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Cindy K.3 years ago
Merlijn Koblenz to MerzigGermany
Most Memorable Part: Scenery along the Mosel and Saar
Elaine D.3 years ago
Carissima Along the Danube - Four Country TourAustria, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary
This was our first bike and barge trip. The 4 countries trip was awesome. Albert was an amazing tour guide and was available all the time to ask questions of and chat with. His info sessions were informative, we would have missed a great deal without his tips and suggestions. Amazing food. Friendly staff willing to do anything to make the trip memorable. No hassles ever! Wish coffee during the day was included but no big deal. We were on the top level with big picture windows. Immaculate boat, the Carissma. We booked the spa and enjoyed the expansive area, chilled fruit juices, robes and towels. Nice hot tub for two, romantic. We are already looking for another Tripsite bike and barge next year. This is an amazing way to see cities, get some exercise and fresh air, enjoy the countryside and visit little villages for coffee or drinks. We did city bike tours in Budapest &Vienna (booked on board) and they were well worth the money. Before the trip we had a number of questions and Mikky at Tripsite was great with answers. I was so happy she answered right away! Thanks for a memorable week.
Linda S.3 years ago
This was the second trip on the MS Carissma from Sept 24 - Oct 1- along the Danube. Great scenery- the best of the two trips. The river views of vineyards, historical sites were really beautiful. The staff on the boat were exceptionally customer focused and responsive to needs. The food was very good and well presented with the exception of the fruit plate which needed a little more imagination to meet the standard set by the other menu items. The hired tour guide for our group was not able to answer questions about the history or other information on some of the sites we spent time in or passed along the way. He knew the route well but other information was not forthcoming as he said "it did not interest him" when he did not know. Tips - do some research on some of the stops along the way to determine if the site is worth a stop along the way. Make good use of the extra time in Vienna and Budapest.
Katherine H.3 years ago
Sailing Home Amsterdam to CologneNetherlands, Germany
Enjoyed biking through the fields of heather, beautiful! Tip for others: use a gel seat!
Beverly K.3 years ago
Normandie Along the Danube - Four Country TourAustria, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary
It was great from beginning to end. The only thing I might suggest would be perhaps a better map on a couple of the days for our biking excursion. We found our way, but got a little confused in a couple of spots. Staff was excellent, tour guide bent over backwards for us, food was delicious, etc. Working with Susanna prior to our trip was so easy and she answered all my questions. I would do it again!
Nancy B.3 years ago
Theodor Körner Along the Danube - Passau, Bratislava, and ViennaAustria, Germany, Slovakia
The bike routes were exceptional taking us through the most beautiful and scenic areas in the Danube Valley. We especially loved the Wachau Valley and it was Reisling harvest time!
Susan R.3 years ago
Biking everyday on a different path through diverse scenery and able to stop at any time to see different landmarks. Getting to see more of the countryside than if on a tour bus. This itinerary was very doable for all ages and levels of fitness.
Denise M.3 years ago
MS Andante Mainz to CologneGermany
Really enjoyed getting to know the staff on the barge. This made the biking (which I found somewhat challenging) to be a more memorable experience. As a result, I would do this type of trip again.
Art R.3 years ago
Iris Metz to CochemFrance, Luxembourg, Germany
The bikes we used didn't employed derailleurs but instead had gears inside the rear hub that worked very smoothly with the two lever system on the handlebar. Most of the bikes were Gudereit hybrids, a German brand. All the bikes had front and rear lights, which turned on automatically, and were powered by a generator device inside the front hub that involved rotating magnets, so there was no friction. I was impressed with the smoothness and comfort of the bike I was given. The outfitters provided the bike, a pannier, and a helmet for each cyclist. Helmet use was not required but highly recommended.
The nice thing about the bike paths along the Moselle River is that they were quite level, with only occasional small climbs when we needed to go up a ramp to cross a lock and dam for a bridge, and once when we made a little more of a climb to get up onto one of the tiered roadways in the vineyards. The Moselle Valley is wine country, and there were vineyards every day in every direction. Every morning we made a coffee break in a small town, and later we stopped again for the lunch we had packed that morning before leaving the ship. Each day, we’d see the Iris passing us on the river on its way to that day’s destination city, with Jacques, the captain, waving from the pilot house. On two of the days, we could opt to stay on the ship longer and join the other bicyclists enroute, or leave the ride early and “sag” on the ship. Guests also had the option to just stay on the ship all day and not bicycle if felt they needed a day off. But most biked the entire way.
Our trip was in early September and the weather was pleasantly cool, usually in the low 60s to low 70s. We were prepared for rain, but never got any while we were bicycling. Most of the guests on the ship were American, but eight were Canadians and four were New Zealanders. Our bicycling speed was about 9 mph, with periodic stops to allow the group to stay together. Usually the stops were at places of historic or scenic interest, and we learned a lot from our guide about the influences of the Romans in Luxembourg and Germany, the ancient and modern winemaking arts, and even the formation of the Schengen Area (similar to, but not identical to the European Union) at Schengen. Schengen is the town at the juncture of France, Luxembourg, and Germany, like Dubuque’s placement at the intersection of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois! We frequently crossed the Moselle from Germany to Luxembourg and back again. Dianne even got to bicycle through and explore the town of Wormeldange in Luxembourg, where her family came from several generations ago.
Mary Ellen W.3 years ago
Highlight: Biking in the Wacchau Valley
The Doeys3 years ago
Four CountryAustria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland
Our first bike and barge and we are already looking forward to many more. We are two 60 yr old couple who all love the outdoors, adventure and travel. Our cabins were on the top deck of the Carissma, roomy enough, turn down service each night and big picture windows. Excellent food, especially the dinners. Albert was the tour guide on board and he was organized, knowledgeable and patient! No problems with the bikes or directions - we were self guiding, 21 speed bikes. Easy terrain. We highly recommend the city bike tour of Budapest and Vienna as you otherwise may miss great hidden gems, interesting stories and local guides. We stayed at Hotel Residenz in Passau for one night before departure and highly recommend the visit to this beautiful port city and the hotel! We could not recommend trying this style of vacation more. The staff on the Carissma did everything to make the week comfortable, easy and well organized. Wonderful way to see cities in 4 countries in a week.
Donatella Yelda3 years ago
Breisgau & Alsace Wine RoadFrance, Germany
Amazing tour...Loved every minute of it! The staff was awesome. The bikes were great! The hotels were all very clean, with friendly staff and great breakfast. The route was beautiful. The towns were fairy tale dreamy. Did we get lost more than once? Yes of course we did, it's a given and expected when you're not familiar with the rout and towns, no matter how good the map and directions are. Having said that, getting lost was part of the charm of the trip, we got to explore more areas/places. Most trails and routs are very well marked and if you follow the "Bike Route" marks you will not get lost too much, maybe a turn here or there. We used Google map along with the paper map/directions provided. In some areas Google conflicted with the provided directions and that's how we got lost ... but it was fun exploring. If you're the daring type who considers every turn a new adventure you will have a blast. But if you're the type that everything has to be precise then you might get frustrated.
Lou R.3 years ago
Patria Koblenz to Bad WimpfenGermany
Dave C.3 years ago
Quo Vadis Bruges to MerzigBelgium, Germany, Netherlands
Passenger/participant/staff group dynamics were excellent. Barge had no laundry service, so go prepared with the necessaries to look after it yourself.
Gordon W.3 years ago
Biking through wine country in Germany and going into the fields themselves. Take this trip!
Kristine & Joe S.3 years ago
This trip exceeded our expectations on every level. We'd never done a bike and barge excursion and decided to jump in with both feet on this trip. To say that we were thrilled is an understatement. The incredibly comfortable boat, the friendly and hardworking crew, the delicious meals, the fantastic guide, the varied and beautiful route... it was all more than we imagined. I can't tell you what a pleasure it was to experience three countries and their cultures with the intimacy that a bike tour allows.
We're experienced travelers and think through our options carefully. The combination of activity, education, relaxation and total immersion was so appealing... and this excursion did not disappoint. To top it off, given everything that is included, this trip is a tremendous value. We can't wait for our next adventure with Tripsite!
Gail C.3 years ago
The trip started out with high winds and rain but it didn't dampen the spirit of the group. We were always going downhill with the wind on our back! The comfort of the barge and delicious meals were outstanding. The Mosel valley was probably the highlight for scenery and seeing the grape harvest in full swing. Our wine tasting evening was one of the best we have ever experienced. The Captain wanted us to have a real experience and we did.
Linda B.3 years ago
Biking through the Wachau Valley was spectacular, thus it was the highlight. The staff on the "barge" were super friendly and helpful. The biking was easy if a person is reasonably fit. A little practice doing long distance biking is a good idea.
Leanne S.3 years ago
Especially enjoyed the days cycling through the vineyards along the Mosel River.
Harvey C.3 years ago
We loved Germany the best. The coffee stops were the best. Great brats and pastry.
John J.3 years ago
Normandie Along the Danube - Passau to ViennaAustria, Germany
Most Memorable Part? The people I met on board - staff and guests - and the scenery.
Susan W.3 years ago
Primadonna Along the Danube - Four Country TourAustria, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary
The cruise was wonderful supported by a fantastic crew on the ship who went out of their way to provide a very positive experience.I had left my phone at a restaurant on the bike route and it was returned to me within 3 hours...I was so grateful.Having a tour guide would have been very helpful on certain days of the trip...ie Vienna.I was very disappointed with the fact that the biking portion of the Wachau valley that was in the itinerary had been eliminated without our knowing until the night before.it was to have been a highlight for our group and the cruise company said that it was Never a part of the biking route.!We rented e bikes at an extra cost for the 4 of us because of the distance to be covered that day and otherwise would not have.
All of the cycling group received the same information from Tripsite about the Wachau valley and we were all disappointed.
Otherwise I would highly recommend this trip but do feel that you should update your itinerary so that people aren't disappointed.
Jehiel from Tripsite • 2 years ago Tripsite Staff
Hi Susan,I wanted to apologize that a portion of the Wachau Valley had to be eliminated from the itinerary. This was because of the low tides and the impossibility of docking at this location. For 2018 we solved this problem. Only habours running the whole year will be part of the itinerary. Glad you still had a time!
York C.3 years ago
Great trip. Boat and river cruise portion of the trip was more than expected. Service and the crew on the boat were excellent, including the food.Quality of bicycles was excellent. They were mechanically perfect. The only down side of the entire trip were the nightly route planning meetings and the quality of the maps and route guides. It was obvious that the tour leader giving the route agenda had never ridden the bike paths. Her English was not very good which made it even more difficult to understand the route(s). We had to fend for ourselves (asking people on the street for directions) numerous times because the routes were just not made clear. Also, the route was not what was not the same as what was spelled out on the website.Overall, we were very satisfied with the trip.
Carla from Tripsite • 2 years ago Tripsite Staff
Hi York,Thanks so much for your feedback! We have good news.... the route guides & maps are currently being updated for the 2018 season. We hope to avoid any confusion in the upcoming tours.Unfortunately the guide on board was a replacement and not as knowledgable as our usual guides. On rare occasions there is sickness or other factors that prevent our normal guides from being on board. So glad to hear you still had a great tour! Sincerely, Carla
Patricia M.3 years ago
Merlijn Frankfurt to LudwigsburgGermany
It was magical from start to finish, the personalized service for our group of 22 was amazing , we loved it!
Mary Lyn H.3 years ago
Loved the itinerary and biking routes! Barge suggestions:Dinner seat assignments-- still place with others of the same language, but not necessarily from the same country.The upper outdoor covered lounge allowed smoking which meant the entire area could be filled with smoke! This type of trip is for active, healthy lifestyle people...smoking should be confined to a small area in front of the pilot house (or not at all).
Marianne R.3 years ago
Merlijn Frankfurt to Bamberg or Bamberg to FrankfurtGermany
Most memorable part: the intense beauty of the Bavarian countryside.
Ian & Janis M.3 years ago
Jantien was amazing! She was always available, ready to help in anyway, answer questions, run a tidy and very clean ship... in short, do anything to make our stay pleasant and stress free. It was obvious she was genuinely concerned for the happiness of her, as she called us, "Dear Guests". We looked forward every day to her well thought out and wonderfully prepared evening meals. The staff were all highly focused on the same things, a testament to Jantien's leadership. We have no hesitation in recommending Jantien and the Merlijn.
Joanne F.3 years ago
La Belle Fleur Lorraine TourFrance, Germany, Luxembourg
We truly enjoyed this trip, with beautiful flowers in every town and swans everywhere. One night, we had a bevy of swans peaking in at us as we ate dinner!. The bikes are great, with comfortable seats and smooth gearing. The dinners were always a delicious surprise. Sanders and Els were wonderful hosts, and our guide, Seitze, was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the Mosel area, including Roman aqueducts, medieval castles, World War II sites, and, of course, the history of the EU. Nancy was my favorite big city but we also had a night time walking tour of a little town overlooking the Mosel, called Liverdun...where delicious Madelines come from! Very cute town. We went in early September and the cabins were a bit warm even at night. You can open windows, but it could be uncomfortable in the summer. Biking was mostly flat so not difficult but I definitely got some exercise. Another favorite: stopping for coffee and pastry each morning!
Rita J.3 years ago
Most memorable part: The incredible scenery and the knowledge of our guide.
Heather L.3 years ago
Jantien & Henz were supreme hosts and their barge Merlijn delightful. As for tips just sit back, relax & enjoy the marvelous holiday that they provide.