Luxury Holland, Belgium and France - Three Country Bike and Boat

    (0)
    14 nights | 23 miles/day
    Guided from EUR € 9500
    Rider Level: Recreational Electric bike tours Bike and boat tours
    (0)

    14 nights | 23 miles/day
    Guided from EUR € 9500

    Rider Level: Recreational Electric bike tours Bike and boat tours

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    • Paris to Rotterdam (and reverse) in luxury

      14 night guided bike and boat tour in Belgium and France on Aurora

      On this luxury bike and boat tour in Holland, Belgium,& France, you navigate a stunning and unparalleled landscape, steeped with history, art, architecture, and culture.

      You will have 15 days onboard your deluxe barge cruising and biking the best of Europe - Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Auvers sur Oise, and more.

      The castles and cathedrals testify to the region’s rich past, every museum and gallery to its artistic renown and the cuisine and culture will be experienced on board and off.

      Highlights

      • Notre Dame
      • Compiegne
      • Towering cathedral of Reims
      • Medieval Ghent
      • Bruges

      Learn More

      Learn more about guided tours.

    • Daily program

      Rotterdam to Paris

      May 14, 2023

      Day 1: Rotterdam
      You will be transferred to the Aurora (from the airport or respective hotel) to Schiedam (on the outskirts of Rotterdam). You will be welcomed onboard the ship by the captain and crew with champagne and a petit fours/ canape reception. You may take a short test ride on your rental bike around Schiedam to see the old center and the tallest windmills in the world. In the afternoon, you can visit hip and trendy Rotterdam, known for its architecture, will not disappoint. Back on board, you will enjoy your first wonderful dinner on board.

      Day 2: Rotterdam - Willemstad (22 miiles/35 km)
      A morning curise through the port of Rotterdam leads to the Kinderdijk where you will disembark and start cycling. Kinderdijk (Unesco World Heritage Site) is a unique and renowned outdoor museum where Holland’s largest number of historical windmills is found. Your cycling itinerary includes Alblasserdam /Alblasserwaardpolder, Papendrecht, and Dordrecht, the oldest city in The Netherlands. You will board the Aurora again in Moerdijk to sail peacefully to the west and the charming old fortress town of Willemstad for the evening. Dinner on board.

      Day 3: Willemstad - Antwerp (31 miles/50 km or 35 miles/56 km)
      Today you will have your choice of routes.

      A) This route leads to Tholen finishing by the Kreekrak lock, featuring the polder landscape and woodlands around Bergen op Zoom towards Brabantse Wal. This is a lovely picturesque ride in an area of outstanding beauty.

      Or

      B) This route features the open spaces and forest of “Wouwse Plantage” and Brabantse Wal and will also finish at the impressive Kreekrak lock.

      At the lock, you will board your luxury vessel once again for a delicious lunch, and as you enjoy your lunch, the Aurora cruises, leaving Holland and crossing the border into Belgium, to the bustling port of Antwerp. After a transfer to the city center, you will have opportunity to tour Rubens’ home. You can stroll in the old quarter of this beautiful Flemish city with the possibility to visit the Onze Lieve Vrouwenkerk cathedral, city hall, the main market square, and the medieval Steen Castle. Dinner on board.

      Day 4: Antwerp - Ghent (25 miles /40 km)
      You cycle towards the beautiful village of Bazel, through the freshwater marshes with unique flora and fauna and the nature reserves and mudflats of Durme and Schausselbroek. The Aurora will be waiting in Dendermonde where you will drop off your bicycles and be transferred to Ghent as the ship navigates downstream to the gorgeous town of Ghent.

      Once you arrive in Ghent, you can visit the magnificent cathedral which houses “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”, the fabulous and famous painting by the Van Eyck brothers, or, take a walk through this wonderful town at your leisure. This lively city with its numerous squares and cozy pubs is an excellent mixture of medieval edifices, stylish shopping streets, splendid mansions, working-class quarters from the beginning of the 20th century, and busy little squares. Dinner on board.

      Day 5: Ghent - Bruges (by transfer)
      In the morning, you will be transferred to Bruges and will have ample time to explore museums and Bruges magnificent square. You may want to buy some handmade lace, for which Bruges is famous. You can take a boat trip on the small canals which meander through this picturesque town for a unique view of Flemish architecture.

      Possible excursions in Bruges:

      Market Square
      Boat rides on the canals
      Quay of the rosary
      Belfry of Bruges
      Historium Museum
      Burg Square
      St. Boniface Bridge
      Church of Our Lady (houses Michelangelo's sculpture Madonna and Child)

      Day 6: Ghent - Oudenaarde (23 milles/37 km)
      The ship navigates the peaceful Scheldt into the Ardennes and the town of Oudenaarde, known for its high-quality tapestries. After lunch on board, you can explore the spectacular center of the town full of patrician houses and the 16th cent. Gothic town hall (Stadhuis), one of the most beautiful in Flanders, with its UNESCO inscribed belfry. In days gone by, Oudeaarde was constantly exposed to conflicts between the French and German empires and this belfry served as watchtower.

      Cycling for the day follows the Schelde River from Ghent to Oudenaarde via an interesting archaeological site, Ename, located on the east side of the Schelde river.

      Day 7: Oudenaarde - Tournai (25 miles/40 km)
      Spend a peaceful morning on board as the Aurora cruises the Schelde river past sleepy hamlets and beautiful rolling landscapes to Tournai (also known as Doornik in Flemish), an ancient Belgian town. The language here, in the Wallonia region, is French. A highlight here is the tower/belfry, dating from around 1188, making it the oldest belfry in Belgium. The old Watergate is a highlight as well as the famous “ Pont des Trous” an ancient toll bridge.

      Day 8: Tournai - Arleux (31 miles/49 km)
      Traveling further into France, the Aurora continues to navigate the Schelde River, through the town of Valenciennes, to the junction with the Canal du Nord. Cycling begins at the Belgian-French border by Bleharies and leads through the forests, with a visit to St. Amand-les-Eaux and its abbey tower. Continuing on through open farmland, the route leads through small mining towns to Lewarde. Here you can visit a mining museum. The Aurora waits in Bouchain where Escaut meets Canal de la Sensee to transport you to the little French village of Arleux, the mooring spot for the night.

      Day 9: Arleux - Peronne (34 miles/54 km)
      The Aurora skillfully maneuvers over the Vermandois Hills of Picardy through many deep locks and several tunnels on the Canal du Nord, featuring spectacular scenery. you will go through one or two big locks typical for Canal du Nord and can begin to cycle by the lock of Marquion. The route includes some inclines but your tour guide will always keep you well informed so that you can decide if you want to cycle or enjoy more time on board. Pedaling east, you arrive to the town of Cambrai, home to the famous confectionary, the Betise de Cambrai. Betise means nonsense or mistake and legend goes that these sweets (mint candies) were invented by accident by the son of a confectioner. Continuing on by bike, via the sparsely populated Somme River valley, you reach your day's destination, Peronne. The Aurora will moor here for the night.

      Day 10: Peronne - Noyon (33 miles/52 km)
      After yesterday's hills, you will welcome the descent towards the Somme River valley and landscapes not normally seen by tourists. There are great opportunities for cycling today. First on the agenda is a visit to the war museum, Musee Historical, in Peronne dedicated to First World War history and set on the premises of the medieval castle (museum opens at 9.30 am). If there is a group interested in the history of the First World War (1914-1918) an extensive visit to the places connected to the era can be arranged. If the group wishes to continue by bike, there are hills to be conquered. You cycle via the art-deco town of Ham on the river into Noyon (by Canal du Nord) with a very old interesting cathedral.

      Day 11: Noyon - Compiegne (19 miles/30 km)
      Today's route once again is undulating through fields and small towns and villages. Starting in Noyon via Pont l’Eveque along the L’Oise River, you will take a little detour to Abbaye d’Ourscamp, St.Leger aux Bois through the famous Forest of Compiegne and also via the Clairiere de l’Armistice. The last 7 km straight stretch continues along the Aisne River to the center of Compiegne, the mooring location for the evening. After lunch on board, there is much to explore including the Royal Palace, a neoclassical chateau, and a royal residence lavishly redecorated at Napoleon’s request. The town features a large square and the train carriage where the WWI Armistice was signed to end the First World War. There will be the possibility to hike in the woods or bike through the gorgeous forest surrounding Compiegne.

      Day 12: Compiegne - L'Isle Adam (31 miles/50 km)
      A morning cruise through the beautiful Oise Valley is first on the agenda until you reach Pont Ste-Maxence. Disembarking at the lock of Sarron, you cycle a dedicated bike bath, through a wooded area toward the medieval town of Senlis, then on to the Chateau of Chantilly, and later the Royaumont Abbey. This day is packed with many impressive sights during the cycling tour!

      Day 13: L'Isle Adam - Conflans (16 miles/26 km)
      You will pass by Auvers sur Oise to reach Auvers, where Van Gogh took his inspiration to produce many of his last and most important paintings. He stayed in a small room above the local café. A walking tour through the town may inspire you too and will include all the highlights such as the Van Gogh house, the Absinthe museum, the Atelier of Daubigny, and more. You finish the tour at the cemetery where both Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo are buried. Back on the bike, the route leads to Pontoise, perched on a plateau, offering a superb panorama of the river. The Camille Pissarro Museum is located here. Then following the river, you pass through several small villages, to arrive finally at Conflans-Ste-Honorine. Lunch will be served and then you can enjoy free time to stroll around this old river port. If you were inspired by the morning’s tour you can continue the artsy theme with an afternoon excursion to Giverny, to visit the home and gardens of Claude Monet, the most famous of the Impressionist painters. The Aurora will be moored at Conflans this evening, at the junction of the Seine and the Oise Rivers. Many bargees retire here, and you will see numerous house barges alongside the quays. Dinner on board.

      Day 14: Conflans - Paris (14 miles/23 km)
      You enjoy an early morning cruising on the Aurora along the mighty Seine River to Bouvigal. Here you disembark to visit the home of Napoleon at Malmaison, lavishly decorated by Josephine. Once back on board, lunch will be served as the boat continues navigating the looping river to Paris. You will be moored in the very heart of the city of lights, just before the Eiffel tower. This romantic setting provides the perfect time to look back over your time on board Aurora.

      Day 15: Paris
      You will enjoy a special hearty breakfast before bidding farewell to Aurora, her Captain, and the crew. Luggage is loaded after breakfast to transfer you to your drop-off point in Paris.

      Please note: This itinerary that may be subject to change depending on local conditions. The cruise is run in reverse towards the end of the season in October, ending in Rotterdam.

      Paris to Rotterdam

      Oct 9, 2022
      Oct 15, 2023

      Day 1: Paris
      Day 2: Paris - Conflans-Sainte-Honorine
      Day 3: Conflans - L'Isle Adam
      Day 4: L'Isle Adam - Compiegne
      Day 5: Compiegne - Nyon
      Day 6: Nyon - Peronne
      Day 7: Peronne - Arleaux
      Day 8: Arleaux - Tournai
      Day 9: Tournai - Oudenaarde
      Day 10: Oudenaarde - Ghent
      Day 11: Transfer to Bruges, day in Bruges.
      Day 12: Ghent - Antwerp
      Day 13: Antwerp - Willemstad
      Day 14: Willemstad - Rotterdam
      Day 15: Rotterdam

      Surface and terrain

      This epic bike tour is for the cyclist who loves a varied terrain. For those who need a boost on the hills, electric bikes are available. There are set cycling excursions mapped out each day, but for those who do not want to cycle, there are also cultural experiences available.


      Boats

      Aurora


      How to get there

      Tour start Rotterdam:
      Fly into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) and out of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG).
      Tour start Paris:
      Fly into Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS).If your tour begins in Paris, the reverse itinerary is the most practical.
      Arrival and departure airport/hotel transfers are included in your tour price. If you are arriving early to your tour start destination or staying longer, we will provide more details regarding how to travel from the airports to the city centers.

    • Dates

      Oct 9, Oct 15, 2022 & Oct 15 & May 14, 2023

      • Paris to Rotterdam:
      • Oct 9, 2022
      • Paris to Rotterdam:
      • Oct 15, 2023
      • Rotterdam to Paris:
      • May 14, 2023

      Prices

      2022

      Per person, double occupancy €9500
      Double cabin/single use on request

      2023

      Pending

      Included services

      • 14 nights accommodation in king suites with spacious, private bathroom
      • All meals with beverages included
      • Open bar with a large selection of delicious wines and cocktails
      • Cycling guide
      • Support vehicle
      • Arrival and departure transfer from hotel/airport to barge and from barge to hotel/airport
      • Transfers as needed within the itinerary
      • Use of bicycles

      Bike rentals

      Bike rental is included in your tour price. Bikes available on this tour

      • Gazelle brand city touring bike
      • Electrically assisted bikes

      *More about electrically-assisted bikes >


      Tour Company Terms