9 pages article on the Canal du Midi Cruise onboard the “Roi Soleil” by Roger Lean-Vercoe
“. . . ‘river yacht’ is perhaps, a more apt description than ‘barge’ . . . but after we had stepped on to the teak-laid aft deck with its six-seater spa pool, been introduced to the crew . . . and presented with a welcoming glass of chilled champagne, the term ‘river superyacht’ came to mind.”
“. . . we invariably dined at the semi-circular table that nestled in the counter stern, which, sheltered by a sun awning and surrounded by a panoramic view, was a delightful setting for alfresco dining and the perfect place to sample the chef’s superb cuisine. Standards such as this, we surmised, must be a rare sight on the canal, as our regal progress was almost enough to unseat one towpath cyclist . . .”
“The canal itself, the beautiful Languedoc scenery and the multitude of other attractions of the region make it a fascinating holiday destination. What better way of experiencing it than from the ‘Roi Soleil’ with its total comfort and world class cuisine.”
by Roger Kimball
“The Roi Soleil . . . is easily the most luxurious craft on the Canal du Midi”
“. . . a dining saloon where J. Paul Getty would feel at home . . .”
“In 1787, Thomas Jefferson took a trip down the canal, ‘Of all the methods of traveling I have ever tried’, he wrote in a letter ‘this is the pleasantest’. If only he had experienced the Roi Soleil”.
“Fit for a Sun King”.
“How to Spend It’ Magazine”
“Martini on the Locks”
2 pages article by Rupert Wright
“. . . Slowly, around a bend . . . appears a graceful white vessel 30m long, with the sensual lines of a 1920’s river Yacht.”
“. . . like a swan among ducks.”
“. . . This is the only way to travel.”
6 pages article by Richard Thiel
“. . . gastro-cultural extravaganza within the most luxurious barge ever to cruise Europe . . .”
“Each meal was a revelation, light on sauces and long on the flavor of the main ingredient. It would take pages to describe the cuisine . . .”
“. . . I admired the long, sleek yacht and reflected that never had a dream been fulfilled so well.”
“Everything from the upholstered walls to the luxuriant bedclothes to the deep-pile towels and monogrammed robes is five star.”
6 pages article by A.M. Masclaux Perron & M. Maurette
“Embarquez pour un voyage de réve.”
“Le Pilote sur un pont avant dévolu au soleil, le chef mettant la touche finale à une mousseline de poulet et chèvre, sa vinaigrette d’olive et tomates, dressées en vaisselle d’apparat, le yacht glisse de Tarascon jusqu’à la secrète Camargue. Profond sofa, plateaux et plans en lave émaillée sur mesure, imprimés tendus sur les murs des vastes cabines, serviettes brodées … la fête est totale.”
“Ah 2020 … a year of canceled events and postponed holidays. After much disappointment we had all but given up on getting away to celebrate my husband’s 50th but then he found Roi Soleil! With 2 teenage girls we are not really the typical clientele but the amazing crew have pivoted brilliantly and looked after us like royalty! We have had one of our most relaxing family holidays ever with a little adventure (kayaking and horseback riding) sprinkled in. We are most grateful for everyone’s efforts to tailor the itinerary for us. We wish you all the best for the rest of the season and sincerely hope things start to pick up soon for everyone!”
K,K,S & T Party, London July , 2020
“This trip was planned to be a celebration of friends and life events, and the crew of the Roi Soleil made it a celebration far beyond our expectation. An addition to beautiful scenery, great food, spacious & luxurious accommodation, we came to know and appreciate the unique talents and friendship of our crew. What a wonderful crew, we could not have had better. Thank you for immersing us in the wonder of Southern France and the canal du Midi. ”
E & S Party, Vancouver, Canada October, 2019
“We wholeheartedly agree with the above comments. We loved every minute of our journey down your lovely canal with the exceptional crew. Thanks for everything. “
B & C Party, Domain, Manitoba, Canada October, 2019
“We can’t imagine how a trip could be better. Magnificent crew on a luxurious vessel, food & wine fit for royalty & peaceful and exciting cruise. Many, many thanks to the crew. “
C & A Party, Canada October, 2019
“Thank you doesn’t begin to express our gratitude for the most relaxing spectacular week I can remember ever! You transformed the boat into a warm and welcoming home away from home, and you all became our living family. Thank you for all the special meals, exquisite experiences and special memories. I will always treasure them and hold all of you close to my heart. You make birthday #60 a great celebration & can’t wait to celebrate #70 with all of you”.
J & J Conn Party, October, 2019
“Merci! Merci! We had a wonderful week with you all onboard the Roi Soleil! (Hostess) – thank you for your thoughtful attention to every detail! Loved the flowers! (Guide) We so enjoyed your knowledge and enthusiasm. Thank you for the wonderful tours. (Captain) – our Captain! Thank you for managing an amazing boat and tending to our every need. We will remember you all.”
M & P CT Party, October , 2019
“Our friends described their trip three years ago. And we were sold. We gathered long time fraternity brothers & their wives for a reunion we had planned for some time. What a wonderful & unique experience and of course it was also made so by the enjoyable and dedicated staff. Thanks for the outstanding meals, wine & most of all your friendship and warmth. “
S & J Party October, 2019
“What a wonderful way to while away a week on the Canal du Midi. (The Crew) were superb hosts and made our journey a forever memory. May our paths cross again in the future.
” This couldn’t have been more enjoyable. The concept of a barge cruise, suggested by (…) turned out to be new and fun for all six of us. The boat has been a welcoming home and a smooth ship on the Canal – but it was the crew that made a miracle from all the ingredients. Thanks to all!”
M & B Party, October, 2019
“What a perfect week we all had because of each of you. Our guide, who introduced us to the incredible history of the Languedoc with lively retelling of that history – our sommelier introduced us to new and old grapes – our ‘doctor’ when we started ailing – you did it with warmth, great humor, honesty (remember the wine you didn’t like?) and always with great care. There is a children’s book series in the US called ‘Where’s Waldo’, where Waldo pops up in crowds in all sorts of places – you were like Waldo popping up everywhere!! (Chef), our incredible chef & DJ, you made every meal a gastronomic experience – feasts for all of our senses. The detail, the subtleties, the visual feasts – and most of all the enthusiasm you shared for each complex creation made every meal a joyful adventure. AND, you were the best DJ, providing music for our every mood & taste. (The Hostess), the lovely quiet member of the team who did everything – made the table beautiful with flowers plucked from the banks of the Canal (and grapes from the vines). Created more napkin designs – brought us and narrated the amazing cheese courses – steered the boat like a ballet dance doing plies – and in between, snuck down to tidy our rooms (Captain) our barefoot Captain, you made steering this large barge through the smallest of tunnels & bridges – through multiple locks, around partying inexperienced smaller boats – looks so easy. We always felt safe in your care. And, we know at least one of us was happy to have been allowed to take his turn at the wheel!! Most of all, we appreciated the way you all worked together as a team: and your willingness to share your lives with 6 crazy (old) American strangers. Come visit us so we can begin to reciprocate the generous hospitality you showed us! With love & thanks. “
“What a wonderful week to celebrate our our 50th wedding anniversary. Everything about Roi Soleil is great and such wonderful service to each of us. We have had a wonderful tine filled with great laughter, super wine, drinks and excellent food served to us in a beautiful gourmet way. The service, by these 4 individuals was great! We thank you all and also to the owners of Roi Soleil.”
A & B Party, Misissippi, USA July, 2019
“Our THIRD trip and the Roi Soleil keeps getting better and better. It was a fabulous week with great food, great wine, entertaining excursions and beautiful scenery. To (the crew) – our heartfelt thanks! You created a wonderful atmosphere where we were able to share in the celebration of our friend’s 49th and 50th wedding anniversaries! The shared laughter, stories, memories and conversation have created new life-time memories. Until we see each other again – Thank you.”
C & W Party, Hattisburg, MS, USA June, 2019
“The week has been wonderful! It has been difficult to realise how quickly the time has passed. The food, the wine, the service, the days excursions – everything first class! This will be a week to remember – full of memories shared with old friends and the new friends made this week! Thank you for all you did to make this week so special.
S & D Party, Hattiesburg, MS, USA June, 2019
“Thank you for an amazing week aboard the Roi Soleil. From the gourmet cuisine to the outstanding service to the warmth of the crew, it has been an incredible experience. Having never done a barge cruise, we really had no idea what to expect – it was unforgettable.”
T & L Party, May, 2019
“Having reviewed a lot of the previous comments, I see a very common thread: wonderful food & wine, fabulous welcome, beautiful scenery & superb crew who cosseted us. It’s all been said, but that doesn’t devalue the feeling of love and warmth that (the crew & owners) afforded us and our family. The memories of this trip will last forever!! Thank you so much. ”
D & Y Party, July, 2018
“What can one say …? We endorse all of the previous comments and count ourselves infinitely fortunate to have such wonderful people to give us an unforgettable experience. “
B & M Party, Virginia, USA June, 2018
“Our deepest thanks for making our week on the Roi Soleil so perfect! You took care of our every need, fed us with the most divine food, kept our wine glasses filled, educated us about the Canal du Midi and stayed up late, because we refused to go to bed!! We will miss you al- but I have your emails so we will keep in touch – we might also surprise you and visit one day! So, instead of saying goodbye … let me say until we meet again. Fondly “
J & B Party, June, 2018
“So many thanks for creating for us an amazingly perfect trip. You were so much fun to be with while being attentive to needs we did not even know we had…”
“…I have no words for this extraordinary experience…fabulous, delicious and beyond any expectations we had…beautiful boat, amazing crew…”
S. Party, Hawaii & Cal. October 2017
“We had an amazing time on board Roi Soleil! It was heaven on earth and every day we couldn’t wait to get “BOB” (back on the boat)…”
S. Party USA July 2017
“ Dear crew of Roi Soleil,
Words in any language can not begin to describe the gratitude and appreciation that that we have for you and all that you did to make our experience of the canal so special.
We thoroughly enjoyed out time here celebrating our 50th while understanding the history and culture of southern France.
Food, wine and sightseeing could not have been more spectacular! La joie de vivre!…”
L. Party, Tampa, FL.
“Thank you for curating such an amazing experience. The passion you have for the place, people, food and history shines through…You are blessed to live in such an exceptional part of the world…”
S. Party, Vancouver BC. September 2017
“Many thanks for a fun filled week of food, wine and beautiful scenery. The boat was just so roomy and comfortable. It is definitely on the “bucket list’ for another visit – Thank you for the attention to every detail…”
D. Party, Australia, September 2017
“…Enjoyed every minute on this wonderful boat. If there is a more terrific vacation packed in seven days we haven’t met it. Thank you for memories for the ages…”
“Unforgettable experience. Wonderful food – matched or exceeded the top tier restaurants worldwide. Individual service unsurpassed. Boat handling by the skipper awe inspiring.
I can’t imagine an improvement.”
US Air Force General – CB, August 2017
F. Party USA, October 2016
“It has been the most amazing week, we have loved every minute.
I started the week with 3 friends and ended up with 7.
I am not sure you could do anything better.
Thank you so much!
Visit us in N.Z.”
G. Party, N.Z June 2016
“If you go up the river, this is THE Boat to do it on, with THE crew. (The hostess’s) poise, knowledge & grace, (the guide’s) flow & command of every location, (the chef’s) amazingly inspirational cooking, and last & most (the captain’s) command of the Canal du Midi make for a treat like no other EXPERIENCE ON EARTH! Simply AMAZED!”
“We are so sad that our Spa Trip on the Canal has come to an end. You spoiled us rotten and I don’t know how I will ever take care of myself as well as you have. The food, wine and many treats were amazing and have inspired us. Thank you for all the great information and tours. It was such a treat to watch you all work. You made everything seem effortless and easy – it was a pleasure to watch. Our very best to all of you and hope to see you again.”
A & N June, 2016
“What a wonderful trip, made more wonderful by the incredible crew. Thank you for making this such an enjoyable experience for our family & friends!”
DC June, 2016
G.Party,Toronto, Ont. October 2015
Damian, our chef, was outstanding! … serving spectacular food in the most beautiful settings.
The wine and cheese was fabulous and presented with a telling of its history and provenance by our guide, Rex and our exceptional hostess, Emily. We learned as we dined and imbibed. All our wishes and expectations were fulfilled … from blueberry pancakes to a sumptuous seafood feast. This trip has been like having Alain Ducasse at each meal!
Our superb guide, Rex, was completely knowledgeable and passed his passion on to us all.
Through the locks and on through this peaceful canal, our fantastic captain, Finn, took us on unforgettable voyage of beauty.”
Party Toronto, Ont. October 2015
The chef is amazing. He not only produced amazing meals but invited us to watch, take notes, gave out recipies…
The accomodation was very nice.
The high points were the food and wines and general ambiance. Add to that the fun excursions.
It was a wonderful overall time and experience!”
H & McW Party, USA, June 2013
Experiencing navigating the locks, learning the local history from our guide, coming back after a hard afternoon’s explorations to the comforting sight of our hostess with cocktails and snacks as she welcomes us home.
And the food! What can we say? We were thrilled over and over again each meal that our chef presented. He delighted all of our different tastes, every single time with beautiful creativity. We have been well pleased, thankyou for a wonderful holiday!”
Family Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. June 2012
You were all so eager to please and so helpful at everything we needed.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Party Houston, TX. May 2012
Yes, the food, the wines and the beds were excellent, but what we really appreciated is the caring extended to each one of us.
You were superb in responding to our every request and we thank you most sincerely while hoping that we will be with each and every one of you in the near future again. That’s a real hope for happy travels in France!”
B &W McM Party- Illinois – September, 2010
But we were wrong:
It was much better than we expected! Of course the scenery was beautiful but the human touch is always the most important and the crew were marvelous.
We will be back!”
T & L P. Lisbon – Portugal – September 2010
The food was exquisite and the wine and cheese presentations were as informative as they were delicious.
The crew could not have been nicer or more adept at their jobs. They made us all feel well cared for and totally pampered.
We loved the trip and we thank you!”
E & C M. Party, USA, June 2010
“We had an absolutely perfect trip!”
“The crew could not have been better.”
“They were attentive to every whim, and went out of their way to find the best choices for us, even when it meant more work . . . Our guests have their own yachts.”
“Both yachts have always been run with a sense of perfection . . . they were both impressed with the extraordinary level of service and care offered by your team . . .”
R.M. New York City, May 2009
(Their 7th week on Roi Soleil since 2003, on different routes)
All in all a wonderful repeat experience. The first time out we didn’t know what to expect, it was a ‘Wow.’ The repeat was ‘Wow Wow!'”
C.L. Party, Kansas City, Sept 2006
“We’ve slept on silk sheets at the Four Seasons in New York. Paid a king’s ransom for dinner at Phillip Starke’s ultra-trendy restaurant in Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel. Sailed the Virgin Islands aboard a luxury sailboat. And generally eaten and drunk our way around the world via a series of four and five star interludes that have left our waistlines bulging and our wallets depleted.
But nothing in our past experience adequately prepared my wife and I, and two other equally-well-traveled couples, for the six idyllic days we recently spent aboard the River Yacht, Roi Soleil.
The food was sublime.
The service was flawless.
The accommodations were awesome.
The scenery was breathtaking.
And the memories we carried back to our land-locked homes in Kansas City were the stuff to last a lifetime.”
C.L. Party, Kansas City, Sept 2003
“It’s said to be better the second time around . . . and you have proved it this year! Again . . .
Great Food. Great Sites. Great Company. . . We look forward to seeing some of you in the U.S. in the near future so we can return some of what we received. Thanks again . . . until we meet again.”
H & P Party, Connecticut, Sept. 2002