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Barge Cruise: Esperance
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Cruise In The South Of France On The Canal du Midi Aboard The Deluxe Hotel-Barge ESPERANCE


BARGE CRUISES: SEVEN DAYS/SIX NIGHTS
The 6-passenger Esperance, built in 1968 to carry wines between Bordeaux and Sète, is now a deluxe contemporary hotel barge. Esperance has been redesigned as a private yacht with three large cabins, two are 200 sq. ft, and the third has been reconfigured to be 200 sq ft, and newly renovated for the 2018 season. All have queen beds or twins and an ensuite bathroom with shower. The layout of the open plan salon and dining area is bright and spacious; the furniture is built of solid teak, with white wool carpets and beautiful art work. The covered wheelhouse with comfortable seating is a perfect place for viewing the scenery along the canal as is the large partially covered deck with a hot tub, dining table and lounge chairs. The captain and owner of Esperance, Mathias Gilles, and his crew, including your private chef and tour guide, will take good care of you during your cruise. We were on board on April 2017 and spent time with Mathias and were very impressed with the many upgrades he has made to the barge.

Esperance provides high-end private charter cruises exploring the inland waterways of southern France on the famous Canal du Midi. Your cruise will be organized on the basis of a half-day sailing and a half-day activities or excursions. With a schedule dedicated to your comfort and built around your interests, your cruise is guaranteed to be an outstanding holiday experience with your family or friends. Your daily excursions can include a visit to Narbonne, with its covered market and Roman ruins, the Benedictine Abbey of Frontfroide, the medieval village of Minerve and the walled city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or you can choose among the many other sites of interest in the area.


Features

  • Size of barge:100 ft x 16.5 ft
  • Number of Passengers: 6
  • Number of Cabins (all with private bath): 3
  • Crew:5
  • Air Conditioning and Central Heating:Yes
  • Salon: Salon, bar & dining area is one room with comfortable sofas, high dining able with  and 10 and chairs, 10 windows.
  • Bar:Open bar
  • Deck:Half-covered deck with dining table & chairs, lounge chairs and covered wheelhouse.
  • Spa Tub: Yes
  • Cabin Features:Two cabins 200 sq ft, one cabin to be converted to 200 sq ft, all with queen bed or twins and ensuite bathroom with shower.
  • Vehicle for Transfers/Excursions: Mercedes minivan for 7 guests.
  • Accessibility:Five steps from deck to salon. Five steps from deck to stern cabin.  No steps from salon to other two cabins.
  • Bicycles: Six bicycles of different sizes from small to large
  • WiFi: Yes (limited in some areas)
  • Meal Plan: Offers full board and half board cruises



  • Esperance's Deck Plan
    Esperance's Deck Plan




    ESPERANCE
    2018 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
    TYPE REGULAR
    Mar 18 thru Nov 3
    Charter for 2
    $17,500
    Charter for 4
    $23,000
    Charter for 6
    $29,000
    Half Board Charter for 2
    $15,500
    Half Board Charter for 4
    $21,000
    Half Board Charter for 6
    $26,000





    ESPERANCE
    2019 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
    TYPE REGULAR
    Mar 31 thru Nov 2
    Charter for 2
    $17,500
    Charter for 4
    $23,000
    Charter for 6
    $29,000
    Half Board Charter for 2
    $15,500
    Half Board Charter for 4
    $21,000
    Half Board Charter for 6
    $26,000


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

    What's Included

    Full Board Cruise:
    - 7 days and 6 nights on the barge in a cabin with ensuite bathroom
    - Transfers from Narbonne, or Carcassonne or Beziers depending on cruise direction, to the barge and return
    - All meals beginning with dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Saturday
    - All wines with lunches and dinners
    - Open bar
    - All escorted side-excursions (golf, etc at extra cost)
    - Use of bicycles


    Half Board Cruise:
    - 7 days and 6 nights on the barge in a cabin with ensuite bathroom
    - Transfers from Narbonne, or Carcassonne or Beziers depending on cruise direction, to the barge and return
    - All breakfasts, lunches and 2 dinners
    - All wines with lunches and dinners on board
    - Open bar
    - All escorted side-excursions (golf, etc at extra cost)
    - Use of bicycles

    What's Not Included

    Full Board Cruise:
    - 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
    - Trip cancellation insurance


    Half Board Cruise:
    - Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
    - 4 dinners on shore at passenger's expense
    - 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
    - Trip cancellation insurance





    Esperance
    2018 Season Cruise Schedule*
    Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
    Mar 18 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Mar 25 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Apr 1 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Apr 8 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Apr 15 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Apr 22 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Apr 29 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    May 6 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    May 13 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    May 20 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    May 27 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Jun 3 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Jun 10 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Jun 17 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Jun 24 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Jul 1 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Jul 8 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
           
    Cruise Schedule* ... continued

    Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
    Jul 15 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Jul 22 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Jul 29 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Aug 5 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Aug 12 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Aug 19 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Aug 26 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Sep 2 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Sep 9 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Sep 16 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Sep 23 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Sep 30 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Oct 7 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Oct 14 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Oct 21 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Oct 28 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular

    2018 Season Cruise Schedule*
    Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
    Mar 18 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Mar 25 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Apr 1 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Apr 8 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Apr 15 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Apr 22 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Apr 29 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    May 6 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    May 13 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    May 20 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    May 27 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Jun 3 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Jun 10 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Jun 17 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Jun 24 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Jul 1 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Jul 8 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
    Jul 15 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Jul 22 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Jul 29 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Aug 5 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Aug 12 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Aug 19 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Aug 26 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Sep 2 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Sep 9 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Sep 16 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Sep 23 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Sep 30 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Oct 7 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Oct 14 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular
    Oct 21 Carcassonne-Beziers Regular
    Oct 28 Beziers-Carcassonne Regular



    *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.



    ?
    SAMPLE ITINERARY*
    Canal du Midi
    Béziers to Carcassonne 2018

    Sunday
    A member of the crew will welcome you at Béziers railway station at 4pm and transfer you to your beautiful barge Esperance moored in the enchanting countryside of the famous Canal du Midi. A champagne reception will be served on deck as a nice premise to your week cruise. You will then have plenty of time to discover the barge, its environment and to settle into your cabin before dinner.

    Canal du Midi
    Canal du Midi

    The Archbishop's Palace, Narbonne
    The Archbishop's Palace, Narbonne

    Fontfroide Abbey
    Fontfroide Abbey

    Carcassonne
    Carcassonne

    Monday
    Today be prepared for a very relaxing day. You will be surprised by the peacefulness of the barge while gliding through this beautiful 16th century canal. We will stop in Colombiers where you will have time to go for a walk before lunch. This afternoon's cruise will take us to the pretty village of Capestang; through the exciting Malpas tunnel famous for its unique structure. Quite an experience! This is the perfect day to go for a bicycle ride or enjoy a hike while the barge is moving slowly.

    Tuesday
    This morning we will drive to Narbonne, a lively city full of art and history. The choice is yours, you can go shopping in the many walking streets around the old town center, visit the colorful covered market, the Archbishop's Palace, the archaeological museum, or spend your morning at the Mediterranean Sea. A beautiful cruise today with many turns and loops and a romantic night mooring in the middle of the wines and arched trees.

    Wednesday
    For the religious history fans, Fontfroide is quite a site! This Abbey was founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1093 and affiliated with the Cistercians in 1145. It is a beautiful collection of religious buildings and the gardens around it are stunning. Or, if you prefer, we can visit the Olive factory at L'Oulibo, a prize-winning olive oil mill and a great place for tasting and buying olive oil or tapenade. This afternoon let the world float by as your lunch will be served on deck while the barge is moving slowly on this peaceful tree-lined canal all the way to a romantic night mooring in Le Somail with its fascinating antique bookshops and local potters and artists.

    Thursday
    Today a very scenic drive into the Minervois hills and "les Gorges de la Cesse" to get to Minerve. This amazing medieval village is perched on a spectacular rocky outcrop formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian. Famous for its Cathar history and its wine countryside, this village is full of charm and history. On the way back, how about a little wine tasting to discover more about the excellent wines this region has to offer? Time to relax on deck, as your floating hotel is on the move and the cruise will take you to a quiet mooring close to Homps.

    Friday
    Going through a couple of traditional locks the barge will cruise to our last mooring for the week, close to Carcassonne. After lunch you will have plenty of time to discover the world famous walled medieval town "la Cité de Carcassonne". This extraordinary place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to be the most visited site in France. If you have already visited the Cité, we will visit Lagrasse, an attractive village now home to numerous pottery workers and artists attracted by the place itself and the renowned natural light of the region. The two highlights of the village are perhaps the Abbey and the bridges, although the narrow medieval streets of the village itself are also very attractive, and remains of the town walls can still be seen.

    Saturday
    After a wonderful breakfast your guide will take you to your hotel in Carcassonne or to the railway station to get to your next destination.

    Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. It runs in reverse on alternate weeks.





    Dining Aboard The Esperance:
    SAMPLE MENU



    A taste of
the gourmet cuisine served aboard the Esperance BREAKFAST
    On board the Esperance passengers can enjoy breakfast either in the dining/lounge area or outside on our spacious sun deck.

    Start your day with fresh squeezed morning juices, a selection of robust coffees, teas, hot chocolate, our buffet with an assortment of local fresh pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurts, milk, cereals, hard cheeses, meats and eggs made to order.

    LUNCHEON
    Luncheon buffet on board Esperance features hot and cold dishes, meats, salads,cheeses, fruit, dessert.

    DINNER
    Each evening enjoy a 4-course meal using fresh local, seasonal ingredients.

    WINES
    Wines served on board consist of a beautiful selection of local wines carefully selected by your host.




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    This page last updated June 21, 2018