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
The upper deck has five spacious suites (16 m² – 172 sq.ft.) with two separate single beds, a small sitting area and a “French Balcony”: ceiling-to-floor sliding glass doors. The lower deck has fourteen beautiful twin cabins (12 m² – 129 sq.ft.) with two separate single beds and two single cabins (9 m² – 97 sq.ft.). In most cabins and all suites, on prior request, the beds can be set together as a double bed. On request, an additional third bed is available in one of the suites and one of the twin cabins (Pullman bed, above one of the other beds).
All cabins have en-suite facilities with a shower, toilet and basin. The cabins on the lower deck have portholes (fixed for safety reasons), upper deck suites have sliding glass doors that can be partly opened. The air conditioning in all cabins can be individually regulated. Furthermore, in each cabin you will find a flat screen satellite TV, a mini safe and a hair dryer.
Description of the ship
The upper deck has a large, tastefully furnished salon with a restaurant area, a nice bar and a lounge area with cozy sitting corners, a wide screen TV and large panoramic windows. There are also two TV screens (a camera and a navigation system) to see the real-time movement and position of the barge. Wi-Fi is available. Large glass doors open to the beautiful partially roofed teak wood sundeck with chairs and tables on the aft deck. There is a cycle deck on the front deck. On the top deck, the barge has a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and some deckchairs to relax and enjoy the scenery while cruising.
Day to day schedule
Tour Details Belgium & Holland: From Bruges to Amsterdam | MS Magnifique I, II and III
From 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: Bruges (11 km/6 mi.)
Embarkation time in Bruges is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. The ship awaits you in the Bruges harbor. After a welcome meeting with the crew at 2 PM there is time for bicycle fitting and a short test-ride through the countryside around Bruges. After dinner the guide will take you for a short walk through the center of town.
We advise you to come to Bruges one or more days earlier, so that you will have plenty of time to discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical city of Bruges, aptly named the “Pearl of Flanders”. 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 (35 km/21 mi. or 57 km/36 mi.)
You will start your first day of cycling by pedaling 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 medieval center features lovely illuminated streets that are a must to explore, while the architectural richness in the center of the city has to be seen to be believed. During the Middle Ages Ghent was the 2nd largest European city, after Paris. The ship will dock for the night at a lock, in a suburb of Ghent and approx. 30 cycling minutes from the city center.
Day 3: Ghent – Dendermonde/St. Amands (40 km/24 mi. or 53 km/32 mi.)
After breakfast in Ghent you will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde located at the confluence 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 the ship will be determined by the height of the tide. You will travel from Dendermonde to St. Amands by either bicycle or barge depending on the tides. Your floating hotel will be docked for the night in St. Amands.
Day 4: St. St. Amands – Temse – Antwerp (32 km/19 mi. or 49 km/31 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 harbor 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 (36 km/23 mi. or 20 km/13 mi.)
This morning, the ship will sail along the Schelde-Rhine Canal and over the huge Kreekrak lock system. Here your bicycle tour starts through the beautiful “Wouwse Plantage” forest to Tholen, Tholen once was an island in the middle of the large Zeeland streams, where many people fished for their living. Nowadays Tholen is connected to the mainland in various ways. But it is still a picturesque village with many relics of an eventful past. From Tholen you will join the ship again for a nice afternoon sail to the city of Dordrecht. Halfway the ship will pass the impressive Volkerak lock system.
Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands is your destination for the day. The guide will take you for an evening walk and tell you about the history of the Netherlands.
Day 6: Dordrecht – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen (32 km/19 mi. or 57 km/36 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 (36 km/23 mi. or 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
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.
Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.
All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
- On this Tour with more than 22 guests the daily cycling tours will be accompanied by 2 knowledgeable and multi-lingual tour leaders (not on Zwaantje). On most days the tour leaders will offer a long and a short (or a quicker and a more relaxed) bicycle option.
Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bicycle option.
- You can also choose to ride individually with the help of a map and route notes (available on board). GPS tracks will be sent to you 4 weeks before the start date of the tour.
- In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the bicycle tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
- On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 11 a.m..
- 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 (Magnifiques: 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.