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Highlights
  • Visit the vast medieval castle of Carcassonne
  • See the magnificent Fonserannes 7-lock staircase
  • Witness the fortified hilltop city of Oppidum d’Enserune overlooking the Languedoc Valley

A cruise on Emma is a step back from the pressure of the 21st century to a much slower pace, while enjoying all the creature comforts of modern day living.

You can visit ancient villages where time appears to stand still, country chateaux where you can taste the wine grown in their own vineyards, shop at the local markets where you will be amazed by the colorful displays of fresh fruit and vegetables, you can cycle along the towpath if you are feeling energetic or you can just relax on board and watch the world glide by. Every day is a different picture.

Emma will slowly wind her way during the course of the week for approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) along the canal which was built during the reign of Louis XIV.

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Countries
Cities & Attractions
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Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport
Ship Name
  • Emma hotel barge

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5-6 Nights between Beziers and Carcassonne

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Itinerary

Day 1: CARCASSONNE

After your pick up on Saturday about 5:00PM you will be taken to where Emma is moored to meet the rest of your crew and to enjoy a champagne reception. We shall let you get settled in and unpacked, which is the most strenuous task of the week, and then sit back and relax while we take a short cruise so that you feel you really are on a boat. During this time the first of your gourmet dinners will be prepared.

Day 2: CARCASSONNE to TREBES

After a leisurely breakfast of fresh fruit, croissants, homemade jams, cereal and coffee you will be taken off in the minivan to explore the wonderful medieval city of Carcassonne. A stroll through the cobbled streets with the array of boutiques, a visit to the Feudal Castle, a foray into the Inquisition museum or a walk along the ramparts. Carcassonne has something for everyone to enjoy. Back to the boat for a lunch of tasty homemade pates, quiches and salads followed by a selection of the 365 cheeses that France has to offer and washed down with some of the finest wines of the Languedoc Roussillon region. After lunch we shall cruise off to our next mooring spot along the canal, going down several locks -- some double, some triple -- as we start our descent towards the Mediterranean. Emma will stop at another lovely setting where your evening dinner will be served.

Day 3:TREBES to HOMPS

After breakfast today you will be whisked off again to discover another delight of the region. We could go to Lagrasse, a little village in the heart of the Corbieres with a magnificent Benedictine Abbey perched on the banks of the river Orbiel and where the little cobbled streets house a multitude of potters, artists, wood carvers, etc. Or we could go and visit the giant underground cave at Cabrespine, or again visit the ruins of the old Cathar stronghold Chateau Lastours. Steeped in history. Every visit is organized around the things which interest you most. Another delicious lunch will be ready for you when you get back and you will be able to relax while we cruise on to our next stop.

Day 4: HOMPS to CUXAC D'AUDE

France is famous for its open-air markets and today you will have the chance to experience this for yourself when we visit the market at Olonzac. The smells of the olives and herbs and the roasting chickens will make your mouth water and the arrays of fresh fruit and vegetables are a picture. We will then go up into the heart of the Minervois region to Minerve a spectacular village set on a rocky outcrop in the gorges formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian. There are lovely walks here, just the thing to build up your appetite for lunch. If you have plenty of energy after lunch while Emma is cruising to her next stop maybe you would like to take a bicycle ride or a stroll. The towpath follows the canal all the way so any time you want to this option is available.

Day 5: CUXAC D'AUDE to CAPESTANG

Narbonne is our tour for today. The ancient capital of Roman Gaul still retains a lot of its history. You will see the Via Domitia, a road 2000 years old with its chariot ruts still visible; visit the old Roman storehouses, the Archbishop's palace, the Cathedral St Just with its cloister, high altar, and splendid organ. For those of you who enjoy food and markets, the indoor market at Narbonne is one of the best. You will see the finest display of fish, shellfish, fruit, vegetables, meats, herbs, spices, olives, cheese, and the list goes on. Perhaps you would like to dip your feet in the blue water of the Mediterranean, or visit the little fishing port of Gruissan. Such wonderful choices.

Day 6: CAPESTANG to BEZIERS

Today we continue our lazy cruise which takes us under the smallest bridge in France; if you can get under this you can go anywhere on the canal system. A choice of visits awaits you. A wine tasting at Guery or at St. Chinian, a visit to the Abbey at Fontcaud, a trip up to the prehistoric site of Enserune with its panoramic views, there is so much to see, you will be spoiled for choices! Your final Gala dinner awaits you tonight.

Day 7: BEZIERS

All too soon your week is over, but we will still manage a short cruise before we say our good- byes and after your breakfast you will be taken to your next destination to continue your onward journey, taking with you lasting memories of this most beautiful countryside.

Dates & Pricing

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Details
Ship Name

Emma hotel barge

Ship Description

Emma hotel barge cruising

Owners Liz & Rene Jacquot take you to one of the biggest wine regions in the world - the Languedoc-Roussillon along the tree-lined 16th century marvel Canal du Midi aboard their pride and joy - hotel barge Emma.

When they built Emma, they wanted a barge where guests would feel welcomed and at home... exactly what Emma is.

There are 3 air conditioned cabins, two of which (the green and the blue)can be either a queen bed or 2 single beds and the third (the yellow) which is a fixed double.

Each cabin has a fully equipped bathroom with full sized shower. Beautiful French linens and handmade Irish quilts add to the luxury of your cabin.

The outside deck is where you will spend the most of your time, just watching the beautiful countryside float by. Emma has one of the biggest decks on the canal. There is ample room for dining, a covered area for shade on those hot sunny days, and an area for enjoying your aperitifs while dinner is being prepared. There is a canopy which covers the deck when Emma is moored up to give shade during your meal times on deck.

When you start to plan a holiday in France, food plays a big part of it. It is no wonder that France is the gastronomic centre of the world as the cuisine is so regional and so varied. The Mediterranean diet is renowned for being the healthiest, but you don't have to sacrifice flavor for health as you will find out aboard Emma. All dietary requirements can be catered for and as Liz tells her guests on the first day, "if there is something that you would really like to try, let me know and I will do my best."

They have a selection of fish, meats, charcuterie second to none. During your week aboard you will be treated to the best - to wet your appetite!

Trip Includes
  • 7 days and 6 nights on the Emma in a cabin with private bath (or 6 days and 5 nights for 5-night cruise)
  • Liaison between the railway/airport and the barge both before and after your cruise
  • 4 crew members: captain. personal chef, hostess and matelot/driver
  • All meals beginning with dinner on Saturday through breakfast on Friday (or Thursday for 5-night cruise)
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with their accompanying wines from the region
  • Guided tours each day in the mini bus and all entrance fees
  • Fully stocked bar with a selection of cocktails, digestives and soft drinks
  • Use of bicycles
Trip Excludes
  • Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
  • Transfers from Paris to the barge pickup point and return
  • Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities
Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Start City
Carcassonne
End City
Béziers

Trip ID#: BezCarFra

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