|Photo by Freeimages.com/Michele Ercole|
American-based luxury barge cruise broker Ellen Sack has announced a special "Tour de France" themed barge cruise on the six-passenger charter barge Savannah. The itinerary will sail July 10 to 16 along France's Canal du Midi in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
The man-made Canal du Midi is one of the oldest canals in Europe, and was constructed in the seventeenth century to transport cargo though southern France and connect the Mediterranean to the Atlantic on an inland waterway. This year, the Tour de France cycling route meanders through the Languedoc-Roussillon region on July 12, 13 and 14. During those days, Adrien Bramouille, Savannah’s owner and operator, is offering his six guests the chance to get up close and personal with the Tour de France by inviting them to the local festivities celebrating the event.
Guests have the option to cycle part of the actual Tour de France route, which takes them through the sunflower filled Lauragais valley with a dedicated cycling guide. Other activities include attending a local celebratory alfresco gourmet lunch in the market square with local leaders and a Tour de France delegate. Only a limited amount of seats are available, in which Bramouille has secured tickets.
After the meal, Savannah’s guests will walk to the finish line and have VIP access to the grandstand set up for the event, said Sack. Guests will then be seated with giant screens set up in front of the stands to follow the race.
As the Tour de France continues past the Unesco World Heritage Site walled medieval city of Carcassonne, Bramouille will take his guests there for another local celebratory event of fireworks and other festivities.
In addition to the Tour de France activities, Savannah guests will also have opportunities to go winetasting, bicycle along the canal, and visit charming villages, markets, and basilicas. Bramouille can also adapt those excursions to suit the interests of the group. On board, guests will get a gourmet chef for the week, and will sleep in double occupancy, en-suite cabins with air conditioning. Other crew members include a Captain, Tour Guide, and Hostess.
The Savannah, like all hotel barges, cruises Europe’s inland waterways between April and October. A six-passenger charter for the Tour de France cruise is $31,225. The cruise rate includes six nights/ seven days in a cabin with a private bath, all meals, from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, all wines with lunch and dinner, open bar, daily escorted excursions, and use of onboard bicycles. Not included is airfare to and from France, transportation to the cruise route, cancellation insurance, and crew gratuity, which is a suggested minimum amount is 5 percent of the cruise price. Guests are picked up and dropped off in Narbonne, France.