilhes, a village on the Canal du Midi, 12 km from Beziers, 20 km from the Mediterranean Sea and close to Narbonne. You will either embark or disembark from this charming village that contains many remains from the Roman times. The Alegria will cruise at between 4-6 km/hour for a total of 3 to 4 hours per day. Each day will include both cruising and excursions, where you will be taken to some exceptional and historic sites in the region. The Languedoc region offers many vineyards from great winemakers. Depending on your taste and your willingness to discover some of them, the French captain-owner, Olivier Baudry, will personalize each cruise with these visits. Some winemakers have also committed that they will come on board Alegria to give you a personalized wine tasting. You can also walk, jog or cycle along the canal towpath, or you can just relax and enjoy the scenery, the locks or take a dip in our pool while enjoying some afternoon drinks and snacks.

The cuisine aboard Alegria will vary from day to day, and the Chef will cater to any specific food preferences you may require. You will enjoy some typical local French dishes in addition to some of the best French cuisine. Every meal will be accompanied by different wines, both local (St-Chinian, Minerve, and Corbières) and some from other regions of France (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire). You will never be offered the same wine twice during the week, unless you want to drink one that you particularly enjoyed. Weather permitting, you can have your meal outside on the deck. There will be two meals that will be enjoyed at excellent local restaurants, and the crew will discuss these options with you when you are on board. Come along and enjoy the gastronomic bounty and classic beauty that defines this charming country.

We have stayed on board the Alegria and visited it many times and think that Olivier, the owner on board, provides an excellent cruise on the Canal du Midi, with spacious accommodations and wonderful cuisine.

Features




Alegria's Deck Plan
Alegria's Deck Plan



Dining Aboard The Alegria:
SAMPLE MENU



A taste of the gourmet cuisine served aboard the Alegria. DINNER

SAMPLE WINE MENU



Passenger Comments:


Incredibly relaxing and attuned to the needs of the group and individuals, Olivier and his team made us feel comfortable, welcome, and cared for from our arrival in Narbonne until we left his car at the airport in Toulouse. The chef, Riad, did a spectacular job with fresh, local ingredients, producing inventive, delicious cuisine. Our hostess, Libby, incorporated even our conversational remarks into the experience, delighting us with a range of local cheeses and wines as well as her gorgeous art. Our cabin was excellent. The bed was large, the bath area perfectly adequate for a barge, and the room very comfortable.
T.K & S.L., CA, USA, June 2016

Wonderful, the most relaxed we've felt in years. This is the first time since the invention of email that I didn't check my work account at least once while on vacation. It wasn't because we were busy, it was because I was so relaxed I never thought about work. As for meals and wine, I wouldn't even know where to start except to say every plate was exceptional.
S.G. CO USA September 2015

Like Heaven. Olivier was a superb host. His staff were outstanding. The barge was luxurious and clean. The side trips were excellent. The cook, Vallerie, was outstanding. The host, Eve, was gracious and fun and so attentive. Great job. The meals, all chosen by the chef, were perfect selections, perfectly prepared, and the portions were just right. The wines were wonderful and constantly available. The barge route was like I died and went to heaven. The service from SPT was Outstanding. Your prompt and complete answers to all questions, topped off with the brochure you sent on our own trip was over the top.
A. M., VA, USA, October 2014

The Alegria was delightful in every respect. Kudos to Captain Olivier and first mate Eve, Valerie, the superlative chef, Barry, tour guide extroadinaire, David, our docker. Everything worked. Olivier made it look easy. The cabins were clean, and by that I mean spotless, and spacious. The service was beyond expectations. There are no suggestions for improvement because perfection cannot be improved! Any future barge trips will pale in comparison. The Languedoc is an absolutely delightful region of France, the people so welcoming, the wine so drinkable, the scenery so restful and pastoral. The service from SPT was excellent with the possible exception that you might have advised us to shed five pounds before boarding!
M.E., CA, USA, October 2014

TERRIFIC!! The captain (Olivier) was gracious, and accommodating; the hostess, Eve, was wonderful with us all, and especially with the two girls; Valery was not only a wonderful cook, but extremely nice with the girls. And Barry, the guide, was knowledgeable, helpful, and very patient and flexible. The barge and the crew and the route for one was a highlight. The market and the swimming in the Mediterranean was a highlight for the girls, hence for us as well. Carcassonne can't be beat.
D..B., MA, USA, August 2014

SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Canal du Midi
Beziers (Poilhes) to Carcassonne (Puicheric) 2017

A meandering cruise of 70 kms (43 miles) over six days.

Saturday - Beziers to Poilhes
We have the pleasure of welcoming you at the meeting point (from 4pm) and transferring you to our barge Alegria, moored in Poilhes (15kms from Beziers). After the crew is introduced to you and after settling down, you are served a welcome Champagne drink while we start cruising slowly along the Canal. After a u-turn we come back to the mooring of Poilhes. You can slowly stroll through this lovely village of less than 500 inhabitants before you are offered an aperitif on board. Your exclusive Chef serves your first dinner and you spend the night in Poilhes, Alegria's "home mooring".

Sunday - The "Meanders Day" of Capestang and La Croisade.

On this Sunday morning our guide proposes a "multi-site" excursion: the City of Béziers, the famous "staircase" of the Nine Locks of Fonseranes, the archeological (6th century BC) site of the Oppidum of Enserune, and the Malpas Tunnel, the first canal-tunnel built in the world. And, should you still be eager with visits, more sites or museums! After lunch (or during lunch, depending on the weather conditions) you cruise to La Croisade and pass underneath the lowest bridge on the canal: the famous bridge of Capestang. Mind your head!  This 18km (11 miles) leg is typical with its numerous meanders: the Canal actually looks like a river! After this 4-hour cruise we moor Alegria in front of a beautiful country landscape made of hills and vineyards. The dinner is served on board and you spend the night in a restful place, a stone's throw away from an old 17th century stone bridge.

Monday - the unbeatable charm of the village of Le Somail
In the morning we cruise slowly to Le Somail, one of the most charming villages along the canal. Once in Le Somail, you can buy a book from a unique book shop that has approximately 50,000 secondhand books stock - in many different languages!   In the afternoon you may chose to relax on the barge, roam around, cycle, etc and we also propose visiting a wine farm or an olive mill nearby or any other site that might suite your wishes. At the end of the day your Captain has the pleasure of inviting you for a dinner in a local restaurant. It's the perfect opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of a French auberge!

Tuesday - a typical Minervois village: Roubia

In the morning you go to one of the best markets in the region, in the town of Olonzac. You can look and buy anything you wish, from a Provencal tablecloth to special olives locally grown (we serve some on board too!). Then the guide takes you to Minerve, a fascinating site and a previously fortified village in a very special rocky environment. Minerve was attacked in 1210 by the fierce army led by Simon de Montfort: the right time for us to tell you everything about the Crusade of the Albigeois in the 13th Century, one of the harshest stories of our past. The afternoon cruise takes you to the typical Minervois village of Roubia for the overnight mooring. Once in Roubia you will appreciate roaming along the old streets of this typical village. The dinner is served on board.

Wednesday - a harbor from the old times of the canal: Homps

In the morning you visit a beautiful town: Narbonne is full of Roman history and includes the "Palace of the Archbishop". You will love its Mediterranean and Gothic style. And you will be offered lunch there in a typical restaurant that serves some fish specialties. After lunch you are driven back to the barge for the afternoon cruise. You pass your first lock after Roubia and we cruise to the port of Homps, one of the busiest harbors in the old times of the canal's commercial era.

Thursday - an artistic mooring near Puicheric

In the morning you visit the great City of Carcassonne, the biggest medieval city in Europe. You will be fascinated by the size of the walls and the narrow streets inside. You are right there in the heart of French history! There are also many shops where you can buy typical souvenirs to bring back to friends or children. After lunch you embark on the last leg of the cruise, from Homps to the area of Puichéric. You pass the last lock of the cruise and you can admire the wooden and iron sculptures made by the most famous lock keeper on the canal. The barge is moored just on top of this most beautiful lock. You spend your last night on board Alegria after the Farewell Dinner prepared by our Chef.

Friday - departure

After your breakfast, it is unfortunately time to conclude this unforgettable cruise. We transfer you back to the airport or railway station so that you can continue your adventure in Europe or elsewhere.

Note: This itinerary reflects what we can propose to you in most cases, but be aware that it may be changed according to some unforeseeable circumstances. This itinerary is therefore not to be considered as binding. Your average cruising speed over the week is approximately 3 km/h (1.8 mile/hour) and we always cruise with our guests on board. All the excursions shown above (including entrance fees) are included in the cost of the cruise. We can also tailor-make some parts of the itinerary to better fit your wishes, such as more wine-tastings or museums for example.


Alegria
2017 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Apr 8 Beziers-Carcassonne Value
Apr 15 Carcassonne-Beziers Value
Apr 22 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Apr 29 Carcassonne-Beziers High
May 6 Beziers-Carcassonne High
May 13 Carcassonne-Beziers High
May 20 Beziers-Carcassonne High
May 27 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Jun 3 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Jun 10 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Jun 17 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Jun 24 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Jul 1 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Jul 8 Carcassonne-Beziers High
       
Cruise Schedule* ... continued

Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 15 Beziers-Carcassonne Value
Jul 22 Carcassonne-Beziers Value
Jul 29 Beziers-Carcassonne Value
Aug 5 Carcassonne-Beziers Value
Aug 19 Beziers-Carcassonne Value
Aug 26 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Sep 2 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Sep 9 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Sep 16 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Sep 23 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Sep 30 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Oct 7 Carcassonne-Castelnaudery High
Oct 14 Castelnaudery-Carcassonne Value
Oct 21 Carcassonne-Beziers Value

2017 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Apr 8 Beziers-Carcassonne Value
Apr 15 Carcassonne-Beziers Value
Apr 22 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Apr 29 Carcassonne-Beziers High
May 6 Beziers-Carcassonne High
May 13 Carcassonne-Beziers High
May 20 Beziers-Carcassonne High
May 27 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Jun 3 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Jun 10 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Jun 17 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Jun 24 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Jul 1 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Jul 8 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 15 Beziers-Carcassonne Value
Jul 22 Carcassonne-Beziers Value
Jul 29 Beziers-Carcassonne Value
Aug 5 Carcassonne-Beziers Value
Aug 19 Beziers-Carcassonne Value
Aug 26 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Sep 2 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Sep 9 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Sep 16 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Sep 23 Carcassonne-Beziers High
Sep 30 Beziers-Carcassonne High
Oct 7 Carcassonne-Castelnaudery High
Oct 14 Castelnaudery-Carcassonne Value
Oct 21 Carcassonne-Beziers Value

*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 Alegria's route through the south of France, from Beziers to Carcassonne, with a special cruise up to the highest point on the Canal du Midi at Castelnaudary.
The Alegria's route through the south of France, from Beziers to Carcassonne, with a special cruise up to the highest point on the Canal du Midi at Castelnaudary. For a more detailed look at the cruise route, view our map of the Canal du Midi.



ALEGRIA
2017 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
TYPE VALUE
Apr 1 thru Apr 21
Jul 15 thru Aug 25
Oct 14 thru Oct 27
HIGH
Apr 22 thru Jul 14
Aug 26 thru Oct 13
Charter for 2
$18,900
$21,600
Charter for 3
$19,600
$22,300
Charter for 4
$20,300
$23,000
Three Night Charter for 4
$12,900
NA


What's Included
- 7 days and 6 nights on the barge, in a cabin with private bath
- Transfers from Beziers, Montpellier, Narbonne or Carcassonne to the barge and return, depending on cruise direction
- All meals beginning with dinner on Saturday, through breakfast on Friday (2 meals at restaurants chosen by the barge owner included)
- All wines with lunch and dinner
- Open bar
- All escorted side excursions
- Use of internet on board
- Use of bicycles and helmets

Three-Night Discovery Cruise:
- 4 days and 3 nights on the barge, in a cabin with private bath
- Transfers from Beziers, Montpellier, Narbonne or Carcassonne to the barge and return (to be confirmed with the owner at the time of booking)
- All meals beginning with dinner on Saturday through breakfast on Tuesday, or dinner on Tuesday through breakfast on Friday (on shore restaurant meals are included if applicable)
- All wines with lunch and dinner
- Open bar
- All escorted side excursions
- Use of internet on board
- Use of bicycles and helmets

What's Not Included
- Suggested 5-10% gratuity for the crew to be given to the captain in equivalent euros at the end of the cruise.
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transportation from Paris to the barge pick up point and return.

Three-Night Discovery Cruise:
- Suggested 5-10% gratuity for the crew to be given to the captain in equivalent euros at the end of the cruise.
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transportation from Paris to the barge pick up point and return.




Please visit our ... Special Offers Page ... to see potential discounts for this barge or many others.




CONTACT US


Call (US/Canada): 1-877-642-2743
Outside US: +1-443-321-3614
Email: info@BargesInFrance.com
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Last Update: February 13, 2017