Esperance is an Ultra-Deluxe category barge.
Esperance is perfect for Couples, Families, Groups of friends, Excellent Cycling/Walking, Wine, Historic interest, Beautiful scenery.
“Elegant”, “Exquisite” and “Perfect” are just a few superlatives that come to mind when trying to describe the Esperance! She is truly one of the most beautiful barges we have ever set foot on. You will not want to leave your cabin, but when you do it will be to relax in the superbly appointed salon or on the gorgeous sundeck with its jacuzzi and shade awning for al fresco dining.
Esperance epitomises “boutique” and the superb handmade ceramics and customised furniture personally chosen by owner and Captain Matthias, along with the unwavering attention to his guests’ comfort by he and his wonderful crew make this one of the most exceptional cruise experiences on the Canal du Midi. Cozy up to the chef for his wonderful recipes; he is also happy to share cooking tips and techniques!
Apart from his meticulous attention to detail and superb taste in interiors, Matthias has spent most of his life on the water, and the sharing of this passion and focus on warm, outstanding service will ensure the most discerning travellers will enjoy the perfect cruise in the sunny south, on board one of the most superb barges in France!
ESPERANCE AT A GLANCE:
EXQUISITELY DECORATED LARGECABINS WITH EN-SUITE BATHROOMS & DVD PLAYERS
BEAUTIFULLY APPOINTED SALON AND DINING AREA WITH LUXURY APPOINTMENTS
SPACIOUS SUNDECK WITH JACUZZI AND SHADE AWNING
30 METRES LONG
6 TOURING BIKES
AIR CONDITIONED AND HEATED THROUGHOUT
SATELLITE TV WITH DVD PLAYER
HI-FI SYSTEM WITH CD PLAYER
BOARD GAMES & LIBRARY
FISHING EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE!
AIR CONDITIONED MINIBUS FOR EXCURSIONS
A member of the crew will welcome you at the Beziers Train Station at approximately 4 PM and transfer you the Esperance moored in the enchanting countryside along the famous Canal du Midi. (Your train fare to and from the Midi is in addition to the cruise price. We are happy to provide assistance well before departure with booking and ticketing your trains.) Meet Captain Mathias and the rest of the crew at the traditional champagne welcome reception. You will then have plenty of time to unpack and explore your beautiful barge before the first of many gourmet dinners.
Today is a very relaxing day aboard Esperance! As we set off after breakfast, you will be surprised by the peacefulness of the barge while gliding along this beautiful 16th Century canal. We stop in Colombiers, where you will have time to explore before lunch. The pretty canal side village boasts a small church built in the 12th century. Our cruise this afternoon takes us through the exciting tunnel de Malpas, excavated in 1679; it was Europe’s first navigable tunnel. Today is the perfect day to go for a bicycle ride or enjoy a hike while the barge is moving slowly.
This morning we will drive to Narbonne, a lively city full of art and history. The choice is yours; you can go shopping in the many walking streets around the old town centre, visit the colourful covered market, the Archbishop’s Palace, the archaeological museum, or spend your morning at the Mediterranean Sea. A beautiful cruise today with many turns and loops and a romantic night mooring in the middle of the vineyards and canopies of plane trees.
For the religious history fans, Fontfroide is quite site! This abbey was founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1093 and affiliated with the Cistercians in 1145. It is a beautiful collection of religious buildings and the gardens around it are stunning. Or, if you prefer, we can visit the olive factory at L’Oulibo, a prize winning olive oil mill and a great place for tasting and buying olive oil or tapenade. This afternoon, let the world float by as your lunch will be served on deck while the barge is moving slowly on this peaceful tree lined canal, all the way to a romantic night mooring in Le Somail with its fascinating antique bookshops and local potters and artists.
Today a very scenic drive into the Minervois hills and les gorges de la Cesse to arrive in Minerve. This amazing medieval village is perched on a spectacular rocky outcrop formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian. Famous for its tragic Cathar past and surrounding vineyards, this village is full of charm and history. On the way back to Esperance, how about a little wine tasting to discover more about the excellent wines this region has to offer? Time to relax on deck as your floating hotel is on the move and the cruise will take you to a quiet mooring close to Homps.
After going thru a couple of traditional locks, the barge will cruise to our last mooring for the week close to the world famous medieval city of Carcassonne. This extraordinary walled-city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to be one of the most visited sites in all of France. If you have already visited “la Cité” on a past holiday, we can instead visit Lagrasse, an attractive village now home to numerous pottery workers and artists attracted by the place itself and the renowned natural light of the region. The two highlights of the village are perhaps the Abbey and the bridges, although the narrow medieval streets of the village itself are also very attractive, and remains of the town walls can still be seen.
After a wonderful breakfast our time together ends and your guide will take you to your hotel in Carcassonne or to the railway station for your ongoing travel.
|Full Board Charter||Half Board Charter|
|Charter of 6: $29,000||Charter of 6: $26,000|
|Charter of 4: $23,000||Charter of 4: $21,000|
|Charter of 2: $17,500||Charter of 2: $15,500|
Full Board: Includes all meals with premium local wines.
Half Board Cruise: Includes two dinners on board Esperance and all breakfasts & lunches. Four dinners will be at passenger’s expense in authentic local restaurants along the route, all carefully selected and recommended by your Captain, for a true regional French dining experience.
Esperance departs every Sunday throughout the season which starts April 1st, 2018 and the final cruise begins October 21st, 2018. Cruises are 6 nights/7 days.
Prices are in US dollars and we convert to Australian dollars at current exchange rates on the day of payment of deposit/full payment.