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Saint Louis

Aquitaine (Gascony)

Barge © Saint LouisLiving-room & Bar © Saint LouisPeter & Wendy - Owners © Saint Louis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruise from Montauban to Agen

 

Imagine yourself gliding along a 19th century waterway through the breathtaking French countryside. Dappled sunlight filters through the trees as you pass picturesque farm houses and fields of sunflowers. From the large alfresco deck with sun canopy, enjoy the colours, textures, fragrances and bird songs of South West France.

Originally built in Holland in 1923, the Saint Louis has been expertly converted into a hotel barge, providing superb luxurious accommodation while retaining her delightful lines. Recently, she was fully re-styled and re-fitted to meet today’s discerning tastes.

Husband and wife, Peter and Wendy are responsible for the cuisine and comfort. Peter has over 25 years’ experience and coupled with Wendy’s eye for detail and background in design and presentation, dining and living on board is a truly memorable experience.

 

Features

Luxury hotel barge cruising in South West France

 

  • Barge dimensions: 30 m x 5 m
  • Passengers capacity: 6Morning sunrise © Saint Louis
  • Crew of 4:
    • Peter, Private Chef
    • Wendy, Sous-Chef and Hostess
    • Alasdair, Captain, Tour guide and Sommelier
    • James, Matelot
  • Lounge & Dining Area
    • Spacious and tastefully decoratedDining in the salon © Saint Louis
    • Soft seating area
    • Dining area for 6
    • Open bar
    • Music System (with Bluetooth/iPhone doc/NFC connectivity)
    • Small reference library
    • Wi-Fi (full 10G each cruise week – NB: signal strength may vary slightly)
  • Bows Cabin - Twin Beds © Saint LouisGuests Cabins
    • 3 spacious, light and airy cabins (11.7 m² each) 
    • Beds can be configured as Queen or Twin
    • Newly refurbished en-suite shower-rooms with 240V hairdryers, heated towel rail and luxury toiletries
  • Full air-conditioning throughout all guest areas
  • Sun Deck
    • Resplendent with flowers and mini-conifers
    • Teak dining table and chairs for 6Elegant and spacious deck © Saint Louis
    • Three reclining teak sun-loungers
    • Ample sun umbrellas to provide perfect shade
    • Easily accessed by wide stairs directly from the salon
  • 6 quality off-road bicycles
  • Mercedes Class-V minivan for transfers & excursions

 

Floorplan

 

Location map

Boë Port to Meilhan Port Boë Port to Lacourt-Saint-Pierre Meeting points

 

Gascony Cruise (Route 1) : Lacourt St. Pierre to Boé Port - Sample Itinerary

Saturday

Transfer to the barge to arrive around 5.00pm. Champagne reception upon arrival, then time to settle in, get to know your crew, a short safety briefing and a general talk through the itinerary for the week.

Saint Emilion © Sonia Jones

 

Sunday

Tour: After breakfast we enjoy our first cruise through to a flight of 5 locks where we disembark and drive to the 12th century town of Lauzerte. A hill top castle-nau with a bloody past but now a way point for pilgrims on the Saint Jaques trail to Santiago de Compostella. We enjoy lunch together before returning to the barge at St. Porquier and our cruise continues through to our mooring at Castelsarassin for the evening.

 

Monday

After breakfast there is time to explore the local village before we cruise along the tree lined canal to our wild mooring for lunch. Tour: Afterwards we cross the aquaduct and enter Moissac port and then descend onto the mighty river Tarn for an afternoon river cruise followed by a visit to the Monastery and Cloisters at Moissac Abbey, a renowned world heritage site. We then return to the barge for dinner.Water Lily Garden © Latour-MarliacTuesday

Tour: After breakfast it’s off to Valence d’Agen and its bustling weekly market. See pictures. We enjoy a coffee in the local square and meander through the maze of stalls offering a staggering array of fresh local produce, fish, meats and cheeses amongst so much else! We return to the barge for lunch and our afternoon cruise through to our quiet evening mooring point at Pommevic.

Wednesday

Tour: This morning we explore visit the beautiful town of Auvillar, in the past a major trading town with a fascinating history. We see the grain exchange and learn about the mighty trading route along the river before the canal network opened up and overtook it. Afterwards we return to pick up the barge as cruise through to our wild mooring at La Magistere for the night.

Welcome reception © Saint Louis

Thursday

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then a beautiful drive through rich countryside to visit the Lily Gardens at Temple sur Lot that were founded in 1875 and inspired Monet. We arrive in time to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the ponds and gardens before lunch overlooking the lake. Afterwards we return to pick up the barge for the final cruise through to Boé port.

Barrel Makers in Buzet © Saint Louis

Friday

 

After breakfast depart the barge for transfer onwards.

 

 

 

 

Bordeaux Cruise (Route 2): Serignac to Castets en Dorthe - Sample Itinerary

Saturday

Collection from agreed pick-up point 15.30hrs to arrive at barge around 17.00hrs and champagne reception.

On our way to the barge we stop to see the famous Aqueduct, the second largest aqueduct in France which opened in 1849. It carries the Canal de Garonne over the Garonne river and is an engineering marvel.

Sunday

Tour: The Lily Gardens at Temple sur Lot that were founded in 1875 and inspired Monet. We depart Boé Port at 9.00am and enjoy our first cruise through Agen and across the magnificent aquaduct. Leaving the barge we drive to the gardens in time for lunch overlooking the lake. After lunch, enjoy a leisurely stroll around the ponds and gardens before returning to the barge which will have moved on to our evening mooring at Serignac.

Monday

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast followed by our visit to a 4th generation Armagnac producer to learn about and taste this traditional local spirit. Armagnac pre-dates Cognac by approx. 200 years and is still produced in the time honoured way. During the visit guests have the opportunity if they wish to choose a year (perhaps of their wedding, birth of a child etc), select a bottle size and then watch the armagnac being drawn from their chosen barrel, corked and the wax seal applied.

A unique memento of their visit and it tastes great as well! Later guests will learn the secrets of our signature cocktail, the Saint Louis Sundowner from hostess Julia featuring Armagnac from their visit.

Time permitting (or if Armagnac is not a preferred visit) we may also visit the 11th Century town of Nérac; which includes the Château Henry IV (built around 15th Century) and home to the King and his wife Queen Margot between 1577 and 1582. There is also the Garenne royal park nearby. The visit is an opportunity to explore this ancient town and learn about the development of this region. We also visit the medieval Bastide town of Vianne. Bastide towns were built across southern France during the 13th and 14th centuries to provide security and safety and to develop trade.

In July and August, a visit to the night market at Damazan can be arranged. A very small local village, about 2o mins from our mooring by car, this is a taste of rural France in full swing. The night market is entirely geared to locals, it features live music, food stalls and is an interesting insight into local festivities. We usually go after the dinner main course on board and return for dessert!

Tuesday

Morning cruise through to Lafalotte and lunch on board. At our mooring point there is a privately owned semi-precious gem museum just a short stroll across their garden where we can visit the museum whilst lunch is being prepared. The owners give us a guided tour through their unique collection of fossils, minerals and semi-precious gems from around the world collected by them over 50 years of travels. A thought provoking visit for those who enjoy natural history.

After lunch we continue our cruise through to La Mas d’Agenais where we take a short walk from our mooring to visit the centre of this quaint and unspoilt 12th Century town and go inside its church where there is an original Rembrandt painting of Christ on the Cross.

We then continue our afternoon cruise to Forques where we moor for the evening.

Wednesday

Morning cruise followed by lunch on board. After lunch guests are driven to a private visit to Chateau d’Arche, one of the top Grand Crus Sauternes Chateaux. The visit includes a guided tour of the production process, their cave and tastings.

We return to the barge which will have moved on a little to our evening mooring at Meilhan. There should be time to go to the superb view point at the port which provides a fantastic vista out over the Garonne river and the canal below. About a 5 minute walk up steps from the mooring point.

Alternatively we can arrange a guided tour of Chateau d’Yquem, the number one Sauterne Chateaux with a global reputation. The tour lasts approx. 1hr 20mins and costs 100Euro per person and must be booked in advance by us.

Thursday

St Émilion. We leave the barge after breakfast for our day visit to this world heritage site, the heart of Bordeaux wines with private wine tastings with our negociant, Patrick, and a 1st Grand Crus Chateaux visit. Guests may also go on a guided tour of the 12th Century underground church.

We return to meet the barge if time permits for a further short cruise into Castets en Dorthe for the evening and dinner on board.

At Castets en Dorthe we can visit The end of the canal before it joins the mighty Garonne river on its way to Bordeaux. Guests may walk with me (or can be driven) to see the huge double lock that was the gateway to the river and the trade route to the Mediterranean via the Canal de Midi in one direction and to the Atlantic ocean in the other. The river is spanned at this point by a bridge designed by Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame!).

For wine lovers we can also organise a full wine experience day with Patrick. He takes the guests from 10.30 to 17.00 and gives the guests a complete run through the region, the classification of St Émilion wines, how to taste wine, pairing wine with food, tasting of fine old wines, a private Chateaux visit, a tour of the 1st Grand Crus estates by car and a Michelin Star lunch.

The price is 450Euro per person, minimum of 4 people, to be paid to us upon arrival as we shall have booked and paid for the day in advance.

Friday

Guests will be transferred to agreed drop off locations leaving the barge around 10:00AM.

 

Bordeaux Cruise (Route 3): Castets en Dorthe to Serignac sur Garonne - Sample Itinerary

Saturday

Collection from agreed pick-up point 15.30hrs to arrive at barge around 16.30hrs and champagne reception. At Castets en Dorthe we can visit “The end of the canal” before it joins the mighty Garonne river on its way to Bordeaux. Guests may walk with me (or can be driven) to see the huge double lock that was the gateway to the river and the trade route to the Mediterranean via the Canal de Midi in one direction and to the Atlantic ocean in the other. The river is spanned at this point by a bridge designed by Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame!).

Sunday

Cruise and then visit St Émilion; A day visit to this world heritage site, the heart of Bordeaux wines with private wine tastings with our negociant, Patrick, and a 1st Grand Crus Chateaux visit.

Return to meet the barge and a further cruise into Meilhan Port for the evening and dinner on board. There should be time to go to the superb view point at the port which provides a fantastic vista out over the Garonne river and the canal below. About a 5 minute walk up steps from the mooring point.

For wine lovers we can also organise a full wine experience day with Patrick. He takes the guests from 10.30 to 17.00 and gives the guests a complete run through the region, the classification of St Emilion wines, how to taste wine, pairing wine with food, tasting of fine old wines, a private Chateaux visit, a tour of the 1st Grand Crus estates by car and a Michelin Star lunch.

The price is 450Euro per person, minimum of 4 people, to be paid to us upon arrival as we shall have booked and paid for the day in advance.

Monday

Morning cruise followed by lunch on board. After lunch guests are driven to a private visit to Chateau d’Arche, one of the top Grand Crus Sauternes Chateaux. The visit includes a guided tour of the production process, their cave and tastings.

We return to the barge which will have moved on a little to our evening mooring near Forques.

Alternatively we can arrange a guided tour of Chateau d’Yquem, the number one Sauterne Chateaux with a global reputation. The tour lasts approx. 1hr 20mins and costs 100Euro per person and must be booked in advance by us.

Tuesday

Morning cruise through to La Mas d’Agenais and lunch on board. Whilst lunch is being prepared we take a short walk from our mooring to visit the centre of this quaint and unspoilt 12th Century town and go inside its church where there is an original Rembrandt painting of Christ on the Cross.

After lunch we continue our cruise through to our mooring at Lafalotte where there is a privately owned semi-precious gem museum just a short stroll across their garden where we can visit the museum and the owners give us a guided tour through their unique collection of fossils, minerals and semi-precious gems from around the world collected by them over 50 years of travels. A thought provoking visit for those who enjoy natural history.
Wednesday

Enjoy a morning cruise through to Buzet Port and lunch on board. Afterwards we visit a 4th generation Armagnac producer to learn about and taste this traditional local spirit. Armagnac pre-dates Cognac by approx. 200 years and is still produced in the time honoured way. During the visit guests have the opportunity if they wish to choose a year (perhaps of their wedding, birth of a child etc), select a bottle size and then watch the armagnac being drawn from their chosen barrel, corked and the wax seal applied.

A unique memento of their visit and it tastes great as well!

Back at the barge guests will learn the secrets of the Saint Louis Sundowner from hostess Julia, a cocktail featuring Armagnac from their visit.

Time permitting (or if Armagnac is not a preferred visit) we may also visit the 11th Century town of Nérac; which includes the Château Henry IV (built around 15th Century) and home to the King and his wife Queen Margot between 1577 and 1582. There is also the Garenne royal park nearby. The visit is an opportunity to explore this ancient town and learn about the development of this region. We also visit the medieval Bastide town of Vianne. Bastide towns were built across southern France during the 13th and 14th centuries to provide security and safety and to develop trade.

In July and August, a visit to the night market at Damazan can be arranged. A very small local village, about 25 mins from our mooring by car, this is a taste of rural France in full swing. The night market is entirely geared to locals, it features live music, food stalls and is an interesting insight into local festivities. We usually go after the dinner main course on board and return for dessert!

Thursday

Morning cruise followed by lunch and afterwards our visit to The Latour-Marliac Lily Gardens at Temple Sur Lot and the Agen aqueduct. The garden is the original one that inspired and provided Monet with his lilies for his paintings and his own gardens at Giverny. Dating from 1875 the Latour-Marliac gardens are a delight to visit and explore.

On our return to the barge from the Lily gardens we stop to see the Aqueduct, the second largest aqueduct in France which opened in 1849. It carries the Canal de Garonne over the Garonne river and is an engineering marvel.

We return to the barge which will now be moored for the evening at Serignac for dinner.

Friday

Guests will be transferred to agreed drop-off locations leaving the barge around 10.00am.

Gascony Cruise (Route 4): Boé Port to Lacourt St. Pierre - Sample Itinerary

Welcome reception © Saint LouisSaturday

Transfer to the barge to arrive around 5.00pm. Champagne reception upon arrival, then time to settle in, get to know your crew, a short safety briefing and a general talk through the itinerary for the week.

Sunday

The Liliy Gardens © Saint Louis

Tour: After breakfast we enjoy our first cruise through to a flight of 5 locks where we disembark and drive to the 12th century town of Lauzerte. A hill top castle-nau with a bloody past but now a way point for pilgrims on the Saint Jaques trail to Santiago de Compostella. We enjoy lunch together before returning to the barge at St. Porquier and our cruise continues through to our mooring at Castelsarassin for the evening.

Monday

Auvillar © Saint LouisAfter breakfast there is time to explore the local village before we cruise along the tree lined canal to our wild mooring for lunch. Tour: Afterwards we cross the aquaduct and enter Moissac port and then descend onto the mighty river Tarn for an afternoon river cruise followed by a visit to the Monastery and Cloisters at Moissac Abbey, a renowned world heritage site. We then return to the barge for dinner.

Tuesday

Tour: After breakfast it’s off to Valence d’Agen and its bustling weekly market. See pictures. We enjoy a coffee in the local square and meander through the maze of stalls offering a staggering array of fresh local produce, fish, meats and cheeses amongst so much else! We return to the barge for lunch and our afternoon cruise through to our quiet evening mooring point at Pommevic.Lauzerte © Saint Louis

Wednesday

Tour: This morning we explore visit the beautiful town of Auvillar, in the past a major trading town with a fascinating history. We see the grain exchange and learn about the mighty trading route along the river before the canal network opened up and overtook it. Afterwards we return to pick up the barge as cruise through to our wild mooring at La Magistere for the night.

Thursday

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then a beautiful drive through rich countryside to visit the Lily Gardens at Temple sur Lot that were founded in 1875 and inspired Monet. We arrive in time to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the ponds and gardens before lunch overlooking the lake. Afterwards we return to pick up the barge for the final cruise through to Boé port.

Moissac Cloister © Saint Louis

Friday

After breakfast depart the barge for transfer onwards.Cruising © Saint Louis

 

 

 

 

Gastronomy on-board Saint Louis

Saint Louis cruises in the gloriously abundant South West France where the finest fruit, vegetables, meats, cheeses and wines of great note are all produced. The Atlantic is nearby and the vibrant local markets here are bursting with varieties of fish, oysters and fruits de mer to tempt every palate.

 

Crème brulée and summer fruits © Saint LouisFood

Over the years, we have developed our relationship with “the best of the best” producers and we can now say without fear of contradiction that we bring to your table the very best that this region has to offer across all products. Because of the outstanding quality of our ingredients and their freshness, our ethos in the kitchen is “cook it simply, cook it lightly, embrace seasonality and avoid heavy use of sugar, salt and fat, let the flavour and texture of the food be the focus” – and our guests love this approach!

 

Wine © Saint LouisWine

Pairing wine with food is an art and we work closely with our wine distributor in St Emilion, himself an executive chef, to bring you a wide variety of wines of great quality from across this region that are specifically selected to complement our food. We have an excellent “cellar” and carry approximately 600 bottles on-board.

 

 

Cheese board © Saint LouisCheese

France is renowned for its superlative cheeses and no dinner, or indeed lunch if preferred, would be complete without an offering of examples of the cheese makers’ art. We select three new cheeses each day to create imaginative cheese boards that may include dried fruits, nuts and honey for you to share and enjoy.

 

 

Table setting © Saint LouisYour table

The enjoyment of food is central to what we do; it is not only a taste experience it is also a visual one. Each evening our guests sit down to a different table setting, we carry a wide selection of table cloths, jacquard linen napkins, candles and other decorative finishings that Wendy uses to great effect to create a variety of themed table settings throughout the week – she’s even been known to hold napkin folding classes with inquisitive guests!

 

Photo Gallery

Video

 

Download brochures

Testimonials

“It was all fantastic. Thank you for a beautiful memory.” CC. Orlando USA

“A truly memorable experience far surpassing our expectations!” LR. Perth Australia

“This has been a trip of a lifetime.” MC Southampton England

“It was a trip of gold medals.” AS. Massachusetts. USA

“Truly our favourite barge trip ever.” DM. Greenwich.USA

Cruise Fares

Saint Louis cruise fares for 2018:

 

 Private charter – Full board: from US $5,250 per person based on 6 passengers

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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