MENU Tap for Barge Cruise Information Menu

Barge Cruise: Mirage
BargesInFrance.com Logo


Cruise in France on the Canal du Midi Aboard the Deluxe Hotel-Barge MIRAGE


BARGE CRUISES: SEVEN DAYS/SIX NIGHTS
The 6-passenger MIRAGE is owned by Mimi Chauvin and family, your hosts for a unique cruise experience on an authentic 1950's era French barge. They have renovated the Mirage into a beautiful floating boutique hotel in the style of a 1940's aviator lounge. Mimi is on board the Mirage as chef and hostess along with two other crew members and her little dog Lola (who stays in the crew quarters or on deck). We visited the barge in September 2015, May 2016, and again in April 2017 and continue to be very impressed with both the charming French owners and the exceptional decor throughout the barge.

The Mirage has a large open salon and dining area filled with light and air from the large opening portholes that line both sides of the barge. In the salon there is a comfortable sofa and chairs along with a flat screen satellite TV, bar area and open galley, where you can watch your meals being prepared. There are two cabins with a king bed or two twins at 139 and 124 sq ft and one cabin with a queen bed at 120 sq ft, all including an ensuite bathroom with shower (the queen cabin has a Japanese tub). On the teak deck there is a dining table, lounge chairs, and a sun canopy.

Mimi has selected local restaurants in typical French villages for lunch each day. Breakfast and dinner will be served aboard Mirage on the deck to enjoy the peaceful and scenic surroundings, or should weather not cooperate, the interior dining area provides a convivial atmosphere for dining. Mimi will prepare local specialties using the freshest locally sourced meats, seafood, fish, and produce, using traditional methods and recipes unique to the region. Quality wines from local vintners in the Languedoc-Rousillon region are served with dinner, and are available from the Mirage's fully-stocked bar at any time.

The Mirage offers a 6-night cruise on the Canal du Midi between Carcassonne and Castelnaudary or a 3-night cruise between Carcassonne and Bram; 4 or 5 night cruises also offered in 2017. A portion of each day will be devoted to cruising along the canal, navigating the locks, and watching the beautiful countryside roll by. In addition to cruising, you'll join your English-speaking tour guide for a daily excursion in their air-conditioned van. The area offers many many interesting attractions to explore, including the famous walled city of Carcassonne as well as charming villages, wineries, covered markets, and other historic sites.


Features




Mirage's Deck Plan
Mirage's Deck Plan


Dining Aboard The Mirage:
SAMPLE MENU



A taste of the gourmet
cuisine served aboard the Mirage. Mediterranean Menu
Southwest Menu
SAMPLE WINE LIST
Quality wines from local vintners in the Languedoc-Rousillon region, are served with meals, and are available from Mirage's fully-stocked bar on demand.

Passenger Comments:


It will undeniably be one of my favorite trips! The weather was perfect, the canal and locks experience relaxing as well as fascinating, the visits into wineries, marketplace, medieval city, cathedrals with guided tours were informational and great fun! Our hosts, Pascal, Mimi and Manon were absolutely wonderful--most accommodating, helpful, generous, kind, and lovely individuals. The barge itself was beautiful, the food was magnificent and Captain Pascal handled the barge expertly. On a scale from 1 - 10, this trip was a 10!!!!!
L.M,. CO, USA, September 2016

The high points were cruising the Canal du Midi and the dinners and wine on board. Two of us took a ride with Pascal in his bi-plane. That was a striking way to end the trip. We also thoroughly enjoyed talking with Pascal about the barge, the canal and France. K&K D., CO, USA, September 2016



MIRAGE'S ITINERARIES
SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Canal du Midi
Carcassonne to Castelnaudary 2018
Gourmet Languedoc Food and Wine Cruise

Gourmet Languedoc Food and Wine Cruise between Carcassonne and Castelnaudary, one of the most beautiful routes under the canal's trees (more than 35 km and 21 locks). Experience Pierre-Paul Riquet's engineering marvel, the Canal du Midi, cruising on Mirage. Completed in 1681 to link the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean, the Canal was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. Every week will include a visit to an open air market, wine tasting, and all lunches on shore at a quality restaurant to enjoy the regional cuisine in a typical french village. Each day includes three hours cruising the canal, as well as an onshore excursion in our air-conditioned van, with your English-speaking tour guide. All the dinners will be aboard Mirage, where Mimi will cook local French specialties for you.

Sunday - Carcassonne - Welcome Aboard
Your captain and your hostess will pick you up at your rendez-vous point, and transfer you to Mirage's mooring in the charming port of Carcassonne, where the Captain and crew welcome you aboard with a grand cru Champagne toast. While you settle in, enjoy a leisurely hour cruising to the Foucault's Epanchoir, which will be your mooring for the night. Enjoy the peaceful and scenic surroundings as you are served a delicious dinner prepared by Mimi, your personal host. Night at La Douce lock.

Monday - Visit to Mirepoix
Wake up to a classic French breakfast of croissant, pastries, fresh fruits, coffee, tea, and juices served on the sun deck. To begin your day, our tour guide will escort you to the medieval town of Mirepoix, where half-timbered houses line the market square. You will have time to explore the shops and street market stalls before taking lunch at one of the local auberges, offering regional cuisine and wines for a relaxed meal. Following lunch you'll return to the barge for a cruise toward your next mooring at the port of Carcassonne, with views of the historic fortified city above the canal. As the barges passes through several locks, you'll have an opportunity to walk or bike along the canal tow path, or simply relax in one of the comfortable deck chairs as the countryside glides by. As evening nears, sit in the salon with a glass of wine and watch as Mimi prepares your dinner with fresh ingredients gathered from the local market. Night at Villesèquelande lock.

Tuesday - Visit to Abbey de Fontfroide
Fontfroide Abbey was founded in 1093 on land given to some Benedictine monks by the Vicomte de Narbonne. Abbey takes its name from the source in the vicinity, the Fons Frigidus, Cold Fontaine. Besides water, the monks could find massive wood and stone for the construction of the monastery. But Fontfroide really gets started after 1145 and its attachment to the Cistercian Order. Cistercian monks, under the direction of St Bernard of Clairvaux, wished to return to the purity of the Rule of St Benedict, preaching poverty, austerity and architectural sobriety. The rose garden of Fontfroide is one of the largest rose gardens in southern France, with almost 2,500 roses. Enjoy your lunch in the Abbaye's restaurant before leaving to return to Mirage for an afternoon cruise past quiet fields and trees and through an elegant series of locks. Your day wraps up with another delicious dinner on board, served with Mimi's choice of wines. Night at Beteille lock.

Wednesday - Visit a sparkling wine factory and garden visit in Limoux
This morning we visit the town of Limoux in the Pyrenees foothills. A thorough instruction in wine making at the cellars of Ginot winery (with a sound & light spectacle) will reveal all there is to know about putting bubbles in white wine; Cremants, Blanquettes and the most famous of all, Champagne. Limoux lays claim to inventing this titillating beverage. Lunch is served at a typical restaurant. An afternoon cruise allows time to relax and enjoy views of the Pyrenees as you make your way to the quaint port of Bram, just below the picturesque village of the same name. Bram was a Roman outpost and the largest circulade Cathar town of Europe. Take in the scenery as you are served another fabulous dinner on deck. Night at Villepinte lock.

Thursday - Visit to Carcassonne
A cruise on the Canal du Midi wouldn't be complete without a visit to the historic Cité de Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will step back in time as you explore the restored medieval fortified town. Carcassonne also affords the chance to shop in boutiques lining the cobblestone streets. Step after step, your appetite will be increased for a delicious lunch at a gastronomic restaurant "Le Comte Roger," the most famous chef of the medievale Cité. Night at St Sernin lock.

Friday - Wine tasting in the famous Château de Pennautier
This morning we have a rendez-vous in Pennautier village for a wine tasting session. The owner of six family estates in the south of France, Maison Lorgeril has more than 30 wines for you to taste and discover in the shop: AOC Cabardès, Minervois, Minervois la Livinière, Saint Chinian, Faugères, Coteaux de Languedoc, Côtes du Roussillon villages, and varietal wines, a full panorama of the regional terroirs. You can visit the barrel cellar and take an educational tour to learn about wine. Tasting sessions are available at any time except during restaurant service. You can also order our wines. Following a leisurely lunch at the L'Orgeril restaurant, an afternoon of cruising brings us to our final mooring at Castelnaudary bassin. A romantic view of the town serves as the backdrop for your farewell dinner on board. Night at Castelnaudary.

Saturday - Departure
In the morning, after breakfast on the deck, you depart in the van to either the train station or airport for the continuation of your journey.
Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.  On alternate weeks the barge cruises in the opposite direction.

SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Canal du Midi
Carcassonne to Bram 2018
3-Night Cruise

Sunday - Welcome aboard
Our tour guide will pick you up at your rendez-vous point, and transfer you to Mirage, where your Captain and crew await to welcome you with a grand cru Champagne toast. Once you are settled in, Mirage will leave her mooring in the port of Carcassonne for a relaxing one-hour cruise to Foucault's Epanchoir. Enjoy the peaceful and scenic surroundings as you are served a delicious dinner prepared by Mimi.

Monday - Visit to Mirepoix

Wake up to a classic French breakfast of croissant, pastries, fresh fruits, coffee, tea, and juices served on the sun deck. To begin your day, our tour guide will escort you to the medieval town of Mirepoix, where half-timbered houses line the market square. You will have time to explore the shops and street market stalls before taking lunch at one of the local auberges, offering regional cuisine and wines for a relaxed meal. Following lunch you'll return to the barge for a cruise toward your next mooring at the port of Carcassonne, with views of the historic fortified city above the canal. As the barge passes through several locks, you'll have an opportunity to walk or bike along the canal tow path, or simply relax in one of the comfortable deck chairs as the countryside glides by. As evening nears, sit in the salon with a glass of wine and watch as Mimi prepares your dinner with fresh ingredients gathered from the local market.

Tuesday - Visit to Carcassonne

A cruise on Canal du Midi wouldn't be complete without a visit to the historic Cité de Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will step back in time as you explore the restored medieval fortified town. Carcassonne also affords the chance to shop in boutiques lining the cobblestone streets. Step after step, your appetite will be increased for a succulent cassoulet, the region's most famous dish of beans and duck confit prepared at the Auberge des Lices. An afternoon cruise allows time to relax and enjoy views of the Pyrenees as you make your way to the quaint port of Bram, just below the picturesque village of the same name. Bram was a Roman outpost and the largest circulade Cathar town of Europe. Take in the scenery as you are served a farewell dinner on deck.

Wednesday - Departure
In the morning, after breakfast on the deck, you depart in the van to either the train station or airport for the continuation of your journey.

Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. It may cruise in the reverse direction.



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

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

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





MIRAGE
2018 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
TYPE REGULAR
Apr 1 thru Oct 20
Stateroom (per person, double occupancy)
$4,280
Single Occupancy Supplement
$1,500
Charter for 2
$14,100
Charter for 3
$15,800
Charter for 4
$18,350
Charter for 5
$21,750
Charter for 6
$24,300

*Rates for 3, 4 and 5 night charters for 2 to 6 passengers available on request. Please contact us for additional pricing.

What's Included
Six Night Cruise:
- 7 days and 6 nights on the barge, in a cabin with ensuite bathroom
- Transfers from Carcassonne or Narbonne train station or hotel or Toulouse airport to the barge and return
- All meals beginning with dinner on Sunday, through breakfast on Saturday, with all lunches on shore at a quality restaurant of the Captain's choice.
- All wines with dinner on board
- Open bar
- All escorted side excursions, including entrance fees
- Use of bicycles

Three, Four or Five Night Cruise:
- 4 days and 3 nights on the barge [or 5 days/4 nights or 6 days/5 nights], in a cabin with ensuite bathroom
- Transfers from Carcassonne or Narbonne train station or hotel or Toulouse airport to the barge and return
- All meals beginning with dinner on the first day through breakfast on the last day, with all lunches on shore at a quality restaurant of the Captain's choice, as agreed with barge owner
- All wines with dinner on board
- Open bar
- All escorted side excursions, including entrance fees
- Use of bicycles

What's Not Included
Six Night Cruise:
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transportation from Paris to the barge pick up point and return.
- Wines and alcoholic beverages at lunches on shore
- Suggested 5-10% gratuity for the crew to be given to the captain in equivalent euros at the end of the cruise
- Trip cancellation insurance

Three, Four or Five Night Cruise:
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transportation from Paris to the barge pick up point and return.
- Wines and alcoholic beverages at lunches on shore
- Suggested 5-10% gratuity for the crew to be given to the captain in equivalent euros at the end of the cruise
- Trip cancellation insurance




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



LINKS to Mirage Information


Barges In France, bargesinfrance.com


Email us at: info@bargesinfrance.com

Member, ASTA, American Society of Travel Agents Affiliate Member, CLIA, Cruise Lines International Association Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover accepted.
This page last updated December 8, 2017