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Classic Cruise – Gascony
Sunday, Day 1 Montauban
Guests are met in Toulouse** and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Rosa. Following a champagne welcome, there is time for a tour of the beautiful old town of Montauban, set on the River Tarn, before returning for your first dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Montauban to Montech
This morning we take a short drive to an artisanal dairy farm at Ramier, where we experience the entire cheese making process, culminating in a delicious tasting with the opportunity to purchase a few slices to take home! Next, we head to old Montauban for a stroll around this charming redbrick town on the banks of the River Tarn. Following lunch on board, Rosa meanders up the flight of nine locks on the beautiful, recently restored branch canal skirting the Forest of Agre and moors in the heart of the little town of Montech. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Montech to Castelsarrasin
After breakfast, 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. Lunch back on board is followed by a guided tour of the remarkable inclined Water Plane, an amazing feat of engineering that by-passes five locks and allows our hotel barge to descend the 43 feet all in one go – a unique European Waterways experience! In the afternoon we will cruise to Castelsarrasin, where there may even be time for a game or two of boules before dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 Castelsarrasin to Moissac
This morning we cross the River Tarn via the 1,000 foot long aqueduct, the Pont Canal du Cacor, then descend towards Moissac through a staircase of delightful locks and moor for lunch on the River Tarn below the old watermill. Then we cruise downstream to St. Livrade for an optional afternoon’s swimming or canoeing and visit the UNESCO-classified 7th century Abbaye St-Pierre de Moissac with its wonderfully preserved cloisters and chapel. This evening, perhaps 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.
Thursday, Day 5 Moissac to Pommevic
We visit Castelsarrasin’s morning market this morning before starting our cruise, when Rosa rises up from the Tarn and turns west on the brick-lined canal through Moissac. After negotiating the swing bridge, we cruise between the placidly-flowing waters of the Garonne and the foothills of the Quercy massif, before mooring at Pommevic. After lunch, we visit the 18th century Château de la Motte where we are given a private guided tour by the resident Countess. At the end of the tour we are even invited to take tea with her in the private apartments, as she explains to us her family’s famous association with the Kings of France. Before returning to Rosa we will see the 15th century hillside village of Auvillar, as well as touring the old “Bastide” town of Valence d’Agen, with its Palladian canalside public wash-house and arcaded market place. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Pommevic to Boé
A leisurely morning cruise through the bucolic countryside to our final mooring at Boé. After lunch, we visit Domaine de Lapeyrade for a guided tour and private tastings of their esteemed Armagnac and Floc du Gascogne wines in delightful surroundings, before visiting the medieval town of Nérac and its castle, once home to Henry IV of France. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Boé
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Toulouse**.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.
**other locations available for private Charter bookings
In Part 2 of our Best Insider Experiences, we show you where we take you off the beaten track on barge trips in France and Scotland Read More