Bigger is not always better these days, especially when it comes to travel. The ongoing impact of the coronavirus means that large-scale travel such as big cruise ships and mass tourism are out, while small-scale travel is increasingly in. Due to the virus, entire industries need to change and adopt new habits and values. It’s forcing us all to reassess how and why we travel.
Here at Boat Bike Tours we feel lucky to be already embracing a different approach. For us, this means seeing the world at a slower pace and on a more local scale. We’re proud to be pioneering a fresh way to travel. Are you wondering how we embody these values? Here are seven reasons why our boat bike cruises are certainly not your normal kind of cruise.
1. Inland cruising with daily cycling trips
When you say ‘cruise’ most people think of a gigantic cruise liner in the middle of the Caribbean. It just so happens that we also refer to our tours as cruises, or ‘cycling cruises’ to be precise. But unlike our colossal cousins, our cruises are a completely different cup of tea as they take place on charming small river ships and barges, many of which accommodate only 20-40 guests. And rather than being out at sea, our tours travel inland on some of Europe’s most picturesque rivers and waterways.
Our cruises also feature daily cycling excursions. So instead of being stuck on a ship all week with 4000 other people, our guests get off the boat every day and spend most of their time outside exploring individually or in small groups. There’s no better way to enjoy the best of both worlds: from healthy living on an active cycling vacation to the comfort of a floating hotel that travels with you.
2. Health and safety: Top priority
These days you cannot be too careful in protecting the health of yourself and others. That’s why on all our tours we have implemented a Corona Protocol. This set of procedures and guidelines follows government measures to ensure a safe environment on all aspects of our tours. With this approach we aim to provide peace of mind without disrupting the fun and relaxed atmosphere of your vacation.
3. Small is beautiful
Our ships keep getting smaller! In recent years the newest additions to our fleet have been mostly hotel barges with a capacity of 35-40 passengers. The stunning Magnifique IV, launched in spring 2020, is a perfect example. Boasting 10 generous suites on her upper deck, she accommodates a maximum of 36 passengers. Some of our most popular ships are even smaller! The charming Flora and Sarah both take no more than 22 guests, while the welcoming Zwaantje houses up to 24 passengers.
Traveling in a small group not only spares you from the crowds on bigger boats, it also gives you more personalized attention from our dedicated staff and a better chance to connect with fellow passengers. At the end of the tour you’ll know practically everyone by name, leaving with fond memories of shared adventures.
4. Outstanding cuisine
Forget the buffet, after you’ve enjoyed one of our three-course dinners served with our fine selection of wines and local beers then you’ll never look back. We pride ourselves on taking excellent care of our guests, which – when it comes to hungry cyclists – means hearty and delicious food!
From the table setting to the talented chefs working in restaurant-quality kitchens on board, you’ll delight in the delicious flavors of artfully prepared local produce. And if you’re a real gourmand then our Premium tours offer an even more elevated dining experience. Bon appetit!
5. Personal space? Plenty!
In this new era, space has taken on a new importance. We know how important it is for travelers to have personal space to feel comfortable in. That’s why all cabins on our ships have private bathrooms and the larger suites have additional sitting space.
Beyond cabins, our ships offer many pleasant spaces to socialize, relax and unwind. Whether you’re chatting over a beer at the ship’s bar, reading in the lounge area or sitting on deck watching the landscape pass by with a drink in your hand, there’s space for everyone to relax and feel at ease. Last but not least, don’t forget you’ll be getting out into the great outdoors every day, to immerse yourself in the vast glory of nature.
6. Premium travel with a personal touch
When it comes to luxury, many people are seeking a more boutique experience. Our small-scale Premium tours aboard luxury hotel barges are now some of our most popular trips. They offer an intimate and personal experience that you’ll remember for years to come. Thanks to small groups of max. 40 guests, exceptional cuisine and outstanding service from our dedicated staff, you’ll not only delight in exploring the Netherlands but will finish the tour feeling like one big family. To sample an elevated travel experience while exploring the beautful tulip fields of Holland try our Tulip Tour Premium.
7. Going green
Last but certainly not least, we have some exciting sustainability developments underway. We’re working to make our entire chain, including all tours and office operations, completely carbon-neutral within one-to-two years. When it comes to the new travel era, we’re proud to be taking steps to reduce our impact and to help protect our beautiful planet.