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Barge Cruise: Saraphina
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Cruise in the South of France on the Canal du Midi Aboard the First Class Hotel-Barge SARAPHINA


BARGE CRUISES: SEVEN DAYS/SIX NIGHTS or FOUR DAYS/THREE NIGHTS
NEW IN 2017! The 4-passenger Saraphina is a traditional Dutch barge built in 1924 which has been lovingly converted by its owners into a charming hotel barge with a contemporary, bright and welcoming interior. During your stay on-board, you'll not only enjoy personal service from its owners and hosts Finnegan and Emily but will have an opportunity to wine, dine and relax while taking in some of the most beautiful and historic places along the Canal du Midi. Captain Finnegan carefully and tastefully designed the rustic barge to ensure that all guests enjoy a relaxed and comfortable stay. In addition to a lovely deck and comfortable lounge, there are two cabins that sleep four, both of which include an ensuite bathroom with shower. The original 1924 aft cabin retains its charming original features and has a fixed queen bed while the second cabin offers either twin beds or a queen bed.

The Saraphina offers charter cruises for up to 4 passengers, either full board with three lunches on shore included for its 6-night cruise, or half board, with all lunches on shore at passenger's expense. Dinners are served aboard, and will be adapted to your food preferences and dietary needs, using local and seasonal produce. The barge also offers shorter 3-night cruises for those whose time is more limited.

The Saraphina cruises between Portiragnes-Plage near the Mediterranean and the majestic medieval city of Carcassonne . To ensure that you make the most of your stay on-board, the days are split between exploring the surrounding area and cruising. While cruising, you are free to unwind as you wish: watch the lovely landscape float by from the deck, relax in the lounge with its views of the passing canal and its inhabitants or walk, jog and cycle along the tow path. Should you wish, you can even try your hand at steering the barge from the covered wheelhouse, which has panoramic windows and comfortable seating.

Following a delicious breakfast, your personal tour guide will pick you up to explore the local area and to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. All itineraries can be tailored to accommodate specific sites of interest -- such as wineries and museums -- and include visits to: the historic streets of Pezenas and the Cistercian Abbey of Fontroide; the towns of Beziers and Narbonne; the medieval Cathar village of Minerve as well as the medieval city of Carcassonne.

We visited the barge and its owners most recently in April 2017 and loved the eclectic custom interior with enameled lava counters in the kitchen and the Provençal tiled bathroom floor, and the spacious feel in the salon as well as the many original works of art by Finnegan's mother. Finnegan and Emily have many years of experience hosting and piloting luxury barges and will ensure that you have a wonderful barge cruise.


Features



Saraphina Deck Plan

Dining Aboard The Saraphina:
SAMPLE MENU


A sample of the desserts
served aboard the Saraphina SAMPLE DINNER #1:
SAMPLE DINNER #2:
SAMPLE DINNER #3:
NOTE: The galley on the Saraphina is open and interested passengers are welcome to join our Chef to learn new cooking techniques and recipes.

WINES:
The owner selects fine regional wines which are carefully paired with lunch and dinner cuisine.

SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Canal du Midi:
Portiragnes-Plage to Carcassonne 2018

Sunday - Portiragnes
We pick you up from your hotel, train station, or local airport and bring you safely aboard Saraphina. After a short cruise through the 'mini Camargue' and Champagne welcome your first dinner will be served aboard. A beautiful mooring in the countryside close to the village of Portiragnes.

Monday - Portiragnes to Béziers
After breakfast you will be taken to the historic streets of renaissance Pezenas with its arts, crafts and antique shops. After a typical bistro lunch in Béziers we cruise over the aquaduct and up the majestic flight of locks at Fonserannes. This evenings mooring is a stones throw away from Beziers

Tuesday - Béziers to Capestang
The morning visit brings you to the Cistercien Abbey of Fontfroide. After lunch at a quaint restaurant with a stunning view of the "Pond of Montady", we cruise along the windiest part of the canal to our mooring in Capestang, a small village with a charming square where you can enjoy an aperitif with a view on the enormous 12th century collegial church.

Wednesday - Capestang to Le Somail

Our tour guide takes you to Narbonne known for the Archbishop's Palace, the Gothic cathedral, shopping, and the famous covered food market where you will choose a selection of sea food or charcuterie to enjoy back on board. Wen then cruise to another stunning mooring next to the sleepy village of Le Somail. Take the opportunity to visit the world famous antique book shop and the ateliers. In the evening you can walk to a restaurant in the village to wine and dine.

Thursday - Le Somail to La Roubia
Thursday's visit brings you to the medieval, Cathar village Minerve and the olive oil factory, L'Oulibo. You will then enjoy your lunch ashore before returning to the barge for an afternoon cruise to Roubia. A wine tasting before dinner could be organized if you wish.

Friday - La Roubia to Homps
The medieval city of Carcassonne is a highlight of the week. After a guided tour around Europe's largest medieval fortified town and lunch there, we set off for the final cruise and farewell dinner aboard.

Saturday - Homps
After breakfast you will be tranferred to the train station, hotel or local airport for your onward journey.

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



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

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

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





SARAPHINA
2018 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
TYPE REGULAR
Apr 1 thru Oct 27
Full Board Charter for up to 4
$17,050
Full Board Charter for 2
$13,700
Half Board Charter for up to 4
$16,050
Half Board Charter for 2
$12,500


*Note: Charters for 5-night, 4-night and 3-night cruises are also available in both full and half board for 4 and or 2 passengers. Please contact us for additional pricing.


What's Included

Full Board:
- 7 days and 6 nights on the barge in a cabin with private bath
- Transfers from Carcassonne, Narbonne or Beziers, to the barge and return, depending on cruise direction
- All meals from Sunday dinner through Saturday breakfast, including 3 lunches (with house wine) at restaurants selected by the owners
- Wines with meals on board
- Open bar
- All escorted side-excursions (golf, etc at extra cost)
- Use of bicycles

Half Board:
- 7 days and 6 nights on the barge in a cabin with private bath
- Transfers from Carcassonne, Narbonne or Beziers to the barge and return, depending on cruise direction
- All breakfasts and dinners from Sunday dinner through Saturday breakfast
- Wines with dinners on board
- Open bar
- All escorted side-excursions (golf, etc at extra cost)
- Use of bicycles

What's Not Included

Full board:
- Suggested minimum 5% gratuity for the crew, to be given to the captain in equivalent Euros
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transfers from Paris to the barge pickup point and return
- Trip cancellation insurance

Half board:
- All lunches on shore
- Suggested minimum 5% gratuity for the crew, to be given to the captain in equivalent Euros
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transfers from Paris to the barge pickup point and return
- Trip cancellation insurance




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



LINKS to Saraphina Information


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This page last updated December 8, 2017