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Good to Know

Here is a collection of the most frequently asked questions by Islandhopping guests as well as a list of the most important events throughout the Islandhopping year. In order to help you find the answer you are looking for efficiently, we have sorted the questions into topic groups: “General”, “Cycling Tours”, “Life on Board” and “Reservations”. If we were unable to answer your question here, or if you are interested in more detailed information about an Islandhopping event, feel free to contact us any time per email or during our opening hours by phone.

FAQ - General

Islandhopping – what is it?

The ingredients are simple: take a bike (hybrid, e-bike, mountain bike or road bike), add a motor yacht or sailing ship and combine this with beautiful landscapes, secluded bays, quiet, side roads, trails and coastal paths. And there you have it: “Islandhopping”.

 

Islandhopping is an active holiday that combines cycling with discovering a country and its culture.  With a boat as your floating hotel, you will be taken to a new location every day, whether from island to island or along the mainland; from one enchanting region to the next. A complete package which combines activity and relaxation, athletic challenge and enjoyment, experience and discovery. This is why we say; Islandhopping is more than just a holiday.

Where is Islandhopping offered?

Islandhopping tours are available throughout the world.  We offer tours by boat and bike in Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Scotland, Italy, Denmark, Holland and Vietnam. We also have hotel and bike tours in Norway, Montenegro, Albania, Croatia, Greece, South Africa and Patagonia. You can be sure to find us anywhere where there is sea, dreamlike locations and breath-taking landscapes. Every year we expand our program, by either creating new tours or exploring new destinations.

Who are the Islandhopping guests?

Our guests are generally active individuals between the ages of 30 and 70 years old, who enjoy being out on their bikes. Be it hybrid cyclists, mountain bike enthusiasts, road bike fanatics, or a family on wheels: you will find just the right crowd to cycle with on tour with us. Sometimes we even have ambitious children along for a tour, although the majority of families feel most comfortable on one of our Multi-Aventure Cruises.

 

Around a third of our guests come from Germany. A further 10% come from Switzerland. The remaining majority of our guests come from countries throughout Europe such as Austria, England, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Holland, Belgium, France and Spain or from abroad. We have welcomed countless guests from over-seas for quite some time now including Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and Americans. The international interest in our tours quickly led to English becoming the second official language on our boats.

Are the tours guided or self-guided?

As most of our tours take place on chartered boats, the majority of our itineraries are guided group tours. The groups on board our Bike & Boat tours generally range between 20 and 35 participants depending on the capacity of the boat in question. In general, 1-3 guides will accompany a travel group, and give insight to the country and culture. Most of our tours cater for a specific cycling interest group such as touring cyclists, mountain bikers or e-bikers. However, we also operate tours where hybrid and mountain bike tours are offered parallel on the same boat. These departures are especially interesting for couples or friends who wish to spend their holiday together without sharing the same interest in cycling style.

 

The group sizes on our Hotel & Bike tours are generally smaller at around 8 to 16 participants. These tours are commonly accompanied by a guide and a driver. Some Hotel & Bike tours are also available as a self-guided program including luggage transport between the hotels. Here the participant number is mostly just two people.

Where do we stay and spend the night?

On our Bike & Boat tours, you will live on one of our motor yachts for the duration of your holiday. The boat will accompany you on the tour as a floating hotel – with all the advantages you can imagine! There is no need to pack your bags every day, as your cabin follows you to wherever you cycle each day. Our boats usually sail during the day with night cruises being an exception to ensure you get a restful night’s sleep. We usually stay overnight in harbours so that you have the opportunity to truly enjoy the enchanting harbour towns in the evenings.

On our Hotel & Bike tours, you will be staying in carefully selected mid- to good range hotels – typical for the travel destination.

In what languages are the tours conducted?

Due to our international audience, Islandhopping tours are conducted in both English and German.

I don’t cycle, is it still possible for me to participate? Is an alternative program possible?

Even non-cyclists are welcome on board of our boats! Our tour guides can give you tips as to how you can enjoy your holiday on tour with us without taking part on the daily bike tours. Often the boat will travel from one harbor to the next and you can enjoy the peace and quiet on board.

Are the tours suitable for children?

Our Multi-Adventure tours are especially suitable for children of all ages. Our regular tours on the other hand require a good physical conditions and a minimum age of 10 years in order to take part in the cycling program. Children’s bikes are available for a minimum height of 1.20 m. Smaller children who are not yet able to cycle independently can participate using a comfortable bike seat, or a tag-along trailer bike. Children under the age of 18 cannot be left on board unsupervised.

Are changes to the published itinerary possible?

A boat journey is dependent on wind and weather. Due to this and other logistical reasons, tour changes are possible. However, changes are not necessarily a disadvantage and can help to improve the holiday experience of the tour. We sometimes execute our tours in the opposite direction to the published itinerary.

What happens in the case of bad weather?

Even in the Mediterranean, the sun doesn’t shine all the time. Should wind or rain interfere with our regular travel program, our local tour guides are well equipped with interesting alternatives. So don't worry: even if the weather does not play along, you will still be able to enjoy a well-planned alternative program. Nevertheless, we do recommend to bring along some weather proof clothing for cycling in rainy conditions.

Which clothes are useful on an Islandhopping trip?

You can leave your evening dress and dinner jacket at home. Relaxed leisure clothes like t-shirts, shorts and swimming gear is sufficient for all occasions. For occasionally cool evenings, we recommend bringing along a long-sleeved sweater or sweatshirt in your luggage, a wind and waterproof jacket may be useful from time to time. Special bicycle gear is not compulsory but may make your ride a more comfortable experience. We do recommend wearing padded cycling shorts for longer rides and a pair of cycling gloves can increase comfort and safety on your ride. As storage space in the cabins is limited, we recommend you pack your clothing in a soft-shell bag rather than a hard-shell suitcase which may be more difficult to stow.

How much should I tip?

Towards the end of an Islandhopping tour you will have the chance to leave your guide team and the crew of the ship a tip as a token of your appreciation. We are regularly asked by our guests what the expected amount to tip is. This really depends on the individual and his/her appreciation for the provided services and efforts given. We suggest – providing you are pleased with the service – a sum of 10 € per guest/tour for each tour guide and the same amount for each crew member on board the boat. Most commonly, tour participants will organize the tips amongst themselves, once for the guide team and once for the crew, presenting these during a celebratory last evening on board. Your transfer driver and city tour guides also appreciate a small token of acknowledgement for their efforts.

Where can I park my car during my Islandhopping tour?

If you wish to travel to one of our tours, starting in Europe, by car, a member of our reservation team will gladly provide you with the relevant parking possibilities for the duration of your Islandhopping tour. In some destinations, Islandhopping provides their own secure parking spaces and in others a secure park house or parking spaces from a third party provider are used.

Are there any Corona-related restrictions on tours operated by Islandhopping?

Our wish at Islandhopping is to provide a travel experience without restrictions to all enthusiastic travelers; travel, as we know it. Please be aware of this when placing your booking. As a tour operator with multiple travel destinations, we are however required to follow the local rules and regulations put forward by our individual travel destinations. During a time where the freedom to travel is strictly influenced by restrictions and protocols, interested guests must carry the responsibility to fulfill these protocols personally. Islandhopping will not be held accountable for the travel regulations put forward by the travel destinations in which we operate in at the time of your trip. See General Terms and Conditions and Travel Regulations.

FAQ - Cycling Tours

What level of fitness is required for the bike tours?

A basic level of fitness, acquired by regular cycling is required for all of our Islandhopping tours. It is important to understand that all of our bike tours start at sea level and therefore often start with an uphill climb. Throughout the ride, participants may be confronted by steeper and longer uphill sections. We try to provide enough time for each tour that pushing your bike up a difficult section is possible. You can inform yourself to the difficulty level of each individual tour in more detail on the specific tour page.

 

On our Tall Ship tours the following is important to remember: surefootedness and agility is required in order to access / exit our tall ships. On most days, access to these boats takes place via a ladder or by dinghy. The tour guides and crew will provide assistance where possible in these circumstances.

Can I bring my own bike on an Islandhopping tour?

Islandhopping tours require bikes with a fully functional set of gears. Should you prefer to bring your own bike with you, please make sure to check the condition of your breaks, gears, and tires and don’t forget to bring along a puncture repair kit and the essential spare parts (e.g. brake pads and tubes). Your bike should be in prefect mechanical working order. We do not allow private e-bikes on board of our boats. This decision has been made due to insurance regulations. If you wish to ride an e-bike for the duration of your tour, please get in touch with us about the rental options.  Islandhopping can offer you high quality, fully serviced rental bikes perfectly suited to your tour.

Do I need to wear a helmet when touring with Islandhopping?

Wearing a helmet is mandatory on all Islandhopping tours. Our priority is to provide a safe riding experience which starts with our guests wearing a helmet when cycling. We recommend bringing your own, well fitted bike helmet with you. Rental helmets are available free of charge if reserved in advance.

Is it possible to cycle alone outside of the guided group?

Our tours are primarily guided. However, in some cases it is possible to arrange an alternative route independent from the rest of the group with the guide on site.

Can I bring my own pedals and bike seat for my rental bike?

Yes you can bring your own bike seat and pedals. Our guides are happy to assist you in attaching these to your rental bike.

FAQ - Life on Board

What's the difference between a cabin above deck and below deck?

Some of our ships offer you the choice between booking a cabin above or below deck. Whether you decide on one or the other is subject to your personal preference. In general, our guests consider the cabins below deck as the quieter and cooler sleeping places. Cabins above deck have a better natural airflow due to the doors and windows and offer more natural daylight. Aside from the listed advantages, it is fully up to personal preference which cabin type you wish to book.

What can I expect in regard to water and electricity on board?

Electricity and water are available on board, within limits. All ships have 220V electricity when cruising and a generator for when in port. However, it is common for the generator to be switched off during the night to ensure a sound night’s sleep. The power outlets on board are suitable for German euro plugs.

The water tanks are large enough to provide sufficient cold and warm water for washing and showering for everyone, if used in moderation and consideration of other participants on board. The boats have a central water heater which provides each cabin with sufficient warm water for everyone to take a shower as long as this is done in moderation.

Is it possible to get sea-sick on an Islandhopping cruise?

Seasickness is a form of travel sickness. The rougher the sea, the more likely it is that people will feel sea sick. In order to prevent this risk, our ships remain in port in stormy weather. Nevertheless some individuals will experience symptoms of sea sickness even in calm conditions. The best remedy is fresh air and to concentrate on a stationary point on the horizon. If you know that you are susceptible to sea sickness prior to your Islandhopping tour, we recommend purchasing suitable medication at your local pharmacy in preparation for your cruise. Import is that the medication includes Dimenhydrinate as an active ingredient.

What catering is available on board?

The food on board our ships typically matches the national standard, whereby we take into account the larger appetite of our active guests. The catering options specific to your tour are outlined on the respective travel pages as well as in the detailed travel documents which you will receive before the start of your journey.

 

If you prefer a vegetarian diet or have specific eating habits, please communicate this to us prior to arrival. We will do our best to cater to these preferences but may not always be able to fulfil these entirely. In case of allergies please inform us of these early on. In the case of multiple intolerances, please send us a list of food which you are ALLOWED to eat before you start your journey, so that the cook can shop accordingly and make an appropriate meal plan.

Can I consume my own beverages on board?

The saloon of the ship is a restaurant, lounge and bar likewise, where you can order beverages at any time of the day. Your orders will be kept as a bar tab which is paid directly to the captain on the last evening of the trip, together with the tourist taxes. While the drinks on board are somewhat more expensive than in a supermarket, please understand that the ship is a floating hotel, and therefore, as in every other bar or restaurant, consumption of privately purchased beverages is not permitted.

Can I sleep on deck under the stars?

Many guests enjoy the unique experience of sleeping on deck under the stars. Almost all of our boats provide some form of upholstered area where sleeping on deck is possible. In order to take advantage of this possibility, we recommend bringing a personal sleeping bag as the bed linen and mattresses provided in your cabins are not allowed to be taken out of the cabins.

Is it possible to pay with my credit card on board?

Unfortunately it is not possible to pay with a credit card on any of our boats. Payment of the bar tab, tourist taxes, parking space etc. can be made in cash only. Either in euro or in the local currency. Your tour guide will gladly point you in the right direction of the next available ATM or conversion office.

Are pets permitted on board?

Pets are not permitted on board of any of our boats as we are responsible for the health and safety of all participants equally. Many people suffer from animal related allergies or have a fear of the animals themselves. We wish to respect these restrictions.

What are the Hygiene and Safety protocols on board?

It is our biggest wish at Islandhopping to be able to operate our tours without any restrictions; however, the global situation has had a great influence on all of our daily lives and will continue to do so for this season. Throughout 2022, Islandhopping will adhere to the respective country regulations and hygiene measures, as far as they are ethically justifiable and logistically possible, and will inform you prior to the start of your trip about the regulations that will apply to you on your visit.

 

Regardless of the country-specific regulations, the following hygiene standards will apply to all Islandhopping tours in all destinations: Islandhopping Hygiene Concept. These measures are based on our functional hygiene concept from 2021/21, which proved successful in preventing any infections from being transmitted on our trips without compromising the usual friendly atmosphere on board.

FAQ - Reservations

What should I be aware of in regard to COVID-19 when booking?

Our wish at Islandhopping is to provide a travel experience without restrictions to all enthusiastic travelers; travel, as we know it. Please be aware of this when placing your booking. As a tour operator with multiple travel destinations, we are however required to follow the local rules and regulations put forward by our individual travel destinations. During a time where the freedom to travel is strictly influenced by restrictions and protocols, interested guests must carry the responsibility to fulfill these protocols personally. Islandhopping will not be held accountable for the travel regulations put forward by the travel destinations in which we operate in at the time of your trip. See General Terms and Conditions and Travel Regulations.

Can I book an additional night with Islandhopping?

In almost all of our travel destinations we are able to provide you with additional nights or a tour extension package before or after your Islandhopping tour. Detailed information to our partner hotels and our tour extension modules can be found on the respective travel page under ‘Additional Nights’.

Do Islandhopping tours require a minimum participant number?

Generally our tours do have a minimum participant number, which varies between tours. You will find this number on the respective tour page. Once a specific departure date has reached the minimum participant number, the tour is marked in the travel calendar with a tick and we are optimistic that the decreasing Corona cases in our travel destination will allow this tour to take place. Should the confirmed number of participants decrease due to influences of the pandemic which are out of our control, we will not be held liable for travel arrangements outside of our tour package. We hope for your understanding and will of course assist you in finding a suitable tour alternative. If you do not wish to take advantage of the provided alternatives, your tour payment will be fully reimbursed. Please inform yourself of the full conditions under paragraph 8 of our General Terms and Conditions.

When/How should I plan my arrival?

Make sure to book your flight, bus, train, ferry etc. only then when your planned tour departure has been officially confirmed by us. If you organize your arrival without this confirmation, and we are forced to cancel the departure, we will not be held responsible for any reimbursements other than the Islandhopping tour.

Is there a early bird or multiple booking discount for islandhopping customers?

If you book a one-week Bike & Boat tour operated directly by Islandhopping before the 31.01. we will offer a 5% discount off the basic tour price. Returning Islandhopper's are also rewarded: as of the third tour booked directly via Islandhopping you will receive our 5% SEA-YOU-Again discount for bookings placed before the 31.01. (The SEA-YOU-Again discount applies to all tours in our program which are booked directly via Islandhopping given that the previous bookings actually took place).

Where can I find the General Terms and Conditions and cancellation policy?

Our General Terms and Conditions including our cancellation policy can be found by clicking on the following link: General Terms and Conditions

Dates & Events

Islandhopping's most important dates at a glance! Here you will find everything you need to know about special Islandhopping dates and events: Whether it be trade fairs, open days, trail building weeks, discount promotions, or important key dates such as the start and end of the season, you can stay well informed about everything Islandhopping with our event calendar.

End of the early bird and SEA-you again discounts

Konstanz (Max-Stromeyerstraße 57, 78467 Konstanz)

Close up of a coffee cup on a ship's rail

If you book a one-week Bike & Boat tour operated by Islandhopping before the 31.01.2022 we will offer a 5% discount off the basic tour price. Being a return island hopper is also rewarded with our SEA-you again discount: If you have already booked two tours directly through Islandhopping, we will offer a 5% discount off the basic tour price of your third Bike & Boat tour booked directly through us. This discount must also be booked by the 31.01.2022 and can be combined with the early bird discount. Please note: The SEA-you again discount applies to all tours in our program on the condition that the two previously booked tours actually took place.

Start of the season in Greece

Greece

Greek Orthodox church with Greek flags

The Thalassa is the first Islandhopping ship to set sail, opening our 2022 season with a tour of the historic Peloponnese and the Saronic Islands, starting and ending in Athens. One week later the season also begins for our motor sailer the Panagiota with a tour through the Ionian Islands, starting and ending in Corfu.

Start of the season in Croatia and Turkey

Turkey, Croatia

From the middle of April, several ships in both Croatia and Turkey start their Islandhopping season. Look forward to varied tours in the Kvarner Bay, Dalmatia, and the Aegean Sea.

Road Bike Training Camp Kvarner Bay

Group of roadbikers in Croatia
(c) Ivan Duran

Holiday and training – do they go hand in hand? Our answer is a resounding yes as our new Road Bike & Boat trip combines passion for road cycling with experiencing a country in Islandhopping style.  Our Road Bike & Boat Training Camps in the Kvarner Bay offer road cycling enthusiasts the perfect opportunity to cycle themselves fit in time for the new season after a long winter break and to train and improve their cycling technique under professional guidance.

Start of the season in Scotland

Oban, Scotland

Mid-June signals that it is also time for the Flying Dutchman to “cast off”! For three weeks, the charming tall ship will once again become the floating home of the adventurous island hoppers who wish to discover the Inner Hebrides and Scottish Highlands by land and sea on our much beloved Scotland tour.

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