Athos FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions
Here is what other future passengers have asked about before cruising onboard Athos!
TRAINS AND TRANSPORT TO AND FROM ATHOS
Which are the closest international airports to Beziers?
Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier and Barcelona Airports are all within an hour or two’s driving time from Beziers. We recommend that you have a look at our information page “How to Get to Beziers to Join your Athos Cruise”. Train scheduling times, websites and airport information are all on this page.
Our train arrives in Beziers station at 14:10 on the Sunday of departure. Please can we be picked up early? Or is there somewhere we can leave our luggage or go to wait?
We do not recommend that passengers turn up earlier than necessary at the Beziers train station if they are coming in on the Sunday. There is no luggage storage at this station and limited seating / no restaurant facilities. Trains should be booked to arrive between 15:30-16:30, ideally no earlier. In the event that your train arrival time becomes complicated and just can’t be fit into this 15:30 – 16:30, please contact us. We also don’t suggest trying to arrive in a restaurant after 14:00 for lunch anywhere in France (Not making this up!! …many restaurants in France won’t seat or serve lunch after 14:00).
Trains leaving Beziers on the Saturday departure morning can be booked anytime between 08:30 and 11:00am. Please contact us before booking a departure that requires leaving the barge before 08:00am on the Saturday morning.
We are a family of 4. Our children are 10 and 14 and we’d like to join a cruise week and meet other families.
Athos happily welcomes families onboard who opt to charter the whole vessel. On mixed weeks, or cabin-booked weeks, our cruises are designed to ensure a relaxed atmosphere and cater to interests like wine-tasting, history, art and culture. On weeks where families charter the entire boat, Athos is able to offer a diverse mix of activities both adult and child friendly. Read more about our Family Fun Charter here.
We’d like to stay a night somewhere in the area pre-cruise. Where does Athos suggest?
Athos recommends: Hotel Particulier, In Situ, La Villa Guy in Beziers Centre. All have had recent updates or renovations are are accessible to the town centre. All can be booked directly with the hotel owners themselves either on their own website or by telephone. If you’d like Athos to ring on your behalf to book, please email us and say the word!
My husband/wife/travel companion uses a CPAP machine at night. Is there an accessible bedside plug, and which adaptors will we need?
Yes! There have been many CPAP machines brought onboard the Athos. We have silent night-time running generators for important machines like CPAPs and air-conditioning! CPAP’s can plug directly beside the beds. The Athos has 220v electrics throughout, which means that machines will need the european plug-end adaptor only, but not the 220-110v adaptor, that is usually part of the machine itself. That said, in 2021 we splurged and put handy plug + usb adaptors by each bedside so that your devices aren’t in a mangle AND you can still plug in a CPAP if you need to.
Which electrical adaptors will we need for our Smartphones, cameras, etc?
Most modern digital appliances have the 220v-110v built in. All you’ll need is the plug adaptor, which is a 2-prong round European standard plug. From there, you’ll be able to use your regular USB to device cable. As above – in 2021 we splurged and put handy plug / usb adaptors by each bedside so that your devices aren’t in a mangle AND you can still plug in a CPAP if you need to.
Are there onboard hairdryers, shampoo etc?
Yes, each of Athos’ ensuite bathrooms has a hairdryer in it for your use. We also carry an onboard cosmetics range by Etre Bio, including luxury organic shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and soap.
How long is a cruise onboard Athos?
6 nights and 5 days, beginning on Sundays at 4pm, and finishing on the following Saturday morning by 10am.
How long is the canal du Midi and will we cruise from end to end of it while we are onboard Athos?
The Canal du Midi is 241km long, reaching from Bordeaux to the Mediterranean. Athos cruises a section of about 80km over her cruise week, between the Port of Argeliers to Marseillan Port on the Mediterranean Etang de Thau, or in reverse direction on opposite weeks.
Is it best to have the Athos cabin configured as 2 twin beds or 1 queen-sized bed?
This is entirely up to you and one of the questions that we ask on our Special Requirements form. The beds measure 190cm x 80cm as twin beds, and 190cm x 160cm as 1 queen bed. When configured as twin beds there is space of approximately 60cm between the two beds. Set up as 1 queen bed, there is the same 60cm space down one side of the cabin, and also space at the foot of the bed to get in and out. For those who get up frequently in the night or have mobility issues, the central space between two twin beds is a more user-friendly option.
We only drink Decaf Coffee – will there be any onboard?
Athos has a SAECO espresso machine onboard and our hostesses are happy to step up as baristas over the course of your week. There is both decaf and french press coffee available. Other passengers opt for traditional teas, or, herbal teas. The options are endless! Feel free to make mention of your preferences on the Special Requirements form that we ask you to complete pre-cruise.
I am gluten intolerant (or have another significant dietary concern). Is Athos’ Chef able to cater to my needs?
Yes. The Athos Chef and crew are able to cater to a variety of dietary needs and restrictions. They’ve been congratulated many times for providing creative and tasty alternatives to a variety of wheat and gluten-free, meat-free or low sodium meals. Again, we ask Athos passengers to let us know advance about their dietary preferences on our Special Requirements form. This helps us to get special ingredients that aren’t always easily available.
I have some mobility limitations and use a cane that converts to a seat / a wheelchair. Will I be able to participate in all the shore excursions while we are with Athos?
The Athos Guide and crew are accustomed to making adaptations for mobility limitations. Onboard, Athos is equipped with: a solid gang plank with rope hand-rails, 2 short steps to the deck with side rails, and 4 steps down to the salon with solid wood handrails. Athos also has a shower-stool available on request, a small step to the hip-height Athos beds. There is enough space in the Athos minivans for a folding wheelchair. Wherever possible, Athos crew are happy to adapt and make wheelchair entry manageable.
Athos Guide will discuss his shore-excursion plan with passengers each evening, and from there, make changes as needed. He knows the tour areas well and is happy to find work-arounds to make the best possible experience for everyone involved. The cobble streets in some Medieval towns like Carcassonne or the old centre of Narbonne can make it complicated for wheelchairs or for shaky footing. Occasionally, the guide will walk shorter distances with part of the group, or suggest a café-break while others continue exploring on foot.
There are always a couple of crew members onboard and so it is perfectly fine to opt out of the visits and relax onboard. The choice is entirely yours. Passengers are welcome to play each day and each shore-visit according to his/her energy levels on that day, and Athos crew will make it as comfortable and workable for them as possible.