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18 Jun 2018

Jeanette and Arthur Odgers

We were extremely happy with the service that we received from the Boat’s Captain and crew of the Zwaantje. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about our Tour Guide, Geert. From the first day of the tour we found him to be inadequately prepared on the City (Paris) we were visiting. As most of the passengers had already been to the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe etc, Geert suggested a tour of 3 parks which he advised he had visited in advance and would show us some interesting architecture and historical buildings. Unfortunately, Geert had us all buy the wrong train tickets and got lost several times which resulted in our spending a large proportion of the day in the Metro stations and arguing with the train staff over the tickets purchased. The parks were nothing special and there was not much to see which resulted in the Sunday in Paris being a total waste of time. I still don’t understand why the Sunday cannot be a cycle day from Paris to Lagny-sur-Marne or even a portion of this – we could spend the morning on the boat and start cycling from outside of Paris. Geert’s favourite sentence during the week was “they will be closed” – he was not open to suggestions to phone ahead and check, or to stop into the villages that we cycled through. He was only interested in stopping for lunch and at the booked Brie tasting and Champagne tasting. The two restaurants that he said he had phoned ahead to make arrangements that we could stop for coffee / lunch were closed when we arrived. He was constantly getting lost, even on leaving the boat on the one morning he took the wrong route. When we entered the Champagne region and cycled past open Champagne houses which had signs outside saying “Accueil” or “Ouvrir” he did not wish to stop saying “they wont be open”, and when I explained that on a previous trip to Champagne that we had received welcome from Champagne houses like this, he proceeded to argue saying, “clearly you think you know more than me”. This resulted in our cycling on our own for a majority of the route (i.e. without Geert) and yes we did stop at champagne houses who welcomed us very warmly. Geert told us about the Museum of Jean de la Fontaine in Chateau-Thierry as a place of interest, but when we wanted to go there he told us they would be closed. Once again, we went to the museum which was open. In closing, we were very disappointed that Boat Bike Tours would use a tour guide who had very to little (almost no) knowledge of the area, and one that is confrontational and obstinate. This was our third Bike and Barge tour, and the second with Boat Bike Tours, and we have never experienced anything quite like this. It is due to Geert’s poor behaviour that I do not feel I can rate the trip higher than 3.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 21 Jun 2018

Thank you for your feed-back. We are glad to hear you are happy with the service of the barge crew on Zwaantje. We are very sorry to hear that the way the tour was guided was so disappointing. We can’t change your experience anymore. We have already had contact by email and we sure hope that this experience will not keep you from sailing with us again. Team Boat Bike Tours.

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