4 Passenger Deluxe Private Charter
We had an opportunity to visit the Alegria in spring 2014. Captain Olivier Baudry welcomed us aboard this spacious and uniquely designed barge. A perfect cruise for four friends or two couples, you will enjoy great food and the pampering of four crew.
The Alegria was built in 1937 at a shipyard in Thuin, Belgium. She was originally 38,5 meters long and 5,07 meters wide, designed for loads of 400 tons, but in 1999 the ship was converted to a houseboat and shortened to 29.37 meters (100 feet).
Her present length now allows passage through the smaller locks of the famous Canal du Midi. She is docked near Poilhes, a charming village on the Canal du Midi. You will either embark or disembark from this village that contains many remains from the Roman times.
Both cabins on the Alegria have air conditioning, and in the event of a cool night at the end of the season, the cabins are equipped with central heating, as are the bathrooms which are also fitted with heated towel rails. Daily housekeeping is provided and we can propose a laundry service upon request. The cabins each have two entrances: one leading directly outside to the front of the barge near the pool and another one opening inside to the lounge. This allows both privacy and independence. The rooms have large portholes which offer panoramic views of the Canal du Midi.
The cabins are fitted with king size beds that can be separated into single beds upon request. You will be supplied with bath robes, bath amenities (from the famous product line "L’Occitane en Provence") and a hair drier. In your room, you'll also find a mini-fridge full of cool drinks and a tea & coffee tray with biscuits.
Our Chef proposes a gastronomy based on a few excellent principles, such as giving priority to ORGANIC FOOD and to buy FAIR TRADE products whenever possible. You will taste some typical French local dishes as well as the best French gastronomy. Each meal will be accompanied by different wines and we mainly serve the excellent vintages from Languedoc and Rousillon (the Minervois, Faugères, St-Chinian, Corbières becoming more and more renowned) straight from our Wine Cellar on board. You will never be offered the same wine twice during the week (unless you insist on drinking again "that one" you particularly loved !) Weather permitting, your meal is served outside on the deck.
Our Chef will cater specifically for you and might even share some of his cooking tips as he prepares a dish. And ... we will also invite you for two meals (drinks included) off the barge in some local restaurants!
Highlights Include: A visit to the hilltop town of Minerve and to the medieval, walled city of Carcassonne.
- Length: 100 feet
- 2 to 4 Passengers
- 4 crew
- Rive Gauche Cabin - 220 sq feet
- Rive Droite Cabin - 190 sq feet
- Fully air conditioned
- Central heat
- air conditioned mini-bus for tours
- two decks with heated pool
- 4 bikes
Accommodations & Pricing 2018
Charter Max. 2 pax.
Charter Max. 3 pax.
Charter Max. 4 pax.
2018 Saturday Departure Dates
April 7-13, 14-20
July 14-20, 21-27, 28 to Aug 3
August 4-10, 11-17
October 13-19, 20-26
April 21-27, 28 to May 4
May 5-11, 12-18, 19-25, 26-June 1
June 2-8, 9-15, 16-22, 23-29, 30 -July 6
August 18-24, 25-31
September 1-7, 8-14, 15- 21, 22-28, 29- Oct 5
Beziers to Poilhes
We have the pleasure of welcoming you at the airport or at the railway station (from 4pm) and transferring you to Alegria, moored in Poilhes. After the crew is introduced to you and after you settle down, you are served a welcome Champagne drink while we start cruising slowly along the Canal. After a u-turn we come back to the mooring of Poilhes. You can slowly stroll through this lovely village of less than 500 inhabitants before you are proposed some apéritifs… We serve your first dinner onboard and spend the night in Poilhes, our "home mooring".
Poilhes to La Croisade
On this Sunday morning our guide proposes you a “multi-site” excursion: the City of Béziers, the famous “stair case” of the Nine Locks of Fonsérane, the archeological (6th century BC) site of the Oppidum of Ensérune, and the Malpas Tunnel, the first tunner built in the world for a canal. After the lunch (or during lunch… depending on the weather conditions) you cruise to La Croisade and pass underneath the lowest bridge on the Canal: the famous bridge of Capestang. Mind you head! This 18km cruise is typical with its numerous meanders: yes the Canal actually looks like a River! After this four-hour cruise the dinner is served onboard and you spend the night in a restful place, a stone's throw away from ... an old 17th century stone bridge.
La Croisade to Rubia
In the morning we cruise slowly to Le Somail, one of the most charming villages along the Canal. Should you need a book for the week you can buy one from a unique book shop that has approximately 50 000 second-hand books in stock ... in many different languages! In the afternoon you may chose to relax on the barge, roam around, cycle, etc but we also propose you to visit a wine farm or an olive mill nearby, or any other site that might suit your wishes. At the end of the day you are invited for the Captain's Dinner in a local auberge. It's the perfect opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of a French restaurant!
Rubia to Homps
In the morning you go to one of the best market in the region, in Olonzac. You can look and buy anything you wish, from a provençal table cloth to special olives locally grown (well… we have some on board too!). Then the guide takes you to Minerve, a fascinating site and a previously fortified village in a very special rocky environment. Minerve was attacked in 1210 by the terrible army led by Simon de Montfort: the right time for us to tell you everything about the Crusade of the Albigeois in the 13th Century, one of the harshest stories of our past … The afternoon cruise takes you to the typical Minervois village of Roubia for the overnight mooring. The dinner is served onboard.
Homps to Pulcheric
In the morning you visit a beautiful town, Narbonne. Narbonne is full of Roman history and includes the "Palace of the Archbishop". You will love its Mediterranean and Gothic style. And ... you will be offered lunch there in a typical restaurant that has some fish specialties. After lunch you are driven back to the barge for the afternoon cruise. You pass your first lock after Roubia and we cruise to the port of Homps, one of the busiest harbors in the old times of the Canal commercial era.
Pulcheric to Trebes
In the morning you visit the great City of Carcassonne, the biggest medieval City in Europe. You are just fascinated by the size of the walls and the narrow streets inside. You are right there in the middle of French history! There also many shops where you can buy typical souvenirs to bring back to friends or children. After lunch you embark on the last leg of the cruise for the week, from Homps to the area of Puichéric. You pass the last lock of the cruise and you can admire the wooden and iron sculptures made by the most famous lock-keeper on the Canal. The barge is moored just on top of this most beautiful lock. You spend your last night onboard Alegria after the Farewell Dinner prepared by our Chef.
After your breakfast, it is unfortunately time to conclude this unforgettable cruise. We transfer you back to the airport or railway station … so that you can continue your adventure in Europe or wherever!!!
We are happy to propose on request some cruises with a specific theme:
THE WINE LOVERS CRUISE, which is directed and led by a Wine Master.
The GOLF CRUISE, where we will propose some golf courses along the cruise, in accordance to your tastes.
Your Cruise Includes:
6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, pick up and drop off to and from the barge at a designated meeting point near the canal (train station, local hotel, or car rental facility), all meals, from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, all wines with lunch & dinner, open bar, daily escorted excursions and use of onboard bicycles.