General Trip Information for our Bike and Boat Tours
The Flora Sailing personal approach
Berthus and Jonne pride themselves in offering personally hosted, service-oriented tours. We are hands-on in all phases of our tours and are your hosts and ride leaders on most trips.
Our typical Bike and Boat Day
Breakfast is served by 8 a.m. and we enjoy our meal, like Europeans, leisurely until 8:45. During breakfast we pack our “picnic-style” lunch and load it into our bike pannier. By 9:00 we assemble on the sundeck to unlock and distribute bikes… and – we’re off.
Cycling as a group is unique to Bike and Boat trips and bonds us socially from Day One. Suzie at the helm leads our group which stretches out with safe following distance. Roger is our “ride sweep” keeping us together, monitoring our well-being and helping with any bicycle maintenance along the way.
We enjoy a leisurely (smell the roses) sightseeing pace of 8-10 mph on mostly level terrain and regroup lots along our typical 25-30 mile route at convenient locations for picture taking, excursions and rest.
We arrive onboard typically around 4 p.m., lock our bikes, and enjoy afternoon relaxation, refreshments and social time. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. After dinner, we have a short meeting to discuss the next day’s itinerary. Many evenings we take a walk around town.
Your Trip Fee
What your trip fee includes is specifically listed on each trip’s webpage. We are now including pricing for our Canadian Bike and Boat Friends. There is no fine-print in what we offer our cyclists and we try to offer a deluxe tour at a reasonable price.
Trip fees are based on double occupancy. If you are coming without a travel partner, we try our best to match you with a roommate. Bike and the Like reserves the right to make changes, deletions and modifications in lodging, food, and itinerary items as it deems necessary to fit the cost of the trip, improve the comfort and safety of the participants or as directed by our captain due to docking changes, water and weather conditions.
Bike and the Like is also not responsible for expenses not specified as included in the trip fee. If you are not sure what is included in your trip price, please ask us.
As with all trips, you should be prepared for incidental costs such as but not limited to, transportation to and from the trip start, a dinner-out not included, excursions not listed, alcohol beverages onboard, entertainment, trip gratuities, etc.
Physically ready for the trip
We find that active people of all ages with good basic cycling skills can enjoy a vacation by bike. The key to enjoyment of your tour is preparation. Even cycling at a comfortable, recreational pace with lots of stops requires a level of stamina.
If you already stay in shape with fitness and spin classes, you have a head start on training. We recommend several months before your trip to get out on your bike regularly, both on safe road and trail, and get cycling miles and handling experience under your belt.
Let us know how we can help, especially if this is your first tour by bike. As past cycling instructors, we have lots of great ideas to help you get ready for your trip.
Boat and Accommodations
Welcome to our new ship Flora, run by our good friend and captain, Berthus Van Den Berg and his wife, Jonne. Together with our amazing team, our goal is to welcome you onboard as part of the Flora family.
The Flora has cozy double occupancy rooms with lovely private baths and beds on the floor, a spacious salon for eating and socializing, and outside deck where you can enjoy a drink and admire the lovely views.
During this time of concern over the impact of Covid-19, Berthus and Jonne want you to feel comfortable they are doing everything possible for your health and safety onboard. To this end, so many new protocols have been put in place and we will name a few here.
A new UV water filtration system has been installed and enhancements to better air circulation/filtering has been implemented. There is more frequent cleaning and sanitizing of common areas and cabins with environmentally safe cleaners that protect against viruses like Covid-19. Hand sanitizing is encouraged through stations in all common areas and our eating and social areas have been redesigned for healthy distancing while preserving Flora’s cozy ambience.
For healthy mealtimes, there are now two seatings for breakfast and dinner to accommodate only 10 diners at a time in our spacious salon. This affords our kitchen proper time necessary to prepare and service delicious individual meals at the same time performing our already high level of culinary cleanliness.
Flora Hotel Barge
Flora’s Berthus & Jonne welcome you!
Comfortable salon of the Flora!
Comfy bedrooms with private bath
We understand the importance of good foods and the energy they supply for a healthy day of cycling. Our breakfasts are usually full European meals including eggs, yogurt, high quality cereals and oatmeal, fresh fruit, homemade breads and pastries.
For lunch, we pack a picnic style meal from an offering of meats, cheeses, spreads like peanut butter and bread to make sandwiches. In addition, there are fruit, cookies and drinks to enjoy along the cycling route.
Our dinners are full, hearty meals proudly created by Anne Marie. We always do our best to accommodate dietary preferences. Every trip features a night off so our guests can experience the local restaurants.
Bicycles and Safety
All Bike and Barge tours include the use of a hybrid TREK bicycle with pannier and water bottle. We ask that you bring your own helmet as it is sized for best protection of your head. Should you experience a fall from your bike a well-fitting bike helmet provides the best protection. Of course, we are happy to supply you with a “universal” helmet upon request.
We also are happy to rent you an E-bike at an additional price of $125/week. We ask that you are familiar with the workings of an E-bike and have at least 100 miles cycling experience on one before the trip.
Our prime concern is your safety. Therefore, in your trip Welcome Letter we include a section on how to train, “Bike and the Like – Bicycle Safety” rules of the road and links to videos and websites about cycling in the Netherlands and the other European countries we travel.
Weather and What to Pack
During our Tulip Tours in April and May you will experience all kinds of Spring weather. Days range from cool with some rain to warm days with brilliant sun.
Our June trips, like the Peek into Germany Tour, feature little rain and long warm days with sunset around 10 p.m. Our German trips along the Rhine, Main and Moselle Rivers are featured during late summer to fall. Summer weather boasts warm temperatures around 70-80 degrees and Fall brings cooler days in the mid 60s with nighttime highs in the 50s. These months have the lowest chance of significant precipitation in the river valleys.
Of course, Mother Nature is still in charge and we don’t presume to guarantee a weather perfect vacation. Cyclists are always welcome to stay onboard and sail to the next destination if they are not happy with the weather.
Your Welcome Letter contains a detailed checklist of suggested clothing to pack for cycling in all variables of weather.
The Welcome Letter
When we receive your registration and deposit, we will confirm with an e-mail and a Welcome Letter attachment.
That letter will contain pre-trip information including how and when to get to the tour start, arrival and departure information including lodging suggestions, tips on finding airfare values, packing suggestions, must-haves for international travel, how to train physically, etc.
How to get to the trip destination, along with information on shuttle service and train service from airports, is included in the Welcome Letter you receive upon Registration/Trip Deposit. Since everyone is traveling from different areas to the trip start, we leave it up to our participants to make their own arrangements for airfare.
We are delighted to help advise you in your travel plans. We always have good ideas and helpful resources at the ready.
Please e-mail Berthus and Jonne to confirm available space for your chosen tour. If space should be available, we will direct you to our Reservations Page where you’ll find an online Registration/Waiver Form as well as our payment and cancellation policies.
Flora Sailing is glad to hold your space for 7 days pending the arrival of the Registration form and deposit. We always maintain a wait list as cancellations do occur.