Boat and Bike Amsterdam to Bruges
During this boat and bike tour you will cycle and sail through two different countries
The 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. And of course Holland's own world wonder: the Delta Works.
The Dutch 17th century Golden Age and the heyday of the Flemish trading cities of the Middle Ages are united in this route.
Notice the big difference between the green polder landscape abounding in water, with its tranquil roads and villages and the old world of islands in Zeeland with its pastures, creeks, winding dikes and dams.
On top of that the often so picturesque Flemish countryside between the Belgian cities of Gent and Bruges. The great rivers are a prominent feature in this part of the Netherlands and Belgium. Of course you will get to know our own, Dutch Wonder of the World: the Delta Works, evidence of the eternal battle against the waters of the sea.
Day to day schedule
Day 1 Saturday: Amsterdam, arrival at 2 PM sailing to Ouderkerk a/d Amstel and cycling to Uithoorn 15 km
When you arrive on board the ship, you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. During this coffee break there is plenty of opportunity to get to know your guide, the crew and your fellow passengers. During dinner aboard the ship, the program for the next day and the global planning of te week are discussed. After 2 PM the ship leaves for Ouderkerk a/d Amstel were you get on the bike to cycle one of Amsterdam inhabitants most beloved cycleroutes, 'een rondje ronde Hoep'.
Day 2 Sunday: Uithoorn - Gouda, 45 km
From Uithoorn you will continue your tour over country roads along river banks and channels through the Green Heart to the city known for its cheese: Gouda. Who thinks of Gouda, not only thinks of cheese, pipes, 'stroopwafels' (treacle-waffle) and pottery, but also of stained-glass windows, a fairy-like town hall and atmospheric canals. Gouda is a beautiful Old-Dutch city with a mostly intact city centre. As on most days, after dinner you can take a walk through the city.
Day 3 Monday: Gouda - Alblasserdam and sailing to Dordrecht, 39 km
Today you will cycle along the Dutch IJssel, through the deepest lying polder of the Netherlands Krimpenerwaard and over narrow cycling paths to the river 'Lek'. Here you will cross the river by ferry to Kinderdijk, a unique and renowned monument where Holland's largest number of historical windmills is found. From the embankments of the river Lek, you will witness an amazing view of the 19 windmills, which are now listed as a UNESCO's World Heritage site. This is where you will take a break and visit the interior of a windmill. After a beautiful tour through the Alblasserwaardpolder you will arrive at the banks of the river 'Beneden-Merwede'.
Day 4 Tuesday: Dordrecht, sailing to Willemstad/Bruinisse and cycling to Zierikzee, 55 or 24 km
During breakfast you will sail from Dordrecht to the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta area where the greater Dutch rivers meet the sea. Years ago, an open connection existed with the sea due to the many tributaries in this area. After the disastrous flooding in 1953, the Deltaplan was developed and most tidal outlets were closed from the sea by dams. Most parts of Zeeland were, and still are, under sea level and in 1953 the embankments were too weak and too low, causing this area to be at risk for floodings once in every 80 years. Now, because of the flood barriers, that chance is reduced to less than once every 4000 years. Depending on the tide you can choose a shorter version by sailing to Bruinisse from where you can cycle to Zierikzee. Zierikzee is a beautiful town and the centre of the 'mussel culture'. The 'Zeeuwse mosselen' (blue mussels) are a renowned delicacy. Along the shores of the Oosterschelde you find the Watersnoodmuseum (Flooding museum) where you can discover what happened on that disastrous day in 1953.
Day 5 Wednesday: Zierikzee - Middelburg, 49 or 32 km
This morning you cycle along the Oosterschelde towards the North Sea, to cross the Oosterscheldedam. The enormous locks are built in this embankment and can be closed during storms and high tides protecting the south-west of the Netherlands against the sea.
This embankment was one of the last in a series of barriers against the sea. When cycling along the embankment, one will realize why this has been one of the most difficult and costly challenges to protect the country now and in the future and to let seawater into the widespread Delta area. It is precisely why the Deltaworks are referred to as the one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
After this dam you will paddle to Middelburg, but not without visiting the picturesque port town of Veere. Middelburg is the lively principal town of Zeeland with many old houses, churches, the beautiful town hall and a pleasant shopping. Also to be found in Middelburg is the Roosevelt Academy, a liberal arts college, located in the former late-gothic town hall on the market of Middelburg.
Day 6 Thursday: Middelburg - Sas van Gent and sailing to Ghent, 48 km
Today you have to cross the 'Westerschelde', the only estuary which isn't closed by a dam cause it's the gateway to the port of Antwerp. A short ferry trip brings you from Vlissingen to Breskens in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Dutch-Flanders)! We are getting close to Belgium. On your daily cycleroute you will cross the Dutch - Belgium border back and forth before you defniately cross the Dutch - Belgium border by boat to sail to Ghent.
Day 7 Friday: Ghent-Bruges, 45 km
This morning you will cycle through Ghent to the scenic countryside of Oost-Vlaanderen (East-Flanders). Characteristic for this area are the woods, fields, small villages and castles.
From the Aalterbrug (also for the shorter route) the last part of this route takes us over the former tow path along the canal of Oostende-Gent, the oldest canal of Belgium, to Bruges.
The impressive city of Bruges is the end destination of this bike and barge trip. This evening you can enjoy the medieval city of Bruges and many of you are likely to stay another day in this beautiful city.
Day 8 Saturday: Bruges, end of this trip after breakfast (debarkation before10 AM).
(The program is subject to change without notice)