BikeToursDirect expands bike and boat tour offerings to 60 tours in 16 countries for 2012

The magnificent scene where the Danube River turns, is one of the wonderful sights on the Danube Bike Trail, between Passau and Vienna. © 2011 Karen Rubin/

Providing unbeatable scenery on land and water, bike and boat tours have become a popular choice for couples, families and groups of friends looking for enriching vacation options in Europe and beyond. BikeToursDirect will expand its bike and boat tour offerings to more than 60 tours in 16 countries for the 2012 season to accommodate growing demand for this unique travel experience.

“Bike and boat tours have become increasingly popular, especially for cycle tourists and families who enjoy the option of rest days and experiencing the ambiance of the boat,” says Jim Johnson, president of BikeToursDirect. “Travelers who aren’t up for cycling each day can participate in a side excursion or choose to enjoy scenery from the deck of the boat. It really is the best of both worlds—and the local cuisine available on board is an added bonus.”

BikeToursDirect offers bike and boat tours in 14 European countries, Vietnam, and the islands of Seychelles, and each tour presents a unique boat experience, ranging from small vessels holding fewer than 25 people (barges, schooners, yachts or converted fishing boats) to small passenger boats holding up to 150 people.

For many, being on a small boat is the biggest appeal of a bike and boat tour because, unlike large cruise ships, they don’t have to worry about crowds or making a connection. Cycle tourists also enjoy meeting people from several countries and seeing a variety of landscapes and places: countryside, islands, mountains, villages and towns.

“Our clients really enjoy the camaraderie they develop with the boat crew and other passengers,” says Johnson. “They also enjoy having a ‘floating hotel’ to return to each evening because they don’t have to pack and unpack every day.”

Another big draw to these tours is the price: over half of the bike and boat tours offered by BikeToursDirect are under $1,200 (with most being one-week, nearly all-inclusive tours). A few of the most popular bike and boat tour destinations include:

  • · Loire Valley (France), which spotlights the most peaceful part of the Loire Valley, passing through vineyards, chateaux, quiet villages and medieval towns.
  • · Venice to Mantua (Italy), which winds along the Mincio and Po rivers through rural, pristine areas of the Italian countryside, ending in the Venetian Lagoon with a full day to explore Venice.
  • · Holland, Northern Tour, which follows the North Sea coast and several canals through marshland, picturesque villages and historic harbor towns.
  • · National Parks of Dalmatia (Croatia), which highlights romantic ruins, charming hills, countless natural phenomena, two national parks and the islands of Central Dalmatia.
  • · Danube Bike Path (Germany and Austria), which runs along well-signed, dedicated, nearly flat bike paths through vineyards and medieval towns, taking travelers from Passau, Germany, to Vienna.

BikeToursDirect Adds Four Continents in 2012 Season

Based on nearly a decade of success with European bicycle tour offerings, U.S.-based BikeToursDirect will add tours in at least 10 new countries on four continents for the 2012 season, including tours in New Zealand, South Africa, Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico and Jordan. BikeToursDirect currently represents over 50 local bicycle tour companies, primarily in Europe, and offers more than 200 tours on its website,

“Europe has long been a top destination for value-oriented bicycle tourists, but local tour companies in other regions of the world also offer unique cycling experiences for riders of varying levels and budgets,” says BikeToursDirect president Jim Johnson. “We decided to expand our tour offerings based on client input and the increasing number of tours available in some of the most exotic and breathtaking locations in the world. We started offering a few tours outside Europe in 2011, and client response has been quite positive.”

Some “test” tours offered in 2011 that will continue and expand in 2012 include “South African Cycle Safari,” which travels along the Cape peninsula through private game reserves, where cyclists can see lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and other wildlife; bicycle tours in New Zealand, which explore rainforests, glaciers, mountains, islands and more; and four tours in Vietnam, including a two-week bike and boat adventure that explores bustling cities and rural districts. Soon to be added: a Riviera Maya Bike Adventure in Mexico that takes cyclists across the Yucatan peninsula from the jungle to the Caribbean.

Some of these new tours are offered year-round, providing greater flexibility for travel planning.

Unlike many companies, BikeToursDirect doesn’t operate tours but instead represents overseas companies.

“Some of the benefits of working with locally-based tour companies include their knowledge of the local culture and unique sights, frequent tour departures, and ability to tailor tours to fit a client’s specific interests,” says Johnson. “In some developing destinations, it’s also very helpful to have as much of the tour costs stay local.”

Local tour companies can keep their tour prices down due to the lower cost of doing business close to home and to spreading their expenses over a large client base. Clients book tours and make all payments through BikeToursDirect, usually at the same prices charged by the tour companies.

The full roster of new tours for 2012 will be unveiled in November when BikeToursDirect launches a new website. Although 2012 information on existing tours won’t be added until the new site launches, BikeToursDirect already has details on many tours. If you’re eager to book a tour now—or just want to start planning—feel free to contact one of BikeToursDirect’s tour experts about 2012 tours. Visit to complete an inquiry form or call 1-877-462-2423 (toll-free) or 1-423-756-8907 (local and international).

About BikeToursDirect

BikeToursDirect, now in its eighth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa and Australia. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process. Learn more at Telephone: 1-877-462-2423 or 1-423-756-8907. Email:

Look for coming  features covering the Passau-Danube Bike Tour:

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