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Country: Italy • REMOVE
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Nancy H. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The Tour Leader Hein was amazing and showed us a wonderful experience. The cycling was spectacular and the food so exciting and very innovative. The bikes were heavier than I am used to but they were appropriate for the terrain. Everyone was helpful -- fabulous staff. I've already recommended it to my friends. I would do it again, but only if Hein were the Leader.
Boat: Ave Maria
Florence to Rome - Guided Tour by Igor Y. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The trip was superbly put together logistically. Excellent guide. Great accommodations.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Diane D. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Everything was great. I really enjoyed our guides, Tammy and Ronnie. The staff on the boat were great. Our bikes were top notch. The tour and countryside were scenic. I loved biking on the sea wall. I thought the other bikers were friendly and easy to get along with.
Venice to Florence by Mary C. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
This tour was a lovely way to experience the quiet county roads and villages of Italy.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Kathleen W. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The most awesome trip and staff! The barge was clean and well equipped. The staff was stellar, the meals great, the guided bike rides the best. No room for improvement and I hope to do another Bike and Barge on the Merlin. I especially enjoyed the bike routes, touring small villages along the way, and the guide Lia who was well informed about the area and Germany in general.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Blaine N. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The boat, staff and food were all exceptional. A quality operation for sure. Having the owner Pierpaulo stop in for a visit and having dinner together was a nice touch. We booked this trip for a group of riders with a wide range of abilities and it worked very well for all.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Jehiel 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Hello Joanne!Glad you had a great time! The tour is 8-days in length and in the Day-to-day itinerary you will notice five days of biking. We try to make this very clear discussing the riding as well as listing the daily mileage.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Joanne B. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
It was all enjoyable. Food was amazing. Staff were very accommodating. Rooms were spacious and clean.Only negative was it said it was a 7-day bike trip and only rode bikes 5 of the 7 days. Falsely advertised.
Innsbruck to Bolzano by Philip S. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Loved the route through small towns & vineyards in Sud Tyrol.Guide book could be improved with maps incorporated.
Countries: Austria, Italy
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Glenn P. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The whole experience was very memorable. The changing scenery, the background info provided etc. was great. The quality of the barge added to the overall enjoyment. One of the highlights was watching how well the crew worked together and genuinely seemed to be having fun. It was a very unique experience that surpassed my expectations. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this trip to anyone.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Judi H. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
This is my first bike and barge experience and will definitely not be my last. Although others in reviews said the Vita Pugna was "tired". I saw it as wonderfull vintage barge, with a crew that loved it and showed their care for it in their care for us. The food was outstanding and any hopes I had of losing weight on the trip were quickly dashed with each evenings meal.We joined a large group of Kiwis onboard, with 2 Brits and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.One thing that would have made the trip even better would be a different pillow; the one I had was too high and too hard for my taste and left me with a stiff neck in the morning.
The most memorable part of this trip was riding through kilometers of apple orchards on a beautifully paved bike trail.
Innsbruck to Bolzano by Phil & Kim 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
What an awesome bike trip!!Well organized, incredible scenery, great hotels, mild/moderate difficulty.Recommend to anyone in reasonable fitness level.
Sicily and the Aeolian Archipelago by Jehiel 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Hi David,Since our return from this trip, changes have been made to the difficulty rating as well as the tour page and travel documents to better represent the tour. We are also working with our local partner to make improvements based on your input. Thanks for sharing this feedback. It was very nice meeting you and Susan!
Sicily and the Aeolian Archipelago by David M. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
My grades given to this trip show my displeasure with several items encountered while on our trip. First, the pickup at the airport was bungled by "Pepe" our guide. He did not have a sign for us to recognize the tour! It was a miracle he finally found us. The boat was laid out well, the crew was very pleasant, however none of the 3 crew members spoke fluent english (necessary for the Americans, Canadians, Dutch, and German passengers). My major complaint was regarding the cabin Air Conditioning. The captain only turned on the AC from 6PM to Midnight. In August, the temperature was in the mid 80's - too hot to sleep in an enclosed cabin after midnight! I would discourage any potential guest not to take this trip unless the captain changes his AC rules and provides cooling throughout the night!The food was OK with little variation from day to day but the last "onshore meal" at a local restaurant was inedible!! Skip the restaurant meal and eat onboard (not a current option) or give the guests an upscale restaurant or eliminate the meal altogether and each guest is on their own for the last supper.
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by Earl D. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
I loved the small villages. The international mixture of the group made for excellent discussion among the group. Food on the barge was excellent!
Bolzano - Mantova - Venice by Daniel G. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
We did the 3-day self-guided tour from Bolzano to Lake Garda to Mantua first and that was a great adventure for us. The food and people we met on the boat was also a wonderful experience.
Hello Ross,Thanks for sharing this feedback. As a result, we have changed the rating and recommended the ebike option less experienced riders. We have also been in contact with our local partner to ensure the itenerary is presented in full and is followed. I had a great time meeting you and Donna on this trip and hope to help you plan your next one!
Sicily and the Aeolian Archipelago by Ross D. 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The Aeolian Archipelago Trip was sold as easy/moderate and as a result there were several people that probably should not have been there. As a consequence the guide was indecisive most days how to deal with the itinerary and as a consequence kept adjusting and shortening the rides. As for my wife and I we traveled all the way from Canada to enjoy the boat, scenery and riding as a total experience.
Because of the constant changing of the daily itinerary and shortened rides we became somewhat dissatisfied with the total experience.
Tripsite Traveler: Cheri Emahiser by Sally Snyder 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Enjoyed your blog. I am leaving today for a trip around Lake Constance. Our group of 6 will pedal for 12 days, allowing time for stops and getting lost....Will return to Portland in October.Thanks!
Thank you so much for your feedback. Due to the route of the boat, it is difficult to shorten the biking portion and still meet back up with the boat. However, you are always welcome to stay aboard the boat if you you find the weather unsatisfactory. Glad you had a great trip despite the hot weather!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by D. Green 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
This was a fabulous trip all around! The group was friendly, and guides were helpful and knowledgeable! Dinners were delicious and varied, stronger than expected for this type of trip. We really enjoyed being able to purchase wine on board the ship, also. The riding was varied, and we really appreciated that our guides made sure to schedule a mid-morning break for coffee/water/toilet. What a great way to get a sense of this part of Italy - from small villages and farm fields to Venice - just spectacular!One suggestion for improvement: for riding in really hot weather, it would be great if there could be a little more flexibility. We rode during a heat spell (40 degrees Centigrade one day). It was difficult to shift schedules or shorten our rides due to logistics, and this created some health issues.
Dolomites to Venice by M. Sciulli 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The trip itself was amazing! Spectacular scenery and just the right amount of cycling every day. We loved the fact that it was self-guided so we could go at our own pace. The description of easy to moderate was accurate, but I know it would have been much harder had we not had electric bikes. I have 2 specific complaints: First, the quality of the hotels was not up to par. A friend described one as exactly like his dorm room in college...small, smelly, run down, not properly air-conditioned, out of the way, and generally unsatisfactory. Secondly, the directions and the maps need to be updated. More than once we found ourselves at a dead-end or could not find a turn we were supposed to take. We wasted a lot to time going back and forth trying to find the supposed route. Thankfully we speak Italian, so we could stop and ask locals for directions. At other times we just ended up relying on the GPS on our phone to find a proper route. Overall, if these two things were improved this would be a perfect trip. I highly recommend the trip.
Umbria Road Bike Tour by L. Klinker 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
We loved the entire cycling experience! Our stay in Umbertide was especially memorable- the hotel was amazing and the restaurant was some of the best food we ate in Italy!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by A. Harris 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
A fabulous experience. We will seriously consider further barge/bike holidays with you.
Boat: Vita Pugna
Dolomites to Venice by C. Baird 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
The Guide gave us very little information about either the equipment or route before he left us. Just simple things would have helped significantly. He was abrupt, especially with women and certainly less than helpful. The guidebook was good for the most part, but some sections were completely useless. Some of this may have been due to translation, but improvements are needed. When we entered cities, we always had to ask for assistance.We have taken about 10 European bike trips and expect some difficulties finding our way, but have never encountered the degree of problems we had on this trip.
Amalfi Coast - Tyrrhenian Sea - Bike & Boat by T. Petersen 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
Loved our guide, the food quality and variety was the only disappointment.
Boat: Deriya Deniz
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by E. Lowell 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
It was a wonderful trip! I liked that we got to be on the barge when it moved (one time at the end of the day and another in the morning). The food was outstanding and I liked that the chefs described dinner and suggested wine pairings. The barge was very comfortable - even with 3 in a cabin.
Our son (22 years old) was outnumbered by the over 50 crowd but Hein made him feel welcome. Only suggestion - mirrors on the bikes (although I realize that makes them difficult to store and move) and a brief intro on riding in groups.
Amalfi Coast - Tyrrhenian Sea - Bike & Boat by W. Watkins 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
We had the time of our life and look forward to our next bike and boat tour. Thanks so much for everything!
Mantova to Venice or Venice to Mantova by V. Miller 3 years ago Verified Reviewer Permalink/Reply
This trip gets a +10!! The staff (Tamy, Ilena, Luciano, Enrico, Guilio & Alberto) were amazing - fun, personable, knowledgable, friendly and engaging. They were truly a team and clearly enjoyed each other which ripples out to the experience of the guests. I loved that they gave a 'brief' the night before to let us know what to expect the next day. The food was creative, fresh and lovingly prepared. The accommodations on the AveMarie were great -- the cabins were well thought out with lots of storage so that the room felt spacious. The dining room was lovely with plenty of space to relax. The price of wine/beer was very reasonable and loved that we could keep a tab and pay it at the end, so easy.
Oh yea the bikes --- a good ride and comfy enough for the distances ridden. The routes were well planned, even the few times we had to ride in traffic. The trip leaders were excellent at managing the group and making it fun, no matter what we were doing.
For the whole week I felt well cared for :)I am already dreaming of my next trip.Kindly -- Victoria
P.S. The bad and the ugly -- honestly I don't have anything to contribute for improvement.
Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064