At the office, the maps and documents stack up high. Erik takes one quick look at the schedule to see which boats will be heading out today. But that is really just a formality. He knows the routes and schedules of all 22 tours and 20 ships off the top of his head.
Erik is the beating heart of our logistics operation in the Netherlands. Are all the maps and programs on board? Are cabins ready for our guests? Which boat moors when and where in the harbors of Amsterdam? He is on top of it all.
Just the delivery guy?
Every Friday and Saturday, Erik loads a Boat Bike Tours van with freshly printed itineraries, information brochures and bottled water, and heads out to refill supplies on all home-docked boats.
“Some people think I’m just the delivery guy, but that’s only a small part of my job.” The other three days a week Erik is at the office managing operations, maintaining Excel lists, placing orders and sending out confirmations.
Amsterdam driving adventures
Today is a field-duty day. Erik has parked his office chair and hit the dense traffic of the Dutch capital. “Driving a van in Amsterdam really takes some time getting used to,” he laughs. “But you also learn a lot. That’s one of the perks of the job.”
First stop: Mayhem. The Fluvius is anchored in the midst of it all; on the North side of the Central Station, between bike parking bursting at the seams and the IJ river ferry stop. On this beautiful summer day, the two-wheelers rule the street. Erik carefully steers the van as close as possible and wiggles the boxes through the stream of cyclists. Car drivers (and pedestrians) play second fiddle in Amsterdam!
Done! The supplies are on board and the captain offers Erik a drink. They chat a bit: a quick update on the vibes aboard the Fluvius and the captain’s own holiday plans. And oh, time flies! A friendly handshake and Erik hits the road again.
On the east bank of the IJ, the road winds past modern buildings of the chic and neat neighborhood built around the old sea-port of Amsterdam. Here grand cruise ships share the dock with smaller river cruisers like the five Boat Bike Tours vessels that are on Erik’s list today.
At home on every ship
Erik’s goods are always in demand. But it’s not just the maps and water bottles that the crew is waiting for. There is always something to discuss and Erik is eager to lend an ear. He answers the questions of the tour leader, exchanges a hearty handshake and an anecdote with the skipper and helps carrying a few bicycles on board. And while he’s at it, he casually adjusts a skewed frame.
It is obvious: Erik belongs on each ship and is clearly part of the crew.
Everything under control
What does he like most about his job? “The variety,” he says wholeheartedly. “A regular desk job wouldn’t work for me. Here I immediately see the results. Where else would you get to control the workflow from planning to completion all by yourself?”
Today’s tour runs like clockwork. But as a trained event planner and festival organizer, Erik likes a teeth-gritting hurdle from time to time.
“I love structure,” he explains. “But routine can be awfully dull. And I love a good obstacle.” So what’s his next challenge? “I enjoy the content part of the work and love developing trips and programs, I would like to grow more in that direction.”