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Champagne by Bike and Boat: Marne River valley and Paris (and reverse)

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  • 7 nights | 26 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 3
  • Guided from: €1129
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Tour Type: Guided Self-guided

Tour description

This eight day, seven night Champagne, Marne River Valley & Paris tour on board the barge MS Zwaantje is a cycle touring classic that not only allows guests to explore the world-famous city of Paris, but also the Champagne region, famous of course, for producing Champagne wine. From the time the Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon invented the bubbly drink in 1670 at the Abbey of d’Hautvillers, the Champagne name has been synonymous worldwide with the very best of sparkling wines.

On a daily basis from your base on board your floating hotel for the duration for the tour, the barge MS Zwaantje, you will have the opportunity to cycle to boutique wineries, sample a variety of champagnes, taste delicious Brie cheese and generally discover everything the Champagne UNESCO world heritage region, which is centered on the towns of Epernay and Reims, has to offer. But more than just visiting the Champagne region, you will also have the opportunity to explore Paris, one of Europe’s most beautiful and beloved cities on a full day guided excursion.

Other highlights of the tour include a visit to the city of Meaux, well known for its Brie cheeses and a stopover in Château-Thierry, the scene of major battles in World War I. Along the way, you will cycle through almost endless vineyards on the rolling banks of the Marne River. The tour ends in the city of Epernay, the real capital of the Champagne region where you will have the opportunity to visit one of the town’s massive champagne cellars.

Note: This tour runs on opposite weeks from Paris or Epernay. Both itineraries are listed in the Daily Program.

When a guest does not want to cycle one day, she/he can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.

Daily program

Note: This tour runs on opposite weeks from Paris or Epernay. Both itineraries are listed below.

From Paris
Jun 15, Aug 10, 2019 (*indicates fully booked date)

Day 1: Paris: Embarkation and check-in at 2:00pm at the Escale Gare D’Austerlitz on the Seine in Paris
Welcome by the captain, crew and tour leader. Dinner on board. First briefing about the barge, bicycles and tour program.

Day 2: Paris – Lagny-sur-Marne (21 miles/35km)
You leave Paris by bike via the canal de l’Ourcq. A bike path leads from the place the la Bastille (close to the mooring place of the Zwaantje), via the basin of la Vilette to the banks of the l’Ourcq. This canal was built by order of Napoleon Bonaparte. The canal provided the city with water and played an important role in the transportation of goods to and from the city. Destination of today is Lagny, a nice little town along the Marne.

Day 3: Lagny-sur-Marne – Meaux (12 miles/20km or 22 miles/37km)
In Lagny-sur-Marne, you can ride mainly along the Marne river and its parallel canal. In case you opt for the short ride, the first challenge is the hill near Chalifert. The barge will take the tunnel through the hill, but cyclists can test their fitness and muscles for the first time by climbing and crossing the hill by bicycle.

Also on the longer option, the first part is quite hilly, because you have to leave the valley of the Marne. Later you will follow the small Canal de l’Ourq that was built by Napoleon to transport wood, grain and fresh water to Paris. Today’s destination is the city of Meaux, famous for its “Brie de Meaux” cheeses and the magnificent Cathedral St.-Etienne. Night in Meaux.

Day 4: Meaux – La Ferté-sous-Jouarre (18 miles/30km or 32 miles/52km)
There are a few cycling options today. The shorter option will lead you over the hills and slopes of the Marne valley on the south bank of the river through forests and small villages. The longer option stays in the valley of the river in the morning with a ride through Trilport and Lizy-sur- Ourcq. Later you will have to climb a few challenging hills, leaving the valley in the direction of Jouarre.

In Jouarre, all cyclists can enjoy a very nice presentation and tasting of the famous Brie de Meaux and Brie noir cheeses at the family-run Fromagerie Ganot. Dinner on board and night in La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre or a village nearby.

Day 5: La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre – Château-Thierry (26 miles/42km)
Enjoy a somewhat challenging bike tour from La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre to Château-Thierry. The first part of the cycling track leads you along the Marne river. After a few miles, you will take a side valley and follow country roads along the small river Ru de Bouillons through various small villages and hamlets.

Continue riding uphill until you finally reach the plateau above the northern part of the Marne valley. The side valleys are mainly covered with forest, on the plateau agriculture is predominant. Follow the valley of the small river Clignon.

En route you can visit the large World War I American War Cemetery and Monument near Belleau on the D82. Start your descent to reach Château-Thierry. Dinner on board and night in Château-Thierry. Château-Thierry owes its name to the castle that once was situated on the slopes above the Marne. You can still see some remnants. The town was the site of two important battles: the Battle of 1814 in the Napoleonic Wars between France and Prussia and the Battle of 1918 at the end of World War I. Château-Thierry is also known as the native town of the world-famous writer of fables Jean de la Fontaine.

Day 6: Château-Thierry – Dormans – Epernay (approximately 19-35 miles/30-50km)
During breakfast, the ship will take us to the lock of Mont St. Pierre or even a bit further upstream to Dormans. Today we will enter the official Champagne area. Dormans is a quiet village on the Marne with a castle and chapel in memory of the battle of the Marne. During World War I this area was the scene of intense battles. A ride up the northern valley slope to the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne rewards the cyclist with a stunning panoramic view over the Marne valley and the Champagne vineyards.

During the cycling tour you will see the Château de Boursault, a large castle built in 1848 by the widow of Mr. Cliquot, who gave her name (“Veuve Cliquot”) to a famous Champagne wine. Dinner on board and night in Epernay.

Day 7: Epernay round tour (10 miles/17km or 16 miles/25 km)
The last half day's bike tour takes you along the quiet canal parallel to the Marne river to Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay. Return via Dizy to visit Hautvillers. After a somewhat challenging ascent, you will reach this picturesque village of Champagne winegrowers on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims. The highlight is a visit to the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon.

According to tradition, Dom Pérignon (1638-1715), who was in charge of the wine cellars of the abbey of Benedictine monks, was the first to succeed in blending various kinds of wine into a wine of superb quality. Double fermentation, characteristic for the making of champagne, was introduced also by him. Return cycling to Epernay.

After lunch, visit the center of Epernay. Together with Reims, Epernay is the major wine center of the Champagne region, where three extensive wine regions meet: the Montagne the Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Vallée de la Marne. Epernay has many townhouses dating in neo-renaissance style or classical style dating from the 19th century, especially around the beautiful Avenue the Champagne where prestigious champagne houses such as Moët & Chandon are situated. Champagne tasting and tour in one of the major Champagne houses.

Day 8: Epernay: disembarkation
After breakfast: end of tour and disembarkation at 9:30am near the train station in Epernay.


From Epernay
Jun 8*, 22*; Aug 17, 2019 (*indicates fully booked date)

Day 1: Epernay: embarkation in the afternoon at 2:00pm
Welcome by the captain, crew, and tour leader. Dinner on board. First briefing about the barge, bicycles, and tour program. After dinner your tour leader will take you for a walk through Epernay, the major wine center of the Champagne region. Epernay has many town houses dating in neo-renaissance style or classical style dating from the 19th century, especially around the beautiful Avenue the Champagne, where many prestigious champagne houses are situated.

Day 2: Epernay round tour (10 miles/17km 16 miles/25 km)
The first half day's bike tour takes you along the quiet canal parallel to the Marne river to Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay. Return via Dizy to visit Hautvillers. After a somewhat challenging first ascent of the slopes and through the vineyards (cyclists can test their shape and muscles for the first time) you will reach this picturesque village of Champagne winegrowers on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims.

A highlight is a visit to the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon. According to tradition, Dom Pérignon (1638-1715), who was in charge of the wine cellars of the abbey of Benedictine monks, was the first to succeed in blending various kinds of wine into a wine of superb quality. Double fermentation, characteristic for the making of champagne, was introduced also by him.

Return cycling to Epernay. After lunch, visit the center of Epernay. Together with Reims, Epernay is the major wine center of the Champagne region, where three extensive wine regions meet: the Montagne the Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Vallée de la Marne. Epernay has many townhouses dating in neo-renaissance style or classical style dating from the 19th century, especially around the beautiful Avenue the Champagne where prestigious champagne houses such as Moët & Chandon are situated. Champagne tasting and tour in a Champagne house on the famous Avenue de Champagne.

Day 3: Epernay – Dormans – Château-Thierry (19-35 miles/30-50 km)
Cycle along the canal and Marne river. We will see the Château de Boursault, a large castle built in 1848 by the widow of Mr. Cliquot, who gave her name (Veuve Cliquot) to a famous Champagne wine.

A ride up the northern valley slope to the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne rewards the cyclist with a stunning panoramic view over the Marne Valley and the Champagne vineyards. Today we will leave the official Champagne area. Cycle along the Marne river (or cruise) to Dormans, a quiet village on the Marne with a castle and chapel in memory of the battle of the Marne. During World War I this area was the scene of close battles. Here you have the option board the boat in Dormans or continue cycling to the lock of Mont St. Pierre.

Today's destination is Château-Thierrry, that owes its name to the castle that once was situated on the slopes above the Marne. The town was the site of the Battle of 1814 in the Napoleonic Wars between France and Prussia and of 1918 in World War I. Château-Thierry is also known as the native town of the world-famous writer of fables Jean de la Fontaine.

Day 4: Château-Thierry – La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre (26 miles/42 km)
Enjoy a somewhat challenging bike tour from Château-Thierry to La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre. The first part of the cycling tour leads you along the Marne river. After a few miles, you will take a small side valley and follow country roads through various small villages and hamlets. En route you can visit the large World War I American War Cemetery and Monument near Belleau.

Follow the small river Clignon and continue riding uphill until you finally reach the plateau above the northern part of the Marne valley. The side valleys are mainly covered with forest, on the plateau agriculture is predominant. Start your descent along the small river Ru de Bouillonsto reach La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre, where you meet the barge. Night in La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre or one of the villages nearby.

Day 5: La Ferté-sous-Jouarre – Meaux (18 miles/30km or 32 miles/52km)
After breakfast, you will start the cycling tour that will lead you over the hills and slopes of the Marne valley and through forests and small villages on the southern and northern banks of the river. After just a few miles (uphill!) you will enjoy a very nice presentation and tasting of the famous Brie de Meaux and Brie noir cheeses at the family-run Fromagerie Ganot. Then you will hop on the bicycles again and you can opt for a longer or shorter ride to Meaux.

The short option will lead you over the hills and slopes of the Marne valley on the southern bank of the river through forests and small villages. The long tour follows a few large curves of the river to Lizy-sur-Ourcq and Trilport. Today’s destination is the city of Meaux, famous for its “Brie de Meaux” cheeses and the magnificent Cathedral St.-Etienne. Visit the historical city center of Meaux. Dinner on board and night in Meaux.

Day 6: Meaux – Lagny-sur-Marne (12 miles/20km or 22 miles/37km)
Visit the beautiful city center of Meaux. Then you can take your bicycle for a last ride, mainly along the Marne river and its parallel canal. The longer option leads along the Canal de l’Ourq, that was built by Napoleon to transport wood, grain and drinking water to Paris. In the afternoon you will meet the barge in Lagny-sur-Marne, an outskirt of Paris, where you will stay for the night.

You can add an afternoon bicycle ride of 20 km through the valley of the Marne river to the castle of Champs-sur Marne. The Château de Champs-sur-Marne is characteristic of the residences of leisure built in the countryside in the 18th century, giving rise to a new style of living. It is one of the most magnificently furnished châteaux in the Ile-de-France.

Day 7: Lagny-sur-Marne – Paris (21 miles/35km)
Today we will bike further along the Canal d’Ourcq. This canal was built by order of Napoleon Bonaparte. The canal provided the city with water and played an important role in the transportation of goods to and from the city. We will enter the city along a bike path that leads via the basin of la Vilette all the way to the place the la Bastille (close to the mooring place of the Zwaantje). We will find the Zwaantje at Quai Bercy or Escale Gare D’Austerlitz in the heart of Paris.

Day 8: Paris: disembarkation
After breakfast: end of the tour and disembarkation at 9:30am in Paris.

Note: all distances are approximate distances. The program may change as a result of nautical, technical, or meteorological reasons.

Route Map

Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.

Dates

From Paris: Jun 15, Aug 10, 2019. From Epernay: Jun 8*, 22*; Aug 17, 2019. (*indicates fully booked date)

Prices

MS Zwaantje
Per person, double occupancy
€1129
Single cabin surcharge (1 person/1 cabin)
€340
Bike Rentals
Hybrid touring bike, 21-speed
€80
Electrically assisted bike (limited number, only on request)
€175
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Boat Bike Tours Terms and Conditions

Cancellation
In the event of cancellation by the Customer, the following percentages shall be due:

  • more than 84 days prior to sailing: 10%
  • 84 to 42 days prior to sailing: 30%
  • 42 to 28 days prior to sailing: 60%
  • 28 to 1 days prior to sailing: 90%
  • day of embarkation (no show) or later: 100%

Cancellation costs in % of the tour (package) price (agreement)

Cancellation must be made by fax, with receipt to be confirmed by Supplier, or by registered mail. The date of cancellation shall be the date of receipt by the Supplier.

All changes are subject to a €25 change or rebooking fee.

Article 1 - Introductory provisions
1. In these travel conditions the following terms shall have the following meaning:
Travel organiser: the person(s) who, in operating his company, offers trips organised in advance to the public or a group of persons in his own name.

Traveller:
a. the other party of the travel organiser, or
b. the person for whom the trip has been stipulated and who has accepted this stipulation, or
c. the person to whom the legal relationship to the travel organiser has been transferred in agreement with article 8 of these conditions.
Travel agreement: the agreement whereby a travel organiser shall commit himself towards the other party to provide a trip organised in advance that is offered by him, which consists of accommodation of a period of more than 24 hours, as well as at least two of the following services:
a. transport;
b. accommodation;
c. a different, tourist service that is not related to transport or accommodation, which constitutes a significant part of the trip. Own transport trips: trips whereby the traveller only reserves holiday accommodation and the transport itself.
Booking office: the company that mediates between the traveller and the travel organiser when concluding the travel agreement. Working days: the days Monday up to and including Saturday, with the exception of the recognised public holidays.
Office hours: Monday up to and including Friday between 08.30 - 17.00 hours, with the exception of the recognised public holidays.
2. These travel conditions shall apply to all travel agreements as well as to agreements with regard to the own transport trips and shuttle trips by bus. The travel organiser can stipulate that these travel conditions shall also apply to agreements with regard to other trips, providing this is stated in the publication.
3. The sums stated in these conditions shall include VAT, insofar as applicable.

Article 2 - Realisation and content agreement
1. Range of trips and acceptance
a. The agreement shall be concluded through acceptance of the offer of the travel organiser by the traveller. The acceptance can take place either directly or through mediation of a booking office. After the agreement is concluded the traveller shall receive a confirmation of this as soon as possible in writing or electronically, possibly in the form of an invoice.
b. When a booking is made through the internet, the travel organiser shall organise the booking process in such a way that the traveller is informed, before accepting the booking, that he is concluding an agreement. When the booking is confirmed by the travel organiser the traveller shall be bound to this agreement.
2. Withdrawal of the offer
The offer of the travel organiser shall be free of obligations and can, if necessary, be withdrawn by the travel organiser. A withdrawal due to a correction of errors in the calculation of the tour (package) price or a correction of other errors shall be allowed. The withdrawal must take place as soon as possible, however at the latest within 8 office hours (trips to Europe and the Mediterranean Sea) and 16 office hours (trips to other destinations) respectively after acceptance, stating the reasons. In that case the traveller shall be entitled to an immediate restitution of any paid sums.
3. Apparent errors
Apparent errors and apparent mistakes shall not commit the travel organiser. Such errors and mistakes are errors and mistakes which are apparent as such or should be apparent as such at first sight from the perspective of the average traveller. 4. Cancellation travel organiser due to insufficient participation The travel organiser shall be entitled to cancel the agreement with immediate effect, if the number of applications is smaller than the required minimum number. He shall clearly mention the cancellation period and the required minimum number of application in the publication. The cancellation shall take place within the period referred to in the publication and in writing. The articles 10 and 12 shall not apply.
5. Duty to disclose information traveller
a. The traveller shall provide all data to the booking office or travel organiser regarding himself and the travellers registered by him that may be of interest for concluding or implementing the agreement before or at the latest when concluding the agreement. This shall include, if available, the number of his mobile phone and e-mail address.
b. Furthermore, the traveller shall state special details regarding the description or composition of the group of travellers registered by him that may be important for a correct implementation of the trip by the travel organiser. If he fails in this duty to disclose information and this results in this/these traveller(s) being excluded from (further) participation in the trip by the travel organiser in agreement with the provisions in article 15 paragraph 2, the costs referred to in this article shall be charged to him.
6. Person who registers
a. The person who concludes an agreement on behalf of or for a different person (the person who registers), shall be liable jointly and severally for all obligations that result from the agreement. b. All traffic (also payment traffic) between the traveller(s) on the one hand and the travel organization and/or the booking office on the other hand shall solely proceed through the person who registers.
c. The (other) traveller(s) shall be liable for his/their own part.
7. Data and restrictions in publication
a. If the agreed trip is included in a publication of the travel organiser, the data included in the publication shall also be part of the agreement.
b. If the travel organiser has included restrictions in the general part of the programme and they are in conflict with the travel conditions, the most favourable provisions shall apply to the traveller.
8. Essences
a. Departures or additions to the trip offered by the travel organiser may be required for medical reasons (medical essences). The travel organiser shall make a reasonable effort in order to meet these requirements, unless this cannot be required from him in all reasonableness.
Medical essences require the explicit written approval of the travel organiser.
b. In that case the travel organiser shall be entitled to charge the following costs:
the organisational costs related to the departure or addition amounting to €23 per booking (in the event of own transport trips: €11 per booking if less than 5 days or with accommodation in the Netherlands); communication costs; any additional costs charged by the service providers involved in the implementation of the trip.
c. the travel organiser shall only deal with a request in relation an essential reason for other reasons than medical reasons (essences) if this has a fair chance of success. In that case he shall be entitled to charge the following costs:
the organisational costs related to the request of €27 per booking (in the event of own transport trips: €14 per booking if less than 5 days or with accommodation in the Netherlands); communication costs; any additional costs charged by the service providers involved in the implementation of the trip. These requests shall also require the explicit written approval of the travel organiser.
9. Departure and arrival times
Departure and arrival times shall be stated in the travel documents for transport parts of the trip. These times shall be definitive. The travel organiser can only depart from this within reasonable limits and only if a reinforcement of these times cannot be required of the travel organiser in reason. In that case the articles 11 and 12 shall not apply.
10. Information by third parties
The travel organiser shall not be responsible for general information in photos, folders, advertisements, websites and other information carriers, insofar they are drawn up or published under the responsibility of third parties.

Article 5 - Information
1. General information tailored to the Dutch nationality regarding passports, visas and any formalities in the field of health shall be provided to the traveller by or on behalf of the travel organiser at the latest when the agreement is concluded. The traveller himself shall be responsible to obtain the necessary additional information from the authorities concerned and shall also check well on time before the departure whether the previously obtained information has not been changed on the meanwhile.
2. If the traveller cannot make the trip (in its entirety) because a (valid) document is missing, this and all related consequences shall be at his expense, unless the travel organiser has promised to take care of this document and the absence of a valid document can be attributed to the travel organiser or the latter has failed in providing the information referred to in the previous paragraph.
3. The traveller himself shall be responsible for having the required documents, for example a passport that meets all validity requirements, or, when accepted, an identity card and the possibly required visa, proof of inoculations and vaccinations, driving licence and green card.
4. The traveller shall receive information from or on behalf of the travel organiser about the possibility to conclude a cancellation insurance and a travel insurance.

Article 6 - Travel documents
1. The travel organiser shall make the required travel documents available to the traveller at the latest 10 days before the day of departure (in the event of own transport trips: before the date of arrival at the first booked accommodation), unless this cannot be required in reason from the travel organiser.
2. If the traveller still has not received any travel documents at the latest 5 working days before departure, he shall report this at once to the travel organiser or booking office.
3. a. When a trip is booked within 10 days before the day of departure (in the event of own transport trips: before the date of arrival at the first booked accommodation), the travel organiser of the booking office shall state when and how the required travel documents can be made available to the traveller.
b. If the traveller has not received the travel documents, he shall report this at once to the travel organiser or booking office.

Article 7 - Changes by the traveller
1. After the agreement has been concluded, the traveller can request to make changes in the agreement. In this case the condition applies that the traveller pays the changed tour (package) price under deduction of the already paid sums. Moreover, he shall be obliged to pay the costs of change amounting to €27 per booking (in the event of own transport trips: €14 if shorter than 5 days or with accommodation in the Netherlands) and any communication costs. The decision regarding the request shall be made as soon as possible. These changes shall be introduced until 28 days before departure, insofar as possible. In that case they will be confirmed by the travel organiser in writing.
2. A rejection shall include reasons for the rejection and shall be announced to the traveller at once. The traveller can maintain the original agreement or cancel it. In the latter case article 9 shall apply. The original agreement shall be carried out if a reaction to the rejection of the request is not received from the traveller.
3. A change in the date of departure or a reduction in the number of paying passengers shall be considered to be a (partial) cancellation to which article 9 shall apply. In that case no costs for the change or communication costs have to be paid.

Article 8 – Replacement
1. The traveller can let another person replace him in good time before the start of the trip. For this the following conditions apply: − the other meets all conditions related to the agreement; and:
− the request shall be submitted at the latest 7 days before departure, or in such timely fashion that the required actions and formalities can still be carried out; and: 
− the conditions of the service providers involved in the implementation do not conflict with this replacement.
2. The reporting person, the traveller and the person who replaces him shall be jointly and severally liable in relation to the travel organiser for the payment of the still payable part of the tour (package) price, the costs for the change and the communication costs as referred to in article 7, paragraph 1 and any extra costs as a result of the replacement.

Article 9 - Cancellation by the traveller
1. Cancellation costs
If an agreement is cancelled, the traveller shall pay the following cancellation costs in the event of cancellation, in addition to any reservation costs:

  • more than 84 days before the date of departure 10 %
  • 84 to 42 days before the date of departure 30 %
  • 42 to 28 days before the date of departure 60 %
  • 28 days to 1 day before the date of departure 90 %
  • on the date of departure or later 100 % always in % of the agreed tour (package) price.

2. Partial cancellation
a. If a traveller from a touring group cancels his agreement for a joint accommodation in a hotel, apartment, holiday home or other accommodation, he shall have to pay the cancellation costs.
b. If the size of the remaining group for this accommodation is stated in the price table, the travel organiser shall offer a proposed change to the remaining traveller(s), which is appropriate for the new group size, for the same period and in the same accommodation.
c. For traveller(s) referred to in sub b. the tour (package) price shall be changed in conformity with the price table. The normal payment rules of article 3 shall apply to the payment of the changed tour (package) price.
d. If the proposed change is not possible or not accepted, all agreements shall be cancelled and all travellers shall have to pay a cancellation sum.
e. The total sum of the cancellation sums and changed tour (package) price(s) shall never exceed the total of the tour (package) prices of the original travellers. A possible surplus shall be reduced from new tour (package) prices.

3. Less loss
The traveller who cancels the trip shall be obliged to pay the cancellation costs in conformity with the provisions in the previous paragraphs, unless he can motivate why the loss of the travel organiser was lower. In that case the travel organiser shall charge this lower loss. Loss shall be taken to mean incurred loss and lost profit.
4. Outside office hours
Cancellations outside office hours shall be considered to have taken place on the next working day.
5. Replacement
Article 8 shall apply in the event there is no cancellation, but when another person replaces the traveller.

Article 10 - Cancellation by the travel organiser
1. The travel organiser shall be entitled to cancel the agreement due to weighty circumstances.
2. Weighty circumstances shall be taken to mean circumstances of such a nature that a further commitment of the travel organiser to the agreement cannot be required in reason.
3. A coverage restriction referring to the agreement of the Calamiteitenfonds Reizen (Travel Contingency Fund) shall be a weighty circumstance.
4. a. If the cause of the cancellation can be attributed to the traveller, the resultant loss shall be paid by the traveller.
b. If the cause of the cancellation can be attributed to the travel organiser, the resultant loss shall be paid by the travel organiser. Whether this is the case shall be decided on the basis of article 12.
c. If the cause of the cancellation cannot be attributed to the traveller nor to the travel organiser, parties shall bear their own loss as worked out in article 13.
5. If the travel organiser saves money because of the cancellation, the traveller shall be entitled to this saving with regard to his part.

Article 11 - Change by the travel organiser
1. a. The travel organiser shall be entitled to change the agreed service due to weighty circumstances as described in detail in article 10, paragraph 2. He shall inform this to the traveller within 72 hours (3 working days), after the travel organiser has been informed about the change. As from 10 days before departure (in the event of own transport trips before the arrival date at the accommodation) he shall inform the traveller within 24 hours.
b. If the change concerns one of more essential aspects, the traveller can reject the change(s).
c. If the change concerns one of more non-essential aspects, the traveller can only reject the change if the change is at his detriment to a greater extent.
d. If the travel organiser saves money because of the change, the traveller shall be entitled to this saving with regard to his part.
2. a. In case of a change, the travel organiser shall make an alternative offer to the traveller, if possible. He shall do this within 72 hours (3 working days). A period of 24 hours (one working day) shall apply in this respect as from 10 days before departure (in the event of own transport trips: before the arrival date at the accommodation).
b. The alternative offer shall at least be equivalent. The equivalence of alternative accommodation shall be judged according to objective criteria and shall be determined according to the following circumstances stated in the replacement offer:
− the situation of the accommodation;
− the nature and class of the accommodation;
− the facilities offered by the accommodation.
When judging the above-mentioned points, the following aspects must be considered:
− the composition of the touring group;
− the special features or circumstances of the traveller(s) in question that are made known to the travel organiser and which are confirmed by him, which have been stated by the traveller(s) as being of essential importance;
− the departures from or additions to the programme required by the traveller, which have been confirmed for approval in writing by the travel organiser.
3. a. The traveller who makes use of this right to reject the change or alternative offer as a result of the previous paragraphs, shall notify the travel organiser within 72 hours (3 working days) after receipt of the news about the change or the alternative offer. A period of 24 hours (one working day) shall apply in this respect as from 10 days before departure (in the event of own transport trips: before the arrival date at the accommodation.
b. In that case the travel organiser shall be entitled to cancel the agreement with immediate effect. He shall - at the risk of forfeiture - make use of this right within 72 hours (3 working days) after receipt of the rejection by the traveller. A period of 24 hours (one working day) shall apply in this respect as from 10 days before departure (in the event of own transport trips: before the arrival date at the accommodation).
In that case the traveller shall have the right to cancel the agreement or restitution of the tour (package) price (or, if the trip has already been partly enjoyed, op repayment of a proportionate part of this) within 2 weeks, without prejudice to his possible entitlement to compensation as referred to in paragraph 4.
4. a. If the cause of the change can be attributed to the travel organiser, the resultant loss of the traveller shall be paid by the travel organiser. It shall be determined on the basis of art. 12 whether this is the case.
b. If the cause of the change can be attributed to the traveller, 
the resultant loss shall be paid by the traveller.
c. If the cause of the change cannot be attributed to the traveller nor to the travel organiser, parties shall bear their own loss as elaborated in article 13.
5. If an important part of the services referred to in the agreement cannot be granted after the start of the agreed trip, the travel organiser shall see to it that appropriate, alternative schemes can be arranged in view of the continuation of the trip. See article 13 for the costs in question.
If such schemes are not possible, the travel organiser shall provide an equivalent means of transport to the travellers, if necessary, which will return them to the place of departure or to a different place of return agreed with the traveller(s). See article 13 for the costs in question.
6. Without prejudice to the provisions in article 15 paragraph 4, the travel organiser shall be obliged to inform the traveller about a change in the departure time introduced by him.
With regard to the return trip this obligation shall not apply to travellers who solely made a booking for transport and/or of whom the residence is not known.

Article 12 - Liability and force majeure
1. Without prejudice to the provisions in the articles 10 and 11, the travel organiser shall be obliged to implement the agreement according to the expectations that the traveller may have in reason on account of the agreement.
2. If the trip does not proceed according to the expectations referred to in paragraph 1, the traveller shall be obliged to inform those involved as soon as possible as referred to in article 17 paragraph 1.
3. If the trip does not proceed according to the expectations referred to in paragraph 1, the travel organiser shall be obliged to compensate the possible loss of the traveller without prejudice to the provisions in articles 13, 14 and 15, unless the failure in the observance cannot be attributed to the travel organiser, nor to the party who assists him when implementing the agreement, because:
a. the failure in the implementation of the agreement can be attributed to the traveller; or
b. the failure in the implementation of the agreement could not be anticipated or could not be remedied and can be attributed to a third party who is not involved in supplying the services included in the trip; or
c. the failure in the implementation of the agreement can be attributed to an event that the travel organiser or party who assists him when implementing the agreement could not anticipate or remedy, with due observance of all possible due care; or
d. the failure in the implementation of the agreement can be attributed to force majeure as referred to in paragraph 4 of this article.
4. Force majeure shall be taken to mean abnormal and unforeseeable circumstances that are independent of the will of the party who invokes force majeure, and of which the consequences could not be avoided despite all precautionary measures.

Article 13 - Help and assistance
1. a. According to the circumstances, the travel organiser shall be obliged to help and assist the traveller, if the trip does not proceed according to expectations that the traveller may have in reason on account of the agreement. The resultant costs shall be paid by the travel organiser, if the failure in the implementation of the agreement can be attributed to him according to art. 12, paragraph 3.
b. If the cause can be attributed to the traveller, the travel organiser shall only be obliged to offer help and assistance insofar as this may be required of him in reason. The costs shall then be paid by the traveller.
2. If the trip does not proceed according to the expectations that the traveller may have in reason on account of the agreement because of circumstances that cannot be attributed to the traveller or to the travel organiser, each party shall bear its own loss. For the travel organiser this loss shall include the extra deployment of employees; for the traveller this loss shall include extra accommodation and repatriation costs.

Article 14 - Exclusion & restriction liability travel organiser
1. a. If a Treaty applies to a service included in the trip that grants or allows an exclusion or restriction of liability to the service provider, the liability of the travel organiser shall be accordingly excluded or restricted.
b. The travel organiser shall also not be liable if and insofar the traveller has been able to claim his loss on account of an insurance, for example a travel and/or cancellation insurance. 2. If the travel organiser is liable towards the traveller for loss of travel pleasure, the compensation shall at most amount to once the tour (package) price.
3. Without prejudice to the provisions in the previous paragraphs of this article, the liability of the travel organiser shall be limited to at most three times the tour (package) price for other loss than caused by death or injury of the traveller, unless it concerns intent or gross negligence of the travel organiser. In that case his liability shall be unlimited.
4. The exclusions and/or restrictions of the liability of the travel organiser included in this article shall also apply to employees of the travel organiser, the booking office and the service providers concerned, as well as their personnel, unless the treaty or law excludes this.

Article 15 - Obligations of the traveller
The traveller(s) shall be observed to observe all instructions of the travel organiser to promote a sound implementation of the trip and shall be liable for loss caused by his/their unpermitted behaviour, to be judged according to the criterion of the behaviour of a correct traveller. The traveller who causes or may cause hindrance or nuisance to such an extent that a good implementation of a trip is greatly complicated or may be complicated, can be excluded from (continuing) the trip by the travel organiser, if it cannot be required from the travel organiser in reason that the agreement shall be observed. All resultant costs shall be paid by the traveller, if and insofar the consequences of the hindrance or nuisance can be attributed to him. If and insofar the cause of the exclusion cannot be attributed to the traveller, he shall be granted a restitution of the tour (package) price or part of the tour (package) price. The traveller shall be obliged to avoid any loss or limit as much as possible, in particular by complying with his duty to report as referred to in detail in article 17, paragraph 1. Each traveller shall ask the travel management or local agent of the travel organiser about the exact time of departure at the latest 24 hours before the stated departure time of the return trip.

Article 16 - Interest and collection costs
The traveller who has not complied with a financial obligation towards the travel organiser shall have to pay the statutory interest on the still payable sum.
Furthermore, he shall be obliged to compensate extrajudicial collection costs amounting to 15 % of the claimed sum, unless this sum turns out to be unreasonable in view of the collection work and payable sum.

Article 17 - Complaints
1. a. A failure in the implementation of the agreement as referred to in article 12, paragraph 2, shall be reported on the spot as soon as possible, so that a solution can be sought. For this the traveller must report to the following parties in the following order: the service provider in question, the travel management or, if they are not present or cannot be contacted, the travel organiser. If the failure is not remedied and negatively affects the quality of the trip, it shall in any case be reported to the travel organiser.
b. If a failure is not solved satisfactorily on the spot, the travel organiser shall offer an adequate possibility to draw up the complaint in the form of a complaint in writing in the prescribed way (compliant report).
c. The travel organiser shall provide information in the travel documents regarding the procedure to be followed on the spot, the contact dates and accessibility of those involved.
d. The communication costs shall be compensated by the travel organiser, unless it turns out that they should not have been incurred in reason.
e. If the traveller has not complied with the duty to report and complaint report and the service provider or travel organiser has not been able to solve the failure as a result of this, his possible entitlement to compensation may be limited or excluded.
2. a. If a complaint is not solved satisfactorily, it shall be submitted to the travel organiser of the booking office in writing and motivated at the latest within one month after the end of the trip or the enjoyed service or after the original date of departure. The traveller shall add a copy of the complaint report.
b. If the complaint concerns the conclusion of an agreement, it shall be submitted to the booking office within one month after the traveller has learned about the facts to which the complaint refers.
c. If the traveller does not submit the complaint on time, it will not be dealt with by the travel organiser, unless the traveller cannot be blamed for this in reason. The travel organiser shall inform the traveller about this in writing or electronically.
d. The travel organiser shall give a substantive response in writing at the latest one month after receipt of the complaint. If this period is exceeded, the period from art. 18, paragraph 1a, shall be extended by one month. If the response by the travel organiser is not received within two months, the period from art. 18, paragraph 1a, shall be extended by two months.
e. If the travel organiser further exceeds the time limit, so that the response period of the travel organiser is exceeded by more than three months, the Disputes Committee can nevertheless decide to still deal with the dispute in question.

Article 18 - Disputes
1. a. If a complaint has not been solved satisfactorily on time, or if no redress has been obtained in this respect, the traveller can, if necessary, submit the dispute in writing until at the latest three months after the end of the trip (original date of departure) to: Disputes Committee (Geschillencommissie) Reizen, Postbus 90600, 2509 LP in The Hague (www.sgc.nl). The Committee shall solely deal with complaints of natural persons who do not act in operating a company or carrying out a profession.
b. The Disputes Committee delivers a judgement under the conditions that have been laid down in the regulations in question. The decision of the Disputes Committee shall take place through an advice that is binding for parties. A fee shall be paid for hearing a dispute.
c. The Committee shall not hear a dispute or terminate its hearing, if the travel organiser has been granted a moratorium, has become bankrupt or has actually terminated his operational activities, before a dispute has been heard by the Committee at the hearing and a final decision has been pronounced.
2. a. Dutch law shall apply to all agreements that have been concluded, changed or supplemented on the basis of these travel conditions, unless a different law applies due to mandatory rules. b. The traveller who does not wish to apply the binding advice procedure as referred to in the previous paragraph shall be entitled to apply to the competent court.
Only a Dutch court shall be competent to take cognisance of these disputes, unless a different court is competent due to mandatory rules.
c. All rights of action shall lapse one year after the end of the trip (or, if the trip did not take place, one year after the original date of departure).

All photos used by permission. ©Boat Bike Tours

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 1
  • 4 Star 0
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    5

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3
  • Value 5
  • Included meals 5
  • Bikes & equipment 5
  • Hotels or boat 4
  • Scenery 5
  • Ease of navigation 4
  • Tour documents 5
  • Local tour company services 5
  • Route selection 5
  • Guides (if applicable) 5

Reviews

Trail Ted July 30, 2016

What a great tour

This was the highlight of our three week trip in Europe. The barge was newly refurbished, the crew was great and the trip leader made it so interesting. And what great food! We all applauded the chef.
Not a lot of hills, but the few long and steep ones were a challenge for those of us using standard bikes. We envied those with e-bikes! The wifi on board was sometimes a challenge - the only area for improvement.

Would definitely recommend this tour to others.