Travel between Amsterdam and Bruges. En route visit Antwerp and Ghent whose historic centres will enchant you with their history and refined culture. Wind your way by bike along the Vecht River with its impressive mansions and country houses, visit a cheese farm and the 19 windmills in Kinderdijk. Via Dordrecht and Kreekrak lock, the barge cruises through the ‘delta’ province of Zeeland to Belgium. Cycling with the group and guide or on your own with a set of maps and directions ~ the choice is yours. In the evenings, relax on board your comfortable barge or explore the towns on foot.
- Discover the vibrant cities of Amsterdam and Bruges by bike and on foot
- Cycle through the countryside of Holland and Belgium past locks and windmills and cheese farms to reach interesting towns such as Antwerp, famous for its nightlife and Ghent with its cobble stone streets
- Enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow passengers aboard a comfortable barge
- Sample local specialties including Belgian waffles, beer and mussels
2023 Departure Dates & Costs
Saturday departures from April to November
$ 1,875 USD / $ 2,200 CAD per person
Another incredible experience is to do this route by bike (road cycle or ebike). As about this self-guided cycle option as well as other options for hiking, cycling or barging in Europe.
Day 1: Join barge in Amsterdam, cruise to Vianen, warm up cycle (15km/9mi)
At 1:00pm, please board the barge in Amsterdam. Between 1:30pm to 2pm (MS Gandalf) and at 2:00pm (MS Fluvius) the barge sails to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek. On arrival, the bikes will be distributed and you can enjoy a short bike ride. Meals: D
Day 2: Cycle to Schoonhoven and Kinderdijk, ferry to Dordrecht (56km/34mi)
In the morning we cycle through beautiful Dutch meadowlands to the silver city Schoonhoven. We continue through the Alblasserwaard region to the impressive 19 windmills of Kinderdijk, a UNESCO site. There will be an opportunity to visit one of the mills. From nearby Alblasserdam catch a “Waterbus”, a fast ferry, that will take and your bike in approx. 10 minutes to Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland, which holds a strategic location along three rivers. Overnight Dordrecht. Meals: B,L,D
Day 3: Barge to Tholen, cycle to Kreekraksluis, sail to Antwerp (20 or 36km/13 or 23mi)
During breakfast the barge sails to Tholen. After arrival you will cycle past the village of Bergen op Zoom and through the forest area "Wouwse Plantage", continuing south to the impressive Kreekraksluis (lock). The barge is docked here at the end of the dam and will take us to the lively port town of Antwerp in Belgium situated on the river Schelde. It is known as the diamond city with an abundance of jeweler's shops, and also the native city of painter Rubens. You will find some of his paintings in the “Onze Lieve Vrouwe" (our lady) Cathedral. Its other attractions include the City Hall, one of many majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period; the historical City Square Grote Market; and the medieval Steen Castle. After dinner there will be a visit to the beautiful old city centre. Meals: B,L,D
Day 4: Cycle to Dendermonde (48 or 64km/29 or 39mi)
After breakfast you cycle out of the port to the Schelde River, and follow this beautiful tidal river upstream on a bike path to Dendermonde. Along the way we will admire the magnificent Flemish countryside around the Schelde. The River Schedle stretches for 435km through northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands and is connected by several canals to the basins of the Rhine, Meuse and Seine Rivers. The Schelde has always had considerable commercial and strategic importance over the years. You will cycle to Dendermonde, a friendly provincial town along the river, for the night. Meals: B,L,D
Day 5: Cycle on to Ghent (52km/32mi)
From Dendermonde the bike tour again follows the river Schelde in the direction of Ghent, a lively university city with a rich past. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to discover more of the city, or to shop in the lively centre. The city was founded in Roman times, where the rivers Leie and Schelde converge. The convenient location has over the years brought much prosperity, culminating in the late 13th and early 14th century. The textile industry brought great wealth, with the Cloth Hall established in 1425 bringing many merchants together, and many aristocrats remain today. The main church St. Bavo Cathedral reflects different periods in history and building styles, and houses some masterpieces of medieval art, the most famous of which is "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Jan van Eyck. The barge is docked at the lock in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent approx. 30min by bike to the city centre. Meals: B,L,D
Day 6: Cycle the Flemish countryside to Bruges (45km/28mi)
This morning the cycle route leads us through the pleasant Flemish countryside, or Western Flanders, to Bruges. You will have ample time to explore Bruges, the Venice of the North or "Pearl Flanders", perhaps the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its Old Town, which dates from the Middle Ages, is almost completely intact and listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. At that time the city was a metropolis and center of commerce and art, and you can still see this glory in the beautiful buildings. Bruges is also a nice town for shopping or going out - sample a waffle, coffee or traditional Belgian beer around the Grote Markt (the big market place). Meals: B,L,D
Day 7: Return cycle to the North Sea coast (38 or 51km/23 or 31mi)
Today your last cycle takes you to a quiet canal where you’ll find lots of poplars (flowering plants), through an attractive polder landscape with nice small farm houses, and on to the North Sea coast. A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments. A 12 kilometre (7.5 mile) long sandy beach, numerous cafés and the attractive dune landscape of “Het Zwin” (a unique nature reserve) provide enough variety during your lunch break. Return cycle to Bruges for our last evening aboard. Alternatively the day is at your leisure if you choose to spend more time in Bruges. Meals: B,L,D
Day 8: Trip concludes in Bruges
After breakfast the journey comes to an end as you say farewell to the guide and crew. Check out until 9:30am. Meals: B
- 7 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, 7 dinners (does not include drinks)
- Continental breakfasts are served and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. At breakfast you will prepare your packed lunch for the day which will be sandwiches, fruit & juice. If you choose not to cycle on a particular day, the crew will serve lunch on board. Dinner will consist of three courses inclusive of either a pasta, vegetarian or meat dish.
- 7 nights accommodation aboard a Category A or B+ barge with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis. Category A (Fluvius): all twin cabins are configured with two lower beds, while double cabins are configured with a double bed. The trip price is based on a standard twin cabin below deck ‑ supplement applies for other cabin categories except a small twin cabin main deck where a discount applies (twin cabin upper deck, double cabin upper deck or single cabin). Category B+ (Gandalf): all cabins are configured with two lower beds. We do not match clients together so if you are travelling solo you will need to book a single cabin, below deck only (limited and on a request basis).
- 7 speed trekking bike rental with handbrake or backpedal brake and pannier, helmet (electric bike available on request ‑ supplement applies)
- Information pack including route notes & maps (one set per cabin), GPS tracks available in advance on request
- Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening
- Experienced multilingual guide for fully guided cycle tours and daily briefings ‑ extra cycle guide for group sizes of 22 passengers or more on board the Fluvius (one cycle guided only on Gandalf)
- Several city walking tours
- Linen and change of towels as required
- Daily cabin cleaning (Cat A) or mid week cabin cleaning service (Cat B+)
- Daily tea and coffee during breakfast and 3‑4pm Fees for ferries and Waterbus WIFI Air‑conditioned cabin (Fluvius only)
- Travel to Amsterdam and from Bruges
- Meals not detailed in the itinerary
- Drinks and other items of a personal nature
- Entrance fees and excursions not specified
- Transfers not specified
- Travel insurance ‑ mandatory
- Tips ‑ while tipping is not obligatory, it is customary to offer a tip if the guide and crew have done a good job. As a guide we would recommend EUR30‑60 per person (to be distributed between the guide/s, captain and crew).
- Catering for special diets (except Vegetarian). A supplement is payable for lactose or gluten free diets ‑ EUR50pp (subject to change) paid locally on board.
- Optional canal tour of Amsterdam ‑ tickets can be purchased on board WIFI (Cat A) ‑ unlimited data pack can be purchased for EUR10pp on board, subject to change
- Bike insurance ‑ payable locally (EUR10 for standard bikes and EUR25 for e‑bikes)