Choosing the right boat for your bike and boat tour

With nearly 50 amazing bike and boat tours on our site to choose from, we know it can sometimes be a daunting choice. One way to narrow it down is to choose which kind of boat would be best for you.

Boat types

There are three broad categories of boats used on bike and boat tours:

Riverboats

Good for
Travelers who prefer a larger boat with more passengers and often a greater variety of amenities and facilities than typically offered on barges

Waterways
Restricted to rivers, canals, and sheltered coastline

Size and capacity
250-340 feet in length
80-150 passengers
Multiple decks

Construction
Built as passenger boats

Cabins
Can include twin, queen or bunk beds and windows that open or are fixed. Most have air conditioning throughout, including cabins.

Amenities
Can include a restaurant, bar, spa, sauna, pool, library

Crew
Often includes cruise director/concierge in addition to guides, waiters, deckhands and captain


Barges

Good for
Travelers who prefer a more intimate experience—fewer fellow travelers and crew and generally less public space. Some consider them the most traditional and authentic style of boats for touring.

Waterways
Restricted to rivers, canals, and sheltered coastline

Size and capacity
1-2 decks
130-230 feet in length (most under 150 feet)
14-40 passengers (most 18-30)

Construction
Built as freighters or barges and upgraded into passenger vessels

Cabins
Can include twin, queen or bunk beds and windows that open or are fixed. Some have air conditioning in cabins (most have it in public areas and sometimes in cabins).

Amenities
Can include multi-purpose that acts as dining area, bar, game room library.

Crew
Small crew typically includes captain, deckhand, chef, and guide—though roles can overlap.


Motor yachts

Good for
Travelers who don’t wish to be restricted to inland waterways and prefer to explore coastal regions. Since most are quite modern, have extensive amenities, and can be quite luxurious, these are perfect for those wanting a little extra pampering.

Waterways
Typically travel along sheltered coastline

Size and capacity
2-3 decks
100-130 feet in length
24-32 passengers

Construction
Some built originally as fishing boats or freighters and upgraded into passenger vessels, but most new boats were built for passengers and some specifically for bike and boat tours.

Cabins
Can include twin, queen or bunk beds and windows that open or are fixed. Most have air conditioning in cabins (most have it in public areas and sometimes in cabins).

Amenities
Can include a restaurant, bar, spa, sauna, pool, library

Crew
Often includes captain, cook, waiters/deckhands, and guide(s)


Boat preferences and considerations

As you look through tour descriptions, be sure to read through the information on the boats, included under the “Program” tab on tour pages. Here are some factors you may wish to take into consideration:

Cabins
Size
Amenities (television, Wifi, air conditioning)
Bed configuration (single, twin, queen, bunk)
Windows (can they be opened?)
Cabin deck (upper decks typically are brighter, get more air and have better views)
Proximity to engine room (rarely an issue but primarily on Danube river boats that travel at night)
Note: all cabins have private restrooms

Public spaces
Facilities
Amenities

 


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