Boat and Bike tour Paris to Bruges 2023
The most famous of our tours! From the City of Light to the Medieval town of Bruges in two weeks. It is also possible to do half the trip, either from Paris to Péronne, or from Péronne to Bruges.
From the berth you will experience the wonderful cruise through the heart of Paris to the Seine, along the Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. From there you will continue to Auvers sur Oise (where Vincent van Gogh lived and painted the last months of his life), the castle and stables of Chantilly to Compiègne. The place where the Armistice that ended WWI was signed.
Most of our guests from Australia, Canada and New Zealand experience this tour as a journey through their own history because of the memories of the Great War. In Péronne, where ANZAC day is commemorated each year, the Feniks halts for a day to offer you the possibility to make a guided tour along the War Memorials of the First World War, like Villers-Bretonneux, the Victoria School and the 4th Division Memorial of the Australian Army Corps in Bellenglise.
Character of the tour
The tour is most of the time in slightly sloping countryside with occasionally some steeper hills. Daily average distance of 40 - 45 Km, sometimes 50 Km, or 4 to max. 5 hrs. by bike.
This is a two week tour, of which you can join the Feniks one week from Paris to Péronne. From Péronne the airport Charles de Gaulle is less than one hour by TGV.
Day to day schedule
Day 1 Saturday: Paris
After arrival and welcome at the barge on the mooring place, the barge leaves from its berth for a boat tour through Paris and on the Seine.
Day 2 Sunday: Paris-Bougival
Depending on the mooring place, you will traverse Sunday-morning Paris with relatively less traffic, following the Seine-river. This first day has some serious slopes to conquer (Paris is not flat!). We will go through parks (Bois de Boulogne) and forest to Versailles (lunch) where we will visit the park. Through Sunday afternoon quiet suburbs we will find our way. Option: visit to chateau/museum of Malmaison (Napoleon and Josephine). Mooring near Bougival.
Day 3 Monday: Bougival-Auvers sur Oise 30 km.
In the morning we follow a bike trail along the river to nearby St. Germain-en-Laye. From the bridge to the castle is a ca. 1 km. slope. The French kings had many luxurious dwellings in and near Paris. From St. Germain the court finally moved to Versailles.In the castle houses a fine prehistoric museum. Coffee stop. We follow the river more or less and will have lunch in the next town. End of this Seine-day is in Conflans Ste.
Honorine, a once busy river port. From here the ship will sail upstream the Oise river to Auvers. This nice little town is connected with the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, who spent his last months here, producing a large number of paintings. Guided walk.
Day 4 Tuesday: Auvers sur Oise – Creil 35 km.
An early sailing brings us quite a distance upstream. The bike ride leads us to the forest around Chantilly. Here an impressive chateau (art) can be visited. In case it is closed (Tuesdays off season) a good alternative is a visit to the former abbey of Royaumont.After Chantilly the longer ride-option offers you a nice ride to the historic town of Senlis (Roman traces, cathedral) and a beautiful wooded landscape back to the river in Creil.
Day 5 Wednesday: Creil – Compiegne 40 km.
Another early sailing on the Oise-river starts your day. Cycling away from the river you’ll hardly experience the very moderate slope. After coffee stop we are heading for the immense Compiegne forest. On our way to there, you’ll see a ruin of a chapel and impressive Roman excavations. Lunch in a village in the forest. Pierrefonds castle is a must-see! All the way back to the river is in the forest. Compiegne is waiting for us. It’s a nice town. Palace-museum. You can join a guided walk in this historic town (Joan of Arc).
Day 6 Thursday: Compiegne – Noyon 45 km.
An open space in the forest of Compiegne is connected with two truces of two World Wars (Clairière d’Armistice). There is a small museum to be visited. After the coffee stop we
enter a lovely wooded valley on our way to the north. In one of the villages we can have our lunch. In the afternoon we are heading for the old town of Noyon with it’s immense cathedral. At it’s foot there is a nice historic museum. Another nearby little museum is dedicated to the reformer Calvin who was born here. Mooring near Noyon.
Day 7 Friday: Noyon- Peronne 60 km.
Because of the distance the first leg of this daytrip is often covered by sailing. We are entering the wide agricultural area of Northern France, also site of fierce fighting in the
war of 1914-1918. You’ll encounter military cemeteries in this vast area. Coffeestop and lunch in a small town and village. In the afternoon we are heading for the Canal du Nord.
Near one of the locks we might meet our ship. If not, the last stretch is a nice ride with a stop near the river Somme to our destination today, Péronne. Dinner in town today.
Day 8 Saturday: Peronne – Moislains 20 km.
Day in Peronne. The Historial, the war museum in the castle is worth while visiting. There is another small local museum in the centre. Participants who are even more interested in
the history of the Great War ‘14-’18 could use their day off for a visit to one or more places connected with the 1st World War. To the west, direction Amiens was the Australian
sector. Visit on your own initiative. Ask your guide for information at the beginning of your journey. If there are enough interested guests a tour along interesting WW1 sites will be organized
by a local guide with great knowledge of the Great War (not included in price).
Day 9 Sunday: Moislains – Arleux 55 km.
The sailing towards the end of the canal near Arleux takes a long time because of the ship traffic and many locks. The captain might leave on Saturday afternoon already to make the
next day easier for guests and crew! The bike ride starts near Moislains and you will encounter only a few minor slopes. Coffee stop in a village and lunch probably in Cambrai. For a while (16th century) this town was part of the Netherlands! Easy cycling afterwards to the end of Canal du Nord near Arleux.
Day 10 Monday: Arleux – Valenciennes 50 km.
A day in the north of France. The name of Arleux is connected with garlic, important ingredient used in the French kitchen. Between the English Channel and the German
Ruhr-area in a relatively narrow belt there was a major coalmining industry in the 19th and the first three quarters of the 20th century. This is still visible in the landscape. Red brick
buildings are abundant here. Option: visit to a coalmine-museum. Bouchain has an old fortress and a small museum. Valenciennes is a bigger town with all facilities belonging to
that (museums etc.)
Day 11 Tuesday: Valenciennes-Tournai 60 km.
Into Belgium. The town of Escaudin has an monday-market. Good place to stop for a while! After the coffee stop in another small town we’ll enter St. Amand-les-Eaux with its impressive tower. Time for lunch! Towards Tournai we can take the longer ride in a beautiful forest area, cross the river Escaut and find our way on quiet countryroads towards the Belgian border. Along the Escaut-river we cycle into Tournai. If necessary, we can take a shortcut after St. Amand. Tournai is famous for its historic town centre. Highlight is the cathedral with its five towers. Mooring near the city centre, at walking distance.
Day 12 Wednesday: Tournai – Oudenaarde 45km.
Cycling to Oudenaarde is easy, just following the river Escaut. After crossing the language-border(coffee stop), the river is called Schelde. An alternative with just a few slopes a bit further away from the river is an option. Near the lunch place the hill-lovers have a chance to prove their climbing capacities! Nearby are two of the (in!)famous cobblestone covered roads up to the hill (12 and 20 % slope. A beautiful bikepath on a former railroad track leads us to near Oudenaarde. Highlights in town: townhall with tapestries, bicycle centre Tour of Flanders, church, beer brewery. On the market-edge you’ll find several café’s. Mooring ca. 1 km. from the market square. Walk in town.
Day 13 Thursday: Oudenaarde – Gent 45 km.
The ride to Gent is nice. First part is along the river, with visit to the former location of an abbey and castle of Ename (3 km’s from Oudenaarde). Quiet roads, patches of forest, some villages and nice bike paths lead us to Merelbeke (lunch). We are near Gent already. Via bike-friendly roads we cycle into the centre where you will have time to visit some of the highlights (St. Baafs cathedral with the famous triptych ‘Mystic Lamb’, the castle, museum of fine arts etc. You will like Gent! It is a very lively town (more than 250.000 inh.) partly because of its many young inhabitants (university students). Well lit Gent in the evening is another experience. Dinner in town this evening.
Day 14 Friday: Gent – Brugge 40 km.
Between Gent and Bruges you will experience the typical landscape of Flanders. Fields with all kind of crops, winding country roads, small towns, some forest. After Nevele (coffee stop) Poeke, with its castle and park and two café’s on the square near the church is a good place to have lunch. On our further way towards Bruges we will find some villages and patches of forest and of course a café to have a tea stop. Then we will encounter the canal and follow it into Bruges. The mooring is at the very beginning of town, so no ride in busy traffic necessary. At the end of the afternoon the guide can show you some of the highlights of town.
Day 15 Saturday: Bruges
After breakfast your bike-and barge tour comes to an end.
- multi lingual tour guide
- 7x breakfast, 7x lunch and 6x (3 course) dinner per week. Gluten and lactose free diets are welcome, other diets at request.
- coffee, tea and biscuits
- afternoon snacks
- twin cabin with shower/toilet ensuite
- daily check and cleaning of your cabin
- daily care of your personal laundry
- coverage by Dutch Guarantee Fund
- (non)alcoholic beverages aboard and ashore. Soda, beer and wine are available at reasonable prices; corkage fee of €7,50 if you bring your own wine.
- entrance fees
- gratuities (avg. €60 per cabin/week)
- 24 speed bikes with helmets, pannier, lock and water bottle (see above)
|Cabins 2023||Prices p.p.p.w.|
|Luxury cabin||€ 2.690,-|
|Twin cabin lower beds||€ 2.360,-|
|Bunk bed double use||€ 2.025,-|
|Bicycle rent p.p.p.w.||€ 95,-|
|E-bike p.p.p.w.||€ 175,-|