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Canal du Midi

Athos - Bow & canopy Athos Deck Athos - Salon







Cruise from Argeliers to Marseillan (v.v.)


The luxury hotel barge Athos offers exclusive barge cruises on the historic Canal du Midi. Athos is the canal cruise choice for travellers who enjoy luxurious accommodation, gourmet French food and wine, the sunny Mediterranean climate, rustic countryside views through endless vineyards and gracious service by an attentive crew.

This luxury cruise includes:

  • 6 nights, 7 days of both canal cruising and onshore excursions.
  • Gourmet meals, wine, spirits, drinks and canapés.
  • Continental breakfast and gourmet 3-4 course lunches and dinners each day
  • Guided onshore visits to Carcassonne, Narbonne covered food market, Pezenas, the hill-top town of Minerve, and the Noilly Prat vermouth distillery at Marseillan.
  • Transfers to and from the Montpellier meeting point: 4pm on the Sunday of your arrival/ 10am Saturday of your return.



  • Year of construction: 1964
  • Year converted into a hotel barge: 1982
  • Dimensions: 18ft x 101ft (5.5m x 30.8m)
  • Passenger capacity: up to 10 passengers (12 pax if a family charter with 4 children)
  • Crew: 5 – Captain, Tour Guide, Chef and two Hostesses – The crew are international, with English, German, Polish or French as their first language and English or French as a second language.

Athos Barging

Athos is known for its superior sun deck space, and is the largest amongst hotel barges on the midi. Relax with a rose in your reclining hardwood deck chair, or take one of the 10 hybrid bicycles and discover the view from ground level riding along side on the tow path.

There is also WIFI access, Ipod dock and 24hr electricity available on board at all times. Help yourself to cold drinks, bar snacks and fruit at your leisure.


Athos - Queen Cabin

The 5 staterooms are all approximately the same size but the bow stateroom is a little larger:

Cabins 1, 2, 3 and 4: 77 sq ft (8.6m sq)
Cabin 5: 88sq ft (9.4m sq) – NB: it is possible to replace the bed with 2 x bunk beds for 4 children thus allowing a 12 pax family charter of 8 adults and 4 children if required.

Each room onboard Athos is well equipped with 24-hr individual air conditioning and heating, reading lights and plenty of storage. 

Athos - Ensuite with Shower

There is an option for either queen sized or twin bed in each cabin, depending on your preference, and all linens are made from the highest quality Egyptian cotton. 

All cabins have private ensuite with a full-sized wash basin, WC and a shower. They are fully tiled in Provencal blue & white tiles and supplied with towels. Don’t forget to pamper yourself with the luxury L’Occitane bath products (shampoo, shower gel, moisturiser, soap and conditioner).



Location Map

Sample itinerary: Argeliers to Marseillan


AthosSunday, Day 1 – Argeliers


Guests are met at the designated meeting point and transferred to the Athos moored in Argeliers. Your Captain and crew welcome you on board with champagne and Mediterranean canapés. Once you are settled into your cabin, you enjoy your first dinner on board.



Monday, Day 2 – Argeliers to Capestang


Carcassonne © PapillonEnjoy your first coffee of the day in a comfortable chair on the upper deck of Athos, whilst admiring the picturesque countryside. While coffee is available at any time from the bar, a continental-style breakfast is served daily at your leisure. The proposed morning visit is a drive to the famous medieval, double-walled, city of Carcassonne.

Your knowledgeable on-board guide will offer an informative visit of this historical site. Shoppers should never fear, your guide will be sure to give you time to have a good look! While the Captain gets Athos underway for an afternoon’s cruise to Argeliers, on the historic Canal du Midi, our Chef will serve up another local, gourmet 3-course meal (perhaps including the famous duck confit stew, Cassoulet?)

By early evening, you have arrived in Capestang, and Athos will moor with a view of the flood-lit and picturesque Collegiale St. Etienne. There ought to be enough time for a stroll into the village before Chef starts serving up the next delight!


Tuesday, Day 3 – Capestang to Régismont-le-Haut



This morning’s suggested visit is a tasting at Oulibo, the local olive oil pressoir. After tasting a variety of delicious, organic olives, accompanied by a small glass of rosé, it is just a short drive up the Gorge de la Cesse and into the hilltop village of Minerve.

Your Guide will delight you with the harrowing tale of the Cathar siege launched at Minerve during the 13th century. In the afternoon, you may choose to either relax after a long lunch and an afternoon of cruising, or perhaps your Guide’s invite to a sociable winetasting at the local Chateau will appeal to you? After the wine-tasting outing, Chef has once again prepared a stunning 4-course dinner as a finale to your day.



Wednesday, Day 4 – Régismont-le-Haut to Fonserannes



This morning, why not take a side trip to the weekly market in Narbonne? Even for non-shoppers, Narbonne offers great entertainment on a Thursday morning!

Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia, browse through the well-compiled Roman Museum, discover the beauty of the St. Juste Cathedral, or simply take a moment to blend into the lively, local café scene.

When you return to the boat, you will surely smell Chef’s dinner creations… tempting yet again! We arrive early evening above the Fonserannes, the seven staircase locks at Beziers. Here you’ll have a glorious evening view of the town of Beziers and the Cathedral St. Nazaire.


Thursday, Day 5 – Fonserannes to Portiragnes



This morning, your guide suggests driving to the old market town of Pezenas, which was the first seat of the Languedoc court. The architecture is unique to the town because of the “Hotels Particuliers,” or Mansions belonging to the noble families who followed the Court. Pezenas is filled with an eclectic mix of artisan shops, including potters, painters, hat makers, and costume designers. In addition to learning about the history of this exceptional town, your guide will make sure there is plenty of time for browsing. Back on the boat, the chef and hostess begin serving up today’s luxury meal while Captain Julian and his deck hand are busy getting Athos underway. The 17th century feat of engineering, the “Neuf Ecluses” (or staircase locks), is sure to impress!

Athos crew expertly tie her up in each lock and wait for the gates to close safely behind her before the water levels empty out and allow her to pass from one lock into the next. Coming up next is the 18th century Canal Bridge which will carry the Athos over the Orb River. The evening’s mooring will be just outside the small village of Portiragnes. The paved tow path, and the many locks leading to this mooring, makes it ideal for walking or cycling alongside the Athos.

After a day of touring and boating, you are surely to have worked up an appetite. Enjoy another delicious gourmet 4-course dinner, perhaps the famous fresh local goats’ cheese from Combebelle will be on the menu tonight?


Friday, Day 6 – Portiragnes, Agde and Marseillan



From the shaded and scenic mooring of Portiragnes, we get underway earlier than usual, cruising through the area known as the “Petit Camargue”. Bird watchers should look out for local species such as the Pink Flamingos, African Rollers and Bee Eaters that frequent the surrounding estuaries.

After crossing through the exceptional “round lock” at Agde, you find that a spectacular (and appropriate!) seafood lunch awaits you as you enter the openwaters of the Etang de Thau. The Etang hosts Europe’s largest mussel and oyster park.

As we moor in the port at Marseillan, you will notice the enclosure which makes up the Noilly-Prat Vermouth distillery. End a perfect day with a fascinating tour of the distillery and, if you choose, a taste of Noilly Prat vermouth! Your captain will join your party for your final dinner on board this evening. During the evening, he will also invite the crew to make a farewell toast with you.


SAthosaturday, Day 7 – Marseillan


After a final breakfast aboard the Athos, wave goodbye to the crew who have looked after your every need throughout this memorable week. Minivans will now depart to the appointed destination in Montpellier where one of our hosts will wish you a final farewell.

Photo Gallery

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Cruise Fares

Athos cruise fares for 2017:


 Private charter – Full board: from €3,550 per person based on 10 passengers
 Open week – Full board – Twin/double cabin: from €3,750 per person
• Single supplement: from +€1,250


Included in the fare:

– Six nights accommodation
– All gourmet meals prepared by your private chef
– All wines, bar, and refreshment drinks aboard
– Transfers to and from the barge from the designated meeting point
– Daily excursions with your tour guide in private vehicle
– Use of on-board bicycles, library and sound system




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