A dream vacation for experienced cyclists with Stephanie Ventures
After venturing out alone on a few life-changing journeys along the bike paths of Europe, Stephanie Scott decided to gather like-minded travellers to join her on her future cycling holidays. In 2015 she founded Stephanie Ventures and has continued to bring bike travellers to Europe from her adopted home state of California ever since.
Bringing the expat community together for some fun on two wheels
Early on, there was a notion brewing that her bike touring start-up might one day provide an opportunity to live in Europe. Fast forward through a few successful years of touring, navigating the tricky waters of a DAFT Visa, and a pandemic, and expat Stephanie and Stephanie Ventures can now call the Netherlands home! While she’s excited to reunite with her loyal US tour clients, Stephanie’s eager to bring the expat community together for some fun on two wheels as well.
Travelling by bike and barge in the Netherlands
Initially, the concept of travelling by bike and barge intrigued her and ultimately, it was the direction she pursued. It was an unfamiliar concept to most in her circle, but she persuaded them to come along for the ride. While barges may have had humble beginnings hauling coal or grain, when goods started travelling more by rail, the popularity of freight barges started to decline.
Enter the entrepreneurial and hospitable Dutch seafarers who breathed new life into them by converting some into cosy passenger boats. A new era of travel was born. The smaller ones offer many conveniences to the cycling traveller.
Former tow paths and rail trails have been paved creating a bicycle path network that makes Europe the ultimate destination for scenic and safe travel. Having your floating hotel sail as you ride is ideal; at the end of your ride, you’re in a new place, and your things are right where you left them in your cabin!
A dream vacation for experienced cyclists
If you’re an experienced cyclist who’s happy to leave the planning to specialists, this may be your dream vacation! When you arrive at the barge to check in, a touring bike in your size will be waiting for you along with a guide who can make any adjustments to assure a comfortable ride. Your welcoming crew will show you to your cabin to settle in before you gather with your fellow travellers over a tasty three-course dinner, one of many included meals you’ll enjoy together.
Daily breakfast offerings are a tasty assortment of hot and cold items, often reflecting the cuisine of the region. You can pack a boxed lunch and later, you can count on your bike guide for the best spot to pause for a picnic.
The bike routes are designed with scenery, sites, photo ops, and quintessential coffee breaks (or pastry or ice cream) in mind. When you eventually rejoin the crew on the boat, you’ll usually be in a new town.
You can unwind in the lounge or out on the deck until the chef rings the dinner bell and you sit down to a well-earned meal and lively conversation. After dinner, you can join your guide for a stroll into the historic centre of town.
Enjoy wine and speciality food in each region
On a Stephanie Ventures tour, you’ll enjoy some pleasant surprises. When creating a tour, Stephanie loves to tap into her prior experience in wine and speciality food to introduce guests to the specialities of the region. You may visit with local farmers, cheesemakers, artists, beekeepers, winemakers and millers who will explain their time-honoured traditions and let you sample the results!