For over 30 years it has been Ellen Sack’s goal as the Barge Lady to create “the perfect barge cruise” […]

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For over 30 years it has been Ellen Sack’s goal as the Barge Lady to create “the perfect barge cruise” for her clients

Ellen began her career as a retail travel agent, which has evolved into an amazing specialization in a unique form of travel, by barge. Barge Lady Cruises’ watercraft are beautiful canal boats that can carry 4-24 passengers as they cruise through Europe’s intricate waterways. The leisurely pace of barging allows travellers to deeply relax and enjoy delicious gourmet food and wine along with the many cultural and natural sites en route. Each barge has a skilled crew to pilot and maintain the boat, as well a chef who concocts the incredible meals onboard. The crew also lead tours of local vineyards, markets, châteaux, medieval churches and charming villages. Guests can enjoy a variety of daily excursions, take leisurely cycling trips, soak up the scenery and surroundings, make friends with their fellow guests, spend time in privacy reading or relax on the deck, and of course, indulge in amazing food and wine

Ellen’s carefully considered recommendations are based on her comprehensive experiences on board her barges and travel to all of major – and favourite – 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 all of the barge crews personally, immersed herself in experiences offered on and off the decks, and sampled regional gastronomy. This first-hand participation, feedback from clients, and a pinch of intuition are what have enabled her to create bespoke trips for each and every guest.

Although Ellen adores Europe, she is especially fond of France, where, speaking just a few words of French and lugging her carry-on bag, she has travelled extensively. 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 a great selection of new vessels that she is excited 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 and her Barge Lady Cruises were 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. Ellen 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 the Barge Lady Cruises team have welcomed thousands of guests, but always treat each and every one as an individual. The team is always on the lookout for ways to add interest and enjoyment to each client’s trip. Barge Lady Cruises looks forward to matching UltraVilla clients with the perfect luxury barge experience in France and beyond.


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