Boat size matters! Cycling holidays by hotel boat

In the early eighties Bike & Boat Holidays started in the Netherlands and other European countries. Cycling from city to city along the prettiest roads while a sailing hotel ship follows you to the next destination.

To make these cycling tours as attractive as possible you need to realize which cities actually can be reached by ship. Of course there are routes along the widest canals and broad rivers available where ships of all sizes are able to sail. However the most interesting and scenic routes lead along the ancient and narrower canals.

In Europe all waterways used for commercial navigation are divided in 6 different size classes, depending on the dimensions of the waterways itself and the sizes of the bridges and locks in them.

Almost all barges used for Bike & Boat Holidays and for group charters are former cargo ships. After their first life as a freighter, which ended for economical reasons (too small to be profitable), they were converted into attractive passenger ships. 

Most barges are fit to sail the European waters of the Classes I and II. Ships with a maximum width of roughly 5 meters (17 feet ) by a length of 39 meters (128 feet) are able the sail the waters of Class I . While the waters of Class II can welcome ships with a maximum width of 6,60 meters (21,5 feet) by a length of maximum 55 meters (180 feet) 

During Bike and Barge Holidays it is very interesting to watch the captain manoeuvre his ship through the narrowest bridges and sail into a just-fitting lock!

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