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Rosemary P.1 year ago
Normandie Along the Danube - Four Country TourAustria, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary
I am truly amazed about quantity of 5 star reviews for this tour, as I could only give it a 2 star! And, this 2 rating is for the wonderful restaurant and housekeeping staff , as the boat crew , bike assistants were unpleasant to deal with, and the captain kept his distance. This was such a drastic difference from my very enjoyable Netherlands, and Croatia bike and boat tours. The maps and directions were inadequate and usually incorrect. The "tour guide" (who never lead a tour) Jan was unbelievably nasty, rude and impatient about any and all questions and concerns. He sent many on what was to be an easy, level ride only for it to take us over a mountain where our bikes were unsuitable and directions e completely wrong. I would not recommend neither this boat or trip to anyone.
Jehiel from Tripsite • 1 year ago Tripsite Staff
Hi Rosemary,We are sorry to hear that this trip didn't meet your expectations. It's unfortunate that you experienced some negative exchanges with Jan. We apologize for that.
About the biking: For the self-guided option a guide is not expected to lead the tour. Riders are expected to be able to navigate independently using the route descriptions and maps. We will look into the maps but we have never gotten feedback about the inaccuracy of the route descriptions for this tour. Furthermore, the tour is rated easy with very little elevation gain and the daily mileages are listed.
We hope that you still had an enjoyable time.
Rosemary Palus • 1 year ago
Not having a guide was not an issue for me as I am a much seasoned rider (of plus 30 years experience) with dozens extended touring rides both here in the states, besides several international. We had started with transporting our personal bikes to Europe, reserving our accommodations , creating ride maps, etc.. so telling me to "navigate independently using the route description and maps" given is insulting. IF one were given proper maps and descriptions it would have been acceptable with the exception of Jan's famous easy farm ride that took us over dangerous mountainous, cliff side, terrain. He is very fortunate all returned minus major accidents, and this was only due to the fact we WERE EXPERIENCED!. And, you really need to fully read all feedback as there were other complaints regarding inadequate mapping and directions. Tripsite is also responsible by ignoring this issue. AMEN!
Rosemary, I am not trying to insult you or downplay your experience. I am trying to address your concerns. I wanted to clarify that Jan is not a tour guide and with the self-guided option, there is no leader. Gps tracks are available for most tours and routes are being updated and improved frequently.If you were not given maps and route descriptions and if Jan's suggestion was misguided and dangerous, that is unacceptable. If Jan was rude to you, that is unacceptable. This is not characteristic of our local partners or Tripsite. I can assure you we are addressing these issues with our local partner. I personally read hundreds of feedback submissions each season and respond. We do this because we care about your experience and want to make the tours we offer better. I am sorry we and our partners failed to give you a positive experience. Jehiel
Marcia Regina L.2 years ago
Normandie Along the Danube - Passau to ViennaAustria, Germany
I and my husband loved the tour. Everything was perfect, the barge, the meals, all the staff was kind and we had now new friends that we knew in this tour.
Jill T.2 years ago
This trip was amazing. It was my first time to Europe and to say now that I was in 4 countries!!The talks that we had each night with the information on our next day trip were very helpful. We had some bad weather, (rain), but we got by. I cannot complain at all. We did the off days on our own, walking around Vienna and Budapest. I took so many photos. It is great to have them now to look back on.I cannot pick one thing that I really enjoyed. Everyday was better than the day before. I am planning on doing another trip with Tripsite in 2020.
Rick C.2 years ago
All of the biking was fantastic. The time in Vienna was a close second.
Don D.2 years ago
The normandie boat and crew was well run and has a nice flow to the week. Most memorable moment was Vienna concert operetta
Glenn M.2 years ago
We really enjoyed the biking. Most the trails were very nice and the scenery was beautiful.The most memorable part was probably the Wachau Valley. The bikes were very good. The rooms on the boat were good and the food was also plentiful and tasty.We enjoyed the entertainment put on by the crew.
Bonnie B.2 years ago
Riding along the Danube offered many beautiful vistas. The bikes were great, the seats very comfortable, which made for a nice ride. We met some fun people on board although a greater mix of English speaking to German speaking would have been even better. Suggestions as mentioned to Tripsite staff would be to make this tour guided (the entire group of 100 passengers were lost on several days which minimized the opportunity to make it to some of the sites), to include ferries in the pricing, so that passengers aren't always searching to make sure they have cash (our previous trip included the ferries so wasn't an issue.), and the excursions were sometimes canceled so these could also be improved. All in all we had fun and the cabin staff took great care of our rooms...I'd make a different selection though next time.
Adrienne N.2 years ago
Best Part? Biking along the Danube the first day in the beautiful countryside. Spectacular!!
Cathy K.2 years ago
The biking was absolutely wonderful; so incredibly beautiful especially through the vineyards and orchards. The ride around Bratislava was not marked well at all and 90% of the riders got lost going in all different directions, thank God for smart phones. The food on board was well prepared, always hot and nutritional. Where this trip fell short was the crew abroad the Normandie. Unlike the other TWO Bike and Barge Trips I experienced, this crew was a bit unwelcoming, rude, and times condescending and scolding. Not everyone but it certainly was the feel on the boat and many were talking about it. I know the crew work long hours and they all have to help with most tasks on the boat; however, there would be nothing to do if WE weren't there. I absolutely love this way of travel and will do another one again very soon. This was NOT a Tripsite issue but am hopeful this information will be passed to the appropriate people. Tripsite has been excellent in providing information and always seems to offer a great deal.
Cathy2 years ago
This is my 3rd trip with Tripsite and they do a good job...but the instructions to the boat were a tad misleading. If there are detours/changes, I believe they should keep on top of that and be sure to report to their customers.The bike ride was amazing. The scenery was like all the other reviews stated......I would NOT recommend the ride in Vienna or Budapest; way to much traffic. The crew was not customer focused. The cruise director/bike tour director, Monica, was often short and rude to passengers. Unlike the other 2 trips I took, the crew was not welcoming or eager to help. There were a few in housekeeping and wait staff that were nice. The captain was cold and never engaged at all with the passengers. This is NOT a tripsite issue but this crew needed a kick in the pants from above to treat the passages better........recommend the trip but I hope you don't get this negative crew.....
Pat L.2 years ago
The last day of the beautiful rolling hills and gorgeous monastery on the hill and quaint historic towns along the way were the highlight of the trip.
I loved Jan's presentations. He was very well prepared and his delivery was great. You should keep him doing that. However, his personal customer service leaves something to be desired. He had no patience for details that were not perfect.
All guides except for one were exceptionally good. The one guide in Budapest was so bad we got our money back for the bike guide in the city.
Robert L.2 years ago
We had never done a Bike & Boat tour before so were hoping it would all work out. And it did fantastically! Ours was a family trip and even our 9-year-old son completed the entire bike route no problem. Such a pleasure to be in the country biking through fields, along the river, even on narrow roads through the small towns and villages we passed through. It was an amazing way to really see the countryside and interact with local people to briefly get a glimpse of their way of life. And the scenery was beautiful and peaceful. An amazing experience for our family and we look forward to doing more trips like this in the future.
Dave U.2 years ago
We had a great time on the Danube four countries tour and it was great to bike and to get to visit 3 capital cities. Wonderful and I would highly recommend this trip
Nancy U.2 years ago
Our table mates(who we had never met before) became our best friends for the week. We did all our rides together and had a great time visiting the different cities. We had brand new bikes of high quality that enhanced the experience.
Michael H.2 years ago
Best Part? The nice people on the boat
Lorne H.2 years ago
Earlier this year (May), my wife and I did the 4 country bike - barge tour, on the Danube. First I have to remark that everything "Tripsite" advertised was delivered at what we thought to be a reasonable price. In spite of unusually cold (damp) weather, our first experience (s) in Passau, Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna were very memorable highlights. However, aboard the "Normandie" we did have some concerns with the overall tour management. There were some particularly disappointing moments with an apparent strategy to keep the English speaking guests, and non-english speaking guests (mostly German) separated? For our part, we were keen to mingle - assimilate with all the guests aboard. That should not reflect our overall impression of the boat crew, who were very courteous and helpful.
Susan E.2 years ago
Bike/Barge was a great way to spend time with family and see the sights of the Danube. Accommodation on the boat was comfortable, staff friendly and it certainly made for a very relaxing & easy holiday.
Donncha O.2 years ago
Best part: Cycling in dry weather; we got soaked one day
Michael D.2 years ago
The route was well planned. The views were spectacular. Couldn’t have imagined a better place to have done this (Austria). We biked approximately 50 miles a day. It was exceptional.
Lynn F.3 years ago
Our second trip ( the Danube to Vienna) was different, but equally as nice. This time the “barge” was a huge river boat (a la Viking), but that was OK. The scenery was lovely, the little towns quaint, they could have done better with the information about our route, but I guess it was OK. A bit different in that the boat traveled at night and moved us up the river to our next starting point. Again, the food was great, the passengers friendly... only one rainy day that time... not bad! I’ve told friends about this company and I look forward to our next trip with Tripsite!
Jane F.3 years ago
Every minute of this trip was amazing. Would do it all over again!
Suzanne B.3 years ago
The incredible scenery and the wonderful people. We met some incredible new friends on the trip.
Brent F.3 years ago
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?”
Mok L.3 years ago
The Danube / bike path was wonderful , My bike was a red girls bike that clunked “hate it”, my wife’s ebike was great, the food was good except the hair in couple of dishes, the tour dir and the hotel mgr were friggen rude (not just us to about 14 others ) would Never take a SE tour again. The people we met on board were great, Austria was very nice. Omg Austria wine was fantastic. thx Mik
PsStill like Tripsite’s
Lori C.3 years ago
I adored the trip from start to finish. The scenery, the towns and cities and of course seeing everything by bike. I met wonderful people who share a love of travel and adventure. The only problem with the trip was the tour leader. He was condescending and rude to several guests. The rest of the staff was phenomenal. I would do this trip again tomorrow.
Susan W.3 years ago
I would highly recommend this trip. The food was fantastic. The rooms were of a good size and clean. The staff were friendly and helpful. The cycle route were scenic and enjoyable. I would definitely do another.
Paul H.3 years ago
What an unforgettable trip! We were able to take our 75 year old dad and he cycled the whole thing easily. The touring days in the cities were full, overwhelming, and inspiring for someone who's never seen the rich history of Europe. Cruising down the river while eating a 4 course dinner was a perfect finish to cycling though forests and orchards all day. It was a perfect combination of cycling, cruising, relaxing and sight seeing. I would recommend it to anyone!
Paula H.3 years ago
This trip provides a chance to explore the rural areas along the Danube by bike and to visit the great cities of Budapest and Vienna. There is a lot packed into this trip.
Sherry D.3 years ago
This was a perfect way to spend a holiday. The food was AMAZING! The staff was personable, kind, and so very efficient with all they do. I was pleasantly surprised with all the paved bike paths and the number of cyclists out traveling on vacation. It was inspirational to interact with them along the way. Thank you, Normandie and staff. We had a fantastic time!
Larry B.3 years ago
Biking along river was the greatest. Budapest and Bratislava wonderful. Time in Vienna too rushed. Strongly advise participants to take an extra day or two in Passau before the trip—a lovely small town.