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25 Jul 2016

Mark Stevens

We had an amazing week on The Gandalf in mid July, 2016. Our trip left Amsterdam on July 9 and arrived in Bruges on July 15. There are some wonderful things about The Gandalf. It may not be for everyone. The accommodations are simple, but extremely comfortable. Two beds and not a whole lot of room to move around but all you do is sleep in your cabin–and shower, etc. The crew is super friendly. The food is fantastic. We saw other boats with white table cloths and fancy dining spreads and could not have cared less. The Gandalf’s food was stellar; terrific variety in the dinner from night to night. The final Dutch feast, hosted by ship owner Hans, was non-stop. And delicious. Our bike tour guide was Fred, a very friendly and compelling figure who handled a variety of situations with ease. Broken bicycle seat? No problem. (Don’t let that make you think the bikes are not in good condition; this was a rare event to be sure.) We handled rain and lost riders with no problem at all. He made it look easy and encouraged people to ride every day, if they could. We really like the smaller size of the bike group and community on The Gandalf–just 20. This made for a more intimate feeling, I believe. The variety of riding days was fantastic and Fred knew a variety of colorful places to stop and grab coffee or beer. The pace was good but at the most we rode for five or six hours a day, with plenty of breaks. In the evenings, there was always an interesting town or city to walk (or ride) to and poke around, grab an evening beer or glass of wine. Fred made sure there was time for museums or castles–whatever the day encountered. It was Fred’s “Magical Mystery Tour” and my wife and I both could have gone another week; it was that much fun. You really get into a groove. Fantastic organization. Fantastic crew on The Gandalf and this was a great way to see The Netherlands and western Belgium, particularly Antwerp, Gent and Bruges. I’d recommend The Gandalf and this company for travelers who are flexible, open to new experiences and just want to have a good time.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 27 Jul 2016

Dear mister Stevens, thank you so much for your loving words. Of course, we will send your great review forward to captain Hans and tour guide Fred. We hope we can welcome you again on board of one of our barges.

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