Canal du Midi

Athos offers Canal du Midi cruises to suit both couples looking for a romantic French holiday and groups celebrating a special deluxe event or planning the ultimate family holiday.

If you choose to cruise by booking an Individual deluxe Cabin, you’ll experience our popular “Best of the Languedoc” cruise route. “Best of Languedoc” is an inspired itinerary that includes daily cruising on the Canal du Midi as well as a full selection of irresistible shore excursions, from hilltop towns to wine tasting to outdoor market mornings for all our guests.

If you’d like to cruise the Canal du Midi with your closest friends and family, you have the option of booking a Whole Boat Charter and choosing from our Special Interest itineraries. Do you have a shared passion for wine, painting, golf or tennis? These French Canal cruises integrate the “Best of the Languedoc” route, daily barge cruising AND time dedicated for specialty activities as part of your luxury barge boat holiday. For Wine and Painting cruises, Athos is happy to recommend a professional Master of Wine or a qualified Painting Instructor to accompany and guide your activities while on your Canal du Midi cruise holiday.

Whether you opt to book as a group Charter or by Individual Cabin, a typical day onboard Athos might begin with a leisurely breakfast on deck, followed by a chauffeur-driven ride through the Languedoc countryside to a morning visit of the local Olive Pressoir. The onboard guide will then show you the magic and history that surround the scenic hilltop town of Minerve. Once you’re back on the Athos, a gourmet al fresco lunch, a chilled glass of wine, and a shaded and comfortable reclining chair makes for a perfect afternoon of cruising on the Canal du Midi.

"Best of Languedoc"

Our "Best of the Languedoc" cruise brings you highlights of the Languedoc region. You’ll walk the ramparts of the fortified city of Carcasonne; drive alongside the dramatic Gorge de la Cesse and explore the hilltop village of Minerve; visit a local olive oil pressoir; wander open air markets; and cruise past the marshlands of the “Petite Camargue”, ideal for spotting pink flamingos.

Argeliers

Upon arrival in Beziers, you’ll be chauffeured to the Athos at her mooring in the charming Argeliers port, located at the southern edge of the Haut-Minervois. Champagne reception and gourmet canapés await. Once settled in to your cabin, you’ll enjoy a four-course dinner under the Plane trees and overlooking an original 18th century stone bridge.

Capestang & Carcassonne

Carcassonne is one of Europe’s largest fortified castles.  Your private guide will take you through this remarkable historical setting and give you time to look through the myriad of local shops and cafés. Once back onboard and spoiled by Chef’s delicious lunch, Athos will cruise on to the romantic countryside mooring at La Croisade.  There is time over the course of the afternoon for a cycle ride, a jog along the tow-path, or just a leisurely stroll before dinner onboard.

Regismont le Haut & Minerve

Ever wanted to see how olive oil was made in the old-fashioned way?  A morning drive to the local olive pressoir will be informative and tasty!  From the Oulibo, your guide drives you through the spectacular scenery of the Gorge de la Cesse and into the magical hilltop village of Minerve, where important events in Languedoc Cathar history left their mark.  Following the afternoon’s cruising to Capestang leaves time to cycle, walk, or play petanque with the crew!  Active family members might even be keen to do a bit of horse-back riding at the local riding centre rather than cruising on this particular afternoon?

Fonserannes & Narbonne

Your Languedoc experience would not be complete without a visit to a French market. That’s what we’ll do in the charming town of Narbonne. We’ll also explore an excavated original Roman road, take-in the Roman Museum and enjoy a cafe au lait while blending in with the town’s lively cafe scene. The week’s cruising highlight is the Fonserannes, the seven staircase locks at Beziers. Fonserannes has eight lock chambers and nine gates, allowing the Athos to be raised a remarkable 21.5 meters in a distance of just 300 meters.

Portiragnes and Pezenas

Your family’s experience in the Languedoc would not be complete without a visit to a French open-air market and covered food market.  We’ll do just this in the pleasant town of Narbonne.  You’ll also see the excavated Roman Road, the Via Domitia, the extensive Roman museum, and enjoy a cafe au last while blending in with the crowd.  The week’s cruising highlight is the Fonserannes the seven staircase locks at Beziers.  Fonserannes has eight lock chambers and nine gates, allowing the Athos to descend a remarkable 21.5 meters in a distance of just 300 meters.

Portiragnes & Marseillan

Active family members might like to cycle to the Mediterranean for a morning swim (only a quick 2kms away), and then pedal to catch up to the cruising barge at one of the bridges towards Agde.  As the barge approaches the saltwater Etang de Thau, crew invites everyone for a swim.  Following a spectacular seafood lunch prepared by Chef and enjoyed while floating across the Etang, Athos comes to her final mooring in Marseillan Port.  Your guide offers a choice of activities:  a game of tennis on the clay courts at the Marseillan Tennis club, or a tour and tasting at Noilly Prat vermouth distillery.

Argeliers

Upon arrival in Beziers, Athos crew will collect your family and chauffeur you to Athos at her mooring under the pretty 18thC bridge in the little port of Argeliers. A warm welcome onboard begins with Champagne or lemonade, canapés, and an introduction to the Athos crew - including Ship’s Dog DIESEL - for those families who’d otherwise miss their canine friends! Once parents, children, grandchildren have settled into cabins, the hostesses invite you to a family 4-course dinner prepared by your private onboard Chef. The Athos deck is the perfect outdoor setting for the start of a relaxed family holiday.

Carcassonne and La Croisade

Carcassonne is one of Europe’s largest fortified castles. Your private guide will take you through this remarkable historical setting and give you time to look through the myriad of local shops and cafés. Once back onboard and spoiled by Chef’s delicious lunch, Athos will cruise on to the romantic countryside mooring at La Croisade. There is time over the course of the afternoon for a cycle ride, a jog along the tow-path, or just a leisurely stroll before dinner onboard.

Minerve, Oulibo and Capestang

Ever wanted to see how olive oil was made in the old-fashioned way? A morning drive to the local olive pressoir will be informative and tasty! From the Oulibo, your guide drives you through the spectacular scenery of the Gorge de la Cesse and into the magical hilltop village of Minerve, where important events in Languedoc Cathar history left their mark. Following the afternoon’s cruising to Capestang leaves time to cycle, walk, or play petanque with the crew! Active family members might even be keen to do a bit of horse-back riding at the local riding centre rather than cruising on this particular afternoon?

The River Orb & Fonserannes

In the heat of summer, enthusiastic swimmers and paddlers might be up for an energetic day of kayaking in the Cevennes Mountains where large, wide kayaks float down the River Orb (children must be min.8 years). With helmets, lifejackets and a superb picnic lunch to be served by accompanying crew, it’s a real summer family adventure. For those more keen on relaxing, Julian invites you to stay onboard for a leisurely cruise in the shade and lunch on deck. Once kayakers have rejoined Athos, the cruise continues to the Fonserannes locks.

Narbonne Market & Portiragnes

Your family’s experience in the Languedoc would not be complete without a visit to a French open-air market and covered food market. We’ll do just this in the pleasant town of Narbonne. You’ll also see the excavated Roman Road, the Via Domitia, the extensive Roman museum, and enjoy a cafe au last while blending in with the crowd. The week’s cruising highlight is the Fonserannes the seven staircase locks at Beziers. Fonserannes has eight lock chambers and nine gates, allowing the Athos to descend a remarkable 21.5 meters in a distance of just 300 meters.

Portiragnes & Marseillan

Active family members might like to cycle to the Mediterranean for a morning swim (only a quick 2kms away), and then pedal to catch up to the cruising barge at one of the bridges towards Agde.  As the barge approaches the saltwater Etang de Thau, crew invites everyone for a swim.  Following a spectacular seafood lunch prepared by Chef and enjoyed while floating across the Etang, Athos comes to her final mooring in Marseillan Port.  Your guide offers a choice of activities:  a game of tennis on the clay courts at the Marseillan Tennis club, or a tour and tasting at Noilly Prat vermouth distillery.

Wine Tasting Cruise

There's no better way to treat your inner oenophile than on an Athos wine cruise. From extraordinary tastings to lively discussions with our Master of Wine who provides wine education and daily wine touring, this week is dedicated to the wonders of wine. Join us for a truly unique way to discover the best wines of the Languedoc.

Tennis Cruise

What's a holiday for tennis aficionados without a match or two? The Athos Tennis Cruise brings you the best of French scenery, history, cuisine and cruising with plenty of time set aside for the tennis court. You'll enjoy some of France's most picturesque views from the courts we select alongside our Canal du Midi route. Want a post-match cool down? Hop on one of our hybrid bikes and cycle alongside the canal and through scenic villages.

Golf Cruise

The Athos Golf Cruise marries your love of the game with the good life. Combine historical and cultural excursions with golf games under the Mediterranean sun. You'll be chauffeured to and from some of France's best courses, only to arrive back on board where Chef has prepared a decadent four-course meal. Contact us to find out more about the golfing opportunities in Languedoc.

Painting Cruise

Calling all art lovers. Join talented artist and teacher Andrew John for a week-long floating art course aboard the Athos. Flanked by some of France's most beautiful countryside, you'll encounter inspiration everywhere! The painting cruise combines lessons and practice time with excursions and the very best of French cuisine.

Prices

2017 Prices $ USD
value regular
Stateroom per person 4550 4990
Single supplement 1500 1700
Charter for 6 passengers 36800 41500
Charter for 8 passengers 39400 44500
Charter for 10 passengers 42000 47500
Family discount/child 300
Value Season:

April 3 – April 30 & October 9 – October 29

Regular Season:

May 1 – October 8

Contact us to request pricing.

Download our Athos Holiday Package for detailed booking and cruising information.