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.