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Wine Appreciation Cruises - Canal du Midi
Sunday, Day 1 Marseillan
Guests are met in Narbonne** and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Anjodi, moored in the lake side fishing village of Marseillan, home of Noilly Pratt Vermouth. A ‘Champagne Welcome’ with time for a relaxing stroll around this lovely fishing village. Prior to dinner your wine guide will give you a brief introduction to the vineyards of the region before presenting your first wines. Dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Marseillan to Villeneuve-les-Beziers
This morning we embark on our cruise along the 330-year-old Canal du Midi through the Bagnas nature reserve, with potential sightings of flamingos, white egrets and other migrating birds, under bridges built from the local black volcanic stone. Later we visit the acclaimed Pomerol wine co-operative, Gold Medal winners and leading lights in the Languedoc. After lunch we visit Pezenas, the delightful 16th century capital of the Languedoc, mostly known for its associations with the French playwright Moliere. On the way back to the barge there is the option to spend some time on one of the nearby Mediterranean beaches. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Villeneuve-les-Beziers to Malpas
After breakfast, we cruise further along the Canal du Midi, crossing the aqueduct over the River Orb and ascending the 7-lock flight of unique oval locks at Fonserannes to arrive at our mooring at Malpas near the pretty village of Colombiers which lies on an old Roman road, the Via Domitia. After lunch we enjoy an informative winery tour and tasting in the 14th Century Chateau de Perdiguier, named after King Charles V’s finance minister and famed for its frescoes and Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, before stopping to view the star-shaped fields and 13th century irrigation channels of Montady from L’Oppidum d’Enserune. Dinner ashore tonight at L’Ambassade, a gastronomic restaurant in Beziers.
Wednesday, Day 4 Malpas to Capestang
This morning we cruise through the world’s oldest canal tunnel at Malpas and then past vineyards and pine trees, with magnificent views of the Pyrenees along the way, to moor in Capestang. Time before lunch to explore the village, once a summer retreat of the Bishops of Narbonne, with its magnificent 14th century collegiate church. This afternoon a visit to the Chateau de Pech Redon to taste the wonderfully complex velvety wines produced from the nearby Montagne de la Clape. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 Capestang to Salleles d’Aude
A morning visit to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy the Archbishop’s Palace and Horreum. Explore the indoor market at the hub of this bustling town, where you will have time to shop or simply absorb the relaxed atmosphere. Return to the barge for a cruise along the shaded canal to Salleles d’Aude, stopping off en route at Chateau de Guery, a 500 year old canal side vineyard, for a pre-dinner wine tasting of the full-bodied Corbieres or a visit to the state of the art winery at Mas de Chevaliere, created by the Burgundian winemaker Michel Laroche, we taste a selection of their delicious wines. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Salleles d’Aude to Le Somail
In the morning we embark on our final cruise, rejoining the historic Canal du Midi to arrive at the delightful village of Le Somail. After lunch, we visit Carcassonne, the most complete mediaeval fortified city in existence today with its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences, which resisted the many armies that tried to storm this glorious Camelot setting. In the nearby village of Boutenac, we sample Patrick Reverdy’s internationally renowned Corbieres wine at the 17th Century Chateau LaVoulte Gasparets. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Le Somail
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Narbonne**.
On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
** Other locations available for Charter bookings