Leading Specialists in European Barge Cruises

Saint Louis

luxury hotel barge saint louis bordeaux gascony

Overview

Saint Louis is a Deluxe category barge and is available for CHARTER ONLY with a few exceptions*

Saint Louis is perfect for Couples, Families, Groups of friends, Excellent Cycling/Walking, Exceptional historic interest, Beautiful scenery.

*Charter Only most weeks during the season; occasionally “single cabin” weeks are available.

Saint Louis cruise itinerary is through a beautiful undiscovered and idyllic corner of south-west France, full of bastide towns, river valleys, undulating hills and fabulous local markets. Fascinating history everywhere you turn!

Meticulously maintained with no effort spared, the team at Saint Louis – Peter, Wendy & Minnis – bring you the ultimate in luxury cruising and our guests enjoy:

  • a spacious, tastefully decorated salon with; a soft seating area, dining area for 6, an open bar, music system (with Bluetooth/iPhone doc/NFC connectivity) and a small reference library
  • mobile Wi-Fi, a full 10G each cruise week. Please note, signal strength may vary slightly as we progress along the canal
  • three guest cabins each with new (2016) shower-rooms en-suite with 240V hairdryers, heated towel rail and luxury toileteries.

Bed configuration can be twin or double as preferred in all cabins.

  • full air-conditioning throughout all guest areas
  • the largest sun-deck of any barge of comparable size, easily accessed by wide stairs directly from the salon
  • the sun deck is “un jardin flottant” a floating garden. Resplendent with flowers and mini-conifers it is furnished with a teak dining table and chairs for 6 and three reclining teak sun-loungers together with ample sun umbrellas to provide perfect shade as required
  • 6 quality off-road bicycles

 

Itinerary

WESTERN CRUISE ROUTE*

SATURDAY – Bordeaux or Toulouse – Agen – Boë
The Captain of the Saint Louis meets us in Toulouse (or possibly Bordeaux) at 3.00 p.m. at our pre-arranged meeting place, and we are driven to Boë which is just on the outskirts of Agen.  On arrival at the boat we settle in to our comfortable cabins, then after a short safety briefing there is a champagne reception followed by the first of many sumptuous dinners.

SUNDAY – Boë – Serignac
After breakfast, we cruise through the centre of the pretty city of Agen.  On leaving the city, we pass over the most remarkable aqueduct which takes us over the River Garonne – this is France’s longest masonry aqueduct.  We then descend a chain of four locks to arrive at a beautiful overgrown stretch of the canal which is nicknamed the “Amazon”.  At the end of our day’s cruise we moor in the pretty port of Serignac-sur-Garonne.  In the afternoon we are taken on an excursion to three fabulous mediaeval villages called Sainte Colombe, Bruch, and Clermont Dessous – the last village having a superb view across the Garonne valley.  We arrive back at the port in time to have a stroll through the village of Serignac before aperitifs and dinner.

MONDAY – Serignac – Buzet – Nerac
In the morning we cruise through beautiful unspoiled countryside before arriving at the delightful port of Buzet-sur-Baïse.  After lunch, we are taken on an excursion to the beautiful town of Nérac on the River Baïse, where we visit the Château of King Henry IV and the old mediaeval quarter of the town with its Roman bridge.  Later, we are taken on a fabulous visit to an Armagnac producer, based in an old Benedictine monastery;  here we see the old chapel, where the Armagnac is aged, and we learn of the rich history of this property and the family that looks after it.

TUESDAY – Buzet – Villeton
After breakfast, we are taken on a visit to a barrel-makers, where the owners of the works have set up a viewing platform over the shop floor, and we are treated to an almost ballet-like performance of highly organised craftsmen using very high technology and traditional skills.  This private visit is memorable, not least because of the charm and dedication to his craft of the owner who takes us round.  On our way back to the boat we call in on the famous Buzet wine producing cooperative.

 We have lunch on the sun-deck as we cruise down the canal, through the port of Damazan and under shady avenues of plane trees, to arrive at our port of Le Mas d’Agenais.  We stop at the astounding gem stone and fossil museum at La Falotte, where the owner explains the categories of his 7,000 exhibits in a fascinating way.  We then cruise further down the canal and moor for the night in the small country port of Villeton.

WEDNESDAY – Villeton – Caumont-sur-Garonne
In the morning we cruise further down the canal to Le Mas d’Agenais.  Here the barge is moored, and the car is waiting for us to take us for a visit up to the town which is of Roman origin, and where we can see significent parts of the original Roman wall.  We admire the wooden market hall which was built in 1616, and we visit the church in which there is an original Rembrandt.  Later, we cruise further down the canal to arrive at the pretty “halte” of Caumont sur Garonne.  From there, we are taken by car to a presentation called “Gens de Garonne (the People of Garonne) which in a remarkable and unique way tells the story of the people living on the side of the Garonne River.

THURSDAY – Caumont – Meilhan sur Garonne
In the morning we head down the canal, cruising once again through superb countryside and under a canopy of trees.  We arrive at our destination, Meilhan sur Garonne.  In the afternoon we are taken by car to Castets en Dorthe, where the canal flows back into the River Garonne.  We marvel at the flood marks on the specially heightened lock house, and we admire the Chateau that overlooks the village.  From there we go to Langon, where we see a phenomenon of an entirely different era.  This is the Airbus loading yard where massive parts of the new A380 aircraft are collected at the end of their sea journey, before embarking on their land journey to Toulouse for final assembly. We then take a short car journey to Chateau Roquetaillade, which has been in the same family for the last seven hundred years.  The guided tour reveals some astonishing facts about this outstanding historical masterpiece.

FRIDAY – Bordeaux (or Toulouse)
After a leisurely breakfast our bags are loaded into the vehicle, we make our fond goodbyes to the crew, and we are taken back either to Toulouse for the onward journey.

Bordeaux is a beautiful city – not only is it full of classical and renaissance architecture (the historic centre is on the UNESCO list) it is also very smart and modern. It is the world capital of wine and has been famous for wine since the 8th Century. The riverside quays are called the ‘Port de la Lune’ because of the crescent moon shape of the river as it passes through Bordeaux.

Saint Louis’ own itinerary does not include Bordeaux (the river trip is governed by strong tides and is, frankly, not very interesting). Bordeaux is within an hour’s drive of Saint Louis’ westernmost mooring and guests can easily make arrangements to visit this historic and fascinating city before or after their holiday cruise.

A cruise holiday or vacation on the luxury hotel barge Saint Louis is bespoke, tailored to the interests and wishes of our guests. In addition to the ‘usual’ places often visited and noted above, there is the possibility of visiting one or other of the following (dependent of course on the constraints of time and practicality).

Other possible visits include:

  • The mediaeval bastide town of Vianne, with its protective fortified wall.
  • The Roman bridge and the Romanesque fortified mill at Barbaste
  • The superb Château at Cazeneuve
  • The wine centre of Duras, together with Château Duras
  • The Musée des Beaux Arts at Agen, home to a number of Goyas.
  • The cork museum at Mézin
  • The Lot Valley, with pretty towns such as Clairac
  • A producer of Armagnac and Floc de Gascogne, who for five generations has been working an estate that was built as a monastery.
  • The small town of Clairac, with one of the best examples of half-timbered houses.
  • The town of La Reole, with its 10th century Benedictine monastery overlooking the valley.
  • Bruch – a delightful Bastide village with many interesting features.
  • Chateau de Bonaguil– said to be the finest fortress in the whole of France.

    *Saint Louis also operates an “Eastern Cruise route” from Agen to Toulouse. When you contact us to check availability, ask us for the exact cruise itinerary for the date you are interested in.
Prices

2018 PRICES

Max 6-person Charter$31,500
Max 4-person Charter$27,000
Max 2-person Charter$23,000

Single cabin bookings for one or two people at 13,000 USD per cabin may become available later in the booking season and usually within 70 days of the cruise date – please contact us for such availability.

Note all our prices are in US Dollars. We convert to Australian dollars at current exchange rates on the day of payment of deposit/full payment.

Cruise is all-inclusive – price includes accommodation in ensuite cabins, gourmet cuisine provided by your private on-board chef, all beverages including premium local wines and mixed drinks, all excursions, entries and transport in air-conditioned mini-vans.

Saint Louis departs every Saturday throughout the season beginning 5th May, 2018 and ending 13th October, 2018.

Gallery Floorplan

SAINT LOUIS FLOORPLAN

 

map-boat-plan1

Specials

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