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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 […]

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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 began as a career as a retail travel agent has turned into an amazing specialization in this unique form of travel. Barges are handsome vessels carrying 4-24 passengers that cruise through European canals, primarily in France. Barging focuses on gourmet food and wine, while exploring the countryside and relaxing. A dedicated crew cooks and cleans, pilots the barge, and gives chauffeured tours of local vineyards, châteaux, historic churches, markets and charming Medieval villages. Guests indulge in the food and wine, go on daily excursions, leisurely bicycle, enjoy the scenery, mingle with other guests, and read and relax on the deck.

Her recommendations are based on extensive experiences on board the barges, travel to all of the major European cities. Ellen has made over fifty visits to France, as well as trips to England, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands and Italy in order to meet the crews, experience the sightseeing and sample divine food and wine. These first-hand experiences plus feedback from clients and a pinch of intuition are what allows her to create a special trip for each and every guest.

Ellen particularly 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 French barges and the owners extremely well and, in some cases, has started to work 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 eager to share with her clients.

Ellen is known as the barge expert in the travel world and has received many accolades. She was featured in the book “1000 Places to See Before You Die,” and was called the “reigning expert on barge cruising” by Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor of the Today Show. She has been listed as Top Travel Specialist by Conde Nast Traveler magazine numerous 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, and always on the lookout for ways to add interest and pleasure to each trip. They look forward to matching UltraVilla clients with the perfect luxury barge experience in Europe.

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