View our latest offers and deals on our offers page! See all offers

Are you familiar yet with our boutique ships? On these special ships, you’re part of the family as soon as you step on board. You’ll be greeted personally by the captain and it won’t be long before you know the other passengers by name. You’ll travel in a small group of maximum 24 guests. This creates real contacts and sometimes even real friendships.

Plan your trip


The skippers give each of our boutique ships their very own, personal character: the heart and soul on board. Together with their handpicked crew, they ensure that you feel comfortable and that you want for nothing. Jonne and Berthus are two of these special skippers. We spoke to these proud owners of the Flora about their great passion for their job and traveling on the Flora. Will you follow their journey with us?

Incredibly rewarding work

It all started in 2015. At that time, Jonne and Berthus were still working as teachers. During the summer holidays they were hired by an acquaintance as crew members on a barge. It was an experience that stuck with them: “Within three years we had taken a new training course and given up our permanent jobs,” reports Jonne.
The two took over the Flora and have been traveling with their guests through Germany and the Netherlands ever since. It’s a decision they have never regretted. “It’s just incredibly rewarding work. We enjoy it when the guests tell us beautiful stories about the special moments they experienced on the bike tours. We notice that they really feel at home with us and they tell us so in our guest book or in the e-mails they send us after their vacation. That gives us a lot of energy.”

Relax like in your own living room

The Flora is a historic cargo ship dating to 1929. It was converted into a passenger ship in the 1990s. After they took it over in 2018, Jonne and Berthus thoroughly renovated the ship and modernized all the cabins and bathrooms, among other things. “It’s a very traditional ship interior,” says Berthus. “We keep hearing from our guests how comfortable they find it.”

The heart of the Flora is the salon. “Guests sit together there in the evenings and play a board game or have lively conversations. We also have WiFi on board, but people don’t hide behind their smartphone or tablet.” The ultimate proof that someone feels comfortable on board? “When one of the guests takes a casual nap on the couch after dinner. Then I can be sure that that person feels at home with us,” explains Jonne.

Flora Salon

Environmental consciousness

Environmental protection is an important issue for Jonne and Berthus. “Because they involve cycling, trips with Boat Bike Tours are already very environmentally friendly and close to nature. That’s why we’re trying to reduce the ecological footprint of the Flora as much as possible.” The ship has been equipped with solar panels since 2019. The two skippers are currently working on obtaining the Green Award certificate for the ship. This requires, among other things, engines that meet the strictest environmental requirements. “We also make sure to reduce our waste. For example, on board we don’t have jam in plastic portion bowls, only in jars,” says Jonne.

Special nature experiences

At almost 40 meters long, the Flora is one of the smaller ships in the Boat Bike Tours fleet. That’s why it fits through smaller locks and can navigate on calmer backwaters. It offers a very special nature experience. And when it comes to mooring, a smaller format also has its advantages, as Berthus explains: “We’re more flexible when it comes to our berths. This means that we can dock at smaller, more comfortable ports. This is an important plus point for our guests.”

Journeys with the Flora

“We operate 25 weeks per year,” reports Berthus. “We steer the ship ourselves and have a permanent sailor and a small, well-established team. Actually, we’re like a family.”

In spring and summer, Jonne and Berthus travel in their home country, the Netherlands. Their favorite places? “The cities on the Green Heart of Holland tour are really beautiful, especially the centers of Haarlem and Delft,” enthuses Jonne. “And the trip to the island of Texel is the highlight of the round trip through North Holland.”

In late summer and autumn there’s a change of scenery. Then the Flora travels through the Moselle valley for two months. “Personally, we like that very much,” says Berthus. “We think it’s great showing our guests the Netherlands, but when we’re out and about in Germany, we feel a bit like we’re on vacation ourselves. We come to fantastic places. Saarburg and Trier, for example, are two very special cities. And the route along the vineyards is just beautiful.”

Free eBook

Would you like to know more about the experience of traveling on our boutique ships? We’ve put together an entire e-book for you with travel reports, tour descriptions, interviews and of course many beautiful photos. Click on the button to download it. We hope you enjoy reading!


Request free e-book