Have you been browsing our website but having trouble making a decision about which tour to take? The Boat Bike Tours website has so many tours on offer: nature-focused, city-focused, tours by sailboat, tours by motor barge, tours in a single country or several. It’s hard to choose!

To help you out, here are some questions and some advice to help you make your choice:

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1. What country or countries would you like to see?

Since we’re based in the Netherlands, it’s not surprising that we have the most tours that are entirely in the Netherlands or that include the Netherlands and other countries. Read all about it in our blog post “10 reasons why a trip to the Netherlands is so much fun.” 

But we have plenty of options in lots of other countries as well: we’re all over Europe!

The question is: which country most interests you? Do you want to revisit somewhere you’ve been before, but see it in a more relaxed, “slow travel” way? Or do you want to see a place that is entirely new to you? Would you like a taste of two or more countries or would you prefer to focus on one and look at it more deeply?

For example, you could touch on four different countries – Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary – in a single week on our Passau-Budapest-Passau tour.   You’d see Germany, Luxembourg and France on our Cochem-Metz Premium tour.  Take the Amsterdam-Bruges route to see some of the Netherlands and some of Belgium. If you want to focus on just one place, consider our Green Heart of Holland tour.

2. What sights are you most interested in seeing?

Many tours are themed in one way or another. Are you interested in history? Do you love gardens? Do you prefer biking through countryside or nature or cities and towns? This will affect your choices.

Of course, most of our routes cover a combination of interests. For instance, the Historic Hanseatic Cities route  passes through a number of picturesque historical towns, yet it also goes through lovely farmland and the Veluwe national park. The Tulip Tour Premium is only offered in the springtime and, of course, includes tulip fields and the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. But it also includes the windmills at Zaanse Schans and several historical cities too.

3. What time of year will you travel?

Many tours are themed in one way or another. Are you interested in history? Do you love gardens? Do you prefer biking through countryside or nature or cities and towns? This will affect your choices.

Of course, most of our routes cover a combination of interests. For instance, the Historic Hanseatic Cities route passes through a number of picturesque historical towns, yet it also goes through lovely farmland and the Veluwe national park. The Tulip Tour Premium is only offered in the springtime and, of course, includes tulip fields and the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. But it also includes the windmills at Zaanse Schans and several historical cities too.

4. Do you want to cycle on your own or with a guide?

On every tour, guests receive a map and advice and an app to help them follow a set route. Usually there’s a choice of a longer and a shorter route. Of course, if you’re comfortable with finding your own way around, you’re welcome to go off the route.

On the other hand, if you’re worried about finding your way around with a map and an app, you could take a guided trip. Every day, you’ll be able to truly relax, since you’ll just follow the tour leader. Our tour leaders don’t just lead you from place to place, they are wonderful sources of information about everything you pass on the way. Once you feel more comfortable, you can always leave the group if you choose to.

You can read more about the difference between guided and independent tours here.

5. Do you prefer big groups or small?

Some of our ships are quite small, carrying about 20 passengers or even fewer. Others can take more than 100. Larger ships can be fun because there are more people to meet and you have more choice of who to spend time with. They often have more room as well in their public spaces like lounges and sun decks. Smaller ships are cozier, and the passengers really get to know each other. Which style appeals to you more?

Here’s a tip for navigating the website: look at the ships page. When you see a ship that you like, click on it. There, you can see what tours that particular ship offers!

6. Is luxury important to you?

Some of our ships are quite small, carrying about 20 passengers or even fewer. Others can take more than 100. Larger ships can be fun because there are more people to meet and you have more choice of who to spend time with. They often have more room as well in their public spaces like lounges and sun decks. Smaller ships are cozier, and the passengers really get to know each other. Which style appeals to you more?

7. How good of a cyclist are you?

Look at the routes listings and you’ll notice that each tour is labeled with a difficulty label. It’s not surprising that all of the Netherlands routes are set at difficulty level 1, since Holland is flat as a pancake! The Croatia tours, on the other hand, are all level 2 or 3, where 3 means “medium hilly terrain.”

If you’re not very physically fit, stick with a level 1 tour. Even in a level 1 area, the distances might worry you. In that case, think about taking an e-bike – but only if you’re generally comfortable with bicycling. Ask when you book whether e-bikes are available on the tour you’re interested in.

On the other hand, if you prefer a bit of a challenge – but not too much; this isn’t the Tour de France! – take a level 2 or 3 and/or choose longer routes when you have the option.

8. What sort of ship do you want to travel on?

A few of our tours use two or three-masted sailing ships rather than motor-powered ships. Does the idea of sailing appeal to you? In that case, try a tour on the Leafde fan Fryslân, an elegant three-masted barquentine  or the Elizabeth, a flat-bottomed clipper ship.

We hope these questions help you narrow down which tour you’d like to take. If you need more inspiration, ask for our e-book with stories from readers. It might help!

If you have any unanswered questions, or you’ve narrowed it down to just a few tours but can’t decide, give us a call! We would be happy to help you make your choice!

Another option is to do what some of our guests do: just keep coming back year after year, taking a different tour each time!

Plan your trip