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The buses used by RS tours

We have been on three RS tours. The first two were to the Continent, and the latest one (this year) was to England. My memory may be fuzzy, but the buses used on the Continent tours were quite a bit more comfortable than the bus used on the England tour. The tour last year (to the Low Countries) used a Heidebloem bus; the tour this year used a Morton's bus. The Morton's bus did not have enough legroom for someone like me who has long legs. Of course, the bus was half full because of the small size of the RS tours, so I could prop up my legs on the adjacent seat. But this shouldn't be necessary.

No beef with our bus driver. He handled the bus on narrow English streets with aplomb, worked well with our tour guide, and engaged with the tour members (when he wasn't driving).

Anybody have a similar experience?

Posted by
37 posts

Al,

My over 6' tall husband agrees with you 100%. He commented a number of times on both the Best of Britain and Villages of Southern England tours that the Morton's coaches were much less comfortable for him than those from Heidebloem.

Posted by
4574 posts

Al, we noticed the same thing on our Villages of South England tour. On the Morton's bus the seats were closer together, so there was not enough legroom. I'm about 5'8" (or at least, I used to be!), and DH is about 6', and we both noticed the lack of legroom. But the driver (Adrian, one of the owners of the company) was first rate.

On our 21 Day BOE some years ago, we noticed the same thing the one day we had a substitute bus and driver (EU rules limit coach drivers to a certain number of days in a row.) The substitute bus (not Morton's) was decidedly more cramped than the Heidebloem bus we had been luxuriating in.

Posted by
25584 posts

I don't know - haven't been on these coaches, but could it possibly have been to fit down narrower British lanes than wide open spaces in Europe?

Posted by
5 posts

NIgel, the bus was a full-size bus, the same size as any coach bus that I commonly see in Europe or the US. The issue wasn't the width of the seat, which was fine, but the pitch (distance between a seat and the seat ahead of / behind it).

Posted by
9636 posts

There could be two simple answers:

1) Different manufacturers of coaches.

2) Extra row of seats added.

Posted by
5 posts

Maybe the Heidebloem buses have more legroom because the Dutch are the tallest people in the world.

Posted by
8203 posts

Heidebloem is a Belgian-based company altho it's home is pretty close to the border with Netherlands.

Posted by
3460 posts

I might be giving away a secret that will possibly impact my seating on my next RS tour using Heidibloem busses, but here goes. :-)

The Heidebloem busses have more leg room than any other on the side of the bus where the doors are in the rows located between the doors. They are very comfortable for me at 6' 2" so I always try to sit in one of those rows. There are more rows of seats on the driver's side of the bus (even when accounting for the rear door where there are no seats) meaning less leg room.

The buses for the UK & Ireland tours I have taken did seem have the seats closer together, but I think it might just be due to the driver being on the other side and the remainder of the bus not being arranged differently. However, there were still seats I found on all of them that had enough leg room to be comfortable to me.

The bus we had on the Best of Italy last year did have less leg room no mater where you sat, which I hope is not a trend.

Posted by
56 posts

I'm 6'3" with a 34" inseam & had no trouble at all with the Fitzpatrick's bus used on the 14 day Best of Ireland tour. It'll vary, I suppose.

Posted by
2788 posts

I am 6'2" and have taken 14 RS tours (no city tours). The only time I noticed cramped seating was on the Scandinavia tour where the guide explained that we would be using a smaller bus due to the narrow and winding roads. I took a RS tour this last June and we only had 18 tour members plus 2 guides (one in training) in a typical RS large bus. This is by far the fewest tour members we have ever had and everyone certainly was able to spread out to their liking. I have taken both the England/Scotland/Whales tour and the Ireland tour and do not remember being uncomfortable because of the seating. I do enjoy those Heidebloem busses.