European Waterways explores regional attractions along the 300-year-old Canal du Midi – a ‘cultural cornucopia’ in Southern France

Anjodi Photo courtesy of European Waterways
Photo courtesy of European Waterways

European Waterways, Europe’s largest luxury hotel barge cruising company, offers an array of cruises that immerse passengers in the cultural traditions of some of the most fascinating regions of Europe. Of these, the company’s relaxing hotel barge cruises along the historic Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, provide guests with an especially wide range of opportunities.

Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways said, “We have the largest number of luxury hotel barges based in Southern France, and each of these barges offers its own unique ambiance and excursion options. On every cruise, our passengers absorb the picturesque countryside and quaint European villages at a leisurely pace, all while experiencing the local history and culture, unique architecture and appealing regional cuisine that attract travelers from around the world.”

Capitals & Classics
Aboard the recently-refurbished 8-passenger hotel barge, Anjodi, passengers are catered to by a highly-experienced and attentive crew, while enjoying the hotel barge’s facilities, including a spacious sun deck and spa pool.

Itinerary highlights of the 6-night cruise:
* a winery tour and wine tasting at the 14th century Chateau de Perdiguier
* a visit to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived
* an excursion to unforgettable Minerve, the ancient 12th century Cathar capital of Minervois, the world’s largest wine-growing region.
* a visit to Pezenas, a town well known for its associations with the French actor and playwright Molière, one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Molière classics such as “The Misanthrope,” “The School for Wives,” and “The Miser,” are still performed today all over the world.

A Visit to the ‘Village of the Books’
While cruising past canal-side villages and vineyards, the Clair de Lune, a sophisticated 6-passenger hotel barge, offers passengers facilities such as a stylish dining area and saloon, a large sundeck with a spa pool, and bicycles for exploring the famous towpath.

Highlights of this 6-night itinerary:
* “mini-expeditions”, such as a private tasting of fine Minervois wines at a renowned local domaine; and a visit to magnificent Carcassonne, Europe’s most complete fortified city.
* a trip to Montolieu, well known as the “Village of the Books.” A commune in the South of France, Montolieu is often referred to as a cultural meeting point, where people come together to educate, pass on, and share the art of the written word. With bookstores, secondhand booksellers, illustrators, graphic artists, printers, craftsmen, museums, and galleries lining the streets, a visit to this delightful village offers a unique glimpse into age-old traditions and celebrations.

A Trip to ‘Plus Beaux Villages de France’
The state-of-the-art, double-deck, 8-passenger hotel barge, Enchanté provides passengers with exceedingly comfortable accommodation, including spacious cabins, an attractive saloon/lounge, grand sun deck, and elegant spa pool.

Highlights of this 6-night cruise:
* a tour of Lagrasse, a village with an 8th century Benedictine abbey and many artisan workshops. Its narrow streets and medieval bridges have earned it the title of “the most beautiful village in France.”
Like Montolieu, Lagrasse enjoys a strong literary tradition and is home to Le Banquet du Livre, ”Banquet of the Books,” a literary festival that boasts philosophical meetings with writers and thinkers, readings of texts and musical pieces by talented authors, as well as literary workshops and film screenings.

During July and August 2014, European Waterways is offering an £800 reduction on cabins (based on 2 people sharing); and up to £4,800 reduction on full boat charters for Enchanté and Anjodi; and £4,000 reduction on full boat charters of Clair de Lune. Visit for conditions and restrictions.

Video courtesy of European Waterways


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