What is it that makes the combination of biking and sailing so addictive? Over the years, Boat Bike Tours has noticed that once people go on one trip, they usually come back for more. Some of them have even been coming annually for over a decade! So what is it that makes our tours so popular? Here are just a few of the reasons:
1. Enjoy luxury and adventure in one
Often when you’re planning a holiday you have to make a choice: do you go stay at a luxurious hotel and lounge in the spa, or do you go for something more adventurous and active? On our tours you don’t have to choose: you get both comfort and adventure in one. During the day you get to be very active, cycling through varied terrain, going on walks, and even helping the captain roll up the sails on some sailing ships. But then instead of heating up some baked beans in your tent you return to a luxurious ship. There’s a reason that our ships are known as “floating hotels”: they’ve been outfitted with every comfort that you could expect from a modern hotel room. You’ll return from your adventures to a hot shower, a glass of excellent wine and soft beds. And on some boats you can even ease your sore muscles in an open air hot tub!
“This boat bike tour was everything we hoped it would be. The accommodation and the meals were fantastic. The ship is well-appointed and well-laid-out, making excellent use of the space available. Meals were varied, generous and scrumptious.” – Lapritch
2. Savor delicious meals
We simply had to mention the food because it’s something that every customer raves about in their reviews. Every boat comes with a personal chef who creates fresh meals on board. Our guests love the hearty morning breakfasts, delicious packed lunches and decadent three-course meals which are served every evening. Our chefs use as much local produce as possible, and give you a culinary tour of the regions you’re exploring. And we make sure to schedule regular tasting trips to wine and cheese farms of course. What’s the point of being in Europe if you can’t sample the delectable local produce?
“The meals were amazing thanks to Lars. His fresh baked bread every morning made us look forward to our packed lunch and every dinner included plenty of beautifully prepared fresh vegetables to go with a delicious main and scrumptious desserts. The friendly guests topped off an excellent week!” – Booth Palmer
3. Travel without the hassle
Usually, if you want to see a new place every day, you also need to spend an awful lot of time in transit: packing and re-packing your bags, travelling to the next destination and checking into new hotel rooms or hostels. If you’re doing a multi-day bike tour, this can be even trickier, as you need to load all your clothes and equipment onto your bikes. On our tours, you get the joy of being in constant motion with none of the schlep. When you check in on board, you’re assigned your own cabin with private bathroom. So you only have to unpack once. The boat will always dock at the perfect departure point for your day’s cycling, and be there to pick you up at the end. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is getting out of your togs and onto the deck for a sundowner.
“An excellent holiday even in the rain. The crew were extremely helpful and worked really well together. Everything appeared to have been organised with minimum fuss and maximum efficiency to give us a superb holiday. Thank you.” – A “has-been” cyclist!
4. Make friends for life
Our tours are always very small, with a few trusty crew members and a tour leader who will look after you throughout. As a group you’ll share so many experiences over the course of a week, from the exhilaration of adventurous bike rides to the festivities of communal meals. That means that you’ll really have time to get to know each other. Our travelers tell us that this group comaraderie is one of the things they love most about the tours – you may start the trip as an individual but by the end you’ll be sure to have made wonderful connections with like-minded people. If this sounds overwhelming for the introverts among us, don’t worry: there are also lots of opportunities to enjoy a quiet reading session or a walk by yourself.
“We have been on several boat bike tours. This one was one of the best–excellent–great food, comfortable boat, very nice staff. We met some wonderful people who are now friends we’ll see in the future.” – Simonne and Guy Ferguson
5. Become a bike lover (even if you’re not a fitness fanatic!)
Sometimes people think they have to be ready to embark on the Tour de France before they can sign up for a biking holiday. But at Boat Bike Tours, we believe that biking is for everyone. Maybe that’s because we’re situated in the Netherlands, where everybody from young to old spend their lives on bikes. Dutch women are even famous for cycling to the hospital to give birth! So we see biking as a key part of daily life. Yes, you’ll need to have a base level of fitness as we do cycle over 20 kms a day. But you can cycle at your own pace. And our bikes are made for comfort – we use Dutch touring bikes with cushy saddles and high handle-bars which are designed for covering long distances. If you want an extra boost you can also opt for an e-bike, which will make covering the miles that much easier.
“We’re not real avid bikers (my wife hadn’t been on a bike in 2 years) but having the option of e bikes and short route options (most days) made it very enjoyable. Would certainly recommend the adventure!” Robert Bruce Henderson
6. Enjoy the best of nature and culture in one tour
Nature lover, culture vulture, avid historian, hedonistic pleasure-seeker or a combination of all of the above? We’ve designed our tours with all of those desires in mind. An average itinerary will see you starting in a bigger city like Amsterdam, meandering through historic towns and pristine villages, and ending up at another city (or even another country – you can start in the Netherlands and end in Germany, for example.) On the way, our tour leaders plan cycle trips that take you through breathtakingly varied scenery, with stops at historical and cultural sites like ancient windmills, WW2 ruins, archaeological wonders and contemporary art galleries. This means that you’re able to satisfy your need for nature and culture at the same time. It also means that you have the opportunity to truly get to know the country you’re cruising through because you’re able to experience both unspoilt village and world city. You’ll also have a chance to connect with the people who live there and support small local businesses, from the organic Champagne farmer in France to the local cheesemaker in Gouda.
“The biking itineraries were chosen to enjoy the best of the beautiful French countryside and also some of its inimitable culture and architecture. We had a wonderful time!” Katherine and James Wakefield
7. Relax in the hands of seasoned professionals
Navigating a foreign country can be stressful. You don’t know the local culture or customs, and it can be bewildering to figure out where to go and how to get there. At Boat Bike Tours, we’d like you to have the adventure without the stress. That’s why we make sure that every detail of your trip is meticulously taken care of. Everybody in our team – from sales agent to skipper – is a seasoned professional, with years of experience in the travel industry. Together, they organise all the logistics so that you don’t have to! They also have tons of local knowledge they will share, from advising on how to navigate Dutch roads by bike, or where to get the best Belgian beer.
“Excellent guides. Not only were they expert in cycling but provided interesting historical perspectives that really added to the enjoyment of the tours. I learned a lot. The ship’s crew were always ready to help and insure a great time on board.” Kathleen Brindel.