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Country: Belgium • REMOVE
Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges - 8 day by chann 3 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Toured on the Merlijn. Kuhn and Christina, the current owners, were friendly as were the entire staff. Generally enjoyable trip but much different than expected. Agree with prior comments that much more a biking trip than sightseeing. Felt every day we were pushing to meet the boat as opposed to enjoying the sights along the way. Just stopping to take a picture in picturesque countryside or village would put you behind the group trying to catch up. Lunch stops for 45 minutes to one hour. By time you maybe bought a drink, found a spot to eat your bag lunch, found a bathroom, it was time to get back on the bike and go. Just enough time to realize what you were missing with no time to explore!
Biking is more challenging than expected at this pace. Probably little problem for experienced bikers. But just because there are few hills (there are some), don't assume it is easy. Biking with the wind in your face (which we had for most our trip) is challenging, and rain adds a whole different element (luckily only one day). Also, riding in a group of bikers with varying skill levels, particularly in congested areas, is a challenge itself, even if you are an experienced biker.
Hour long walking tours were offered a few nights after dinner if you weren't too tired to go or need to get to bed for early start. The guide was well informed, but during biking, if you weren't riding right next to or behind him, you may not even know the name of the village, what the sites were, or have an opportunity to ask questions until you stopped for lunch or were back on the boat. So depending upon where you are in the pack of riders, you may not have any information about what you were seeing. This was disappointing. More stops should be made and time allotted for sightseeing.
The food left much to be desired. While the staff clearly tried very hard to please, most of us agreed a cook/chef should be hired. Breakfast was fairly standard - cold mostly with one hot option daily. Not unusual, but lacked interest. Packed lunches were same every day - small sandwich, juice, and a candy bar. You could supplement from the breakfast buffet with an apple or banana. Juice boxes were included, as well. Dinners were three courses: soups and desserts were generally ok; main courses very bland or over cooked.
Staff was kind and did their best to accommodate requests. We had a nice group of guests who got along well and provided good company throughout the trip. Luckily, our immediate travel group added time in the beginning of the trip in Amsterdam and at the end to revisit Bruge, Ghent, and Antwerp to more fully explore these beautiful cities. But the small villages and towns you will ride through are real gems that don't get enough attention on this tour. Add more days to this tour (not more cities or villages) to allow guests to fully explore the wonderful stops that are already part of this trip.
Countries: Belgium, Netherlands
Amsterdam to Bruges by Howard H. 11 months ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The Magnifique II was fine and the food was good. One thing I found odd was the staff joined us at the bar at night. The bar had limited seating and they took up the stools while passengers stood. Not cool. I found the biking boring. There were no interesting stops other than the cities. Amsterdam, Ghent and Bruges were very nice. The Netherlands were rather dull. On other tours we stopped at wineries, Chateaus or interesting landmarks. Here the guides just stopped and said there is coffee or a church you can visit. Not very organized. Their goal seemed to be to keep us out long enough to reach the boat. I would not recommend this tour.
Boat: Magnifique III
Countries: Netherlands, Belgium
Amsterdam to Bruges by Julie R. 1 year ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Overall, it was a great trip - boat and crew, bikes, guide, fellow passengers. Where this trip fell short of a previous bike boat trip that I did, was that this trip lacked interesting stops along our cycle route. It felt more like getting from point A to point B with a brief coffee or lunch stop - no tours along the way. From my understanding in talking with the boat owner/captain, the cycling routes and stops are planned by Bike Boat Tours.
Tulip Tour - 10 Day - Amsterdam to Bruges by Tom L. 1 year ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The Quo Vadis was super! The food, accommodations, staff and bikes were all terrific. However, we were unprepared for the traffic and city riding intensity. Marsha is an experienced recreational rider but had no idea how to deal with traffic. She completed the first day and began another, but turned back after the first half kilometer and packed it in after that. City traffic and congested cycling is something only urban folks experience, so we and others were unprepared. We were were really expecting a leisurely paced scenic tour, not the frantic paced marathon we got. The trip was listed as easy, but a 12 mph average speed for 36 miles is ridiculous for most recreational cyclists, especially when you’re there for scenery and cultural experience along with cycling. Additionally, once you start for the day, there is no practical way to drop our. So, if we were to look for another bike barge trip, we would be looking for:Quo Vadis or equal20-25 mile days maximum 8-10 mph average speed maximum Route mapsRouting to avoid urban trafficMore short stops to smell the flowers. Ultimately, we were disappointed in the cycling portion of the trip feeling it was not so much for tourists who like to ride. We (and others) felt the guide placed too much emphasis on covering miles and not enough on making it pleasurable. Tripsite staff is superb and did everything they promised. Thanks.
Boat: Quo Vadis
Bruges to Paris or Paris to Bruges by Margie A. 1 year ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The Elodie bike/barge trip was fabulous in terms of scenery, routes, staff, food. However, 2 couples on the barge were not able to keep up with our very leisurely pace. I would advise your company to stress level of fitness for participants, and also to recommend 2 guides for different ability levels.
Countries: Belgium, France
Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges - 8 day by Richard H. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Part: Our fellow travelers and Jacko, the chef on the Quo Vadis.
Bruges to Paris or Paris to Bruges by Jerry K. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
We met a lot of really nice people. We were surprised that our guide was largely unfamiliar with the route!
Amsterdam to Bruges by Suki G. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Book from Brugge to Amsterdam to avoid headwinds. Expect riding in country with nothing special to see.
Boat: Magnifique II
Bruges to Merzig (no longer available)by Mona W. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Part: The people on our tour were great. A bunch of fun people.
Countries: Belgium, Germany, Netherlands
Bruges to Amsterdam by Marie B. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Overall this was a great experience. The boat was clean and the staff friendly. The itinerary and scenery was beautiful. The only negative was that the website had several inaccuracies. For example, the mileage each day was much longer than published. Also, the number of meals provided was less than published.
Bruges to Amsterdam by Kevin Armstrong 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
I have done this trip from Amsterdam to Bruges as well. I found this version to not be as enjoyable. The reason was there was not as much on the route to see and take in. I think that there are some differences do to which barge you are on which may restrict the routes. Bruges is amazing as was Amsterdam but in between nothing exciting. The barge was amazing (Sailing Home) with a wonderful chef. I love this style of touring and have done 8 of them and will do more!
Boat: Sailing Home
Amsterdam to Bruges by Darryl White 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
My wife and two other couples did this trip in August 2017. The crew was great the boat is very well appointed, the rooms are small but function well. The evening meals were great, breakfast was limited most days to bread cheese and cereal. Now the bad part:The crew turns off the air conditioning at 10:30 at night and does not come back on until the morning. So one would wake up in the middle of the night sweating and not be able to go back to sleep, The bedding, our clothes and all other items in the room would get moist and moldy from condensation. The Bicycles were not the best, they were quite used and most of the seats were loose and could not be tightened which made for long days of riding...
Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges - 8 day by Betsy A. 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The trip was fun but I don't think the description of the trip was accurate. The trip was about 85% bike riding and 15% site seeing. I would have liked more time to explore the cities we were riding through but most of the time it was too late or placed were closed. Not sure if I would do another tour like this. The riding was beautiful but I really expected more site seeing according to the trip description.
Brussels to Bruges (no longer available)by Mary Lees 2 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Route descriptions need significant updating and elaboration. There were many detours that are not indicated in the guide - took us off track, added many km and much confusion to the ride. Became VERY frustrating. Bikes need much better maintenance - friend had a broken chain day 2 . Arranging the repair was difficult - they lost a day of cycling. Very poor communication around the repair, no one seemed to know what they were doing. Really took away from the trip. Would have been much worse had we been in a more remote area when the break happened - would have been stranded for hours. The most helpful person was a local tow truck driver - he saved the day. Never saw a representative from the company in person for the whole trip. What??? Should, at the very least, have one at the beginning to review procedures, answer questions. Liked the biking, but some routes along canals got boring. We ended up going off route - saw much more. Hotel, luggage transfers were smooth. With the exception of the hotel in Bornem, hotels were nice. Overall, quite pleasant when things were going well, but did not feel that we got good personal support or service for the money we paid. Emergency support services need a LOT of improvement.
Bruges to Amsterdam by D. Pincar 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
I would recommend it, but with reservations. I think there should have been two guides, one to take a faster group and one for a beginner group. A few people on the trip should not have been. They were not comfortable on their bikes, and were a daily danger to whomever they were near. Something should have been done about it.I also would have liked to ride faster, and spend more free time in the little towns.
Bruges to Amsterdam by E. Hull-parsons 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
I have planned to contact you with feedback, but haven't. The staff was great except the guide. He was not friendly or helpful. We were all disappointed in his lack of leadership and "guiding". Of the three trips we have taken, this was the least appealing. The route was not attractive, and mostly industrial, urban or rural. We were near places we know were charming and interesting, but did not visit them. I'm left wondering if it is that tour company. For 35 people biking there really should have been more staff on the road with us. Still love you!
Amsterdam to Bruges by Charlene James 4 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
In Ghent, too far from city centre to explore after biking unless take a taxi into the city. Antwerp museum was closed, as it was a Sunday. Very disappointing. Breakfast and lunch meals were almost always the same, got too uninteresting.
West Flanders & Bruges (no longer available)by Patrick Roddy 4 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
I brought my own bike, but my friends rented. I was not impressed with the fitting of the bikes. The measurements requested by the site were insufficient to get an accurate fit and we had to request a new bike (inseam should be required). If I hadn't been there to fit the bikes nobody from the tour company would have been. Also, I had to replace a bolt on one of the bike's chain guard half way through the tour. At least check that everything is torqued down before renting them.
Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064