The concept of a hotel barge cruise is one that has recently become a very popular choice for the discerning traveller. Discovering a country or a region at a steady pace from the comfort of a luxury floating hotel is definitely appealing to more and more people, especially those who have an interest in history, culture, food and wine…
A Garonne river cruise in Gascony, southwest France, aboard our 8-passenger hotel barge Rosa, offers a picturesque experience by water. Watercolour-worthy panoramas stretch in every direction and as you indulge in the sights, sounds and glorious scents of the landscapes around you, there is little choice but to relax and lap up the tranquillity and serenity of all you will experience.
Every Garonne river cruise is different in so many ways, and if you’re a traveller who likes to bring back souvenirs and little memories of your trip that are unique to the area you have visited, you’ll have plenty of choice here, too.
This delicious brandy-like liquor is made from distilled wine but is not nearly as well known or as mass produced as Cognac. (Look out for small producers and you won’t be disappointed.) Quality Armagnac is not hard to find in this area, but if you are looking to really treat yourself, head to Fourcès and make a beeline for Alexandre Ladevèze’s shop where he will show you exactly how to enjoy this tasty tipple.
This may seem like an obvious choice of souvenir when you are on a hotel barge cruise in France, but most regions have a different take on the staple recipes. Some of the options for Gascony flavours on a Garonne river cruise include olives, pimento d’espelette and roquefort, so there really is something for everyone. The market in Nérac is a wonderful place to pick up some really good saucisson!
As we’re talking about barge cruises in France, it would be remiss to not mention wine as an option for a take-home souvenir – especially from a Garonne river cruise! You are, as in any region in France, never far from an exceptional glass of wine in Gascony. Côtes de Gascogne is the main wine growing area, within which there are around 20 appellations.
There will be opportunities for wine tasting on your Garonne river cruise so make sure you take note of the vintages you like so you can pick up a couple of bottles to take home.
Prunes may be a somewhat unusual food to bring home from a trip, but Agen prunes take this shrivelled dried fruit to the next level. Grown to maintain a balance of acidity and sweetness unlike any other prune, they are so moist and addictive that you really have to try them to understand the appeal. They are great for snacking on but also go well in a variety of dishes, such as clafoutis with prunes. They’re also small enough to pack into your cabin bag – a great Garonne river cruise souvenir!
Confit de Canard
A local specialty, this is made with duck leg that is then cured in salt and cooked in its own fat. It is certainly rich but this staple is used in lots of regional dishes. Cassoulet is one to look for, which is a traditional dish of sausages, beans and confit de canard.
Canal de Garonne Cruises aboard Rosa
Of course, Gascony has many more wonderful things that you might like to take home to remind you of your Garonne river cruise, but hopefully the ones detailed above have given you inspiration. When booking your Garonne river cruise aboard 8-passenger hotel barge Rosa, let our Cruise Team do the leg work so you can just sit back and look forward to making memories on your next adventure.
Speak to a member of our Cruise Teams via our Contact Form for more information, or order your free copy of our brochure by clicking here >