View our latest offers and deals on our offers page! See all offers

Zwaantje – Best Crew Ever!

9 Nov 2022

Steven Lucas

Let’s be honest, if you are here to read reviews you have already decided to do a barge tour and you are trying to decide which one. So, I am not going to describe in great detail the boat, the bikes or the routes other than to say Zwaantje is absolutely spotless and one of the largest barges still capable of navigating smaller canals and locks. Larger boats are restricted on where they can travel and smaller boats don’t have the space and amenities of Zwaantje. This vessel is the perfect size for France. The bikes are decent quality, well maintained and current models. I am sure there are plenty of other boats similar in size and condition with adequate bikes. So, why cruise on Zwaantje? Three factors will determine if you have a good experience and those same factors make this ship stand out: The Crew, the Chef and the Guides! Zwaantje is owned and captained by Martijn. He has been in the business for 20+ years and the pride he takes in his ship and his operation are immediately evident. Martijn was personable, professional and just a fun guy to be around. Martijn ensured everyone had a great time and had everything they needed to fully enjoy the experience. As a fellow boater, it was great learning about river and canal navigation and talking about his experiences and life on the water. If you ask nicely, he may even let you steer the boat! Next is Karen, I’m not sure what her official title is but she is absolutely wonderful. Karen managed all affairs of the boat as they relate to guest services. She served meals, tended bar, cleaned the cabins, assisted us in any way needed. While this may sound like expected services, Karen went above and beyond with little touches from origami art and candies left in our cabins to providing entertainment at night. She made every one of us feel valued as guests on Zwaantje. Our chef was Frank. He is absolutely hysterical with his mannerisms (you will love his personality) but more importantly you will love his cooking. He is a professional chef and a master in his field. The variety of meals was great, the quality excellent and the portions were huge. Three courses are served for every meal. Martijn’s first mate was also excellent. He made sure all the bikes were in good order each day and quickly loaded and unloaded them for each excursion. A very helpful and efficient member of the crew. While the crew and chef are hired by the boat owner/captain, the guides are actually coordinated through Boat Bike Tours so you may not have our guides (Frank and Thomas). However, these guys were great. They were professional, knowledgeable and prioritized safety. Their senses of humor made for a fun time. While you may not have the same guides it does seem Boat Bike Tours do a fine job of screening and hiring experienced guides. This team made for an exceptional and memorable trip. You will not be disappointed booking on Zwaantje!

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 2 Dec 2022

It's not every day that we receive feedback as detailed, thoughtful and lovely as yours. But trust us when we say that it does not go unnoticed. We make sure that it will be shared with our entire team to spread the positivity around. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to host you as a guest, and we hope your next trip with us will be just as exceptional and memorable. Best, Romy

Share your Boat Bike Tours experience

By writing a Trustpilot review to inspire others

Write a review now