Canal Barging in Southern France on the River Lot

Photo of the Cahor Bridge, France
Experience France as never before aboard a well-equipped canal barge visiting the undiscovered countryside of Southwest France. Come with us to a corner of France that Rick Steves forgot.

Immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine of rural France. These personalized tours are led by Western Washington University professor, Amanda Eurich, and her husband, Laurent Martel.

Dr. Eurich has taught French history at Western for more than 30 years. A published author, her research and publications center on the history of this region. Fluent in French, she has led many study abroad programs. Laurent, her husband, has 30+ years experience in the food and wine industry, representing more than 2,000 wineries worldwide as a wholesaler and has traveled extensively throughout Western Europe.

These are interactive tours. All hands participate in skippering the boat, navigating the locks and handling lines. We shop in the local markets and prepare meals together. Great for family gatherings, children over the age of 11 are welcome. Canal boat sleeps six—only two cabins available per trip.

“This is the most fun you will ever have at three miles an hour!”

The Lot river flows through the Cahors wine regions, the ancestral home of the Malbec grape. The medieval city of Cahors was naturally protected by an oxbow of the Lot. Moving upstream into the national park and the grand canyon of the Lot, we will be stopping at small villages along the way.

Package includes:

  • Eight night’s accommodation-one night hotel in medieval Cahors and seven aboard 40’ canal barge
  • Two on-board wine tasting seminars conducted by Laurent Martel
  • Tour of medieval Cahors with Amanda Eurich as guide
  • Visit Saint Cirq-Lapopie immortalized by Andre Breton
  • Cruise up the ‘Grand Canyon of the Lot’
  • See the vineyards of Cahors and tour a Malbec estate
  • Shop in the local markets with Amanda as translator and guide
  • All dining on-board: continental breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • Tax deduction—12% trip cost donated to Western’s student scholarship fund
  • Tour of Pech-Merle Prehistoric Caves with local guide


Not included:

  • Airfare (Amanda and Laurent will be happy to assist in planning your trip)
  • Wine costs to be shared communally
  • Any lunch or dinner off the boat. (We will likely dine out three times.)


Unique travel experience
This is not a “Princess or Oceania” cruise. This trip is open to only four guests (not counting the hosts). There is no chef or cabana boy on board. All hands will be expected to help with onboard duties. This trip is manageable for active seniors (mobility needed to move around the boat).

Cabins are by necessity small, so luggage should be kept to one bag per person.

Two Trips for 2018
August 31 – September 8, 2018
September 7 – Sept. 15, 2018

$3,900 per cabin (sleeps two)

For more details and to register, please contact our hosts. Laurent Martel at or by phone at 360.815.3980.

Cancellation policy: Deposit will be forfeit if cancelled within 90 days of departure, unless vacancy is filled.

Canal Barging in Southern France on the River Lot
Roundtrip - Cahors to Saint Cirq-Lapopie