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Hugh C.4 months ago
De Holland Autêntica HolandaHolanda
The last day was my best. I stopped to make a beautiful photo and lost my group. It took over an hour of fast riding and navigation to catch them. Great experience. Amsterdam Castle and its Cafe were superb pleasure.
Martin M.4 months ago
First time I experienced this type of travelling. Overall, I like it. Couple of notes though : the ship was not where it was supposed to be at embarkment ; it was on the other side of the harbour. No communication received about that last minute change. We knew because someone was monitoring vesselfinder. A lot of people did not know. Second, we were not happy with the table arrangements. We got assigned a table on day 1 and were supposed to sit at that table, with the same people, every day. I appreciate the reason, every evening they ask what you want for dinner the next day, and if people then are not at the same table, that system does not work. But, we're travelling with a group. We want to have dinner at a different table every day.
Having said that, the boat and the food was nice, the crew was really good, no, outstanding. The daily tours were well organized and navigating our way was easy.Hence my 4 star rating of the tour.
Carla • 4 months ago Equipe da Tripsite
Dear Martin,I am so sorry the ship had to move at the last minute. Unfortunately I was not notified of this either, but sometimes these last minute changes can be made by docking authorities without much notice. Please note, all of our tours include emergency phone numbers, including directly to the ship and also my personal cell phone, in case there are ever any kind of problems we can help you with!
Harrison and Sharene K.4 months ago
Regarding the tour itself, biking from town to town was well designed and wonderful -- beautiful countryside, lovely towns. We used the Ride With GPS app, which had a few route errors but in general was an excellent, well-executed tool. (Without the app, there were a number of signage errors or absences along the routes that could have caused problems.) The evening tour of Deventer was very well done; the local tour guide was excellent and the evening was perfect for it. We rented e-bikes and they were in great condition. The staff on the boat were all kind and helpful and friendly and the boat was exceptionally clean.
We thought Frans, the bike tour guide, could have done a better job. He was nice, but despite having many years of experience doing this, his evening talks were not always very clear, and he did not mention a number of places along the bike routes that would have been nice for people to know about, most importantly the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek, which was on the map if you knew where to look but was not highlighted by Frans. We did enjoy the evening Frans played the keyboard in the dining room.
The biggest disappointment was that we had to sit with the same people at dinner every night. We understand there are logistics involved that make it much easier for the staff, but this requirement eliminated what could have been a prime opportunity to get to know others. We happened to be assigned the same table as our best friend, whom we obviously already know very well. We had little in common with the other three and were stuck with them (and they with us) for the whole week. There must be some way (perhaps a buffet a couple of times during the week, or a dinner in town one night) where we could have a chance to meet others, which would have made the trip much more rewarding.
Hi Harrison,I am so sorry the ship had to move at the last minute. Unfortunately I was not notified of this either, but sometimes these last minute changes can be made by docking authorities without much notice. Please note, all of our tours include emergency phone numbers, including directly to the ship and also my personal cell phone, in case there are ever any kind of problems we can help you with!
Nancy B.7 months ago
Best Part: Villages
Most memorable part: Small villages & countryside
Jeffrey B.8 months ago
We loved everything about this trip! The boat was clean and comfortable, the crew was wonderful (especially the tour guide, Andre). We loved the cycling through this beautiful country! It was especially exciting to ride through the countryside and explore the unique towns along the way. We were so impressed with the incredible bike path system and the friendly people we encountered.
Jane S.8 months ago
The "directions/highlights " paper along with the offline downloaded directions were terrific. The company's expert experienced routing took us thru scenic backways and villages that we may have missed by simply following a directional app ourselves. We enjoyed being able to ride at our own pace, stop where ever we chose, visit sites, museums, villages, or take photos on our own timeline. This also allowed us to begin the day's ride on our own schedule, enjoy a picnic lunch or lunch in a village center, and return early or later, have a coffee or beer along the way, still knowing when dinner was being served!
David W.2 years ago
We loved everything about this trip! The cycling experience, the cruising on beautiful rivers and canals, the opportunity to explore interesting and historic cities, the camaraderie onboard the boat, and the care and support of the crew were all wonderful!
Maryann B.4 years ago
De Holland Tour Holanda do NorteHolanda
This was a wonderful trip, highly recommended to both cyclists and non-cyclists! The staff went out of their way to make sure all the guests were well looked after.
Susan O.4 years ago
The De Holland is a lovely barge with a proficient staff and nice upper level staterooms. The food was above average and the after-ride beer is a great value. The North Holland area is very rural with small towns but mostly agricultural routes. Easy navigating because The Netherlands has an extensive network of bikeways and understandable wayfinding. The history of diking, watermills and pumping is fascinating and would be good to know about as you ride through this area. Our trip was in the beginning of October and we had beautiful weather although it can be windy along some portions of the ride.
Stephen T.4 years ago
The North Holland barge and bike is a fantastic experience and a great opportunity for a family to share a unique adventure together. The scenery is spectacular, the villages immaculate, the people friendly, the barge comfortable, the food good, the bikes new and the staff accommodating. To improve the experience, breakfast could be better and the lunch selections more varied. Early risers generally helped themselves to all of the pastries before others cold enjoy them. Seating could be unassigned so that more people could meet and enjoy different parts of the dining room. Otherwise they have this trip wired.
Katie H.4 years ago
De Holland Sul da HolandaHolanda
This was a very positive experience. Bikers of all abilities can participate in this tour. The navigation can be a bit tricky. I would definitely recommend using the navigation app in addition to the maps & briefings. However, there was usually a friendly local or another member of the group not too far away to help get you back on the route. The barge was very nice. We had an upgraded room. Plenty of storage space. The guides were excellent. The staff on the barge couldn’t have been nicer. The food was very good. The tour itself exceeded my expectations. Holland is beautiful. The route took us through a variety of geography. Lots of quintessential Dutch experiences, windmills, cheese, delft, etc.. The de Amsterdam is a larger boat than most so you have a large group. Neither here nor there, just a note if you prefer a more intimate group.
Sarah D.5 years ago
Jill L.5 years ago
A number of things stand out. First, the size of the room (which was shown as 4 single beds but ended up being a tiny room with two bunkbeds where we could not all stand in the room). Second, the fact that after active days covering 50 Kms or more there was no water provided (a bottle of water was provided at breakfast only) and no food available in the hours before dinner. Third, all meals had to be taken at the same assigned table reducing any opportunity to mingle with other guests. Fourth, on an active holiday with healthy active people, the meals did not include any colorful vegetables. The staff were mostly lovely and the rides were picturesque, but the overall experience was not positive.
Azam E.6 years ago
Boat and bike trip was our first experience. It was really amazing and well- organized one :)) we just wish to have more options for healthy food on board and choose our table at dinner time to socialize with more people than having assigned seats every night. -Thank you
D. Dray6 years ago
We have been on seven self-guided bike trips (two of them with boats) and this was truly one of the best! The accommodations on our Prague ship, the MS Florentina were nicer (larger lounges, expansive deck, etc) than the Angela Esmee to be frank, but the Angela's superb crew, the charming towns as ports of call, and along the route, and our tour leader, Margaret, more than made up for it. I highly recommend this tour!
Mike S.6 years ago
The overall experience was excellent. We enjoyed the intimacy of a relatively small group on the boat. It allowed us to meet a number of people over the course of the week. We will definitely be returning in the future.
If I had one suggestion it would be to limit the number of days where there was a deadline to meet the boat in the late afternoon as these deadlines sometimes creates pressure to complete the route quicker than I would have otherwise chosen.
Jehiel • 6 years ago Equipe da Tripsite
Hi Mike! I agree with you. We will pass this along to our local partner to see if we can remedy this. Thank you for the suggestion!
Helen M.6 years ago
The scenery was beautiful and the barge was lovely. The most memorable part of the trip was the people - the Dutch are friendly and helpful, and the Angela Esmee crew was exceptional!
Cathy G.6 years ago
I already have recommended this trip to several people. By far this trip was the best trip I have ever been on. Thank you.
Kim E.6 years ago
Complete day from start to finish! Staff were super friendly and efficient! Breathtaking views of countryside and timeless villages! Supper dining was plentiful, varied and delicious! Basic rooms were always tidy and clean. Wow...what an incredible adventure.
L. Scrutton7 years ago
I would have liked was some variety in the lunch fruit. Apples every day but one ...... got a bit boring. I would also have liked to have a condiment (mustard or mayonnaise) to add to the meat/cheese sandwiches as they were a bit dry. All in all, a great trip! Too bad the weather wasn't a bit better, but nothing could be done about that.
Margaret Terrett7 years ago
I would recommend the trip with reservations. The food on the boat was not special but ok. While our leader was competent I did not find him helpful at times and other times I found him condescending. The route descriptions were well done but we had to argue to have one for each rider even though it clearly stated we would each a have one. I would have like much more about the places we were visiting included on the daily route descriptions. Carrying a visitor guide is not easy on a bike. The bikes were not in good shape for our trip. The mechanic tried to do his best but they were not a "freewheeling" experience. On mine the gears did not work, others had similar issues. When the holiday depends on a good cycling experience then the bike becomes a priority.I cannot recommend the experience whole heartily except for the amazing landscape of northern Netherlands. That part I really enjoyed. Also I enjoyed being part of a group. I would not recommend a person or couple try the trip because no effort was made to mix the people. I was part of a big group and so I always had people to cycle with.
Sue Cousineau7 years ago
Paul Hough7 years ago
The nickel and diming on the boat was annoying - i.e., free coffee until 4 pm but nobody gets back before then; coffee and tea not included with dinner (extra cost); bottled water sold at the same price as a beer (one token worth 2.5 Euros). Our guide, Marcel, was clearly out of sorts and was not someone I would recommend - rude, disinterested, unhelpful, condescending, and refused to answer questions. I trust that other guides are much better.
Diane Thomson7 years ago
The bikes did show some wear but the two mechanics on our barge were wonderful in making repairs overnight. The maps were on the whole very good but each person on the trip should be given their own set of maps and the accompanied daily itinerary descriptions.
Carolyn Dunbar7 years ago
This was a nice trip which I chose after research. I learned that I prefer smaller groups.
Thomas Reid7 years ago
Marcel is a great guide/tour leader.
Susan Monaghan7 years ago
There was some disconnect in passing along information. For example the barge had to leave earlier than 6:30 but info was not passed on. Fortunately my friends and I arrived and boarded the sister ship and got the info that the Angela Esmee was instructed to leave the port due to some Dutch holiday celebration. Good thing we took the initiative. There was no one waiting on the dock to give us this info.Info about running a tab for drinks was false. We had to purchase tokens from a machine to use at bar. Bikes were somewhat rickety, having seen their 2nd season (according to a mechanic I talked to). Mine and some others made a grinding noise the entire time. The mechanic tried to fix it, but eventually I just tolerated it. I heard one mech say the bikes had a couple more trips this season. Good luck to the next owner.Food was very good and the staff were very friendly. I would recommend a Bike and Barge trip to friends, but we ran into another group on a similar tour riding green bikes...they LOVED their bikes. We couldn't come close to saying that about ours. The green bike tour paid similar costs.
Marnie Terrett7 years ago
I found the conditions of the bikes quite poor. They were obviously wearing out after a season of use. The food was adequate but not spectacular. The information about how to get clean towels was given 5 days into the trip.The routes were well described but I would have liked further information about the towns we were passing through and where we were staying the night. Our group happened upon a cemetery with Canadian war dead but it was just luck. That type of information should be included I the route description of the day. Despite the things mentioned I did enjoy the trip and would recommend it to others.
Fair Rapsey7 years ago
We should each have our own maps and route descriptions, not just one per cabin. You don't necessarily cycle with your cabin mate and sometimes people get separated from cycling partners during the day.
Our guide Marcel appeared to have a very arrogant attitude towards guests, particularly those who asked for clarification of various things. He was rude to me when I asked a question about the availability of public washrooms along the way - and what was customary in Holland. He snapped "So you think Dutch people don't go to the toilet?" He seemed to make a lot more effort as the week went on and was quite knowledgeable about a Leia Mais variety of things. He got off to a bad start with quite a few people however.
Re Food: The food was good and varied. We had a lot of salads/vegetables (generally overcooked) which I appreciated. Tea, coffee and water should be available for free all the time, not just till 4. A euro for hot water and a tea bag is chintzy.
I enjoyed the trip and the route. The route was quite varied in a lot of ways and very beautiful. Luckily the weather was reasonably cooperative and our group had a great time. The barge is a fun experience, and I would recommend it and consider another trip for myself as well.