Special Places Travel Barges In France:
Saint Louis







Saint Louis: Luxury Canal Cruise in France On The Canal Lateral a la Garonne Near Bordeaux Cruise In Southwest France On The Canal Lateral a la Garonne Near Bordeaux Aboard The Deluxe Hotel-Barge SAINT LOUIS


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 6-passenger Saint Louis welcomes you aboard for a cruise on the beautiful Canal Lateral a la Garonne in the historic areas of Aquitaine and Gascony in Southwest France; the main cruise route is near Bordeaux and the other route is closer to Toulouse. It is operated by its owners on board, Peter and Wendy Carrington as tour guide/manager and pilot plus a Michelin-trained chef and hostess. Your crew will ensure that the cruise and the excursions suit your own personal preferences.

We visited Saint Louis in September 2015 and then stayed on board in April 2017 when we had a delicious dinner and breakfast and a full day tour of their excursion sites and the restaurants they visit. They have renovated it with new decor and beautiful faux finishing throughout, which has transformed the entire look of the barge. There is a beautiful salon a with a comfortable sofa and chairs as well as a dining table for 6, open bar and large picture windows for viewing the passing scenery. The three large cabins at 127 sq ft each, including a new ensuite bathroom with large shower, can be configured with two twins or an oversized double bed. The large sundeck is a " floating garden " filled with flowers, and has reclining teak sun loungers, sun umbrellas and a dining table for enjoying meals al fresco.

The Saint Louis offers two different cruise routes along the unspoiled Canal de Garonne between Toulouse and Bordeaux; both routes meet in the town of Boe. Most of its cruises follow its western (Bordeaux) itinerary, but it also offers an alternate eastern (Toulouse) itinerary. The western route cruises close to, but not into Bordeaux, with excursions including a day-long visit to Saint Emilion and nearby vineyards, a visit to the famous Lily Gardens at Temple sur Lot which inspired Monet, and a visit to the 11th century Chateau Henry IV. The eastern itinerary includes a visit to Moissac Abbey and its Cloisters dating from the 13th century, along with the 12th century town of Lauzerte, and quaint villages all along the way.

Over the past three years the owners have developed their relationship with the best producers in the region and bring to the dining table the very best fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses and wines that the region has to offer. The chef works closely with their wine distributor in St Emilion, who is also an executive chef, in selecting a wide variety of great quality regional wines to complement the food he serves.

For wine enthusiasts who would like a more in-depth experience in Saint Emilion, the barge offers on its Bordeaux route a day with a wine expert and guide, including lunch at a Michelin star restaurant in Saint Emilion and a private visit to a Premier Grand Cru Chateau in Saint Emilion to see the process of wine making and have a guided tour of their cellars. The day also includes a private tasting of some older fine wines. There is an extra cost for this optional excursion for a minimum of four passengers.


Features




Saint Louis' Deck Plan

Saint Louis's Deck Plan
Note: Cabins 1, 2, and 3 may be configured as an oversized double bed OR two twin beds


Dining Aboard The Saint Louis:
SAMPLE MENU

A taste of the gourmet cuisine served aboard the Saint Louis. BREAKFAST
Fresh juices, fruit, yogurt, fresh bread and croissants each morning from the local baker. Cooked breakfasts are available upon request.

LUNCH:
You may have a freshly-made savory tart, or a variety of cold meats, with salads to compliment, or even a delicious bowl of soup. Afterwards, the dessert course is likely to be fresh fruit or a dish prepared from fresh fruit. Lunch will be served with carefully selected wines from the region.

DINNER:
Guests will enjoy a freshly prepared, delicious four-course dinner. To accompany the meal, specially selected wines from this region of France will be served. The Saint Louis dinner experience is a fitting and enchanting way to round off another wonderful day on the barge. The wines on board are of excellent quality, selected personally from local vineyards including some wonderful examples from Gaillac and Fronton. Local liqueurs are well represented in the bar, with a range of Armagnacs and Flocs de Gascogne.

SAMPLE WINE MENU:
The Saint Louis owners work with their main distributor in St Emilion each season to provide a broad selection of high quality wines to pair with menus. Wines feature categories that include Champagne, Methode Ancestral sparkling, Perles (effervescant), Rose, Whites that include Bordeaux, Gaillac, Fronton, Sancerres and Pouilly Fumee and Sauternes wines from the Premiere Grand Cru Chateau D'Arche. Reds include terrific wines from small independent producers and are personally selected. Also featured are Grand Cru from St Emilion, Grand Vin de Bordeaux such as Chateau Le Puy, bold reds from vinyards across the region from Marmande, Fronton and Gaillac. Here is a small sample of the wines served on board:




Passenger Comments:


A unique experience that included friendly, helpful people, excellent cuisine, interesting side trips, and marvelous scenery. I saw France from a completely different perspective, and it was lovely! The meals and wines were the best. That's right, I mean the best! I loved the cruise route -- beauty everywhere. And locks are fascinating. I had no expectations -- I approached the experience as an adventure. And, it couldn't have been more satisfying. Off the beaten path in an entirely unexpected way.
P.T., IL, USA, May 2016

I've run out of adjectives to describe our week on the Saint Louis. I mean, they're all there -- wonderful, fun, amazing, delicious, surprising, jolly, hysterical (in the good sense), funny, heartwarming, extraordinary, etc. -- and they all apply, but none of them captures any more than a tiny aspect of the magic that is Saint Louis.
B.H., NY, USA, May 2016

We expected to like our barge trip because we had heard good things about barge trips in general. That's why we, three cousins and two spouses from America, chose the St. Louis to celebrate three 70th birthdays together. However, as people who had assiduously avoided cruises for our entire adult life, we never imagined loving it as much as we did.
M.T. MA, USA, May 2016

Fantastic, one of the most relaxing and enjoyable experiences of my life. The service was attentive, and top class, without being overdone. Felt we could truly relax, and that nothing was too much trouble. High points were cruising along the canal, between the plane trees, eating lunch on the deck!
M. B, Australia, June 2014

SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Southwest: Canal Lateral a la Garonne
Meilhan sur Garonne to Boé 2017

Saturday - Meilhan sur Garonne
Transfer to the barge to arrive around 5:00pm. Champagne reception upon arrival, then time to settle in, get to know your crew, a short safety briefing and a general talk through the itinerary for the week.

Sunday - Meilhan sur Garonne to Fourques-sur-Garonne
After breakfast we enjoy a short cruise to the first lock where we disembark the barge and drive to the beautiful town of St. Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visit the underground church, meander through the ancient cobbled streets soaking up the history and atmosphere and then enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of the local restaurants. Afterwards we go for a private wine tasting with our wine merchant, one of the most respected distributors of fine wines in the region. We learn about the history of the region, how to taste wine, about terroir and how it effects wine and about the great St Emilion vineyards. We return to the barge which has moved on to our evening mooring at Fourques for dinner.

Monday - Fourques-sur-Garonne to Le Mas d'Agenais to La Falotte
After breakfast we cruise along the tree lined canal to the picturesque village of Le Mas d'Agenais where we moor for lunch and a visit to the village and its famous 12th Century church with its very own original Rembrandt! After lunch we set off to the world-renowned region of Sauternes for a visit and tasting at the Premier Grand Crus Château d'Arche. We will learn about the making of this famous wine variety, why Sauternes has developed as it has, its micro-climate and terroir and the processes that make Sauternes so highly prized before returning to the barge for dinner. The barge will have moved on to La Falotte, a private mooring with beautiful gardens and a semi-precious gem museum that guests may visit while dinner is being prepared.

Tuesday - La Falotte to Buzet
This morning's tour is to an Armagnac producer situated in a 12th Century Monastery where we learn about the history of Armagnac, the production process and enjoy a tasting. On our way back to the barge we stop in Nerac, an 11th Century town with its castle, Château Henry IV, the Royal Residence of the Lords of Albret. Alain d'Albret was the Great Grandfather of Henry IV. If time permits we can explore this beautiful town and enjoy a coffee together. In the afternoon we cruise to Buzet Port and moor for the evening.

Wednesday - Buzet to Serignac
Today's visit is to a 3rd generation barrelmaker to see at first hand how the barrels, such an important part of the wine making process, are made. You will learn about the complexities and manufacturing methods of this traditional craft and how the barrel affects the development of the wine. Afterwards, if time permits we visit the bastide town of Vianne and learn about the history of bastides and their part in the early social development of the area. Lunch on board is followed by our afternoon cruise to Serignac.

Thursday - Serignac to Boé
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then a beautiful drive through rich countryside brings us to the world renowned Lily Gardens at Temple sur Lot that were founded in 1875 by Latour Marliac and both inspired and provided with his lilies. We arrive in time to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the ponds and gardens before lunch overlooking the lake. Afterwards we return to pick up the barge for the final cruise across the magnificent aqueduct, on through Agen and into Boé Port, our final mooring.

Friday - Boé
After breakfast depart the barge for transfer onwards.

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


SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Southwest: Canal Lateral a la Garonne
Lacourt St. Pierre to Boé2017

Saturday - Lacourt St. Pierre
Transfer to the barge to arrive around 5.00pm. Champagne reception upon arrival, then time to settle in, get to know your crew, a short safety briefing and a general talk through the itinerary for the week.

Sunday - Lacourt St. Pierre to Castelsarrasin
After breakfast we enjoy our first cruise through to a flight of 5 locks where we disembark and drive to the 12th Century town of Lauzerte. A hill top Castelnau-le-Lez with a bloody past but now a way point for pilgrims on the Saint Jacques trail to Santiago de Compostella. We enjoy lunch together before returning to the barge at St Porquier and our cruise continues through to our mooring at Castelsarassin for the evening.

Monday - Castelsarassin to Moissac
We head off down the canal after breakfast, and after descending four locks we cross over the River Tarn by means of an amazing brick-built aqueduct, 30 metres over the river. A few more locks and we arrive in the port of Moissac. After lunch, we are taken to one of the highlights of the trip - Moissac Abbey with its Cloisters that are said to be the finest in the world, and the 13th century church which contains a 10th century organ.  There are numerous art shops, including a glass blower, in this gem of a mediaeval town. As an option, Saint Louis can leave the canal at Moissac, for a short cruise on the River Tarn and the River Garonne.

Tuesday - Moissac to Pommevic
We have breakfast on deck, while passing through the swing-bridge of Moissac emerging into lovely countryside, with rolling hills to the right and the River Garonne to the left. In time for lunch we moor at the peaceful port of Pommevic - we usually expect to be the only boat in the port. During the morning we could pass numerous pilgrims making their way on Christendom's third most important pilgrimage route, to the Spanish burial site of Saint James at Santiago di Compostella, which is still 1200 km away at this point. In the afternoon, we go in the car to nearby Auvillar, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. This village has a history in which the manufacture and export of china and quills (for writing) were of major importance - as so often we see the influence that the River Garonne had as a trade artery in the world of commerce of yesteryear.

Wednesday - Pommevic to La Magistere

We head off in the morning, having breakfast on the deck under the plane trees. We pass through Valence, and moor for lunch at Lamagistere, surrounded by nothing but views and peace. In the afternoon, we go by car to nearby Donzac, where there is an amazing museum dedicated to the ancient trades of this corner of France - this is a world class display, put together with professionalism and humour.   Later, we visit the ancient Bastide village of Dunes, with lovely half-timbered houses and  wall-plaques that detail some astounding events in the history of this little village.

Thursday - La Magistere to Boé
In the morning, we go in the car to nearby Clermont-Soubiran, where we have views over the whole Valley of the Garonne, and where a walk around the outside of the château never fails to impress. We then return to the boat and cruise down towards the provincial city of Agen.  We moor at Boé on the outskirts of Agen.  The possible excursions from Boé include a visit to the Musée des Beaux Arts in Agen, where there is a fine Egyptian and Levant collection as well as number of Goyas, or perhaps a visit to the first water-lily nursery in Europe, where Monet gained his inspiration.


After a leisurely breakfast on the Saint Louis, we are taken by car back to our connection in Toulouse (or elsewhere), passing through deep rural countryside with fruit orchards, sunflowers and vineyards.

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




Saint Louis
2017 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
May 6 Lacourt St. Pierre-Boe Regular
May 13 Boe-Meilhan sur Garonne Regular
May 20 Meilhan sur Garonne-Boe Regular
May 27 Boe-Lacourt St. Pierre Regular
Jun 3 Lacourt St. Pierre-Boe Regular
Jun 10 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Jun 17 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Jun 24 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Jul 1 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Jul 8 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Jul 15 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Jul 22 Boe-Meilhan Regular
       
Cruise Schedule* ... continued

Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 29 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Aug 5 Boe-Lacourt St. Pierre Regular
Aug 12 Lacourt St. PIerre-Boe Regular
Aug 19 Boe-Lacourt St. Pierre Regular
Aug 26 Lacourt St. Pierre-Boe Regular
Sep 2 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Sep 9 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Sep 16 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Sep 23 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Sep 30 Boe-Lacourt St. Pierre Regular
Oct 7 Lacourt St. Pierre-Boe Regular
Oct 14 Boe-Lacourt St. Pierre Regular

2017 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
May 6 Lacourt St. Pierre-Boe
May 13 Boe-Meilhan sur Garonne
May 20 Meilhan sur Garonne-Boe Regular
May 27 Boe-Lacourt St. Pierre Regular
Jun 3 Lacourt St. Pierre-Boe Regular
Jun 10 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Jun 17 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Jun 24 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Jul 1 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Jul 8 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Jul 15 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Jul 22 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 29 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Aug 5 Boe-Montauban Regular
Aug 12 Montauban-Boe Regular
Aug 19 Boe-Montauban Regular
Aug 26 Montauban-Boe Regular
Sep 2 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Sep 9 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Sep 16 Boe-Meilhan Regular
Sep 23 Meilhan-Boe Regular
Sep 30 Boe-Lacourt St. Pierre Regular
Oct 7 Lacourt St. Pierre-Boe Regular
Oct 14 Boe-Lacourt St. Pierre Regular

Saint Louis
2018 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
May 5 Lacourt St Pierre-Boe Regular
May 12 Serignac-Castets Regular
May 19 Castets-Serignac Regular
May 26 Serignac-Castets Regular
Jun 2 Castets-Serignac Regular
Jun 9 Serignac-Castets Regular
Jun 16 Castets-Serignac Regular
Jun 23 Boe-Lacourt St Pierre Regular
Jun 30 Lacourt St Pierre-Boe Regular
Jul 7 Serignac-Castets Regular
Jul 14 Castets-Serignac Regular
Jul 21 Boe-Lacourt St Pierre Regular
       
Cruise Schedule* ... continued

Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 28 Lacourt St Pierre-Boe Regular
Aug 4 Serignac-Castets Regular
Aug 11 Castets-Serignac Regular
Aug 18 Serignac-Castets Regular
Aug 25 Castets-Serignac Regular
Sep 1 Serignac-Castets Regular
Sep 8 Castets-Serignac Regular
Sep 15 Serignac-Castets Regular
Sep 22 Castets-Serignac Regular
Sep 29 Serignac-Castets Regular
Oct 6 Boe-Lacourt St Pierre Regular

2018 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
May 5 Lacourt St Pierre-Boe Regular
May 12 Serignac-Castets Regular
May 19 Castets-Serignac Regular
May 26 Serignac-Castets Regular
Jun 2 Castets-Serignac Regular
Jun 9 Serignac-Castets Regular
Jun 16 Castets-Serignac Regular
Jun 23 Boe-Lacourt St Pierre Regular
Jun 30 Lacourt St Pierre-Boe Regular
Jul 7 Serignac-Castets Regular
Jul 14 Castets-Serignac Regular
Jul 21 Boe-Lacourt St Pierre Regular
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 28 Lacourt St Pierre-Boe Regular
Aug 4 Serignac-Castets Regular
Aug 11 Castets-Serignac Regular
Aug 18 Serignac-Castets Regular
Aug 25 Castets-Serignac Regular
Sep 1 Serignac-Castets Regular
Sep 8 Castets-Serignac Regular
Sep 15 Serignac-Castets Regular
Sep 22 Castets-Serignac Regular
Sep 29 Serignac-Castets Regular
Oct 6 Boe-Lacourt St Pierre 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.




SAINT LOUIS
2017 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
TYPE REGULAR
May 20 thru Oct 20
Charter for 2
$22,000
Charter for 4
$25,500
Charter for 6
$29,910
St Emilion Experience Day Supplement (per person, 4 person minimum)
$450


SAINT LOUIS
2018 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
TYPE REGULAR
May 5 thru Oct 19
Charter for 2
$23,000
Charter for 3
$27,000
Charter for 4
$27,000
Charter for 5
$31,500
Charter for 6
$31,500
St Emilion Experience Day Supplement (per person, 4 person minimum)
$495


What's Included
- 7 days and 6 nights on the barge in cabins with private bathrooms
- Transfers from Bordeaux or Toulouse, depending on the cruise route, to the barge and return
- All meals beginning with dinner on Saturday through breakfast on Friday, including any meals on shore with wine as selected by the captain
- Wines with lunches and dinners on board
- Open bar
- All escorted side-excursions
- Use of bicycles and other on-board equipment

What's Not Included
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return or from Paris to Bordeaux or Toulouse and return.
- Suggested minimum 5% gratuity for the crew, to be paid to the captain in equivalent Euros
- Travel or health insurance
- Personal items and purchases on shore
- Optional excursions such as golf, etc.
- Optional special St Emilion Experience Day (4 passenger minimum) including wine guide, lunch at gourmet restaurant, visit to Premier Grand Cru Classe chateau and wine tasting




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




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Last Update: October 12, 2017