Bike and Barge Netherlands & Belgium: Amsterdam – Bruges | Fluvius & Gandalf

The Amsterdam – Bruges bike and barge cycle tour is an exciting and diverse holiday experience that highlights some of the most beautiful cities of Holland and Belgium. On a daily basis you will cycle through a variety of flat landscapes through charming villages and historic cities while cruising along the impressive waterways of Zeeland, the River Schelde and the picturesque Vecht and Lek Rivers. The tour is perfect for families who want to cycle together and enjoy barge life or, for that matter, anyone wanting to enjoy a delightful week of cycling to a long list of historic destinations.

During the course of the 8 day, 7 night tour you will visit the world famous cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges – each in their own right are destinations of significance with a long list of sights and attractions to discover. Along the way you will cycle through the beautiful Dutch landscape of Zeeland, will visit a real Dutch cheese farm and 19 Dutch windmills in Kinderdijk and will discover the western Flanders region of Belgium. The province of Zeeland is essentially one big river delta of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt Rivers famous for its fantastic beaches, water sport activities and Delta works, while the Flanders region of Belgium boasts a number of world famous medieval towns and has a well-deserved reputation for superb food and drink. As well as cycling through many picturesque villages each day, you will:

  • Have the opportunity to discover Amsterdam
  • Visit Antwerp, a city famous for its vibrant nightlife
  • Get the opportunity to explore Ghent
  • Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center of Bruges

Day to day program Amsterdam - Bruges

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.

Day 1 (Sat): Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Vianen 

Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is at 1 p.m. At around 2 p.m. the ship will leave Amsterdam and sail to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek, where you will spend the night. Here the bicycles will be distributed and you can enjoy a short bicycle ride.

Day 2: Vianen – Schoonhoven – Kinderdijk  | Kinderdijk – Dordrecht (32 km/19 mi. or 56 km/34 mi.)

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 you and your bicycle in approx. 10 minutes to Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland.

Day 3 (Mon):Dordrecht – Tholen | Tholen – Kreekrak lock  | Kreekrak lock – Antwerp (20 km/13 mi. or 36 km/23 mi.)

During breakfast the Fluvius will sail to Tholen where you will start your day’s cycling by visiting the “Wouwse Plantage” forest. Another attraction on the day is the impressive Kreekrak lock. After once again meeting up with the Fluvius you will finish your day by sailing 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 has many attractions that include: 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 centre.

Day 4 (Tue): Antwerp – Temse – Dendermonde (48 km/29 mi. or 64 km/39 mi.)

Today’s tour will see you cycle out of Antwerp on a beautiful cycle path along the picturesque tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde, 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 (Wed): Dendermonde – Ghent (52 km/32 mi.)

Today you will continue to follow the river Schelde to Ghent where the ship will moor for the night at a lock in a suburb of town. Ghent is a lively university city that boasts a rich history. The city’s position at the junction of Leie and Schelde Rivers has meant it to be a major trading port since Roman times. In total the city features an Opera House, 18 museums, more than 100 churches and over 400 historical buildings. A major attraction is 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.

Day 6 (Thu): Ghent – Moerbrugge | Moerbrugge  – Bruges (33 km/21 mi. or 41 km/26 mi.)

During breakfast the Fluvius will sail from Ghent to a place close to Bruges. Your bicycle tour will lead through the beautiful Flemish countryside of western Flanders around this beautiful city, widely described as the ‘Venice of the North’. The city attracts more than two million visitors every year who come for the ambience of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic centre. An outstanding example of a medieval 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 constructions 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.

Day 7: Tour around Bruges to the North Sea (38 km/23 mi or 51 km/31 mi.)

Your final day of cycling takes you along a quiet canal and past beautiful poplar trees through an attractive polder landscape (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 sandy beach, visit any one of numerous cafés and see the attractive dune landscape. On the return ride to Bruges you will cycle along a small picturesque canal.

Day 8 (Sat): Bruges

End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.

Good to know
  • Fluvius: On this Tour with more than 22 guests the daily cycling tours will be accompanied by 2 knowledgeable and multi-lingual tour leaders. 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 12-noon.

Day to day program Bruges - Amsterdam

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.

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 p.m. there is time for bicycle fitting and a short test-ride through the countryside around Bruges. After dinner the tour leader will take you for a 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 (57 km/36 mi.)

Your cycle tour starts early today in the outskirts of Bruges. 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 town center features lovely illuminated streets that are a must to explore, while the architectural richness in the historical 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 (Mon): Ghent – Dendermonde (40 km/24 mi.)

After breakfast in Ghent you will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde, a friendly little town, located at the junction of Dender and Schelde Rivers. Dendermonde has a beautiful town hall located at a cozy square. The ideal place to have a nice Belgium beer after your bicycle ride. Worth visiting is also the St. Alexius Beguinage where you can learn about housekeeping, work and recreation in the lives of former generations.

Day 4 (Tue): Dendermonde – Antwerp (48 km/21 mi. or 63 km/39 mi.)

Today we will follow the Schelde River further downstream through the Temse region and the small village of Baasrode to Antwerp. This part of the route is along a most beautiful and twisting section of the Schelde which over the centuries held strategic importance for the Romans, Vikings, Spanish and Napoleon. Antwerp, your destination for the day, is a harbor city situated on the river Schelde 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.

Day 5 (Wed): Antwerp – Kreekrak locks | Kreekrak locks Tholen | Tholen – Willemstad (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 beautiful fortified city of Willemstad, named after William I, price of Orange. Halfway the ship will pass the impressive Volkerak lock system. Your tour leader will take you for an evening walk and tell you about the history of the Netherlands.

Day 6 (Thu): WillemstadAlblasserdam | Alblasserdam – Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen (32 km/19 mi. or 57 km/36 mi.)

The barge will bring you to Alblasserdam. From here you will cycle to 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 spend the evening. Since the 17th century Schoonhoven – nicknamed Silver City – has been renowned for its talented silversmiths.

Day 7 (Fri): Vianen – Breukelen | Breukelen – Amsterdam (38 km/24 mi. or 48 km/29 mi.)

During breakfast the barge will cruise to Breukelen where you disembark and start your final day of cycling. Ride along the Vecht River in an area famous for its beautiful mansions, small castles and beautiful houses with large gardens and parks. After cycling through the villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland you 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 harbor.

Day 8 (Sat): Amsterdam

End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.



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Available ships for this tour

Fluvius

Fluvius For many years the river cruiser Fluvius has been a popular choice. On board …

Fluvius

For many years the river cruiser Fluvius has been a popular choice. On board of this charming ship, which caters for a maximum of 44 guests, there are 18 twins and 4 double cabins: 14 regular and 1 smaller twin on the lower deck, and 3 twins and 4 double cabins on the upper deck. All of these are equipped with the necessary facilities: beds, bathroom, air conditioning and a cabinet for your belongings. Have drink in the salon on the upper deck and enjoy your meal in the restaurant area. Or take a seat on the large sun deck if the weather allows it.

BICYCLES/E_BIKES:
The bicycles on board are all touring or trekkingbikes of the brand ‘Bikkel’ and have a unisex frame (you can get on the bike comfortably), 7-speed gear, a hand- and pedal brake and a pannier bag. There are some bikes with only hand brakes available.
There are E-Bikes available (on request and at additional costs) of the brand Bikkel 1bee E2; these have 8 gears, 4 support levels, hand breaks only and a pannier bag .

Bike rent is optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles or E-bikes (at no extra cost). There is only space for 4 own bicycles. If you want to bring your own bike, please let us know so we can check if there is space left. However, the crew or tour operator is in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles.
Other bikes (e.g. children’s bikes, “slip streamers”, tandems, etc.) and child saddles (rear) on these tours are only available after prior request (by booking) and confirmation and in very limited numbers.

All details

Fluvius

For many years the river cruiser Fluvius has been a popular choice. On board of this charming ship, which caters for a maximum of 44 guests, there are 18 twins and 4 double cabins: 14 regular and 1 smaller twin on the lower deck, and 3 twins and 4 double cabins on the upper deck. All of these are equipped with the necessary facilities: beds, bathroom, air conditioning and a cabinet for your belongings. Have drink in the salon on the upper deck and enjoy your meal in the restaurant area. Or take a seat on the large sun deck if the weather allows it.

BICYCLES/E_BIKES:
The bicycles on board are all touring or trekkingbikes of the brand ‘Bikkel’ and have a unisex frame (you can get on the bike comfortably), 7-speed gear, a hand- and pedal brake and a pannier bag. There are some bikes with only hand brakes available.
There are E-Bikes available (on request and at additional costs) of the brand Bikkel 1bee E2; these have 8 gears, 4 support levels, hand breaks only and a pannier bag .

Bike rent is optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles or E-bikes (at no extra cost). There is only space for 4 own bicycles. If you want to bring your own bike, please let us know so we can check if there is space left. However, the crew or tour operator is in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles.
Other bikes (e.g. children’s bikes, “slip streamers”, tandems, etc.) and child saddles (rear) on these tours are only available after prior request (by booking) and confirmation and in very limited numbers.

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Gandalf

Immediately when you come on board, you will feel the friendly atmosphere. The crew will do their best to make you feel at home. In your cozy cabin you’ll find everything you need for a comfortable stay: a fine bed, a window that can be opened, central heating and a private bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet. The salon is a great place to relax after your bike tour, and with nice weather it is also lovely to sit outside. From here you can view the solar panels, which make the ship, for a large part, run on green energy!

Bicycles/E-Bikes
Our bikes are touring bicycles of the Dutch brand Batavus (type: Boulevard or comparable) with 24-speed chain gear, hand brakes and pannier bag. The bicycles have a comfortable gel saddle. These bikes come in three frame sizes.
The E-bike is a Batavus (type: Mont Blanc Easy or comparable) with 10-speed chain gear, hand brakes and pannier bag. The rear wheel engine with ION-technology offers five levels of support. The E-bikes have a comfortable gel saddle.

Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles (at no additional fee). However, the crew or tour operators are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of guests own bicycles.
Prices of other bikes (e.g. children’s bikes, “slip streamers”/tag-a-long, tandem bicycles etc. and child’s saddles (rear) are on request.

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Included, excluded & information

Included in this tour

8 days/7 nights

7 x breakfast

Packed lunches

7 x 3-course dinner

Coffee and tea on board during breakfast and after the cycling tours, till 4 PM

Welcome drink

Use of bed linen and towels

Daily cleaning of the cabin (Gandalf: cleaning of the cabin once a week)

Climate-controlled cabin (Fluvius)

Daily briefings

Fully guided cycling tours (Fluvius: 2 tour leaders, 2 groups; Gandalf: 1 tour leader)

Some short walking tours

Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)

GPS tracks

Use of a waterproof pannier bag

2019: Fees for ferries / waterbus

Wi-Fi (Gandalf)

Excluded in this tour

Drinks

Coffee and tea on board on other hours

Bicycle rental or E-bike rental

Helmet rental

Wi-Fi (Fluvius: unlimited data package to be purchased on board: €10)

Personal insurances

Gratuities (at your discretion)

Entrance fees and excursions

2018: Fees for ferries / waterbus

Transfers to/from the docking place

Parking fees

Additional options & information

Rental bicycle: €75 per week
Rental E-Bike: €175 per week (only on request, limited number available)
You can find a description of the bicycles when you click on ship.

Helmets:          
A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.

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.


Availability and prices

Tour dates 2019 – Fluvius
Amsterdam to Bruges:  departure on: April 20; May 4 and 18; June 15 and 29; July 13 and 27; August 10 and 24; Sept. 7 and 21.
Bruges to Amsterdam:  departure on: April 27; May 25; June 8 and 22; July 20; August 3, 17 and 31; Sept. 28.

Tour dates 2019 – Gandalf
Amsterdam to Bruges:  departure on: April 27 and July 13
Bruges to Amsterdam:  departure on: June 29 and August 17

Cabin type For April 20 April 27 - Sept. 21 Sept 28
Small twin cabin below deck (Fluvius 2 pers. From €839 From €889 From €839 Twin cabin below deck 2 pers. From €889 From €939 From €889 Twin cabin below deck for single use 1 pers. From €1139 From €1189 From €1139 Twin cabin upper deck (Fluvius) 2 pers. From €1039 From €1089 From €1039 Upper deck double cabin (Fluvius) 2 pers. From €1139 From €1189 From €1139 Triple cabin (Gandalf) 3 pers. on request From €899 Not available

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