Sun drenched towns and cities rich with history. Sublime, sun-drenched towns and cities rich with history and glittering waterways await on this fabulous cruise holiday. This fabulous cruise brings you the very best of France’s elegant Provence region.
Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin with a limited number of single cabins available on all decks, at the relevant supplement.
Early this morning we meet at our dedicated Departure Office at St Pancras International and depart on the Eurostar direct to Avignon. On arrival we transfer to Sete, in the afternoon we board our home for the next seven days, the delightful Anne-Marie, a stylish hotel barge. We are presented to the crew and enjoy a welcome drink on board before we enjoy dinner together this evening.
Day 2 - Étang De Thau & Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert
This morning takes us to Étang De Thau, world-famous for its shellfish. We visit the Étang De Thau Museum, where we learn about the history of the shell-fishing trade and discover how the farmers and fishermen made their living. We sample some of the freshly caught shellfish while savouring the beautiful scenery from a terrace along this unique seascape. This afternoon we enjoy an excursion by coach to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, a beautiful French village tucked away in the folds of a verdant valley and boasting a wealth of medieval treasures. Here we embark on an informative guided tour that helps soak up the atmosphere of this destination that feels frozen in time. Some of the town’s most impressive sights include its Romanesque abbey and the Devil’s Bridge which spans a turquoise stretch of the Hérault River, and dates back to the 11th century when Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert was frequently visited by pilgrims following the St James’ Way
Day 3 - Palavas-Les-Flots
Today we visit an authentic ‘manade’ farm and discover the life of its herders, taking part in a bull sorting routine. We enjoy snacks made fresh on the farm and sample local produce before returning to the ship.
Day 4 - Aigues Mortes
Today we take a tour of Aigues-Mortes, perhaps one of the most beautiful sites in Provence. Encased by square medieval walls, this ancient fortified city is symmetrically perfect, white-washed terracotta topped houses contrast charmingly with the surrounding green countryside, in fact Aigues-Mortes is also famous for its nearby salt marshes which we discover by tourist train. Roman Legionnaires stationed nearby were paid a portion of their wage in salt from these very marshes – an intriguing facet of local history. What makes this sight spectacular is the marshes glow a pink colour, due to the microscopic algae in its waters.
Day 5 - The Camargue
Today we visit the Camargue, home to 140,000 hectares of natural wetlands, showcasing an array of different wildlife. This is a paradise for nature lovers as we see wild white horses and even the odd flamingo. Additionally this region is also home to some unusual paddy fields which produce red rice – a fascinating sight. We continue on to Sainte-Marie-la-Mer. You have free time to explore here; perhaps visit the fortified church which was built in the 9th century as an imposing bastion to deter pirate raiders along the coast, located in a strategic position near the mouth of the Petit-Rhone. The church holds a towering presence over the village and can be seen as far as 10km inland.
Day 6 - Arles
Today we enjoy a guided tour of historic Arles, the home of some of Europe’s best Roman ruins. With a long history dating back to Celtic times, Arles’ heritage of conquest over the years has left it with a rich variety of architecture, which we explore during our visit. We take in the stunning Roman Amphitheatre and enjoy the myriad of Romanesque architecture and sun-baked houses. Arles was the inspiration for some of Van Gogh’s artistry and its heritage harks back to the glory days of Julius Caesar. Once a major Roman port, Arles rose to prominence after Caesar plundered Marseille for backing his political opponent, and evidence of that prosperity is preserved wonderfully for us to see. Following our tour we travel inland to learn about olive oil production in Provence and we sample some of the local produce. Tonight we enjoy a farewell Gala dinner back on board the Anne-Marie, as a perfect way to round off our wonderful French adventure.
Day 7 - Journey Home
This morning we enjoy a buffet breakfast on board before making our way to Arles station. Here we will take the the train to Paris via Nimes, then change for our Eurostar service back home to London.
Built in 2014, the MS Anne-Marie is one of CroisiEurope’s Small Barge vessel sailing on the Canals of Provence. With 11 Double/Twin cabins, she features comfortable accommodation throughout. Cabins are compact and well designed, featuring twin or double beds; an en-suite bathroom with shower, basin and WC, wardrobe, safe and TV, Independent air conditioning & WIFI Meals are served in the main restaurant,all tables take into account the panoramic views with a casual but elegant athmosphere. There is also a lounge which is tastefully decorated, it’s a quiet place where you can spend time with your friends and family. Equipped with sofa and a bar you can relax before and after dinner, serving complimentary drinks. The top deck features a sun deck/ Terrace with tables, chairs and loungers and roof top Jacuzzi.
10 comfortable cabins 86 ft², 1 adapted Double cabin 118 ft² Standard cabins are around 86ft² in size with picture windows and feature twin beds, en-suite bathroom with shower, TV, climate-controlled air conditioning and an in-room safe.
Enhancing your tour Upgrade your Eurostar journey to Standard Premier Class from £95 per person each way Luggage transport available from as little as £200
Cruise through the very soul of France, as you enjoy the peace and quiet far from the hustle and bustle of the modern world gently cruising along peaceful waterways. Truly, an ideal opportunity to unwind! A canal cruise in France is also the chance to learn about the region through which you are travelling; it’s flora and fauna, its history, its culinary specialities and much more. Canal barges have been equipped with maximum comfort in mind for unforgettable and relaxing holidays. You will be very well looked after and pampered by a crew completely at your disposal, so you can relax on board and have a truly wonderful time.