Bike & Boat FAQ

by Nadine Dirksen - Thursday, June 1, 2017

This is a collection of frequently asked questions about our Bike & Boat tours.

Click on the + to display the answers.

Will there be van support on Bike & Boat trips?

Yes! As on any ExperiencePlus! trip we will have our van/vehicles along to support travelers, provide water and snacks and carry tired riders.

I am not a cyclist. Can I still come?

Yes, you can – but know that you are missing out on the essence of the trip, i.e. experiencing culture and encountering people off the beaten path by bike. Due to daily logistics, movement between ports (or islands in Croatia) and docking limitations, you may need to stay on the boat some days and sightseeing/activities will be limited. Depending on logistics other days you may be able to join leaders in the support van to see the sights and help support the riders. Tour leaders will do their best to ensure that your enjoyment is fulfilled while still fulfilling the needs of the cyclists (i.e. providing support to the cyclists). We recommend talking to the office about the exact tour logistics to determine how a non-rider will best enjoy the tour. Read more about our style of travel here.

What are the boats like? Pictures please!

Information on the boats used for our Bike & Barge tours in the Netherlands and France can be found here.

For our Croatia sailing ship, click here.

Which barge am I going to be on?

Check the daily itinerary of the Bike & Barge trip you have chosen. The boat’s name will be listed under Lodging on the right-hand side next to the daily summary.

I'm traveling on my own. Can I have a room for myself?

Yes, you can. “Private Rooms/Cabins”, (i.e. a double occupancy cabin for one solo traveler) are available for an additional Private Room charge found on the Dates & Prices details of each departure.

However, note that there are limited cabins on the boats and the maximum number of cabins for single occupancy on the boats is

  • 4 on the Amsterdam to Bruges trip
  • 2 on the Croatia Bike & Boat

Will the boat rock (aka can I get seasick)?

Rivers and canals will not cause any discernible movement to the boat. There are no waves.

For our boats in Croatia that traverse between islands and the coastline, you will experience waves. Normally, being out on deck in the fresh air will help. Sometimes, in rougher weather, the sea will be choppier and if you are sensitive we recommend you bring medication with you.

Will the boat move during the night?

We will be moored during the night. We occasionally move in the early morning (e.g. between 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.), depending on the daily logistics.

Will the engines be loud?

The closer a cabin is to the engine room, the more discernible the engine sound is. On most boats, the engines are nearest to the crew cabins, not guest cabins. We take care in distributing cabins accordingly so our travelers won’t be disturbed. Since we are mostly only moving during the day or in the evening, most people will be above deck, where the engine sound is minimal. On all of our boats, engine noise has never been a complaint for guests.

Where will I store my luggage?

Your standard suitcase (around 24 inches/61 cm) will usually fit under the bed. If it’s not a hard-shell, that’s even better. In general, we recommend traveling light. You can find more tips and information on our Packing Lists.

Will there be shade on the sun deck?

Yes, shade or shelter from the sun will be available. Check the boat specifications for more details: Amsterdam to Bruges boat details and Croatia boat details.

How far is the dock from the city center or interesting places?

As on all our tours, we choose to stay in interesting places with sights and restaurants in walking distance. Occasionally, depending on where we are along the itinerary, we can be further from towns (not more than about 2 miles/3 km) but transportation will be available and easily accessible.

What if I arrive at my boat early?

If you happen to be a fast rider and arrive at the dock early, on many occasions your boat will already be waiting for you. If not, one of our tour leaders (or your day sheet) will point you to the closest cafe or site to visit. We will go over the boat ready time at each briefing.

Can I miss my boat?

On our Amsterdam to Bruges tour, due to docking schedules and bridge closing and opening schedules, your boat might have to move further down the river. In such cases the van will be there for you. In Croatia, the boat has a more flexible schedule and will not leave without you. Departure times for cruising times will be discussed and confirmed at the daily briefings.

Will there be towels and housekeeping on the boat?

Yes. The cabins will be cleaned regularly and you can get fresh towels like at a hotel.

Will there be toiletries in each room?

Individual bathrooms will be supplied with shampoo and soap. You can easily buy anything else you need in towns along the trip.

Where can I wash my clothes?

Tour Leaders on tour will tell you about laundry options. As always, we recommend you bring soap to wash things out in the sink.

Are there hair driers on the boat?

Depending on the boat, the cabins are equipped with hair driers. If there are no hair driers in the cabins, then there will be one available on the boat to borrow. Check boat specifics for our Amsterdam to Bruges trips here and for our Croatia trip here.

Bad weather activities? I.e. what happens if it rains? Will I be stuck on the boat?

You won’t be stuck on the boat unless you choose to lounge and take it easy. While we plan our tours to take place in the best possible weather, there might be rainy days and as on all our tours, alternative activities will be available if riding is not possible.

For the Croatia Bike & Boat we are at sea, which makes weather conditions more of an impact. For that reason and for the safety and enjoyment of everyone on tour,  in the event of bad weather or rough seas, the itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of our boat captain.

Will Tour Leaders sleep on the boat?

Yes, they will.

Do I need to be worried about my things when the boat is docked?

Generally, we recommend you lock your cabin when you leave for a while. Also, the crew will be present on the boat always so it will never be unattended. Depending on the boat, there will be safes either in the cabins or one with the skipper. As goes for all traveling, we recommend you do not bring irreplaceable valuables on tour and exercise appropriate caution as you would anywhere (e.g. do not leave your luggage unattended in a public place, keep copies of important documents separately from the originals, etc.).

Where will the bikes be stored?

They will be stored on the boat. Valuable devices like GPS or monitors or other belongings like bags should not be left on the bike to protect them from weather and/or salt water.

Will we dine on the boat?

Yes, on our Amsterdam to Bruges tour, we eat on the boat 5 nights. On other nights we will go out for dinner together or provide tips on where to go for nights on your own.

Lunches are either on the boat or you will prepare your own packed lunches during breakfast. Ingredients for packing lunches will be provided separately (e.g. bread, cheese, sausage, fruit and a drink).

On our Croatia Bike & Boat, most dinners will be on board. On other nights, tour leaders will provide tips on where to go for dinners on your own.

What's the voltage for my electronic devices?

The voltage in Europe and also on the boat is 220/230 Volt. Read more on electronics here.

What about Wifi on the boat?

Wifi is available but it can be slow. Take the opportunity to disconnect.

Should I tip the boat crew?

The boat crew tip will be included in your tour price. As always, we encourage you to give feedback immediately if anything does not satisfy you so crew and Tour Leaders can attend to any issues immediately.

Read more on tipping recommendations, including recommendations for tipping your biking Tour Leaders here.

Nadine Dirksen - A German native, Nadine is a happy Colorado transplant who moved from lush Bavaria when she married. She left the land of pretzels in 2012 and has been enjoying a fun life full of cycling, mountain biking, CrossFit, hiking, running and any other outdoor activity that involves her little black Dachshund-mix. When not having fun outside or at work, she tries her hand at different craft projects with varying success. She helps our travelers by answering all their questions before their tours and she can't wait to help you bring your dream trip to reality!

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