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Savannah

Canal du Midi

Barge cruising © SavannahAdrien - Owner & Captain © SavannahDeck © Savannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruise from Bram to Homps (v.v.)

 

Sample local delicacies of Southern France, while cruising the picture perfect 300 year old ‘Canal du Midi’. Savannah is a luxury hotel barge that accommodates up to 7 passengers in luxuriously fitted cabins with inside salon, dining room and a large deck.

Initially built in 1938, as a cargo tanker specifically to the dimensions of the Royal Canal du Midi and navigating between Bordeaux and Sète, this barge was transformed into a luxurious showroom for the prestigious cosmetic group L’Occitane en Provence in the 80’. The mahogany woodwork and ceramic tiles date from this period and have naturally remained as the signature of this unique canal hotel barge. Savannah was completely refurbished and decorated with luxurious contemporary furniture in 2014.

Adrien, the owner and captain, has spent his life travelling between Africa and Europe. He has dedicated a lot of his time to animal health and conservation programs. He now has a second passion: hosting and pampering his guests on-board Savannah.

 

Features


Barge moored © Savannah

– 30m long x 5m wide
– 4 cabins accommodating up to 7 guests
– Crew of 4: Captain, Tour Guide, Hostess and Private Chef
– Spacious and stylish sun deck
– Wi-Fi; Flat screen with DVD player; Library; Board games; Open bar; Coffee machine; 6 bicycles
– Luxurious air conditioned vehicle for transfers and excursions

 

Cabins

 

  • Lauragais: king size or twin cabin with private entrance and unique rounded walls
  • Corbières and Minervois: 2 equal sized cabins with king or twin split beds
  • Malepère: double bed cabin for single use


All the cabins boasts:

  • Original brass portholes and mahogany skylights
  • Beds fitted with premium mattresses and luxurious linen
  • Ensuite bathrooms decorated with colourful Provençal tiles, fitted with bathrobes, hairdryers and L’Occitane en Provence welcome sets (cosmetics and shower cremes)
  • Air-conditioning and central heating

 

Salon, open galley & kitchen

 

The quaint and well appointed salon is flooded with light from the mahogany sky light and brass portholes. Its Mediterranean and flamboyant atmosphere is complemented with warm blends of soft furnishings from the internationally renowned designer Christian Lacroix. It is a very cosy and comfortable space to curl up with a book or discuss the day’s adventures.

The open galley and French bistro atmosphere are perfect for those who enjoy a glass of wine while watching the chef concoct a succulent feast for their evening meal.

 

Food & wine

 

The chef elaborates refined and fresh menus thanks to the diversity and quality of regional produces. During the excursions to the market, the chef comes along to choose local seasonal ingredients. The fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and cheese are supplied by renowned local farmers and artisans and organic produces are chosen in priority.

Wines are sourced from exceptional quality regional vineyards: Minervois, Corbières, Saint Chinian, Cabardès, Fitou and many more. Your preferred wines and champagne are also available on board when requested previously.

 

Deck

 

The sundeck is very spacious and repletes with cushioned benches and sun lounges. Most meals are served al fresco on the terra-cotta tiled deck, with views of Cathar castles, quaint villages, vineyards as far as the eye can see and the peaceful Lauragais countryside.

In the canopied wheelhouse, experience piloting Savannah with Adrien, your captain. For mechanic enthusiasts, visit the machinery room too.

 

Singers on-board for an evening cruise © SavannahMusic cruise

 

Enjoy the performance of local artists on-board whilst cruising, either on the Tuesday or Thursday evening weather permitting. The musicians sing classic French songs (Piaf, Aznavour, Nougaro, Trenet, etc.) while playing the accordion and guitar. They can also sing famous English songs as per guests requests.

 

Floorplan

Floor plan © Savannah

Location Map

Canal du Midi cruise

 

Cruise itinerary     Points of interest    

 

 

Sample Itinerary: Homps to Bram


Technological exploit and witness of historic times, conceived by Pierre Paul Riquet during the XVII century and classified a UNESCO world heritage site since 1996, the Canal du Midi links the Mediterranean sea and Atlantic Ocean offering unique scenery, historic sites and gastronomy.

Savannah cruises on the Canal du Midi between Bram and Homps (or reverse route) through the flowing sunflower valley of the Lauragais into the vineyards of Crobières and Minervois:

 

Champagne © SavannahDay 1 – Sunday: La Dinée

 

Upon your arrival at the planned meeting point, your guide will accompany you to the barge. Once settled in comfortably, a glass of champagne will be the ideal moment to meet the crew and set off on your first cruise. It’s in a most enchanting countryside mooring that you will enjoy the exclusiveness of this adventure and experience the refined diner prepared by your chef, the outstanding wines and champagnes and the joy of being on board the “Savannah” as the night falls.

 

Day 2 – Monday: Millepetit

 

Minerve © Sonia JonesDiscover Minerve, considered one of the prettiest villages in France « Les plus beaux villages de France », perched on a heart shaped rocky spur at the meeting point of two valleys. This village is also one of the emblematic sites of Catharism and was besieged by Simon de Montford during the Albigensian crusade. The surrounding Minervois wines have been appreciated since roman times. After a walk through this unique village and the surrounding valley, your guide will take you to an exceptional Minervois vineyard where you will meet the wine maker as he joins you for your first wine tasting of the week.

A selection of these internationally acclaimed wines will be served during your lunch prepared on board. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruise through olive shaped locks, over aqueducts and under low stone bridges. Choose to relax on the sundeck or take the opportunity to stroll and cycle along the canal.

 

Day 3 – Tuesday: Villedubert lock

 

Narbonne CanalAfter breakfast, a morning visit to Narbonne, regional capital established in 118 BCE as a roman colonia boasts numerous historical and architectural tracks of the town’s prestigious past. Discover the roman pavements of the Via Domitia and visit the Saint Just Cathedral and Episcopal Palace.

A relaxed « promenade » through the shady pedestrian streets will lead you past local boutiques to the covered marketplace. Colors, aromas and flavors! The chef will join you and together you will discover the exceptional produce of Languedoc Roussillon region and choose the fresh ingredients that will compose the gastronomic meals on board Savannah. This perfect morning will be followed by lunch in the marketplace, and the afternoon dedicated to cruising the outskirts of Carcassonne towards the palm tree lined lock of Villedubert.

 

Day 4 – Wednesday: La Douce lock

 

Carcassonne © Sonia JonesBreakfast will be served whilst slowly cruising towards the port of Carcassonne, our lunchtime destination.

Occupied since the Neolithic and symbol of the middle age, you will visit the fortified city of Carcassonne, ascend the ramparts dating back to Gallo-Roman times, discover the medieval town, its fort, the cathedral. Roaming and shopping in the 19th century bastide of this regional capital Carcassonne will delight you.

At the end of the day, your nautical stroll on Savannah will lead you towards the Lauragais and a change from the previous vineyard countryside into undulating valleys of sunflowers and wheat.

 

Day 5 – Thursday: Villeseque lock

 

Barge moored © SavannahAfter breakfast on board, visit the Château de Pennautier. Wine tasting and lunch will be hosted in the domain and time will be spent thereafter to relax and enjoy a siesta in the castle gardens.

This marvelous discovery will be followed by a cruise through the superb locks and awe inspiring views of Herminis and Lalande on your way to a new idyllic countryside mooring for the evening.

 

Day 6 – Friday: Bram Port

 

Revel © Sonia JonesAfter breakfast, abandon the Canal du Midi for the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. Mirepoix, magnificent medieval town in Ariège waits for you. The market is always bustling, held under the village hall, in small pedestrian streets and under overhanging arcades with colorful half beamed houses. You will have a foresight of the Midi Pyrénées region, architecturally and visually different from the Languedoc visited previously.

Alternatively, our crew will take you to St Ferréol’s reservoir to discover the origins and museum of the Canal du midi, near Revel and its market. Then, follow the ‘rigole’, an artificial brook built to supply water from the Montagne Noir “Black mountain” to the canal, and drive through the mountains and Saissac with its Cathar castle.

Upon your return, navigate through the Lauragais to your final destination, champagne farewell drink with the crew and your last exclusive diner on board in the Port of Bram.

 

Day 7 – Saturday: Departure

 

After breakfast, time has come to say goodbye and safe onward journey. Your guide will transfer you to the departure point.

Photo Gallery

Cruise Fares

Savannah cruise fares for 2017:

 

 Private charter – Full board: from €4,250 based on 7 passengers
 Open week – Full board – Twin/double cabin: from €4,500 per person
• Single supplement: from + €1,250 – NB: no single supplement for the Malpère cabin

 

Included in the fare:

– Six nights accommodation
– All gourmet meals prepared by your private chef and two meals in selected restaurant
– All regional wines, bar, refreshment drinks aboard and a selection of guests preferred drinks
– Transfers to and from the barge from the local train station or hotel
– Daily excursions with your tour guide in private vehicle to historical sites, villages, museums (inclusive of entrance fees), markets and wine-tastings in two vineyards
– Use of on-board bicycles, library, CD/DVD collection and sound system, Wi-Fi

 

 

 

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