Bike and Barge tour Amsterdam - Bruges
Experience the charm of a bygone era on this exciting 8 day, 7 night tour where you will discover the best of what Holland and Belgium has to offer.
The beautiful Dutch countryside of Zeeland en the western Flanders region of Belgium – Amsterdam to Bruges
During the day you will cycle to world famous destinations such as Amsterdam, Utrecht, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges, while at night you will relax in the comfort of your floating hotel the premium barge MS Magnifique I, II or III. The cycling on this tour is through the beautiful – and flat – Dutch countryside of Zeeland and the western Flanders region of Belgium. Attractions along the way include many charming villages, a visit to a real Dutch cheese farm, the 19 famous Dutch windmills in Kinderdijk and the world famous cities of Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges in the western Flanders region of Belgium. You will cycle through and discover the Dutch province of Zeeland, which is essentially one big river delta of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt Rivers famous for its fantastic beaches, water sport activities and Delta works and the Flanders region of Belgium famous for its medieval towns and a reputation for superb food and drink. As well as being able to discover many picturesque villages each day – both on your bicycle and on foot – you will:
- Have the opportunity to discover Amsterdam
- Visit Antwerp, a city famous for its vibrant nightlife
- Get the opportunity to explore Ghent
- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center of Bruges
Your home away from home for the duration of the Amsterdam to Bruges tour is one of the premium barge MS Magnifique I, II or III. Three of the most luxurious barges cruising Dutch and Belgian waterways, the MS Magnifique's.
NEW 2018: The MS MAGNIFIQUE'S will have two tour guides for guided cycling in smaller groups; guests can opt for longer/shorter of quicker/slower cycling tours (depending on the route). Only available when there are at least 18 guests on board.
NEW: in 2018 the Magnifique II tours start and end on WEDNESDAY and the tours with the Magnifique I and III start and end on SATURDAY
Tour Details Holland & Belgium: From Amsterdam to Bruges | MS Magnifique I, II and III
In 2018 the Magnifique II tours start and end on WEDNESDAY and the tours with the Magnifique I and III start and end on SATURDAY.
Day 1: Embarkation: Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Vianen
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is at 1 PM. At around 2 PM on one of the MS Magnifique's will depart from Amsterdam for Vianen, a small fortified village on the Lek River. After the distribution of bicycles, you can enjoy a short first test bike ride through the surrounding area (approx. 5-15 km/3-9 mi.).
Day 2: Vianen – Schoonhoven – Kinderdijk (Approx. 56 km/34 mi.) | Kinderdijk – Dordrecht
Today you will cycle along a beautiful route to Schoonhoven – nicknamed Zilverstad (“Silver City”) – a city renowned for its talented silver smiths since the 17th century. Later in the day as you cycle through the Alblasserwaard region you will reach Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 large windmills. All 19 windmills have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing and are a definite highlight – you will have the opportunity to visit one so don’t forget to bring your camera! From nearby Alblasserdam you will take the “Waterbus”, a fast ferry, that will take and your bike you in approx. 10 minutes to Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland.
Day 3: Dordrecht – Willemstad | Willemstad – Tholen (Approx. 43 km/26 mi.) | Tholen – Kreekrak lock – Antwerp
As you enjoy your breakfast at one of the MS Magnifique's will sail to Willemstad where you will start your day’s cycling. Attractions today include the beautiful “Wouwse Plantage” forest, the fortress town of Bergen op Zoom and the impressive Kreekrak lock. In the afternoon you will once again board one of the MS Magnifique's which will sail to the port city of Antwerp which is situated on the river Schelde. Antwerp is famous for handling up to 80% of the world's rough diamonds and is a city with a long list of attractions including: the City Hall, one of several majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period, the historical City Square Grote Market, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle. After dinner visit the beautiful old city center.
Day 4: Antwerp – Temse – St. Amands/Dendermonde (Approx. 47-59 km/28-35,5 mi.)
This morning you will cycle out of Antwerp along a picturesque section of the Schelde River to either St. Amands or Dendermonde – depending on the tides – your home for the night. There is only one way to describe the landscape around the Schelde and that is “magnificent”. It is without doubt one of the natural highlights of the tour.
Day 5: St. Amands/Dendermonde – Ghent (Approx. 53-40 km/32-24 mi.)
Today you will continue to follow the river Schelde to Ghent where one of the MS Magnifique's will moor for the night at a lock in the suburb of Merelbeke. Ghent is a lively university city that boasts a rich history. Since Roman times Ghent’s position at the junction of Leie and Schelde Rivers has ensured that it has been a successful trading port. In total the city features an Opera House, 18 museums, more than 100 churches and over 400 historical buildings. Major attractions are St. Bavo Cathedral where a number of masterpieces of medieval art including the world famous ‘Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ by Jan van Eyck are kept and the 91-metre-tall belfry of Ghent, one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city centre.
Day 6: Ghent – Bruges (Approx. 45 km/28 mi.)
Today you will cycle from Ghent through the beautiful Flemish countryside of western Flanders to Bruges, widely described as the ‘Venice of the North’ and arguably the most beautiful of all the Flemish cities. Bruges attracts more than two million visitors every year who come to see the picturesque medieval town center of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic city and a long list of historic attractions. An outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement, Bruges has managed to maintain its historic fabric as it has evolved over the centuries, with the result that today the city’s original Gothic buildings form an integral part of the town's identity. While you are here you can visit one of Bruges many museums or simply take in the stunning beauty and culture of this unforgettable city from the comfort of a sidewalk café. Dinner tonight will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).
Day 7: Tour around Bruges to the North Sea (Approx. 50 km/30 mi.)
Your final day of cycling takes you along a quiet canal and past beautiful poplar trees through an attractive polderlandscape (a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments) dotted with small farm houses to the North Sea coast. Here if you want you can swim in the sea along an inviting 12 kilometer sandy beach, visit any one of numerous cafés and see the dune landscape of “Het Zwin” (a unique nature reserve). On the return ride to Bruges you will cycle along a small picturesque canal.
Day 8: Disembarkation: Bruges
Disembarkation after breakfast until 10 AM: End of your trip.
Details: Parts printed in italics will be covered by the ship.
All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
When a guest does not want to cycle one day, he or she can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
Program and details barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
On the arrival day it is possible to load your luggage on board from 9:30 AM.
Your tour guide will guide the bike tour daily, however it is also possible to ride the bike tour individually (self-guided).
NEW: The Magnifique's will have two tour guides for guided cycling in smaller groups; guests can opt for longer/shorter of quicker/slower cycling tours (depending on the route). Only available when there are at least 18 guests on board.
Tour descriptions and detailed cycling maps are available on board for anyone interested in taking the self-guided option.
The guide can be reached on his/her mobile phone in cases of emergency or technical breakdown of the bicycle
- Tour and accommodation on board in the booked category 8 days / 7 nights (Sat/-Sat/) from/to Bruges or Brussels
- Full board (7 x breakfast, 6x picnic lunch during bike tours, 7x three course dinner
- Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible); daily short cleaning of the cabin,
- Welcoming drink and -speech on the first evening
- Tour leader (multilingual) with daily briefings of the bike tours, some short city tours (free), during the day the tour leader is cycling the daily bike tour and reachable on his cell phone for individual cyclists; daily complete guided biketours
- Printed instructions and detailed maps for daily bike tours
- daily coffee and tea till 4 PM
- Transfers to/from the docking places in Bruges and Amsterdam
- reservation fee E15,00 (obligatory surcharge)
- rental bicycle
- other transfers
- parking fee
- entrance fees & excursions
- fees for ferries
- drinks on board
- personal insurances
- gratuities (at your discretion).
The bicycles on board are mostly unisex touring bicycles of the German brand VSF with normal mount (ladies model), 7 gears, hand brake and/or pedal brake and pannier bag. Other bikes (e.g. children’s bikes, “slip streamers”, tandems, etc.) and child’s saddles (front or rear) are on these tours only available after prior request (by booking) and confirmation and a very limited number possible. Bike rent is optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles or E-bikes (at no extra cost). However, the crew or tour operator are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles. In the Netherlands bikers are not obligated by law to wear a bike helmet. Bike helmets are not available on board.