Guest-Initiated Trips

Here is an option for those whose vacation times and dreams do not coincide... schedule your own trip!  It’s simple.  To do so in the current calendar year (see here for future years):

  • Tell us the departure week you want, following any of our regular routes. 

  • Register for the trip you have had us schedule.

  • Claim a “Founder’s Discount” for which you qualify.

We add the trip to our departure schedule, at our risk.  If no one else joins, it will run for just your group.  If others climb aboard, you meet new, interesting people, hopefully cootie-free.

To instead schedule
a private trip, please see our page on “Charter Trips.”


Details, Practical Considerations:

  1. Any 6 adult “Trip Founders” may schedule a trip.

    What is a “Trip Founder?”  A Trip Founder is someone who commits to go on a Guest-Initiated trip.  Trip Founders are generally eligible for a “Founder’s Discount” on the base price of their trip.  Special cancellation conditions apply. 

    Perhaps you can scare up enough friends, but if not, consider posting a note in your gym, or your language class, or kidnapping a passerby. 

    Children travelling at a Family discount
    count as “half people” (not in our hearts, but for the purposes of trip creation).  See Prices and Signing Up / Canceling, below.



  2. A Guest-Initiated trip must be scheduled at least 4 months prior to its departure date, to give us time to attract additional riders.
    Given the time needed to negotiate the process and get the Trip Founder applications and deposits in, realism dictates that you be well-advanced in your plans by about 5 months prior).


  3. The trip must be scheduled to start on the same day of the week as that route’s regularly-scheduled trips.
    This condition can be waived for a minimum of 8 riders.  But it is not wise to do so, for several reasons:
    - Our route sheets make reference to opening hours and train schedules which vary with the day of the week.  They will not be as reliable on other days of the week.
    - Operating the trip on the “regular” days of the week improves the chances of getting hotel space in our first choice hotels.
    - Certain operational concerns are best addressed as part of our regular service pattern (for instance, we do things like scheduling our passage through a market town... on market day).
    - We are more likely to be able to schedule a Trip Coordinator for your trip if the trip only occupies one of his work weeks, rather than straddling two.
    Day Trips are more expensive if scheduled for Fridays or Saturdays.



  4. The addition of new departures to our schedule is subject to availability.
    Hotel rooms, bikes, and a qualified Trip Coordinator must be available for the trip to be scheduled.
    We cannot generally add trips less than four weeks from an existing departure on the same itinerary, unless the existing departure is close to full.


Once you tell us your dates, and we confirm the trip (usually within 48 hours), each Trip Founder has 15 days to send in the standard trip deposit, along with a trip application.

If the necessary number of applications and deposits are received by the cutoff date, the trip is scheduled.  If fewer are received, either...

  • ...each individual deposit is refunded.
    Or (at our discretion)...
  • ...the trip is confirmed and operated for the number of people who have joined, without additional charge.

Trip applications received after the cutoff date do not qualify for the “Founders Discount” (see below) but are subject to our usual cancellation conditions, not to the special conditions which apply to Trip Founders of Guest-Initiated trips (below).



Prices


There is no surcharge for Guest-Initiated Trips, unless such a surcharge is negotiated for a trip scheduled for fewer than the usual requisite number of Trip Founders.

In addition, Trip Founders are generally eligible for a 10% “Founder’s Discount” on the base trip price.

The “Founders Discount” applies to the “Trip Price,” and also to “Bike Rental and Shipping” when this is priced separately (€ prices). 

It does not apply to ancillary services, such as Baggage Transfer, travel to and from the trip (“Access Packages”), accommodation upgrades, or other travel arrangments, whether supplied by Blue Marble, or contracted for by Blue Marble on your behalf.  Other commercial discounts do not generally apply to Guest-Initiated Trips, unless the description of the discount explicitly says otherwise.  Referral points are not earned for riders on Guest-Initiated trips.



Signing Up, Canceling

To sign up, complete the usual trip application, noting the words “Trip Founder” next to the trip title to claim the discount (but also to accept the more restrictive cancellation conditions).

The standard trip deposit is non-refundable if you are a “Trip Founder” (except through our cancellation waivers — see below).  Otherwise, our usual payment (and cancellation) terms apply.

A Day Trip scheduled at guest initiative is subject to a 60€ / person cancellation fee, or to its usual cancellation charge, whichever is higher.  Hotel cancellation charges, if any, additionally apply.

Cancellation waivers, if desired, must be subscribed when the deposit is made.  They cover cancellation in the usual conditions (including the refund of the otherwise nonrefundable trip deposit).

Should a Trip Founder prove unable to travel, payments made can be transferred to any other person of his or her choosing, by simple written instruction, in the following cases.

  • Transferred payments can only serve as a payment for a newly-registering traveller, travelling on the same trip.  They cannot be transferred to someone already registered for the trip, to someone who has been previously registered to the trip and has cancelled, nor to someone travelling on another trip.
  • The newly registering traveller must be someone found by the efforts of the canceling traveller, directly or indirectly.  The deposit will not be applied to people unknown to the traveller, subscribing to the trip through Blue Marble.
  • An administrative charge, corresponding to the charge normally assessed when participation in one of our regularly-scheduled trips is canceled 8 or more weeks in advance, is withheld from the transferred amount. 
  • Only payments are transferred, not prices or other conditions.  For example, the “Trip Founder's Discount” does not transfer to the new rider.  If the price in effect when the new rider joins is different (higher or lower) than the price in effect when the Trip Founder registered for the trip, the new price applies.


Follow this link to information on private (charter) trips.


Photos:
Philadelphia friends in the Basque Country (top)
Detroy / Zavitz pod in Provence (bottom)



Independent
Travellers

Individual or Group

Trips You Decide


Individual Travel Assistance


Our Scheduled Trips
Including an overview map of the places we stage trips


Departure Calendar
for our scheduled trips