This tour goes from Amsterdam-Bruges and in the reverse, from Bruges-Amsterdam. Both itineraries are outlined below.
Direction: Amsterdam – Bruges
Apr 21*; May 5*, 19*; Jun 2*, 16, 30; Jul 14, 28; Aug 11, 25; Sep 8, 22, 2018. (*indicates fully booked date)
Day 1: Arrival to Amsterdam; Amsterdam – Vianen (3-9 miles/5-15 km)
Embarkation and check-in at 1:00pm. Around 2:00pm you can enjoy a short test bike ride through the surrouding area.
Day 2: Vianen – Schoonhoven – Kinderdijk – Dordecht (34 miles/56 km)
After breakfast you will cycle a beautiful route to Schoonhoven – nicknamed Zilverstad (Silver City) – a city renowned for its talented silver smiths since the 17th century. As you continue to cycle along the Lek River you will pass through the Alblasserwaard region to Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 large windmills – one of which you can visit – which have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing. From nearby Alblasserdam you will take the “Waterbus” (not included, approx. €4 per person), a fast ferry, that will take you and your bike in approx. 10 minutes to Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland.
Day 3: Dordrecht – Willemstad – Tholen – Antwerp (20 miles/35 km)
During breakfast the ship sails to Willemstad. You pass the impressing lock "Volkerak" by bike and then continue to Tholen, which was an island in former times. Alternatively you bike through a forest area, “the Wouwse Plantage“, towards the south to the impressive Kreekraksluis (lock). Then you will sail to Antwerp, which is not only known as diamond city, but also as native city of painter Rubens. You will find some of his paintings in the “Onze Lieve Vrouwe (our lady) Cathedral”.
Day 4: Antwerp – Dendermonde/St. Amands (34 miles/56 km)
Today’s tour will see you cycle out of Antwerp on a beautiful cycle path along the picturesque tidal Schelde River to either St. Amands or Dendermonde, your home for the night. The landscape around the Schelde is magnificent. It is without a doubt one of the natural highlights of the tour.
Day 5: St. Amands/Dendermonde – Ghent/Merelbeke (24-32 miles/40-53 km)
The bike tour follows again the river Schelde in the direction of Ghent. Ghent is a lively university city, again, one with a rich past. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to discover the city some more or to shop in the lively centre.
The city was founded in Roman times, where the rivers Leie and Schelde converge. The convenient location has over the years brought much prosperity, culminating in the late 13th, early 14th century. The textile industry brought great wealth. In the city, many old patricians preserved. The Cloth Hall (1425) brang cloth merchants together. The main church is the St. Bavo Cathedral, which is built in different ages and in the different corresponding styles. In the cathedral are some masterpieces of medieval art, which "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Jan van Eyck is the most famous. The ship is docked at the lock in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent (approx. 15 min by bike from the city centre).
Day 6: Ghent/Merelbeke – Bruges (28 miles/45 km)
Today our bike tour goes through the pleasant country side of Western Flanders to Bruges. Bruges also called the Venice of the North is maybe the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old centre which dates from the Middle Ages is almost completely intact. Bruges was at that time a metropolis and center of commerce and art. You can still see this glory at the beautiful buildings. Bruges is also a nice town for shopping or going out.
Day 7: Tour around Bruges to the North Sea (30 miles/50 km)
The last bike tour takes you to a quiet canal along where you’ll find lots of poplars, through an attractive polder landscape with nice small farm houses to the North Sea coast. A long sandy beach and numerous cafés provide enough variety during your lunch break. Then heading back to Bruges.
Day 8: Bruges
After breakfast: end of the tour and disembarkation by 9:00am.
Direction: Bruges – Amsterdam
Apr 28*; May 12*, 26; Jun 9, 23; Jul 7, 21; Aug 4, 18; Sep 1, 15*, 29, 2018. (*indicates fully booked date)
Day 1: Arrival and embarkation in Bruges
Arrival and embarkation between 1:00-4:00pm in the beautiful city of Bruges, also called "Pearl of Flanders." The crew will welcome you. You will have time this afternoon to discover the beautiful historical city of Bruges.
Day 2: Bruges – Ghent/Merelbeke (35 miles/56 km)
Today your first bike tour to Ghent through the flat land of West-Flanders will start early. Your destination today is the historical centre of Ghent. Enjoy the beautiful parts of Ghent during an afternoon stroll. The barge is docked in Merelbeke (a small suburb of Ghent).
Day 3: Ghent/Merelbeke – Dendermonde/St. Amands (24-32 miles/40-53 km)
After breakfast in Ghent you will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde which is located at the junction of Dender and Schelde Rivers. The skipper will set the departure time of today's tour, which depends on high or low tide. The tide has effect on the speed of the barge. If necessary, shipping to St. Amands and overnight stay in St. Amands.
Day 4: Dendermonde/St. Amands – Temse – Antwerp (34 miles/55 km)
Today we will follow the Schelde further downstream through the Temse region 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. Antwerp is 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: Antwerp – Tholen – Willemstad – Dordrecht (20-26 miles/34-43 km)
The barge will cruise over the Schelde-Rhine Canal, over the huge Kreekrak locks to Tholen, a former fishing village amidst the large streams of the province of Zeeland. From Tholen you will cycle along the impressive large Volkerak locks to the fortified town of Willemstad, then further on to end in Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities of the Netherlands. Today, the skipper will discuss with you which part of the tour will be covered by barge or by bicycle.
Day 6: Dordrecht – Kinderdijk – Vianen (34 miles/55 km)
This day you will start your tour with the “Waterbus” (not included, approx. €4 per person), a fast ferry that will take you and your bike in just 10 minutes to Alblasserdam. After just a few minutes of cycling you will reach Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 UNESCO cultural heritage-listed wind-mills – 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: Vianen – Breukelen – Amsterdam (28 miles/46 km)
First the ship cruises to Breukelen, where you disembark and your cycling tour starts. Ride along the small river Vecht: this area is well known for its beautiful mansions, small castles and beautiful houses with large gardens and parks. Over the small villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland to 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: Amsterdam
After breakfast: end of the tour and disembarkation by 9:00am. If you wish, you can visit Amsterdam or one of its numerous museums, do some shopping or take a canal tour (not included).