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Champagne: Paris to Epernay bike and barge tour

24 Jul 2016

Jon Kirton

This was my first cycling holiday and unusually I was travelling alone. I didn’t know quite what to expect but all my worries were soon dispelled from the moment I arrived at the boat. The MS Zwaantje is a purpose built barge with everything needed for a comfortable and pleasant stay. The cabins are quite sufficient for two people and I heard no complaints whatsoever about the size, facilities or comfort. The captain, crew and guide were cheerful, efficient and welcoming. Nothing was too much trouble for them and I felt that they enjoyed giving the best possible experience. The food served was plentiful and of a very high standard, my waist size grew despite all the cycling! The cycle trips and evening walks were well planned and flexible depending on the weather and the ability of the cycling group. Cycling with a group of people of different nationalities was enjoyable and as there were a few English speakers on the tour, it was conducted in English, an important point for me as I have no other language skills at all! Even the group of people on the tour went out of their way to speak English so that I was included in the evening gatherings. The tour involves some beautiful scenery, quiet roads and reasonable tracks, there was very little time spent on busier roads but even those had cycle lanes. The bikes were of good quality, well adjusted and well maintained. The pannier bag supplied was solid and more than adequate to carry the essentials (water, food etc.) and other items for the day or room for any items purchased during the day. Our guide was able to sort out any problems we did encounter (puncture). You need to be relatively fit to do this tour (or hire an e-bike) and there is always the option to stay on board and take a rest day. At the end of the tour I would have happily stayed on board and done the tour back again from Epernay to Paris! Give half a chance I would go back and do it all again.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 27 Jul 2016

We are very happy that your first cycling tour with our company was a great experience! The charm of our tours is the mixed group of different nationalities so you can meet cyclists from other countries. We hope we can welcome you again on board in for example the Netherlands or Belgium. Just feel free to ask more information.

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