Luxury barge cruise vacations on the French hotel barge ATHOS cruising the Canal du Midi in the South of France French Hotel Barge ATHOS Canal du Midi south of France -

French Hotel Barge ATHOS
Canal du Midi - France
Between Argeliers and Marseillan


Athos is one of the most traditional hotel barges cruising the Canal du Midi and her welcoming onboard ambience will make your voyage through the Languedoc landscape truly memorable.

French Hotel Barge ATHOS -

103 ft long x 18 ft wide
5 crew: Captain, Tour guide, Chef, 2 Hostesses
Up to 10 passengers (12 if family with kids)
5 staterooms, configured as doubles or twins
Air conditioned / Central heat
Sun deck with loungers
10 touring bikes, 21 gears
Wi-Fi (Subject to local reception)
2 air conditioned minivans


Maximum of 10 guests in 5 staterooms. 12 passengers permitted if a charter group with 4 children.

All cabins can be configured with 2 twin beds or a double bed. Narcissou Fontfroide is a little larger and it is possible to replace the bed with 2 sets of twin bunk beds accommodating 4 children.

All cabins have ensuite, private bathrooms with shower, sink and WC. Each cabin has 2 windows and 1 window in the bathroom.

Cabin sizes

Staterooms are all approximately the same size but the bow stateroom is a little larger.

  • Aft: St Sauveur & Mireval: 93 ft² (8.64m²)
  • Middle: St Amans & Montségur: 93 ft² (8.64m²)
  • Forward: Narcissou-Fontfroide: 102 ft² (9.5m²)
Note: All measurements are approximate and includes the area of the bathrooms.

Ceiling height: 6ft 6" (2m) in all staterooms.

Size of the beds:
  • As single beds they are each 2ft 7" wide x 6ft 4" (80cm x 190cm).
  • As a double bed they measure 5ft 2" wide x 6ft 4" long (160 cm x 190 cm).

Bathrooms: All cabins have a full-sized wash basin, WC, and a shower stall measuring 80 cm². They are fully tiled in Provencal blue & white tiles and supplied with towels, hair dryer, shampoo, shower gel, moisturiser, soap and conditioner.


The light and airy salon is 16½ ft x 30 ft (5.05m x 10m) with 2 sofas and 2 armchairs for relaxing, a coffee table, and a dining table seating up to 10 guests at one sitting. The flooring is wooden and there is a small library of books and open bar area with fridge.

3 steps lead from the salon to the guest cabin level.


There is a very large sundeck 16½ ft x 36 ft (5.05m x 12m) equipped with 10 reclining chairs with foot-rests, and a large table for outside dining. A permanent large hydraulic canopy provides shelter from the sun and rain. This moves up and down automatically when cruising under bridges and allows passengers to remain seated on deck.

There is also space on the sundeck to relax on sun-chairs not requiring shade.



All meals aboard are prepared fresh by your chef and most meals are a set menu (there is no choice available). International and French cuisine is featured.

We are able to arrange special meals, such as vegetarian, no fish, vegan, etc; and we are able to able to cater for any preferences or allergies. However, it is important that we are notified at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date. Failure to notify us in advance of your cruise may result in disappointment on board.

There is no assigned seating for meals and the dining table on Athos seats all guests at a single sitting.

Breakfast: Your day on Athos starts with a wholesome and balanced variety of breakfast foods, along with fresh breads and pastries, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and hot beverages.

Lunch: Usually a selection of colorful salads, patés, and cold meats accompanied by hot soup or entrée, delicious desserts and a selection of regional cheeses accompanied by quality wines selected by the chef.

Dinner: Always a gastronomic adventure created by your talented chef. A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, complemented by fine wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee, and liqueurs.

Captain's Farewell Dinner: Held on the last night of the cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.

Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated coffee and tea, whole or low-fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24-hours per day serving beers, wines, spirits, and soft drinks. All wines are served with meals and there is a champagne welcome on arrival.

Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some champagnes and special vintage wines are not included although you may purchase bottles in advance at cost price. Please let us know what you would like to order. We do not recommend special ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.

Water: Tap water in France and on board Athos is potable and bottled water is available.


The barge is wired for 220 but not 110 volts. It is suggested that you bring an adapter for your particular appliance which corresponds to the standard French 2-pin plugs. If you wish to use an electrical appliance on board, please ask one of the crew when you arrive to ensure that it is suitable to the barge's electrical system.

We cannot be held responsible for unforeseen voltage fluctuations which sometimes occur when swapping from one voltage system to another.


Separate air conditioning and central heating throughout with individual controls.


Complimentary WiFi is available for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations.

There is no passenger telephone available on Athos.


Athos has two 6-seater, air conditioned Chrysler minivans used for transfers and excursions during your cruise.

For charter bookings, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your group's particular needs. If a destination or excursion is within a reasonable distance of the barge, we will do everything we can to arrange it. Please advise Paradise Connections in advance and the Captain will be informed.

Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to stay on the barge.


Passengers are welcome to walk or cycle using the on board bicycles as often as they like. Most people choose to disembark the barge at a lock and then visit local villages and then return to the canal and meet the barge a little further along. The barge travels slowly and therefore catching up will not be a problem.

There are 10 adult, touring bikes on board with sloping top bar and 21 gears. Children's bikes, helmets, and child bike seats can be arranged if required. Please request with Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks in advance of your cruise.

Because the barge travels at a slow pace, walking is a popular activity.


The region Athos cruises in is not suitable for hot air ballooning.


Art / Painting, Golf, Tennis, Wine appreciation, and Family cruises are available for charter groups, please view the ITINERARIES page for more details. Special interest cruises often have a supplement and further information can be found on their RATES page. Feel free to contact Paradise Connections for more information.


Please let Paradise Connections know in advance of booking your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.

Athos is accessed by an aluminum gangplank with handrails and 2 steps midway. There are 6 steps between the deck and salon with sturdy handrails. There are a further 3 steps from the salon to the cabin level. The crew will assist guests whenever required.

Wheelchairs cannot be used on Athos and can only be used to assist on excursions, however many visits encounter cobbled streets or rough ground which may hinder wheelchair access.

If you would like to have a wheelchair provide upon your arrival, please notify us at least 10 weeks before your departure date. There is a small hire charge of approximately 100 euros which should be paid directly to the Captain on arrival.


Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you require frequent or ongoing medical attention.

The crew are unable to administer medicines but can accompany you to a chemist for you to purchase any necessary medicines. Due to your cruise often being in a rural location, we recommend you bring all necessary medications with you.

Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.


Our barges have a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of fellow passengers. If you would like to smoke we request that you smoke outside on deck away from fellow passengers.


We recommend that you bring sufficient clothing for your cruise as there are no laundry facilities on board. However, the crew may be able to assist in an emergency on a requst basis.


Please try to fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably sized suitcase per person. Soft bags are preferable as ATHOS has 2 drawers beneath each bed which fit 2 cases. There is only enough space on each minibus for 6 medium/large cases and 6 pieces of hand luggage.

Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard Athos and for most excursions. The dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Farewell Dinner on the last evening, guests often dress up which is optional.

The weather in the south of France is generally warm. June, July and August is the warmest often being in the mid-30s°C (86-95°F).

Suggested things to pack:


The local currency in France is the Euro. Athos is unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.


Gratuities are not included in the cruise fare. Tipping is entirely discretionary but is greatly appreciated by the crew if you are fully satisfied with the level of service on board.

As a guidance, our passengers on average tip approximately 5-7% of the full cruise fare. All tips should be given to the Captain and are shared between the whole crew on board.

Please note that gratuities can only be made on board by cash payment.


If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate possibility to make it right. Bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.


Once on board your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures.

Please note that we cannot be responsible for any valuables that you bring on board. We strongly recommend that you do not bring valuables with you unless required and that you ensure that all valuables are covered by your travel insurance.

Safes are provided in each cabin on board but cabin doors are usually not locked for safety reasons.

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