our cruise routes

W e have organized this map to show where we are and where we cruise and also to help with your inward and onward travel planning. Excellent airports at Toulouse (Blagnac) and Bordeaux (Merignac) are available and there is also a private airfield at Agen. The region is well served by train with Agen having connections across the country.

itineraries

Gascony Cruise (Route 1) : Lacourt St. Pierre to Boé Port

Special points of interest

The Lily Gardens that inspired Monet, 12th century hill top town of Lauzerte, Moissac Abbey and Cloisters, the local weekly market at Valence d’Agen.

Our pick-up point for this cruise is either Toulouse or Agen train station. Our departure point is either Toulouse, Bordeaux or Agen train station. Other points may be possible with prior agreement. A Saint Louis crew member will meet guests at the agreed point of arrival and all transfers and tours are in our fully air-conditioned Mercedes V Series people carrier.

Pick-up times

Toulouse or Agen: 4.00pm. The journey time is approximately 1 hour.

Departure times

Latest departure time off the barge is 10.00am.

Approximate transfer times

Toulouse: 1hr 45mins
Bordeaux: 1hr 30mins
Agen: 20mins

Saturday

Transfer to the barge to arrive around 5.00pm. Champagne reception upon arrival, then time to settle in, get to know your crew, a short safety briefing and a general talk through the itinerary for the week.

Sunday

Tour: After breakfast we enjoy our first cruise through to a flight of 5 locks where we disembark and drive to the 12th century town of Lauzerte. A hill top castle-nau with a bloody past but now a way point for pilgrims on the Saint Jaques trail to Santiago de Compostella. We enjoy lunch together before returning to the barge at St. Porquier and our cruise continues through to our mooring at Castelsarassin for the evening.

Monday

After breakfast there is time to explore the local village before we cruise along the tree lined canal to our wild mooring for lunch. Tour: Afterwards we cross the aquaduct and enter Moissac port and then descend onto the mighty river Tarn for an afternoon river cruise followed by a visit to the Monastery and Cloisters at Moissac Abbey, a renowned world heritage site. We then return to the barge for dinner.

Tuesday

Tour: After breakfast it’s off to Valence d’Agen and its bustling weekly market. See pictures. We enjoy a coffee in the local square and meander through the maze of stalls offering a staggering array of fresh local produce, fish, meats and cheeses amongst so much else! We return to the barge for lunch and our afternoon cruise through to our quiet evening mooring point at Pommevic.

Wednesday

Tour: This morning we explore visit the beautiful town of Auvillar, in the past a major trading town with a fascinating history. We see the grain exchange and learn about the mighty trading route along the river before the canal network opened up and overtook it. Afterwards we return to pick up the barge as cruise through to our wild mooring at La Magistere for the night.

Thursday

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then a beautiful drive through rich countryside to visit the Lily Gardens at Temple sur Lot that were founded in 1875 and inspired Monet. We arrive in time to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the ponds and gardens before lunch overlooking the lake. Afterwards we return to pick up the barge for the final cruise through to Boé port.

Friday

After breakfast depart the barge for transfer onwards.

Bordeaux Cruise (Route 2): Serignac to Castets en Dorthe

Special points of interest

A Saint Louis crew member will meet guests at the agreed point of arrival and all transfers and tours are in our fully air-conditioned Mercedes V Series people carrier.

Pick-up locations

Agen train station or alternatively Toulouse or Bordeaux (airports or city)

Departure locations

Bordeaux City or Airport (Merignac)

Cooking with the Chefs!

We can arrange for some cook’s tips with Martin our chef and Peter.

Generally this would be based around preparation of say fish, oysters or a stuffed filet mignon. How to select the right cut of meat for a specific dish, how to cook different meats etc. We can also engage the guests with pairing of wine with food, what to look for and how to do it successfully without having an encyclopaedic knowledge of wines.

Please note

Cycling and walking is always available along our route on level, well maintained tow paths. Each evening we tell the guests about the next day’s agenda, the cruise distances and times between locks. At the beginning of the week we leave the week’s schedule day by day in the salon with a canal map for them to refer to.

Saturday

Collection from agreed pick-up point 15.30hrs to arrive at barge around 17.00hrs and champagne reception.

On our way to the barge we stop to see the famous Aqueduct, the second largest aqueduct in France which opened in 1849. It carries the Canal de Garonne over the Garonne river and is an engineering marvel.

Sunday

Tour: The Lily Gardens at Temple sur Lot that were founded in 1875 and inspired Monet. We depart Boé Port at 9.00am and enjoy our first cruise through Agen and across the magnificent aquaduct. Leaving the barge we drive to the gardens in time for lunch overlooking the lake. After lunch, enjoy a leisurely stroll around the ponds and gardens before returning to the barge which will have moved on to our evening mooring at Serignac.

Monday

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast followed by our visit to a 4th generation Armagnac producer to learn about and taste this traditional local spirit. Armagnac pre-dates Cognac by approx. 200 years and is still produced in the time honoured way. During the visit guests have the opportunity if they wish to choose a year (perhaps of their wedding, birth of a child etc), select a bottle size and then watch the armagnac being drawn from their chosen barrel, corked and the wax seal applied.

A unique memento of their visit and it tastes great as well! Later guests will learn the secrets of our signature cocktail, the Saint Louis Sundowner from hostess Julia featuring Armagnac from their visit.

Time permitting (or if Armagnac is not a preferred visit) we may also visit the 11th Century town of Nérac; which includes the Château Henry IV (built around 15th Century) and home to the King and his wife Queen Margot between 1577 and 1582. There is also the Garenne royal park nearby. The visit is an opportunity to explore this ancient town and learn about the development of this region. We also visit the medieval Bastide town of Vianne. Bastide towns were built across southern France during the 13th and 14th centuries to provide security and safety and to develop trade.

In July and August, a visit to the night market at Damazan can be arranged. A very small local village, about 2o mins from our mooring by car, this is a taste of rural France in full swing. The night market is entirely geared to locals, it features live music, food stalls and is an interesting insight into local festivities. We usually go after the dinner main course on board and return for dessert!

Tuesday

Morning cruise through to Lafalotte and lunch on board. At our mooring point there is a privately owned semi-precious gem museum just a short stroll across their garden where we can visit the museum whilst lunch is being prepared. The owners give us a guided tour through their unique collection of fossils, minerals and semi-precious gems from around the world collected by them over 50 years of travels. A thought provoking visit for those who enjoy natural history.

After lunch we continue our cruise through to La Mas d’Agenais where we take a short walk from our mooring to visit the centre of this quaint and unspoilt 12th Century town and go inside its church where there is an original Rembrandt painting of Christ on the Cross.

We then continue our afternoon cruise to Forques where we moor for the evening.

Wednesday

Morning cruise followed by lunch on board. After lunch guests are driven to a private visit to Chateau d’Arche, one of the top Grand Crus Sauternes Chateaux. The visit includes a guided tour of the production process, their cave and tastings.

We return to the barge which will have moved on a little to our evening mooring at Meilhan. There should be time to go to the superb view point at the port which provides a fantastic vista out over the Garonne river and the canal below. About a 5 minute walk up steps from the mooring point.

Alternatively we can arrange a guided tour of Chateau d’Yquem, the number one Sauterne Chateaux with a global reputation. The tour lasts approx. 1hr 20mins and costs 100Euro per person and must be booked in advance by us.

Thursday

St Émilion. We leave the barge after breakfast for our day visit to this world heritage site, the heart of Bordeaux wines with private wine tastings with our negociant, Patrick, and a 1st Grand Crus Chateaux visit. Guests may also go on a guided tour of the 12th Century underground church.

We return to meet the barge if time permits for a further short cruise into Castets en Dorthe for the evening and dinner on board.

At Castets en Dorthe we can visit The end of the canal before it joins the mighty Garonne river on its way to Bordeaux. Guests may walk with me (or can be driven) to see the huge double lock that was the gateway to the river and the trade route to the Mediterranean via the Canal de Midi in one direction and to the Atlantic ocean in the other. The river is spanned at this point by a bridge designed by Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame!).

For wine lovers we can also organise a full wine experience day with Patrick. He takes the guests from 10.30 to 17.00 and gives the guests a complete run through the region, the classification of St Émilion wines, how to taste wine, pairing wine with food, tasting of fine old wines, a private Chateaux visit, a tour of the 1st Grand Crus estates by car and a Michelin Star lunch.

The price is 450Euro per person, minimum of 4 people, to be paid to us upon arrival as we shall have booked and paid for the day in advance.

Friday

Guests will be transferred to agreed drop off locations leaving the barge around 10:00AM.

Bordeaux Cruise (Route 3): Castets en Dorthe to Serignac sur Garonne

Pick-up locations

Bordeaux city or airport (Merignac)

Departure locations

Agen train station or alternatively Toulouse or Bordeaux (airports or city)

Cooking with the Chefs!

We can arrange for some cook’s tips with Martin our chef and Peter.

Generally this would be based around preparation of say fish, oysters or a stuffed filet mignon. How to select the right cut of meat for a specific dish, how to cook different meats etc. We can also engage the guests with pairing of wine with food, what to look for and how to do it successfully without having an encyclopaedic knowledge of wines.

Please note

Cycling and walking is always available along our route on level, well maintained tow paths. Each evening we tell the guests about the next day’s agenda, the cruise distances and times between locks. At the beginning of the week we leave the week’s schedule day by day in the salon with a canal map for them to refer to.

Saturday

Collection from agreed pick-up point 15.30hrs to arrive at barge around 16.30hrs and champagne reception. At Castets en Dorthe we can visit “The end of the canal” before it joins the mighty Garonne river on its way to Bordeaux. Guests may walk with me (or can be driven) to see the huge double lock that was the gateway to the river and the trade route to the Mediterranean via the Canal de Midi in one direction and to the Atlantic ocean in the other. The river is spanned at this point by a bridge designed by Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame!).

Sunday

Cruise and then visit St Émilion; A day visit to this world heritage site, the heart of Bordeaux wines with private wine tastings with our negociant, Patrick, and a 1st Grand Crus Chateaux visit.

Return to meet the barge and a further cruise into Meilhan Port for the evening and dinner on board. There should be time to go to the superb view point at the port which provides a fantastic vista out over the Garonne river and the canal below. About a 5 minute walk up steps from the mooring point.

For wine lovers we can also organise a full wine experience day with Patrick. He takes the guests from 10.30 to 17.00 and gives the guests a complete run through the region, the classification of St Emilion wines, how to taste wine, pairing wine with food, tasting of fine old wines, a private Chateaux visit, a tour of the 1st Grand Crus estates by car and a Michelin Star lunch.

The price is 450Euro per person, minimum of 4 people, to be paid to us upon arrival as we shall have booked and paid for the day in advance.

Monday

Morning cruise followed by lunch on board. After lunch guests are driven to a private visit to Chateau d’Arche, one of the top Grand Crus Sauternes Chateaux. The visit includes a guided tour of the production process, their cave and tastings.

We return to the barge which will have moved on a little to our evening mooring near Forques.

Alternatively we can arrange a guided tour of Chateau d’Yquem, the number one Sauterne Chateaux with a global reputation. The tour lasts approx. 1hr 20mins and costs 100Euro per person and must be booked in advance by us.

Tuesday

Morning cruise through to La Mas d’Agenais and lunch on board. Whilst lunch is being prepared we take a short walk from our mooring to visit the centre of this quaint and unspoilt 12th Century town and go inside its church where there is an original Rembrandt painting of Christ on the Cross.

After lunch we continue our cruise through to our mooring at Lafalotte where there is a privately owned semi-precious gem museum just a short stroll across their garden where we can visit the museum and the owners give us a guided tour through their unique collection of fossils, minerals and semi-precious gems from around the world collected by them over 50 years of travels. A thought provoking visit for those who enjoy natural history.

Wednesday

Enjoy a morning cruise through to Buzet Port and lunch on board. Afterwards we visit a 4th generation Armagnac producer to learn about and taste this traditional local spirit. Armagnac pre-dates Cognac by approx. 200 years and is still produced in the time honoured way. During the visit guests have the opportunity if they wish to choose a year (perhaps of their wedding, birth of a child etc), select a bottle size and then watch the armagnac being drawn from their chosen barrel, corked and the wax seal applied.

A unique memento of their visit and it tastes great as well!

Back at the barge guests will learn the secrets of the Saint Louis Sundowner from hostess Julia, a cocktail featuring Armagnac from their visit.

Time permitting (or if Armagnac is not a preferred visit) we may also visit the 11th Century town of Nérac; which includes the Château Henry IV (built around 15th Century) and home to the King and his wife Queen Margot between 1577 and 1582. There is also the Garenne royal park nearby. The visit is an opportunity to explore this ancient town and learn about the development of this region. We also visit the medieval Bastide town of Vianne. Bastide towns were built across southern France during the 13th and 14th centuries to provide security and safety and to develop trade.

In July and August, a visit to the night market at Damazan can be arranged. A very small local village, about 25 mins from our mooring by car, this is a taste of rural France in full swing. The night market is entirely geared to locals, it features live music, food stalls and is an interesting insight into local festivities. We usually go after the dinner main course on board and return for dessert!

Thursday

Morning cruise followed by lunch and afterwards our visit to The Latour-Marliac Lily Gardens at Temple Sur Lot and the Agen aqueduct. The garden is the original one that inspired and provided Monet with his lilies for his paintings and his own gardens at Giverny. Dating from 1875 the Latour-Marliac gardens are a delight to visit and explore.

On our return to the barge from the Lily gardens we stop to see the Aqueduct, the second largest aqueduct in France which opened in 1849. It carries the Canal de Garonne over the Garonne river and is an engineering marvel.

We return to the barge which will now be moored for the evening at Serignac for dinner.

Friday

Guests will be transferred to agreed drop-off locations leaving the barge around 10.00am.

Gascony Cruise (Route 4): Boé Port to Lacourt St. Pierre

The Lily Gardens that inspired Monet, 12th century hill top town of Lauzerte, Moissac Abbey and Cloisters, the local weekly market at Valence d’Agen.

Our pick-up point for this cruise is either Toulouse, Bordeaux or Agen train station. Our departure point is either Toulouse or Agen train station. Other points may be possible with prior agreement. A Saint Louis crew member will meet guests at the agreed point of arrival and all transfers and tours are in our fully air-conditioned Mercedes V Series people carrier.

Pick-up times

Toulouse or Bordeaux: 3.30pm. Transfer time is approximately 1hr 30mins
Agen: 4.30pm. Agen is close to Boé and the journey time is around 20mins.

Departure times

Latest departure time off the barge is 10.00am.

Approximate transfer times

Toulouse or Agen: Approximately 1hr

Saturday

Transfer to the barge to arrive around 5.00pm. Champagne reception upon arrival, then time to settle in, get to know your crew, a short safety briefing and a general talk through the itinerary for the week.

Sunday

Tour: Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then a beautiful drive through rich countryside to visit the Lily Gardens at Temple sur Lot that were founded in 1875 and inspired Monet. We arrive in time to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the ponds and gardens before lunch overlooking the lake.

Afterwards we return to pick up the barge for our cruise through to our wild evening mooring at La Magistere, one of the most glorious, tree lined settings along our route.

Monday

After breakfast we explore the local village and the hill top town of Claremont Subiran and Auvillar. This town was in the past a major trading port and has a fascinating history. We see the grain exchange and learn about the mighty trading route along the river before the canal network opened up and overtook it.

Returning to the barge for lunch we then enjoy our cruise along the tree lined canal to our mooring at Pommevic.

Tuesday

Tour: After breakfast it’s off to Valence d’Agen and its bustling weekly market. We enjoy a coffee in the local square and meander through the maze of stalls offering a staggering array of fresh local produce, fish, meats and cheeses amongst so much else!

We return to the barge for lunch and our afternoon cruise through to Moissac port and then descend onto the mighty river Tarn where we moor for the evening on the river.

Before dinner there will be time to visit to the Monastery and Cloisters at Moissac Abbey, a renowned world heritage site and if lucky enough enjoy listening to the nuns chanting at Vespers. We then return to the barge for dinner.

Wednesday

Tour: Moissac is a busy town and guests often enjoy an hour or so to discover its delights before we cruise on the river where we stop mid-stream for lunch. A truly magnificent setting for lunch as the barge holds position overlooking a frothing river weir.

We return to the canal network after lunch and proceed with our afternoon cruise to Castelsarassin where we moor for the night.
Thursday

Tour: We disembark and drive to the 12th century town of Lauzerte. A hill top castle-nau with a bloody past but now a way point for pilgrims on the Saint Jaques trail to Santiago de Compostella. We enjoy lunch together and a magnificent view from the view point there before returning to the barge at a flight of five locks that will lead us into our final cruise through to our home base at Lacourt st Pierre

Friday

After breakfast depart the barge for transfer onwards.

pricing

S aint Louis Luxury Hotel Barge is primarily a charter barge ideally suited to small groups of family and friends wishing to relax, enjoy each other’s company and experience this beautiful, unspoilt corner of South West France.

*Occasionally we may accept single cabin, non-charter bookings for 1 or 2 persons. In such cases we reserve the right to open the remaining cabin(s) to other interested parties. Please contact us directly for availability information.

What’s included:

  • Three full time crew members: Pilot, Chef and Hostess. More about the crew.
  • Transfers to and from the barge from an agreed point of arrival/departure in our fully air-conditioned Mercedes V Series people carrier. Please see our detailed 2019 schedule for recommended arrival/departure points and suggested itineraries.
  • All meals, wines, spirits & other drinks during your cruise whether on-board or ashore during tours.
  • All tours including any entrance costs.
    Use of on-board bicycles.
  • On-board Wi-Fi, 10G per week. Our Wi-Fi is the best that can be provided but please note signal strength may vary as we cruise along the canal.

What’s not included:

  • Flights or other transportation costs to or from your arrival/departure point.
  • Holiday/Cancellation insurance or personal health insurance. See our terms and conditions
  • Discretionary crew gratuities.

terms & conditions

  1. The booking agreement is made between the Lead Guest and SARL Saint Louis Barge. (owners fo the Hotel Barge Saint Louis) hereafter called The Company. All other Guests within the same group are bound by the conditions of this agreement, whether named in the booking application or not.
  2. The booked holiday commences with pick-up and transfer of guests to the barge and ends upon the transfer of guests to the agreed point of departure. The Company shall not be liable for any loss, damage or injury occuring before the start of the holiday, or after the end of the holiday, no matter how caused. The Company will not be liable for any loss resulting by any of the guests having incorrect documentaiton for entry into France; in the event that entry is refused, our standard cancellation terms will apply.
  3. A deposit of 20% of the cruise cost is payable to confirm the booking. The balance is payable 75 days before the start of the cruise. The Company reserves the right to cancel bookings in the event that the balance is not paid, in which case the deposit will be forfeited. If the booking is made within 75 days of the start of the cruise, the full cost of the cruise is payable at the time of booking.
  4. Cancellations. The Company will charge a Cancellation Fee as a percent of the total cruise cost, as follows: more than 6 months before departure – 10%. 6 months to 90 days before departure – 50%. Less than 75 days before departure – no refunds. All refunds due will be paid within 7 days of the date of departure of the booked cruise. We strongly recommend that our guests take out full cancellation insurance.
  5. The Company accepts no responsibilty for delays caused by waterways flooding, flood streams, or unusually high rivers, closure of the canal system, drought, or any other circumstances beyond their control, and reserves the right to restrict or vary the cruising location in the event of any of the above circumstances. The Company reserves the right at all times to cancel any booking or holiday or portion thereof and to refund the amount paid or proportion thereof without further liability.
6. The Company accepts no liability for injury, accident or illness to any of its guests, nor to the loss or damage to any personal effects, unless and solely in the event that it is proven that such injury or loss arises from negligence on the part of The Company, in which case the liability shall be restricted to a maximum of the price paid for the holiday. All guests are advised to carry adequate insurance for themselves and their possessions. 7. Any event leading to a problem encountered by any of the guests must be mentioned to The Company as soon as possible after the event, and confirmed in writing. No problems or claims will be valid if raised by the Guest more than 14 days after the end of the holiday. 8. In the event of any Guest causing damage to the vessel, or its fixtures and fittings, or to any vehicle or other property owned by The Company, The Company will have the right to recover from the Guest whatever sums are required to make good such damage. The Guests also indemnify The Company for any damage or loss sustained by third parties as a result of any action taken by the Guest(s). 9. Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all information presented by The Company in the description of the Saint Louis and in her operation. However, all such information is for guidance only, and no liability will be accepted by The Company for any changes or inaccuracies. 10.These Terms and Conditions form a part of the contract between The Company and the Guest. Any dispute arising will be governed by the Law of France, and any judicial proceedings will exclusively be conducted in Toulouse.

2019 schedule

DatesCruiseFrom / To
11-17 MayGascony Route 1Lacourt St Pierre - Boé Port
18-24 MayBordeaux Route 2Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre
25-31 MayBordeaux Route 3Castets - Serignac
1-7 JuneBordeaux Route 2Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre
8-14 JuneBordeaux Route 3Castets - Serignac
15-21 JuneBordeaux Route 2Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre
22-28 JuneBordeaux Route 3Castets - Serignac
29 June - 5 JulyGascony Route 4Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre
6-12 JulyGascony Route 1Lacourt St Pierre - Boé Port
13-19 JulyBordeaux Route 2Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre
20-26 JulyBordeaux Route 3Castets - Serignac
27 July - 2 AugustGascony Route 4Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre
3-9 AugustGascony Route 1Lacourt St Pierre - Boé Port
10-16 AugustBordeaux Route 2Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre
17-23 AugustBordeaux Route 3Castets - Serignac
24-30 AugustBordeaux Route 2Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre
31 August - 6 SeptBordeaux Route 3Castets - Serignac
7-13 SeptBordeaux Route 2Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre
14-20 SeptBordeaux Route 3Castets - Serignac
21-27 septBordeaux Route 2Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre
28 Sept - 4 OctBordeaux Route 3Castets - Serignac
5-11 OctBordeaux Route 2Boé Port - Lacourt St Pierre

customise your cruise

W hilst the barge must, of course, follow the canal, our tours and excursions are not so restricted! Beyond our suggested itineraries and within minor constraints we can cater for a wide range of alternative activities and interests for individual groups.

Where there is an extra cost we will advise you of this well in advance and this extra may be paid when making the final balance payment ahead of the cruise date – except for Spa treatments which should be paid directly to the provider. Booking these activities must be planned in advance and agreed upon at the time of booking wherever possible to assure availability.

.

St Emilion wine lovers’ day experience

This a truly special full day spent with our Distributor in St. Émilion and includes education in Bordeaux wines, private tastings, private chateaux visits to major vineyards in St Émilion, a Michelin starred lunch and further fine wine tastings. This is for a minimum of 4 people and costs €495 per person.

Spa days for ladies’ & couples’ charter cruises

Cost will be dependant on the spa selected, the treatments chosen and payable at the Spa.

Cookery class

At the 5-star TRAMA Relais & Chateau under the tutelage of Chef Michel Trama. A full morning followed by lunch with the chef at this fabulous restaurant. Price 200 Euro per person participating, 100 Euro for accompanying guest not participating in the lesson. Full party only. All guests must attend the day either participating or accompanying.

Kayaking on the rivers Tarn or the Garonne

On the river Tarn at Moissac or on the river Garonne at Meilhan.

Specialist bike hire

For the serious cyclist – approx. 600-700 USD/week/bike for a top of the range bike and GPS maps.

Painting days

50 USD per person for materials. A tutor can be arranged at extra cost – typically 400 USD/day irrespective of numbers.

summery of options

W e are happy to work with you to create your ideal cruise experience, we will make all reservations and manage transfers to and from the different venues as required. For other activities not covered here, e.g. golf then please contact us to discuss.

ActivitiesAll RoutesRoutes 1 & 4Routes 2 & 3
Horseridingok
Dordogne Tourok
Cookery Classok
Spa Visitok
Painting Daysok
Specialist Bikesok
Kayakingok
St. Émilion Wineok