Esperance barge cruise


Half-board barge cruises

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Cruise on the Canal du Midi

Cruise highlights

6 passengers
★★★★★ 5 star rating

  • See the 12th-century church of Colombiers and its incredible interior
  • Pass through the world-famous Malpas Tunnel at Capestang
  • Visit a city of art and history and fantastic viewpoints, Pezenas, where Moliere created many of his characters
  • Visit the fishing port of Le Somail and visit the fascinating antique-book shop
  • Explore Narbonne including the Archbishop's palace and museum
  • Discover the tragic Cathar history at Minerve, offering stunning views
  • We go back in time at the UNESCO world heritage site, Carcassonne: Visit the most complete Medieval citadel in the world
  • Gaze on Mediterranean beaches
  • Enjoy Wine tasting in the vineyards

Esperance cruise route & itinerary

Esperance also offers

Full-board cruises

Esperance cruise file


  • Charters from 15,500 USD

Boat size

  • Length 98′5″ ft (30.00 metres)
  • Width 16′5″ ft (5.00 metres)


  • Crew members : 4
  • Up to 6 guests
  • Double cabins : 3


  • Central heating
  • Air-conditioning
  • Spa or pool
  • 2 electric bikes
  • Bicycles : 6

About Esperance barge cruises

Half-board barge Esperance

One of the best that we have inspected!
Aboard the Esperance, you will be charmed by the gentle tranquillity of the Canal du Midi.
This majestic waterway, classed as a World Heritage site by Unesco, offers a peaceful, romantic and timeless universe within which you will cherish every moment.
Day trips allow you to discover the beauty of the surrounding area.

The privately-owned Esperance is one of the most beautiful barges for six on the Midi canal.
A traditional exterior hides a chic, modern interior with sleek lines and a design guaranteed to insure a relaxed cruise.
As you step aboard, you will be impressed by the vast sun-deck with its bimini sunshade, six loungers, dining area and hot tub, simply ideal for relaxing and alfresco dining.
Below decks, the yacht-style interior is so chic!
Air-conditioned throughout, the large saloon and dining area decorated in light coloured tones, teak furniture and white woollen carpets ensure maximum light, comfort and space.
The satellite TV/DVD, music system with CDs and wifi(subject to reception) are all at your disposal.

The extensive master suite (270 square feet), is beautifully decorated and has a queen-size bed and ensuite bathroom.
Two further guest cabins (183 square feet) with either queen bed or two singles & ensuite bathrooms complete the outstanding guest accommodation.
All bedrooms have ample storage space, luxury linens and hairdryers.

Onboard you will find six high-standard touring bikes.
Transfers and excursions will be in our privately owned Mercedes Benz air-conditioned Minivan.

By choosing to travel aboard the hotel barge Esperance you will experience the authenticity of the region, its heritage and its cultural diversity.
You will also be in for some beautiful surprises, courtesy of Mathias, along the way!

Esperance deck and cabin plans

Esperance deck plan

Esperance photo gallery

Click any photo to zoom

Esperance cruise route & itinerary

From Portiragnes to Carcassonne map

From Portiragnes to Carcassonne


Sunday: Portiragnes

A member of the crew will welcome you at Beziers railway station at 4 PM and transfer you to your beautiful barge Esperance, moored in the enchanting countryside of the famous Canal du Midi.
A champagne reception hosted by Captain Mathias will be served on deck as an excellent premise for your week's cruise.

You will then have plenty of time to meet the charming crew, discover the barge, and its environment and settle into your comfortable cabin before the first gourmet dinner on board.

Monday: Portiragnes - Capestang

Today be prepared for a very relaxing day.
You will be surprised by the peacefulness of the barge while gliding through this beautiful 16th-century canal.
We will stop in Colombiers where you will have time to go for a walk before lunch and to visit the 12th-century church.
This afternoon our cruise will take us to the pretty village of Capestang, through the new tunnel de Malpas which dates back to 1679!
Famous for its unique structure, it is the earliest navigable tunnel built in Europe.
Quite an experience!

This is the perfect day to go for a bicycle ride or enjoy a hike while the barge is moving slowly.

Tuesday: Capestang - An idyllic spot!

After a morning cruise with many twists and turns, we will find a romantic mooring in the middle of the vines and arched trees, a perfect spot to enjoy a gourmet lunch!
From this peaceful setting, we will visit Pezenas, a magical city full of art and history where you can admire the entire old town with its lavish period mansions, beautiful wrought-iron balconies, stone sculpture and ornate doorways.

Moliere is reputed to have created some of his famous characters right here in Pezenas, in the barber's shop!

Wednesday: Onward to Le Somail

Today we continue our slow pace towards Le Somail, an ancient fishing port now popular among our guests due to its local potters and artists drawn to this region by the beautiful light made famous by the Impressionists, but also the fascinating antique book shop.
Your guide can then drive you to the Roman town of Narbonne.
Here you can go shopping around the old town centre with its various boutiques selling local products, visit the colourful covered market, explore the Archbishop's Palace, or the archaeological museum.

Alternatively, you may choose to spend your afternoon overlooking the glorious Mediterranean Sea and then a visit to the Olive factory at LOulibo, a prize-winning olive oil mill.
Enjoy some tasting and learn the secrets of the production of this precious oil and Tapenade too.

Thursday: Le Somail - Homps

Today we will enjoy a very scenic drive into the Minervois hills and Les Gorges de la Cesse to get to Minerve.
This amazing medieval village is perched on a spectacular rocky outcrop formed by the rivers Cesse and Brian.
Famous for its tragic Cathar history and its wine countryside, this village is full of charm and history and not to be missed.
On the way back, how about a little wine tasting to discover more about the excellent wines this region has to offer?
Time to relax on deck, as your floating hotel is on the move and the cruise will take you to a quiet mooring close to Homps.

Friday: Homps - Carcassonne

This is a day for photography!
Going through a couple of traditional locks Esperance will cruise to our last mooring for the week, close to Carcassonne.
After lunch, you will have plenty of time to discover the world-famous walled medieval town, the City of Carcassonne.
This extraordinary place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to be the most visited site in France.
If you have already visited the city, we can visit Lagrasse; an attractive village now home to numerous potters and artists attracted by the village itself and the renowned natural light of the region.
Don't miss the Abbey and the bridges, although the narrow medieval streets of the village itself are also beautiful, and the remains of the town walls can still be seen.


This is a sample itinerary and may be subject to change

From Portiragnes to Carcassonne rates

2024 USD rates
Charter for 6 guests 35, 700 USD
Charter for 5 guests 32, 500 USD
Charter for 4 guests 28, 500 USD

This boat is also available on a full-board basis

Departure dates 2023: From March 19th to October 22nd

These are sample itineraries, on alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.

Availability for Esperance

Esperance enquiries and reservations

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