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Boat Bike Tours offers something for everyone and every tour is different. Whether you want someone to be your guide or you prefer more independence, anything is possible! In case you need help deciding, here are the main differences between guided and independent tours:

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Independent cycling

If you prefer to make your own plans, independent cycling is ideal. A whole day ahead of you with complete freedom: you decide how fast to ride, how often and where to stop, where to have a cup of coffee or eat your lunch. Take your time, or get to the next port earlier so you can explore the town. Stop at a museum on the way. Whatever you want!

Each day of the trip you’ll be given two suggested routes, all planned out for you. All you need to do is choose the shorter or the longer route! We’ll give you a detailed map and a printed description of both routes, or you can use the free Ride With GPS app and get spoken instructions as you ride. If you want to make your own route, go ahead! The map and the app are all you need!

The only “must” is to be at the boat’s next port by dinnertime, because you won’t want to miss the excellent food and good company over dinner! Get to the boat earlier, and you can enjoy a delicious sweet pastry and coffee or tea with the other passengers.

Every independent tour has an experienced tour leader on board who will discuss each day’s routes with you and give you tips for what to see, places to stop, where you can get a good cup of coffee and so on. You don’t have to worry about setting off on your own; in case of an emergency, problems or questions, the tour leader or a crew member can be reached.

Carefree days!

Bert Sitters, who took a tour, never expected that the combination of boating and bicycling would be so much fun. “The journey has an easy-going feel to it,” he writes in his blog. “Completely different from the hustle and bustle of some group trips. What needs to be arranged is arranged. Such relaxed travel is a pleasure. Carefree days!”

It particularly struck Bert that the routes follow scenic bike paths and that he could make his own plan. “It doesn’t get better than this. All of the bike rides are on a practical, detailed map that was developed especially for Boat Bike Tours. All of the bicycle junctions are marked on the map, not just the ones on the set route, so you can deviate from the route if you want.”

Guided cycling

On some tours you can choose to have an experienced tour leader guide you along the bicycle routes. This form can have its advantages! Our travel leaders have a wealth of information about the areas you bicycle through, and they stop at all the best sights. You won’t miss anything and you’ll learn more about the history, local traditions and local dishes.

If you take a guided tour, you’ll bicycle with a group. If the group is big, a second travel leader will join you as well. You’ll never have more than 22 people in a group, so you’ll quickly get to know the other travelers. If you are traveling solo, this means you’ll never have to cycle alone!

Another advantage of a guided tour is that you won’t have to keep track of the routes or watch out for the next turn. Just stick with the tour leader and relax!

On the other hand, you can always drop out of the tour and go off on your own. Just let the tour leader know so they won’t worry! You can use the map and the Ride With GPS app to plot your route.

Great stories!

Traveler Jessica de Korte usually bicycles alone, but discovered that traveling in a group is a friendly way to go: “It’s a good way to meet fun people. You get to know each other in a very relaxed way. If you don’t want to chat and feel like biking alone, that’s okay too. I’m still in contact with some of the people on my tour via Facebook.”

Jessica especially liked not having to look at the map. “Often I’m afraid that I’ll miss that castle or that cozy café. Now I can just leave it all to the travel leader, who stops and tells great stories about the history of a place. Some sights I never would have discovered on my own!”

Other options

Semi-guided is also a possibility. This resembles independent cycling, but the travel leader bikes the same route. That way, he or she will be nearby if there are any problems.

Alternatively, if you want to take a break or you just don’t feel like cycling, you can always choose to stay on the boat while the others ride. No stress: just watch the scenery slide by as the boat moves to its next port.

Boating and biking vacations

Hopefully this has made it easier to make a choice between independent and guided cycling. Both ways have their advantages. If you prefer to take the lead yourself, then independent cycling is probably the best choice. If you’re rather meet other people and/or learn more about the places you’re passing through, then traveling with a travel leader is the preferred option. Either way, we hope to see you soon on a Boat Bike Tour!

We’re happy to help!

If you have any questions about our offerings, mail or call us at +31 (0) 2072 35 400. We’re happy to help you choose which boating and biking vacation would suit you best. No obligations!


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