Bike tour reviews with boat/barge Ave Maria 1 to 30 of 87

 

 Boat/Barge: Ave Maria • REMOVE  About Ave Maria

  • Bolzano - Mantova - Venice
    by Anne S. 4 weeks agoPermalink/Reply

    We loved the beautiful, amazing mountain scenery (with very few hills) of the first three days. The written instructions, though, are of a badness difficult to describe. We rated the tour 4/5, and the lost star were because of the extremely poor instructions. If we hadn't had maps and stickers on sign posts, we wouldn't have been able to make it through. The frustration really distracted from the overall enjoyment of the trip - an English speaker with an accurate odometer really needs to rewrite the directions. For example, they talked about "crossing a railway" (or maybe a "railway bridge"), so we spent about 20 minutes trying to find a way to cross the railway - but really it meant to pass underneath an elevated railway crossing. Also, the symbol used to indicate a warning (I think of a turn easy to miss) is a hand pointing to the right. One not unnaturally assumes that this means a right turn. It does not.

    Otherwise the barge, scenery, activities, food, and guides are all exactly what we hoped for and have experienced on earlier trips. No problems with luggage transfers, and the hotels for the first part of the trip were all great.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Heather P. 1 month agoPermalink/Reply

    A thoroughly satisfying experience in all departments!
    The staff were welcoming and friendly, instructive and knowledgeable. I felt entirely safe in their hands.
    Accommodation has been well designed and thought out. I shared a cabin with a friend and it was easy to find our own space within a relatively confined space.
    The food was DELICIOUS! The meals exceeded expectations and were presented beautifully; the chefs having entertained us with their 'Two Ronnies' routine at the outset of each repast. I have made a batch of refreshing lemon and ginger cordial since my return, which is perfect for a hot summer day and reminds me of a very happy holiday.
    The bike was a delight to ride. I'm not a regular cyclist and I found the daily trips enjoyable and, with the regular stops, entirely within my capabilities. The one day off I had, sailing along the canal, added an extra dimension as it was so restful and enjoyable to watch the wildlife and the scenery glide by.
    The guided trips were enlightening and I now have a 'feel' for the part of Italy we traversed.
    From the start we felt like guests at a houseboat party. It was interesting to meet and enjoy meals with others from various countries and backgrounds.
    I shall be talking about this holiday for a long time thanks to you all.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Ann W. 1 month agoPermalink/Reply

    Best part: Riding through amazing scenery and picturesque villages in Northern Italy!

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Bolzano - Mantova - Venice
    by David & Patsy 2 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Most Memorable Part? The poppy fields along the bike ride was especially beautiful. Instructions need some updating.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Stewart J. 2 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Hein was a most engaging and entertaining guide/trip leader. The rides were well planned with interesting stops and sightseeing, beautiful scenery and it didn’t hurt that we had spectacular weather. Post ride relaxation and camaraderie on the deck was great as was the value priced bar for beer/wine! The evening dinners were wonderfully prepared meals, truly excellent and overall the trip was very affordable, an A plus value.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Elizabeth Dianne D. 3 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Montova was a really lovely spot and I liked the cycling around there. It might be easier in the towns if the cyclists all had either jerseys or pennies to identify the group so locals see we are all together which would prevent us from getting cut off or unable to pass.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Jeanne W. 3 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Most memorable part? All of it! Fantastic! Most memorable: Hein! And Marco! The whole staff! Loved every minute. Loved the e-bike too.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Patti S. 3 months agoPermalink/Reply

    I was so impressed with the level of service and detail on this trip. Completely exceeded all expectations from the guides and the rides to the food and the lodging. So much fun! It didn’t hurt that we had perfect weather. Hoping to do it again!

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Karilene M. 8 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Every day was a new adventure, loved it all!

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Bolzano - Mantova - Venice
    by Ian S. 8 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Superb scenery, boat, bikes and guides. Delightful in every way.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Mary G. 8 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Most Memorable Part: Biking with Hans as a guide and the side trips we made.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Bolzano - Mantova - Venice
    by Nelson N. 8 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Piano player and entertainer was a highlight.....food was fabulous.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Rochelle R. 9 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Most Memorable Part: Venice in the rain at midnight! Excellent food, great staff and guides.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Prosper B. 9 months agoPermalink/Reply

    My most memorable part of these trips are always at the halfway mark when I realize they are almost over and I want them to go on and on forever. Italy is so beautiful and the ride to Montava is an extension of that beauty.

    My suggestion is simple: Do it. Don't wait. Go on a big cruise ship when you are too old to walk, but as for now, if you're able to bike, you're able to bike tour. Touring is different than racing. Its relaxing and invigorating, spiritual and memorizing. Seeing Italy at ground level and at 11 mph is the only way to experience it, in my book.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Christine D. 9 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Our guide, Hein, was the absolute best. Knew everything about history, culture, architecture, food... Had a great sense of humor. Best guide in 10 bike/barge trips.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Patricia K. 10 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Everyday was fabulous. So difficult to pick any one memorable part when you experience Venice, Grana Padana tour and tasting, the oldest clock in the world, a lotus flower lake and charming friendly people and staff.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Maureen B. 11 months agoPermalink/Reply

    This was my third bike and barge with Tripsite, but it was not my favorite. The boat, crew and food were terrific. The route however was flat as advertised, but the night stops were not fun or interesting. Zelo had only a cemetery and an Irish pub. If I was asked by a friend which bike and barge to take for possibly a once in a lifetime trip, I would recommend Bruges to Amsterdam and the Mosul River trip first. We had a wonderful time and everyone on the boat and the guests were first rate. I would take another trip on The Ave Maria, but would want a more interesting route.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Myra B. 11 months agoPermalink/Reply

    Friendly knowledgeable staff, delicious food, great bikes! It truly was the vacation of a lifetime, and we can't wait for the next one!

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Kristie J. 1 year agoPermalink/Reply

    Most memorable: The scenery in Venice, Lodi and Chiogga.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Barbara S. 1 year agoPermalink/Reply

    Excellent dinners after cycling along some wonderful and varied routes. The tour guides were excellent and kept a great pace for all cyclists. Different activities and surprises along the routes almost every day. Highly recommend this trip. If you plan to travel in July, be prepared for hot weather.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Bolzano - Mantova - Venice
    by Janet L. 1 year agoPermalink/Reply

    We were glad that we did the independent bike ride starting in Bolzano 3 days before meeting up with everyone on the barge. The scenery and biking were incredible, especially on the alternate route. We did go solo the first day and got very lost 3 times! The next day we tagged along with others on the same trip. The directions could be more explicit ( Ex. It would be helpful to state directions that avoided questioning routes i.e. ""go this way, not that way""; caution - fork in road- bear right, but not up that 14% grade hill!) And what is a fly-over? (An overpass, we found out later) And what is considered a ""fountain""? (It's a small water spigot at a bikers rest stop). However, it was an adventure we won't forget. We learned we needed to have GPS through Google or another mapping/biking program. This would allow us to be more independent and ride self guided as biking with 28 or more people and 2 guides is slow going. The biking is on flat terrain, very easy. However, many days you bike around 30 miles, with many stops for breaks, tours, and sights. It was very warm in early June. Bring lip sunscreen and regular sunscreen!
    The Ave Maria is fantastic, our rooms were cozy but totally comfortable. The boat is in mint condition. Food is amazing! Our 2 chefs were top notch. Staff are fun and we really were lucky to have a great group of fellow travelers. Ronnie and Silvia were our guides and they were great. They were very patient, helpful and fun to be with. We had a competition one night, all the 5 groups from different countries did a skit. It was hilarious!!
    Also, arriving in Venice by boat at the end of the tour is the best way to go in our opinion. We stayed an extra day in Venice and took water buses to some of the islands. It was cooler there, we saw beautiful places and we used up our 3 day transit pass.
    I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, we had an unforgettable, wonderful trip and are thinking of where to go on our next bike and barge adventure!

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Doreen C. 1 year agoPermalink/Reply

    The most memorable part was stopping for lunch in a vineyard!

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Carol K. 1 year agoPermalink/Reply

    The most memorable part was the chef and guides!!

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Audrey L. 1 year agoPermalink/Reply

    I returned May 9, 2017 from Italy from the best trip of my life. It started out from a conversation with a retired flight attendant a year ago and became a reality on April 29, 2017 when I had the great pleasure of boarding The Ave Maria from Mantua Italy to Venice Italy. From start to finish it was perfection. The boat was quite accommodating with our 3 bunk cabin, lovely dining room and sun deck to visit with our group of sixteen from Michigan, Nevada, Florida and Texas. The crew of 4 were fantastic and the food was superb. Everyday something different and delicious. The bike riding and touring through the countryside was phenomenal all because our guides Hein and Alain were exceptional. At age 64 I have enjoyed a lot of different destinations, but this trip by far exceeded every expectation I had and I would attribute it all to the fabulous crew and guides. Thank you so very much!

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Doreen C. 1 year agoPermalink/Reply

    The most memorable part was the guides and crew of the ship - the customer service was OUTSTANDING!!!!!

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Anne H. 2 years agoPermalink/Reply

    I would absolutely recommend this trip. We felt we were very lucky to have Hein as our guide. His insight was wonderful.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Marianne L. 2 years agoPermalink/Reply

    The scenery on this trip,while biking, was not memorable or especially unusual which was to be expected given the flatland of our itinerary. I was hoping it would be more dramatic but not surprised that it wasn't. Still I loved being there and next time will consider a more challenging terrain which ought to improve the views. ( ps lunch stop venues need more thought- in general unattractive.)
    Memorable: the towns of Mantova and Ferrara were lovely and I enjoyed having time to spend in them , instead of merely riding through. The food was glorious and I felt the staff went the extra mile for us with a few perks and personal attention if needed. Clearly they like their jobs and it showed.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Patricia E. 2 years agoPermalink/Reply

    The entire staff was impeccable. They aimed to please and all had wonderful personalities. My only regret was wifi being shut down at 11pm. This was the best time for me to talk to loved ones. Other than that, it was great. Feedback from my group was positive.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Bolzano - Mantova - Venice
    by Christine W. 2 years agoPermalink/Reply

    The scenery on the self guided from Bolzano to Mantua.
    The expert guide (Hein ), the food and the staff on the boat.
    They all went out of their way to make it a very pleasant experience.
    We could not have asked for a better crew.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

  • Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova
    by Nancy M. 2 years agoPermalink/Reply

    Everything was memorable from the wonderful cabin to the great gourmet food to the wonderful leader Hein and fabulous staff. The route is scenic and we made stops at interesting places like the Rides Museum, Grano Padana, and the non-bird sanctuary! Loved it and have highly recommended it to friends.

    Boat: Ave Maria

    Countries: Italy

PWPC