France Cruises, Day 6: On The Way to Carcassonne

Today we sail to our final port, and the one excursion that convinced everyone onboard to take this barge cruise – Carcassonne. The medieval city is listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site, and showcases 1,000 years of military architecture. During the morning, we sail through five locks, patiently waiting at intervals for the lockmaster to allow other barges through. The Midi Canal is full of families sailing their own private boats and barges, and traffic …

Read moreFrance Cruises, Day 6: On The Way to Carcassonne

France Cruises, Day 5: Exploring Minerve

Overnight the weather has turned. Rain and blustery winds have blown in out of nowhere, and as the thunder and lightning woke us up in the middle of the night, you could hear Mathias working throughout the barge, closing windows, battening down the hatches and making sure all was well. He is always scrubbing or washing or taking care of something on the barge – not that it needs it, but because he takes great pride in …

Read moreFrance Cruises, Day 5: Exploring Minerve

France Cruises, Day 4: Off to Le Somail

After a late breakfast and a mid-morning start to sailing, we are journeying off to our next port – Le Somail. Along the way, there are plenty of low bridges that we will be sailing under. As one of the largest barges on the canal, we barely fit underneath the ancient stone bridges. Each passage seems precarious to us, but Matias has clearly mastered the art of tight sailing. As inches separate our barge from the edge …

Read moreFrance Cruises, Day 4: Off to Le Somail

France Cruises, Day 3: Our excursion to Narbonne

ABOARD THE ESPERANCE — At 10 a.m. we’re sailing again (well, give or take a half hour or so, but what’s the rush?!). The scenery starts to look just a bit like Tuscany and we’re suddenly sailing along vineyards and will be for the rest of the cruise. We’re in prime French wine country now. The Minervois appellation is France’s largest, according to Mathias, with the greatest output of grapes for wine. Some of the wine produced …

Read moreFrance Cruises, Day 3: Our excursion to Narbonne

France Cruises, Day 2: A slow journey to Capestang

ABOARD THE ESPERANCE — On our first full day onboard the Esperance, we find out that today is a very relaxed day. Every other day of our journey we will be met by a tour guide in the afternoon who will drive us to a destination to explore. Today, though, there will be no tour guide. Just gentle cruising and peaceful scenery. A breakfast buffet is put out each morning at 8 a.m. for the six passengers. …

Read moreFrance Cruises, Day 2: A slow journey to Capestang

France Cruises, Day 1: Arriving in Beziers

Could I possibly adjust to the slow paced nature of a canal barge cruise? That was the big question as we embarked on the Esperance, a hotel barge that sails through the Midi Canal in the south of France. After several months of fast-paced travel where other people and companies were always dictating my itinerary, arranging a six-night stay on the Esperance was a breath of fresh air, if not just a little bit unnerving. From the …

Read moreFrance Cruises, Day 1: Arriving in Beziers

France Cruises: Could I possibly adjust to the slow paced nature of a canal barge cruise?

Could I possibly adjust to the slow paced nature of a canal barge cruise? That was the big question as we embarked on the Esperance, a hotel barge that sails through the Midi Canal in the south of France. After several months of fast-paced travel where other people and impersonal companies were always dictating my itinerary, arranging a six night stay on the Esperance was a breath of fresh air, if not just a little bit unnerving. …

Read moreFrance Cruises: Could I possibly adjust to the slow paced nature of a canal barge cruise?

France Cruises and Hotel Barging in Europe

I do love the luxurious, cultural experience a European river cruise offers, and I simply must share what I’ve learned about  France Cruises, a world-leading luxury barge cruise company. Life in the countryside moves a little bit slower, and that’s the enchanting beauty of it. Here is where you’ll find the very heart and soul of Europe – far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The luxury barge cruising experience is unlike any cruise …

Read moreFrance Cruises and Hotel Barging in Europe

CLOSE
CLOSE