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You’ll Really Love Boat-Bike Tours

6 Jun 2018

Hans-Peter und Peter Nicholas Kappus

I’ve just come back from the May 26th to June 2nd sailing of the Mare Fan Fryslan….the circle route from Enkhuizen to Texel/Terschelling, down the opposite coast of the the Ijssel Meer and back to Enkhuizen. This tour is a really good deal when compared with the same tour with a well-known American firm, VBT. It’s a full 60% less- about $1500 vs $3545 for the identical itinerary and the same sailboat! VBT does include train tickets for Amsterdam/Enkhuizen/Amsterdam ($30) and has some home visits. Also VBT will have a van to trail after bikers for any repairs or fatigued biker recovery. The Netherlands, however, is totally bike friendly with (no-car) dedicated bike paths, flat-flat countryside and villiages spaced out at 5 miles intervals; so Mother Hens to shepard you around are really not necessary. My son and I were totally happy touring independently. The company gave us an excellent detailed map of the area of the tour with all bike paths clearly marked. We opted for electric bikes, sturdy Gazelle Bikes, manufactured in the Netherlands with a Bosch Power system. The electric option cost an extra $200 (included in the $1500 price). The electric bike was wonderful, worked beautifully, even during the one afternoon’s rain deluge. I’d recommend the electric option because it totally prevents fatigue even when you’re doing more than 40 miles per day. Going up hills (yeah, there are hills in the Netherlands when you’re approaching bridges or sand dunes). My son called the electric power boost up hills, “the hand of God”. The electric option gives you a read out of miles(kms) and time travelled plus estimated travel kms remaining. Our maximum mileage day from Makkum to Stavoren was about 60Kms and I still had about 20% battery left after liberally using the battery along the way. The Boat-Bike bicycles come with a massive rear side pannier which easily accomodates raincoat, extra clothing, and battery charger in case you need to boost the charge at a friendly resturant along the way. The Sailboat offered half day sailings every day when we weren’t on the islands. All hands, that wanted to, were recruited into raising and lowering sails by the owner’s ( Jorin de Wit) enthusiastic, friendly wife, Rindske. The sailing experience was wonderful since we had 75F, blue sky days for almost all of the trip. The sailboat experience really set this tour apart from other tours that offer motorcoach transfers or puttering along on a barge. The Mare Fan Fryslan is a 3-masted historical flat bottomed boat, well suited to coastal cruising. There are 12 double bed cabins and 2 triples on board. All have a private bath with shower, sink, and toilet. Our cabin was spacious with 2 portholes and 7 feet of headroom. Beds were comfortable. Having a travelling home base that required only one unpack and repack is a real time-saver compared to the 3-4 different hotel stays on a typical 8-day bike tour. The sailboat has a dedicated dining room with 4 and 6 place assigned seating. Sit where you want. There’s dedicated bar area with a good selection of wine and bottled and draft beer, fairly priced. The mostly German tour participants put quite a daily dent in the beer supply! Food was good. Full European breakfast with fresh cooked eggs- fried, hard-boiled, omelettes offered every day. Delicious fresh bread was delivered to the boat every morning. The cheese and cold-cuts were available for making sandwiches to carry along on the bike tours. But we generally took advantage of cafes and beachfront restaurants along the way. Dinners offered fresh seafood and Dutch specialties. I was totally thrilled with this tour and will certainly consider this and other tours with Boat-Bike again. The price is a real bargain. In the future I’ll consider taking along my Grandson when he gets a bit more secure with his bicycle skills.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 8 Jun 2018

Thank you for your review about the Sail & Bike tour. Thanks to your very detailed description you can help other visitors of our website with valuable information. We are already looking forward to welcoming you next time with son ánd grandson. Team Boat Bike Tours

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