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Our opening month of 2022 left us a little confused as whether Spring is here or not - April showers had us a little washed out at times, but the sun finally came out.Alex joined us from his own family's hotel barge in central France and manoeuvred us very nicely into the lovely quiet spot at Villeton. Whilst Gilbert and Debra joined us a week later to sample for themselves what barging will be like before heading off in search of their perfect vessel. Gilbert took full advantage of the slight delay waiting for the VNF to clear debris from the Γ©cluse gates so we could continue on our way. He persevered to master coiling the rope with success and soon got to grips with the simple trigger mechanism for the Γ©cluse whilst Debra confidently took the helm. Is that our favourite restaurant approaching?? We really must book a table there very soon :-).Bon chance in your search for a suitable barge and enjoy rest of your French adventure holidays. ... See MoreSee Less
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Brrrr! A FREEZING start to the days this weekend, but beautiful crisp, sunny days followed for our first Barging Experience of the year - and the central heating boiler passed its early season test so we were as warm as toast over breakfast πŸ˜„Already experienced skippers on their cruiser, Paul and Martine thoroughly enjoyed their time on 'Somewhere' to try out what a large barge would be like before they head off with their [long] shortlist of 'must haves' when searching for their very own barge. Bon voyage and have fun with the future barge hunt - don't forget to leave space for the odd flower pot πŸ˜‰ ... See MoreSee Less
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At last, we're underway for 2022. A rather surprisingly chilly couple of mornings for the start of our 'Grande Plaisance; (EGP). Both Jean-Louis and PJ did fantastic and took us to Serignac sur Garonne and back to Buzet the next day to complete their training. Thank you Benoit and Eve for another successful EGP qualification completed. ... See MoreSee Less
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4 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
The new season will be here soon and we have a lot of clients coming! So, preparations begin and we start by having a 2,000 hour service on our engine. This means keeping the professional technician filled with coffee and biscuits! ... See MoreSee Less
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6 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Well, it's been a shorter than usual season for us, not being able to reopen until May due to Covid 19 restrictions. Our season is now done and our end of year report sees us having negotiated 119 locks and navigate some 775 kilometers - or rather our guests did. Well done one and all and we look forward to meeting many new friends next year as we're almost fully booked until July already! ... See MoreSee Less
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7 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Some very misty mornings this week with the arrival of autumn, but thankfully it soon burned back to bring beautiful sunny, warm days for our penultimate Barging Experience with Chuck and Linda. After many, many years sailing they're making the transition to canal barging and quickly settled into the different techniques they needed to master and left us qualified to skipper their very own barge. Just a year to wait to begin your very own 'Gulliver's' travels πŸ˜‰. Bon chance et bon voyage. ... See MoreSee Less
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8 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Dudley and Cheryl found the perfect way to bring their two weeks holiday in France to a close. A lovely hire boat experience with friends on the Canal du Midi followed by a short hop to us in Buzet to complete their RYA Helmsman training and CEVNI test. Now they're good to go with their ICC when they find their perfect barge. In the meantime, they've learned some useful techniques to adopt on their sailboat too.Bon voyage on every nautical vessel! βš“οΈβ›΅οΈβ›΄ ... See MoreSee Less
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8 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
All round vision is the name of the game in the past few days with Robert. Just what was Steve so intent on focussing on? Whoever, or whatever it was Robert navigated fabulously to achieve his RYA Helmsman and is now qualified for his ICC.Bon voyage Robert, it's a shame we didn't get to meet Jacqueline, but hopefully she's enjoyed sharing your experience vicariously. πŸ™‚ ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
A euphoric Christopher after passing his CEVNI whilst Cindy celebrated rather more quietly. Both were delighted to have completed their RYA Helmsman training which has put them well on their way to realising their plans to move to France aboard a barge in a year or two. Lots of time to search out an ideal vessel whatever length she may be...we may see Christopher back for his EGP if a 20m+ barge steals their heart.Good luck with your search you two and Rosie and Jim say 'hi' to their personal consultant vet 😊🐾🐾 ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Absolute focus and concentration in the wheelhouse as Charlie and Julie got to grips with their 'bowline' practice. Once mastered they moved to doing it with their eyes closed - may be invaluable in the future if they fall overboard and need rescuing! See you soon you two when you eventually reach Buzet port with your lovely new boat having successfully completed your RYA Helmsman/ICC. ... See MoreSee Less
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10 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
As the summer heat arrived we welcomed Miranda and Christina, close friends from Holland for their RYA training. As we all melted in 35°c+ they did a superb job at the helm and crewing to smoothly take us from Buzet to Caumont, with a stopover in the lovely Villeton, and back again. They'd earned a very well deserved celebration drink on successful completion of their 3 days training.It was an absolute delight to spend several days with them and enjoy entertaining conversation over dinner. Now we can't wait to see the beautiful Vaporetto 'Hippopotamo ' in all her glory after a painstaking renovation project.Bon chance Miranda with your further preparations before heading off on your adventures afloat. Bon voyage 😊 ... See MoreSee Less
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10 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Summer is here! Wonderful weather, to enjoy a tight squeeze cruise just outside Buzet. Tanya did a superb job navigating through the narrow channel at the end of her three days with us. I'm sure she'll do very well once back onboard her own barge - a little different than the 'Great Loop' but a new adventure awaits. Bon voyage Tanya, hope to see you down here some time πŸ™‚ ... See MoreSee Less
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10 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Another eventful week for different reasons! Following a violent summer storm last weekend which brought a mini tornedo pass through the region, we were left with canal closures because of trees blocking the channel on both our potential routes. Thankfully, the stoppage one way reopened in time to allow us to pass, only to be closed again for lock repairs. Ah well it brought a brief interlude for Adam and Leigh to complete their CEVNI and an insight into the sometimes changeable situation on the canal network. All ended well, as after lunch the lock reopened and they were able to continue back to Buzet and successfully earn their RYA inland waterways Helmsman's certificates :-).Safe travels back to the USA to you both, and hope to see you in a year or two as a refresher before setting off on your own barging adventure. ... See MoreSee Less
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11 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
We've had an entertaining week with Tom's sea shanties whilst he took his inland waterways helmsman's course. It's not the first time we've had musicians onboard and we really enjoy their skills and talent. Well done Tom and thank you! ... See MoreSee Less
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11 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
Obstruction on the Canal Garonne at the last lock/ecluse (39) before Buzet. Passable with care. We don't know the circumstances yet, but it will be there for a while. ... See MoreSee Less
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11 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
What a wonderful week it has been to be able to welcome guests again to our residential training Barging Experience. Perhaps the weather was a little on the hot side, but the storms eased the humidity and Dorinda concluded her RYA inland waterways Helmsman training in more comfort and dodged most of the downpours overnight! We've all had a fantastic week of training, good company and entertainment with thought provoking debate. Even Rosie and Jim slipped straight back into their 'jobs' as front of house guest relaxation team - although I think Rosie got carried away and found Dorinda's dog whispering technique more therapeutic than she expected.... "wake up Rosie!"Bon voyage Dorinda wherever Siga Siga takes you πŸ˜€ ... See MoreSee Less
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12 months ago

Bargecraft Boat School
We're open! Hooray.As France slowly begins to ease the 'non' lockdown we are now able to run training courses - non-residential for the next couple of weeks before fully returning to our fully inclusive Barging Experiences next month.Don took full advantage to reserve an early slot and drive to us both days. He calmly handled Somewhere to complete the course with flying colours, well done Don. As he's already passed his CEVNI he's all ready to secure his ICC and at last let the lines go and sail away. Bon voyage Don and enjoy 'Misbehavin'! πŸ™‚ ... See MoreSee Less
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We're reopening! πŸ˜€France is now progressively easing the Covid restrictions in light of an overall reduction in the spread of the virus and the significant increase in the vaccination roll out programme - we've both had ours! The good news is that we are able to reopen safely and tourists will be able to come to France from early June - with a health pass.Our reopening dates are:β€’ Wednesday 19 May – non-residential training can beginβ€’ Wednesday 9 June – a full return to our Barging Experiences, the all inclusive residential training programmeIf you're not already in France and hope to get to here later this year (obviously if your home country permits international travel), then please do check our availability page as many dates are already reserved for our guests who couldn't get to us last year. www.bargecraft.com/the-barging-experience/availability/During the lockdowns we've been busy updating our interior and installing air-conditioning ready for the long hot summer. We hope to see you here later in the year πŸ˜€ ... See MoreSee Less
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