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Location: Belgium | Bruges
Price: From € 2.220,-

Bike and Barge from Bruges to Paris | Barge Fleur

This incredible Bruges to Paris bike tour (or v.v.) goes along rural country roads, towpaths, and paved forest trails and occasionally, a short distance on a cobblestone road.

You will bike in Belgium and France and curiously, through Holland too, as Belgium and the French part above the Somme River once belonged to Holland. This can be seen in the flags of the Belgian and French provinces that still carry the Dutch national symbol (the lion).

Picardie, as the northern province of France is called, was once the cradle of the Gothic period which can be seen in the various places you will visit. Picardie and especially the area around the Somme River carry the scars of the great war. In almost every little town you pass, there are memorials erected that commemorate the soldiers and civilians that died in the war. If you love history, you will have the opportunity to visit the war museum in Peronne where you will spend a whole day. You can also take a tour around the area and pass the big memorials erected in honor of the soldiers of France, Great Britain, Australia, America and South Africa.

Biking in Paris, you will enter through the ‘banlieues' as the suburban cities are called. This part of the suburban area around Paris is very green and inhabited mostly by Parisians that can afford to flee the city and live on the slopes outside Paris. Cycling in Paris has been made easier throughout the years thanks to the efforts of cycling enthusiasts and the development of the many bike paths.

  • 150Euro/person early booking discount if booked between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016

  • Fleur (20 passengers)

    The Fleur started cruising in 2002. This tasteful passenger barge with its sleek lines was built to fit the smaller locks and canals in France and has been cruising the French waters ever since. The Fleur can accommodate a maximum of 20 guests on her trips on the French waterways

    Accommodations
    The Fleur has two decks. On the top deck there is a lounge, a roomy sitting area, a cozy bar and a sun deck. The whole barge has central heating and air-conditioning.

    Cabins
    On the lower deck the Fleur has 10 comfortable guest cabins for two (no bunk beds) and each cabin has a private bathroom.

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  • Tour Details from Bruges to Paris | Barge Fleur

    Day 1: Arrival in Bruges
    Also called the Venice of the North, maybe is the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old center, which dates from the middle Ages, is almost completely intact. At the time Bruges was a metropolis, center of trade and art, which we can still fully enjoy.
    Day 2: Bruges ­ Ghent , 15 to 27 miles (25 to 40 km)
    Enjoy breakfast during sailing. In Beernem, start biking across the pleasant countryside of Western Flanders to Ghent where we arrive around noon. Ghent is a lively university city, again one with a rich past. The city has its origins in Roman Times, at the place where the rivers Leie and Scheldt converge. This favorable situation brought a great deal of prosperity over the years, which had its peak late 13th, early 14th century. Textile industry brought great wealth. In the city center many old patrician houses have been preserved. In the Clothmakers’ Hall (1425) textile merchants used to meet. Major church is St. Baafs’ Cathedral, raised in various ages and in various styles. In the cathedral you can admire a number of masterpieces of mediaeval painting, of which the ‘Adoration of the Lamb’ by Jan van Eyck is the most famous. 18.30 h Dinner
    Day 3: Ghent ­ Oudenaarde, 15 to 27 miles (25 to 45 km)
    Cruise from Ghent on the river Bovenschelde to Oudenaarde this morning. Oudenaarde is a small town, which was situated on the border of the French German Empire, so the town was the seat of many wars. Because it was often in the firing line, there was always someone on the lookout. The most famous watchman still stands on the magnificent town hall: Hanske de Krijger. The town hall was built in the first half of the 16th century and is one of the most beautiful in Flanders. Style is Brabant late gothic, material is sandstone from Balegem. Oudenaarde is also known as the town of tapestry weavers. The tapestries became famous all over the world. (museum closed on Monday). Before reaching Oudenaarde we will visit an interesting archaeological site (of an old Abbey) Ename which is located at the eastside of the river Scheldt. From there coming into Oudenaarde we might have to quench our thirst at one of Belgium’s famous beer breweries called Liefmans.
    Day 4: Oudenaarde ­ Doornik (Tournai), 21 to 25 miles (35 to 42 km)
    Before leaving Oudenaarde, visit to the beautiful town hall. After that we follow the river Scheldt upstream and cross the linguistic frontier, thus arriving in the Walloon region. From now on people speak French and villages, towns, and cities have a French name. Final destination of today is Doornik or Tournai, one of the oldest towns of Belgium. Doornik fell under French government until early in the 17th century. Just as in Oudenaarde, after the decline of textile industry, tapestry became important here. In 1940, the entire town center was destroyed in a German air raid but renovation of the town has been very successful. Especially the Notre Dame cathedral (12th and 13th century) is worth seeing. But also the Belfort, built around 1200, is definitely worth a visit.
    Day 5: Doornik (Tournai) ­ Pont Malin (Bouchain), 30 miles (50 km)
    During breakfast cruise into the direction of the French Belgium border, through the so called ‘white land’, where limestone had been quarried since roman times. Around the friendly fortified town of Antoing we start our today's bike ride which follows the old pilger route to Santiago de Compostela. Pass border villages and will end up in Bouchain. Spend the night at the great lock of Pont Malin. The barge is no longer cruising the river Scheldt but a large canal, which leads to Dunkirk in the end. The region which the barge is cruising is characterized by metal industry.
    Day 6: Pont Malin ­ Cambrai ­ Honnecourt, (28 to 60 km)
    Leave the large canal during breakfast and go to the left into the canal of St.Quentin. Here the Fleur feels at home and for the first time this tour the size of the locks are just right for her. The canal breathes peace and quietness and reminds of a rich shipping history. Coals from the mines needed to be transported to the north, so Napoleon decided to dig the canal in 1801. At Thun l’Evèque, start cycling to the city of Cambrai, once a roman provincial capital and an important destination for pilgrims. Worth seeing are the impressive restored buildings of the city fortress, built under Charles V. After this, cycle on to Marcoing and from there we will follow the valley of the Scheldt (l’Escaut in French). We pass the ancient abbey of Vaucelles (which can be visited) and final destination is Honnecourt.
    Day 7: Honnecourt – tunnel of Riqueval St. Quentin, 16 to 39 miles (26 to 65 km)
    The Canal de St. Quentin was dug under the government of Napoleon. Because the differences in height were sometimes big, it was necessary to dig some tunnels. The longest one is the tunnel of Riqueval, which is 5670 meters long. Today you go through this tunnel with the Fleur. Like in former years, ships are still pulled through the tunnel in two hours by an electrically driven towboat. Above the tunnel there is the watershed between rivers Escaut (Schelde) and Somme. From there the barge therefore goes downhill again into the direction of St.Quentin. 9.00 h Either just before or right after this tunnel the bikers disembark. Final destination of today is St. Quentin where we will spend the Saturday too. 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 and windows from the 13th and 14th century. The Town Hall is a jewel from the 16th century, with a splendid façade in flamboyant Gothic style.
    Day 8: St. Quentin
    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 further and for shopping. 18.30 h Today there is no dinner on board. You can select one of the French restaurants of St. Quentin.
    Day 9: St. Quentin Chauny, 19 to 29 miles (32 to 48 km)
    During breakfast we sail southwest in the valley of the Somme. The cycling goes through the Somme Region, a quiet countryside with small villages, to Ham. The Fleur continues over the old canal of St. Quentin to Chauny. That is where we will spend the night.
    Day 10: Chauny Compiègne, 22 to 31 miles (35 to 50 km)
    From Chauny we set course for Compiègne. Compiègne owes its magnificent buildings to the proximity of Paris and the great woods, where the French kings loved to stay. Worth a visit are the beautiful gardens of the Château. The cycling goes through the forest of Ourscamp, crosses the river Aisne and in the forest of Compiegne at the other side is the “Clairière de l’Armistice”, the place where the French and German generals signed for the end of WWI. You can visit the small but interesting museum over there. From there you can head for Compiègne or make an extra loop and pass by the castle of Pierrefonds
    Day 11: Compiègne – Creil , 28 to 37 (45 to 60 km)
    Today cycle first through the forest south of Compiègne after which we follow the valley of the Oise further downstream into the direction of Creil. Right before Pont ste Maxence we pass by the abbey of Moncel, founded in 1309 by King Philip the Fair. Pont ste Maxence owes its name to the fact that very early on there was a bridge across the Oise. It became a place to spend the night for merchants and kings, who were on their way to Flanders. Our final destination of today, Creil, was in the 19th century known for its fine pottery.
    Day 12: Creil – Auvers s.Oise, 20 to 33 miles (33 to 54 km)
    We start cycling out of busy Creil towards the precious and famous castle of Chantilly also very known for the horse racing circuit and royal stables. After the visit we continue through nice forest and pass and/or visit the abbey of Royaumont. After that we will cross the river Oise and follow the river to Auver sur Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent the last days of his life and where he and his brother are buried on the cemetery. This region was very popular with many impressionist painters. Dinner and evening walk to the van Gogh cemetery.
    Day 13: Auvers Conflans – Paris (La Défense), 22 to 30 miles (36 to 48 km)
    During breakfast we will sail to Conflans Sainte Honorine, where the Oise and the Seine converge. Conflans has been an important shipping centre in North France since the 19th century. 9.00 h The palace and from the palacegarden you have a splendid view over Paris. After that we continue through the suburbs towards Rueil sur Seine where we will spend the night.
    Day 14: Paris
    Today the barge finally cruises the Seine, upstream to Paris. It is not far in a straight line, but the Seine makes a number of large curves here. We cruise past the Eiffel tower, the Louvre, the musée d’Orsay, the Ile de la Cité and the Nôtre Dame. Mooring place of the Fleur is in the Port d’Arsenal, close to the Place the la Bastille. You can spend the rest of the day as you like. You can explore the city by subway, or by a bus that takes you along all the sights.
    Day 15: Paris
    Departure following breakfast.

    *All distances are approximate. The planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.

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  • Included in the price
    – 14 nights on board
    – Bed linen and towels
    – Breakfast
    – 12 x dinner on board
    – Packed lunches for bike trips
    – Coffee and tea on board
    – Tour guide (from 18 guests 2 guides)
    – Welcome drink
    – Cabins cleaned daily
    – Climate-controlled cabins
    – Entrance Clairière de l’Armistice
    – Entrance Chateau Chantilly
    – Entrance city hall Oudenaarde

    Not included
    – Bike rental (incl. panniers, helmet and water bottle) € 150,- per bike
    – Entrance fees for museums, monuments, etc.
    – Travel and cancellation insurance
    – Miscellaneous beverages and expenses on excursions

    Reservation fee: €15 per booking/group (obligatory)

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  • Available dates in 2017:

    Bruges to Paris May 13 – May 27  twin cabin € 2.220,00* per person.

    Single supplement on request.

    *150Euro/person early booking discount if booked between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016


  • Point of departure: Bruges

    The trip begins in Bruges. In Bruges the ship is moored at the parking areas for touring buses near the Buiten Katelijnevest, not far from the train station.

    Bicycles
    The bicycles used on this trip are 11 speed Gudereit hybrid bicycles. They have a unisex frame that enables easy, comfortable and safe ascending, seating and cycling for both men and women. The bikes are equipped with a pannier bag, bike bag, and a water bottle. Electric bikes are also available on request

    CONTACT:
    Boat Bike Tours BV
    ’t Prooyen 3-B
    1141 VD Monnickendam
    The Netherlands
    Tel: +31 299 313071
    Fax: +31 299 313065
    info@boatbiketours.com
    www.boatbiketours.com

    Updated: September 7, 2016

    Legal notice: Tour operator for this tours is Tripsite. The tour operator is entitled to cancel the tour if the minimum number of participants has not been reached. If the tour will not take place, all deposits/payments will be fully refunded. Other conditions may apply to this tour. We recommend purchasing a travel and cancellation insurance.

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