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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 July 10, 2020

The development of the 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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Has Boat Bike Tours resumed operations?

Yes! After many months of waiting, our tours started again on Saturday, June 20 under a sunny sky! We’re so happy that we can finally welcome guests back on board and take them to all the beautiful destinations on our boat bike holidays. It’s wonderful to be active and enjoying the great outdoors.

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Why is a boat and bike tour a safe way to travel?

On our tours, the ship serves as a floating hotel for a small number of passengers. Your accommodation remains the same for the entire trip, so you don’t need to worry about different cleaning standards at each location. You are with the same group for the whole tour and each day you’re outside, cycling in the fresh air. While you’re out, the ship will be cleaned thoroughly. The bike rides lead through quiet rural areas, avoiding larger crowded spots and cities as much as possible. In this way we’re supporting a safer approach to travel, with more focus on cleanliness, being outdoors and avoiding busy places.

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

Boat Bike Tours works under a comprehensive Corona Protocol for cycling cruises. You can find the complete Corona protocol on the Corona Protocol page. For more information on “Safe and pleasant travel in times of Covid-19”, visit our Corona Virus Update page. Main features are:

  • Even more attention to hygiene on board: disinfection columns, etc. are being set up. In addition, contact surfaces are disinfected and cleaning is carried out even more often.
  • Public areas on board are arranged in such a way that sufficient distance can be kept.
  • Buffets are no longer offered; instead: table/plate service.
  • For meals, guests may be divided into two separate groups that enjoy meals on board one after the other. So, there is more space available per person.
  • We strongly advise everyone to ride the bike tours individually where possible and to use our free detailed cycling maps, directions and GPS app.
  • During guided trips you can cycle with our tour guide in small groups and with sufficient distance between the individual participants.
  • If you do not want the crew to come into your cabin to clean it (daily), you can indicate this (“cleaning on request”).
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Did Boat Bike Tours have to cancel tours?

Yes, earlier in the season Boat Bike Tours (and/or its cooperation partners) had to cancel several trips because they could not be carried out. All guests who had booked for each of these canceled tours were informed immediately. On June 20, Boat Bike Tours resumed operations. Most tours that are scheduled during the rest of the season will be carried out according to the original planning.

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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: when governmental travel restrictions make it impossible for you to travel on the dates of your tour, please contact us and we will find a suitable solution.

 

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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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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 Covid-19 update page. In such a case, the health authorities (in the Netherlands: GGD or RIVM) are called in immediately.

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What does Boat Bike Tours expect from their guests?
  • Boat Bike Tours expects that you act responsibly by assessing whether you are healthy enough to travel, shortly before check-in. If you develop symptoms that might indicate a Covid-19 infection within the last 48 hours before you embark, you cannot embark and we kindly ask you to postpone your tour. In that case, Boat Bike Tours can change your booking to a later date, free of charge. Before you check in, we will ask you to fill out a short health questionnaire and to present it at check-in. If there are any doubts about your health, the crew may ask you to be examined or even not to come on board. In this case, too, Boat Bike Tours can of course change your booking to a later date free of charge.
  • We expect you to respect the house rules. of your ship. Unfortunately, Corona has not disappeared from our daily lives and together we must ensure that everyone remains healthy. The house rules mainly relate to personal hygiene and a few behavioral rules on board. In addition, the crew on board and the tour guide on board provide explanations and are always available to answer your questions.
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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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