Welcome Travel Agent Colleagues!
The Barge Lady has been working with Travel agents since 1985. In fact, Ellen used to BE a travel agent for 7 years before becoming The Barge Lady. As a result, we understand your expectations and how to seamlessly work together. Since we represent 45 barges, we are aware that it might be challenging for you to select the right one for your precious clients. Let The Barge Lady help you. We would love to make sure your clients are thrilled with their barge trip - this is why we get out of bed in the morning!
Barging is better when we work together!
Here's how it's done:
- You will contact us when you get a request for a barge cruise! Be ready to advise such helpful details as number in party, where they want to cruise (France? Holland at Tulip Time? Great Britain?), and level of luxury desired. You will also be able to discuss your client’s previous travels and special interests: in short, the personal background that only a dedicated agent can provide – which will help us select that “perfect barge cruise.”
- Our experienced team will immediately e-mail you a selection of barges and dates, using links to our site, which best matches your client’s wish list. Our on-line brochures provide the most complete information available and include pictures of the vessel, guests, cuisine, and sightseeing; yummy sample menus and wine lists; and feedback from previous guests. We want both YOU and your clients to to envision the entire barge experience, and also envision whether or not it is the right trip for them. (If brochures are required, we will mail them. Some customers are more comfortable “with something in their hands.” )
- Together we will assure that all questions are answered and expectations clarified. Some of our agents ask us to speak directly to prospective” bargers.” We are happy to do so, and sometimes we learn more details that can help refine our recommendation.
- Let's book a barge cruise! When all parties agree on the right choice, we will place a booking with the barge owner. We will e-mail invoices for both deposit (due immediately in order to confirm the booking) and final payment (due 60 to 120 days before departure, depending on the cruise selected). Payment can be made by Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Agency Check. We will continue to be available to you right up to the day the guests board. After all, we are your partner in assuring a perfect experience! Boarding documents will arrive in your office thirty days before departure.
- We stay in contact with you, giving ideas that help you stay in touch with your clients! Our fabulous special interest cruises have included the “Downton Abbey Cruise” on the River Thames just outside London, a “Chocolate Cruise” deep in the heart of beautiful Burgundy, and a “foodies” program visiting gardens and markets in rural Ireland. Read our e-mails for the newest barge offerings – and suggestions of how to find the right travelers to enjoy them.
We have enjoyed working with our wonderful retail agent partners, many who have booked with us again and again – and who we consider friends. Richard Turen, one of the most experienced and strategic agents under the sun, and an editorial columnist for Travel Weekly, described why travel agents are so valuable.
"No professional group of consultants is more deserving of respect than the travel consultant. On our shelves, we stock the world. We have to be conversationally familiar with the details of every continent. Ours is the only profession that deals exclusively with lifes most treasured moments. We fill memory banks, we make life worth living, we bring families together, and we help our countrymen find a greater understanding of life beyond our borders. For these and all the other cherished reasons, we should take great pride in what we do."
"The Barge lady's services were excellent in every way: understandable, prompt, friendly and informative. I cannot imagine a better experience. Everything was clear and your service was both professional and friendly."
"My clients just returned from their cruise and raved about the trip, the accommodations, the food, and the company. Thanks again for steering me in the right direction for my valued clients."