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Bruges to Amsterdam 11-day Bike & Barge Tour
This tour from Bruges to Amsterdam through the lowlands of the Netherlands and Belgium has all the ingredients a successful bike & barge tour needs — highlights like the iconic windmills at Kinderdijk; north Belgian culture in the beautiful Flemish cities of Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges; personal encounters with local producers as you bike through Flanders; and above all, very nice cycling off the beaten track, along quiet country roads. And because this tour by bike and ship lasts a couple of days longer than most bike & barge tours, you will have that extra bit of time to wander around in this region’s intriguing cities, visit one or more of their world-class museums or spend an afternoon shopping.
This tours relaxed cycling passes through the gorgeous, green – and flat – Dutch countryside in the Netherlands & Belgium, the Lower Rhine delta, the province of Zeeland and Flanders, the western region of Belgium. Attractions along the way include many charming villages, a visit to a real Dutch cheese farm, the 19 Dutch windmills in Kinderdijk, and the world-famous historic cities of Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges in Belgium. You will cycle through and discover the Dutch province of Zeeland, which is essentially one big river delta where the Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt rivers converge, and is famous for its fantastic beaches, water sport activities, and Delta works. Then, the Flanders region of Belgium awaits you, which has a reputation for its medieval towns — and superb food and drinks.
Each day you will be able to discover many picturesque villages — both on your bicycle and on foot.The barge will stay for two nights in Antwerp, a cultural capital famous for its vibrant nightlife. So this means you have a whole to discover this city, not only known as a diamond and harbor city, but also as the hometown of the painter Rubens. No matter where you go, you’ll never be far from one of his masterpieces. Then there is Ghent, a lively university city, again one with a rich past. From Ghent, you bike through the pleasant countryside of Western Flanders to Bruges, widely described as the ‘Venice of the North’ and arguably the most beautiful of all the Flemish cities. Bruges attracts more than two million visitors every year who come to see the picturesque medieval town center of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic city and a long list of historic attractions.
All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons. On this Tour with more than 22 guests, the daily cycling tours will be accompanied by a knowledgeable and multi-lingual tour leader. On most days the tour leader will offer a long and short (or a quicker and more relaxed) bicycle option. Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bicycle option.
Good to know:
You can also choose to ride individually with the help of a map and route notes (available on board). GPS tracks will be sent to you 4 weeks before the start date of the tour. In case you prefer a day of rest,you can skip the bicycle tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town. On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 11 a.m
The bicycles on board are unisex city bikes of the brand Gazelle Chamonix and of the brand Velo de Ville C100, both with lightweight frames and normal mount (ladies model), with easy-to-handle Shimano 7 gears, hand brakes, gelsaddle (height adjustable), a lock on the frame and pannier bag. All bikes have 28 inch wheels. Some smaller frames are available on board for smaller persons. For large gentlemen (from 1.90m and above) we have a few traditional men’s models (with a horizontal bar) available. The e-bike is a Velo de Ville CEB 200 with Nexus 7 gears, 4 support levels and hand breaks only (or a comparable brand/model). E-bikes available (on
request, limited stock, pending availability).
Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles (at no additional fee). However, the crew or tour operators are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of guests own bicycles. Prices of other bikes (e.g. children’s bikes, “slip str slip streamers”//tag-a-long,
tandem bicycles etc and child’s saddles) are on request.
Comfort Barge - Facts about the ship: Length: 45 m (148 ft.) Width: 6.2 m (20 ft.) Crew: 4 Cabins: 10 Pass.: 20 (max.)
A small and comfortable passenger barge. The ship, owned and operated by skipper Hans Petrus, sails under Dutch flag has been sailing in various areas in The Netherlands and Belgium for many years, and is ideal for bike and barge tours.
Description of the cabins
The barge has ten twin cabins (10 m² – 108 sq.ft.) with two separate beds. In two of the cabins a bunk bed as third bed is possible (on request). Each cabin has a recently renovated bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. Windows can be opened and the cabins have ventilation and central heating. A hair dryer is available on request.
Description of the ship
On the upper deck you will find the large and cozy lounge with the bar and dining area. Wi-Fi is available. The barge also has two large sundecks with storage room for the bicycles and sitting areas with tables and chairs, where you can have a drink. On nice evenings, or while cruising, you can enjoy the scenery from here. Furthermore, equipped with a double-roof of solar panels, the barge runs for a great part on green energy! This is not only environment-friendly, but also comfortable for guests: since the ship hardly needs to use a generator to produce electricity, the nights are still and quiet on board.
Premium Barge - Facts about the ship: Length: 38.7 m (126 ft.) Width: 5 m (17 ft.) Crew: 4 Cabins: 10 Pass.: 20 (max.)
The barge started cruising in 2002. This small, yet very 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. Owners Steffie and Evert Jan have been in the business for more than 15 years. These years of experience and commitment are reflected in every detail and guarantee that your vacation will be a pleasant one.
Description of the cabins
On the lower deck, the barge has ten comfortable guest cabins (9 m² – 97 sq.ft.) with two separate single beds. Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and basin, central heating and air-conditioning; windows are fixed for safety reasons. Furthermore, in each cabin you will find a mini safe and hair dryer.
Description of the ship
On the upper deck, there is a lounge with large windows, a roomy sitting area, a dining area, a cozy bar, central heating and air-conditioning. Wi-Fi is available. On the upper deck you will also find the half-covered sun deck, which is the ideal place to drink a cup of coffee or an aperitif and to enjoy the scenery while cruising.
If you would like to rent a bike (120/125 EUR) e-bike (260/265 EUR) or helmet (10 EUR), please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle €10/week; Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike €25/week
Transfer between Amsterdam and Bruges: There is a good train connection between these two cities.
Slow Tours offers a number of other Bike & Barge Tours in Europe
Bruges (11 km/6 mi.)
Embarkation time is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. in Bruges, where your lovely ship awaits you in the Bruges Harbor. After a welcome and briefing from your friendly and experienced crew at 2 p.m., there is time for bicycle allocation and a short but sweet test-ride through the countryside around Bruges. After dinner, our guide will introduce you to the city with a short walk through its gorgeous medieval center.
Roundtrip from/to Bruges & North Sea (38 km/23 mi.)
After a sound night’s rest, your tour leader will guide you on a morning bike tour of about 37 km. Your first tour will set out along a quiet canal, past beautiful poplar trees and through attractive landscapes of flat green polder fields dotted with small farmhouses (a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments). On the return ride to Bruges, you will cycle along a charming little canal
In the afternoon, you will have time to discover this marvelous UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical city, which is aptly nicknamed “the Pearl of Flanders.” 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.
Bruges – Aalterbrug | Aalterbrug – Ghent (37 km/23 mi. or 45 km/28 mi.)
After enjoying breakfast on board, you’ll start cycling out of Bruges, zigzagging through charming woodland and pastures. Your barge will be patiently waiting for you halfway along the canal between Bruges and Ghent. Once everyone is back back on board, the anchor will be lifted and you can enjoy the scenery as you cruise on to Ghent. In the evening, you can take a nice guided tour through the historical center of Ghent, seeing it from one of the best perspectives possible — from a small canal boat that passes delightful areas like the Graslei and Korenlei. Ghent is a lively university with a rich past. The city has its origins in Roman times, where it arose at the confluence of the rivers Leie and Scheldt. This favorable site resulted in great prosperity over the years, which peaked in the late 13th and early 14th centuries when textile manufacturing brought great wealth to Ghent. In the city center many old patrician houses have been skillfully preserved in all their glory. The impressive Clothmakers’ Hall (1425) is where textile merchants used to meet. Ghent’s major church is St. Baafs’ Cathedral, which was built across various ages and in various styles. In the cathedral, you can admire a number of masterpieces of of medieval painting, of which the “Adoration of the Lamb” by Jan van Eyck is the most famous.
Ghent – Dendermonde/St. Amands (40 km/24 mi. or 55 km/34 mi.)
After a delicious breakfast in Ghent, you will cycle downstream through diverse landscapes, along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde, located at the confluence of the Dender and Schelde rivers. There is only one way to describe the Schelde and that is: “magnificent”. Its natural splendor is, without doubt, one of the highlights of the tour. During this section of the Schelde, the speed of your ship will be determined by the height of the tide. You will travel from Dendermonde to St. Amands by either bicycle or barge, depending on the tides. You and your ship will spend a relaxing night docked in St. Amands.
St. Amands – Temse – Antwerp (33 km/21 mi. or 49 km/31 mi.)
Today, we will follow the Schelde River further downstream through the Temse region to Antwerp. Over the centuries the Schelde River held strategic importance for the Romans, Vikings, Spanish, and Napoleon… Today it is a stunning waterway just perfect for bike and barge holidays! Antwerp, your shining 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. This city has many delights in store for you, including the City Hall — one of several majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period — the Grote Markt historical city square, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Cathedral, and the medieval Steen Castle.
Today your ship stays in Antwerp.This means you will have an entire day to discover this city of culture, cobblestones, and Flemish Baroque masterpieces. You can visit the Rubens House, the palazzo where the brilliant and versatile artist lived with his family. You will find some of his paintings to admire just a ten-minute walk away in the “Onze Lieve Vrouwe (Our Dear Lady) Cathedral.” Other ideas for spending a pleasant afternoon here are to visit the famous beer brewery of ‘de Koninck’ for a tour and tasting, explore the fascinating Museum on the Scheldt River (MAS — Museum aan de Stroom) or go shopping in Antwerp. Antwerp’s welcoming shopping area. Dinner tonight is not included as you have the chance to dine at a restaurant of your choosing. If needed, your crew can provide restaurant recommendations.
Antwerp – Kreekrak locks | Kreekrak locks – Tholen | (36 km/23 mi. or 20 km/13 mi.)
This morning, your ship will sail along the Schelde-Rhine Canal and through the huge Kreekrak lock system. Here, your bicycle tour starts through the beautiful “Wouwse Plantage ” forest to Tholen. Tholen once was an island in the middle of the large Zeeland waterways, where many people fished for their living. Nowadays Tholen is connected to the mainland in various ways but it is still a picturesque village with many relics from an eventful past.
Tholen – Willemstad | Willemstad – Dordrecht (44 km/26 mi. or 36 km/23 mi.)
Your bike tour today passes through the pleasant Tholen village of Oud-Vossemeer to Willemstad, an old fortified town on the Haringvliet inlet of the North Sea. From here you will board the ship again for a pleasant afternoon sail to the city of Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. In the evening, your guide will lead you through the city as they bring the history of the Netherlands to life. We spend the night in the port of Wolwevershaven, which has a rich history dating back to 1609 when it emerged as a trading center for wool weavers.
Dordrecht – Alblasserdam (waterbus ferry) | Alblasserdam – Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen (32km/19 mi. or 57 km/36 mi.)
Today you will start your tour with the “Waterbus”, a fast ferry that will take you and your bicycles to Alblasserdam in just 10 minutes. After 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. You will then continue to cycle to Vianen via Schoonhoven, a small fortified town on the Lek (Lower Rhine), where you will stay for the night and where you can explore at your leisure after a scrumptious dinner.
Vianen – Breukelen | Breukelen – Amsterdam (37 km/22 mi. or 47 km/29 mi.)
As you enjoy breakfast, the ship will cruise to Breukelen you’ll disembark to begin your final day of cycling. Ride along the Vecht River in an area famous for its beautiful mansions, small castles, and impressive houses with expansive gardens. After cycling through the villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen, and Vreeland, you will at Nigtevecht where you can treat your tastebuds by visiting a traditional cheese farm. Continue cycling through the historical town of Muiden and on to Amsterdam, where you will meet your lovely barge for the final time in the Amsterdam harbor.
The end of your tour : enjoy your last breakfast on board and disembark before 9.30 a.m.
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|Oct 08 2022||Oct 18 2022||20||Single rooms||0€|
|May 23 2023||Jun 02 2023||20||Single rooms||2,249€|
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote