2 star rated France Bike Tour Reviews 1 to 11 of 11

 

 Country: France • REMOVE

  • Bordeaux - Châteaux, Rivers & Wine
    by Rick M. 4 weeks ago     Permalink/Reply     Verified Reviewer

    Suggestion for others: Take a different bike/barge trip!

    The boat was quite old and noisy. Due to either river conditions or dock accommodations, the skipper had to move the boat off the dock multiple times during the days and at night, disrupting sleep for many of the guests. Air conditioning did not work in several of the cabins, and the crew was very slow to repair. At our "welcome aboard" briefing, we were told that there were 130 life vests on board the vessel, and that was the extent of the safety briefing - nothing about where they were located or how to don them. No word about where fire extinguishers were located. Nothing about how to get off the boat in an emergency. If there was an AED on board, it was well hidden!

    Several of the young ladies in the crew were very friendly and helpful to the passengers, but others were not very helpful at all - The Captain could best be described as an old Curmudgeon. Time for him to retire! The bikes were Read more… old and somewhat worn out. Very little help from the crew with getting them set up and ready to roll each day. The first day of "bike fitting" was pandemonium, with 80+ people all trying to get their bikes at once. Probably could have been a little better organized - as could several other aspects of the trip. Our guide was trying very hard to do the best he could, but he was handicapped by a lack of experience and local area knowledge. His regular job was working in the office for the boat company, and I suspect he was pressed into service as a guide, probably because so many people requested the guided option.

    The food was generally good, but there was no choice during evening meals. If you happened not to like duck, too bad!

    While the crew and the company had no control over the weather, it rained almost every day, and to top it all off, I found I really prefer California/Washington wines to any we tasted in the Bordeaux region.

    While this was our first barge experience, we have taken many other cycling trips, with other companies. In general, they have all been far more organized an better executed than this trip. The bikes were always better in quality and better maintained by the crew. The tour leaders were far more informed and informative about the areas we were riding in.

    Bottom line: I will not take another bike/barge trip through your company, nor can I recommend your trips to others.

    Boat: Bordeaux

    Countries: France

  • Bordeaux - Châteaux, Rivers & Wine
    by Diane F. 2 months ago     Permalink/Reply     Verified Reviewer

    I took the Bordeaux bike and barge trip the first week of September 2019. I am comparing it to the Danube bike & barge trip I took in October 2017 via Tripsite. The Danube trip was great all the way around, good food, nice dining service, white linen, well cooked and good variety of food. Excellent value for the money. The itinerary, guides, and crew service were great. The Bordeaux trip on MS Bordeaux held great expectations. The itinerary and scenery were fantastic. The quality and variety of food needed a lot of work. The morning coffee was dreadful each day, and there were no proper coffee mugs, teacups or teapots. Paper placemats did not add to the breakfast atmosphere. We were offered the same overcooked eggs each morning. One morning garlic carrots were on offer. Our make yourself lunches were exactly the same ingredients each day. The dinners were often overcooked with a complete lack of fresh greens or fresh market cheeses. In fact, the cheeses on offer each morning were Read more… pre-sliced cheese. This is not what one expects in France.
    So the food was very disappointing for the price we paid for this trip. The food servers were very friendly and worked hard to please. The bike mechanic was great and solved any issues we had with the bikes. The captain of MS Bordeaux was always impatient and gruff with passengers as we disembarked each day. On the Danube trip, the staff ensured the bikes were on land for us each day. The GPS's in Bordeaux did not work most of the time and the maps in the books need updating - this is a comment that has been in the Bordeaux reviews for several years now. A team discussion and group effort allowed us to find our way.
    The most disappointing aspect of the trip is that my concerns were expressed to Tripsite and left unanswered for over a month until I called Tripsite back, and nothing was resolved for me. Just be sure to evaluate if the quality of food and customer service are an important part of your trip - otherwise, enjoy the great rides!

    Boat: Bordeaux

    Countries: France

  • Loire Valley Bike and Boat - 2019
    by Jayne Allerton 4 months ago         Verified Reviewer

    Avoid trips on this barge!
    Trip Name: Loire Valley rerouted to St. Mammés/Sens
    We have new two lessons learned from this experience:
    1. Never book on a boat that is not crewed by the owner; and
    2. Never book accommodations that do not show you the state and size of the washroom.
    After reading the mostly average reviews of the barge before booking, we decided to take a chance on booking the Loire Valley boat and bike itinerary on the Anna Maria IV. However, due to low water conditions on the Loire, the itinerary was changed to the Seine and the Yonne rivers. While disappointed in the change, the new route was more than fine with challenging rides and beautiful scenery.
    John, the tour guide did a great job leading us through new territory.
    The new bikes were excellent, and John was able to fix the odd flat tire along the way.
    Unfortunately, no evening city walks were provided due to the itinerary change.
    The boat captain was Read more… only on the barge for 4 days and 3 nights. While we had very little interaction with him, he was pleasant and got us from dock to dock with no problems- always a challenge with low water levels.
    The barge. Well, we knew it would be small since this is our third bike barge on the same category of ship. But this was by far the smallest and least comfortable. The sinks are in the sleeping area and take up much of the non-bed space. One’s feet were actually in the shower when using the toilet. And, there was literally no room to unpack items - the small bins under the bed didn’t stay on their racks, making them useful for only the lightest of items.
    But, the worst part of the entire week was the service provided by the crew/host. Unfortunately, there was only one crew member for 13 guests - thank goodness we were not at the 18 guest capacity.
    Our feeling is that she did not like her job and found us an inconvenience to her social life. We felt like we had to fit into her schedule rather than her recognizing we were customers! And, boy, was she not a morning person!
    While one can accept a person having a bad day or being a few minutes late once in a while, one should not have to experience the lack of organization and attention to detail that we received the entire week. If this was our first bike barge trip, I doubt we would ever do one again.
    In summary, the captain was responsible for the movement of the ship. The guide was responsible for our cycling experience. The host was responsible for our on-board experience. But with no one in charge, there was no single person responsible for our overall experience.
    While the on-board experience was extremely disappointing, the cycling was great, and the other passengers amazing. In fact, without the camaraderie of the other passengers this would have been a miserable week.

    Countries: France

  • Champagne Tour
    by Mark H. 5 months ago     Permalink/Reply     Verified Reviewer

    The general biking was above average , with some awesome sites visited.
    As far as the accommodation was concerned this was below average.
    Although the space was confined more emphasis could have been done to the quality and hospitality of stay.

    Boat: Zwaantje

    Countries: France

  • Northern Normandy
    by Kathryn K. 1 year ago     Permalink/Reply     Verified Reviewer

    We had a great time touring the area. The hills were a challenge! The hotel food was varied and tasty.

    Countries: France

  • Bordeaux - Châteaux, Rivers & Wine
    by Beth M. 1 year ago     Permalink/Reply     Verified Reviewer

    I am commenting on the Bordeaux tour which I decided to go on last minute. If I had done my research on the boat & room size I wouldn’t have gone. My husband is 6’6” and the cabin was too small & very uncomfortable. I don’t know how it gets the Comfort Plus rating, all of the cabins on the lower level with the exception of one were all very small, & from other fellow pax comments, the upper level was not much better. This was our third trip with TripSite, we thoroughly enjoyed the 2 prior trips. We are sorry to say that the Bordeaux trip was underwhelming as far as scenery & bike routes.

    Boat: Bordeaux

    Countries: France

  • Loire Valley Bike and Boat - 2019
    by Patti P. 1 year ago         Verified Reviewer

    The best part was traveling with friends. I would have enjoyed more information about the area and towns we were traveling through.

    Boat: Anna Maria IV

    Countries: France

  • Montargis to Paris
    by Ann B. 1 year ago     Permalink/Reply     Verified Reviewer

    The time on the boat was fun and enjoyable. Your description of the bike ride being easy to moderate was way off. It should have been described as hard to difficult!! It was very misleading.

    Boat: Fleur

    Countries: France

  • Bordeaux - Châteaux, Rivers & Wine
    by Lisa S. 2 years ago     Permalink/Reply     Verified Reviewer

    We traveled on the ship Bordeaux in France. The bike routes were beautiful, but the instructions provided by not so great. No worries, we had maps and a GPS, we made each day into an adventure!!!

    Boat: Bordeaux

    Countries: France

  • Bordeaux - Châteaux, Rivers & Wine
    by Veronica H. 2 years ago     Permalink/Reply     Verified Reviewer

    Bordeaux the best city on trip for us. Trip is not easy because of traffic and hills---scary!!!

    Boat: Bordeaux

    Countries: France

  • Champagne Tour
    by D. Miller 4 years ago     Permalink/Reply     Verified Reviewer

    The ship, captain and crew were wonderful. Our guide was totally unacceptable!

    My only complaint regarding the boat was due to the small cabins. The French locks are narrow, so the boat is narrow, making the rooms a bit to small for my comfort.

    Our main concern was the unprepared tour group leader. She was constantly undecided on how to proceed. I think it was more trying to please the group than not knowing what to do. There should have been a route guide for each person (all we received was a large map with no route shown on it). She needed to be a leader rather than a friend!

    Boat: Zwaantje

    Countries: France

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