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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 4, 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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What safety measures is Boat Bike Tours taking for future tours?

We are currently in a process of developing new measures on our tours and ships to ensure a safe stay for everyone. These are in line with new health and safety requirements set up by the Dutch government. To learn more also check our coronavirus update page for a first approach.

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

As a result of the “intelligent lockdown” measures in the Netherlands, most colleagues of our office team are still working from “home office”. Your email may be queued for one or a few days. We are working very hard to process all emails. Promised: we will get back to you asap. Thank you for your understanding.

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Why can it be difficult to reach Boat Bike Tours by phone?

As a result of the “intelligent lockdown” measures in the Netherlands, most colleagues of our office team are still working from “home office”. We have just opened phone lines again. If you still experience problems in reaching us by phone, we kindly request you to send an e-mail to info@boatbiketours.com. However: your e-mail may be queued for one or a few 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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Did Boat Bike Tours already have to cancel tours?

Yes, Boat Bike Tours (and/or her operating partners) have cancelled various departures in the Netherlands, Belgium, France until mid-June. For selected tours in Belgium and France, departures until early July have been cancelled. Tours with departure dates until late May to mid_June in other areas like Italy, Germany, Croatia and on the Danube have also been cancelled. All guests who are booked on each of these tours have been or will be informed immediately.

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Will Boat Bike Tours cancel more departures?

We do not know yet. The situation in the Netherlands and surrounding countries is gradually improving, and the restrictions in public life are being loosened step-by-step. We carefully observe and act in compliance with all instructions given by the Dutch or (in other countries) other national Government and Health Authorities. If a departure must be cancelled, we will notify all booked guests immediately. If we have not yet informed a booked guest, we expect the tour to 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 you to postpone your tour and to rebook a tour later in 2020 or 2021. We offer some incentives (discounts) when you rebook to another travel date later in 2020 or 2021.

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

Yes all (down) payments made by consumers anywhere in the world for a trip with Boat Bike Tours are safe: these payments are covered by SGR (the Guarantee Fund for Travel Companies): www.sgr.nl. Please also refer to: https://boatbiketours.com/travel-preparation/sgr/.

The SGR logo on your booking confirmation entitles you to receive a full refund by SGR in the unlikely event of insolvency of Boat Bike Tours.

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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, when we must cancel a tour as a result of the situation in relation to the Corona COVID-19 pandemic. Each guest who booked a tour that now had to be cancelled by us and who already has made a payment, will receive a ‘Corona-voucher’. The voucher is valid for 365 days and is guaranteed by SGR (Guarantee system of the Dutch travel industry). Your money is safe. More information is available on our Travel Prep page. You can use the value of this voucher to book any Boat Bike Tours tour at any departure date in 2020 or 2021 with a discount. If you rebook a tour that starts in 2020 you will also get your rental bike for free!

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What is your policy if I want to postpone or cancel my tour myself?

If you would like to cancel or postpone your booked tour that currently is considered to take place as planned, the normal cancellation fee would be applicable. However: we offer some incentives (discounts) when you would postpone your trip and rebook to another travel date. We will use the received down payment, minus the cancellation fee, as down payment for your new tour booking. For some tours which are 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 doing so.

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Will my cancellation insurance policy cover my own cancellation because of the threat of the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

No, probably not. Most insurance policies only cover cancellation costs in the case that the traveler is or becomes ill or injured and cannot travel or cannot continue the journey according to medical advice. Some cancellation insurances would also cover cancellation as a result of a permanent loss of job. Please check your specific cancellation insurance policy and conditions for more details.

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What is the current situation in the Netherlands?

To learn more please check updates on our coronavirus update page.

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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 have only purchased the cycling cruise through us. We do not sell additional land program/products nor transportation. You should therefore contact your airline, railway company, hotel or booking platform.

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Will you take extra safety + hygiene measures during the tours?

We have already instructed all ship operators, tour leaders and suppliers to take additional safety measures regarding hygiene, disinfection and general health on board including (among other things):

  • Strict performance of standard hygiene procedures on board
  • Additional disinfection measures performed on a continuous basis during the tours
  • Obligatory disinfection of the hands for crew and guest (minimally before entering the ship and before and after every meal)
  • Avoidance of physical contact (including shaking hands) during the tour
  • Additional cleaning protocols
  • All meals individually served (no buffets)
  • Special instructions in health + safety guidelines onboard will be given to all our guests on the first day of the tour.We will carefully observe and act in compliance with all instructions given by the Dutch or (in other countries) other national Government and Health Authorities.

Please also check updates on ourcoronavirus update page.

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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 purchased a cancellation insurance via Boat Bike Tours, you are insured by Anker Insurances. Please check the Terms and Conditions you have received from them whether the reason for cancellation that applies to you is covered. If this is the case, you can request a claim form from us, complete it and return it to us.

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What happens if a crew member on board becomes ill?

We will carefully monitor the health of crew members and tour leaders. If a crew member or tour leader shows any signs of being unwell with symptoms associated with the Coronavirus (fever, cough, shortness of breath), then we will immediately replace the person. Tour leaders and crew are trained first aiders.

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What happens if a (fellow) guest on board is sick?

In this case we will immediately ask them to avoid any contact with other guests. We will also immediately contact the local health authority to assist the guest. Tour leaders and crew are trained first aiders. Our ships are permanently located in areas with direct access to high-quality medical care.

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Which precautions can I take myself?
  • Check your health insurance to see if you are covered when abroad in case that you need medical care.
  • Purchase additional health or traveler’s insurance if possible before the start of your trip.
  • Monitor the World Health Organization’s website and your own country’s precautions.
  • Check your itinerary to see if any restrictions on your journey to your destination have been put in place.
  • Bring extra personal medication (if applicable).
  • Follow the recommended health + safety recommendations regarding hygiene, handwashing and wipe surfaces on site and while traveling as an extra precaution.
  • If you want or need to cancel your plans, check your traveler’s / cancellation insurance to see if it covers your reason for 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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