Tourism boards crunch all sorts of numbers and big data in attempts to figure out why travellers choose certain types of trips. Destination is very important, but there are other factors. Some travellers want ease in every way including unpacking their suitcases only once and getting to know one place well. Some have a goal to travel a distance along a certain route, moving from one place to another along a continuum. And others want to have different experiences every day or learn new things.
Guess what we’ve discovered? Rowers who travel are kind of the same! We’re here to help you choose the right type of rowing trip for you.
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. We also know that the degree of difficulty is another important consideration – we make some points below about this but watch for a future blog post on how to choose the right rowing tour based on distances and difficulty.
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, and modified if needed based on water conditions, weather and other factors. On our St. Petersburg trip, for example, our base is the English Rowing Club, a powerhouse of Russian rowing. From there, we row the rivers and canals of the city over four days, as well as two optional days rowing from a base on the Volhov River as it flows towards Lake Ladoga, which then flows into the Neva (which is Neva Boring) and back to St. Petersburg.
We also explore the city’s many historic sites, such as the famous Hermitage Museum, and head back to dine on beef stroganoff or shchi, a traditional Russian soup.
Point to Point Trips
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. On our Clarence trip in Australia, we move from Grafton to Woombah to Iluka and the Pacific Ocean covering a “rowing trail” of 100 kms in eight days.
Located in the Northern Rivers region which reaches to the Queensland border, the crocodile-free Clarence River offers forested upper reaches, lush farmland along the lower reaches and ends at a coast filled with splendid beaches.
Diversity Sampler Trips
Diversity 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. Also, 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.
Surprisingly, perhaps, our best option for diversity is on a relatively small island. But that might explain it – too small for big lakes or long rivers. But lots of concentrated scenery.
Tasmania is considered to have some of the best rowing water in Australia, and that is not just because of the stunning setting for the different lakes and rivers that we explore. There are a diversity of places with just enough water for a solid morning row or longer. We travel from club to club, meeting local rowers at each location. And in between we sample superb food, wine and beer, and have a chance to pet wallabies, hike in a national park and visit one of the most amazing art museums in the world.
Curious about Coastal Trips
We talk a lot about coastal rowing and hope to pique your curiosity. We’ve had many flatwater rowers come on our trips and try a little coastal and now that’s all they want. Why not give it a go yourself? We believe that you’ll love it.
We understand trepidation but we also understand curiosity. We do everything we can to address both and to expose you to an experience rowing on salt water with excellent guidance and the utmost safety precautions. Typically our coastal rowing tours require more rowing experience and fitness, as you are adding to your rowing skills.
Cork would prove to be a good starter trip if you’re curious about coastal but have no experience. We use the shelter of the rivers, islands and lakes to get a wonderful taste of easy river and coastal rowing in spectacular scenery. And then there is the excellent seafood, not to mention a past of pirates!
This is a start to help you narrow down the many choices of rowing trips we offer. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need to talk more about how to choose the right type of rowing trip for you.
Thank you very much to Cathy Senecal for the text and Anastasia Morozova for the illustrations! Thank you as well to Julien Bahain and Jennifer Koch for some of images from British Columbia.