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Janet B.4 years ago
I highly recommend a trip on the New Star! We enjoyed everything about the trip!
Tami & Hilary4 years ago
The e-bikes are brilliant! We had never used e-bikes before, but they are high quality bikes, very comfortable with comfortable saddles, easy to operate and maneuver, not at all cumbersome, with a quiet engine. You can use the pedal assist as much or as little as you like, so you can get a totally natural, high calorie-burn biking experience, or an almost effortless ‘glide’ up gorgeous hills! The guests on our tour were all different ages and fitness levels, with different biking experience, and we all loved the e-bikes. We were all able to do the Read More rides the way we wanted, at the pace we wanted – it was so flexible and made riding a joy.
The crew and guides were fantastic! We had a crew of 8 plus 2 guides, for 13 guests. Everyone was friendly and attentive, while also being very sensitive to giving us the space to relax and truly be on holiday. Our rooms were beautifully cared for, so they were calm retreats when we came back from our bike rides. It was inspiring to see the captain and sailors’ skillful work sailing and docking the ship. Theo was always on hand to help us with anything we needed and share insights about local cuisine. We felt so comfortable and cared for.
A particular highlight was the food. One of us was vegetarian and the other a meat-eater, and we were both incredibly impressed with the food. It was high quality, imaginative, varied and delicious – way better than either of us had hoped – a true highlight.
Our guides, Ivana and Meine were wonderful people to spend time with, so knowledgeable and confident about every detail of the tour. Everything was very well organized, without feeling regimented. They were excellent at explaining the bikes, the routes, and at flexing around our needs and adjusting to the weather to make sure we had a wonderful experience. They were always there and happy to help and answer questions. One Croatian, one Dutch, both with excellent English and German, they brought a wealth of experience and could connect with everybody.
The ship, the New Star, was extremely comfortable and well designed. It is brand new, spotless, with a luxury feel. It is really big – especially for the low number of guests we had – so plenty of places to relax – either in groups, or alone / in a couple, as you wish. Cabins were very comfortable - extremely well air-conditioned (a delight after a sunny bike ride), sizeable, with everything you need, including sinks big enough to do quick hand-washing (You can dry things in a couple of hours in the sun, on the clothes lines under the deck railings).
We’ve never been on a bike trip before, but are very impressed with Island Hopping. The company has been doing this for twenty years and you can tell – they really understand what makes a great experience for guests. All the connections / docking / links to city tours etc were very easy (it’s true the Port in Dubrovnik is a little distance from the old town, but there’s an easy bus connection) and the tour has great variety – different types and lengths of ride, with a rest day in the middle to explore and swim at gorgeous waterfalls!
Before we arrived, we were a bit worried by the heat in July, but there is often a lovely breeze across the sea, and the speed you can go up hills on the e-bikes meant we were rarely too hot. The tour guest numbers tend to be lower in July and August, so that can actually be a real benefit. We also know this tour is one of the pricier ones, but it includes the bike rental, and felt worth every penny – the boat, food, level of service – everything was top quality.
We are looking at another trip and will definitely go with Island Hopping again. Thank you for a great experience, Island Hopping!
Javier C.4 years ago
This is an amazing trip. The ship is brand new. Doesn't feel crowded ever. The places visited are gorgeous. The views are breathtaking. The biking is very doable. No need to be afraid of hills; with these ebikes, most people will be able to do them. Plenty of time to explore ports and villages. It's hard to get lost during bike rides. Not too many bathroom facilities along the route, but every village has a number of cafes and restaurants that will let you use facilities. Bring sunscreen and good sunglasses. Ivana and Matjia, our guides, were fantastic--very accommodating. Be prepared for some improvisation, since wind conditions may force captain to alter route. Dubrovnik is nice, though too crowded, and the ship moors a bit far (30 minute walk). The other cities and towns are more visitable and relaxing, and the ship docks right downtown. Overall, one of the best trips of our lives.