First you decide that you are ready to travel. Then you decide that this is the year to treat yourself to a rowing trip. But which one? How to choose a rowing trip that suits you? Considerations include timing, price and the destination. The pandemic has added another layer of decisions to making travel choices, with considerations such as vaccination and entry requirements, tour operator safety practices, travel advisories and so on. How people think about travel has changed over the last two years. While there are some wild and wacky travel trends noted for 2022 (cosmonaut training camp anyone?) generally travellers are inclining towards more responsible or sustainable travel, active trips in the outdoors and away from big cities, longer trips and a focus on well -being and connection with people who share an interest and welcoming hosts in the local community. Hey, sounds like a rowing trip!
When it comes to a rowing trip, considerations include the daily rowing distances, type of rowing shells, size of the group. Our updated FAQs answer many of these questions and details are provided on the description for each trip. The type or style of rowing trip is also an important factor. So much so, that we decided to update an earlier post on the same theme.
Do you prefer a centre-based rowing trip spoking out from one place or moving point to point? Do you prefer diverse scenery, rowing on rivers, lakes and seas, and exploring different rowing clubs? Are you curious about coastal rowing? Use our suggestions below to determine the right type of rowing trip for you and how you can match it with a destination that holds the biggest appeal.
A centre-based trip means that we stay in one location and explore from there. Distances and difficulty can be dialed in for every row. A new trip for 2022 is our centre-based BC Wilderness Lodge Special. A water-access only lodge on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island is the base for daily explorations by coastal quads. Each day’s row will be determined by wind, weather and water conditions. Safety is a priority, but if conditions warrant, we will make a crossing of Imperial Eagle Channel to the beautiful beach on Stud Island. While there is lots of wilderness to admire, it is fun to wind our way around Alma Russell Island and through Julia Passage, rowing past a series of houseboat cottages. We could head around other islands and the main shore in Barclay Sound with many lovely beaches where we can land for lunch or a break.
Other Centre-Based Options: Vogalonga in Venice, St. Petersburg in Russia, Austrian Lakes
A point-to-point trip is also exactly like it sounds. We start in one city, town or club, row to the next, overnight there, and move on the next day to another city, town or club. The distances are set, and typically we need to row the distance required.
While we might think that point-to point rowing trips are only on rivers one of our favourites is Lago Maggiore in Italy. Beginning at the southern tip, of the lake, we work our way north, swinging past Stresa to row around the charming Isole Borromee. We sometimes cross to the eastern side of the lake to visit a hilltop chapel or eat a particularly good restaurant. The trip ends at the northern end of the lake, in Switzerland! When was the last time you rowed across an international border?
Sampler implies diversity in one or more elements. The rowing may switch between fresh and saltwater, from rivers to lakes to the coast or the scenery may change from one place to another. We may row from diverse clubs or all of the above. As with the centre-based trips, there is an opportunity to adapt the row length and difficulty. This is our most common style of trip, offering maximum variety and greatest flexibility.
Our new for 2022 trip, Three Rivers of France, is a superb example of this type of rowing trip. We travel from club to club on the Dordogne, Lot and Tarn Rivers in southwest France. Sometimes the club trailers boats up or down river, allowing us to explore yet more of the stunning landscapes of green hills, vineyards, charming villages and castles. We will do a little sampling of the food and wine as well as the rowing.
Combo of Sampler and Point-to-Point
A little of each of two styles combine into a fabulous tour. This might make it easier for you when you are thinking about how to choose a rowing trip. In northern Greece our new Ionian Sea of Myths starts with a row on a beautiful lake before heading west to the coast opposite Corfu. We will row south exploring caves and beautiful villages. On our last day of rowing, we will follow in the path of Odysseus, rowing up the “River of Woe” to the temple of the “Oracle of Death”. We know that in the myths he and many others returned alive from this river and journey. So will we.
Curious about Coastal Trips
We are great fans of coastal rowing. Which is growing and growing – time to catch that wave. We especially love how coastal boats allow you to explore destinations which would not be accessible in flatwater boats. Bring those rowing skills and add new ones with excellent guidance and the utmost safety precautions. Oh, and the scenery is beautiful too.
Istanbul & Southern Aegean in Turkey would prove to be a good starter trip if you’re curious about coastal but have no experience. We begin with three out and back rows in Istanbul and Bodrum before exploring a more remote coastal lined with small villages, pine trees, olive trees and almond trees. The trip culminates with a rowing into an ancient Greek port. Only possible with coastal boats!
Independent & Private Trips
The pandemic saw a jump in self-guided trips, where you travel in small groups and only with people of your own choosing. Both our Independent Rowing Experiences in Thessaloniki Greece or Luino Italy allow you to select when you travel, how long you travel, as well as whom you travel with. You select your own accommodation and provide the transportation, increasing your control and choice. On the Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia, our hybrid explorer is a semi-guided trip, with morning rows in four different locations. Many of our current trips as well as past destinations can be made available for private trips – please talk to us about ideas and options.
How to Choose a Rowing Trip that Suits you
This is a start to help you narrow down the many choices of rowing trips we offer. Please read our earlier post which discusses other factors like price and destination. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need to talk more about how to choose a rowing trip that suits you.
Thank you to Julien Bahain and Jennifer Koch for some of images from British Columbia, and to Alper Ertubey for the images of Turkey.