Bike and Barge Belgium: Bruges – Brussels | Magnifique

During this tour by bike & barge you can enjoy the most beautiful art cities of Flanders: Brussels, Mechelen, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges are wonderful and interesting historical cities. The daily guided cycling tours will lead you through a variety of beautiful flat landscapes and along the river Schelde. You will also visit many picturesque small towns. The major historical Flemish “art cities”, like Brussels, Mechelen, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges will present their Flemish art treasures. You can make relaxing cycling tours over old tow paths along small canals and rivers and along poplar-lined lanes to ancient villages, where beer is still being brewed like in grandfathers times. And when one tries this local village beer in an authentic pub or in an outside street café under the trees, the people approvingly raise their glass, especially when one arrives by bicycle. Enjoy a combination of beautiful cycling tours, various highlights, Flemish delicacies and a very nice stay aboard your „floating hotel“.

Apart from cycling through many picturesque towns villages each day, you will:

  • Enjoy the best of Brussels
  • Visit Antwerp, a city famous for its vibrant nightlife
  • Get the opportunity to explore Ghent
  • Be able to explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center of Bruges

Day to day program Bruges to Brussels

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. Meet your barge in the Bruges harbor. After a welcome by 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 „Venice of the North“, well known as city of art and museums. Its city center with lots of canals is put on the World Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while overviewing the “Grote Markt” square with its hustle and bustle.

Day 2: Roundtrip from/to Bruges & North Sea (37 km/22 mi. or 51 km/30 mi.)

The first cycling tour starts by taking you to a quiet poplar-lined canal through an attractive flat and green polder landscape with nice small farm houses. Continue via the small city of Damme to the North Sea cost. Long sandy beaches, numerous cafés and the attractive sand dune landscape provide enough variety during your lunch break. Then return to Bruges while riding along a small canal.

Day 3: Bruges – Ghent (35 km/21 mi. or 57 km/36 mi.)

Today you will start 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 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 4: 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 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 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 5: St. Amands – Temse – Antwerp (35 km/21 mi. or 49 km/31 mi.)

This part of the route is among the most beautiful and twisting parts of Schelde river. Your cycling tour starts in St. Amands and you will cycle past the water tower and you cross the Brussels-Rupel canal. The tour continues through an historical brick factory area between Boom and Niel where, since the Middle Ages, bricks are still being manufactured. From Rupelmonde you will have a lovely cycling tour to Hemiksem, to reach Antwerp. This harbor city on the river Schelde is one of the world’s major diamond cities and has many highlights: the City Hall is one of several majestic buildings constructed in the Renaissance, the historical City Square Grote Markt, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle. Dinner in a restaurant of your choice (not included).

Day 6: Antwerp – Lier – Willebroek (34 km/21 mi .or 54 km/34 mi.)

Just after breakfast you will leave the ship and cycle through the quiet suburbs of Antwerp, with nice villa’s and manicured gardens, to Lier. The city of Lier has 2 UNESCO World heritage sites, the Beguinage and the Belfry. Beguinages are closed courtyards – where, in past centuries, widows and unmarried women led a religiously inspired, but independent life. Self-rule occurred under the leadership of a “grand dame”. From Lier you cycle along the small river Nete to Willebroek, where the ship will be waiting for you.

Day 7: Willebroek – Mechelen – Zemst (38 km/23 mi.) | Zemst – Brussels*

While the barge is sailing over the Willebroek canal, you will ride your last cycling tour through green, soft slanted hilly country via Mechelen to Zemst. Remarkable in Mechelen is that over 300 buildings on less than 3 square kilometers are listed as historical buildings; 8 of these are churches. From Zemst you will meet the barge and sail to Brussels*. Your tour leader will take you for a walk through the historical city center, along the gothic town hall and the beautiful guild houses on the Grote Markt.

*Day 7/8: your barge may also stay for the night in/near Zemst, to sail to Brussels on early Saturday morning during breakfast.

Day 8: Brussels*

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

Good to know
  • 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) bike option.

Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bike 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 bike 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 PM.

Day to day program Brussels to 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: Brussels*

Individual arrival in Brussels. Embarkation time is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. The ship awaits you in the Brussels harbor. After a welcome meeting with the crew at 2 p.m. your tour leader will take you for walk (and you will also use public transport) to explore the capital of Belgium: Just take a walk through the historical city center, along the gothic town hall and the beautiful guild houses on the Grote Markt square.

*Day 1/2: your barge may already leave Brussels on Sat. evening during dinner to sail to  Zemst and stay there for the night, instead of staying in Brussels for the first night.

Day 2: Brussels – Zemst* | Zemst – Mechelen – Willebroek (38 km/23 mi.)

During breakfast the barge will sail to  Zemst*. On your first cycling tour you will visit Mechelen. Remarkable in Mechelen is that over 300 buildings on less than 3 square kilometers are listed as historical buildings; 8 of these are churches. Continue through green, soft slanted hilly country, along picturesque villages and large country estates to Willebroek. In the meantime the barge will sail over the Willebroek canal to today’s destination.

*Day 1/2: your barge may already leave Brussels on Saturday evening during dinner to sail to Zemst and stay there for the night, instead of staying in Brussels for the first night.

Day 3: Willebroek – Antwerp (34 km/21 mi. or 54 km/34 mi.)

Tour from Willebroek to Lier. The city of Lier has 2 Unesco World heritage sites, the beguinage and the belfry. Beguinages are closed courtyards, where widows and unmarried women led a religiously inspired but independent life. Self-rule occurred under the leadership of a ‘grand dame’. From Lier you continue to Antwerp. This harbor city on the river Scheldt is one of the world’s major diamond cities and has many highlights: the City Hall is one of several majestic buildings constructed in the Renaissance, the historical City Square Grote Markt, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle. Dinner in a restaurant of your choice (not included).

Day 4: Antwerp – Temse – St. Amands (34 km/21 mi. or 49 km/31 mi.)

Today’s cycling tour will lead you upstream the river Schelde to Rupelmonde, where the river Rupel joins the river Schelde. 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. You will cycle along a picturesque section to St. Amands, your home for the night.

Day 5: St. Amands – Dendermonde | Dendermonde– Ghent (52 km/32 mi.)

During breakfast the ship will bring you to the beautiful city Dendermonde, where your cycling tour starts. A “must” is a short stop on the beautiful Flemish market square Grote Markt of Dendermonde. Today’s cycling tour will lead you to the vibrant city of Ghent. Explore the pedestrian area in the town center, partly by bicycle and partly on foot. The architectural richness in the historical center of the city of Ghent (during the Middle Ages the 2nd largest European city just after Paris), has been maintained well. Docking place for the night is at a lock, in a suburb of Ghent, approx. 30 cycling minutes from the center of town.

Day 6: Ghent – Bruges (22 km/13 mi. or 45 km/28 mi.)

Today you will cycle from Ghent through the beautiful Flemish countryside of western Flanders to Bruges, widely described as the ‘Venice of the North’ and arguably the most beautiful of all the Flemish cities. Bruges attracts more than two million visitors every year who come to see the picturesque medieval town center of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic city and a long list of historic attractions. An outstanding example of a medieval historic 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 buildings 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.)

The last cycling tour takes you first to a quiet canal along where you’ll find lots of poplars, through an attractive polder landscape with nice small farm houses. Then via the small city of Damme to the North Sea cost. A long sandy beach, numerous cafés and the attractive dune landscape provide enough variety during your lunch break. Then back to Bruges while riding along a small canal.

Day 8: Bruges

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



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Available ships for this tour

Premium

Magnifique

Magnifique The premium barge Magnifique accommodates up to 30 guests and breathes an atmosphere of …

Magnifique

The premium barge Magnifique accommodates up to 30 guests and breathes an atmosphere of luxury and comfort. The 16 lower deck cabins are provided with box spring beds and a bathroom with shower, sink and toilet. On the main deck you’ll see that the bar is the center of attention, especially during the evening. Around are tables and comfortable chairs where you will be seated during breakfast and when the deliciously cooked dinners are served. In front there is a sitting area and outside are some seats. Last but not least: the Jacuzzi on the aft deck.

Bicycles/E-bikes:
The bicycles on board are unisex city bicycles of the brand Batavus Dinsdag with normal mount (ladies model), easy-to-handle Shimano 7 gears, handbrakes, gel-saddle (height adjustable), a lock on the frame and a pannier bag.
The e-bike is Velo de Vile with Nexus 7 gears, 5 support levels and hand breaks only, a lock on the frame and a pannier bag (or a comparable brand/model). E-Bikes limited available, on request and at an additional charge.

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. Bike rent is optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles or E-bikes (at no extra cost). However, the crew or tour operator is in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles.

 

All details

Magnifique

The premium barge Magnifique accommodates up to 30 guests and breathes an atmosphere of luxury and comfort. The 16 lower deck cabins are provided with box spring beds and a bathroom with shower, sink and toilet. On the main deck you’ll see that the bar is the center of attention, especially during the evening. Around are tables and comfortable chairs where you will be seated during breakfast and when the deliciously cooked dinners are served. In front there is a sitting area and outside are some seats. Last but not least: the Jacuzzi on the aft deck.

Bicycles/E-bikes:
The bicycles on board are unisex city bicycles of the brand Batavus Dinsdag with normal mount (ladies model), easy-to-handle Shimano 7 gears, handbrakes, gel-saddle (height adjustable), a lock on the frame and a pannier bag.
The e-bike is Velo de Vile with Nexus 7 gears, 5 support levels and hand breaks only, a lock on the frame and a pannier bag (or a comparable brand/model). E-Bikes limited available, on request and at an additional charge.

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. Bike rent is optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles or E-bikes (at no extra cost). However, the crew or tour operator is in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles.

 

Visit this ships page

Included, excluded & information

Included in this tour

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 (2 tour leaders, 2 groups)

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: Canal trip through Ghent

2019: Entrance cathedral Antwerp

2019: Guided tour in Brussels (only on Bruges – Brussels)

2019: Visit beer brewery in Mechelen (only on Brussels – Bruges)

Wi-Fi

Excluded in this tour

1 x diner (Antwerp)

Drinks

Bicycle rental or E-bike rental

Personal insurances

Gratuities (at your discretion)

Entrance fees and excursions (not mentioned under inclusions)

City maps

Transfers to/from the docking place

Parking fees

Additional options & information

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 Bruges and Brussels:
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 – Magnifique:
Brussels to Bruges: departure on June 29

Cabin type For All departures
Twin cabin 2 pers. From €1159 Premium twin 2 pers. From €1359 Single / Twin for single use 1 pers. From €1549 Triple cabin 3 pers. From €1109 Premium triple 1 pers. From €1279

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