cruise vacations on the French hotel barge ENCHANTÉ cruising
the South of France along the Canal du Midi
French Hotel Barge ENCHANTÉ
Cruising the South of France
Canal du Midi : Trèbes to Sallèles d'AudE
CULINARY CRUISE ITINERARY
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Each Culinary Theme cruise includes cooking demonstrations in the open galley by the on board chef, wine and food pairings for each meal, Mediterranean cuisine which focuses on the freshest local produce, and presentations of all cheeses and wines.
Sunday, Day 1: Trèbes
Guests are met in Narbonne and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Enchanté. A champagne welcome and an introduction to the Captain and crew, followed by dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2: Trèbes to Aiguille
This morning we take you for a French cooking class alongside the Canal du Midi. This is a hands-on experience where the focus is on seasonal produce and classic recipes with a modern twist! For lunch you'll be able to enjoy the food you have just prepared seated at the stunning setting on the canal side. In the afternoon we cruise along the 330-year old Canal du Midi, and gently circle the contours of the land through the dappled Cathedral-like canopy of the plane trees, to the Aiguille lock. You might want to admire the lock-keeper's artistic creations which surround the lock-house. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3: Aiguille to Homps
This morning, there is a fascinating morning tour of Carcassonne. Dating back to the Gallo-Roman era, this is the most complete medieval fortified city in existence today with its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences. Home to many artisanal confectioners this is a perfect opportunity to indulge in some nougats and chocolates. Upon returning to the boat we enjoy a lunchtime cruise to the charming and historical village of Homps, followed by a tour of a local boulangerie where you will be overwhelmed by the wonderful smell of freshly-baked bread and patisseries. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4: Homps to Roubia
This morning, we drive to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. We enjoy a tour of Narbonne's indoor food market where Enchanté's chef will be on hand to help you select your evening's dinner menu. After lunch in the market, we return to the barge, then cruise through vineyards and pine trees to Roubia, followed by a wine tour coupled with a wine tasting at Château Pique Perlou in the Minervois, one of the few regions to receive the much envied French mark of approval for wines known as A.O.C. This informative tour is not only an opportunity to sample wine in situ but also find out more about the Languedoc's long-standing and continuing wine trade. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5: Roubia to Le Somail
A morning cruise through vineyards and pine trees to the charming and historical village of Le Somail, purpose built for the Canal du Midi. This bustling little village is situated on the "grand bief" one of the engineering prowess unique to the Canal du Midi. Take some time to explore the old bookstore of Le Somail. After lunch onboard, we enjoy an afternoon excursion to "Oulibo", Occitan for olive. This small but reputable olive oil press is a great opportunity to find out what "Extra Virgin" really means. Home to the famous Lucques olive, you will also enjoy tasting some Picholine or Ascolana tapenades or olive oils. We continue to the Combebelle goat farm for a comparative tasting of young and mature goats' cheeses. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6: Le Somail to Sallèles d'Aude
We start the day with the ancient art of "cavage", French for truffle hunting, in the oak forests of the Minervois hills. After a successful search and then a savouring of the white truffle, we will stop at "La Cargolade" on the way back to the barge. This farm, named after a traditional Languedoc dish, specialises in the Petit Gris variety of escargot. Lunch onboard is followed by an afternoon cruise through the series of locks and narrow bridges of the Robine Canal during which you can watch a truffle cooking demonstration by our chef. This evening's mooring will be in the village of Sallèles d'Aude, our final mooring. Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7: Sallèles d'Aude
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Narbonne.
NOTE: Each Culinary Theme cruise includes cooking demonstrations in the open galley by the on board chef, wine and food pairings for each meal, Mediterranean cuisine which focuses on the freshest local produce and presentations of all cheeses and wines. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
It's not how far nor how fast, it's the pleasure of the journey that keeps people coming back for more.
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