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Country: Luxembourg • REMOVE
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Garnet T. 5 months ago • Permalink/Reply
The preparation and presentation of the meals, especially the evening meals was outstanding. And the fellowship with the other passengers was also a great highlight aided by the small number of guests.
Countries: France, Luxembourg, Germany
Lorraine Tour by Carol E. 6 months ago • Permalink/Reply
We had a wonderful time on our trip from Bruges to Amsterdam, everyone was so friendly and helpful...we have booked another trip next Sept.
Boat: La Belle Fleur
Countries: France, Germany, Luxembourg
Lorraine Tour by Brenda H. 7 months ago • Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Part? Staff on boat, people traveling and the scenery.
Lorraine Tour by Margaret Molineux 8 months ago • Permalink/Reply
We didn't know what to expect on such a small barge/boat: however it was very enjoyable Our hosts were great and always helpful even when we knew it was a busy time for them. Being a small group and despite some language differences, we all bonded and managed to communicate well. Our leader Anna was particularly competent and took us through some interesting situations without a glitch. We will be known as the group who loves limericks as one guy in our group started by writing one for each cyclist...then of course we all started to write them. The last dinner was quite hilarious. You can't beat these tours for economy, traveling through history and spectacular scenery and commaradorie. I left off one star as the rooms and bathroom were super small and hard to manouver in. Everything else, including the meals, were something to write home about.!
Lorraine Tour by Stuart A. 8 months ago • Permalink/Reply
Enjoyed the staff, the group we met and the overall tour. I got to visit a part of France I might never have seen. Really enjoyed the champagne bottling winery the last day.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Brain F. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Part: The scenery, the people, the food, and the cycling.
Lorraine Tour by Elizabeth C. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
I took the Lorraine Tour this September. I was happy I chose to go Toul to Wasserbillig direction since it ended in a greener, more rural area. I love the countrysides and small villages best so this ended my week on the most positive note for my personal taste. There were interesting towns/cities to see along the way but this was also a bit more industrialized in some areas than tours I have taken in the past. If you are from the American midwest (I grew up in Ohio) you will swear you have been transported home many days it looks so similar. Others on our tour found it quite beautiful however. I was very impressed with the WWII memorials along the way. Even though I prefer a self guided tour I found our tour guide to be very pleasant and considerate of our physical abilities. I was disappointed with the conditions of the path one (our longest) day since I have been accustomed to fully paved trails on all my other tours. That day was exhausting due to the conditions of the route. They say this will eventually be fully paved at some point though. The La Belle Fleur was an excellent, clean, comfortable, and well maintained boat. The staff took good care of us and the food was fine. I especially enjoyed the camaraderie of the very small group. Having taken both large and small bike-boat tours I think this is one of the best aspects of a small tour. If I were traveling solo this size group would definitely be my preference. Overall, another wonderful week doing what I love and loving what I did.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Leo R. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Part? Excellent group that interacted very well from the onset.
Lorraine Tour by Anieta W. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
The boat and the bikes were good, the food was good and sufficient, the crew was friendly and helpful. The scenery was not always beautiful, part of the tour leads through industrial area.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Garnet T. 1 year ago • Permalink/Reply
The Barge Iris was outstanding to say the least. 24 guests were the perfect number, not too many, not too few, the crew was over and above terrific, the food was something we looked forward to each day and the whole experience was memorable.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by JoAn R. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Parts: Biking, local information, meals.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Rita J. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Part: The knowledge of our guide, Wouter, and the beautiful vineyards along the river. I loved how we were riding on a flat, easy and beautiful path, but could see and appreciate the steep mountain vineyards! This is our third Tripsite adventure and we have enjoyed each one. In fact, as we were driving home from the airport my husband was booking our next trip - Northern Holland!
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Art R. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We were on a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest last year, and we noticed that the rivers we were on had beautiful paved and much-used bike trails, often on both banks. Then our friends from Chicago, a couple our age, learned about a barge biking trip in Europe and went on it last fall. They invited us to join them this year on a similar trip on the Moselle River, from Metz, France to Cochem, Germany. Here's the concept: at Metz, we arrived at the Iris, a small ship fitted out for 24 passengers and five crewmembers. Besides the passenger cabins, the ship had a dining room, a lounge, and an outside deck- not all the other things you associate with a cruise ship. Each day at around nine or 10 o'clock in the morning, we would get off the ship with bikes provided by the outfitter, and bicycle about 30 miles along the bike path on the river. We were led each day by Wouter, our guide, who was a history major as well as a very competent tour guide. He and the other four members of the crew were all Dutch, as was the registry of the ship. When registering for the trip, we included our physical measurements so that the bikes were almost perfectly fitted to us when we arrived. I was pleased that my bike was large enough for me because I am tall. Dianne had reserved an e-bike since she hadn't had a lot of experience in doing long road rides over multiple days, and because she had just had knee replacement surgery at the end of January. Five of the 24 people in our group used e-bikes, and they were all very happy with their performance. The bike does between 20 and 60% of the work (three levels—20, 40 and 60%) and you do the rest. It's not like a moped-- you still must pedal. It also has a readout that gives your speed, distance, and battery power.
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.
Lorraine Tour by Joanne F. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
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!
Most memorable part: The incredible scenery and the knowledge of our guide.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Jim M. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The most memorable parts was the Saar River part of the ride, biking above the River with our guide and riding thru the vineyards. The little towns and the Roman History. Had no idea about the Roman history in this region before this trip. The Levees on the river. Just the general beauty of the area. The grapes growing on the sides of the mountains. Both our barge crew and all the people on the trip. FUN! FUN! FUN!
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Leo R. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The total crew got involved in the trip and were always available to assist us with any problems or questions. It helped to break the ice with other bikers and soon we were one cohesive and fun group.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Patricia B. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Most memorable are the meals. The daily ports and after dinner walks. 1 issue - directions to the barge were horrible.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Wendy & Robert K. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
It is very hard to say what was the best, as everything was so great, beautiful, and interesting. The staff and bike guide went above our expectations, we would recommend this trip to all.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Richard R. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip but the weather was a bit average - no rain but lots of cloud and a bit cool.The food was great as were the crew, the bikes, the other passengers and the boat. We thought Wouter (the guide) needs to "loosen up" a bit and learn more of the history etc. of the region. We also found the first couple of days on the bikes a bit boring, too much forest and not enough villages etc.All in all very good!!
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Garnet T. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The whole trip exceeded our expectations but the barge Iris and the crew were outstanding.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Garnet 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
A group of 8 friends from Western Canada recently completed the Metz to Cochem tour on the Iris and all of us have nothing but good things to say about the experience. The barge Iris was everything we expected and more. Immaculately clean, well equipped, comfortable rooms and beds, small but efficient bathrooms, great lounge and dining areas, outside sitting area, etc., etc. The crew was outstanding in every way from Chef Bas to guide Wouter, to crewman AJ and so on. The crew added so much to the overall experience and always with humour, local knowledge and great attention to detail. The daily rides were a feature that we looked forward to each morning and the scenery was wonderful each day. And to top it all off, the weather for the most part cooperated for the whole trip. I can't recommend the barge, the crew and the trip highly enough and as a group, we are already talking about our next barge/bike tour
Lorraine Tour by Barbara T. 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This trip was most enjoyable and the cities and scenery were gorgeous.
Lorraine Tour by Deborah C. 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
This was a very nice trip. Scenery, bike routes, side trips were all very good. We had a terrific guide who interacted well with the group. The barge was very nice and the owners/crew were exceptional. The dinners could not have been better - Els is an amazing cook.
Lorraine Tour by Susan W. 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The boat was well maintained. Beds were comfy for bunks. Our cabin [#9] had huge bathroom. With the hot Aug temps, a fan would have been appreciated. Bring a small personal 4" or 6" USB fan if you can find the space in your luggage. A small soaking pool on the deck was a welcome relief from the heat.
Meals were basic, but tasty and filling. Els did a nice job of accommodating my dietary restrictions. Ample cooler filtered water was available on the boat - remember your water bottle. Lunches were packed in zip lock baggies. Bring your own insulated lunch bag / Tupperware to keep your lunch fresher.
GIANT bike were like new and well maintained. I was disappointed we could not use the bikes during the city stops that were part of the day trips or after dinner when we returned to the barge. Even though the bikes have locks, Sander and Els don't allow this to minimize theft risk. Besides my husband and I, all participants were in there mid-60s to mid-70s and didn't seem to mind.
Our guide, Weiger, did an outstanding job of leading our daily tour as well as guiding us through the cities we were docked in at night. He managed the multiple languages within our group with ease. The participants on our trip were German , Spanish , Austrailian  and American [2-us]. By the end of the week, our group had bonded even though our shared vocabulary was easily less than 50 words!
The countryside between Thionville and Wasserbillig was very beautiful and what I had envisioned - river and hills covered with vinyards. The other days were nice paved bike trail with the river on one side and trees on the other. I could have taken a picture and convinced friends that I was still in the US Midwest. I guess that is why there are so many French and Germans in Wisconsin and Iowa! I think I would have preferred more time off of the trail and in the countryside, but perhaps if we did do that, the car traffic would cause me to have a different opinion. Certainly the cities we stopped in were old and had a quaint European feel.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Mark G. 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Overall a great trip and experience. The Mosel exceeded my expectations. Collaborative and friendly staff; very good chef, very good captain and crew. Host was efficient but not overly friendly. Bike tour guide was ok but not very organized.
Lorraine Tour by C. Whytehead 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
A good combination of biking and seeing the sites along the way. Plenty of time in the cities (Nancy, Metz) to wander around. This trip was not about putting on the miles every day on the bike but a good balance of biking and site seeing. Easy biking along canal paths mostly. Our guide got turned around a couple of times getting out of the cities. Els and Sander were great hosts on the barge. Very friendly. Els cooked me a birthday dessert one day that we enjoyed with our group after a day of biking. It was very hot in July and the air movement in the rooms was limited. A small fan would have been very much appreciated. As it was we slept with our door open (as did the others) just to get more air circulation. The barge is in very good condition. The bikes were brand new this season. They are owned by Els and Sander and not leased through a secondary company so they were in good working order.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by D. Fish 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The trip was enjoyable. Only drawback was that follow along Moselle River, some of the scenery of the vineyards became boring after a while. On previous trips we traveled more inland, seeing sights and then meeting up with barge at next destination.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Jehiel 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Hi C. Morrison,Im sorry that you were disappointed with the last day of riding. I can assure you that your safety is one of our top priorities and we try our best to ensure routes are safe and easy to navigate. In spite of the rain, I hope your overall experience was positive!
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by C. Morrison 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Had a wonderful time. The staff was very accommodating in making modifications due to the previous heavy rains and high water. The last day bike tour of Metz was disappointing in that it is a very difficult city to navigate on bikes with a number of people.
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