HOTEL BARGES / ATHOS
Marseillan to Argeliers
Sunday - Argeliers
You will be met at the designated meeting point and transferred to Athos moored in Argeliers . Your Captain and crew welcome you on board with champagne and Mediterranean canapés . Then, once you are settled into your cabin, enjoy your first 4-course dinner on board, prepared by our acclaimed chef.
Monday - Argeliers
to La Croisade
Enjoy breakfast in a comfortable chair on the upper deck of the barge, before we drive to the famous medieval double-walled city of Carcassonne . Your knowledgeable guide will provide a full tour of this historical place and ensure that you also have time to browse the shops! Return to the barge for a gourmet lunch on board (perhaps including the famous duck confit stew, cassoulet ) and an afternoon's cruise to La Croisade , with plenty of opportunity to walk or bicycle along the towpath. Dinner on board.
Tuesday - La Croisade
After breakfast, we enjoy a tasting at “L'Oulibo” , the local olive oil pressoir . After tasting those organic and wholesome olives accompanied by a glass of rosé , we take a short drive up the Gorge de la Cesse and into the hilltop village of Minerve . Your guide will regale you with the harrowing tale of the Cathar siege launched at Minerve during the 13th century. Relax after lunch on board, whilst we cruise to Capestang , or you can enjoy a wine tasting at a local château , such as Château Cabezac . Return to the hotel barge for dinner on board and admire the view of the floodlit Collegiale St. Etienne.
Wednesday - Capestang to Fonserannes
After breakfast, we enjoy the weekly morning market in Narbonne where even for non-shoppers, the bustling town offers plenty of entertainment. Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia , browse through the Roman Museum, discover the beauty of St. Juste Cathedral, or simply relax at one of the many cafés . Return to Athos for lunch on board and then we begin our cruise to Fonserannes . From our mooring tonight you will have a glorious view of the town of Beziers and the Cathedral St.Nazaire . The crew invite you for a quick game of Pétanque and a glass of Pastis before dinner on board.
Thursday - Fonserannes
This morning we drive to the old market town of Pezenas , which was the first seat of the Languedoc court. The architecture is particular to the town because of the “Hotels Particuliers” or mansions belonging to the noble families who followed the Court. It is filled with artisans’ shops, including painters, hat makers, and costume designers. Once again, your guide makes sure that there is time to browse, as well as learning about the history. After lunch we begin our negotiation of a 17th century feat of engineering, Fonserannes Lock Staircase. Then we traverse the 18th century aqueduct over the Orb River. The evening's mooring will be just outside the small village of Portiragnes . The paved towpath and the many locks leading to our mooring, make it an ideal afternoon for walking or bicycling alongside the barge. Dinner on board.
Friday - Portiragnes
This morning, we get underway earlier than usual, cruising through the area known as the “Petit Camargue” . Bird watchers should look out for the local species such as pink flamingoes, African Rollers and Bee Eaters. After crossing through the exceptional “round lock” at Agde , a spectacular and appropriate seafood lunch awaits you, as you enter the open-waters of the Etang de Thau , which boasts Europe's largest mussel and oyster park. As we moor in the port at Marseillan , you will notice the enclosure which makes up the Noilly Prat vermouth distillery. End a perfect day with a fascinating tour of the distillery and if you choose, a tasting of Noilly Prat, before the Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday - Marseillan
After breakfast, disembark Athos and transfer to the designated drop-off point.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.