Learn Now – Enjoy Later
Here are a few items that will improve your vacation
- Learn how to change a flat tire on your bike — Here’s a great tutorial on YouTube
- Get in some miles / spin class — the longest routes are usually the most rewarding!
We’ll send you an Info Card after you sign up. Make sure we have your and your travel partner’s email addresses so that we can send you all the updates. If you change your email address, please let us know so that we can update your email notifications.
Each day has a choice of routes: Short, Medium, or Long. Each morning you’ll be welcome to select whichever route suits your desires. On Santana’s cruises, there’s no reason to be the fastest, the slowest, or having to ride alone… unless you want to! Our participants are pretty evenly dispersed across the Short, Medium, & Long routes.
- Short Routes: typically 30-35 miles, typically quite flat, no long climbs or steep hills.
- Medium Routes: typically 40-50 miles, typically rolling, with the possibility of a steep hill.
- Long Routes: typically 55+ miles, with multiple summits, always includes the most content & best views.
- Challenge Routes: typically an add on to the Long Route, will have a climb that will be difficult yet rewarding. We are always delighted to provide longer routes for participants looking for a challenge, just let us know!
- Non-Ride Day: on most events (the FAQ section on your event will confirm this), we have a panoramic-windowed coach bus that will enjoy a scenic day that includes many of the same sights and cycling as the cyclists on our routes. You’re also welcome to stay onboard and have your run of the ship.
Tip for New Participants: Don’t let the ride length worry you. Many cyclists enjoy 2 hour rides while at home, but during our cruises you’ll have 6+ hours to ride. The same cyclists who ride 20 miles at home or enjoy spinning, happily ride 45+ mile routes while on our cruises—it’s easy when you’re able to get off the bike for scenic picture ops, join one of our fun cultural activities, stretch your legs while you take a tour of a castle, or enjoy a snack stop at a cafe (or two).
E-Bikes rentals are available on most of our cruises (feel free to check with us about yours), and enable our participants to enjoy longer distances, push for that extra scenic photo-op, or “take the edge off the hills.”
We use Garmin GPS Units to make your cycling experience the very best. No more fumbling with route sheets or trying to figure out what turn you missed, a quick glance at your GPS unit and you know exactly where you are.
At each morning’s breakfast you’ll get a map (which is more of an illustration than a street map) charting the day’s cycling routes and recommended stops. During a brief route talk you’ll hear about each route’s attractions. Using your GPS unit you’re able to select that day’s Short, Medium, or Long rides and ride at your own pace. If you want to ride with friends, great! Want to stop for a croissant and coffee? Go for it! Through use of GPS, you’re the leader of your own ride.
Santana’s vets have learned to love and rely on their handlebar-mounted GPS units.
Available for less than $170, these touch-screen marvels prevent the age-old problem of getting lost or riding unplanned miles. Santana supplies free electronic mapping and route files. Simply select the route and follow the highlighted map.
“Why can’t I use my phone it can…”
We strongly recommend that you DO NOT use your Smartphone!
- Smartphones are amazing devices and while there are phone apps that will interpret Santana’s routes faithfully, a problem arises when routes need to be revised during a tour. Because there is often limited internet access on most tours (especially at sea), smartphones are precluded from getting ride updates in a timely fashion.
- Most phones that support GPS aren’t as durable or waterproof as a dedicated GPS. People who try to use their iPhone, for instance, will trash their $600+ investment when they need to navigate their way through an unexpected rainstorm or a phone mount comes loose.
- When used as a GPS, a smartphone’s battery can be drained in a couple of hours, while a dedicated GPS can run for several days. If the battery on your phone dies and you don’t have a GPS unit, you may find yourself lost and without a way to call for help.
Info on Flights, PreTours, & PostTours
- Information on flights is typically sent out 11 months prior to the cruise (when airline tickets go on sale), and will include important dates on our PreTour & PostTour options
- Reservations for the PreTours & PostTours start about 4 months prior to the cruise, we’ll send out an email announcement. There’s availability for everyone registered for the cruise.
An updated version of this list will arrive in the final 45 days prior to your event, for now here’s a standard list to get you started.
- Water Bottles
- Bike Locks (cable not U)
- Bike Gloves
- Bike Shoes, preferably ones that are walkable, like SPD mountain bike shoes
- Pedals, even if you’re renting, you’ll want pedals that match your cleats
- GPS Unit (please see our list of Supported GPS Units)
- Smart Phone – check with your carrier for available travel plans, you will want one working phone per bike in case you need to summon an SOS van
- Sunglasses – ones designed for cycling will be more comfortable for all day cycling
- Flat Repair Kit – if you prefer to use a CO2 Injector instead of a hand pump, our mechanics will have CO2 Cartridges available for purchase as you will not be able to fly with them.
In the last 45 days we’ll give you an updated packing list suitable for the particular cruise region and month, but here is a list of the usual suspects.
- 3 Pairs of bike shorts, invest in good quality, you’ll thank us later
- 3 Jerseys
- 3 pairs of socks
- Layers and a windbreaker is the key to all day comfort
- No need for formal wear at dinner, we go for a “country club casual”… your wife will appreciate it if you wear something better than a t-shirt to dinner.
Bringing your bike?
- Bring 2 spare tubes, a spare tire for any bike with wheels smaller than 26 inch, enough allen wrenches to assemble and adjust your bike, you won’t need to bring your own floor pump or pedal wrench.
- CO2 Cartridges cannot be brought on an airplane, and will cause you to have problems with TSA. Our mechanics will have them for sale, and will buy back unused cartridges for 1/2 price.
Valet Bike Assembly/Disassembly
At the start and end of our cruises, our mechanics will offer Valet Bike Assembly & Disassembly. This is a service they provide directly to you, and is on a first-come first-served basis. About 14 days prior to the event, we’ll send you an event update that will have their contact information and updated pricing.
Assembly: $100 for a Tandem, $70 for a Single Bike
Disassembly/Packing: We only offer Valet Packing for Santana Safecases at $50 per tandem. With any other box we’re happy to assist/give pointers. If you have another type of case or box, and had a bike shop pack your bike, please take photos of the process so that we can try to help you.
These prices are an average estimate, and are subject to change, at any time, without notice.
We encourage participants to bring their own bike(s)…
- It’s less expensive to bring your own bike
- It’s easier than you may think (click here for info on flying with your bike)
- For a week of cycling, it’s far more comfortable to ride a bike that has been perfectly fitted and tuned to you
For the participants who would still prefer to rent, here’s the info:
- We have a small fleet of Santana Titanium Road Tandems with electronic shifting. Rental freight/shipping price includes assembly/disassembly by our mechanics. Base rental price can be applied towards the subsequent purchase of a new Santana Tandem.
- For pricing go to – SantanaAdventures.com/rentals/
- For sizing go to – SantanaTandem.com/your-size/
- For availability & reservations, please use our Tandem Rental Request Form – SantanaAdventures.com/rentals/
Rental Single Bikes
- Patience, the info will arrive in the final 2 months before departure, no need to reserve prior to the “Rental Bikes Info” email. Santana Adventures does not own a single bike rental fleet, instead we work with numerous rental providers who offer our participants excellent bikes.
- Rental Options include:
- Lightweight Road Bike with drop handlebars (estimate about $500 for the rental)
- Hybrid Bike with upright handlebars (estimate about $450 for the rental)
- Hybrid E-Bike (estimate about $650 for the rental)
- Bring your own helmet, water bottles, & cable lock
- Bring your own flat repair kit (or purchase one from the rental company)
- For a more enjoyable rental experience, bring your own pedals, shoes, & saddles.
Extending Your Vacation – Arrangements for your Bike
We know that when flying abroad, many of our participants like to extend their stay either before our cruises, after, or both. After all, when paying so much for airfare, it really makes sense to stay a few extra days! Now comes the part that many of our participants have found to be a bit trickier, but worry not, there are numerous ways to solve the “but what will we do with our bike?” scenario.
- Rental Bikes — while more expensive than flying with your bike just for a cruise, it can be the most economical option if you are planning to journey for an extended length of time before or after your cruise (7+ nights) or journeying to another country.
- BikeFlights.com — Please note: We do not recommend shipping your bikes to an event, as a bike stuck in customs at a far away port can ruin your vacation. That being said, if you are planning to bring your own bike and extend your vacation at the end of your cruise, shipping bikes back to the US at the end of an event is the least amount of hassle, but can tend to be the most expensive option.
- Bicycle Storage — 2 typical options for bicycle storage before or after a cruise are at a hotel or at the airport.
- Airport — Most airports have long term luggage storage for just this purpose, people want to travel more, but they don’t want to drag large pieces of luggage around. Using this method, you’ll store your bike, head out on your extended journey, and then return to the same airport to pick-up your bike before either joining us for the cruise or flying home. Check with the airport’s website if they have long-term luggage storage, most offer it for about $35/bike/day.
- Santana’s Pre/Post Hotel — If you are staying with Santana Adventures for the PreTour or PostTour (if applicable) for your cruise, you’ll want to work with our team to arrange a split-stay. This means you’ll add an additional night at the group hotel that bookends your extended travel arrangements. Using this approach, the bellmen are typically happy to watch over your bikes in their secured storage for about $20/bike/day.
- Your own hotel — If you opt not to join Santana’s Pre or PostTour, or one isn’t offered for this particular destination, you can arrange the same bookend strategy with most hotels. We find it’s best to arrange the hotel stays with the front desk or the hotel’s website, and then to work out the bike storage with the bellmen in person (you’ll usually receive a better rate, and the front desk may try to say no due to the size when the bellman would rather make the extra money and play a bit of Tetris). Typically we hear of our participants being charged about $20 to $30/bike/day.
Which Meals are included?
Individual cruise pages will have exact information for that particular cruise, but in general:
A 5-star chef will curate a new menu for each meal, and will always include a surprising selection of local fruits and produce, regional specialties, the freshest-possible seafood, vegetarian options, and grilled-to-order meats. A changing assortment of desserts and pastries are produced aboard each day. Breakfast and Lunch are served buffet style, perfect for active cyclists. Dinner is a plated multi-course menu with plenty of gourmet options for all of our participants. Depending on the itinerary, on some days we may have a late lunch onboard so that no one needs to rush back to the ship, on other days we may have a lunch or snack stop along the route.
Santana’s team doesn’t accept tips. However, shipboard gratuities for the ship’s staff are mandatory. The amount varies for each event (and can be found on the individual web pages), and the amounts will also be listed on your invoice.
Cruise Invoice Payments
Our deposits are accepted online via a PayPal reservations system which accepts major credit/debit cards. The remainder of your invoice balance will be split into two payments payable through Santana’s online payment portal.
When will my payments be due?
This is a guide to give you a reasonable estimate of your payment dates. Exact payment dates vary by event, based on when you sign up, and will be posted on your invoice.
Santana’s acceptance of your registration and non-refundable deposit for this event is subsequent to your agreement to pay the remaining balance in full. Santana’s cruises are non-cancelable, non-refundable, and non-transferable. When the possibility of paying yet not attending is unacceptable, Jan and I recommend Travel Guard trip insurance. For the past 20 years, hundreds of our clients have relied on Travel Guard coverage without complaint. Here’s an informative brochure about the travel insurance coverage we recommend – Travel Insurance Flyer