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Highlights of Flanders and Holland
We’ve arranged an exciting bike and boat tour through the heart of Flanders and Holland beginning in Bruges and ending in Amsterdam. Welcoming all BikeTours.com clients on board the private, floating hotel, the Magnifique III as the “home base” for the week.
During this bicycle tour, you will visit some of the most beautiful cities of Flanders (Western Belgium) and Holland: Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Utrecht, and Amsterdam.
After embarking in Bruges, the “Pearl of Flanders,” with its picturesque, medieval town center where you still can feel the charm of the days long gone, you will move through the Delta, which merges the Rhine, Meuse, and the Scheldt Rivers, famous for its fantastic beaches and water activities. From there, you will continue exploring the Dutch province of Zeeland. You’ll visit the 19 Dutch windmills in Kinderdijk and a Dutch cheese farm. Along the Belgian border, you’ll cycle along the Vecht River viewing impressive mansions and country houses on its banks. Then, you’ll cross through a beautiful part of the Netherlands and finish your cycling week in Amsterdam.
Note: The cycling is mostly flat with occasional hills. At times, there may be high winds but you may take your time. Electric-assist bicycles will also be available. The guides will give details of each ride, and you always have the option to stay on board and experience the views from the deck of your floating hotel.
- The historical center of Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Ghent’s pedestrian center famous for the medieval architecture
- Antwerp’s Gothic-style cathedral in the old town
- UNESCO cultural heritage windmills in Kinderdijk
- Picturesque canals and wine-cellars turned shops and restaurants in Utrecht
- Have the opportunity to discover Amsterdam
- Medieval towns and charming villages featuring fortresses and castles
- Dutch countryside of Zeeland which features the big river delta of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt River
Learn more about guided tours.
Day 1: Arrival and embarkation in Bruges (6 miles/11 km)
Arrival and embarkation between 1-2:00pm in the beautiful city of Bruges, also called "Pearl of Flanders." The crew will welcome you. You will have plenty of time to discover the beautiful historical city of Bruges. While you are there make sure you 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.
Overnight in Bruges.
Day 2: Bruges – Ghent (21 miles/35 km or 36 miles/57 km)
Your cycle tour starts early today on the outskirts of Bruges following the distribution of bicycles after breakfast. You will start your first day of cycling by pedalling towards Ghent through the beautiful Flemish landscape along the Ghent canal.
On arrival in Ghent make sure you make the effort to discover the best of what this historical city has to offer during an afternoon stroll. Ghent's town center features lovely illuminated streets, 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).
The barge will dock for the night at a lock in a suburb of Ghent, approximately a 30-minute bike ride to the city center. Before dinner, a small canal boat will take you for a guided tour through the historic city.
Overnight in Ghent.
Day 3: Ghent – Dendermonde / St. Amands (24 miles/40 km or 32 miles/53 km)
After breakfast in Ghent, you will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde located at the junction of Dender and Schelde Rivers. There is only one way to describe the landscape along the Schelde and that is "magnificent." It is without a doubt one of the natural highlights of the tour.
During this section of the Schelde, the speed of the barge will be determined by the height of the tide. You will travel from Dendermonde to St. Amands by either bike or barge depending on the tides. Your floating hotel will be docked for the night in St. Amands.
Overnight in St-Amands.
Day 4: St.Amands – Temse – Antwerp (19 miles/ 32 km or 31 miles/49 km)
Today we will follow the Schelde further downstream through the Temse region to Antwerp. Over the centuries the Schelde River has held strategic importance for the Romans, Vikings, Spanish, and Napoleon. Today it is a beautiful waterway just perfect for bike and barge holidays!
Antwerp, your destination for the day, is a harbor city 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.
Dinner will be in town in a restaurant of your choice ( not included; recommendations available on board).
Overnight in Antwerp.
Day 5: Cruise Antwerp – Kreekrak locks | Cycle Kreekrak locks – Tholen | Cruise Tholen – Willemstad – Dordrecht (23 miles/36km or 13 miles/20 km)
The barge will cruise this morning along 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 cycle further 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 bicycle. You will enjoy an evening walk in Dordrecht with the guide to learn the history of the Netherlands.
Overnight in Dordrecht.
Day 6: Cruise Dordrecht – Kinderdijk | Cycle Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen (19 miles/32 km or 36 miles/57 km)
Today you will start your tour with the “Waterbus,” 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 windmills – 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 be moored for the evening and where you can explore at your leisure after dinner).
Overnight in Vianen.
Day 7: Cruise Vianen – Breukelen | Cycle Breukelen – Amsterdam (23 miles/36km or 28 miles/46 km)
During breakfast, the ship cruises to Breukelen, where you disembark and your cycling tour starts. Ride along the small Vecht river, an area known for its beautiful mansions, small castles, and beautiful houses with large gardens. After cycling through the villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen, and Vreeland, you arrive to Nigtevecht, where you can visit a traditional cheese farm. Continue cycling through Abcoude and Ouderkerk beside the Amstel River to reach Amsterdam. You will meet your barge again in the harbor of Amsterdam.
Overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 8: Amsterdam
After breakfast: end of the tour and disembarkation by 9:30am. If you wish, you can visit Amsterdam or one of its numerous museums, do some shopping or make a canal tour (not included).
All distances are "approximate distances" of recommended bike tours.
Surface and terrain
The tour follows flat terrain routes that has occasional hills. The route is on dedicated bicycle paths about 50% of the time, follows roads shared with traffic about 30% of the time. The remaining 20% of the route follows quiet roads.
You will have an option to remain aboard if you wish not to cycle some days.
MS Magnifique III
Full boat details and photos >
How to get there
Nearest international airport: Brussels International (BRU)
Nearest train station: Bruges
The boat will be moored in the Bruges Bargeweg harbor. The train from the Brussels airport (with 1 change in Brussels) departs every hour with a duration of about 1 hour and 45min. You may buy a ticket at the airport or online: www.belgiantrain.be. The price is approximately €20 per person.
Check‐in on board begins at 1:00-2:00pm on July 25, 2020. The boat will not depart from the port the first evening, so late arrival is possible. Please let us know in advance if you will arrive later than 5:30pm.
Nearest airport: Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)
Nearest train station: Amsterdam Centraal
The ship will dock at the Veemkade approximately 1 mile from Amsterdam Centraal Station. You may use a city bus or tram to go to Centraal Station. You may purchase a ticket from the bus driver for approximately €3 per person. These options are available every 15-25 minutes and are the cheapest and most reliable options.
• City Bus 48 (GVB): From Jan Schäferbrug, bus in the direction of Centraal Station (duration is about 10 minutes)
• Tram 26: From Kattenburgerstraat to Centraal Station (duration is about 5 minutes)
Trains operate from Amsterdam Centraal to Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS). These trains run every 5-10 minutes and take approximately 20 minutes. You may buy a ticket at the train station or online: www.ns.nl. The price is approximately €5 per person.
You may also take a taxi from Centraal Station to the airport. If booking a taxi, we recommend using the official Schiphol Travel Taxi on the airport website: www.schiphol.nl. The cost is approximately €40 per taxi to the Amsterdam airport.
Private airport transfers are also possible on your own.
Tips for getting to and from your tour
July 25, 2020
Per person, double occupancy € 1435 Single cabin surcharge (1 person/1 cabin) € 600 Upper deck suite cabin upgrade € 550
Electrically assisted bike (limited number, only on request) € 100 Bike insurance, hybrid bike € 10 Bike insurance, e-bike € 25
- 7 nights lodging on board
- 7 breakfasts on board
- 6 picnic lunches for cyclists or on board for non-cyclists
- 5 three-course dinners on board (dinner excluded in Bruges and Antwerp)
- Welcome drink and speech on the first evening
- Coffee and tea on board
- Daily short cleaning of the cabin (change of towels daily possible)
- Supportive captain and crew
- Hybrid touring bike
- Tour leader with daily briefings of the bike tours each morning
- Cycling guide each day (available by phone for those that want to cycle self-guided)
- Printed instructions and detailed maps for daily bike tours (1 set per cabin)
- GPS tracks available
- Wifi onboard
- City walking tours in Bruges, St. Amands, Dordrecht, and Vianen
- St. Amands includes a visit to Sahara Art Stones
- Entrance into the Gothic-style famous cathedral in Antwerp
- Cheese farm with tour and tasting
- Canal trip through Ghent
- Fees for ferries
Please note special diets may be accommodated upon request, although surcharges may apply.
Bikes available and included in the tour cost (reserve in advance at the time of booking):
- Hybrid touring bikes, 7-speed
Bikes available to be rented for an additional fee (reserve in advance at the time of booking):
- Electrically assisted bikes (limited number, upon request)*
- Children's equipment and tandems, in limited quantities (please inquire for pricing)
*More about electrically-assisted bikes >
Equipment included with bike rental:
- Pannier bag
- Water bottle
You can bring your own bicycles (at no extra cost). However, the crew or tour operator are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles.
The bikes will have flat pedals.
Please note that helmets are available on this tour (for free, included with bike rental). We recommend that you bring your own, or purchase one when you arrive at your destination. In the Netherlands and Belgium, cyclists are not obligated by law to wear a bike helmet, but we strongly recommend everyone to wear a helmet.
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