Facts About The Barge Enchanté
The French Hotel Barge Enchante started out as a freight barge in Belgium. Now converted to a spacious, 8-passenter hotel barge, Enchante offers barge cruises on the Canal du Midi in the south of France.
Length: 100ft (30.58m)
Beam: 6ft 6" (5.05m)
5 Crew: Captain, Tour Director, Chef, Housekeeper, Hostess. Staff speak English & French.
4 Guest cabins (configured to Twins or Double, as you prefer)
Air conditioning and central heating throughout
Large panoramic windows
Sun deck with hot tub, dining table, loungers and a sun canopy for shade
Air conditioned minibus, 9 seats including driver
8 adult folding bicycles
WiFi (subject to local reception)
- Former purpose: Ex Freight Barge from Belgium
- Year of construction: 1958
- Dimensions: Length 100ft (30.58m). Width 16ft 6" (5.05m)
- Year converted to a Hotel Barge: 2008 / 2009
- Generators: 2 x 220 volt generators both equipped with hospital silencers for night running
- Main Engine: 855-M220pk Cummins
- Maximum Speed: 10 knots
- Water & fuel capacity: 8000L of water and 4000L of fuel
Your Crew On Board
- Crew of 5: Captain, Tour Director, Chef, Housekeeper & Hostess
- Nationality of Crew: Mostly British
Accommodation On Board
Maximum 8 passengers / 4 suites
All suites can be configured with 2 single beds or a double. The cabin theme is white and linen with Percale bed sheets. The furniture is made of mahogany and the new, deep and comfortable carpets were recently fitted.
Each suite has a stylish fully tiled en-suite bathroom. All are equipped with hair dryer, shower cubicle, wash basin and WC. Each are supplied with washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels and bathrobes. The bathroom flooring is solid teak and the showers are very spacious.
All the suites are similar in size measuring 165ft² (15.5m²). All sizes are approximate.
- There are 3 steps in Orion cabin leading to the bathroom.
- There are 3 steps in the corridor leading to Cassiope.
The bathrooms each measure 33ft² (3m²) and are included in the suite sizes above.
The shower trays in each bathroom measure 2.95ft x 2.95ft (90cm x 90cm).
Ceiling height in all cabins is a minimum of 6ft 6” (2m).
Cassiope & Orion are at the Bow end and Andromede & Pleiades are at the Stern.
Cassiope & Pleiades each have 3 portholes in the cabin and no porthole in bathroom.
Orion & Andromede each have 2 portholes in the cabin and 1 porthole in bathroom.
Size of the beds:
- As singles all beds are 2ft 9”x 6ft 5” (0.8m x 1.98m).
- As doubles all beds are 5ft 9”x 6ft 5” (1.6m x 1.98m).
When the suite is set up in twin bed configuration, the beds are side by side with a small gap between them.
Enchanté has reversible Air Conditioning and Central Heating throughout with individual temperature control in each cabin.
Computer and Telephone
There is a computer with internet access available aboard Enchanté. This can be found at the bottom of the stairs in the office area and is available for all guests to use.
Wi-Fi is available for guests bringing their own appliances, however, there are some moorings where connection to the internet is very slow and sometimes when the barge is cruising the connection is not possible because the barge is out of signal range.
There is no passenger telephone available on Enchanté.
The local currency in France is the Euro. The barge is unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.
Cycling & Walking
The on-board bicycles are available for use as often as you wish. Most guests choose to disembark the barge at a lock and visit local villages, returning to the canal and meeting the barge a little further along. The barge travels very slowly and therefore catching up is not a problem.
There are 8 adult size folding bikes each with 5 gears and low top tube / cross bar. Cycle helmets are provided on board. Specialist bicycles, children’s bikes and child bike seats can be arranged if required. Please contact Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks prior to your departure.
Because the barge cruises at a slow pace, walking is a popular activity.
Dining Room & Saloon
Room Size: 13ft x 30ft (3.96m x 9.1m), the height is 6ft 10” (2.1m).
Large panoramic windows stretch the entire length of this area.
The dining area has a large glass table, seating all 8 guests at a single sitting. The design compliments the contemporary modern look of Enchanté. An open Demonstration Kitchen Galley allows guests to watch as the Master Chef prepares the meals on the granite benches, sharing his recipes and demonstrating his techniques.
A fully stocked bar and Art Deco drinks cabinet completes the area.
The saloon is furnished with sofas and armchairs, all upholstered in Alcantara with oak flooring.
Large panoramic windows stretch the entire length of the barge, allowing plenty of light and the beautiful scenery to be appreciated.
The barge is wired for 220 and 240 volts (not 110 volts).
We recommend you bring an adapter for your particular appliances, which correspond to the standard French two pin plugs.
If you wish to use your electrical appliance, please ask one of the crew when you arrive on board to ensure that it is suitable for 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.
The Enchanté barge minibus is a 9-seater (including driver), silver-grey Volkswagen Transporter Caravelle. It is a stretch version for luggage and has 3 zone air conditioning.
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 speak with Paradise Connections in advance of your cruise and we can pre-arrange with the Captain.
Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge.
Facilities On Board
- 8 person spa-pool (hot tub) with electronic thermostat
- 8 Bicycles (See Cycling & Walking, above)
- A small library of books and maps
- A collection of board games
- Computer with internet connection (See Computer & Telephone, above)
- Sound System iPod / MP3 / CD player
Food & Drink
All meals on board are freshly prepared 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, e.g. vegetarian / no fish / vegan etc; and we are able to cater for any preferences or allergies. However, it is most important that we are notified of any specific requirements at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date. Failure to notify Paradise Connections in advance of your cruise may result in disappointment on board.
There is no assigned seating for meals and the dining room on board Enchanté accommodates all guests at a single sitting.
Breakfast: Usually continental with fresh breads, pastries, jams, fruit, cereals, yoghurts, freshly squeezed orange juice, teas and coffee. Eggs (poached, boiled, fried, scrambled or omelette) are available each morning on request.
Lunch A casual three course affair comprising of a hot soup, or entrée, patés and cold meats accompanied by colourful salads, or a hot main course followed by delectable desserts. A selection of wines are served daily.
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: is 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 tea and coffee, semi-skimmed milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24 hours a day serving beers, wines, and spirits. Wines are served with meals and a 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 at cost price, if you let Paradise Connections know in advance how many of each you require. We do not recommend special ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.
Hot Air Balooning
The region Enchanté cruises in is not suitable for hot air ballooning.
We recommend you bring sufficient clean 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 request basis.
Luggage / What To Pack
Please try and fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably sized suitcase per person. Soft bags are preferable. There is only enough space on the barge and minibus for a total of up to 8 suitcases and 8 small pieces of hand luggage.
Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard Enchanté and for most excursions. The dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Captain’s 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.
Suggested things to pack:
- Light clothing including shorts and T-shirts.
- A sweater or lightweight jacket is recommended for evenings and the air-conditioned interiors.
- During spring and autumn, you may need medium weight clothing. A lightweight raincoat for showery times would be advisable.
- In summer, a sun hat can be useful.
- Comfortable walking shoes with textured non-slip soles are recommended.
Enchanté has a spa pool so don’t forget your swim wear, towels are provided.
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 medication with you.
Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.
Problem During Your Cruise
If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Please bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.
Please let Paradise Connections know in advance of your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.
There are 3 steps down from the Enchanté sundeck to the saloon. From the saloon, there is a curving staircase of 11 steps down to the cabins on the lower deck.
Orion has 3 steps within the cabin up to the bathroom. There are 3 steps in the corridor to access Cassiope.
Because of the many steps on board, Enchanté is not really suitable for wheelchair bound guests. The toilets are on the lower deck and the dining area is above so a visit to the restroom requires a minimum of 11 steps up and down.
Wheelchairs cannot be used on board and can only be used to assist on excursions where there are often cobbled streets. Sometimes rough ground may hinder a wheelchair.
If you would like us to provide a wheelchair for your arrival, please notify Paradise Connections at the time of booking. There is no charge for the wheelchair, but passengers must be accompanied by someone who is able to push the chair as the crew are unable to assist.
Safety & Security
Once you are on board, your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures. Safety Instructions are detailed on the last page of this document.
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 not usually locked, for safety reasons.
There is a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of fellow passengers. If you would like to smoke, you are requested to smoke outside or on the deck away from fellow passengers.
12' x 21' (3.6m x 6.4m) furnished with a Dimension One hot tub, an al fresco dining table with 8 chairs and a sun-canopy for shade. The flooring has an anti-slip surface.
Wine Appreciation, Culinary, Golf and Family cruise itineraries are available for charter groups. Special interest cruises often have a supplement, for details please visit Enchanté's Itinerary page and Rates page.
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 guideline, the average tip given by our guests from around the world is approximately 5% of the Cruise Fare.
The usual way to give the tip is to give the amount in cash as one lump sum to the Captain / Cruise Director on the last day of the cruise. They will distribute the amount equally amongst the crew.
Euros or Dollars are equally appreciated. ATMs are accessible for cash withdrawal on most itineraries during the cruise and the crew can advise where these are located.
For details of the Enchanté vehicle, please see “Excursions”, above. The approximate transfer duration between Narbonne and Enchanté is less than 1 hour.
Tap water in France and on board Enchant´ is potable and bottled water is available.
Safety Instructions On Board Enchanté
On arrival the Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures on board.In addition, it is important that all passengers are familiar with the safety instructions detailed below.
- Please follow the instructions of the Captain and crew at all times.
- Remember that decks can be slippery. Please wear non-slip shoes and do not run or jump whilst on board.
- Do not walk on the side or rear decks or outside the guard rails.
- Passengers are not permitted in the engine rooms, technical areas or crew accommodation at any time, or in the galley or wheelhouse unless accompanied by a crew member.
- Do not embark or disembark the barge unless the gangplank and handrail are in place or the crew have advised that it is safe to do so. Never do so when the barge is moving.
- Be careful when the vessel is being moored up with the barge ropes. In particular do not step into a loop in the rope or try to release the mooring rope from a bollard.
- Keep clear of any overhead obstructions and remain seated if on deck whilst the barge passes under bridges with restricted headroom.
- Do not attempt to touch the sides of any lock or bridge.
- Do not open lower deck portholes whilst the barge is moving.
- Life jacket preservers are located in designated lockers in your cabin or in designated deck lockers. Once on board, please take the time to identify their location and read the instructions.
- For fire safety reasons, smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the barge.
- The barge's equipment such as the hot-tub and bicycles must only be used following preparation by the crew. Use of the bicycles and the hot tub is at your own risk. Breakable glasses are not permitted in the hot tub and alcohol consumption is not advised
- There is an open bar policy on board. However, excessive alcohol consumption can be dangerous, particularly in a warm climate and in proximity to deep water and the Captain has the discretion to withhold alcohol if safety to passengers or crew is at risk.
In an emergency:
- Keep calm. Do not return to your cabin to recover your possessions.
- If you discover a fire on board, sound the fire alarm and notify a crew member immediately. If possible, close doors behind you to confine the fire. Please take the time to identify the location of fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
- If the alarm sounds or you hear repeated continuous blasts on the barge horn, you must, if possible, assemble on the sundeck for further instructions.
- If you discover water below deck, notify a crew member immediately and go to the sundeck to await further instructions
- If you are in your cabin and the way to the sundeck is obstructed, follow the signs to the alternative fire exit. Please take the time to identify all fire exits.
- The emergency number for fire, police or medical assistance on all public phone networks is 112
Please ask a member of the crew on board if you require any further safety advice
HOME > Facts and Specifications for Barge Enchante