For over 30 years it has been Ellen Sack’s goal as the Barge Lady to book travelers on “the perfect […]

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For over 30 years it has been Ellen Sack’s goal as the Barge Lady to book travelers on “the perfect barge cruise.”

What started as a career as a retail travel agent has evolved into an amazing specialization in this unique form of travel. Barges are attractive watercraft carrying 4-24 passengers that cruise through European canals. The leisurely pace of barging allows for travelers to relax and enjoy gourmet food and wine and the many cultural and natural sites along the route. Each barge has a skilled crew to pilot and maintain the boat as well as cook the delicious meals aboard. They also lead tours of local vineyards, markets, châteaux, Medieval churches and charming villages. Guests can indulge in amazing food and wine, go on a variety of daily excursions, leisurely bicycle, enjoy the scenery, mingle with their fellow guests, and spend some time alone reading or relaxing on the deck.

Ellen’s careful recommendations are based on her comprehensive experiences on board the barges and travel to all of the major European cities. She has taken over fifty visits to France, in addition to many trips to England, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands and Italy during which she has met the crews, experienced the sightseeing and sampled regional gastronomy. These first-hand experiences, as well as the feedback from clients (and a pinch of intuition) are what has enabled her to create a bespoke trip for each and every guest.

Ellen especially adores France, where, speaking just a few words of French and lugging her carry-on bag, she has traveled widely. Ellen knows all of the barges and the owners in France very well and, in some cases, is now working with the second generation of owners. On a recent trip to the Canal du Midi in southwest France she visited many new vessels that she’s thrilled to share with her clients.

Ellen is known as the barge expert in the travel world and, as such, she has received much praise and many accolades. She was featured in the book “1000 Places to See Before You Die,” and was deemed the “reigning expert on barge cruising” by Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor of the Today Show. She has been listed as Top Travel Specialist by Condé Nast Traveler magazine a number of times and is a featured expert on the Wendy Perrin WOW list.

Ellen and her team have welcomed thousands of guests, treating each one as an individual. They are always on the lookout for ways to add interest and pleasure to each client’s trip. They look forward to matching UltraVilla clients with the perfect luxury barge experience in Europe.

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