Day 1 - Saturday - Arrival at the Clair de Lune around 4:30 pm. Upon boarding a Captain’s Champagne “Welcome Reception” will be served along with introducing the crew and outlining your cruise. Afternoon cruise to first night’s mooring near Portiragnes, where you will enjoy dinner.
Day 2 - Sunday - Your day could begin with a stroll or run to the Mediterranean beach only a couple of miles away. This morning we shall navigate past the Libron River engineering works. These close the canal during flooding to allow the river to flow past, thereby not silting up the canal. Then onto the round lock in Agde after which we’ll moor for lunch. Later an excursion to Pezenas, the seat of the Regional Government from the 15th to 18th centuries, and also a town where Molière once lived and performed. Stroll the cobbled streets with its Renaissance architecture while browsing the many boutiques or antique shops. Upon our return to the barge we shall navigate the Hérault River to find a quiet mooring for the evening.
Day 3 - Monday - Today will begin with another cruise to descend the last lock on the tree-lined canal du midi and enter the coastal lagoon of the Etang de Thau, where oysters and mussels are farmed. We’ll moor for lunch in the quiet port village of Marseillan, founded as a fishing camp in the 6th century BC by the Phoenicians. A tour of Nouilly Prat may be of interest to see how this world famous vermouth is made or perhaps a wine tasting at a nearby winery. Overnight in Marseillan.
Day 4 - Tuesday - After breakfast we are off to cross the Etang de Thau and moor in a quaint fishermen’s neighbourhood (Pointe Courte) on the outskirts of Sète. A trip to visit the streets of this bustling fishing port city and its covered market loaded with fresh seafood. Before returning to the barge for lunch we can go to the top of Mount St. Clair which offers a bird’s-eye view of the city and surrounding land and seascapes. During the afternoon we’ll enter the Rhone-Sète canal, pass under the lift bridge in the town of Frontignan, where Thomas Jefferson had noted the fine quality of the wines, to a mooring on the island of the 13th century Maguelone Abbey. It is a 20 minute stroll to the beach from this calm mooring.
Day 5 - Wednesday - We cruise this morning for a couple of hours then jump ship to go ahead in the minibus to visit the walled fortress of Aigues Mortes and its Wednesday morning open-air market. Aigues Mortes was founded by King Louis in the 13th century as the staging port for the 7th crusade to the Holy Land. The barge will join us in Aigues Mortes for lunch. Since after all we are in the heart of the Camargue Country perhaps a visit to a bull ranch is in order. Horseback riding or even a Course Camarguaise (a regional bull fight where bulls are not hurt but the young men can be), are possible. We’ll then cruise to the quiet hamlet of Galician.
Day 6 - Thursday - A morning cruise to the town of St. Gilles or Bellegarde where we’ll stop for lunch. An afternoon excursion to the magnificent Roman city of Arles with its 1st century amphitheatre, theatre and gorgeous 12th century Romanesque St. Trophime cathedral. Have a coffee in the café painted by Van Gogh or stroll through the Alyscamps which has inspired many a poet along with painters Gaughin and Van Gogh. Upon our return we’ll cruise to a quiet mooring between Bellegarde and Beaucaire for our final evening.
Day 7 - Friday - After breakfast, disembark ready to be transferred to departure point for the next leg of your travels.
Alternative side trips.
Mimes. The Maison Carre, Thomas Jefferson’s inspiration for US Government buildings, its amphitheatre, Roman history etc.
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