The size of the group depends on the barge scheduled on the tour. The capacity of the barges varies between 12 and 26 participants.
Which countries do the participants come from?
The principal countries represented by our cycling guests are: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, France, Germany, and Spain. However we regularly welcome South Africans and Japanese guests.
Can you rejoin the barge before the end of a stage?
No, the ship doesn’t take the same route that the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.
What languages do the guides speak?
All tour guides speak English and Dutch. Some of them speak Germand and/ or French. We also have a few guides who speak Spanish and/or Italian. We try to match the guide’s linguistic abilities with the nationalities in the group.
The common language on board is English.
How long are the daily cycling stages?
The average daily distance on our Bike & Barge tours in Holland is 50 kilometers (32 miles). But don’t forget that Dutch countryside is very flat and the stages, taken at a leisurely pace, take seven to eight hours including a number of breaks and visits.
The time spent on your bicycle is about 4 hours per day.
Can you choose your own itinerary without a guide?
Cyclists can choose a longer route than the group takes. The guide will gladly advise you on the choice of an alternative route.
What happens if it rains?
Most people wear rainwear and get on their bicycle. If the weather makes cycling absolutely impossible (this doesn’t happen very often!) the guide will arrange an alternative programme which might include a longer visit to one of the towns along the way or cultural excursions.
Do you have to wear a safety helmet in Holland?
No, but it is of course sensible to wear one. We provide a safety helmet with a child seat, slipstreamer (tag-along) or child’s bicycle. Helmets for adults are not included with the trip package. You can rent them (€ 10,- per week) or bring your own.
What are the cabins like?
The Standard Plus category has bunk beds.
The Comfort category is similar to Standard Plus, except there are low beds in the cabins.
The ComfortPlus category is similar to Comfort, but the maximum capacity is 14 people (instead of 20/24 people).
The Comfort DeLuxe category gives you about 9 square meters in the cabins, very well furnished with low beds and a comfortable equipped bathroom.
In all categories the cabins have private shower/toilet and a porthole or window.
There is room for a moderately sized suitcase per person.
Where can you park your car when you book a Bike & Barge tour in Holland/Belgium?
In Amsterdam and Bruges you can park your car in various car parks. For further information, please check the Welcome on board section on the tour page.
In Amsterdam the nearest parking is Parking Oosterdok, about € 90,- for 7 days (7 x 24 hrs).
What is the average age of the participants?
The ages vary between 35 and 75, but of course we have younger and older guests. During school vacations there are more children on board.