Boat and Bike tour - Bruges Amsterdam
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.
Description of the cabins Magnifique 1
The Magnifique has sixteen cabins, situated on the lower deck. Guests are accommodated in eleven twin cabins (11 m² – 118.5 sq.ft.) with two single beds set next to each other, four premium twin cabins (14 m² – 151 sq.ft.) with two single beds next to each other and a small sitting area and one single cabin (7 m² – 75.5 sq.ft.). On prior request, the beds in most twin cabins can be set together as a double bed. On request, an additional bed is available in some twin cabins (as fold away bunk bed, above one of the other beds). Each cabin has an en-suite bathroom with shower, toilet and wash basin. All cabins have an individually regulated air conditioning, ventilation system and central heating; the portholes in all cabins are fixed for safety reasons. Furthermore, each cabin has a flat screen (satellite) TV, a mini safe and a hair dryer.
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 dates 2019 – Magnifique:
Amsterdam – Bruges: departure dates on: May 4 and 18; June 13; August 10 and 24; Sept. 7 and 21 and Oct. 5
Bruges – Amsterdam: departure dates on: May 11 and 25; July 6 and 20; August 3, 17 and 31, Sept. 14 and 28 and Oct. 12
Tour dates 2019 – Magnifique II:
Amsterdam – Bruges: departure dates on: May 22; June 5; July 17 and 31; August 14; Sept. 11 and 25 and Oct. 9
Bruges – Amsterdam: departure dates on: May 29; June 12; July 24; August 7 and 21; Sept. 18; Oct. 2 and 16
Tour dates 2019 – Magnifique III:
Amsterdam – Bruges: departure dates on: May 25; June 22; July 6; August 3, 17 and 31; Sept. 14 and 28
Bruges – Amsterdam: departure dates on: June 1, 15 and 29; July 13; August 10 and 24; Sept. 7 and 21 and Oct. 5
Tour dates 2019 – Zwaantje:
Amsterdam – Bruges: departure date on: July 20
Tour dates 2019 – Fleur:
Bruges – Amsterdam: departure date on: Oct. 12
Day to day schedule
Tour Details Belgium & Holland: From Bruges to Amsterdam | 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: Bruges
Arrival and embarkation in Bruges. One of the MS Magnifique's awaits you in the Bruges harbour. Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from early in the afternoon. You will have plenty of time to discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical city of Bruges, aptly named the “Pearl of Flanders”, during the afternoon and in the evening. While you are there make sure you 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.
Day 2: Bruges – Ghent (Approx. 56 km/34 mi.)
Your cycle tour starts early today on the outskirts of Bruges following the distribution of bicycles after breakfast. You will start your first day of cycling by pedalling towards Ghent through the beautiful Flemish landscape along the Ghent canal. On arrival in Ghent make sure you make the effort to discover the best of what this historical city has to offer during an afternoon stroll. Ghent’s town centre features lovely illuminated streets that are a must to explore, while the architectural richness in the historical centre of the city has to be seen to be believed (during the Middle Ages Ghent was the 2nd largest European city after Paris). One of the MS Magnifique's will dock for the night at the Merelbeke lock, in a suburb of Ghent and approx. 15 cycling minutes to the city centre.
Day 3: Ghent – Dendermonde/St. Amands (Approx. 40-53 km/24-32 mi.)
After breakfast in Ghent you will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde located at the junction of Dender and Schelde Rivers. There is only one way to describe the landscape along the Schelde and that is “magnificent”. It is without doubt one of the natural highlights of the tour. During this section of the Schelde the speed of one of the MS Magnifique's will be determined by the height of the tide. You will travel from Dendermonde to St. Amands by either bike or barge depending on the tides. Your floating hotel will be docked for the night in St. Amands.
Day 4: St. Amands/Dendermonde – Temse – Antwerp (Approx. 47/59 km/28/35 mi.)
Today we will follow the Schelde River further downstream through the Temse region to Antwerp. Over the centuries the Schelde River has held strategic importance for the Romans, Vikings, Spanish and Napoleon… today it is a beautiful waterway just perfect for bike and barge holidays! Antwerp, your destination for the day, is a harbour city famous for handling up to 80% of the world's rough diamonds and as the birthplace of the famous painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens. There are many highlights in the city to discover 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. Dinner will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).
Day 5: Antwerp – Kreekrak locks | Kreekrak locks – Tholen – Willemstad – Dordrecht (Approx. 34/43 km/20-26 mi.)
The MS Magnifique's will sail this morning along the Schelde-Rhine Canal and over the huge Kreekrak lock system to Tholen, a former fishing village in the Dutch province of Zeeland. From Tholen you will have the opportunity to see the impressive Volkerak lock system, the fortified town of Willemstad and then you will cycle on to Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and your destination for the day. The skipper will discuss with you in the morning which parts of the tour will be covered by barge or by bicycle.
Day 6: Dordrecht – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen (Approx. 50 km/30 mi.)
Today you will start your tour with the “Waterbus”, a fast ferry that will take you and your bike in just 10 minutes to Alblasserdam. After just a few minutes of cycling you will reach Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 UNESCO cultural heritage-listed windmills – one of which you can visit (don’t forget your camera!). The windmills were constructed in the 18th century to pump water out of the low Alblasserwaard polder (a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments). You will then continue to cycle via Schoonhoven to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek (where you will be moored for the evening and where you can explore at your leisure after dinner).
Day 7: Vianen – Breukelen | Breukelen – Amsterdam (Approx. 46 km/28 mi.)
During breakfast the MS Magnifique's will cruise to Breukelen where you disembark to start your final day of cycling. Ride along the Vecht River in an area famous for its beautiful mansions, small castles, impressive houses and their large gardens. After cycling through the villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland you will arrive at Nigtevecht where you can visit a traditional cheese farm. Continue cycling through the historical town of Muiden and on to Amsterdam where you will meet the barge for the final time in the Amsterdam harbour.
Day 8: Disembarkation: Amsterdam
Disembarkation after breakfast until 10 AM: End of your trip. If you want, you can explore Amsterdam or one of its numerous museums, do some shopping or go on a canal tour (not included).
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
- 8 days/7 nights
- 7 x breakfast
- Packed lunches
- 6 x 3-course dinner
- Coffee and tea on board
- Welcome drink
- Use of bed linen and towels
- Daily cleaning of the cabin
- Climate-controlled cabin
- Daily briefings
- Fully guided cycling tours (Magnifiques/Fleur: 2 tourleaders, 2 groups; Zwaantje: 1 tourleader)
- Some short walking tours
- Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)
- GPS tracks
- Use of a helmet
- Use of a waterproof pannier bag
- Water bottle
- Fees for ferries
- 2019: Visit Kinderdijk mills
- 2019: Entrance cathedral Antwerp
- 2019: Canal trip through Ghent
- 1x dinner (Antwerp or Bruges)
- Bicycle rental or E-bike rental
- Personal insurances
- Gratuities (at your discretion)
- Entrance fees and excursions (not mentioned under inclusions)
- Transfers to/from the docking place
- Parking fees
Rental bicycle (incl. helmet and water bottle): €80 per period
Rental E-Bike (incl. helmet and water bottle): €175 per period (only on request, limited number of e-bikes available, early bookings strongly recommended.
You can find a description of the bicycles when you click on ship.
Transfer between Amsterdam and Bruges:
There is a good train connection between these two cities. Please visit one of the following websites for timetables, tickets or more information www.goeuro.co.uk or www.trainline.eu.