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Provence Hotel Barge Special Group Cruises Along le Canal du Rhone-a-Sete

Duration
7 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,054

Get to know a more unusual section of the French Mediterranean coast on a brand new small luxury barge cruising through the nearby canal system. Visit the wild Camargue region, lesser known but attractive resorts and historical medieval villages all at a leisurely pace.


This is a Small group Hotel Barge experience operates on set departure dates in conjunction with Back Roads.

Enjoy 6 nights aboard a new luxury hotel barge built in 2014 with a capacity for 24 passengers. On the lower deck are 12 comfortable cabins with twin beds and en suite bathrooms and large opening windows. Join your barge in Arles and meet the captain and crew over a welcome on board drink then settle into your cabin followed by dinner.

The following day starts with an excursion to Etang-de-Thau, a large string of lagoons along the Mediterranean coast. This area is famous for its seafood. You will visit a museum to taste samples of it. In the afternoon, there is time to explore Sete, a port and seaside resort on the Mediterranean with its own very strong cultural identity, traditions, cuisine and dialect. Later, drive to Mont Saint-Clair for views of the narrow canals and beautiful harbour of Sete and the Mediterranean. Return to your boat.

The next morning, have a leisurely cruise through the Canal du Rhone-a-Sete. In the afternoon, go ashore to see a manade, a semi-feral Camargue cattle ranch and its herders. Here you will travel in a wagon and take part in a bull-sorting. Then enjoy a snack of local farm produce followed by a visit to the resort of Palavas-Les-Flots.

The following morning, cruise to the fortified village of Aigues-Martes in the picturesque Camargue region. Later, board a special train for a tour of the salt marshes and learn how salt comes from seawater followed by a visit to the salt museum.

Continue cruising the next day to Gallician, a small village on the banks of the canal. Once again travel to the Camargue region and spend time in its capital, Maries-de-la-Mer with its fortified church which is a venue for Gypsy pilgrims every year in May.

Arles is reached the following day. After spending time here, head to the Pont du Gard Aqueduct built by the Romans in the 1st Century. Later, travel to an olive oil farm to learn about olive oil production including tasting.

Your last day includes a visit to Apt to explore its old town with its winding streets. Here, experience a family-run lavender factory. Later return to Arles to complete your tour and cruise.

 


 

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Duration
7 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,054

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Nice to Arles

Leaving the sun-soaked beaches of Nice behind, we venture into the Provence countryside. Rocky hills and gnarled olive groves welcome us to this legendary region, famed for its medieval towns and fields carpeted in flowers. We pause at a family-owned farm, where we taste delicious homemade jams and olive oils, before continuing to Arles. We'll have time to uncover this town's hidden gems tomorrow, but for now it's time to board the MS Anne-Marie, our floating boutique hotel for the week. After saying hello to the crew, we settle in with the first of many delicious meals on board.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration6 Nights
Accommodation

MS Anne-Marie

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    MS Anne-Marie



    Experience all the amenities of a large riverboat on a small cruise ship that has the capacity to sail into the deepest parts of France. The Anne-Marie will cruise into the beautiful region of Provence. Experience all of the historical sites that this area has ...

    Experience all the amenities of a large riverboat on a small cruise ship that has the capacity to sail into the deepest parts of France. The Anne-Marie will cruise into the beautiful region of Provence. Experience all of the historical sites that this area has to offer from Avignon to Sete. You will enjoy a lively atmosphere on board while discovering an untouched and preserved landscape. She has a spacious salon and bar area with comfortable furnishings, a separate dining room and a sundeck wreathed in flowers, chairs and parasols. On the lower deck are 12 comfortable cabins with twin beds and ensuite bathrooms and large opening windows.

    Facilities

    • Barbeques (BBQ)
    • Internet Access - Wireless
    • Jacuzzi
    • Lounge Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Sundeck

    More Details

Day 2

Arles to Gallician

This morning takes us briefly back on land, where we stroll through Arles, the golden-hued gateway to the Camargue region. A walking tour brings alive the stories behind the Roman ruins and their cultural importance to the history of Provence, before we cast off and cruise to Gallician. Our road becomes the Rhône River, which merges into the majestic Rhone à Sète Canal. With its marshy landscape, this region is a birdwatcher's dream -- you may even spot flamingos.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Gallician to Aigues-Mortes

The marshes and lagoons of the Camargue call us this morning. We dive into this unique area as we pay a visit to its capital, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, whose roots stretch back to the Roman era. Our afternoon is spent relaxing and simply enjoying the view as we cruise to Aigues-Mortes, where we make port in the early evening. The fortified old town is enclosed by incredibly well preserved city walls that were first built almost 800 years ago. There's time to wander both the walls and the old town, which are surrounded by some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in Provence. After walking up an appetite, we seek out a restaurant in the heart of the old town, where we enjoy an authentic Provencal dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Aigues-Mortes to Palaves-Les-Flots

This morning we get a first-hand look at a time-honoured way of life in the Camargue. The region's distinctive black cattle are raised in manades: small, wide-ranging herds watched over by guardians, or cowboys, who ride Camargue white horses. We take part in their traditional way of bull sorting, before returning to our barge for a well-earned lunch and rest. In the afternoon we cruise towards Palavas-Les-Flots. Once a quiet fishermen's village, it's now a friendly beach resort that's a favourite with the locals. We take our place among the boats dotted along the canal, having our dinner served in style in our own on-board dining room, or out on deck.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Palavas-Les-Flots to Sete

Our path today takes us over a narrow causeway to an isolated peninsula. And when we get there, we find the tranquil Maguelone Cathedral, surrounded by green fields. Built in the 11th century, this Romanesque landmark has preserved walls and a simple yet impressive interior that exudes a sense of peace. Afternoon finds us back on the water, where we enjoy lunch as we cruise west to Sète. Dinner is laid out on board, but you may also wish to step ashore to stroll beside the pretty canals of this Mediterranean port, locally known as the Venice of Languedoc.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Sete to Bouzigues and Pezenas

Today we set off by road, skirting the edge of the Thau Lagoon as we drive to Bouzigues. This fishing village is famous for its thriving waters, which have attracted fishermen and shellfish farmers for thousands of years. We learn all about this rich heritage at l'Etang de Thau Museum, which traces the story of Bouzigues from the ancient Greeks to the present day. After our visit we walk to the village where we enjoy a lunch of local, fresh-of-the boat mussels, oysters and more at one of the restaurants overlooking the Lagoon. After all, these are what the village is famous for. Pézenas, whose historic centre is a maze of narrow lanes, grand 17th century townhouses and jumble of antique shops, is our next stop. Then we return to our boat, where we celebrate our final night with a fabulous gala dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Sete to Nice

After a delicious buffet breakfast we bid au revoir to the MS Anne-Marie as we begin our final day. There's one last treasure to uncover en-route: Aix-en-Provence. Mixing the baroque grandeur of Paris with pretty Provencal touches such as tree-lined avenues, this city is a photo opportunity you won't want to miss. Saunter along the famous Cours Mirabeau, pausing at historic cafes that have attracted the likes of Cézanne and Hemingway. Visit the elaborately carved cathedral, and take time to reflect in its cloisters. Then it's time to travel on again, as our adventure will come full circle back to Nice.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Apr 21; Jul 14; Aug 25;

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 6 nights on board MS Anne-Marie hotel barge
  • Local captain and crew
  • Tour leader
  • Mini-coach transportation
  • European breakfast daily
  • 6 evening meals
  • 5 lunches
  • All drinks during the cruise
  • Olive tasting
  • Bull sorting experience
  • Aigues-Mortes salt train
  • All local taxes
  • Entrance fees (Etang de Thau Museum and lavender distillery)

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Driver/tour leader gratuity
  • Lunches (unless otherwise stated)
  • Social drinks
  • Meals on free nights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees when not listed in the schedule of inclusions
  • Occasional optional evening theatre/festival visits
  • Incidental expenses (such as room service incurred at hotels - all expenses are to be settled prior to leaving the accommodation)
  • Laundry costs
  • Shipping charges for the return of purchases made on tour
  • Return of property lost on tour
  • Pre and post tour accommodation
  • Transfers are not included in the tour price

OTHER INFORMATION:

Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from", per person, based on twin share. Subject to availability. The hotels have been hand-picked from an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of our tours, hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary.

TB BACKROAARL0116CR: SA 17
25 Aug 2017
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