French Hotel Barge ROSA
Cruising the Gascony region of Southwest France between
Agen and Montauban through mid-August and
Castet-en-Dorthe and Boe thereafter
The French Hotel Barge ROSA, a 1907 Dutch Tjalk Clipper Barge, was re-launched in southwest France in August 2010 after being completely refitted to a high specification. Rosa is fully air conditioned and accommodates up to 8 guests with two double-bedded and two twin-bedded staterooms, each having full ensuite private bathrooms. The salon is particularly welcoming and features attractive wood panelling, comfortable seating and a cosy bar. Outside there is a spacious sun deck with comfortable furniture.
The four crew consist of a knowledgeable captain, tour guide, housekeeper and a master chef whose culinary master pieces will be a regular delight throughout your cruise. Eight bikes are available for use and your tour guide, an expert in the local area, will be happy to advise you on the best routes to cycle should you wish to explore.
You may have already seen Rosa who was featured in the very successful BBC television series, French Odyssey with Celebrity Chef Rick Stein.
Rosa's route between Agen and Montauban on the Canal Latéral à la Garonne (also known as the Canal des Deux Mers) features the best that Gascony has to offer, passing through the region of l’Occitanie, a veritable palette of colours and scents created by orchards and vineyards. Visit historic fortified "bastides" such as Valence d’Agen, learn more about the region’s artists and rural culture, and cruise by picturesque old villages and quaint farms. Of course, as this cruise is near Bordeaux wine country, there will be plenty of opportunity to sample a part of France where good food and wine is a way of life.
Rosa's itinerary includes tastings of foie gras, local fine wines and Armagnac, together with guided tours of the places where they are produced. The cruise route also requires your captain to negotiate the amazing inclined water plane at Montauban and the 1000-foot aqueduct over the River Tarn.
The Bordeaux region, famous around the world for its wines, lies in the southern part of western France, on the Atlantic coast. A hotel barge cruise along the Canal de Garonne is a unique way to explore and appreciate the slow rhythm of this region with its subtle mixture of natural landscapes, medieval bastide towns and iconic vineyards.
We cruise through the Graves vineyards and visit the medieval town of Saint Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site and centre of the most famous of the Bordeaux appellations. Away from the vineyards we explore the fascinating historic architecture of the region including a visit to the 14th Century Château de Duras, the 13th Century fortified village of Vianne and the medieval town of Nerac where we tread in the footsteps of King Henry IV and Queen Margot.
The colourful markets of Marmande and a cruise cruise across one of the longest masonry aqueducts in France, which spans the River Garonne, are also unforgettable highlights of the cruise
Cruise Highlights - Gascony (March to mid-August)
Cruise Highlights - Bordeaux (mid-August- November)
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