Luxury Trip aboard Emma - Canal du Midi
  • Total Passengers :6
  • No of Cabins : 3

”Treated like Royalty but felt like family”

A warm welcome awaits you aboard the beautiful “ Emma” from Liz and René Jacquot the Irish/French owners for your cruise in the biggest wine region in the world – The Languedoc Roussillon along the tree lined 16th Century marvel “The Canal du Midi”. Ref.: BSEMSP


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Summary:
Total guests: 6

Also available: 6 bikes (free use)

Animals admitted with conditions, Wi-Fi


Cabins:

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.


Salon and dining room:
The air conditioned salon and dining room were designed for conviviality. You will find a fully equipped bar, a well stocked library, a selection of DVD’s and CD’s, a station for your I pod and also a connection Internet for keeping in touch. Large picture windows make it very bright and airy.


Deck:

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.


Gastronomy:

Liz is your Irish chef and she has embraced the Mediterranean cuisine with enthusiasm. Emma has built her reputation on the excellence of the food and wines served aboard. Liz is a graduate form an Irish Catering college but has also spent time in a French Relais Chateau just to keep up to date with new cooking trends. Liz loves sharing recipes and ideas with her guests over a glass of wine and her kitchen is always open . Her philosophy is to buy the best of ingredients, locally produced, fresh from the market, in season and then to cook them with flair and imagination so that the flavor will live up to the presentation.  You can have your cake and eat it!


Cruise:

3 different routes:


1. Béziers to Aigues-Mortes


Sat   You will join Emma moored in the port of Colombiers and enjoy champagne cocktails whilst meeting the other members of your crew. Captain René, Chef Liz and your hostess & wine expert Amanda. A peaceful cruise to Beziers to the top of the flight of 7 locks at Fonserrannes to get your cruise off to a grand start.

Sun am   This morning we shall go down the flight of locks and across the beautiful canal bridge over the River Orb with its spectacular views of the Cathedral of Beziers to moor in Port Iragne. Great cycle paths along this stretch of canal.

Sun pm   After lunch our visit is to Pezenas, adopted home of Molière. A paradise for those interested in architecture, quaint boutiques, arts and crafts and antiques. Bourgois France at its best.

Mon am   We cruise to the ancient Greek town of Agde built on the river Hérault out of volcanic stone. You can visit the old historic centre of Agde or, the Cap d’Agde and Le Grau d’Agde with its beautiful sandy beaches.

Mon pm   We go through one of only 2 round locks in Europe to bring us on to the River Herault. We shall take a lazy cruise up the river and out to the nature reserve of Bagnas , leaving fresh water behind us and entering the salt waters. A visit to Marseillan where you can visit the winery of Noilly Prat is an option.

Tues am   Our cruise this morning takes us across the Etang to Sète. We shall cruise past the famous oyster beds of Bouzigues which we serve with the delicious white wine from the vineyards of Pinet, the Picpoul...

Tues pm   You will be taken off to visit Sète this afternoon. Home of Captain René, it is a busy, bustling port criss crossed with canals from where it gets its name as the “Little Venice of the Midi”. You will be taken up to the Mont Saint Clair with its spectacular views and a charming little chapel with beautiful murals.

Wed am   Our cruise today takes us through the little town of Frontignan, home of the sweet Muscat wine. The canal now runs parallel with the Mediterranean Sea so any time you fancy a swim!!!! We shall be mooring near to Villeneuve les Mageulone.

Wed pm   This afternoon your visit in the mini bus will take you up into the gorges of the river Herault to St Guilhem le Desert. This village is one of the stops on the pilgrimage of St Jacques de Compostelle and the Abbey and cloister are well worth a visit. The charming cobbled streets are full of flowers and have earned the village the title of one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Thurs am   Aigues Mortes is our destination today. Cruising through the Camargue with its black bulls, white horses and pink flamingos, you are now in the heart of Provence.  

Thurs pm   This afternoon you will be able to explore this walled city, starting point of the crusades. You can have a walk along the ramparts, visit the Tour of Constance, the old prison for wayward women, or delight in the little shops filled with fabrics, pottery, and local produce, before returning aboard for your final gala dinner.

Fri am    Sadly your week with us is over and after breakfast your guide will be taking you on to Montpellier to continue your onward journey.



2. Béziers to Carcassonne


Sat 5pm  You will be met by your guide Rosy who will bring you to where Emma is moored in the port of Colombiers outside of Béziers. As soon as you are settled on board and introduced to the rest of the crew, René your Captain, Liz, your chef and Amanda your hostess, we shall cruise off with a champagne reception to our mooring point; Regismont le Haut the domaine of Mr Michel Plasson, France’s most famous conductor.

Sun am  After breakfast Rosy will take you off in the mini bus to Capestang where the Sunday market will give you an insight into how the French like to shop. The 12th century Collegiate is well worth a visit or just sit and have a coffee in the square and enjoy watching the world go by. This is followed by a visit to the Oppidum d’Enserune, a pre Christian settlement atop the hill with 360° views of the whole region

Sun pm  After your al–fresco lunch on board we shall cruise off into the vineyards under the tiny bridges and canopy of trees to moor up in the heart of this beautiful countryside.

Mon am  Amanda, our in house wine expert will take you on your visit today to the olive factory of Oulibo to sample the different types of olive oil, olives and all the other by products such as soap and hand cream and hand crafted bowls and implements made from the wood. This is followed by a wine tasting in the heart of the Minervois where she will share with you some of the secrets of the wine trade.

Mon pm  Our cruise this afternoon takes us to the picturesque village of Le Somail crossing over the impressive canal bridge of La Cesse. This is the picture postcard of the canal, with its antique book store and myriad little art galleries which are lots of fun.

Tues am  Olonzac with its open air market full of local produce from the surrounding countryside, cheeses, olives, home made jams , pottery and colourful fabrics is our first stop; Then we head up into the hills to Minerve, a mediaeval village perched on a spectacular rocky outcrop formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian. famous for its Cathar history, which Rosy our historian aboard will share.

Tues pm  After lunch we cruise through a particularly beautiful section of canal, surrounded by vineyards; crossing through the little villages of Ventenac, across the oldest canal bridge on the canal at La Repudre to Paraza and Roubia to another tranquil mooring.

Wed am  Narbonne is our destination today. Once the capital of Roman Gaul, their influence is still visible in the old road dating back to 118bc and the underground stores called the Horreum. It is now a bustling town with chic boutiques, street cafés and pride of place goes to the covered market which overflows with the smells and colours of all the local produce for which the Midi is renowned and where you will be able to choose your own fare for lunch .

Wed pm  We have quite a few locks today, some single, some double before mooring up for the evening. The distance between the locks makes it easy to get off and walk or ride along the tow path at the same pace as the barge, to help build up your appetite.

Thurs am  We go off to explore the biggest and best fortified city in Europe, Carcassonne. Although dating from the time of Charlemagne, it has been extensively restored. You can walk along the ramparts, visit the Chateau Comptal, shop in the boutiques along the cobbled streets, visit galleries and museums and get the feel of life in the middle ages.

Thurs pm  We cruise to the little village of Puicheric which overlooks the Alaric Mountains; Enjoy a walk around the lock-keepers garden filled with rather unusual wooden sculptures and back to “Emma”   Whist you are enjoying cocktails the last of your gourmet dinners will be being prepared.

Fri am  After breakfast, we must say our farewells and you shall be taken to your departure point for your onward journey.



3. Carcassonne to Toulouse


Sat pm   Your guide will meet you at your chosen rendez vous point and bring you where “Emma”is moored in the port of Trébes. To meet the rest of the crew, Captain René, chef Liz and hostess & wine expert Amanda. Once you are settled on board we shall cruise off with champagne cocktails out into the vineyards, through 2 locks to Leveque.

Sun am   We go off to explore the biggest and best fortified city in Europe, Carcassonne. Although dating from the time of Charlemagne, it has been extensively restored. You can walk along the ramparts, visit the Chateau Comptal, shop in the boutiques along the cobbled streets, visit galleries and museums and get the feel of life in the middle ages.

Sun pm   Put your feet up and relax during our afternoon cruise, which takes us through 4 locks to Herminis. Have a stroll through the vineyards, cycle the towpath or just sit and have a glass of local wine, read your book whilst your gourmet dinner is being prepared.

Mon am   This morning your guide will take you to Limoux, home of the famous sparkling wine. Can we tempt you to a little dégustation? You will then carry on to Rennes le Chateau, which if you have read Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code; you will remember the story of the Curé Saunier who all of a sudden had great riches. Did he find the treasure? This is a very interesting visit, through beautiful scenery, but keep your eye out for the lost treasure.

Mon pm   After lunch we shall cruise to the typical languedocian village of Brams. It is known as a circulade due to its resemblance to the spiral of a snail’s shell.

Tues am   From Brams this morning your visit will take you through the rolling plains of the Lauraigais, fields of sunflowers in summer and views of the snow capped mountains on a clear day, to the town of Mirepoix. We shall stop off at Fanjeaux, home of St Dominic and the Dominican Convent; the views are spectacular. Mirepoix itself is renowned for its wooden columns surrounding the main market square, its colombaged houses and its cathedral.

Tues pm   After lunch you captain will gently guide you along the canal, going through a selection of lovely locks to moor up in the lovely Lauragais countryside.

Wed am   This morning we shall cruise to the town of Castelnaudary.

Wed pm   This afternoon your guide will take you to visit Castelnaudary. One of the contenders for “the original and best Cassoulet”, the others being Carcassonne and Toulouse. The Grand Bassin, the Gothic Collegiale with its 56 meter bell tower, the 17th Century windmill the vestiges of the Presidial, partly destroyed by Louis X11 and the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Pitié with its gold covered wood sculptures depicting ten episodes in the life of Christ are all on the visit.

Thurs am   We leave Castelnaudary this morning and continue our cruise to The Seuil de Narouze. This is the highest point on the Canal du Midi after which it descends the other side towards the Atlantic. Here the plane trees are the same age as the canal - amazing!!

Thurs pm   This afternoon’s visit is to the reason why the Canal du Midi was possible, the Lac St Ferreol It was the only land which had slopes both to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.You will see the intricate irrigation system, which allows us to have the canal we love today. To think this was all discovered in the 1600’s on horseback by Paul Riquet!

Return to Emma for your final gala dinner lovingly prepared by your personal chef.

Fri am   Sadly you must leave us this morning, and after breakfast, your guide will be ready to escort you to your onward departure point.



Dates: (Subject to availability)

On a weekly basis (6 or 5 nights)

May 24-30: 2 cabins booked

May 31-June 6

July 5-11: 1 cabin booked

July 12-18: 2 cabins booked

Aug 23-29: 2 cabins booked

Sept 6-12: 2 cabins booked

Sept 20-26: 2 cabins booked

Oct 4-10: 2 cabins booked

Oct 18-24

Oct 25-31


The cruise cost includes:

6 night’s accommodation on board

All meals and wine

A fully stocked bar (with a choice of spirits, aperitifs and soft drinks)

Entrance fees to museums and châteaux

Pick up from pre-arranged point within a radius of 50 km of embarkation location

(Pick-up time – approx. 5pm Saturday afternoon)

Transfer to local hotel, airport or train station within a radius of 50 km for your onward journey

(Drop-off approx. 10 am the following Friday morning)

Air-conditioned minibus with guide for daily excursions

Use of bicycles


Does not include:

Other travel and personal expenses

Trip insurance

Use of mobile phone

Consummations taken off board  

Staff Gratuities (industry normal is between 5/10% of the total cruise cost)