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 [email protected].

Corona virus

9
Did Boat Bike Tours carry out tours in 2021?

Yes, some months later than usual we were able to welcome our first guests on board on a sunny Saturday in June to take them to all the beautiful destinations on our boat bike holidays. Boat Bike Tours was the first cruise operator who were allowed to resume their tours. We only had a short season, but no incidents occurred. We received many enthusiastic reviews from our satisfied travelers who were happy to be “on the road” again!

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How does that work, taking a boat-bike tour in corona time?

Traveling in times of Covid-19 may be different than usual, but Boat Bike Tours does everything in its power to provide you with an unforgettable travel experience. In the video below we explain how we did this in 2020 and 2021. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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

On our tours, the ship is 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 crowded places.

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

Health, safety, and wellbeing are paramount. For more information on “Safe and pleasant travel in times of Covid-19” on our tours and ships, visit our Corona Virus Update page. Some features are:

  • Boat Bike Tours always acts in compliance with the rules for safety and hygiene that are imposed by the authorities in the country of travel at the time of the trip.
  • Even more attention to safety and hygiene on board: disinfection and cleaning is carried out even more often.
  • Public areas on board are arranged in such a way that sufficient distance can be kept.
  • For meals, in certain cases we may arrange two sittings: separate groups that enjoy meals on board one after the other. So, there is more space available per person.
  • We advise and enable our guests to ride the bike tours individually where possible, and not in large groups, and to use our free detailed cycling maps, directions and GPS smart phone 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”).
  • Boat Bike Tours urgently recommends all travelers, for their own safety and the safety of others, to start their 2022 trip only with full Covid-19 vaccination protection.
  • All general recommendations and precautions apply: stay safe, keep some distance (1.5 meters, 6 feet or 1 bike length) to others where and when possible, do not shake hands nor kiss, sneeze/cough in your elbow, wash your hands     regularly.
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Is wearing a face mask mandatory?

This is dependent on the situation and on the specific governmental rules and measures. As an example, right now (Nov. 6, 2021), wearing a face mask in the Netherlands is mandatory in all publicly accessible indoor areas (like shops, train stations) and in public transportation. Wearing a mask is strongly advised in all other situations in which a safe distance to others is not possible. On the other hand, entrance to restaurants, museums and similar indoor areas is only allowed after checking your status (either vaccinated, healed or negatively tested) before entry. These rules may differ in other countries and may also be changed over time with the development of the Covid-19 health situation in a country, like the number of new infections or the number of vaccinations or your individual vaccination status. Anyone who feels more comfortable to wear a mask in certain situations is very welcome to do so.

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What if I want to cancel or postpone my trip to a later date?

If you want to cancel or postpone your booked tour for 2022, which for now will take place as planned, the normal cancellation fee will apply.

Exclusively when governmental travel bans within the last 14 days prior to embarkation do not allow or make it impossible for you to travel on the booked dates to and from the destination 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 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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What happens if a passenger falls ill on board?

Whoever has health issues or symptoms that may indicate to the Covid-19 coronavirus, will be taken to a test site and await the results of the test in isolation. Also, the governmental health authorities (in the Netherlands: GGD or RIVM) will be immediately involved. Depending on the results of their examination, the journey may or may not be resumed. More detailed explanation on this subject can be found on our special webpage “Safe and pleasant travel in times of Covid-19”. For other illnesses, a doctor or hospital will be visited if necessary.

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What does Boat Bike Tours expect from their guests?
  • It is the sole responsibility of each traveler to check and ensure in time whether his/her personal situation (at the time of travel) is compliant to the rules that are imposed by the relevant authorities in the country of travel (e.g. vaccination, testing etc.).
  • 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 this case, please contact Boat Bike Tours to check whether we can change your booking to a later date.
  • 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 decide not to let you come on board. In that case, please contact Boat Bike Tours to check whether we can change your booking to a later date.
  • We expect you to respect the house rules of your ship. Unfortunately, the corona virus 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 are happy to explain them to you and are always available to answer your questions. House rules may be updated during the season, depending on the ship and the country / area of travel.
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Bikes

2
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

5
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

1
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

3
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

6
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

2
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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