Hotel barge rosa

Luxury Barge Tour in France

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GASCONY AND SOUTHERN FRANCE

“Rosa” 9 days – 8 nights

Rosa bargeThe Rosa is owned and run by a French crew who also live in the region. Enjoy authentic local cuisine on board. The Rosa offers cruises with golf, archery, horseback riding, canoeing and is a great choice for family barging. The mini-van is available for daily excursions with a bilingual guide. The boat has central heating and is fully air-conditioned with a Jacuzzi spa on the sundeck.

Our packages begin on Saturdays, with the first night in Paris, then continue with a 6-night cruise aboard Rosa, and end on Sunday morning, back in Paris. Depending on the week you picked, you may experience one of 4 different itineraries on the Canal du Midi and on the River Garonne, between Carcassonne, Toulouse, Agen, Bordeaux and the Estuary of the Gironde, visiting the famous wine villages and the city of Bordeaux.

Rosa itinerary
Highlights
Comfortable accommodations (2 nights in Paris, 6 nights on Rosa)
Authentic, traditional cuisine
Wine tasting in world famous properties and local food specialties sampling.
Historic Bordeaux, Toulouse or the Medieval fortress of Carcassonne
Numerous chances for strolls, bicycle or horseback riding
A private bus is used for excursions to chateaux, vineyards and medieval towns.
Enjoy the scenery from your jacuzzi on the sundeck !!!

1- SAMPLE ROUTE: FROM TOULOUSE TO AGEN

Saturday: Arrival in Paris (usually early in the morning for US travelers). Transfer to your hotel. Day and evening in Paris at your leisure.

ToulouseSunday: After breakfast, transfer to the train Station for a smooth TGV ride to Toulouse. Guests are met by the captain at 4.00pm in Toulouse and escorted to Rosa for an immediate departure. Once comfortably installed in your cabin, you are cruising for an hour into the Forest of Montech. Around 6 o’clock, a Champagne welcome party will give everyone the chance to meet one another, whilst learning about life aboard Rosa. Dinner aboard.

MondayAfter a copious buffet breakfast (without hour restrictions), you may decide to take a walk in the superb forest of Montech or along the Montauban Canal or towards the center of town (Montech); the amateur bicyclists can enjoy themselves on the 6 miles which follow the massive forest. Arrival of the boat around noon at the Montech port. After lunch, a digestive walk in Montech with its 15th Century church, then to the “pente d’eau”, a technical work replacing 5 locks each a difference of 13 meters in height (the equivalent of a 5 story building!). CastelsarrasinThe boat will cruise at 6 kilometers per hour (4 mph) passing by peaceful towns like St Porquier, Escatalens… Later we arrive in Castelsarrasin for a stroll around the village before dinner aboard.

Tuesday: After breakfast, we cross the River Tarn via a 1100 foot long aqueduct to descend towards Moissac through a staircase of locks bedecked with flowers. After lunch, we visit Moissac’s ancient abbey founded in the 7th Century with its wonderfully preserved cloister and abbey church. At the end of the day, free time in town, barbecue meal on board and the evening along the port with bocci ball ( petanque), and waking along the Tarn.

Wednesday: Early start by minibus to visit the birthplace of M. De La Mothe Cadillac who founded Detroit and gave his name to the famous car. From here, we drive to Auvillar, a 15th Century village perched high on the side of a gorge above the river Garonne. After lunch on board, we cruise to Valence d’Agen with free time for shopping. Overnight in the little canal harbor.

Thursday: Morning cruise to Lamagistere. Good bikers will climb the hill where is set the old village of Clermont Soubiran, which offers a magnificent view of the surroundings. Lunch on the sundeck, then we cruise to the nice harbor of Boe.

Canal du MidiFriday: Early departure to go to the village of Buzet to see a barrel maker and the then the winery where is produced the rich and fullbody red wine “Buzet”. Next on to Vianne with its crystal art where the Viannese celebrity lamps have been in production since the beginning of the century, visit of “la Bastide” and ruins, then a visit to the “moulin de Barbaste” (windmill). Lunch and visit to Nerac, a colorful market city associated with Henri IV and setting for Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost. Next, excursion to a producer of Armagnac who will welcome you into his ‘chais’ for an explanation of the production, with tasting of course! Return to Rosa, and then from Agen we cruise again and cross the Garonne River on the longest aqueduct of France (1780 feet long), arriving in Brax for our Gala Farewell Dinner aboard.

Saturday: Last preparations and copious breakfast before the end of the cruise at 10:00 am. Transfer to Toulouse’s train station, and then back to Paris aboard the TGV. Transfer to your centrally located hotel for a final evening and night in Paris.

Sunday: After breakfast , transfer to the Airport.

Please note: on alternate weeks, cruise will be in reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

Rosa barge

Package includes:

  • 2-night Hotel accommodation in Paris, with breakfast the following morning
  • VIP Round Trip Airport transfer in Paris (minibus)
  • Round-trip TGV Ticket from Paris to Toulouse (2nd class)
  • 6-night cruises
  • Full board aboard barge ( breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Drinks ( at barge bar)
  • Wines ( with meals)
  • Guided excursions
  • Area maps and regional information.
  • Escapades printed concierge guide
  • detailed map of Paris
  • 10% discount coupons for your shopping at Le Printemps department store
  • Escapades’ exclusive “Carnet d’adresses” including our selection of the best shopping, eating, and best kept secret addresses in Paris!

ALTERNATE ROUTE: FROM TOULOUSE TO CARCASSONNE

ToulouseSaturday: Arrival in Paris (usually early in the morning for US travelers). Transfer to your hotel. Day and evening in Paris at your leisure.

Sunday: After breakfast, transfer to the train Station for a smooth TGV ride to Toulouse. Guests are met in Toulouse and escorted to the Rosa. Welcome onboard by the crew and departure to join the outskirts of the “pink city”. Champagne is served while sailing and dinner aboard in the Port of Ramonville, a bargemen village.

Monday: Morning cruise to Montgiscard, a hilltop village offering a fine view on the Lauragais valley known for its pastel flowers. Lunch close to the oldest wash house built along the canal. Gardouch is the next port of call, a village dating back to the year 1231 and located near the town of Villefranche de Lauragais and its typical 13th Century red brick church.

Barge RosaTuesday: From Gardouch, we cruise to Port Lauragais and visit a museum dedicated to Pierre Paul Riquet, the inventor and builder of the Canal du Midi. After lunch, we join the Col de Naurouze at 600 feet above the sea level and visit the area including the obelisque, the octagonal basin and the rigole bringing the water from the mountain to the canal.

Wednesday: Cruise as we descend the locks towards Castelnaudary, home of the famous dish Cassoulet. Mooring of the barge in the Grand Basin and we leave the harbor with the van to have lunch at St. Ferreol along the lake which was built to feed the waterway. After lunch, wine tasting at Chateau Ventaillolle, and back to the barge to discover the old city of Castelnaudary.

Thursday: Morning cruising on the Mediterranean side of the canal, in the middle of vineyards. The next stop, Caux et Sauzens, will be a relaxing place to bike, hike or have just a good time on the terrace.

CarcassonneFriday: We will cruise all morning to reach the harbor of Carcassonne. After lunch on board, visit to the medieval city so wellknown with its 52 towers and its two miles of fortified wall. Gala dinner on board.

Saturday: Last preparations and copious breakfast before the end of the cruise at 10:00 am. Transfer to Toulouse’s train station, and then back to Paris aboard the TGV. Transfer to your centrally located hotel for a final evening and night in Paris.

Sunday: After breakfast , transfer to the Airport.

ALTERNATE ROUTE: FROM AGEN TO BORDEAUX

Saturday: Arrival in Paris (usually early in the morning for US travelers). Transfer to your hotel. Day and evening in Paris at your leisure.

Sunday: After breakfast, transfer to the train Station for a smooth TGV ride to Toulouse. Guests are met in Toulouse and escorted to the Rosa. Welcome on board with a glass of Champagne. Dinner and night at Brax, a nice small village surrounded with orchards.

RosaMonday: Morning cruise to Buzet s/Baise, a charming town at the crossing of the canal and River Baise. Lunch onboard and excursion on the river to Bastide of Viannes followed by a wine tasting at the cellar of Buzet.

Tuesday: Quiet cruise from Buzet to Le Mas d’Agenais, a medieval fortified village perched on a cliff and overlooking the Garonne river.

Wednesday: Morning cruise to the next port of call Meilhan. After lunch, excursion the whole afternoon to La Reole, a nice and old town with winding streets and stoned stairs.

Thursday: Visit of Meilhan and cruise to Fontet, a small harbor isolated in the countryside.

CahorsFriday: A day dedicated to the wine of Bordeaux, including a visit of a Chateau in the Sauternes area, a visit to the Maison des Graves and, of course, wine tasting. Lunch will be taken ashore in a local restaurant. Visit of Saint Macaire, a walled city overlooking the Garonne valley. Back to the boat, we cruise to Castets en Dorthe, the place where the canal meets the river Garonne.

Saturday: Last preparations and copious breakfast before the end of the cruise at 10:00 am. Transfer to Toulouse’s train station, and then back to Paris aboard the TGV. Transfer to your centrally located hotel for a final evening and night in Paris.

Sunday: After breakfast , transfer to the Airport.

ALTERNATE ROUTE: BORDEAUX AND THE ESTUARY OF THE GIRONDE

Saturday: Arrival in Paris (usually early in the morning for US travelers). Transfer to your hotel. Day and evening in Paris at your leisure.

Sunday: After breakfast, transfer to the train Station for a smooth TGV ride to Toulouse. Guests are met in Toulouse and escorted to the Rosa, moored in the canal harbor of Castets en Dorthe. Champagne welcome and evening dinner on board.

BordeauxMonday: Cruise on the river Garonne towards Begles – a wonderful cruise along the vineyards of Graves, Sauternes, Fronsac, Ste Croix du Mont…

Tuesday: Navigation on a fast motorboat on the Estuary of the Gironde to visit the port of “La Lune de Bordeaux”, Port au Frey, Blaye, the islands and Port Lamarque. Then excursion by van to visit the famous Chateau Maucaillou in the Medoc where you will lunch “en table d’hotes”, visit the museum and have a wine tasting, before going back to Rosa moored at the harbor of Begles.

Wednesday: Bordeaux. Visit of the city includes a visit of the old Bordeaux in a omnibus of the year 1930, a visit of the Museum des Chartrons (wine wholesalers) built in the 8th Century, and shopping in the nice city center of Bordeaux.

Thursday: Navigation with a fast motorboat on the wild river Dordogne up to Libourne, and lunch in a local restaurant. Afternoon visit to the Chateau du Bouilh with wine tasting, and visit of the small city of Bourg where is produced the “Cotes de Bourg”. Driving the scenic coast road, we will finally visit the citadel of Blaye, built by Vauban to defend the estuary from invaders.

rosaFriday: We will cruise on the Garonne to Castets with visit of the Castle of Toulouse Lautrec. Farewell dinner on board.

Saturday: Last preparations and copious breakfast before the end of the cruise at 10:00 am. Transfer to Toulouse’s train station, and then back to Paris aboard the TGV. Transfer to your centrally located hotel for a final evening and night in Paris.

Sunday: After breakfast , transfer to the Airport.

ROSA’S SPECIFICATIONS

This ancient Dutch Clipper barge, was completely renovated in 1994 to a high specification including air-conditioning. Today, its wood panels polished to a glossy sheen, its paint bright maintains this barge as the more comfortable one on this canal. The dining room – lounge is particularly cozy with paneled woods and comfortable sofas while the large opening roof allows open air cruising without going on deck. Four air-conditioned rooms accommodate 8 guests aboard.

Rosa’s crew of three is led by the Captain Michel,51 years old, who has 20 years of maintenance experience, 10 years on boats and plenty of local knowledge. Your hostess Alexandra is 23 years old, charming and devoted is always there for you. For the most part, the focus of the cruise is the exquisite French cuisine, the complimentary regional wines where Bernard 48 years old chef knows after 25 years of hotel and restaurant experience knows how to delight the most discriminating palates.

floor plan of Rosa barge
Rosa’s Specifications
length 100 feet
width 16 feet
capacity 8 passengers
bedrooms 2 twins
2 doubles
each with en-suite bathroom and shower
crew 3
features A/C
Central heating
Sundeck with Jacuzzi
Large lounge and dining room
Bar
Panoramic windows
Polished woods
8 bicycles
1 kayak
1 punt
TV with VCR, videos and satellite dish
Hifi radio with tapes and CDs
Library
Games including archery sets, badminton

 

EXAMPLE OF MENU SERVED ABOARD ROSA

Kir à la liqueur de violette de Toulouse et ses amuses bouche
White wine with violet liquor served with snacks

Melon de Nérac au Floc et chiffonnade Basque sur lit de chicorée
Cantaloupe with Armagnac on crispy green salad

Caille rotie aux raisins en canapé de pain noir
Roasted quail with grapes on bread

Pleurottes sautées persillade, petits navets glacés et galet de polenta
Wild mushrooms with garlic and parsley small turnips and polenta pancake

Plateau de fromages affinés
Cheese plate selection

Aumonière de fruits caramélisés
Cooki shell filled with caramelized fruits

Café, Infusions et chocolats fins
Cofee, herb teas and fine chocolates

Armagnac du Domaine de Cazeaux
Armagnac from Domaine de Cazeaux

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