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On this page you will find all of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). All the information you might need to prepare for your trip, can be found on the Travel Preparation page. Is your question not listed? Please send an e-mail to servicedesk@boatbiketours.com.

 

Q&A regarding the Coronavirus (a.k.a. COVID-19)

Update May 29, 2020

The development of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has captured news headlines worldwide. Obviously, this is very much on the minds of our travellers, regardless of the timing of their trip or the destination. Our priority is, and will always be, to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests and staff. We understand you may be concerned, but we are here to offer as much help and advice as we can.

Corona virus

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Why did I not yet receive an answer to my email?

As a result of prevention measures in the Netherlands to keep the spread of the Corona Covid-19 virus at the current low level, many colleagues of our office team are still working from “home office”. Your e-mail may be queued for one or two working days. We are working very hard to process all e-mails. Promised: we will get back to you asap. Thank you for your understanding.

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What safety measures does Boat Bike Tours take for its tours?

Since the beginning of April, Boat Bike Tours has been intensively involved in developing new measures for our trips and ships to ensure a safe stay on board. These comply with the Dutch government’s new Covid-19 health and safety regulations. For this purpose, a comprehensive “Corona protocol for cycling cruises” was developed in close cooperation with the branch organization BBZ. The protocol was coordinated with the Dutch Ministry of Health (VWS), the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management (I&W) and the security regions Kennemerland, North-Holland-North, North-Holland-Central and Zaanstreek-Waterland. These authorities have raised no objections. You can find the complete Corona protocol on the Corona Protocol page. For more information on “Safe Travel in Corona Times, visit our Corona Virus Update page.

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Did Boat Bike Tours already have to cancel tours?

Yes, Boat Bike Tours (and / or its cooperation partners) had to cancel several trips because they cannot be carried out. Departures in the Netherlands, Belgium and France until mid-June were canceled. For some tours in Belgium and France, departures had to be canceled by early July. Tours with departure until mid / end of June in Italy, Germany, Croatia and on the Danube were also canceled. All guests who had booked for each of these canceled tours were or are informed immediately.

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When will Boat Bike Tours resume operations?

Fortunately, the situation in northwestern Europe has now improved and travel between the Netherlands and several neighboring countries will be possible again from mid-June. Many countries are loosening their lockdown measures to a large extent, travel restrictions within the Schengen area will largely be lifted from June 15, and social and economic activities will resume. For this reason, Boat Bike Tours will resume travel in the Netherlands from mid-June. Travel to Belgium will be possible again from the end of June. In Croatia, cycling and boat trips are possible again from mid-June.

The situation in other surrounding countries, where cycling cruises take place, is also improving, but no firm commitments can be made as to when the bike and boat trips will start again there. For trips in Germany, it is expected that they will start again in early July.

We carefully monitor all developments and communications from the different governments of these countries. If a trip by us or the organizing partner must be canceled, we will notify all booked guests immediately. If we have not yet informed a booked guest, we are currently going. assume that the trip will take place as planned.

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What happens if my tour must be cancelled by Boat Bike Tours?

We will notify all booked guests immediately. We will offer these guests to postpone their trip and rebook on a tour of their choice later in 2020 or 2021. For this reason, the 2021 travel offer is already available online. We offer some incentives (discounts) if you rebook your trip canceled by us to a different travel date later in 2020 (25% discount + free rental bike) or 2021 (10% discount).

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I already paid a deposit for my trip / paid my trip in full: Is my money safe?

Yes, all (advance) payments from end users around the world who have booked a trip directly with Boat Bike Tours are secure: These payments are covered by the SGR (the guarantee fund for customer funds from travel companies): www.sgr.nl. Please also note the detailed information on this topic on our website: https://boatbiketours.com/travel-preparation/sgr/. The SGR logo on your booking confirmation entitles you to a refund from SGR in the unlikely event of Boat Bike Tours bankruptcy.

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What is a ‘Corona-voucher’? What can I do with it?

A so-called “Corona voucher” is issued by Boat Bike Tours if we must cancel a trip due to the situation in connection with the Corona COVID-19 pandemic. Every guest who has booked a trip that has now been canceled by us and who has already made a payment will receive a “Corona voucher”. This voucher is valid for 365 days and has the value of your (down) payment. Important: “Corona vouchers” are guaranteed by the SGR (guarantee fund of the Dutch travel industry), which in turn is secured by the Dutch state. So, your money is safe! You can find more information at: https://boatbiketours.com/travel-preparation/sgr/. With the value of this Corona voucher, you can book any boat bike tour trip on any departure day in 2020 or 2021 with a discount. If you rebook your trip canceled by us to a different travel date later in 2020 (25% discount + free rental bike) or 2021 (10% discount).

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What happens if I want to postpone or cancel my trip to a later date?

If you still want to cancel or postpone your booked trip, which we have not canceled and will therefore take place as planned, the normal cancellation fee will apply. However: We offer some incentives (discounts) if you postpone your trip and immediately rebook to a later travel date. We will then use the down payment received, minus the cancellation costs, as a down payment for your new booking. For some tours organized by a local partner (so-called “partner tours”), slightly different options and conditions for rebooking may apply. Please contact us if you are considering this.

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If my trip is cancelled by Boat Bike Tours, will plane and/or train tickets, hotel etc. also be reimbursed?

No, you only booked the bike and boat trip through us. We do not sell additional land programs, transportation, or accommodation. You should therefore contact your airline or train company, your hotel, or your booking platform.

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Does my cancellation insurance cover my own cancellation due to the threats from the COVID-19 corona virus?

No, probably not. Most insurance policies cover cancellation costs only if the traveler is or becomes ill or injured and, based on medical advice, is unable to travel or cannot continue the trip. Some cancellation insurance policies also cover cancellation due to job loss. Please review your specific cancellation insurance policies and conditions for more details.

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I have a cancellation insurance through Boat Bike Tours. How does this work if I have to cancel my trip?

If you have taken out cancellation insurance with Boat Bike Tours, you are insured with Anker Insurances. Please check in the general terms and conditions you received from them whether the reason for the cancellation applicable to you is covered. In this case you can request an application form from us, fill it out and send it back to us.

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Will you take additional safety measures while on board?

Yes. You can find detailed explanations on this topic on the special pages for our “Corona protocol for cycling cruises” and on our Corona virus update page.

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What happens if a (fellow) traveler falls ill on board?

You can find detailed explanations on this topic on the special pages for our “Corona protocol for cycling cruises” and on our Corona virus update page. In such a case, the health authorities (in the Netherlands: GGD or RIVM) are called in immediately.

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Which precautions can I take myself?
  • Check your health insurance to see if you are sufficiently insured abroad if you need medical care.
  • If necessary and if possible, take out additional health or travel insurance before you travel.
  • Check the World Health Organization (WHO) website and your country’s precautions.
  • Check your itinerary to see if any restrictions apply to your trip to your destination.
  • Bring additional personal medication (if applicable).
  • As an additional precaution, follow the recommended health and safety recommendations regarding respecting sufficient distance, hygiene, hand washing, and wiping surfaces on site and when traveling.
  • If you want or need to cancel your plans, check the travel / cancellation insurance to see if it covers your reason for the cancellation.
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Bikes

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Do I have to wear a safety helmet?

All cyclists in Spain, Turkey and Croatia are required by law to wear helmets. In Italy children up to and including 16 years of age are required by law to wear helmets, in Austria children up to and including 12, in Slovakia for children up to and including 14 and for everyone cycling outside of residential areas. In France adult cyclists are not obliged to wear a bike helmet, but children up to 12 years are.

Not compulsory

In all other countries wearing a helmet is recommended, but not compulsory. If you want to wear a helmet, we advise you to buy your own and bring it with you. On our Premium tours a helmet is included in the price and available on request. On most other tours you can rent a helmet.

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Can I bring along my own bicycle?

On most of the ships you can bring your own bike, but please check beforehand if there is enough space aboard the ship you are traveling with. Please contact our office to verify.

Please note: the tour leader, crew, owner of the ship, and Boat Bike Tours are not responsible nor liable for any damage to, loss or theft of your bicycle.

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Cycling

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Do I need to be fit to be able to do the cycling tour?

Well yes… It makes your holiday a lot more pleasurable. Daily cycling tours of around 40-60 kilometers, which means approx. 5 hours on the saddle each day riding at an average speed of 12 kilometers or 9 miles an hour. This demands a certain basic level of fitness.

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Does a support vehicle accompany us?

No, there is not a support vehicle accompanying you during your cycling tour.

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Can I bring my own pedals?

As long as they are attached to the bike you bring along too, it is okay. But to bring your own pedals to attach them to a rental bike, we have to dissapoint you. This is not possible.

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Can I rejoin the ship before the end of a stage?

At some tours and on some locations it is possible to get back on board before the actual bike ride is over. But not everywhere. This is because most of our ships need enough space, depth and a quay to moor the ship for you to get back on board.

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How long are the daily cycling stages?

This can vary between 30 and 60 kilometer / 18.6 and 37.3 miles per day. The exact distances can be found on your itinerary. Talking about time; we can state that – depending on your average speed (of at least 15 kilometers / 9 miles an hour – the average speed our tour leaders ride during the guided tours) and the number of breaks on the way – the time you spend on a cycling day varies from 5 to 7 hours.

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Guidance

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What languages do the guides speak?

The guides or tour leaders speak Dutch, English and German. Some of them also speak French or Italian. They will do their briefings in English and German only. Of course, in case of questions, you can always ask.

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Life aboard our ships

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How large is the group on board?

This depends on the ship you are traveling on. Most of the smaller vessels (with a maximum capacity of 20) will be completely full during the season. The larger ships (with a maximum capacity of approx. 120) will be filled for about 80-90% on most tours.

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What are the cabins like?

We have a large spectrum of cabin types; varying from lower deck twins to upper deck superior suites. Please check out the ships’ pages to find out more out the cabin types.

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Is Wi-Fi available on the ships?

Yes. On all of our ships there is Wi-Fi. Check out all information about ‘Internet aboard the ships‘ in our Travel Prep.

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Can I use a laundry service on board?

No. There is no laundry service aboard the ships.

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Are there hairdryers available?

On some ships a hair dryer belongs to the standard inventory in your cabin. On other ships, you can ask for a hair dryer at the reception or at one of the crew members.

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Is smoking on board allowed?

Smoking in your cabin, in the public areas – such as the restaurant, bar and lounge – is not allowed. On most of the ships, you can smoke on deck on designated smoking areas. On a few ships smoking is banned on the entire ship.

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Can I bring a pet?

No. Pets are not allowed on board. Although some captains have a dog on board; these dogs are used to being aboard a ship and do not come to the public areas nor in the cabins. They can be seen in and around the living area of the captain.

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Can I get sea sick aboard a ship?

Not many people who are prone to get sea sick, have experienced any problems. The ships are very heavy and the water they cruise on is really calm. The sailing ships can sometimes slant just a little, but not so much that this causes problems to your balance. Also these sailing ladies are so heavy they glide through the water gracefully.

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Place of departure

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Do I need a visa to get into the country?

This depends on your nationality. Some nationals of countries have to obtain a visa that grants them with the permission to enter the Schengen Area. The countries whose citizens are required to obtain a Schengen visa can be found on the visa page of the Schengen Visa Information.

Please note, that from January 2021 and on Canadian passport holders will need to apply online for a travel pass in order to enter any of the 26 Schengen Area countries. This so called ‘ETIAS authorization‘ is not a visa, but rather a lighter and more visitor-friendly version. The application process for an ETIAS is simple and quick; it takes around 10 minutes to complete and costs only €7.

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Where can you park your car when you go on a boat bike tour?

This depends on your place of departure. If the tour starts in Amsterdam you can park your car in a P+R outside the city center, in one of the garages or book the valet service. In other cities there are different parking options, described in the boarding info you receive before traveling.

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How do I get to the place of departure and is this transfer included?

After booking your holiday, we will send you detailed information on how to travel to your destination by car, train or aircraft, and how to reach your ship’s mooring location. You will receive information on where to park your car. At some destinations you can reserve a parking space in advance or how you can arrange a transfer.

Please read more about ‘Travel to destination‘ in our Travel Prep.

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Trip information

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What is the average age of the fellow travelers?

The average age of our guests is between 45 and 65 years.

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Which countries do the participants come from?

We have travelers from all over the world: from Scandinavia to South-Africa, from Australia to Canada, from Russia to Brazil and from China to the US. Also we have welcomed lots of European travelers.

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How should I pack and what should I bring?

Please travel light! The cabins are not as spacious as a regular hotel room. Storage facilities are limited and in some cabins the space underneath the beds is not high enough to store a hard shell suitcase.
Take a look at our Travel Prep ‘What to bring‘ to find out what you must not forget.

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What will happen should I encounter problems along the way?

Of course this depends on the kind of problem you encounter. For most of the problems you can ask your tour leader to help find a solution. If you travel on a semi-guided tour, then the tour leader or the captain can be reached by phone. Think of getting lost, flat tires, bike chain off, small accidents, etc.

In case of serious problems, such as accidents, sudden illnesses or injuries, please call the local emergency number 112.

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Is it possible to rent a helmet?

Yes you can rent a helmet on most tours. On our Premium tours a rental helmet is included in the price and available on request.

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Is it possible to stay on board for a day?

Of course you are welcome to stay on board during the day, instead of going along on the cycling tour. Please let the tour leader and/or crew know you will be staying aboard. Please note, that children under the age of 18 must be under adult supervision.

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Weather

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What happens if it rains?

Then you’ll probably get wet! Unless you wear your rain gear during cycling of course. If you mean by this question; will there still be a cycling tour if it rains? This depends of the intensity of the rain; there are lots of varieties starting with a drizzle to actually a complete cloudburst. You are free to decide to get on your bike or not, but if the tour leader thinks it is too dangerous to go cycling, he or she will let you know.

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What will the weather be like?

Well, unfortunately this can not be predicted for all of our tours; different countries, different travel dates. Just make sure you pack for all weather types; rain gear, sunglasses and clothes that can be worn in layers.
If you look for a more specific weather forecast, check out AccuWeather: https://www.accuweather.com

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