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Country: France • REMOVE
Loire Valley Bike and Boat by Bruce Belman 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Great trip. Everything we were hoping for.
Boat: Anna Maria IV
Pearls of the Alsace Wine Route by Kenneth Larsen 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We started with the book with maps and directions. Although it was pretty good, we got lost a couple times with that. I think on the 3rd day we met the woman who wrote the directions and she got us the file for my Garmin. That gave us turn by turn directions with no mistakes. Everyone we met was very pleasant. The trip was great. The bikes were a bit heavy.
Countries: France, Switzerland
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Terry Benson 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Had a wonderful time. Only problem was the weather, very very cold.
Countries: France, Luxembourg, Germany
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Lois Requist 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The guides are young and very athletic. People who sign up for this level of bicycling aren't usually top bikers, unless they are doing it to be with friends or spouse. I think a bit more thought could be put into the introductory ride the first day, bridge crossings, sudden merging into traffic, sudden turns to go steeply uphill. I've done much longer bike rides, but at this age, I didn't want that much challenge.
Heart of Alsace (no longer available)by Eileen Schuler 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I broke my arm 3 weeks before our trip to Alsace so was not able to bike; instead of cancelling my husband and I decided to go anyway and we are so glad we did. We would never have discovered the lovely town of Osthouse and especially the beautiful renovated Hotel de la Ferme; we discovered some beautiful walks in the region, over meadows, woods and rivers. L'Hotel de la Ferme is very charming with a lovely garden and a ping pong table which we had fun with. The dining area at the hotel was very comfortable with a delicious, plentiful breakfast buffet; fruit of every kind, cheeses, breads and cakes. Lunch was always a hearty piece of french bread with butter and cheese! And dinner, 2 nights at the hotel and the rest of the evenings at the Aigle d'Or, a 4 star restaurant which has been in the family for 40 years, were always a fun surprise and delicious.Our room was on the second floor with a balcony and was very spacious, especially by European standards. Bathroom, sitting area, beds, everything comfortable, clean and very quiet. Our hosts could not have been nicer. They offered to pick us up and bring us back to the train for a small fee and took us to an amazing modern museum in Erstein. All in all a wonderful vacation!
Mainz to Basel (no longer available)by Jessica Kiedrowski 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I was pleased with the points of interest on the tour (Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Colmar, Breisach), however, the route was very industrial at times and there was just nothing special about it. The maps and route descriptions were terrible and I'd say that was the number one complaint of fellow passengers. I talked to the guide and he said they will redo the route for next year so hopefully with some changes, it will be much better.
Boat: MS Andante
Countries: Germany, Switzerland, France
Mainz to Basel (no longer available)by Anna Zdancewicz 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The boat itself is nothing remarkable, but quite comfortable and clean. The staff was amazingly friendly. Route descriptions were sparse in some sections so there was some guessing involved. The maps themselves didn't have any road names on them if you did get lost they were of no use. We honestly didn't rely on the maps/route descriptions as much as the info from our daily meetings with the tour guide. There were good and bad days as far as scenery on the rides, a few days were pretty boring with not a lot to look at, while others were quite beautiful. We docked within walking distance to town on all days except one (where you had the option of one lonely restaurant). On board you are provided with maps and flyers for each overnight town. The bikes were super heavy and cumbersome (not bikes I am used to) but this is the norm in Europe. The food on board was excellent. I would recommend this trip as I know the routes are being reviewed and descriptions/maps updated.
Loire Valley Bike and Boat by Laurie Frarey 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
There seemed to be tension between the owners of the barge and guy doing the cooking, cleaning and maintenance. The guy was trying to do the job of more than 2 people by himself. One day when he needed help with a cranky generator the captain was in a bar. We did not get clean towels half way through as promised. I have been on 2 bike and barge trips and this had the worst staff. The guide was good but left slower riders at several critical junctures. It did not happen often. Seems the system works best when the owner is captain. Means he is present and accountable.
Bruges to Paris or Paris to Bruges by Gordon Maze 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We highly recommend the Paris to Bruges bike and barge on the Elodie but one must be a strong cyclist as there are hills. The food was really excellent. Comradery among the group was high, and that's one of the great aspects of the trip.
Countries: Belgium, France
Around Paris by Karen Picard 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This was the first trip of this type that we have ever done and my first time to France. It was a great way to experience the country and it was nice to see rural areas, historic small towns, castles and the big city of Paris. The crew was wonderful-- friendly, accommodating, knowledgeable and thoughtful. The trip price was a great value for all that we received and experienced. It was great to get so much exercise while on vacation-- walking and biking makes it possible to see and do so much in the fresh air and to burn off the great food and wine we enjoyed. I highly recommend this trip!
Boat: Clair de Lune
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Vic Lumby 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
One of the best holidays we have ever experienced. Great cycling along the Moselle with excellent and knowledgeable guides and then returning tired but exhilarated to an most welcoming environment on the barge - the IRIS. Meals were excellent and entire crew and owner went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed the total experience. Would recommend this trip to anyone. We will be back for more.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Margaret Munro 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Even for a novice biker I was looked after and given the opportunity to cycle shorter legs and enjoy the sailing on the boat. Bikes - we had a couple of bikes that had gear problems, otherwise they were fine.
Mainz to Basel (no longer available)by David Miller 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Garrit, our bike tour leader, was a novice on this route as well as a poor communicator to the english speaking clients. The docking area changed at each stop from the printed instructions, and the maps and turn-by-turn instructions were only partly correct! Everyone got lost at some point in the trip!! I had asked for GPS routing for my bike Garmin GPS but was told the route was to new and that it was not available! I think some accurate preparation would have made the trip more pleasant.Second - the route along the Rhine is not scenic (as on the Danube) with few small towns to stop and look/snack on the way. The most notable sights were gravel pits and cement manufacturing. Of course, that is not the fault of the tour operator, however, they should have provided a detailed description of the small towns on the way (although not on the river) to give us the option of exploring the interesting ones and forgetting about the towns with 3 streets and no interesting sights.
Mainz to Basel (no longer available)by Norbert Glatt 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Boat staff need to learn how to be more polite and friendly. The management seems to be in the military service.
Provence - Van Gogh by Alan Bartlett 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We found the map directions confusing at times--i.e. Cross bridge and 3 streets and turn right. Sounds easy enough, but actually it meant 2 major streets and a round about. We usually solved this by using Google maps. But it added stressful tens of minutes to resolve. It pretty much meant that we slightly dreaded arriving at even a little village, due to the almost guaranteed confusion. Having the route available as a google map path would have been much much much better.It's the service we pay for, not the specific route. It also made it feel like the route had not been retested for a while. Getting a bit lost wasn't all that bad, and we found some nice paths near Arles. The bikes were state of the art and high quality. None of our group liked the automatic transmission on the Bosch drive. It would frequently incorrectly shift in the middle of a climb and caused a bit of needless suffering. All in all it was a fun time. We couldn't have achieved the ride without the e-bikes.
Mainz to Basel (no longer available)by Gregory Akin 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The Rhine from Mainz to Basel, for the most part, is industrial and not as picturesque as other European bike and barge routes we've enjoyed. There were a few cities (Heidelberg, Germany and Strausbourg, France) which were beautiful and offered much to do, but we were expecting the scenic bike routes with quaint towns for cake and coffee, or beer stops along the way and were sorely disappointed. But the most disappointing aspect of this trip was the inability of the on-board guide to give proper instructions nor enlighten us of things to see or visit. We found out about popular sites from all channels except the guides. In Strausbourg, while chatting with tourists, we heard of an amazing evening light show projected onto an enormous cathedral - huge crowds gathered to enjoy this historic presentation, yet nothing was mentioned of it by our guide. We have needed so little guidance to enjoy our bike and barge trips, but this one missed the mark. Based on previous trips that we've done, we'd convinced 2 other couples to join us and they were underwhelmed and disappointed as well. The barge and accommodations were adequate, though rooms were random sizes no matter which deck you choose. One couple paid extra for the upper deck, but their room was much smaller than another couple's on the lower level. The staff and meals on this barge were top notch and we can't say enough about the gourmet chef and tireless staff.
Provence - Wilderness of Camargue by Francis Duckworth 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Not my favorite part of France. 6th bike tour there and the least scenic and inviting.
Mainz to Basel (no longer available)by Paula Birch 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I really enjoyed the bike/boat tour on the Rhine. Accommodations on the boat were very good and the meals were excellent. On our arrival we found that our boat was not at the dock as listed but had changed locations and was on the other side of the river. This created a longer taxi drive thus a much bigger fare (54 euros instead of 21 euros) for the 3 of us in each taxi. We had a briefing each morning by our tour guide and on almost every day, the directions were not detailed enough. One of the people we biked with had a GPS and with that and along with discussions among all of us, we managed to find our way back. I really feel this was a big gap and should be rectified before another tour. However it was a wonderful experience and we met many lovely and interesting people. I would love to do a different bike/boat tour at some time in the future.
Famous Villages of Provence by Edward Nyland 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
First of all, let me be clear that we were very satisfied with the Tour. All in all, we would rate it a 9 out of 10. These are the reasons we couldn’t give it a perfect 10.1. Here is the quote from the tour operator after we asked for the directions in advance: “Tell to clients that they don’t worry, the welcome meeting will be on Saturday p.m. and they will have all the time to study the route before they leave, the day after in the morning.” We did have the welcome meeting but it was a bit rushed and we really didn’t have time to ask questions. We were warned not to be late and arrived on time. They indicated that there was not enough time that evening.2. We did not get our bikes at the welcome meeting. One Ebike had not yet returned on Saturday afternoon. We were told to return in the morning but not before 9:30 AM. When we arrived, we felt rushed and really didn’t have time to test the bikes. Mine (Ed) was a bit wobbly but I was told that there was nothing wrong. I did get used to it as we went along but my complaint was valid, further verified when I returned home to my own steady bike.3. All of the bikes had problems with how they shifted and how they meshed with the electric function. Maybe it was our lack of familiarity with the Ebike but we really didn’t have time Sunday morning to ask questions.4. We never got an explanation on how to engage all of the 27 gears, only could use nine. We were told that they shifted automatically and “don’t worry about it”. The automatic shift stopped working on two bikes after the second day.5. The directions were very confusing and hard to follow. Last year we had the “E’s” to follow but this year nothing but the somewhat confusing directions.
Around Paris by Lynne 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This Paris Tour exceeded our high expectations. Highlights included a madcap ride through Paris stopping at Notre Dame and the Eiffel tower and visiting Auvers with the Van Gogh sights. Professional multilingual staff, experienced tour guide and wonderful accommodating cook made us welcome. We quickly became friends with the other 14 riders who were all fun adventurous travelers. The bikes were sturdy and well designed for the changing terrain of cobblestones, gravel. dirt pack through forests, city streets and local roads. Bring layers of lightweight clothes for changing weather and bike shorts or liners for riding comfort. The ride could be challenging for inexperienced riders so it is helpful to do training of rides to 15-20 miles in preparation.Cabins are small in this canal boat but adequate especially at this price point. We loved it and look forward to our next bike barge tour.
Around Paris by Dave Reinarz 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I give this tour the highest possible recommendation! I have never been to Europe, and this was the best way to get introduced. Of course, Paris was fabulous! I enjoyed even more the time cycling in the countryside along the rivers and through the small towns. The crew on the boat was outstanding, professionally competent in their duties as well as friendly and intent on taking care of our every need. The cycling was relatively easy for the people who cycle regularly, but not too hard for novices. We rode on a wide variety of surfaces from pavement to gravel to dirt. The terrain was mostly flat. The bikes we rode were sturdy Dutch hybrids which were perfect for the task. Beautiful scenery, exercise, great food, many new friends! All this for a very low cost. Don't miss this tour!
Kevin Purdy: Mosel River Bike Tour Through Time by Audrey 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Ok, you've convinced me to add this trip to my wish list!
Countries: France, Germany
Kevin Purdy: Mosel River Bike Tour Through Time by Keith Bimson 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Great article, Kevin. I can't figure out which would draw me there more: the scenery or the food. Okay, I admit, it's actually the bier.
Provence - Wilderness of Camargue by Andrew Burt 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Food was substandard...cabins stink and are excessively damp and basically the trip plan was an underwhelming experience. WE stayed on the boat for the first night and then as I recall stayed again the second night. We could have stayed at 5 star hotel in town and enjoyed a great meal instead of a barge in need of many repairs.
Photo Friday: Maureen Lin by Debbi 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I just got back from one of the best vacations I have ever had....I biked and sailed the islands of Croatia on board the Odesij. Simply great. We biked about 200 miles over six days...and sailed from island to island. Our host Bernard was great and the other guests on board made the trip fantastic!! WONDERFUL!!!
Countries: Switzerland, France
Photo Friday: Maureen Lin by Barbara 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I'm feeling a strong wander bicycle, travelust after seeing these pictures. Thank you
Loire Valley Bike and Boat by Lorraine 4 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We did this trip in Sept. 2014. Great biking, but barge has seen better days.
Provence - Wilderness of Camargue by Laurie Hurowitz 4 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We have just returned from this bike and barge, our 2nd trip arranged by Tripsite. We were on the E'Stello (sister ship of the Soleo), and went from Aigue Mort to Avignon. We had a wonderful time! The trip was as described in terms of mileage, terrain, and sights along the way. The barge crew were all excellent, as was our guide. We were a group of 20, including Americans, Canadians, and Brits. I highly recommend this tour.
Famous Villages of Provence by Neil and Reute 4 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This was our first biking trip so I can't make comprisons. All I can say is "absolutely fantastic". The detail and accuracy of the maps and directions is impressive. The scenery magnificent. The hotels and restaurants well chosen. There were a few hills on the way but the itinerary allows plenty of time to get from place to place. Having a couple of nights in each hotel is a benifit. Definitely recommended.
Discover the Dordogne-old version (no longer available)by Jim and Dianne 4 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Chateau and countryside were beautiful. All accommodation and meals were very nice. We loved the Bergerac wines and came to like the regional specialty of goose foie gras.
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