Questioning is the ability to organize our thinking around what we don’t know.
FAQs, or frequently asked questions, exist on many websites because they address the questions most frequently asked by clients. Questions indicate interest and thoughtfulness, required traits for responsible travellers. We’d like to expand on Rowing The World’s own FAQs to give you even more detailed responses. Here we go!
What do you mean by a “rowing tour” or a “rowing trip”?
Alternate words could be vacation, holiday, travel, adventure or experience. We use the words “tour” and “trip” interchangeably. Our rowing trips appeal to rowers, just like a hiking trip appeals to someone who enjoys walking or a biking tour appeals to a cyclist. Rowing travel is the chance to enjoy our favourite sport in another part of the world. One online dictionary defines a “trip” as a journey or excursion, especially for pleasure. That sums up Rowing The World.
How long are the trips and how big are the groups?
With few exceptions, our trips are two to 10 days, with five to 15 rowers, in one of 10 countries we row in, including Italy, France, Canada, Germany, Ireland, England, South Africa, Russia and soon Australia and Greece. Guests are a mix of rowers from Canada, the U.S., U.K., Switzerland, Australia and other countries. Trips in in the northern hemisphere typically run April or May to October. Most years we have a trip to a tropical or southern hemisphere location during the winter months in the north. For some of our shorter trips, check out our post on Living for the Weekend.
Who guides the trips?
Sometimes, our very own Ruth Marr guides the trips but she can’t do them all! So, she works with talented, energetic, strong, knowledgeable, and most importantly, friendly, local rowers and Rowing The World guides, who know the area, and are likely to be involved with a club in the area. They are all known by Ruth and have been vetted for safety, security, skill and knowledge. You will meet some amazing leaders and will be rowing in their home waters.
What types of accommodation do you stay in?
While accommodations differ depending where we are, they are all delightful places to stay and selected for their distinctiveness. For example, on our Thames trip, we stay in an Oxford college, a pub hotel and a luxury spa hotel. In Italy, we stay in very nice character hotels. In South Africa, we stay in lodges and luxury thatched roof cottages.
What will the experience be like?
Our fundamental goal is that guests enjoy an activity they love in beautiful locations. Each destination is unique, but all trips combine the best of rowing with the best of travel.
The rowing experiences on our trips are all designed to be varied and exceptional. Some trips involve point-to-point rowing down a river such as on the Dordogne and Lot rivers in France or between two destinations, changing accommodation as we go, as on the Adriatic Sea & Venetian Lagoon trip in Italy. On other trips, such as South Africa we are based in several fabulous places and row out of various clubs or trailer boats to wonderfully different rivers to explore each day. There could be time for walks, bicycle rides, visits to must-see sites, and cultural experiences such as traditional pub music, cooking classes or wine tastings. We enjoy some of these activities with local rowers.
For example, one day on the Mosel River trip in Germany we take a break from the water and visit Maria Laach Abbey, a stunning Benedictine abbey founded in 1093 on the shores of a lake. From there, we take in Burg Eltz, a castle that has been compared to castles built by King Ludwig in Bavaria. Followed by wine tasting, of course!
Which rowers are best suited for these trips?
Whether you are a recreational sculler or a competitive, “rowing for life” athlete, Rowing The World has suitable and delightful rowing travel experiences in your country or continent or across the globe. All trips require that you are an experienced rower. We will need to confirm your readiness.
It’s a simple validation process where we ask for contact details for your club and national or other federation. We also ask if you can swim 300 metres, scull (two oars per person), row a single skiff, or sweep row. We are also interested in if you have experience coxing and what type of rowing you like best. Finally, we ask you to describe your rowing experience, giving you a chance to tell us about the number of years you’ve been rowing, as well as any camps attended, racing experience, and tour participation. This helps us match you with the trips best and most suited to you. We want it to be a safe, positive and fun experience for you.
For a whimsical match, pick a trip based on your favourite colour in this post entitled Row Your Colour.
How hard is the rowing?
It depends on the trip. The website provides daily distances for each trip and you will receive an information package with details such as the line below for the Lago Maggiore trip, which is typical for many trips.
Daily rowing distances vary, but typically will be between 15 and 25 kms. In some places the rowing will be an hour or two, while in other locations, we will spend the morning rowing or most of the day.
Some trips are more challenging, such as the St. Petersburg one (rough water conditions and longer distances) and the Adriatic Sea & Venetian Lagoons (longer daily distances, averaging 30 kms a day).
We have come to love coastal rowing and appreciate the opportunities to see spectacular scenery where fine boats could not go. You are welcome to join us on these trips (such as Cork + Carbery Islands in Ireland) even if you do not have coastal experience – we will give you pointers and tips on adapting your flatwater stroke to coastal conditions. Be sure to read our blog post on coastal rowing technique. Some rowers find coastal rowing under rough conditions to be more tiring than regular rowing, so if you have concerns, please chat with us.
What kind of shape do I have to be in?
You should be reasonably fit and able to row for at least two hours at a rate of 18-22 strokes per minute. It is less about aerobic or short burst fitness and more about endurance and having the strength to keep pushing each stroke for an extended time. And getting your rear end adapted to be on the seat for so long! Sometimes, you can opt out of a row, but depending on the group and number of rowers, you may need to row every time. We take turns coxing, however, which is an opportunity to take a break.
What type of boats do we row?
This varies with each trip, but we frequently row recreational or coastal coxed quads and doubles. For Rowing The World trips, we partner with local clubs for the use of the boats. The types of boats we row and when and where we row is determined in collaboration with our partner rowing clubs. To offer optimum rowing experiences, decisions are influenced by water conditions (particularly tides since many rivers may be influenced far inland), weather, available equipment and local knowledge.
My spouse doesn’t row. May he or she join us?
Non-rowing companions are almost always welcome and that option is listed clearly on the website trip descriptions. For example, on our Four Rivers in Ireland trip, we offer two options with two different levels of independence. A non-rower could chose to provide his or her own transportation and program, joining the rowers for most meals and in the evening, or a non-rower would be able to enjoy organized activities, such as walking, cycling, and sightseeing.
Why travel with Rowing The World?
Inspiring travel for rowers – that is Rowing The World’s mission. We do not take this mission lightly, and benefit greatly from Ruth’s 20 years of owning and operating adventure travel companies. Trips are tested, evaluated, and tweaked until we have what we believe—and know!—offers the most distinctive places to stay and eat, the best add-on experiences, and top-notch rowing in the most historic, bucolic, stunning and/or varied places on the planet. You can be confident that you are rowing with other experienced rowers and are in the hands of skilled and knowledgeable local guides. And finally, our trips offer exceptional value for money – did we mention lobster dinner on our PEI trip? What is there not to like!
Any more questions?
We welcome, and love, your questions because we believe it will help you make a Rowing The World trip your next. And, we hope, frequently thereafter. Contact us through our site or via Instagram or Facebook, and we will be ready to help.