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Around Romantic Bruges by Mark W. 2 weeks ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The trip was great, hotel, bikes, etc but was way overpriced. I could have booked the same or similar hotel myself on booking.com and asked the hotel to add the bikes. It would have cost hundreds of euro less for my 5-day trip. Tripsite didn't do anything else and didn't even answer my emails quickly when I did have questions. I never met a Tripsite employee. The hotel owner Paul at Fevery handled everything. My advice to others, is do it on your own and safe a lot of money for the exact same trip.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by POM 1 month ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
My husband and I have been on 12 European bike/boat tours. We love to see the world this way, and we are usually 100% satisfied and happy when we finish a trip. In April we took the Ave Maria tour from Venice to Mantova. The first two days we biked on busy highways next to large lorries, semis, and garbage trucks, one of which almost wiped me out. We were shocked at having to ride on these highways because here is the company description of this trip on this website..."This cycling tour is largely along the flats of the Po plains, and the daily stages vary from 25 to 55 km – mostly on tarmac cycle paths along rivers and canals, or quiet country roads."The first two days of this trip were not on QUIET COUNTRY ROADS. They were on heavily traveled highways, and they were dangerous and certainly no fun! We will never travel with this company again because they were not truthful about the roads and paths. This was not a relaxing trip.On a good note...we had wonderful food on board. The chefs were amazing, and we looked forward to dinner every night.The Ave Maria advertises air conditioning. It is true they have it, but they don't turn it on very often, like it is off all night, every night. So most of us had to sleep with our doors wide open. Our rooms were like saunas, with no windows to open. For that reason, I would not recommend this boat, no matter what tour it was on.
Boat: Ave Maria
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Marilyn Walker 3 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Well-DoneWe rode the entire week independently of the 30-person group, which is our preference. We requested beforehand, and received promptly, the GPX files for each stage, which we downloaded to our Garmin bicycle computers together with relevant open source street maps. We used the GPS directions as our primary navigation, and referred to the jigsaw puzzle of a tour map and the turn-by-turn directions in puzzling moments. All three references agreed very well, which is a great comfort. Tour Guide Michela provided us a separate walk-through every evening, clarifying points of confusion and explaining where the main group would be. Several times we met the group for special sightseeing tours. Otherwise, we did our own thing, took rest stops at our own discretion and ate the picnic lunch at places of our own choosing.
The bicycles were better than expected. We chose the e-bikes and count the expense as worth the money. The batteries were strong enough to carry us through the 30-mile days with a couple of power dots left over. The seats were comfortable and the handlebars were especially comfortable to the wrist. The gears changed easily.
Needs ImprovementPlating the food before serving meant that a great deal was wasted. It would be more accommodating to serve family style, in bowls, so people can serve themselves what their appetite and inclination suggests.
The itinerary was generally okay, but we had to meet the boat or bus by appointment several times, which meant waiting around for hours at a time. Other bike-and-boat tours we went on were better organized to find the boat at the end of the day's ride.
UnsatisfactoryThe company is proud of their cooking, but the quality was badly degraded by the excessive use of salt. Even those people who were indifferent to their salt intake agreed it was "very salty". The taste of the food was ruined by the cook's excess. Upon tasting the first night's dinner, I required that they make special salt-free dinners for me. Two nights they "forgot" and spoiled the food. The cooks should learn to make their food unsalted and let the guests add that seasoning at table. It will improve the dining experience for everybody.
The internet service was the worst I've seen since dial-up telephone modems. People wanted simple access to email and to post photos on social media, but were continuously thwarted by irregular service and severe deterioration, which seemed to be deliberate. For example, the night we were in Zelo, they announced there was no wi-fi at all because of the remote location, which was fishy to begin with. Next morning, we decided to stay on the boat for the day, which allowed me to observe that within minutes of the big group rolling away, they switched the wi-fi back on for the rest of the day, until that evening when it went to pieces again. There is no excuse for such poor service in this day and age.
Along the Danube - Passau to Vienna by Brent F. 8 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Bikes were in terrible condition. My while broke down with 10 miles left on the first day. My wife’s bike had a flat that the crew was just going to fill with air. My sister-in-laws bike broke down 5 miles out on the third day. Food was poor. Very few English speakers among the crew. Directions and maps for the rides were poor or non existent. When we complained we were told. “Well you made it back didn’t you?”
Countries: Austria, Germany
Loire Valley Bike and Boat - 2019 by Marilyn P. 8 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
After having had prior positive experiences, I was very disappointed with this trip. The accommodation on the boat was almost to the point of ridiculous! The upper bunk was almost impossible to get into and getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night was treacherous! The staff were pleasant enough and the food was okay. Peter, our guide, was also disappointing. He really seemed to have little interest in whether we were enjoying our ride. He would often head out ahead of us and then a some point realize that we weren't all there and would stop or go back. He did not wear any kind of identifiable clothing so that we knew who or what to look for if we were further behind. Thank goodness there were enough of us with prior experience that we picked up the slack and made sure the first timers weren't left behind. I invited my sister, a first timer, to join me on this trip and found myself apologizing many times that this trip was less than enjoyable. That being said we did see some nice scenery and did come across some stores that were actually open. The general comment was "that's just the French" Another thing to note is that finding the bus that was supposed to take us from Paris to meet the boat ended up being a bit of a fiasco! We waited for an hour in the hot sun and the bus had been there the whole time. There was no identifiable sign to let us know that was our bus. Several times members of our group checked with the driver and were told that it wasn't our bus. Finally one of the members of our group who was more proficient in French appeared to ask the right question as it turned out that the bus was actually ours. Not a good omen apparently! All in all I would not recommend this trip to anyone!
Sicily by Eileen M. 8 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
This trip was a disappointment. We have done about a dozen trips with Tripsite and this trip was not up to standard. First of all there is garbage all over the sides of the roads. We had some of that in Sardinia, but this was the worst! We also had some poor accommodations. In Modica the imitation hard wood floors had buckled and I tripped over them. Also, at the end of a 62 kilometer day we arrived at the farm hotel and were told we had no reservation, despite the fact that we had a voucher for that hotel. We had to go an additional 4 k down a. Dry busy road late in the day. All in all, this trip is not up to your high standards!
Around Paris by Elizabeth McCarthy 8 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Guides had no map, and got us lost daily. They spoke no French, so could ask no one for help. Because of the getting lost daily, we didn't get to see the towns in which we were moored for the night. Kitchen ran out of bread, so I had to buy my sandwich one day. Rooms were not cleaned except for trash being removed once. Boat was moored in Paris 1/2 hour walk away from where the captain said he would be, with not notifying guests. A complete and total DISASTER!!!
Boat: Clair de Lune
Montargis to Paris by Sharon K. 9 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
This trip is not accurately described. Most of our group found the biking to be quite challenging, yet it was rated as "Easy to Moderate". This is a misrepresentation and should be adjusted. On the first day, one our group had to be taken to the hospital due to the heat and exertion. The captain of Le Fleur could use some lessons in hospitality. He and his crew occupied the salon every evening for their meal after we ate, and then they stayed there for the evening. This put the guests out on the back deck as the only alternative -- and then he scolded us when we were laughing due to the noise. The captain did not treat us like guests, but the other team members were friendly. The fact that we sailed with the captain's young daughter and their large dog was a surprise. I would not recommend this boat, but enjoyed the sites and activities. I have taken two other bike and barge tours, and this one did not compare favorably.
Loire Valley Bike and Boat - 2019 by Karen T. 9 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The staff and crew of the Anna Marie were very friendly and helpful but over all, if this was my first bike and barge trip, it would probably would have been my last. The accommodations were small, we knew that going in but because space was so limited, there was nowhere to hang the towels to dry properly so they should have been changed a little more frequently. The mattress on the bunk bed also needed to be changed as it was old and hard to sleep on. The food at breakfast was the same for 7 days, as were the luncheon meats. The bread was fabulous but could have been switched up with some protein like eggs to start the day. The dinners were, on most occasions, tasty and delicious but lacked quantity after a long bike ride. My biggest complaint was the cost of the water. The days were hot, the stores and restaurants along the way were closed and for the temperature we should have been provided with water or somewhere to fill our bottles. The boat charged too much for a small bottle and provided only one even smaller bottle for the day.Our bike guide did not provided any history of the areas we saw and at night, we were not given any tours of the place we were moored at. Last but not least, all the bikes needed to be tuned up, several chains, when changing gears, fell off, some brakes did not work well and some gears would not change properly.The most memorable part of the trip were the rest of the passengers, we all enjoyed each others company and had the ability to laugh at some of the situations described.
Boat: Anna Maria IV
Bruges to Paris or Paris to Bruges by August D. 1 year ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
It's a shame that the incompetence and the misogynistic attitude of one person can affect what could have been a fantastic trip, our guide on several occasions got lost and we ended up doing many more kilometres of riding including a very long and steep hill climb that we had to walk in the hot sun.I can not praise the Captain and crew of the Zwaantjie more highly it's a shame he has no control over the guides that are allocated to various trips.
Countries: Belgium, France
Heel of Italy by Ida A. 1 year ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Ostuni was a lively, great city- a major contrast to the rest of the region which is apparently deserted until summer is in full swing. I also really appreciated having my bike replaced, but I obviously wish the standard bike I got in the first place were more appropriate for long distance rides.
Algarve by Ed N. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
As you know from our past two trips, Romantic Road Austria/Germany and Provence, France, we thoroughly enjoyed both of them, both for similar and different reasons. We do enjoy the self guided component on these trips. In France, we found the e-bike addition to be worth the cost. All in all, both trips were great, including the very rideable off road trails and paths.That brings us to the recent Algarve trip. First of all, the bikes were, by far, the best quality that we have experienced and the staff at Portugal Trails were all very friendly and helpful. Also, the gps addition was great! However, the off road trails were almost unrideable and dangerous with a thick layer of large particle gravel on at least 75% of their length and many deep erosion created gullies. On our two previous trips, as I mentioned above, the trails were in very good condition. The Algarve off road trails were not at all, in our opinion, suited for hybrid bikes, maybe mountain bikes, but not hybrids. In fact, we missed most of the scenery along the way because we had to concentrate on the surface so we didn't slide on a piece of gravel, especially downhill. On a positive note, all but 2 of the hotels were very enjoyable, especially Herdade da Corte Tavira. We loved the personality of the people and the culture of Portugal very much. One final disappointment was that all of our luggage was not delivered to the final hotel until 7:30 PM after we had to call to point out that we were missing 2 suitcases, causing us to miss touring Sagres.
Along the Danube - Four Country Tour by Gary & Anne F. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The comfort guide was somewhat disappointing and the on ship tour director was disorganized and dismissive. While the comfort guide did give some good suggestions, the bike tour through Vienna would have better been replaced by a bus tour, as the group was very large, traffic was heavy and the whole experience was somewhat dangerous to anyone not a very experienced rider. We were led to believe that the bike tour in Vienna would be easy, on nice paths , not crowded or busy, whereas the opposite was the case. The tour guide through Vienna, a local, did not wear an identifying vest, and travelled too quickly, More instruction for the riders not experienced with electric bikes would have been appreciated. A session especially on the electric bikes while on board the ship would be an improvement. We paid extra for a top level cabin, but it seemed to be nearly exactly the same as the cabins one level down. While the food was good, and the service was excellent, we wearied of the sauces typical of continental cuisine and the small salads. Bike lunches and water were good. Fresh fruit was available at breakfast.
Countries: Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary
North Holland Tour by Jill L. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
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.
Boat: De Holland
Along the Dalmatian Coast (no longer available)by Barry D. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Catching bronchitis in our rain sodden cabin as it leaked all night.
Provence - Wilderness of Camargue by Robert M. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Our bike guide was terrible. He was lost several times each day and didn't the happenings of each town so we all missed the running of the bulls and he shouted & criticized all riders.
Bavaria Tour by Francis D. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Lack of access to bicycles/ guide did not do anything but lead the route.
Berlin to Copenhagen by Jeanne White/David Sampel 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
This was our third Tripsite bike tour as well as 20 or more we've taken independently. It was our least favorite of all. It was rated easy but with distances and terrain, should have been moderate. We rode many days for miles without a small town or cafe to rest or get out of the rain in. Hotels were to be 3 to 4 star. At lease two and possibly three were substandard. We stayed in a one star Ibis in Brussels which was nicer. Several of them were outside the cities so wasn't feasible to sightsee after our long days of riding. We were really disappointed by the trip after looking forward to it for some time. Although we like forests, the sameness was monotonous. Copenhagen was a high point on our last day of riding. Enjoyed the other riders and of course German beer.
Countries: Denmark, Germany
Budapest & the Danube River Bend (no longer available)by Dana Bowen 4 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Travel instructions from Budapest to St. Andrews were inaccurate. Instead of a high speed train, it was necessary to go from metro to bus to a train that was little better than a WWII troop train with no air conditioning that stopped everywhere. It was a $50 cab ride to the inn. All this when there was a one hour boat ride that docked by a ferry across the river to the inn. Our packets contained very poor maps (as conformed by natives of the area when I used them). My brother and traveling companion could not get a return call from the tour people and was so upset he simply left and flew back home. I stayed and the inn star was lovely, but with inadequate maps and/or written instructions, I did not venture far.
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