Barge and Bike tour Bruges Amsterdam
Two countries, Holland and Belgium, united in one route. Combining the highlights of Holland’s Golden Age and the heydays of the Flemish trade cities in the Middle Ages.
Variety is the keyword in this tour. Cycling and sailing you will cross different landscapes such as the green Dutch polder landscape with water aplenty and quiet roads and villages, the picturesque countryside between the Flemish cities and of course the rich history of the old city-centers of Amsterdam, Antwerp (city of the painter Rubens), Ghent and Bruges. Also, the large rivers in this part of the Netherlands and Belgium are a prominent feature along the route.
- Bruges & Ghent
- Flemish medieval towns
- Antwerp, city of Rubens
- Golden Age of Holland
- Dutch Brooklyn and the river Vecht
- Rivers, canals and polders
Day 1 Saturday: Bruges, boarding is between 1 PM and 2 PM, cycling to Aalterbrug and sailing to Ghent 21KM
When you arrive on board the ship you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper and crew and of course your fellow passengers. At 2 p.m. you will start off the city walls of Bruges for a trip to Ghent. The barge will mostly be following the canal between Bruges and Ghent to Aalterbrug, which offers a beautiful, peaceful cycle route with an unexpected variety of experiences.
After dinner you will have some time to discover the old and characteristic city centre. The city of Ghent is proud of its rich past, the many well-preserved guild’s and patricians’ houses as well as old warehouses, Gravensteen (a mediaeval castle), St Nicholas Church (with 13th century foundations), St Baaf’s Cathedral and the ‘Belfort’ (Belfry;14th century). But Ghent is much more than just a museum town. This lively city with its numerous squares and cosy pubs is an excellent mixture of mediaeval edifices, stylish shopping streets, splendid mansions, working-class quarters from the beginning of the 20th century which now often house students and busy little squares where people eat out till the wee hours on a sultry summer night.
Day 2 Sunday: Ghent, cycling to Dendermonde and sailing to St. Amands 47KM
Early Sunday morning you will cycle through the old centre of Ghent. After coffee you will leave for a nice day along one of the most beautiful rivers of Europe: the Scheldt. After approximately 20 km you’ll reach Wetteren, a nice flemish city which is well known for it’s rose nurseries. But also a good place to learn what the Belgium word ‘staminee’ means. Berlare is the last place before Dendermonde so it’s a perfect place to taste some Belgian beer before you board the ship again. Your boarding place for today is Dendermonde, a city which is known for the legend of the Beiaart. From Dendermonde you’ll sail to quiet village of St. Amand were you will spend the night.
Day 3 Monday: St. Amands – Antwerpen 40KM
From St. Amands the cycleroute leads you along the river and past nature reserves like the mudflats of Durme and Schausselbroek. Especially the mudflats of Durme is worth mentioning cause it’s one of the last fresh water marshes along this tidal part of the river and therefore has a unique flora and fauna. You continue your tour through Bazel, one of the most beautiful villages of Belgium. For an escalator the wooden moving stairs in the St. Anna tunnel under the Scheldt is a unique experience before entering the city centre of Antwerp. The historical centre of Antwerp is worth a visit, here you’ll find: the Onze Lieve Vrouwenkerk and the Rubenshuis. In the Willemsdok, near the Museum for Modern Art (Museum Aan de Stroom, closed on Mondays) you will find the barge.
Day 4 Tuesday: Antwerpen, sailing to the Kreekraksluizen and cycling to Willemstad 56KM
This morning you’ll sail through the big harbour of Antwerp, a big difference with the nature reserves and quite villages of yesterday. But due to the big sea going vessels and large harbour cranes it’s a fascinating journey which brings you to Holland where you start your biketour at the Kreekrak locks. By bike you will make a beautiful tour over the ‘Brabantse wal’ a sand wall dating back from the times when Mammoths roam the area. Today you won’t find any big elephants but the area seemed to be perfect for strawberry and asparagus fields. So be here at harvest time (depending on the weather: around June). From the woodlands around Bergen op Zoom you continue through a polderlandscape to the old fortified town of Willemstad, near the Volkeraksluizen (locks) at the Haringvliet, the busiest locks of Europe.
Day 5 Wednesday: Willemstad, sailing to Werkendam and cycling to Gorinchem 45KM
From Willemstad you’ll sail this morning to Werkendam where you go ashore to continue your tour by bike through the land of Heusden and Altena. Along the Bergse Maas, the south border of the land of Heusden and Altena, you continue your tour along the fortified town of Heusden. From here another river, the ‘Afgedamde Maas’ leads you back to the river Waal where you started your tour this morning. Here you’ll find another beautifull fortified town, Woudrichem. A ferry brings you to the other side of the river where you’ll board the ship.
Day 6 Thursday Gorinchem, cycling to Vianen and sailing to Utrecht 50KM
From Gorinchem you will follow the meandering river Linge through the Betuwe. This area is known for the large amount of orchards and therefore will be covered with blossoms in the months april and may. Along the city of Leerdam, famous for its glass, you continue your tour in northern direction towards Utrecht. On your way toward Utrecht you’ll pass the so called ‘Wiel van Bassa’ the biggest dike burst hole in the Netherlands and another relic of the everlasting battle against the water. From Vianen you sail to Utrecht. After dinner you can take a public bus to the old centre of Utrecht.
Day 7 Friday: Utrecht, sailing to 'Brooklyn' and cycling to Amsterdam 40KM
During breakfast you will sail to Breukelen from where you will cycle to Amsterdam along the two most beautiful rivers of Holland, the Vecht and the Amstel. Along the route you will find the magnificent country houses and mansions from the 18th century with their splendid, well-kept gardens. After dinner you have the option to take a canal cruise through the canals of Amsterdam.
Day 8 Saturday Amsterdam, end of trip after breakfast before 10 AM
- All nights on board (Sat.-Sat. 8 days / 7 nights), cabin in the booked category;
- Full board (7 x breakfast, 6 x self-made picnic lunch for bike tours, 7 x three course dinner)
- Use of bed linen and 2 towels (change of towels possible)
- Coffee and tea on board
- Tour guide
- Min. 3 city walks with the tourguide
- Free WiFi is limited availabe in lounge and on deck, for more than 100 MB there is a surcharge.
- Road book, 1x per cabin
- Ferry fares on the route
- Bicycle rent
- Bicycle insurance (optional) € 15,- per bicycle
- Bicycle insurance electric bike (optional) € 40,- per bicycle
- Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 15 per tour
- Personal insurance/ Cancellation insurance (optional)
- If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
- The program is subject to change without notice.
Dutch Barge Cruises reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure
The program is subject to change without notice.