Join the stylish Hotel Barge Rosa for a captained cruise through Gascony along the tranquil Canal de Garonne.
Enjoy a private tasting at Domaine Lapeyrade, explore the medieval town of Nerac, and admire the spectacular 11th-century Chateau de Gourdourville. Discover the UNESCO-listed Abbaye St-Pierre de Moissac with its beautifully preserved cloisters, before crossing the 1,000 foot Pont Canal du Cacor aqueduct. Hotel Barge Rosa then meanders the flight of ten locks onto the canal skirting the Forest of Agre.
The Hotel Barge Rosa carries just 8 passengers in 4 en suite staterooms, and was refitted in 2010. With air-conditioning, an elegant dining room, saloon, and a bar which never closes, sit back and enjoy splendid views and the service of the on-board chef and a well-informed Tour Guide. Bicycles are available for exploring independently.
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Canal de Garonne Hotel Barge Cruise
Day 1 - Agen (France)
Guests are met in Toulouse and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Rosa. Following a champagne welcome, there is time for a stroll around the port of Agen before your first dinner on board.
Day 2 - Valence d'Agen
This morning we visit Domaine Lapeyrade for private tastings of their esteemed Armagnac and Floc du Gascogne wines in delightful surroundings, before touring the nearby medieval town of Nérac and its castle, once home to Henry IV of France. After lunch on board we enjoy a leisurely cruise through the bucolic countryside to Valence d’Agen, an 18th century "Bastide" town with its Palladian canalside public wash-house and arcaded market place. Dinner on board.
Day 3 - Moissac
After breakfast, we visit the 11th century Château de Gourdourville before a drive to Auvillar, a beautiful medieval red-stone village perched high on the side of a gorge above the River Garonne and renowned for its circular 17th century covered market. Return to the hotel barge for lunch, then an afternoon cruise on the River Tarn takes us to the nautical base of St. Livrade, perhaps for some swimming or canoeing, before rising up from the river and turning west on the brick-lined canal to Moissac. This evening, maybe after a game of boules, we stroll ashore to savour regional specialties at the excellent restaurant ‘Le Florentin’, in front of the spectacular entrance portal of the abbey.
Day 4 - Castelsarrasin
This morning, we visit the UNESCO-classified Abbaye St-Pierre de Moissac, one of the architectural highlights of the region, founded in the 7th century with its wonderfully preserved cloisters and chapel, and explore the charming town with its abundance of arts and crafts workshops. After lunch, we continue our cruise towards Castelsarrasin crossing the River Tarn via the 1,000 foot long aqueduct, the Pont Canal du Cacor. Dinner on board.
Day 5 - Montech
After breakfast, we visit Castelsarrasin's morning market, just 50 metres from our mooring. Then a short drive takes us to the Ferme des Jauberts at Angeville where we can tour the estate and taste the foie gras of Eric Couderc. After lunch on board, a leisurely cruise to Montech allows us to enjoy the hotel barge’s sundeck, or walk and cycle along the towpath. We also tour the remarkable inclined Water Plane, an amazing feat of engineering that by-passes five locks and, when back in service in the near future, will lower vessels 43 feet all in one go. Dinner on board.
Day 6 - Montauban
This morning Rosa meanders down the flight of ten locks on the beautiful and recently-restored branch canal skirting the Forest of Agre and moors in the port of the historical town of Montauban. In the afternoon we head into the Côtes du Frontonnais wine region in the minibus for a wine tasting at the renowned Château Bellevue la Fôret. Our introduction to the outstanding cuvée ‘Optimum’ is in the skilled hands of Diane Germain, the Boston-educated daughter of the house. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
Day 7 - Montauban
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus back to their choice of location in Toulouse.
PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary runs in reverse on alternate weeks. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.