Esperance  barge cruise


All the Luxury barges

6 passengers 5 star rating

Esperance highlights


  • Visit the 12th-century church of Colombiers
  • Pass through the world-famous Malpas Tunnel
  • Visit Pezenas, where Moliere created many of his characters: a city of art and history and fantastic viewpoints
  • Le Somail: visit the antique-book shop
  • See Narbonne: the Archbishop's Palace and museum
  • Discover the Cathar history at Minerve
  • UNESCO world heritage site: Carcassonne: visit the most complete medieval citadel in the world
  • Mediterranean beaches
  • Wine tasting, vineyards

Cruise route & itinerary

Download the information pack(s) for Esperance


Esperance also offers

Half-board cruises

Esperance cruise file


  • 5400 USD per person
  • Charters from 22, 000 USD


  • Crew members : 5
  • Up to 6 guests
  • Suites : 3

Boat size

  • Length 98′5″ ft (30 metres)
  • Width 16′7″ ft (5.05 metres)


  • Central heating
  • Air-conditioning
  • Spa or pool
  • Wifi
  • 1/2 covered sundeck
  • Bicycles : 6

Guests have awarded

Guests have said...

We loved our week on the Esperance. The boat itself is beautiful with plenty of room for three couples. We have an amazing crew who took great care of us. I would highly recommend... continue reading

Anna G: October 2022

About Esperance barge cruises

Hotel barge Esperance

This is one of the best barges that we have inspected!
The privately-owned Esperance is one of the most beautiful barges for six cruising on the Midi Canal.

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 wider surrounding area.

A traditional exterior hides an elegant, modern interior with sleek lines, designed to ensure a relaxed cruise.

As you step aboard, you will be impressed by the vast sun deck with its dining area, Bimini sunshade, six loungers, and hot tub: ideal for relaxing and alfresco dining.

Below deck, the yacht-style interior is exceptionally chic.
Air-conditioned throughout, the large saloon and dining area are decorated in light-coloured tones, while teak furniture and white woollen carpets ensure maximum light, comfort and space.
The satellite TV/DVD and music system with CDs and Wi-Fi (subject to reception) are all at your disposal.
You will also find six high-standard touring bikes available.

The extensive suites (200 sq.ft.) are beautifully decorated and have a queen-size bed (or two singles in two of the suites) and an en-suite bathroom.
All bedrooms have ample storage space, luxury linens and hairdryers.
The suites are the largest of any hotel barge on the Midi Canal!

Transfers and excursions will be in the privately-owned Mercedes Benz air-conditioned minivan.

By choosing to travel on the Esperance, you will experience the character of the region, its heritage and its cultural diversity.
You will also be in for some pleasant surprises along the way, courtesy of Mathias!

Esperance deck and cabin plans

Esperance photo gallery

Click a photo to zoom

Esperance cruise route & itinerary

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 to your week cruise.
You will then have plenty of time to meet the charming crew, discover the barge, its environment and to 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 exciting 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.
This is 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 opulent 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?
There is now time to relax on deck, as your floating hotel is on the move to 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 la 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 place 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.

Saturday: Carcassonne
After a wonderful breakfast, your guide will take you to your hotel in Carcassonne or to the railway station to get to your next destination.
Au revoir!
We hope to see you again one day.

More information about the Midi Canal

Esperance rates

From Portiragnes to Carcassonne

2023 Rates
Charter for 6 guests 32, 400 USD
Charter for 5 guests 29, 500 USD
Charter for 4 guests 25, 000 USD
Charter for 2 22, 000 USD
This boat is also available on a half-board basis
- Departure Dates  2023-
Regular March 19 to October 22

Esperance availability

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Start date End date Status
08 April 2023 Available
15 April 2023 Booked
22 April 2023 On hold
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27 July 2024 Available
03 August 2024 Available
10 August 2024 Available
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31 August 2024 Available
07 September 2024 Available
14 September 2024 On hold
21 September 2024 Booked
28 September 2024 Booked
05 October 2024 Available
12 October 2024 Available
19 October 2024 Available
26 October 2024 Available



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All the Luxury barges