The owners Rory and Caroline Macrae have been in the luxury hotel barging industry for over 20 years! They first came to France in the early 90’s to work on board the brand new river cruiser ‘Napoleon’ cruising in Provence – Rory was a steward in those days and Caroline was the Corden Bleu chef. They both fell in love with France and her waterways, and that got them started in their careers with barging. Rory worked his way up from steward in Provence to Captain, and then onto Technical Manager and eventually to General Manager of the 5 boats operated by Afloat in France. Caroline was in charge of the Operations for all 5 boats and they worked together as a team for 10 years running that company.
Rory is a highly experienced Captain and has navigated on many waterways throughout Europe and in many types of vessels! One voyage found him in Amsterdam with a friend who had just bought an old rusty crane boat, their mission to get the barge down to Champagne in France as quickly as possible! Very different days to now, when he is all about the luxury market, although he still loves the rustic side of boating too!
By chance the Apres Tout came onto the market for sale and after much thought, they made an offer to buy this boat in 2011 which was accepted. Rory and Caroline then resigned from their positions to run their very own hotel barge.
The first season working on board the Apres Tout in 2012 was a huge success, with so many wonderful passengers, great compliments for the boat, itinerary, food and wine and of course the cruising – their decision to leave the ‘office life’ behind and be out and about in the delightful French countryside, cruising every day was indeed the right one!