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Steve & Ginny B.2 years ago
Bordeaux Bordeaux - Castelos, Rios & VinhoFrança
We cannot tell you enough good about MS Bordeaux, the Captain and his crew. It was so enjoyable to arrive on board, unpack for eight days, and relax. On other bike rides, we unpacked every night and repacked every morning. I think another bike/barge is in order. Tim LaMonte and I are researching next year’s ride already!
The food was exceptional (except for one night when the chef was off. My red mullet was raw and not cooked. Can you spell Y-U-C-K?). Every day, we packed our lunches (except when we did our walking tour of Bordeaux with Sebastian, see below.) Desserts were yummy!
The bike rides were great and we discovered fantastic wines!
There were 84 passengers on-board. A large group was from Australia, some from Canada, Switzerland and the USA. Even though those of on the non-guided ride tour rode at different speeds, we continuously found each, and other helped each other find our way Leia Mais and found places of interest. The camaraderie with other riders was phenomenal.
I had an e-bike. Ginny had a regular bike. On the last day, she traded it in for an e-bike! She will get one for the next tour! Tim also traded his bike for an e-bike on the last day.
In the middle of the week, we could ride our bikes on a short bike path or take a walking tour of Bordeaux, or both. We decided to have a relaxing day and took the walking tour.
Sebastian, the bartender, had the day off. We asked why he did the free walking tour on his day off. His response was simple. He loved to tell people about his country and take them on tour of his hometown, Bordeaux.
A total delight was our interaction with 19-year old Dorrian (sp?). He was the highlight of the trip. He gave the welcome briefing, the evening briefings on what to expect the next day, and was always available.
1. Dee LaMonte had a flat tire. We called Dorrian and he was there within 15 minutes
2. Dorrian was on different roads where the non-guided riders were, and always got us on the right track.
3. Every time we were not sure of where we should be, Dorrian showed up like magic!
4. Another flat tire, a telephone call, and Dorrian found us again. He took Dee LaMonte and her bike in a van to MS Bordeaux. Dorrian also offered a ride to the rest of us, however, we declined and rode the rest of the way back.
The final night on board, was the Captains Dinner, a party and lots wine flowing and lot of dancing! A perfect way to celebrate the end of our adventure!
Lee F.2 years ago
It was an altogether pleasant experience; the highlight was the lovely little village of Saint-Émilion.
Jeff K.2 years ago
Beautiful chateaus. Great wine. Not allowed to drink in cabin. Cabin extremely small. Shower barely fit one person. Guide excellent. No sauna or hot tub. I would recommend this trip but not this boat (the Bordeaux).
Neil M.2 years ago
Most Memorable Part: The accommodations, the staff and of course cycling through all the beautiful country side.
Nelson G.2 years ago
We had a great time riding through Bordeaux’s beautiful wine country. Our trip was enjoyable for our entire group of varying cycling abilities. The E-bikes made it easy for those that needed them. The staff was excellent and very personable. We were treated as art of the family. We are looking forward to our next cycling adventure.
Paul K.2 years ago
Having a guide for this trip was very beneficial. For the first 3 days our guided group consisted of 30+ people. This was too large of a group and was pretty much a pain. We eventually broke into a group of 8 riders with Dorian as our guide, that was perfect. We were able to travel at a much more leisurely pace, visit many wineries, tasting rooms, small villages and churches.
Jehiel from Tripsite • 2 years ago Equipe da Tripsite
Hi Paul,Thanks for this feedback. I agree two guides are better than one with big groups. That way you can have two different riding paces and everyone is content. I will share this feedback with our local partner! Thanks again.
Raine P.2 years ago
The routes were described well before each ride and usually easy to follow, however at least one person in your group should have a GPS. The guide and scenery were exceptional. The food was great but it was difficult getting vegetarian food for dinner even though I had requested vegetarian when I signed up.
Judy C.2 years ago
It was absolutely amazing from start to finish. The weather was warm, sunny, and perfect for biking. The country roads, surrounded with miles of vineyards, and the canal bike paths were beautiful. The small towns and villages were charming and delightful destinations; there was always an old castle or church to explore. The picnic lunch that we packed each morning allowed us to experience a variety of "picnic" spots. One day we were on the steps of the University of Bordeaux; another day sitting along the Garonne River in St. Macaire.
The boat, with just our family plus another couple, was terrific. We got to know the crew quite well-- actually, all on the boat became one big family. It was the trip of a life-time for all 15 of us. Everyday a grandchild would come up to me and say, "Mema, this is the best trip I've ever been on. I am having so much fun." From the youngest, at age 12, to the oldest at 78, we are left with memories that will never be forgotten.
Georgia M.2 years ago
Travelling on the boat with a small group of international people is such a great way to experience the world - and the bike tours are brilliant.
Lisa S.2 years ago
We traveled on the ship Bordeaux in France. The bike routes were beautiful, but the instructions provided by not so great. No worries, we had maps and a GPS, we made each day into an adventure!!!
Stephen M.2 years ago
Visiting Arles was particularly memorable, but we very much enjoyed the trip itinerary.
Jacqueline T.2 years ago
Get an ebike if you have any doubts about your ability to do the biking. I am not a biker but was able to do the hills around Bordeaux because of the ebike. Most memorable moments was just the ride through the vineyards themselves, past the chateauxs.
Sarita L.3 years ago
Everything was great. Just did not like the room and bathroom size.
Tama L.3 years ago
Most Memorable Part: St. Emilion and the disco party on the boat the last night
Ronnie L.3 years ago
Bordeaux is an exquisite area of France. Exploring it on a bike made it that much more enjoyable. The scenery and visiting wine Chateaus that have been in business for generation was quite spectacular. The city of Bordeaux may be my favorite city of all the European cities I've visited. It's very easy to use the public transportation, there is much to see, explore and experience there. For future listings, I would rate this trip as at least moderate in cycling difficulty. There was one flat day, one day of rolling cycling, and 3 day of pretty challenging hills, especially on heavy hybrid bikes. On any future tour I will definitely consider using an ebike. Many if not all of the European women used them. I met many interesting and lovely people from other countries on this tour. It was delightful!
Andrea S.3 years ago
We really enjoyed the bike rides in the country side, and visiting the wineries, especially the day Viktor took us to Clos de Bigos. Staff on the boat was great. Boat is older and can get very damp in the lower cabins. The cabin did have air conditioning which is very nice. The areas we visited were beautiful, and we were surprised at how beautiful Bordeaux is.
Veronica H.3 years ago
Bordeaux the best city on trip for us. Trip is not easy because of traffic and hills---scary!!!
Wendy from Tripsite • 3 years ago Equipe da Tripsite
This tour is a mix of days with flat/easy riding and days with occasional hills/moderate riding hence the rating easy/moderate. It is important to keep in mind that our ratings are based on riders who ride often and are accustomed to riding on varied paths and terrain. There are times that you will be on shared roads and depending on the time of day, you may encounter some traffic so we recommend a vest like our reflective one.
Richard O.3 years ago
We were on the 9-16 Sep sailing on the Bordeaux from Castets-en-Dorthe to Libourne. The provided daily road maps were difficult to follow and easily confusing; most folks saved the $200 euro apiece, and did the self-guided rides -- and folks were going off trail everywhere. Luckily, I had downloaded Ulmon maps, so I could always find my way back to the trail. They did offer 3 bike computers with pre-loaded maps which were very helpful. You state they can be rented for $15 euro, actually, they are available for free, with a $100 euro refundable deposit, unless it is lost or stolen. Otherwise, the trip was a delight, and great kudos to the bike guide Victor, the ship's owner Pascale, and her fine crew.
Karry & Brent M.3 years ago
Besides the beautiful scenery, the staff on the boat were so friendly and helpful. They worked as a team, and the relationship with the guests was wonderful. We made many new friends, and had such a good time. Leaving, we had tears in our eyes. We loved the wineries and tasting many new wines. Although we understand the purpose of corkage fees, we thought they were too high, as we came back with one or two new ones every day! Loved the trip!
Vivian C.3 years ago
The routing in Bordeaux was great. Amazing scenery, passing through little towns and managing our way through a city or two made for an amazing adventure. One day I had a big problem with my bike and with a phone call I had a young man show up and fix it. He was my hero.
Lori C.3 years ago
Loved the beauty of the rolling hills, vineyards and chateaus. Due to the hills, I would rate 2 of the days more moderate to difficult, leaning more to moderate. The maps and booklets are hard to follow, definitely have 1 person in your group get the GPS, it should be mandatory with all the turns. There is only a deposit required. The staff were attentive, hard working and fun! The food was exceptional. We highly recommend this tour!
Jim S.3 years ago
The scenery , chateaus and winery were beautiful.
Nancy P.3 years ago
We had a very enjoyable trip with beautiful scenery, good rides and pretty good weather most of the time. The Route maps and detailed instructions could be improved upon. There were several mistakes on which way to turn as well as confusing instructions. Luckily, we had GPS with us to help out in various situations. The food was very tasty, esp. the dinners. Great young chef. One thing which bothered us was that we were told not to bring any wine aboard the boat - we were to only purchase wine that was available on the boat via the token machine. Odd, since we were traveling and bicycling in Bordeaux WINE country, visiting chateaus daily!! We think that there should be another arrangement in that area. It's apparently a financial situation although it was explained that they didn't want wine spills in the cabin. A damage deposit could be arranged if that's really the issue. Otherwise, the staff, bikes and experience was great. This was our 3rd Bike/Barge trip with TripSite. Gladly recommend it often to others. We especially enjoyed St. Emilion (tour of monolithic church was amazing!) and riding to/from Blaye and touring the Citadel.
wendy • 3 years ago Equipe da Tripsite
Thanks so much for your feedback Nancy, it is so helpful to us and others interested in the tour! For the 2017 season, all routes, maps, descriptions and presentations are being redone and will be much improved! The wine policy has also been updated and clients will be able to drink wine on board in the lounge, restaurant and on deck, but not in the cabins. Clients will also, with a corkage fee, be able to drink their own wine purchased off the boat. St. Emilion and the citadel in Blaye were the highlights for me as well, so glad you enjoyed it!
Pat R.4 years ago
Would have liked more time biking. 2 days had less than 10 miles. We were in the guided group and were told the group would decide how much to bike on those days-we were never asked as a group-the guide decided himself we would do the shorter distance. Barge "purser"-a woman-not very friendly or helpful or available. Trip booked as a Bordeaux start and end, but the location of start and end of trip changed and we had to pay extra to get ourselves to Cadillac and back to Bordeaux from Libourne. The boat company should have provided that transfer free of charge. The 2 wine tasting charges should have been included in the trip charge. The boat charged 20 euros for a bottle of wine in the wine country of Bordeaux and we were not allowed to bring on any wine from the outside. You could buy a nice bottle of wine for less than $10.00 in town. Disappointed that we had twin beds-expected a double in the suite room.
Thank you for your feedback Pat! I am sorry for any confusion regarding the stop and start locations of the tour. On the tour page, it was always listed as Libourne and Castets-en-Dorthe, the only thing that had changed was that the dock in Castets was not completed and the boat would be docking in Cadillac instead. For the majority of tours, clients are responsible for individual travel to the barge locations so the offer of the bus transfers for this tour is extremely helpful and does save clients time and money. Also, the wine policy has been updated for the 2017 season and clients will be able to enjoy their own wine on board, paying a corkage fee, which is common on many boats. Information and pictures of the cabins is always posted on the boat page which is important to check out, I am sorry for any misunderstanding you had regarding the beds.
Deborah O.4 years ago
Barge, service, guide, food, comfort, weather and on and on...all great.
Joyce K.4 years ago
We really enjoyed the trip but the self-guided instructions could have been better. We relied on Google maps more than we should have had to; would have been quite lost without it. We were a very small group and we all got along very well and became friends throughout the week.
Thanks for you feedback Joyce! For the 2017 season, all routes, maps and descriptions have been redone which will greatly help those doing the self-guided option. So glad you made some new friends, a great perk to a bike and boat tour!
Richard A.4 years ago
My companion and I broke from the main group and visited a small vineyard and were given a complete tour including a tasting by the owner
Lisa S.4 years ago
I would rather recommend a trip to Germany or the Netherlands, but that's just my preference. The staff on the Bourdeaux was very nice.
Patsy V.4 years ago
I would recommend the trip if the operator makes improvements to the selfguided route finding; the narrative, GPS, and detail maps were inconsistent with each other and recommended routes were sometimes difficult to find. We had large area maps that allowed us to navigate and a crew member who helped but especially during the first couple days it was a bit challenging. The route narrative should include more information on sites to visit or note along the way. The bikes were heavy in comparison to other trips we have booked. I really enjoyed the scenery and sites; it is a lovely area to visit and bike, especially during late September. Grapes were cascading from the vines, just pre-harvest. The vineyards, wine tasting,chateaux, churches, fortresses, medieval towns, history and landscapes were wonderful along the routes. Experiencing the tidal surf (the mascaret) was also quite interesting.
Hi Patsy,Thank you for your feedback! All routes, maps, descriptions and biking presentations have been completely revamped for the 2017 season and we expect those improvements to fix any issues that occurred last season.
Barb M.4 years ago
Lovely being in the area at this time near harvest but the routes, route preparation in the evening and historical information that might enhance the experience were severely lacking. The GPS devices were difficult to work with and virtually no help was given as to how to correctly operate them.
carla • 3 years ago Equipe da Tripsite
Thanks for your feedback, Barb. We agree! We have totally redone our routes, descriptions, and presentations for 2017. They have been prepared by professional local guides and we do not anticipate any problems for the upcoming season.