About the Barge Company- Your friends in Europe
Marie and Mark Galle (below) run the company, and have done since 2003. The company however, has been in operation since prior to 1997, originally named ‘Alastair Sawday’s Barge Bookers’. Then, in 1997, it was renamed ‘The Barge Cruise Company Ltd.’, trading as ‘The Barge Company’.

Since then, Mark and Marie have worked very hard to build up The Barge Company’s widely respected reputation as real experts on European barge cruising. This hard-earned reputation is something that we continually strive to maintain and build upon, in order to ensure that you feel happy booking with us, in the comfort and knowledge that you’re booking with people who have thorough knowledge of the barges they represent.

Marie and Mark Gallé

Here we are in Moret-sur-Loing during our honeymoon in 2003 whilst cruising aboard the lovely ’Litote’ barge in Burgundy. At the very start of our journey into barging!

Since then we’ve visited and cruised on many barges all over Europe, and are delighted to share our hand-picked collection with you right here on this website.


Mark has a Masters degree in Engineering from the University of Cambridge where he studied Aeronautical Engineering and partook in a great deal of rowing! Marie is a graduate of the University of Bristol where she achieved a BA Hons Degree in Modern Languages, specialising in French, Spanish and Portuguese, but she has learnt Italian, Greek and Japanese since then. It’s rather a passion, aside from the barging.

Soon after our relocation to the south of France, we put our hobbies aside and decided to start our family. We are now thrilled to share our everyday lives with our two wonderful children: Felix, who is 8 years old, and Cicely, who is 4. Felix is a real ‘bookworm’ who loves LEGO and is also very interested in electronics, cycling and horse-riding, whilst Cicely enjoys puzzles and books, and also loves dressing up, cycling and rollerblading. They both also enjoy home cooking (AND EATING!) and are fascinated by the world of barging, so watch this space! They have already cruised on many barges between them!

Marie and Cicely
Felix gives a thumbs up
Cicely dressed as Dorothy
Felix loves baking


We are a small but industrious team, but are utterly dedicated to what we do. If you call us (note our toll-free number from the USA and CANADA), you’ll always get through to me (Marie) on the telephone and I’ll be delighted to hear from you and help you with your barge booking. If you’ve a good idea of what you want, and just need the reassurance that it’s the right barge for your cruise, then I’m the right person to talk to. Or, if you’re just thinking of cruising somewhere, sometime, and have questions, I’ll always be happy to help you out, go through the possibilities and to share my in-depth knowledge of the barges, canals and rivers with you. I will be honored to be your personal and direct link to the barging world…I’m dedicated to providing an impressively personal, prompt and friendly service giving everything you need to book the right barge for you.


As we are in our nineteenth season as The Barge Company we continue to reinforce our position as the leading European barge bookers. All our reviews and comments on the barges are ABSOLUTELY INDEPENDENT. We aren’t sponsored by anyone, we don’t have shares in any of the barges and no one gives us money to say nice things about them.


In February 2004 The Barge Company relocated from the UK to the south of France, so we have now been here for eleven years. Based just outside Toulouse we visit the barges often, and so we know what we’re talking about. Being ‘on the spot’ means that our information and knowledge is always up to date and you can rely upon the information that we give you. From information on the weather, to advice on the different types of scenery or local customs, we know what we’re talking about as we’re here experiencing the wonderful French way of life every single day.


We love ‘talking barging’ and many of our clients become friends, regularly re-booking for next season and sending us postcards and news from all over the world. With our frequent visits to the barges we make sure they’re still in tip-top condition for you, ensuring that we’re up to date with their facilities and are maintaining their excellent standards. Happily, this also means that we enjoy excellent relationships with the barge-owners, and remain full of admiration for what they do.


We are here to inform you and to advise, but never to ‘persuade’ you to cruise. We pride ourselves on a personal and efficient service, and are never pushy with clients. The choice to cruise is yours alone, and we try our utmost to help you make the right decision on which barge is best for you, drawing from our knowledge and matching it to your requirements.


Here is what some of our valued clients said about us in 2013 and 2014:

  • It was a delight dealing with you, Marie. You have been so very friendly and obliging. I do hope The Barge Company does very well. I will highly recommend your company to anyone who might be interested in a barge cruise. I will certainly book again through you if we are able to do another barge trip in the future. Thank you so very much! Warmly, K

  • We are still in France but wanted to let you know how wonderful the Barge trip was for us and our guests! Everyone had a fabulous time on and off the barge as the crew was fabulous as were the day excursions and of course the FOOD! We look forward to another trip with that crew again as we all had so much fun!!!! There will be a lot of talk about you too! And in Texas as well as Palm Desert where we live in the winter! Thank you for helping to make this experience so great! Fondly, R.
And from a very valued travel agent:
  • Marie, this afternoon, Angela came in. Gushing is not even close to the praises I was hearing. I am so thrilled for them. I can't wait to see the pictures they took. As a travel agent, it is rare that I come across a company that was as diligent, heart-warming, and enthusiastic about the products they offer. I am passing the word... The Barge Company is the one to beat! Service, pricing, and packaging is your best assets! Look forward to giving you much business in the future! Regards, E


Some barges always become booked up very quickly each year – often more than a year in advance, so we urge you to get in touch with us as soon as you are thinking of booking a barge cruise so that we can ensure you get your first choice barge if at all possible. Sometimes your favourite barge or cruise week will not be available, but we will always propose a similar barge or cruise area, if there is one. The general rule though, is ‘get in touch as soon as possible’ – even if only to discuss the various possibilities.


Marie and Mark

Phone: +33 561 59 20 07, Fax: +33 561 59 23 54
Phone (Toll-Free from USA + Canada): 1-800-688-0245
Email: info@bargecompany.com
Web: www.bargecompany.com

The Barge Cruise Company Ltd, 2 Allée de Castelnouvel, 31490 Léguevin