Meeting & Leaving Your Trip


Information on meeting and leaving your trip is offered below, trip-by-trip.  Linked pages tell you...

  • ...where and when your trip assembles...
  • ...where and when it disbands...
  • ...the major cities and airports most accessible to both points...
  • ...and how to travel between all these places by train.


Our “Access Packages”
Our Access Packages are travel packages designed to simplify your travel between your trip and nearby cities, airports, or other local attractions.
Access Packages include trains, sometimes hotels, meals, taxes, booking charges, and especially advice, in a single price.

Our packages often produce savings, and they never add more than a few shekels to your overall costs, even if you have the best of luck in setting up your own travel, and hit every possible discount fare.  But their real advantage is practical:  they offer a “one-stop shop” that saves you research time, and walks you through each of the decisions you have to make in planning your travel.


Pricing
Access Package prices are in €uros.  If your account is in dollars, Access Packages are initially transcribed to your statement at the exchange rate of the day on which we record your package request (rounded to the nearest whole dollar).  If you settle the invoice immediately, that is what they cost.  Otherwise, their prices are subject to change with currency fluctuation until the packages have been paid for.

Current “mid-market” rates can be consulted from the web site we use for conversion.  We use the rate on the day of conversion, and add 2% to cover currency broker exchange commissions.  Our conversion rates are thus generally better than others you would obtain, including via your credit card.

Access Package prices depend on discount rail fares and blocks of hotel space that are subject to availability.  The earlier you book, the more likely the fares are to be available. 
If our Access Package fares are sold out, we can still help you reach your trip.  There is always a way.  But prices may be higher and / or travel options less attractive.

Conversely, Access Package prices cannot be guaranteed until our suppliers announce their prices for the year of the package. 
If your package has a validity date in the year of your travel, it can be “locked in” at that price.  Otherwise, it is only indicative, and will change slightly when the current year pricing is known.  Should prices change by more than 10%, you will be consulted before the package is booked.

If tickets must be shipped to you prior to your trip, standard shipping charges apply.
There is no charge to pick tickets up in one of our offices, or for electronic transmission of tickets which can be printed out on your computer (but which do not exist for many rail journeys).

Info for
Trip Members


Getting Ready

Access Packages
How to meet & leave your trip.


Related Travel Services
About Your Bike

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Cancellation / Change Fees and Procedures
Railroad cancellation fees are generally spelled out in the Access Package description, but almost all European rail fares are subject to a cancellation penalty of 20% or 20€, whichever is greater.  Making small-value tickets effectively non-refundable.

Hotel charges vary widely.  Increasingly, hotels in high-traffic zones will hold back one night, even when you cancel well in advance.  You should presume this to be the case.
Outside of Italy, we refuse to work with hotels which apply stiffer penalties than this, so you can be sure that your maximum loss is one night.
In Italy.  Italian hotels can do anything.  Some hotels will charge full price for an entire stay unless cancellation is received at least a full week in advance.  In Florence, it can be necessary to cancel two weeks in advance.  And the first (or only) night is retained even if you cancel 3 months in advance.  We do our best here, but caveat emptor....   See here for a specific discussion of the pitfalls of reserving a hotel in Italian cities.

In addition, we apply an administrative fee of 20€ per change for the work involved in the cancellation, and in getting your money back, whether the cancelled service was part of an Access Package or not.
To avoid this charge, hotel cancellations and changes may be made directly with the hotel (copied to us, as we still have to get your money back).  To identify your reservation in talking with a hotel, give your name.  But saying that the reservation was made by Blue Marble can’t hurt.  In general, cancellations and changes should be made directly with the hotel if they are made outside of European business hours, and close to the reservation date (as in the case of a missed flight, for example).


“Ride the Bike Train” Discounts
Willing to help us with the bikes / equipment?  On some routes to and from Paris, “Ride the Bike Train” discounts are available.  Let us pick your route and train, and put a couple of bikes on board with you.  You help us by loading and unloading the bikes.  In exchange for 15 minutes’ hard work, and your flexible schedule, we give you a price that can’t be beat for the train ride.

Conditions
  • It may be necessary to ride a bike between our Paris office and the station.  Any such ride will be accompanied by a Blue Marble guide, and we use cycle lanes / paths and / or quiet streets (this is actually fun).  If luggage must be moved simultaneously, we will fund a taxi to do so.  If you are returning from your trip alone, we may have you secure your cycle at the station with a Blue Marble lock, so that we can claim it later.
  • “Ride the Bike Train” discounts on trains to the trip are only available to guests who have spent the previous night in Paris, and who have good alarm clocks.  The tickets are not refundable or exchangeable, and the reliability of our helpers must be absolute.
  • You don’t usually travel alone on a cycle train.  The Trip Coordinator or Baggage Master generally shares your pain.  Even when he isn’t there, we try to put at least two riders aboard each cycle train, so that you can help each other out (one moves the bikes while the other watches the luggage, for instance).
  • There are a limited number of “Ride the Bike Train” discount tickets available per trip:   as many as we need to subsidize to get the job done.  In addition, any such tickets must generally be booked far in advance.
  • Your responsibility for the bike(s) in your care is limited to the value of the discount you receive on your travel arrangements.

If this process scares you, it should.  NO!  What we meant to say is, “don’t worry.”  We explain the trip carefully, everything generally goes smoothly and we don’t ask you to do anything super-human.  After all, they’re our bikes (and you are our guests!).  You are never responsible for more than two, and we are grateful for the help.


How to Read the Access Table (below)

The Access Table lists every trip, with its start and end city.  Click on the city name to open the page discussing that city.  Please check the year of the packages shown:  if the page is not yet valid for the year of your trip, not all prices are yet announced, and minor changes are possible.

Puzzle through the information provided (contact us if you need help).  Then reply to this questionnaire.  Even if you are getting to the trip start point under your own power, we are grateful if you tell us how.  It means we can stop worrying about you, and that your Coordinator knows where to start looking if you don’t arrive as expected on your trip.

If, after looking at your access options, you would like our help with air tickets, follow this link.  Having us do your air can ensure that you don’t make an incompatible connecting rail reservation.


Trip Name

Regions Visited

Start City


End City


LONG TRIPS (3 or more weeks)
Trips currently scheduled to operate have their pages linked from their titles

Atlantic Coasting Galicia (Spain), Portugal
Vigo
Lisbon
Biking Transcontinental Burgundy (France), Switzerland, the Italian Lakes, Austria
Dijon
Vienna
Giro d’Italia 3 of our Italian Routes:  the Lake District, the Dolomites, Tuscany, and Umbria
Vary by departure:
Consult the trip page for details
Mozart & the Matterhorn Zermatt, the Italian Lake District, Austria
Zermatt
Vienna
Northern Transcon (B1):  Champagne (France), Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Denmark & Norway
Paris
Voss
(B2):  Champagne (France), Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany & Denmark
Paris
Nyborg
(B3):  Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Denmark & Norway
Brugge
Voss
Roman Roads
of France & Italy
Bordeaux & the Dordogne, the Cévennes, Provence, Tuscany
Libourne
Florence
Tuscany, Bordeaux & the Dordogne, the Cévennes, Provence
Pisa / Empoli
Nimes
Southern Cross France & Spain
(Loire Valley, the Basque Country, Galicia)
Blois
Santiago de Compostela
Tour de France Combo of 3 French regions
Vary by departure:
look at the Start City for the 1st region visited and End City for the 2nd region visited,
under “Single Region Trips,” below.

Trip Name

Regions Visited

Start City


End City


MID-LENGTH TRIPS (12 - 16 nights)

Alpine Italy The Italian Lakes & the Dolomites
Brig
Bozen / Bolzano
The Dolomites (first) & then the Italian Lakes
Fortezza / Franzesfeste
Como
Alpine Lakes Switzerland & the Italian Lakes
Lac de Joux
Como
Burgundy Biking Northern & Southern Burgundy
Laroche
Dijon
Southern, and then Northern, Burgundy
Dijon
Dijon
C’est Cheese Southern Burgundy
Dijon
Brig
Cyclist’s Paradise Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Denmark
Brugge
Nyborg
Etruscan Trails Tuscany & Umbria (Italy)
Pisa / Empoli
Terontola
Green Spain The Basque Country + Galicia
St.-Jean-de-Luz
Vigo or Santiago
Kaiser Kapers The Danube Valley, Vienna, and the Dolomites (Austria & Italy)
Steyr
Bolzano
Lavender & Olive Provence (France) & Tuscany (Italy)
Nimes
Florence
Mousse Head Champagne (France), Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany
Paris
Cochem
Red Wine Roads Southern Burgundy, Bordeaux & the Dordogne
Dijon
Souillac
Rivers & Canyons Bordeaux & the Dordogne, the Cévennes
Libourne
Nimes
Roman Souvenirs The Cévennes and Provence
Souillac
Aix-en-Provence
Salzburg & the Danube Austrian Alps & the Danube Valley
Salzburg
Vienna
Scandinavian Sampler Denmark & Norway
Fredericia
Voss
Tapestries & Tapas Loire Valley + the Basque Country
Blois
Bilbao
2-Week France Trips Combo of  2 French routes
Vary by departure:
Consult the trip page for details
2-weeks, France + Italy Combo of one French and one Italian route
Vary by departure:
Consult the trip page for details

Single-Region Trips (6 - 9 nights)


France

Start City

End City
Adventures in Alsace Alsace
Strasbourg
Mulhouse
Bordeaux & the Dordogne Bordeaux & the Dordogne
Libourne
Souillac
Brittany’s Emerald Coast Brittany
Frynaudour
Pontorson
(Mont-St.-Michel)
Castles of the Loire The Loire Valley
Blois
Tours
Champagne Pedal Champagne
Paris
Reims
Chardonnay Burgundy Northern Burgundy
Laroche
Dijon
Chocolate Box Jura Jura
La Cure
Besançon
Gorges of the Cévennes The Cévennes
Souillac
Nimes
Pinot Noir Burgundy Southern Burgundy
Dijon
Dijon
A Week in Provence Provence
Nimes
Aix-en-Provence

Other Countries, International

Start City

End City
Basque Biking The French & Spanish Basque Country
St.-Jean-de-Luz
Bilbao
Celtic Spain Galicia
Monforte
Vigo or Santiago
Danish Biking Denmark
Fredericia
Nyborg
Italian Lakes Northern Italy (the alpine lakes)
Brig
Como
Italy’s Pale Mountains The Dolomites
Brenner / Brennero
Bozen / Bolzano
Northern Star Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany
Brugge
Cochem
Norway Fjords & Glaciers Norway
Finse
Voss
Pure Tuscany Tuscany
Pisa / Empoli
Florence
Swiss Cycling Switzerland, and the French border regions
Lac de Joux
Brig
Umbria Unravelled Umbria
Spoleto
Terontola