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Highlights of this tour

Bike along the tidal river Scheldt

Beautiful art cities: Brussels & Bruges

Taste fine Belgium beers and chocolate

Barges with max. 22 passengers

Guidance
  • Fully-guided: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Semi-guided: Daily briefing by the tour leader, independent cycling but tour leader available ICE.
  • Independent: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Semi-guided Fully-guided
Difficulty
  • Level 1: easy tours, very flat terrain
  • Level 2: quite easy tours, mostly flat terrain
  • Level 3: requires a higher level of exertion, medium hilly terrain
  • Level 4: for experienced cyclists, hilly terrain with climbs
Difficulty level 1 Difficulty level 1
Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 8 days

Bike and Barge Belgium: Across Flanders – Bruges-Brussels or vice versa | Mecklenburg

The Bruges to Brussels bike and barge tour on board the Mecklenburg is an absolute cycling classic that takes you through an enchanting river landscape bookended by these two iconic Belgian cities. During this eight day, seven night tour you will not only get the opportunity to discover the enchanting river/canal system of Belgium, but will also get to visit and explore the world famous cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Mechelen and Bruges. Along the way you will cycle through small traditional Belgian villages, will visit a number of famous local landmarks and, importantly, will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Belgium’s well-deserved reputation for superb food and drink. Major attractions of the tour include:

  • The city of Brussels, capitol of Europe;
  • Antwerp, a city famous for its vibrant nightlife, as the city of diamonds and for its harbor;
  • The opportunity to explore medieval Ghent;
  • The UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center of Bruges;
  • Mechelen, a small but very picturesque city

On a daily basis you will cycle along old tow paths next to small canals and rivers and via quiet country lanes to ancient villages steeped in history. Enjoy a coffee or one of the many village beers in an authentic Belgian pub where the locals approvingly raise their glass, especially when you arrive by bike.

 

Day to day program Bruges - Brussels

In italics printed parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. When you do not want to cycle one day, you 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.

Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Bruges

Individual arrival in Bruges. The ship awaits you in the Bruges harbor. Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from 3 to 5 p.m. Before or after boarding take the opportunity to explore this lovely city of art, widely described as the “Venice of the North”. You can enjoy the ambience of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center during a leisurely walk, take in the hustle and bustle of the Grote Markt square (Great Market square), visit one of Bruges many museums or simply enjoy the stunning beauty and culture of this unforgettable city from the comfort of a sidewalk café.

Day 2 (Sun): Bruges | Roundtrip around Bruges to the North Sea coast (55 km/33 mi.)

Your first day of cycling will take you through Damme, the birthplace of the impudent Middle Ages trickster Till Eulenspiegel, to the seaside resort of Blankenberge. Visit anyone of numerous cafés and, if you want to cool down, enjoy a swim in the North Sea. After approx. 2 hours you will cycle back to Bruges and the ship.

Day 3 (Mon): Bruges – Moerebrugge | Moerebrugge – Oostende – Ghent (40 km/24 mi.)

While you enjoy breakfast the barge will sail to Moerebrugge where you will start your day’s cycling. With the historical city of Ghent your destination today you will cycle via Oostende along the Ghent-Oostende-canal through the beautiful Flemish landscape. The town center of Ghent 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, after Paris, Ghent was the 2nd largest European city. The ship will dock for the night at the Merelbeke lock, a suburb of Ghent and approx. 30 cycling minutes to the city center.

Day 4 (Tue): Ghent (Merelbeke) – Dendermonde (48 km/29 mi.) | Dendermonde – St. Amands 

After breakfast you will cycle through a diverse landscape to Dendermonde which is located at the mouth of the Dender River where it flows into the Schelde River. Here you can enjoy some time off your bicycle with a coffee or a cup of tea at the beautiful Flemish Grote Market square. In the evening shipping to St. Amands one of the most beautiful and winding parts of the route on the river Schelde.

Day 5 (Wed): St. Amands – Temse – Antwerp (42 km/25 mi.)

Your cycle route for the day starts in St. Amands and takes you over the Brussels-Rupel canal and on to an historical brick factory situated between Boom and Niel where bricks have been manufactured since the Middle Ages. After cycling through the countryside to Rupelmonde and later Hemiksem you will finally reach Antwerp, your destination for the night. Antwerp is a harbor city situated on the river Schelde famous for handling up to 80% of the world’s rough diamonds. 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 6 (Thu): Antwerp – Lier – Willebroek (45 km/27 mi.)

After breakfast you will cycle through the leafy suburbs of Antwerp and past typical Belgian villas that feature beautiful trees, manicured gardens and picturesque facades to Lier. From here you cycle along the small river Nete and on to Willebroek where the ship will be waiting for you.

Day 7 (Fri): Willebroek – Mechelen – Vilvoorde (40 km/24 mi.) | Vilvoorde – Brussels 

While the barge sets sail along the Willebroek canal, your final day’s cycling will see you pass through the picturesque countryside via Mechelen to Vilvoorde. Mechelen is a remarkable city that boasts more than 300 buildings that are historically listed. Of these, 8 are churches – all on less than 3 square kilometers! From Vilvoorde you will board the ship for the trip to Brussels, where you can walk through the historical city center, visit the Grote Markt square (Great Market square), arguably Europe’s most beautiful medieval square lined with guild houses or marvel at the Gothic town hall.

Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Brussels

Disembarkation after breakfast till 09:30 a.m.
End of your trip.

Good to know

In italics printed parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. When you do not want to cycle one day, you 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.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.

Alterations of schedule or program:  Subject to change. If a route cannot be shipped as a result of low or high water or bad weather, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this will not be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).

  • Cycle Tours: guided or individual. The guided bike tours are coordinated with the tour guide, depending on the group composition and performance. There are maps and route descriptions on board available for individual bike tours. You will cycle between 40 and 55 km per day. All mentioned kilometers are approximate distances of the recommended bike tours.
  • Cycle routes/ level of difficulty: easy cycling – can be done by anyone with an average condition. Most of the stretches are paved or asphalted, and low-traffic agricultural roads but also on sandy forest trails. Shorter sections also along the main roads. The route is mostly flat, with some hills to overcome.
  • Luggage on board: We recommend waterproof rain gear, bike helmet, sun hat and sports shoes. We would like to ask you to do without hard-side luggage, as storage space in the cabin is very limited!
  • Travel documents: EU-citizens (without special situations like dual citizenship, main residence abroad or a limited-validity passport) are required to have a valid passport or ID-card, not expiring within six (6) months of the return of your cruise. We kindly ask non-EU citizens, EU-nationals with multiple citizenship or anybody who has to respect special legal entry requirements for the country to visit, to inform about visa and entry documents at the competent embassy.

This trip is not suitable for guests with reduced mobility.

  • 2019:
  • A guide will guide the bike tour daily, however it is also possible to ride the bike tour individually (self-guided).
  • Tour descriptions and 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.
  • On the arrival day it is possible to load your luggage on board from 11 a.m.

Day to day program Brussels - Bruges

In italics printed parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. When you do not want to cycle one day, you 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.

In italics printed parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. When you do not want to cycle one day, you 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.

Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Brussels

Individual arrival in Brussels. The ship awaits you in the Brussels harbor. Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from 3 to 5 p.m. Take some time to explore the capital of Belgium: walk through the historical city center, visit the Grote Markt square (Great Market square), arguably Europe’s most beautiful medieval square lined with guild houses, marvel at the Gothic town hall or visit the Royal Palace! The highlight of the palace, many will agree, is the Mirror Room which is adorned from floor to ceiling with mirrors and 11 luminous chandeliers.

Day 2 (Sun): Brussels – Vilvoorde | Vilvoorde – Mechelen – Willebroek (40 km/24 mi.)

During breakfast the ship will sail to Vilvoorde where, following the distribution of bicycles, your first day of cycling will see you travel to Mechelen a remarkable city that boasts more than 300 buildings that are historically listed. Of these, 8 are churches – all on less than 3 square kilometers! Cycle on from Mechelen past picturesque villages and large country estates to Willebroek where your floating hotel will be waiting with a warm shower and a delicious meal.

Day 3 (Mon): Willebroek – Antwerp (50 km/30 mi.)

Today you will cycle from Willebroek via Lier to Antwerp. Antwerp is a harbour city situated on the river Schelde famous for handling up to 80% of the world’s rough diamonds. Lively Antwerp is a hidden gem. Its medieval streets, Renaissance monuments and vibrant nightlife are a magnet for tourists from around the world. Highlights to be discovered include: the City Hall, one of several majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period, the historical City Square Grote Markt, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle.

Day 4 (Tue): Antwerp – St. Amands / Dendermonde (42 km/25 mi.) | St. Amands – Dendermonde 

The bicycle tour today will take you upstream along the Schelde River to Hemiksem and on to Rupelmonde where the Schelde joins the Rupel River. After following the Rupel for a few kilometers you will reach the village of Niel and later the Walenhoek Nature Reserve. Along the way you will have the opportunity to visit an historical brick factory situated between Boom and Niel where bricks have been manufactured since the Middle Ages. You will cross the Brussels-Rupel-canal and reach the water tower on the outskirts of St. Amands. Here, the ship is waiting for you and you have the opportunity to cruise with the ship on one of the most beautiful sections of the Scheldt to Dendermonde – otherwise it goes by bike along the Schelddamm to your destination, the beautiful city of Dendermonde. A “must” to end the day’s cycling is a short stop for a drink at Dendermonde’s beautiful Flemish market square Grote Markt (Great Market square).

Day 5 (Wed): Dendermonde – Ghent (Merelbeke) (48 km/29 mi.)

Today you will cycle to the beautiful city of Ghent, where the ship will be moored in the suburb of Merelbeke which is approx. a 30 minute cycle from the city center. You will enjoy being able to explore the pedestrian area in Ghent’s town center, partly by bike and partly on foot. Ghent 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).

Day 6 (Thu): Ghent – Lovendegem | Lovendegem – Bruges (40 km/24 mi.)

During breakfast you will cruise with the ship to Lovendegem, where your bike tour starts. Today’s cycling will be along the Ghent-Oostende-canal through the beautiful Flemish landscape to Bruges, a lovely art city and Belgium’s most perfectly preserved medieval town. Widely described as the “Venice of the North”, Bruges attracts more than two million visitors every year who come for the ambience of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center. 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 (Fri): Tour around Bruges to the North Sea (55 km/33 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 via the small city of Damme. Here you will have the opportunity to get your feet wet along an inviting 12 kilometer sandy beach, visit any one of numerous cafés and see the attractive dune landscape of “Het Zwin” (a unique nature reserve). On the return ride to Bruges you will cycle along a small picturesque canal.

Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Bruges

Disembarkation after breakfast until 9:30 a.m.
End of your trip.


Prices & information

Prices & availability

Below you see an overview of the available (blue) dates; the yellow dot means that this date has 2 or less cabins available, orange is ‘on request’ and red means that on this date there aren’t any cabins available. Then click on the preferred date. After this, choose your ship (some tours have only one ship, and therefore there is no choice), the number of cabins in the required (and available) category, any desired additional products, and ‘local costs’ (such as special dietary needs, which you usually pay for onboard). On the right side, you’ll find the ‘Booking Summary.’ After completing your preferences and necessary information click ‘Book now’ to finalize your booking.

  • Available
  • 2 or less available
  • On request
  • Not available
Departure date -

Choose preferred ship

Please select your cabin(s)

Pricing overview - 2020
Cabin type For all dates
Twin cabin 2 pers. €999 Twin cabin for single use (max. 1) 1 pers. €1499
Included in this tour

8 days/7 nights

7 x breakfast buffet

Packed lunches for bike tours or small lunch

7 x 3-course dinner

Coffee and tea on board during breakfast and in the afternoon

Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening

Use of bed linen and towels

Daily cleaning of the cabin

Daily briefings by multilingual tour leader

Fully guided cycling tours

GPS tracks

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

Excluded in this tour

Drinks

Coffee and tea on board at other hours

Bicycle rental or E-bike rental incl. pannier bag

Helmet (not available on board)

Personal insurances

Gratuities (at your discretion)

Entrance fees and excursions

Fees for ferries

City maps

Transfers to/from the docking place

Parking fees

Additional options & information 2020
  • Rental bicycle (with hand- and pedal brake): €75 per week
  • Rental E-Bike (with backpedal brake): €165 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • 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.

Minimum number of participants: 18 guests (must have been reached within 21 days prior to departure).

Partner tour: Legal notice: Boat Bike Tours is not the organizing operator, but the travel agent for this tour; this is a so called ‘partner tour’, available on request. Tour operator is: SE Tours, Bremerhaven, Germany.

 



Reviews

Belgium: Bruges – Brussels vv Rated 9.7 out of 10 based on 7 reviews
4 stars

Mrs Christa Brunner-Luchs

Der Kapitän und seine Cru gaben sich grosse Mühe, den Gästen die Reise so angenehm wie möglich zu machen. Da die Gangalf ein kleines Schiff ist, war von Anfang an ein familiäres Verhältnis. Man sass zusammen am Esstisch. Das Essen wird in Schüsseln auf den Tisch gestellt und man bediente sich selbst. Das Essen war toll. Man entscheidet selbst, ob…

5 stars

Tess Cyrus

We had a lovely time on the Gandalf, piloted by the eccentric and charming Hans, his pleasant spouse Meiyan, and their sweet and sleepy dog Jala Shayin. The barge was well-organized and the food was excellent and plentiful; I appreciated not having to pay extra for vegetarian meals. The guide, John, was very knowledgeable and led us through Belgium’s wonderful…

5 stars

Glen and Ellen Ezaki

We had an outstanding boat and bike trip! The crew, the chef and the tour guides were excellent! We did the Brussels to Bruges tour and we enjoyed international travelers on on boat. It was wonderful vacation and we’ll try another destination next year.

5 stars

Charlotte and Al

This is our 7th trip with this company. We have always enjoyed the biking and having our boat waiting for us. The biking exposes you to all manner of wonderful countryside and smaller villages. Then the boat is in sight and you know it will be clean, the sailors will help stow the bike, the fragrance from the kitchen will…

Read all reviews on Trustpilot

Available ships for this tour

Ship Mecklenburg Belgium, Netherlands
max. 22 passengers
11 cabins
3 tours available with this ship

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Belgium: Bruges – Brussels vv

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