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3 Sep 2016

David Hibbs

My wife and I were on the Norther Tour in mid August. We found the holiday to be very well organised and suitable for moderately competent cyclists (a few dunes were the only hills – I guess if there had been wind it would have been tougher). The cabins were basic but comfortable – as advertised. We paid to be on the upper level which was worthwhile as when docked in some locations, the lower deck had no view on one side (unless you like looking at the quay wall!). Food was plentiful and tasty. Don’t expect a choice – but there are so many vegetables and courses that if you really don’t like something, you should not go hungry as there will be lots of other things to eat. The service was quick and friendly and the dining area was very nicely presented. It was particularly nice eating as we travelled on a couple of occasions (the boat generally moves when you are cycling). Breakfast could be fairly early (we had to be off the boat by 08.45 on a couple of occasions) but offered a good buffet. An early start was good as it meant avoiding the hottest time of the day for cycling and we did not find this a hardship at all. You were encouraged to make up your own lunch from the buffet. There was more than enough to make a substantial lunch (though we tended to supplement with a few things from local shops en route). The routes were well thought out and the guide gave a helpful pre-ride briefing (on our cruise your did not ride as a group). We particularly enjoyed riding on Texel where the tour leader had (as usual) pointed out some good places to look at. My only complaint is I thought the price of bottled water at dinner/the bar was a bit sharp. Not much of a complaint really! Be aware that the majority of people on the cruise may well be German or Italian or from elsewhere where they don’t speak English as a first language. We were the only two British people on our cruise. This was not a ‘problem’ – everyone was friendly enough – but if you are and English speaker travelling alone and don’t speak another language you may feel a little disconnected from fellow guests. Alternatively, you may see this as a good opportunity to improve your language skills! The majority of people on the trip were middle aged or older (like me!) but there were younger people including some teenagers (three) and one child and everyone seemed to enjoy their trip. Many of the older people used E-bikes which worked well. Free WIFI was adequate to get on line in the lounge/dining area – but not in the cabins. This was fine by us! Totally recommend for an active but not too strenuous holiday.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 7 Sep 2016

Thanks very much for writing this review. On board of most barges we have an very international group of guests. The Northern tour is loved by german guests, the tours between Amsterdam and Bruges are loved bij American people. You can always inform before you will book a tour.

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