• 2.7 (5)

HAT Tours

Company rating: 3 out of 5 with 5 reviews
HAT Tours

International Bike Tour Operators

Website: http://www.hat-tours.com/hat/en/hat-tours/6,1,24

COMPANY DETAILS

Phone: 31 (0)85 8880 880

Location: FRANCE HOLLAND BELGIUM TURKEY CROATIA

Price: Budget


USER REVIEWS

Average user rating from: 5 users

Overall rating
2.7 (5)
Guide Quality
2.8 (5)
Hotel / Accommodations
2.4 (5)
Food
3.0 (5)
Bike Quality
3.6 (5)
Value
3.0 (5)
Customer Service
3.4 (5)
Guide Quality
Hotel / Accommodation
Food
Bike Quality
Value
Customer Service

REVIEWED BY Karen Dunnam on Apr 16, 2018

Tulip Tour - worth a look

I took the 3-night, 4-day Tulip Tour in early April 2018. Booking through Freedom Treks, I was told that there was no single supplement. They never bothered to inform me that I'd have a roommate, and it was a surprise to find out how much they mark up the price of the HAT tour. It would be helpful to know the route in advance, so as to be able to look up the overnight stops beforehand, know where we're headed, and what we'd be passing. Once boarded, we were handed brochures that depicted the routes for both cycling and the boat. Upon reflection, I would have signed up for a later trip. Early April: there were fields of daffodils and hyacinths, but no tulips. The boat crew were very pleasant and capable. The cook was new to the team; the meals she prepared were excellent. I signed up for gluten-free meals, and she went out of her way to procure cookies and breads for me. Another participant has a milk allergy and she was accommodated as well. The boat is nice, the cabins are comfortable, and the main room is pleasant. The captain said that he's planning some renovations to make the great room hold more people in case of rain. I suggested that he could add more places to put things in the cabins, and I guess he didn't quite follow -- he suggested hanging stuff up on the hooks in the hallway! (I meant more shelves for stuff. During the day I spread my things out on the bed, and them put them underneath to sleep.) I see where other travelers have not been happy with the cabin size; not an issue for me. HAT provides everyone with a red pannier. I brought along my own handlebar bags for my water and camera. I'd brought a nylon shopping bag and used it, with the attached bungie cord, for my extra shirt and the lunch box. Prior to the trip I spent some time looking for photos of the bikes to determine if there would be a way to carry a water bottle within easy reach. Other groups I've been in have begun our companionship by going around the table with introductions. It would be nice to provide some sort of name tag for participants, and this would have helped with camaraderie between the different groups. I brought my bicycle license plate and affixed it to the rental bike, but for everyone else, I snuck a peek at the roster. In the future, if I were doing a similar tour, I'd prefer one that has all adults. Two of the children spoke no English, and everyone in the two family groups interacted with each other, to the exclusion of "strangers." At one dinner I was seated with the four-person family, which was awkward. Also, the youth were inexperienced in bike handling skills. Each of the kids fell off at least once, and one made an abrupt trail crossing right in front of a huge tractor. It was nerve-wracking to ride near or behind them. Speaking of strangers, the guide for my trip has a very unique style. It was increasingly frustrating to deal with him, and by the end of the trip I was very glad to have chosen a four-day tour rather than a longer one. Specific issues: he wasn't very good at conveying information we should have known, he wasn't conscientious about keeping our group together in the more urban areas, and there was a cultural gap in terms of him being able to answer questions. ("How far to the boat?" should not inspire a lot of debate.) On the third day, he made intemperate remarks: he joked about how the symbol of Amsterdam is three crosses, representing the three scourges of marijuana, prostitution, and tourists. Seriously. On the first day he attempted to set my seat height, but he's not competent at that. He tried to set it as low as possible. I raised it a couple of inches, and every day I tweaked it upwards a little more. (I've been cycling for several decades, and I know how high I like my saddle to be.) In sum: the trip was enjoyable, and I would recommend it to others, but I would let them know more details about what to bring and what to expect.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Holland

Your Location

MI

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Overall rating
4.0
Guide Quality
3.0
Hotel / Accommodations
4.0
Food
5.0
Bike Quality
4.0
Value
4.0
Customer Service
4.0

REVIEWED BY Dick Mackay on Jul 24, 2017

H.A.T. Bike & Barge Burgundy

Bike routes and distances are excellent, you need not be a regular cyclist to handle them. Bikes are the usual bullet-proof type for tour company use, saddlebag provided holds everything you need. HOWEVER, the barge is not likely to please anybody who travels at all. I was alone in a "double" and could barely move, and in July everybody wanted A/C and there is none on Anna Maria IV. In short, the boat is out of date. Dinner were fine, but sliced meats and bread on top of bread for both breakfast and lunch just doesn't make it.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Burgundy

Your Location

NH

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Overall rating
3.3
Guide Quality
5.0
Hotel / Accommodations
2.0
Food
3.0
Bike Quality
3.0
Value
3.0
Customer Service
4.0

REVIEWED BY Allen Leier on Jul 22, 2016

A Taste of Burgundy Bike & Barge Hat Tours

We have taken a number of bike & barge tours and were expecting this to be the same. This was the last tour of the season, and the barge owners association decided they wanted to save a half day of sailing home so the tour ended in Auxonne instead of Dijon. This cut one ride out of the tour, but was not the worst. The tour was supposed to spend 2 nights in Tournus but did not, they left the next morning and we did not get a chance to see Tournus and the ride to the next destination was eliminated and replaced with a small paltry loop ride. Then spent 2 nights moored in a smaller town with limited exploring possibilities. The next faux pas, was the ride to Beaune through wine country and vineyards did not happen and a train ride into Beaune and a very short ride not through the vineyards was substituted. The tour not ending in Dijon but Auxonne also eliminated another ride with Dijon being explored by train. The barge was the smallest I have been on and dumped the raw sewage directly into the river. I would definitely NOT recommend this tour. We had planned to spend the next 5 or 6 years exploring Europe by Bike & Barge tours, but will probably not take another bike barge tour, this one was so appalling.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

France Burgundy Region

Your Location

Canada

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Overall rating
1.9
Guide Quality
2.0
Hotel / Accommodations
1.0
Food
2.0
Bike Quality
3.0
Value
1.0
Customer Service
2.0

REVIEWED BY Ellelle on Jul 22, 2016

One of the previous reviewers said it - "we were not sure if our expectations were reasonable". While I do think it's totally reasonable to expect edible food and a qualified, conscientious guide (which it sounds like they did not get), our recent experience on a 7 day "bike and barge" in Burgundy was a good example of how expectations can be managed by doing some research. We knew, in advance, that our barge was a class "C+" barge and knew what that meant. We had looked at the deck plan on the HATS website and had viewed pictures of the barge and the cabin. I spoke to the HATS people in Holland a few times - they were fantastic and answered every question that we had. Prior to leaving for Europe, we received a document from HATS that outlined everything right down to details about the wi-fi onboard (limited), etc. Unlike some of the others who did not receive this document (and who also did not book directly with HATS but through a tour operator), we did not expect French cuisine or French cheeses to be offered on board. Our skipper and his wife were Dutch (and very personable) and the three course dinners were plentiful and delicious. Some people seemed disappointed in the barge and its accommodation - yes, it was small - but clean and comfortable. We were more than satisfied with the entire week. We purchased a budget tour and that's what we expected but our experience ended up being first class!

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Burgundy

Your Location

Vancouver

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Overall rating
4.1
Guide Quality
3.0
Hotel / Accommodations
3.0
Food
4.0
Bike Quality
5.0
Value
5.0
Customer Service
5.0

REVIEWED BY Fred Sachs on Jul 22, 2016

My husband and I took this 7 or 8 day tour a couple of years ago, and at the time, we were quite disappointed, but because it was our first bike trip, we were not sure if our expectations were reasonable. The reason I write now is because we just finished a bike trip in Germany with Velociped, and it was so much better than the one with Hat Tours, that I have to believe our impressions were right. Hat tours Bike and Barge in Holland and Belgium in May was quite disappointing. The barge was small and modest, and the rooms tiny, but we were OK with that. There was one cook, who was also the maintenance person of the barge, and the food was absolutely horrendous-even today, when I recall our breakfasts and dinners, I feel like I am going to gag. Our guide was on her first trip, and she was a disaster. She was nice enough, but the only thing she wanted everyday was to get from point A to point B as fast as possible, and so we were constantly running a marathon, never stopping to enjoy anything along the way. In fact, she did not even know most of the time what was happening at the back of the peloton! we had to scream before she heard someone had fallen or was left behind or whatever.... In contrast, we just did the Moselle River in Germany with Velociped, and it was just wonderful. So we will not take Hat Tours again for another bike trip.

REVIEW

Location of Tour

Holland and Belgium Bike and Barge

Your Location

United States

Was this review helpful to you?

Overall rating
1.8
Guide Quality
1.0
Hotel / Accommodations
2.0
Food
1.0
Bike Quality
3.0
Value
2.0
Customer Service
2.0