Spotlight on Anjodi: Discover the Beauty of the Canal du Midi in Style

Step aboard Anjodi, a luxurious hotel barge that has been delighting guests for over 40 years. With its rich history and elegant Dutch design, Anjodi is the perfect vessel for a relaxing cruise along the picturesque Canal du Midi in southern France. From fine dining and wine tastings to exploring historic towns and local villages, Anjodi offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Come and discover the charm of the Canal du Midi with Anjodi.

Hotel barge Anjodi cruising the Canal du Midi

A Short History of Anjodi

Over the past four decades, Anjodi has made a name for herself on the Canal du Midi in France. As a “Luxemotor” barge, she’s a special class, as she was built with crew accommodation , rather than being a cargo carrier with a hold and tiller for steering.

Anjodi as a trading barge, circa 1950

Built in the Netherlands in 1927, and christened as ‘Marie’ shortly after, she worked the waterways of Northern Europe as a trading barge. Renamed in 1954 to ‘Two Brothers’, or ‘Twee Gebroeders’ in Dutch, she followed in the Dutch maritime tradition of many barges before her, which were named after family members. In 1963 she was renamed for the final time ‘Anjodi’ – a combination of Anna, Johanna and Diana – after the three daughters of the then-owner.

Anjodi as a trading barge, circa 1965

In 1982, European Waterways’ founder and Managing Director, Derek Banks, purchased Anjodi from her last skipper, Foppe de Jong. With the intention of giving her a new life cruising on the Canal du Midi in France, Banks was looking for a 30-metre (100 ft) barge that could be transformed into a luxury floating hotel.

Taken from the Netherlands to southern France via the Rhine, Anjodi went through a refit to become one of the first hotel barges based in the town of Agde, near the European Waterways then office. In 1984, Anjodi received her first passengers for her maiden voyage as a luxury cruise.

Under construction in Agde, circa 1983

A Film Star Barge

Anjodi reached new heights in 2005, achieving film star status in Rick Stein’s French Odyssey. The television series, which aired on the BBC as a six-part series, received global acclaim and took Stein from Bordeaux to Sète on a voyage of culinary discovery, along with hotel barge Rosa.

Hotel Barge Anjodi Today

Anjodi’s African hardwood and buffed brass portholes are evocative of a bygone era that hails glamour and tradition. With our service rivalling top 5-star hotels, your glass will never be empty, and your stomach will always be full.

With more than 40 years’ experience as a luxury hotel barge, Anjodi is a classic Dutch boat built with the refinement and elegance of a yacht, with the comfort of a modern B&B. As a First Class  vessel with a full crew containing the Captain, Chef, Hosts, Tour Guide and Deckhand, you’ll be well taken care of on your stay with us.

The spacious saloon and dining area are perfect for relaxing and mingling with fellow passengers. The rich, wood flooring feels luxurious and warm. Combined with elegant French dining furniture and plush banquette seating, the room feels welcoming and inviting. Kick back and relax with a brandy or a cocktail, served from a fully stocked bar. All you have to do is ask for your favourite drink, and we’ll pour it for you!

With her four cabins accommodating eight passengers, each individual cabin feels cosy and comfortable with half-panelled wooden walls and feature porthole windows. With the option to have beds made up into a double or twin configuration, you can travel with a partner or a close friend, knowing you’ll have a space that’s prepared especially for you. Each cabin comes equipped with a modern en suite with shower,  with luxury toiletries for your convenience.

A large upper deck is ideal for taking in the afternoon sun, reading a book, or sinking into the hot tub with a refreshing cold drink. If you’d prefer a bit more shade, then simply enjoy an iced coffee under the large extendable canopy!

Twin cabin aboard hotel barge, Anjodi
Twin cabin aboard hotel barge, Anjodi
Anjodi dining on deck

Anjodi on the Map – The Canal du Midi

Anjodi traverses the historic Canal du Midi, a major inland waterway linking the Bay of Biscay in the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

Built in the 17th century at a time when France was the centre of civil engineering excellence, the Canal du Midi is over 240 kilometres (149 miles) long. Running through southern France, the canal connects Toulouse with the Mediterranean at Sète via the Étang de Thau.

Fed using water from an artificial reservoir in the Black Mountains, the Canal du Midi rises 63 metres (206 feet) during its route. The boats of the canal experience as many as 26 locks on its 51.5-kilometre journey from Toulouse to its 5-kilometre-long peak point. The waterway then descends another 189 metres (620 feet) through 74 locks to Étang de Thau. What a journey!

Itinerary Highlights

If you’re not visiting France for a taste of nature, then you might be more interested in the gastronomy and alcoholic beverages we experience on Anjodi’s itinerary. Spend a morning at Maison Noilly Prat for a flavour of the famous French Vermouth which went into production in 1813. In addition, a stop at Château de Paraza will reveal the secrets of winemaking at an extraordinary seventeenth century vineyard. With a tour that’s complet with an interesting wine tasting experience, you’ll have a chance to savour the flavours of Southern France!

Food connoisseurs will enjoy the huge variety of dishes prepared by Anjodi’s onboard master chef. They can cater to your dietary needs too, so mealtimes will be equally as spectacular as your fellow guests’.  During the week, we head to Le Mas d’Antonin for a culinary experience like no other. There’s a chance to go truffle hunting with resident truffle dog, sample varieties of olive oil, and you’ll be served a gourmet lunch which will be paired with local wines. It’s a complete afternoon of the very best of Mediterranean gastronomy!

Château de Paraza
Château de Paraza

Not to be missed is the itinerary’s historic highlights. As we cruise this ancient region of Southern France, we view scores of vineyards on rolling hills, all with a backdrop of silhouetted peaks from the Pyrenees mountains. Once home to the Christian denomination of Cathars, the area has a dark past and many people were burned at the stake and cast out from their homes.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Carcassonne is an undeniable pinnacle of Anjodi’s itinerary. Built in the 5th century, the fortress of Carcassonne underwent painstaking restoration in the nineteenth century, making it the world’s most complete fortified medieval city. Visitors can see 52 watchtowers, 3 kilometres of ramparts and a drawbridge! With a range of shops inside selling souvenirs, you’re unlikely to leave empty-handed.


Guests  aboard Anjodi will cruise through the world’s oldest canal tunnel at Malpas. Excavated in 1679, it extends for 165 metres before returning to the surface. Barge lovers will revel in crossing the aqueduct over the River Orb and passing to the top of the Fonserannes locks, which consist of a unique stair of seven locks in a row.

For a special view of the French countryside, familiarise yourself with its beauty by walking along the towpath on a sunny day. Or, if you prefer a faster mode of transport, take advantage of the onboard bikes to cycle along the towpath as the barge gently cruises on to the next lock.

Hotel barge Anjodi cruising through a lock

Guest Reviews

If you’re still not convinced that cruising aboard hotel barge Anjodi is right for you, then take a look at this review from Travels with Terri.

Having travelled with us before in the much cooler, but no less beautiful, Scottish Highlands, for this barge trip, Terri chose a warmer climate in the South of France. Thrilled to meet their well-travelled fellow passengers who were from Canada and America, on boarding Anjodi for the first time, they were served champagne and canapés by a multicultural crew of four. She boasts that:

Sipping bubbly while watching flamingos feed along the canal was a great start to our trip.

Anjodi Lunch onboard

Amazed by the outstanding meals on Anjodi, which were served by Chef Mickael, Terri was impressed by the crew’s explanations of the food, wines, and cheeses that they tasted. Calling mealtimes aboard Anjodi “fine dining at its best”, Terri was impressed that ingredients were sourced locally, from specialist suppliers.

She enjoyed seeing where her meals came from, writing that “A highlight was going to the market in Narbonne with Mickael to select the ingredients for a seafood buffet luncheon.” She says she was “blown away by the variety and freshness of the products” and “enjoyed hearing how Mickael chooses the menus for each day.”

Fresh produce

The visit to the winery also stood out to Terri as one of the best parts of her cruise. A tour of the vineyard revealed that the family had owned the estate for five generations, held 237 acres of vineyards and produced five different types of grapes there. She enthusiastically recalled being told about the French wine blight and enjoyed the tasting even more!

Of course, the engineering marvel of the Fonserannes locks also caught Terri’s attention. She wrote that Anjodi ascended the impressive 7-chamber lock in less than 30 minutes! She added:

Captain Laurent negotiated the locks with perfection and the ascent through the powerful rushing water made for an exhilarating experience.

Captain Laurent

As an appreciator of history, Terri found a walking tour of the city of Narbonne fascinating. Tour guide, Jules, accompanied them on their visit and told them about the city, taking them to the “impressive gothic Cathedral of Saint-Just and Saint-Pasteur”. At 197 feet (60 metres) tall, Terri said that the bell towers can be seen all over the city! She writes: “I especially loved the many stained-glass windows and the unique vaulted choir that is over 131 feet (40 meters) tall.”

If you love history as much as Terri, then Minerve is another highlight of Anjodi’s itinerary. Perched on the edge of a limestone plateau, the Occitan city gained its name from the Celtic words for ‘stone’ and ‘refuge’. She learned the sombre story of how a group of Cathars sought asylum on the rock in the thirteenth century during the Albigensian Crusades, eventually being forced to surrender. Over 140 Cathars were burned when they refused to renounce their faith.

A symbol of defiance, Terri says that Minerve is a “spectacular setting” with “well-preserved stone buildings”, adding that “it’s easy to see why Minerve is classified as one the most beautiful villages in France.” Terri’s magnificent day in Minerve was topped with on-deck refreshments and a performance by a jazz trio – what an experience!

A final highlight was the visit to Carcassonne with tour guide, Jules. Terri loved hearing about the features of the fortress, and the history of the Visigoths, Saracens, and Crusaders. Choosing her own adventure whilst the rest of the guests went on to Basilique Saint Nazaire, Terri found some hidden cafés and a monument. Memorialising Jean-Pierre Cros-Mayrevielle, it gave recognition for his work saving the city of Carcassonne from demolition in 1849. The consequential works undertaken by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc ultimately saved this breath-taking historic monument from destruction!

Terri’s trip ended with a perfect meal from Chef Mikael and a sing-song. She says:

We sang along with Rick until it was time to reluctantly go to bed. A perfect end to a perfect trip!


Anjodi is Perfect for:


It wouldn’t be right to offer specialist cruises of the South of France and not include a wine tour. This huge area produces some of the most exciting wines and is known for its huge variety of red wines on offer, from cabernet sauvignon to merlot. With wines paired with every meal, you’ll have every opportunity to taste regional varieties. Some of the highlights of the wine tour include a stop at the Pomerol wine co-operative in Languedoc, a tour and tasting of cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and chardonnay wines at Century Château de Perdiguier. Finished with a tasting of internationally renowned Corbières wine made by Patrick Reverdy at the Château LaVoulte Gasparets, a wine tour aboard Anjodi has an itinerary fit for Bacchus himself!


If a round of golf is more your bag, then grab your kit and head onboard to visit some of the best greens in the South of France. We visit the 18-hole course at Le Cap d’Agde Golf International, which was designed by the famous architect, Ronald Fream. Watch for the bunkers, which can be troublesome! For a more classic 18-hole golf course, get into the swing of things at Golf St Thomas and see stunning scenery at Golf de Carcassonne. With a pit-stop at the 9-hole Golf de Lamalou-les-Bains to practice technical shots, Golf Cruises aboard Anjodi has something for all levels of golfer.


If you’re looking for a multi-generational family holiday with a twist, then why not book a whole barge for your extended family? With space for up to eight passengers, you can switch out up to four activities from Anjodi’s Classic Cruise itinerary, swapping them for more family-friendly options. Some great examples are the prehistoric caves at Limoussis, the Dinosaur Museum Park at Meze, and Pirateland Water Park. With scuba diving, canoeing, and zip-lining all options too, you’ll find it hard to decide on your favourites!

Pirateland - fun for kids of all ages near Marseillan

Ready to Cruise aboard Anjodi

Feeling inspired by a Canal du Midi cruise aboard hotel barge Anjodi? Why not speak to a friendly member of the European Waterways team, or order a brochure to consider all of our cruise options!

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