Highlights of this tour

Cycle in attractive Belgium & N. France

World War I battlefields in Somme Valley

Enjoy Paris, the City of Lights

Barges with max. 24 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 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 2 Difficulty level 2
Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 15 days

Bike and Barge France and Belgium: Paris – Bruges | Fleur

During this trip through northern France and Flanders (northern Belgium), from Paris to Bruges, you will cycle through attractive landscapes, over gently forested undulations and across open farmland, along the rivers Seine, Oise and Somme, Scarpe and Scheldt. Here the watershed appears to be the actual border.

This tour is characterized by a wide variation in landscapes and has all the ingredients a good bike and barge tour needs to explore these interesting regions. Highlights of the first stage in France are – obviously – beautiful Paris, the “City of Lights” as unbeatable start of a beautiful discovery tour, the Chateau de Chantilly and its art gallery the Musée Condé that houses one of the finest collections of paintings in France, and World War I battle fields and memorials in the Somme valley. The second stage in Belgium features highlights like Vincent van Gogh’s heritage, tapestry in Oudenaarde, history in medieval Ghent, a nice Belgium beer at end of your daily cycling tour and magnificent Bruges, “Pearl of Flanders” and destination of this two-week discovery tour.

The cycling tours go over gently forested undulations and across open farm land, along the rivers Seine, Oise, Somme and Scheldt; the French-Belgian border also appears to be more or less the watershed between the river basins of Seine and Scheldt. As well as being able to discover many picturesque villages each day – both on your bicycle and on foot – you will be able to:

  • Visit many highlights of Paris;
  • Walk to the grave of Vincent van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise;
  • Admire the splendid chateau of Chantilly; a luxurious castle with an impressive art collection and horse dressage;
  • Visit the town of Péronne with her fascinating “Grande Guerre” museum;
  • Pass through Oudenaarde, the town of the tapestry weavers
  • Explore Ghent where several masterpieces of medieval painting are to be found, “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by Jan van Eyck being the most famous of all;
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center of Bruges.

 

 

Day to day program Paris - Bruges | Fleur

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): Paris – Paris (Bougival)

Embarkation and check-in at 2 p.m. in the center of Paris. After a welcome by the captain, crew and tour leader the barge will sail right through the city. Mooring place for the night is in a suburb of Paris. After a sailing dinner there is time for a short walk.

We advise you to come to Paris one or more days earlier, so that you will have plenty of time to discover this interesting city.

Day 2 (Sun): Paris (Bougival) – Auvers-sur-Oise (38 km/23 mi.)

From the starting point Bougival you cycle alongside the Seine to St. Germain-en-Laye, where you will climb the plateau on top of which you will find a palace and gardens. Here you have a splendid view over Paris. Later you pass Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where the Oise and the Seine merge. From the 19th century Conflans has been an important center of navigation in Northern France. Your destination is Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent the last days of his life and where he and his brother are buried in the local cemetery. This region was loved by many impressionist painters. After dinner an evening walk to the van Gogh cemetery.

Day 3 (Mon): Auvers-sur-Oise – Beaumont | Beaumont – Creil (42 km/26 mi.)

Sailing breakfast to Beaumont. Starting in Beaumont, you follow the Oise upstream. On your bicycles you pass the abbey of Royaumont and soon thereafter you arrive in Chantilly, with its famous castle. The castle is also well known for the horse-racing circuit and royal stables. Today’s destination is Creil, a country town, which in the 19th century was famous for its fine pottery.

Day 4 (Tue): Creil – Pont-Ste-Maxence | Pont-Ste-Maxence – Compiègne (33 km/21mi. or 48 km/29 mi.)

 

During breakfast you sail to Pont-St-Maxence. This town owes its name to the fact that in very olden times there already was a bridge over the Oise and so Pont-St-Maxence became the place to stay the night for kings and merchants who were on their way to Flanders. From here your biking tour starts. Not far from here you pass the abbey of Moncel, which in 1309 was founded by King Philips le Bel. Before you reach your destination Compiègne, you cycle through the forest named after this town “Forêt de Compiègne”. French kings loved to hunt here. The longer route ads some more miles of forest and also the little town of Pierrefond, where you can admire the exterior of the impressive castle. Compiègne owes its architectural wealth to the proximity of Paris. The gardens of the Chateau de Compiègne are definitely worth a visit.

Day 5 (Wed): Compiègne – Pont l’Évêque | Pont l’Évêque – Chauny (41 km/26 mi.)

Today you and the barge will leave the Oise River, to continue the trip by using the canal system that connects France and Belgium. In the morning you cycle into the most northern part of the forest of Compiègne. Here you will visit the “Clairière de l’Armistice”, the place where the French and German generals signed the Treaty to end World War I. You can have a look into the small but interesting museum. Thereafter you will cross the river Aisne and cycle through the forest of Ourscamp. In the afternoon you will spend some time in Noyon, where you can visit one of the oldest Cathedrals of the country. After your visit you will cycle back to the canal at Pont l’Eveque, where the ship will be waiting for you. Time to relax on the front deck while cruising to Chauny.

Day 6 (Thu): Chauny – St. Quentin (41 km/25mi. or 54 km/34 mi.)

Today the barge will continue the cruise on the old Canal of St.-Quentin, a beautiful old canal with many locks. The canal still breathes peace and quietness and reminds of a rich shipping history. Coals from the mines needed to be transported to the south, so Napoleon decided to construct the canal in 1801. Here the Fleur is in her natural environment and for the first time during this tour the sizes of the locks are just right for her. The cycling leads you through the Somme-region, quiet countryside with small villages. Today’s destination is St. Quentin. St. Quentin arose in the 2nd century on a junction of Roman roads. The lively provincial capital of the Aisne flourished as a destination for pilgrims around the grave of St.-Quentin. The gothic basilica was built between 1230 and the 15th century and has a unique double transept. The Town Hall is a jewel from the 16th century, with a splendid façade in flamboyant Gothic style.

Day 7 (Fri): St. Quentin

Today the Fleur will stay in St.-Quentin. If there is enough interest you can participate in a day excursion by bus to the battlefields of World War I in the Somme valley. But it is also possible to use the day for exploring the city of St. Quentin and for shopping. Today there will be no dinner on board: you can select one of the many restaurants of St. Quentin.

Day 8 (Sat): St. Quentin – tunnel of Riqueval – Honnecourt (36 km/23 mi. or 66 km/41 mi.)

The Canal de St. Quentin traverses an area with large differences in height; therefore it was necessary to build some tunnels. The longest one is the tunnel of Riqueval, which is 5,670 meters (3.5 miles) long. Today the Fleur will sail through this tunnel. Like in former years, ships are still pulled through the tunnel in two hours by an electrically driven towboat. At The northern end of the tunnel is the watershed between rivers Somme and Escaut (French name of the Scheldt). At the tunnel is a little museum. You will spend the night in a little village called Honnecourt.

Day 9 (Sun): Honnecourt – Cambrai – Pont Malin (39 km/24 mi. or 58 km/37 mi.)

Today you will continue your trip along the old Canal de St. Quentin. In the morning you will pass the ancient abbey of Vaucelles. Your first stop will be in Cambrai, once a roman provincial capital and an important destination for pilgrims. First in 1677 Cambrai became French. Worth seeing are the impressive restored buildings of the city fortress, built under Charles V, the old city gate that dates from 1300, the so called “Spanish House” and the cathedral next to it. In the afternoon we will leave the old Canal de St. Quentin to continue on the Canal du Grand Gabarit to Pont Malin, where we will spend the night.

Day 10 (Mon): Pont Malin – Doornik (Tournai) (43 km/26 mi. or 57 km/36 mi.)

 

Today the Fleur follows the Canal du Grand Gabarit for a few hours, passing through a former industrial area of northern France. Ancient coal mines and steel sites border the canal. You will start your ride in Denain and will cross the border soon. Once in Belgium you cycle through the so-called “white land”. The charming little fortress town Antoing lies at the heart of this region and since the Roman times (white) limestone has been mined here. Today’s destination is Doornik (in French: Tournai), one of the oldest cities of Belgium. Now you are in Wallonia, French speaking Belgium, where all towns and villages have both a French and a Flemish name. Up till the beginning of the 17th century Doornik was ruled by the French. Here, tapestry weaving gained in importance, while the cloth industry became less important. In the various museums of the town, excellent examples can be seen. In 1940 the entire city center was destroyed after a German air-raid. However, the town has been renovated splendidly. Especially the Cathedral de Notre Dame (12th and 13th century) is worth seeing, as well as the Belfort, which was built at about 1200.

Day 11 (Tue): Doornik (Tournai) – Oudenaarde (41 km/26 mi. or 47 km/29 mi.)

Now the barge sails downstream the river Scheldt and after crossing the language barrier you enter the Flemish region. From here onwards Flemish is the spoken language. Your target today is Oudenaarde. In former days this little town was situated on the border of the French and German Empires and as a result it was involved in wars frequently. Since Oudenaarde was right in the firing-line, there was always someone on the look-out. The statue of the most famous watchman, “Hanske de Krijger”, is on the splendid city hall. In the first half of the 16th century this city hall was built of sandstone in Brabantine late Gothic style and it is one of the most beautiful city halls of Flanders. Oudenaarde is also known as the town of the tapestry weavers. Their tapestry is famous all over the world.

Day 12 (Wed): Oudenaarde – Ghent (41 km/26 mi.)

 

Shortly after starting your cycling tour at Oudenaarde you briefly stop at the ruins of the old abbey of Ename, located at the river Scheldt. You keep on following the river towards Ghent, your destination. Ghent is a lively university town with a rich history. The town arose in Roman days on the confluence of the rivers Leie and Schelde. This favorable location brought on quite some wealth with a peak in the late 13th and early 14th century. The cloth industry was a source of great richness in the late Middle Ages. In the city many patrician residences have been preserved. In the “Lakenhal” – Cloth Hall – (1425) the cloth traders gathered. The most important church is St. Baafs cathedral, which was constructed in different centuries and in different styles. In the cathedral several masterpieces of medieval painting are to be found. “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by Jan van Eyck is the most famous of all. You may wish to take a city tour by boat or visit the old castle Gravensteen.

Day 13 (Thu): Ghent – Aalterbrug | Aalterbrug – Bruges (30 km/18 mi. or 40 km/24 mi.)

While enjoying breakfast you will cruise the Canal Ghent – Bruges to Aalterbrug. Here you will start your cycling tour. Today your cycling tour goes through the pleasant flat country side of Western Flanders to Bruges. Bruges, also called “Venice of the North”, is said to be the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old center, which dates from the Middle Ages, is almost completely intact. In past ages, Bruges was a metropole, center of trade and art, which you can still fully enjoy.

Day 14 (Fri): Bruges (22 km/13 mi. or 40 km/24 mi.)

Today the Fleur will stay in Bruges. An optional bicycle ride through the pleasant countryside around Bruges will be offered, but you can also choose to spend your time in beautiful Bruges and visit a museum or do some shopping.

Day 15 (Sat): Bruges

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

Good to know

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.

Good to know:
With 18 guests or more, the daily cycling tours will be accompanied by two knowledgeable and multilingual tour leaders. On most days, the tour leaders will offer a long and a short (or a quicker and a more relaxed) cycling option. The option for a long tour is also depending on weather conditions and wishes of the group.

When there are less than 18 guests aboard, the tours will be accompanied by one knowledgeable and multilingual tour leader. During days when two bicycle options are possible, the tour leader will make a choice to guide the longer or the shorter option after consultation of the group.

Not all mentioned highlights can be visited during the short cycling option.

The detailed tour programs for the various ships, which are being operated on this tour, can differ in details. When you have any question, especially when this would influence your decision to book a tour, please contact us.

  • 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 a.m.

Prices & information

If you book this tour between* January 21st until April 1st, you will receive a 10% discount on the last available cabins. Please use code PARIS2019.

*booking date, not travel dates

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
Cabin type For September
Twin cabin 2 pers. €2249 Single use of cabin (on request) 1 pers. Not available
Included in this tour

15 days/14 nights

14 x breakfast

Packed lunches

13 x 3-course dinner

Coffee and tea on board

Welcome drink

Use of bed linen and towels

Daily cleaning of the cabin, 1x change of bed sheets

Climate-controlled cabin

Daily briefings

Fully guided cycling tours (from 18 guest: 2 tour leaders, 2 groups)

Some short walking tours

Maps for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)

GPS tracks

Use of a helmet

Use of a waterproof pannier bag

Water bottle

Fees for ferries

Visit museum Glade of the Armistice

Entrance castle of Chantilly

Visit town hall Oudenaarde

Canal trip through Ghent

Wi-Fi

Insolvenzabsicherung: Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden (SGR) und (nur für Endverbraucher aus Deutschland) Sicherungsschein über tourVERS

Reiseveranstalter sind nach geltendem Europäischen Recht dazu verpflichtet, erhaltene Kundengelder für den Fall eigener Zahlungsunfähigkeit oder Insolvenz abzusichern. Boat Bike Tours (Handelsregisternummer 3714 7084) ist ein in den Niederlanden unter Nummer 3734 registrierter Teilnehmer von SGR (Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden). Diese Registrierung ist auf www.sgr.nl überprüfbar. Die teilnehmenden Reiseveranstalter unterliegen dem in den Niederlanden gesetzlich vorgeschriebenen Garantieschutz des SGR Insolvenz-Garantiesystems. Gemäß der Garantieleistung von SGR werden dem Endverbraucher die im Voraus bezahlten Reisesummen erstattet, wenn der Reiseveranstalter finanziell nicht in der Lage ist, seine vertraglichen Verpflichtungen zu erfüllen. Sofern die Vereinbarung Transport beinhaltet und das Ziel bereits erreicht ist, wird die Rückreise arrangiert. Boat Bike Tours hat die vom Gesetzgeber vorgeschriebene Insolvenzversicherung für Endverbraucher, deren Wohnsitz in Deutschland ist, über die tourVERS, eines in Deutschland führenden Anbieters, abgeschlossen. Über 1.200 Veranstalter aller Größenordnungen und touristischen Bereiche sind über tourVERS versichert. Auf der Internetseite der tourVERS finden Sie alle Informationen zur Insolvenzabsicherung. Endverbraucher, die in Deutschland bewohnhaftet sind, erhalten bei Buchung bei Boat Bike Tours mit der Buchungsbestätigung auch den Sicherungsschein von tourVERS.

Hinweis: Die o.g. deutsche Übersetzung des Abschnitts über SGR ist keine offizielle SGR-Übersetzung. SGR kommuniziert nur auf Niederländisch und Englisch. Der niederländische Text zum SGR-Garantiesystem ist allgemeinverbindlich.

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Excluded in this tour

1 x dinner

Drinks

Bicycle rental or E-bike rental

Personal insurances

Gratuities (at your discretion)

Entrance fees and excursions (not mentioned under included)

Transfers to/from the docking place

Parking fees

Additional options & information

Rental bicycle (incl. helmet and water bottle): €170 per period

Rental E-Bike (incl. helmet and water bottle): €350 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 Paris 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.

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



Available ships for this tour

Premium Experience the higher levels of comfort, smaller groups and extra’s.
Ship Fleur France
max. 20 passengers
10 cabins
5 tours available with this ship

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