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Country: Luxembourg • REMOVE
Lorraine Tour by Carol E. 7 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. 8 months ago • Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Part? Staff on boat, people traveling and the scenery.
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.
Countries: France, Luxembourg, Germany
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Leo R. 2 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Most Memorable Part? Excellent group that interacted very well from the onset.
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!
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 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 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 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.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Richard Oliver 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
We sailed on the Iris, from Cochem to Metz, 18-25 June. It was a most delightful and joyful experience. Even with initial high water from unseasonal flooding and occasional detour from the bike paths, it was an incredibly memorable experience -- the crew, the tour guides, the food were all top notch, and the camaraderie among the other bikers was phenomenal. Special thanks to our two bike leaders and guides, Roelie and Wouter, who were fantastic in making the rides safe and mostly easy, and with an in-depth knowledge of historical sites. A special treat was having the ship's owner on board, Lenny was very engaging and most pleasant. Aline, the chef, served delicious meals, especially the final banquet was a true feast! Again, our thanks to Lenny and the entire Iris crew.
Lorraine Tour by S. Midha 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Beautiful way to travel from Luxembourg to France. Bike quality was very Good. Our Bike Guide Arie was very knowledgeable. Every evening we had Four course Gourmet Dinner. Sander and Els were the best Host and Owner of the Barge.
Lorraine Tour by Sunita 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I really enjoyed my first Barge and Bike Tour(June11th to June 17th)Sanders and Els were very Good. I would like to give them 10 out of 10 for their Hospitality. Our Bike Guide Arie was Great.
Lorraine Tour by J. Probst 3 years ago • Permalink/Reply
I fully enjoyed the Lorraine/Moselle bike trip (May 14-20, 2016) with the staff of La Belle Fleur. This was my first bike and barge trip and it certainly was a stress free and relaxing way to see the region. The owner/operators of the boat (Sander and Els) were not only very professional, but charming, enthusiastic, and helpful. Els was also a superb cook so our meals were always delicious. Pieter was the perfect guide (and quite the character!), fun to bike with, patient, knowledgeable of the route and the potential sights, and willing to change the agenda to meet the interests of his clients. The pace was leisurely and we had ample time to view both the valley scenery and the grand old cities along the route. The bikes were in good repair and suitable for the mostly level countryside we were traversing. Another delightful aspect of the trip was that the route was mostly off the busy roads and on dedicated bicycle paths (except, of course, in the cities). The weather, though often cloudy and brisk with occasional light sprinkles of rain, was never a problem. The passengers got along well together and we had fun evenings relaxing aboard ship along with the crew. One week of biking seemed just the right amount of time. I came home with many wonderful memories of people, places, and experiences. I can highly recommend this trip and this boat company. The folks at the Tripsite office in the U.S. were also very responsive and easy to work with so they get my "thumbs up" award too!
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Arthur Armstrong 4 years ago • Permalink/Reply
The trip was one of the best I have taken.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Sydney Cullis 4 years ago • Permalink/Reply
superb all round -organisation, food, scenery , amusing but booking proceedure not very efficient
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Terry Benson 4 years ago • Permalink/Reply
Had a wonderful time. Only problem was the weather, very very cold.
Metz to Cochem or Cochem to Metz by Vic Lumby 4 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 4 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.
Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064