Tango 2017 Sample Itineraries

A cruise on Tango offers an ever-changing scenery of vineyards, picturesque villages, ancient ruins, and spectacular views to the Pyrenees, with tranquil moorings for each evening.

About Canal du Midi

Canal du MidiThe magnificent tree-lined Canal du Midi is Paul Riquet's engineering wonder, completed in 1681 to link the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean, bypassing the long passage around Spain. To preserve the beauty of this masterpiece, UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site in 1996. From the sun deck you can appreciate the graceful olive-shaped locks, unique to this canal, which enable us to climb up and down the hilly terrain of the Languedoc-Roussillon. All along the canal, impressive stone bridges and aqueducts reflect the handsome Versailles architectural style of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

Our week long cruises take place on two beautiful stretches of this historic canal. In the early Spring and Fall we have chosen to stay close to the sunnier Mediterranean coast to enable the guests to enjoy more outdoor dining. This cruise takes you from the ancient Phoenician seaport town of Marseillan into the heart of the Minervois wine region, mooring in the picturesque canal village of Le Somail.

In summer, we have chosen the Lauragais, for uncrowded peaceful cruising under the shaded avenues of the famous sycamore trees. Colorful vistas of sunflower fields in full bloom, and quiet back-road visits to farmers' markets, as well as Carcassonne in mid week make this an exceptional cruise.

In both areas, an ever-changing scenery of vineyards, spectacular views to the Pyreneess, and pretty villages are on each day's cruise route. Tranquil moorings are the setting for each evening's enjoyment. Our sample itineraries will give you an idea of each day's perfect blend of touring and cruising. Any private charter itinerary can be tailored to the group's special interests in wine, food, history, art, and more. Please note that the route reverses on alternate weeks.

Spring and Fall: Canal du Midi, Marseillan to Le Somail

April 2 - June 17 and September 3 - October 28
Pick up/Drop off: Beziers
Closest airports: Montpellier,Toulouse, Gerona/Barcelona

On alternate weeks the cruise will run from Carcassonne to Beziers. Every week will include an open air market, wine tasting, one lunch at the Narbonne les halles market and one delicious cassoulet in order to taste regional cuisine. All of the other lunches and dinners will be prepared by your personal chef on board from fresh produce acquired locally. There are many destinations of interest, not all of which are included on the sample itinerary below but which are within the cruise area. Guests may participate in the choice for tailor made daily excursions, escorted by our tour guide.

Marseillan PortSunday - Marseillan Port
Your tour guide picks you up and brings you to the barge moored on the edge of the Mediterranean in Marseillan port, the St. Tropez of the Languedoc. This romantic setting welcomes you to enjoy a champagne reception and your first wonderful dinner on board.

Monday - Cruise to Portiragnes
First a visit to the renowned Noilly Prat vermouth cellars, then we stock up with fresh oysters from the growers, and the barge sets off to cruise across the Etang de Thau to enter the Canal du Midi. The canal cuts through the Camargue protected wildlife park where pink flamingos, black bulls and white horses are at home. A variety of wild birds provide a backdrop to your evening meal on deck.

Tuesday - Cruise to Fonserannes Locks
Excellent biking and walking opportunities during this morning's cruise towards the aqueduct and seven staircase locks of Beziers, the most exciting of Paul Riquet's engineering feats. After ascending the locks, a picturesque drive through the Picpoul vineyards to visit the medieval town of Pezenas. Private hotels de ville of magnificent architecture, tales of kings, counts and ladies, and Moliere's legacy make this a favorite visit.Pink Flamingos of the Camargue

Wednesday - Cruise to Regismont le Haut
This morning's visit is to Narbonne, once Roman capital of the region, now a bustling and attractive town, has something for all visitors. Some will want to visit the Cathedral and cloisters, some the designer boutiques, but all will want lunch at the 100 year old covered Les Halles market. Chilled white wine, a fresh seafood platter, and whatever fish or meat you want grilled along with homemade frites and salad will make an unforgettable lunch. A relaxing afternoon cruise completes a perfect day.

Thursday - Cruise to Pigasse
The morning begins with a drive up to the ancient village of Minerve, offering panoramic views and a chance to learn the history of the Cathars. This is followed by a visit to L'Oulibo, our local gold medal-winning olive mill. After nibbling bread dipped in different varieties of oils and tasting olives, everyone will be ready for a glass of wine or two. Xavier awaits at his nearby chateau vineyard for roasted mussels and a private wine tasting. The smallest arched bridge on the canal is just barely big enough for Tango to squeeze through to enjoy a few hours of cruising.

Le SomailFriday - Cruise to Le Somail
Today you visit Carcassonne to discover Europe's largest medieval fortress city. Guests enjoy the historical tour as well as browsing the many interesting shops. You are invited out to lunch for a succulent cassoulet of duck confit and white beans, at the Auberge des Lices before heading back to the barge. An afternoon cruise takes you to the most picturesque canal side village of Le Somail with art galleries and France's most famous second hand bookshop. The chef and crew will host your farewell dinner.

Saturday - Departure
After breakfast your tour guide will take you to the pre-arranged departure point for the continuation of your journey

Le Somail to Marseillan Port

Sunday - Le Somail
Your tour guide picks you up and brings you to the barge moored in the most picturesque canal side village of the Midi. An evening welcome champagne cruise will be followed by your first delicious dinner on board.

CarcassonneMonday - Cruise to Pigasse
After breakfast you might enjoy a stroll into the village to visit the art galleries and the most famous second hand bookshop in France. Then the tour guide will whisk you off to Carcassonne to discover Europe's largest medieval fortress city. Guests enjoy the historical tour as well as browsing the many interesting shops. You are invited out to lunch for a succulent cassoulet of duck confit and white beans at the Auberge des Lices. Back to the barge for an afternoon cruise through a landscape of vineyards, the canal prettily framed by avenues of umbrella pine trees.

Tuesday - Cruise to Capestang
The morning begins with a drive up to the ancient village of Minerve, offering panoramic views and the chance to learn the history of the Cathars. This is followed by a visit to L'Oulibo, our local gold medal-winning olive mill. After nibbling bread dipped in different varieties of oils and tasting olives, everyone will be ready for a glass of wine or two. Xavier awaits at his nearby chateau vineyard for an aperitif of roasted mussels and a private wine tasting. The afternoon is blissfully spent enjoying a few hours cruising and ending by just squeezing through the smallest arched bridge on the canal.

Fonserannes LocksWednesday - Cruise to Fonserannes Locks
This morning's visit is to Narbonne, once Roman capital of the region, now a bustling and attractive town, has something for all visitors. Some will want to visit the Cathedral and cloisters, some the designer boutiques, but all will want lunch at the 100 year old covered Les Halles market. Chilled white wine, a fresh seafood platter, and whatever fish or meat you want grilled along with homemade 'frites' and salad will make an unforgettable lunch. A relaxing afternoon cruise completes a perfect day.

Thursday - Portiragnes lock
First thing in the morning, the barge will descend the six lock staircase, Paul Riquet's masterpiece, followed by the stunning aqueduct at the entrance to Beziers port.

It's off for a beautiful drive through the vineyards of the Picpoul grape to the medieval town of Pezenas. Private hotels de ville of magnificent architecture, tales of kings, counts and ladies, and Moliere's legacy make this a favourite visit. Afternoon cruising with excellent biking and walking opportunities between locks.

PezenasFriday - Marseillan Port
This morning the barge will cruise through the Camargue protected wild life park where pink flamingoes, black bulls and white horses are at home. A variety of wild birds will be wading through the marshes as the barge makes its approach to the Mediterranean coast. Lunch on deck sailing out into the salt lake of Thau feels victorious as sea gulls fly to welcome the barge freed from the canal.

After a stroll around Marseillan, the Languedoc's St. Tropez, the tour guide will accompany you to the cellars of Noilly Prat Vermouth to learn the secrets of some of the world's best cocktails, it all started here.

Your last dinner on board is especially festive, with the twinkling lights of Sete across the water.

Saturday
After breakfast your tour guide will take you to the pre-arranged departure point for the continuation of your journey

Summer: Canal du Midi, Le Somail to Carcassonne

June 18 - September 2
Pick up/Drop off: Beziers
Closest airports: Montpellier,Toulouse, Gerona/Barcelona

LOulibo Olive Oil MillOn alternate weeks the cruise will run from Carcassonne to Le Somail. Every week will include an open air market, wine tasting, one lunch at the Narbonnes 'les halles' market and a delicious cassoulet to taste regional cuisine. All of the other lunches and dinners will be prepared by your personal chef on board from fresh produce acquired locally. There are many destinations of interest, not all of which are included on the sample itinerary below but which are within the cruise area. Guests may participate in the choice for tailor made daily excursions, escorted by our tour guide.

Sunday - Le Somail
Your tour guide picks you up and brings you to the barge moored in the most picturesque village of Le Somail. After a champagne welcome cruise, you will enjoy your first wonderful dinner on board.

Monday - Pech Laurier lock
To start the day, a five minute drive to the local olive oil mill of L'Oulibo. Established in the 1930's, this is now a thriving and dynamic producer of gold medal winning varieties of olives and their oil. Learn about olive cultivation, olive oil production, and taste several varieties that you can enjoy on board. A very memorable visit to Xavier's chateau for a private wine tasting and aperitif of charcuterie and roast mussels over an open fire. The afternoon offers hours of peaceful cruising with panoramic views of the Pyrenees.

Xavier's chateauTuesday - Jouarrez lock
Today begins with the open air morning street market of Olonzac, vibrant and full of local organically grown produce; fresh strawberries, peaches, asparagus, salads, and delicious local cheeses, all for you to choose from with the chef. He'll take the goods back to the barge and start making lunch while you head up to the historical Cathar village of Minerve. Exciting cruising, with double and triple staircase locks, enable passengers to easily disembark to walk or bike alongside the barge. The evening mooring, in the midst of vineyards with views to the distant 'black mountains' to the North, is a perfect setting to enjoy dining on deck.

Wednesday - Les Aiguilles lock
This morning the visit is to the historical village of Lagrasse, nestled in the Corbières hills. A spectacular 10th century Benedictine monastery provides a backdrop to this charming circular village, where you will enjoy an antiques shop, art and pottery galleries and a wine tasting of the Corbières fruity wines. Back to the barge for 'feet up' relaxing while cruising to the evening mooring by our favorite lock keeper, Joel the sculptor, best to discover his mischievous and fun work yourselves.

Narbonne MarketThursday - Millepetit
Today's visit is to Narbonne, once the Roman capital of the region. Discover the contrast between old and new, from the impressive cathedral to vibrant pedestrian shopping streets, on what was once the Via Dometia. Everyone's favorite part is the les halles covered market. Here you will lunch on local delicacies, such as an oyster and seafood platter or grilled duck and french fries, accompanied by local wines. Back to the barge to enjoy another great afternoon's cruising.

Friday - Carcassonne
In the morning, the tour guide will whisk you up to the Cité, the largest Medieval fortress town in Europe. As well as being steeped in the fascinating history of this unique historic site, walking the cobbled streets will give you the appetite to enjoy the famous cassoulet. An afternoon cruise with pretty locks will bring you into the port of 'modern' three hundred year old Carcassonne in time for some downtown shopping before your farewell dinner on board.

Saturday, Departure for Continuation of your journey.
After breakfast your tour guide will accompany you to your nearby train station, rental car, airport or hotel.

Carcassonne to Le SomailCarcassonne

Sunday - Carcassonne
Your tour guide picks you up and brings you to the barge moored in the port of Carcassonne. The captain will fire up the engine for a champagne welcome cruise to the first lock. You will have a view of the romantically lit up Medieval castle cite during your first wonderful dinner on board.

Monday - Millepetit
In the morning a very picturesque drive takes you into the Pyrenées foothills to the market town of Mirepoix. Shop with the chef for mountain cheeses and organically grown vegetables and fruits. The architecture is unlike anything else you will come across in the Midi, ancient wooden framed arcades are home to little boutiques offering all sorts of treasures. The chef will prepare lunch on board with the goods and you'll enjoy a peaceful cruise during the afternoon. Surrounding sunflower fields and olive groves soon to give way to the Minervois vineyards.

Tuesday - Les Aiguilles lock
LagrasseIn the morning, the tour guide will whisk you up to the Cité, the largest Medieval fortress town in Europe. As well as being steeped in the fascinating history of this unique site, walking the cobbled streets will give you opportunity to shop in the little boutiques and work up an appetite for the famous cassoulet at the Auberge des Lices. Back to the barge for 'feet up' relaxing while cruising to the evening mooring by our favorite lock keeper, Joel, the sculptor, best to discover his fun and mischievous pieces yourselves.

Wednesday - Jouarrez lock
This morning's visit is to the historical village of Lagrasse, nestled in the Corbières hills. A spectacular 10th century Benedictine monastery provides a backdrop to this charming circular village, where you will enjoy an antiques shop, art and pottery galleries and a wine tasting of the Corbières fruity wines.The chef will have a tasty lunch waiting for you back on the barge. Wonderful cruising with walking and biking opportunities are are on the afternoon's agenda.

Thursday - Pech Laurier lock
Today's visit is to Narbonne, once the Roman capital of the region. Discover the contrast between old and new, from the impressive cathedral to vibrant pedestrian shopping streets, on what was once the Via Dometia. Everyone's favorite part is the les halles covered market. Here you will lunch on local delicacies, such as an oyster and seafood platter or grilled duck and french fries, accompanied by local wines. Back to the barge to enjoy another great afternoon's cruising.Minerve

Friday - Le Somail
This morning's visit is to the spectacular and historical Cathar village of Minerve, followed by the gold medal prize winning L'Oulibo olive oil mill to learn everything about the varieties of olives and making of olive oil in the region.

After dipping bread in oil, a few glasses of wine will be enjoyed with roasted mussels and charcuterie at Xavier's chateau and vineyard. Your last afternoon's cruising takes you to the most picturesque canal side village of Le Somail with art galleries and an antique bookshop. The chef and crew will host your farewell dinner.

Saturday - Departure for the continuation of your journey.
After breakfast the tourguide will take you to the pre-arranged departure point for the continuation of your journey.