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The Classic Midi Cruise

Canal du Midi, France

Reviews for the The Classic Midi Cruise

The whole cruise was wonderful. We absolutely loved the Magnifique. There were 6 of us on board, and with the extra bedroom, we had plenty of space. We cooked all of our dinners except two, because the kitchen was well equipped and roomy enough for the 3 cooks on board. We foraged the local markets for our food and went to one outdoor market where we watched squid soup being made and brought it home for lunch. We were blessed with great weather, except for one day, so dined alfresco most of the time. All in all, we were extremely happy with our whole cruise and would recommend the boat and the Canal Du Midi to anyone.
We loved most of the towns along the way, especially Capestang. It was our favorite town. The people in the tourist office were extremely helpful, even to the point of translating a few items on the menu from the wonderful restaurant canal-side down the street, only steps from where we docked our boat. Our least favorite town was Beziers. Because it was the second largest city on the canal, we expected much more. Instead, there was no electricity or water available, even though the waterways guide indicated they were both available. Shady people hung around the canal all night and made us uncomfortable. There were a couple of pizza restaurants advertised, which were not open. Because it was pouring the whole time we were there, which made it difficult to go out to dinner, the guys found a supermarket and brought frozen pizza back to the boat. All in all, the city was extremely disappointing, and we would not recommend anyone ever stopping there.
The Le Boat trip was unlike any vacation we had had before! And what a great experience! All staff and personnel involved were more than cordial and helpful before and during the trip. Traveling down the canal was so relaxing and gave us all the opportunity to unwind from the hectic events of everyday life. Going through locks took teamwork and you definitely want gloves! But once you get the hang of it, it is no problem. Each day we would overnight at a village along the way. We loved exploring the small villages and found them and their residents quite charming. We spoke a little French and they spoke a little English so we got along just fine. There are markets, like small grocery stores, in most villages, so you could buy food and supplies along the way. And we loved going to the bakery each day and getting fresh croissants for breakfast. Those, along with fruit, cheese and wine - what more could you want! And the weather was absolutely perfect - beautiful sunny days, quite breezy from time to time, with low humidity. Coming from Georgia, that is what we call "perfect"!
The canal along the way from Homps to Port Cassafieres is lined with Plane trees, some fully mature and cascading out over the canal on both sides. Just like you have seen and imagined! We rented bicycles for the trip, but we only used them twice, since each village was so accessible to walking. We thought we would use them more, but we enjoyed sitting on the top deck of the boat so much that we didn't really need them. (We traveled with two other couples and no children.) Each village has a church or castle in the city center and there is usually no admission for going inside to admire the beauty and workmanship from so long ago. There are restaurants along the way, so we ate our evening dinners off the boat. Lunch was usually at an outdoor cafe in the villages.
Everything regarding the cruise when as planned. There was no disappointments and a lot of satisfaction regarding the weather, the route, the sites visited, and the accommodations.
Visited almost every town/village along the route and was welcomed enthusiastically by everyone we encountered. Just a marvelous trip.
This was a new type of holiday...never done before!! What a lovely time we had, it was actually stunning. The kids experienced new things and had to help when it was needed. We did interesting stops...once at a flea market, at a music band performance, at EuroStar entertainment complex and once at a lock when we arrived too late to go through. I sailed into another boat, popped the protective balloon. Fortunately no damage to either boat. :-). It was at the depot at Narbonne, the LeBoat staff was there to help and really did an excellent job of sorting the issue out and putting my nerves to rest. Now that was an memorable experience.
We made an effort not to sail more than 3 to 4 hours a day. Plan you holiday with more days on the canal then the minimum. It is worthwile stopping at things that interest you...taking the bicycle and riding though the villages to glance at old architecture and how people go about their life. Port La Nouvelle is not worth visiting, industrial town not geared for tourism. Use your time to at Marseillan, Capestan and Colombiers.
We had a wonderful time and the weather was very kind. We found the support given by the Le Boat team excellent. They helped with all our needs, e.g. when the bicycles gave some trouble they were replaced asap.
We stopped in virtually every town and some of our friends cycled from lock to lock.We spent a wonderful evening at Plan B restaurant in Le Somail. A night was also spent on the canal bank before Capestang. Idyllic.We took the canal down to Narbonne and loved it. Beautiful scenery.