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Boat/Barge: Ave Maria • REMOVE • About Ave Maria
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Myra B. 2 years ago • Permalink/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
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Kristie J. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Most memorable: The scenery in Venice, Lodi and Chiogga.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Barbara S. 2 years ago • Permalink/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.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Janet L. 2 years ago • Permalink/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!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Doreen C. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The most memorable part was stopping for lunch in a vineyard!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Carol K. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The most memorable part was the chef and guides!!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Audrey L. 2 years ago • Permalink/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!
The most memorable part was the guides and crew of the ship - the customer service was OUTSTANDING!!!!!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Anne H. 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I would absolutely recommend this trip. We felt we were very lucky to have Hein as our guide. His insight was wonderful.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Marianne L. 3 years ago • Permalink/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.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Patricia E. 3 years ago • Permalink/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.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Christine W. 3 years ago • Permalink/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.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Nancy M. 3 years ago • Permalink/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.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Judith S. 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The guide, Hein, was very knowledgeable, entertaining and helpful. A real asset to the trip.Food on the Ava Maria was the best! Loved the three days from Bolzano through the mountains.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Kristy M. 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The staff on the Ave Maria was fantastic. They made sure we got everything we needed. I liked the way even the captain of the boat helped serve and clean up. They really worked as a team and worked very hard! The food was awesome and I really enjoyed the stops we made and the tours we had. Great trip!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Karen K. 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Bike guides (Michaela & Ronnie) and boat staff ( Erica, Juliano, Enrico and Luciano) were all exceptional. Their care, expertise and concern throughout the trip was what made it exceptional.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Nancy H. 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The Tour Leader Hein was amazing and showed us a wonderful experience. The cycling was spectacular and the food so exciting and very innovative. The bikes were heavier than I am used to but they were appropriate for the terrain. Everyone was helpful -- fabulous staff. I've already recommended it to my friends. I would do it again, but only if Hein were the Leader.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by D. Green 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This was a fabulous trip all around! The group was friendly, and guides were helpful and knowledgeable! Dinners were delicious and varied, stronger than expected for this type of trip. We really enjoyed being able to purchase wine on board the ship, also. The riding was varied, and we really appreciated that our guides made sure to schedule a mid-morning break for coffee/water/toilet. What a great way to get a sense of this part of Italy - from small villages and farm fields to Venice - just spectacular!One suggestion for improvement: for riding in really hot weather, it would be great if there could be a little more flexibility. We rode during a heat spell (40 degrees Centigrade one day). It was difficult to shift schedules or shorten our rides due to logistics, and this created some health issues.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by E. Lowell 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
It was a wonderful trip! I liked that we got to be on the barge when it moved (one time at the end of the day and another in the morning). The food was outstanding and I liked that the chefs described dinner and suggested wine pairings. The barge was very comfortable - even with 3 in a cabin.
Our son (22 years old) was outnumbered by the over 50 crowd but Hein made him feel welcome. Only suggestion - mirrors on the bikes (although I realize that makes them difficult to store and move) and a brief intro on riding in groups.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by V. Miller 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This trip gets a +10!! The staff (Tamy, Ilena, Luciano, Enrico, Guilio & Alberto) were amazing - fun, personable, knowledgable, friendly and engaging. They were truly a team and clearly enjoyed each other which ripples out to the experience of the guests. I loved that they gave a 'brief' the night before to let us know what to expect the next day. The food was creative, fresh and lovingly prepared. The accommodations on the AveMarie were great -- the cabins were well thought out with lots of storage so that the room felt spacious. The dining room was lovely with plenty of space to relax. The price of wine/beer was very reasonable and loved that we could keep a tab and pay it at the end, so easy.
Oh yea the bikes --- a good ride and comfy enough for the distances ridden. The routes were well planned, even the few times we had to ride in traffic. The trip leaders were excellent at managing the group and making it fun, no matter what we were doing.
For the whole week I felt well cared for :)I am already dreaming of my next trip.Kindly -- Victoria
P.S. The bad and the ugly -- honestly I don't have anything to contribute for improvement.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by J. Scott 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The crew were AMAZing! Every single one of them. Tami is an amazing guide - super friendly and helpful. All of the crew helpful and a delight. I would definitely go on this type of trip again because of my experience on this trip.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by L. Chambers 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This was my first bike & barge. The bar has been set very high!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by L. Bockelmann 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The entire bike-barge trip on the Ave Maria far exceeded our expectations. I would highly recommend this trip.
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Joanne White 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This Bike and Barge tour was amazing, best holiday ever!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Terrence Kinal 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Crew and guides were friendly and extremely helpful. Meals and snacks were great! Good sense of comradery due to the small number of passengers. Good bikes, rides were interesting and manageable.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Lois Benson 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The crew aboard the Ave Maria was cheerful and helpful, especially Michaela, who went above and beyond in helping with departure plans. The food was wonderful. A group of 30 is a lot of work for the cycling guides, but I would have liked a few more rest breaks along the way, especially on the day to Ferrara.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by James & Kimberly Engel 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We have decided that this is the only way we now want to see other countries, up close and personal! What a wonderful experience!Loved getting exercise every day while viewing the beautiful countryside. Even better was ending our ride with wine, a delicious dinner and new friends!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Bodil Nielsen 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Sometimes it would have been nice to stop for pictures of the scenery, but did not want to go to the back of the pack or be left behind. Helmut was an excellent guide and made sure everybody was safe. Food on board was the best I had in Italy. Staff very friendly and went the extra mile for our friends birthday.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Patricia Leigh Trivette 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We should have trained more for endurance. The guides were wonderful and took such good care of us. The bicycles were amazingly comfortable. Beautiful dinners nightly. Thank you all.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Mia Moran 4 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This was our second Tripsite trip, last year Germany, this year Italy. I have highly recommended your trip to all my friends. We hope to have the opportunity to take another bike and barge.
Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064