Itineraries

Cruise Dates

Barge Mirage cruises the Canal du Midi each year during the months of April through October. You will embark on your cruise Sunday at 4:00 pm. Departure is 10:00 am Saturday.

CHECK AVAILABLE CRUISE DATES HERE»

Sample 2018-2019 Itineraries for Barge Mirage

Cruise Options:

 Gourmet Languedoc Food and Wine Cruise - Canal du Midi (6 Nights)

Cruise Route: Carcassonne to Castelnaudary (or reverse), one of the most beautifull route under the canal's trees.(More than 35 km and 21 locks)

Experience Pierre-Paul Riquet's engineering marvel, the Canal du Midi, cruising on Mirage. Completed in 1681 to link the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean, the Canal was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996.

On alternate weeks the cruise will run from Castelnaudary to Carcassonne. Every week will include a visit to an open air market, wine tasting, and all the lunch on shore at a quality restaurant to enjoy the regional cuisine in a typical french village. Each day includes three hours cruising the canal, as well as an onshore excursion in our air-conditioned van, with your English-speaking tour guide. All the dinner aboard Mirage, Mimi or Pascal will cooked you local and french specialities. 

Sunday - Welcome Aboard

Your captain Pascal and your hostess Manon will pick you up at your rendez-vous point, and transfer you to Mirage's mooring in the charming port of Carcassonne, where Captain Pascal and crew welcome you aboard with a grand cru Champagne toast. While you settle in, enjoy a leisurely hour cruising to the Foucault's Epanchoir, which will be your mooring for the night. Enjoy the peaceful and scenic surroundings as you are served a delicious dinner prepared by your personal host Pascal & Mimi. Night at La Douce lock. 

Barge Mirage Itinerary HighlightsMonday - Visit to Mirepoix

Wake up to a classic French breakfast of croissant, pastries, fresh fruits, coffee, tea, and juices served on the sun deck. To begin your day, our tour guide will escort you to the medieval town of Mirepoix, where half-timbered houses line the market square. You will have time to explore the shops and street market stalls before taking lunch at one of the local auberges, offering regional cuisine and wines for a relaxed meal. Following lunch you'll return to the barge for a cruise toward your next mooring at the port of Carcassonne, with views of the historic fortified city above the canal. As the barges passes through several locks, you'll have an opportunity to walk or bike along the canal tow path, or simply relax in one of the comfortable deck chairs as the countryside glides by.

As evening nears, sit in the salon with a glass of wine and watch as Mimi or Pascal prepare your dinner with fresh ingredients gathered from the local market. Night at Villesequelande lock. 

Tuesday - Visit to Fontfroide Abbey

Fontfroide Abbey was founded in 1093 on land given to some Benedictine monks by the Vicomte de Narbonne. Abbey takes its name from the source in the vicinity, the Fons Frigidus, Cold Fontaine. Besides water, the monks could find in the massive wood and stone for the construction of the monastery. But Fontfroide really gets started after 1145 and its attachment to the Cistercian Order . Cistercian monks, under the direction of St Bernard of Clairvaux, wish to return to the purity of the Rule of St Benedict, preaching poverty, austerity and architectural sobriety.

The rose garden Fontfroide is one of the largest rose garden in southern France, with almost 2,500 roses. 

Enjoy your lunch in the Abbaye's restaurant before leaving to return to Mirage for an afternoon cruise past quiet fields trees and through an elegant series of locks.

Your day wraps up with another delicious dinner on board, served with Pascal's choice of wines. Night at Beteille lock.

Wednesday - Visit a Sparkling wine factory and garden visit in Limoux

This morning we visit the town of Limoux in the Pyrenee foothills. A thorough instruction in wine making at the cellars of Ginot winery (with sound & lights spectacle) will reveal all there is to know about putting bubbles in white wine; CremantsBlanquettes and the most famous of all, Champagne. Limoux lays claim to inventing this titillating beverage. Lunch is served on a typical restaurant before an afternoon cruise with many pretty locks, and some more opportunities for exercise for those who don’t want to just laze on deck. Dinner will be served aboard Mirage on the sun deck. 

An afternoon cruise allows time to relax and enjoy views of the Pyrenees as you make your way to the quaint port of Bram, just below the picturesque village of the same name. Bram was a Roman outpost and the largest circulade Cathar town of Europe. Take in the scenery as you are served another fabulous dinner on deck. Night at Villepinte lock.

Thursday - Visit to Carcassonne

A cruise on Canal du Midi wouldn't be complete without a visit to the historic Cité de Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage sit. You will step back in time as you explore the restored medieval fortified town. Carcassonne also affords the chance to shop in boutiques lining the cobblestone streets. Step after step, your appetite will be worked up for a succulent lunch at a gastronomic restaurant "Le Comte Roger", the most famous chef of the medievale Cité. Night at St Sernin lock.

Friday - Wine tasting session in the famous Chateau of Pennautier or Biplane flight (Option) 

This morning we have a rendez-vous in Pennautier village for a wine tasting session. The owner of six family estates in the south of France, Maison Lorgeril has more than 30 wines for you to taste and discover in the shop: 

AOC Cabardès, Minervois, Minervois la Livinière, Saint Chinian, Faugères, Coteaux de Languedoc, Côtes du Roussillon villages, varietal wines… A full panorama of the regional terroirs.You can visit the barrel cellar and take an educational tour to learn about wine. Tasting sessions available at any time except during restaurant service. You can also order our wines.Following a leisurely lunch at tthe L'Orgeril restaurant, an afternoon of cruising brings us to our final mooring at Castelnaudary bassin. A romantic view of the town serves as the backdrop for your farewell dinner on board. Night at Castelnaudary

Saturday - Departure

In the morning, after breakfast on the deck, you depart in the van to either the train station or airport for the continuation of your journey.

SPECIAL EXCURSION "UNFORGETABLE EXPERIENCE" OPTION FOR YOUR CRUISES (250$ per flight/person)
Experience Midi from the Air Flying with Pascal in a Vintage WWI Biplane

A cruise on Mirage offers an excursion opportunity, totally unique to barge vacations on Canal du Midi. Pascal is retired from 21 years flying jets in the French Air Force. He now puts his extensive skills as a pilot to use flying a classic WWI biplane, the Comet, taking passengers for an extraordinary 35 minute flight to experience the Languedoc countryside from the air. You will take off from the private airfield at Fanjeaux, and soar above ancient ruined castles, Cathar villages, and the Medieval city of Carcassonne. You will especially enjoy seeing the Canal du Midi winding through the Lauragais fields and Minervois vineyards from Comet's open cockpit. As a special souvenir of your flight, you will offered a GoPro 180° HD film of the flight.

For this option, there is one day "off" navigating on the canal. The final day of your trip will be devoted to your flying adventure, as the barge remains moored. Should some members of your group not care to take a flight, a special ground excursion with our tour guide will be arranged.

For safety regulations, and according to the French aeronautical law, the maximum authorized passenger weight in the front seat of the biplane is 100 Kg.

Watch a video of a flight with Pascal in 'Comet'

Smart cruise - Canal du Midi (3 Nights or more 4-5)

Cruise Route: Carcassonne to Bram (or reverse) for 3 Nights. For 4-5 night cruise, the itinary and the visits will be adapted. 

Mirage offers a three-night Canal du Midi Discovery cruise from Carcassonne to Bram, or reverse. Please inquire for possible dates. Private charter only, for 2-6 passengers.

Sunday - Welcome aboard

Our tour guide will pick you up at your rendez-vous point, and transfer you to Mirage, where Captain Pascal and crew await to welcome you with a grand cru Champagne toast. Once you are settled in, Mirage will leave her mooring in the port of Carcassonne for a relaxing one-hour cruise to Foucault’s Epanchoir. Enjoy the peaceful and scenic surroundings as you are served a delicious dinner prepared by Mimi or Pascal.

Monday - Visit to Mirepoix

Wake up to a classic French breakfast of croissant, pastries, fresh fruits, coffee, tea, and juices served on the sun deck. To begin your day, our tour guide will escort you to the medieval town of Mirepoix, where half-timbered houses line the market square. You will have time to explore the shops and street market stalls before taking lunch at one of the local auberges, offering regional cuisine and wines for a relaxed meal. Following lunch you'll return to the barge for a cruise toward your next mooring at the port of Carcassonne, with views of the historic fortified city above the canal. As the barges passes through several locks, you'll have an opportunity to walk or bike along the canal tow path, or simply relax in one of the comfortable deck chairs as the countryside glides by.

As evening nears, sit in the salon with a glass of wine and watch as Pascal or Mimi prepares your dinner with fresh ingredients gathered from the local market.

Tuesday - Visit to Carcassonne

A cruise on Canal du Midi wouldn't be complete without a visit to the historic Cité de Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage sit. You will step back in time as you explore the restored medieval fortified town. Carcassonne also affords the chance to shop in boutiques lining the cobblestone streets. Step after step, your appetite will be worked up for a succulent cassoulet, the region's most famous dish of beans and duck confit prepared at the Auberge des Lices.

An afternoon cruise allows time to relax and enjoy views of the Pyrenees as you make your way to the quaint port of Bram, just below the picturesque village of the same name. Bram was a Roman outpost and the largest circulade Cathar town of Europe. Take in the scenery as you are served a farewell dinner on deck.

Wednesday - Departure

In the morning, after breakfast on the deck, you depart in the van to either the train station or airport for the continuation of your journey.

Pick up and Drop off:

Carcassonne, Narbonne TGV station or Toulouse airport are the best, closest regional rendezvous points. The barge will individually plan these pick up and drop offs with each group of passengers.