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1
introductory

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in a twin share cabin
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£1380GBP

Overview

Trip Code: UBR

Trip highlights


  • Discovering the vibrant cities of Bruges and Amsterdam by bike and on foot
  • Cycling through scenic countryside and past locks, windmills and cheese farms
  • Visiting interesting towns such as Antwerp, famous for its nightlife and Ghent with its cobble stone streets
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of your fellow passengers aboard a comfortable barge
  • Sampling local specialties including Belgian waffles, beer and mussels

Experience the great cities of western Belgium and the Netherlands on this classic barge and bike trip between Bruges and Amsterdam. En route visit Antwerp and Ghent whose historic centres will enchant you with their history and refined culture. Wind your way by bike along the Vecht river with its impressive mansions and country houses, visit a cheese farm and the 19 windmills in Kinderdijk. Via Dordrecht and Kreekrak lock, the barge cruises from Belgium through the 'delta' province of Zeeland. Cycling on your own with a set of maps and directions or with the guide - the choice is yours. In the evenings, relax on board your comfortable barge or explore the towns on foot.

Countries:

Holland and Belgium

Starting Point:

Bruges

Finishing Point:

Amsterdam


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From 1:00pm, you can check into the barge in Bruges and meet your guide and crew. After a welcome meeting with the crew at 2:00pm there will be a bicycle fitting and short test-ride through the countryside around Bruges. After dinner on board the tour leader will take you for a walk through the centre of town. Bruges is known as the "Venice of the North" and the "Pearl of Flanders". We strongly recommend coming one or two days earlier so you have time to discover its treasures. Perhaps the most beautiful of all Flemish cities, the medieval Old Town is almost completely intact and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the Middle Ages it was a metropolis and centre of commerce and art, and you can see this glory in the beautiful buildings. Bruges is also a nice town for shopping or going out - sample a waffle, coffee or traditional Belgian beer around the Grote Markt (the big market place). *If you arrive early, it's possible to leave your luggage on board from 11am.

Meals:  D

Your cycle tour starts early today in the outskirts of Bruges, from where you will pedal through pleasant Flemish countryside along the Ghent canal towards the historical centre of Ghent. It is a lively university city with a rich past, and in the afternoon you have the opportunity to discover more of its beauty on foot. The city was founded in Roman times, where the rivers Leie and Schelde converge. The convenient location has over the years brought much prosperity - in the Middle Ages it was the second largest European city after Paris. The textile industry brought great wealth, with the Cloth Hall established in 1425 bringing many merchants together, and many aristocrats remain today. The main church St Bavo Cathedral reflects different periods in history and building styles, and houses some masterpieces of medieval art, the most famous of which is "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Jan van Eyck. The barge will dock at the lock in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent approx. 30min by bike to the city centre.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast in Ghent you will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape alongside the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde, a friendly little town, located at the junction of the Dender and Schelde Rivers. The River Schedle stretches for 435km through northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands and is connected by several canals to the basins of the Rhine, Meuse and Seine Rivers. It has always had considerable commercial and strategic importance over the years. Dendermonde has a beautiful town hall on its main square. The ideal place to relax and enjoy a nice Belgian beer after your ride. Worth visiting is the St Alexius Beguinage, where you can learn about housekeeping, work and recreation in the lives of former generations. Overnight Dendermonde.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today you will follow the Schelde river further downstream through the Temse region and the small village of Baasrode to the lively port town of Antwerp. This part of the route is along a beautiful and winding section of the Schelde which over the centuries held strategic importance for the Romans, Vikings, Spanish and Napoleon. Antwerp, where the boat is moored overnight, is known as the diamond city and has an abundance of jeweller's shops. Peter Paul Rubens lived and worked in Antwerp in the 17th century, producing paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe and you will find some of his paintings in the “Onze Lieve Vrouwe" (our lady) Cathedral. Other highlights include the City Hall, one of many majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period, the historical City Square Grote Market and the medieval Steen Castle. Dinner is not included this evening so you are free to dine in one of the many restaurants in the historic centre of Antwerp.

Meals:  B,L

In the morning we cruise through the Schelde-Rhine Canal and through the imposing Kreekraksluis (Kreekrak lock). Your cycle tour starts through the beautiful 'Wouwse Plantage' forest before leading to Tholen, a former fishing village set amidst the large streams of the province of Zeeland. From Tholen you board the boat for an afternoon cruise to Dordrecht, passing through the impressive Volkerak lock system en route. After dinner there will be an evening walk with the tour leader to the town centre of Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning you will take a fast ferry to Alblasserdam from where it is a short cycle to the famous 19 UNESCO listed windmills of Kinderdijk. The windmills were constructed in the 18th century to pump water out of the low Alblasserwaard polder. Continue cycling to the 'Silver City' of Schoonhoven, renowned for its talented silversmiths, and on to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek. In the evening you can explore the town.

Meals:  B,L,D

During breakfast the barge will cruise to Breukelen where you disembark for the final day of cycling. You will ride along the Vecht River in an area famous for its sprawling mansions, small castles and beautiful houses with large gardens and parks. Pass through the small villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland and arrive at Nigtevecht, where we can visit a traditional cheese farm. Continue cycling through the historical town of Muiden to Amsterdam and the barge's mooring place in the harbour for your last evening aboard. On arrival you can explore the lively Dutch capital on foot or make a round trip of the famous Amsterdam canals.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast the journey comes to an end as you say farewell to the guide and crew. Check out until 9:30am.

Meals:  B

Expand all | Collapse all

From 1:00pm, you can check into the barge in Bruges and meet your guide and crew. After a welcome meeting with the crew at 2:00pm there will be a bicycle fitting and short test-ride through the countryside around Bruges. After dinner on board the tour leader will take you for a walk through the centre of town.

Meals:  D

Our cycle tour starts early today in the outskirts of Bruges, from where we will pedal through pleasant Flemish countryside along the Ghent canal towards the historical centre of Ghent. It is a lively university city with a rich past, and in the afternoon you have the opportunity to discover more of its beauty on foot. The city was founded in Roman times, where the rivers Leie and Schelde converge. The convenient location has over the years brought much prosperity - in the Middle Ages it was the second largest European city after Paris. The textile industry brought great wealth, with the Cloth Hall established in 1425 bringing many merchants together, and many aristocrats remain today. The main church St Bavo Cathedral reflects different periods in history and building styles, and houses some masterpieces of medieval art, the most famous of which is "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Jan van Eyck. The barge is docked at the lock in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent approx. 30min by bike to the city centre.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast in Ghent we will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde, located at the junction of the Dender and Schelde rivers. Dendermonde has a beautiful town hall located in a cosy square, the ideal place for a nice Belgium beer after your bicycle ride. Worth visiting is also the St Alexius Beguinage where you can learn about housekeeping, work and recreation in the lives of former generations. After our bicycle tour we will cruise to Antwerp. Antwerp's harbour city is situated on the river Schelde and the city is famous for handling most of the world’s rough diamonds and as the birthplace of the famous painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens. There are many highlights to discover including the City Hall, one of several majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period.

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning we cruise through the Schelde-Rhine Canal and through the imposing Kreekraksluis (Kreekrak lock). Our cycle tour starts through the beautiful 'Wouwse Plantage' forest and we head to Tholen, a former fishing village set amidst the large streams of the province of Zeeland. From Tholen we board the barge for an afternoon cruise to Dordrecht, passing through the impressive Volkerak lock system en route. After dinner there will be an evening walk with the tour leader to the town centre of Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we take a fast ferry to Alblasserdam from where it is a short cycle to the famous UNESCO listed windmills of Kinderdijk. The 19 windmills were constructed in the 18th century to pump water out of the low Alblasserwaard polder. We will then continue cycling to the 'Silver City' of Schoonhoven, renowned for its talented silversmiths, and on to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek. In the evening you can explore the town.

Meals:  B,L,D

During breakfast we will cruise to Breukelen where we disembark for our final day of cycling. We ride along the Vecht River in an area famous for its sprawling mansions, small castles and beautiful houses with large gardens and parks. We'll pass through the small villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland and arrive at Nigtevecht, where we can visit a traditional cheese farm. Continue cycling through the historical town of Muiden to Amsterdam and the barge's mooring place in the harbour for our last evening aboard. On arrival you can explore the lively Dutch capital on foot or make a round trip of the famous Amsterdam canals.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast the journey comes to an end as you say farewell to the guide and crew. Check out until 9:30am.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, 6 dinners (does not include drinks) *
  • Continental breakfasts are served and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. At breakfast you will prepare your packed lunch for the day which will be sandwiches, fruit & juice. If you choose not to cycle on a particular day, the crew will serve lunch on board. Dinner will consist of three courses inclusive of either a pasta, vegetarian or meat dish.
  • 7 nights accommodation aboard a Category A barge with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis. Fluvius: all cabins are air conditioned, twin share cabins are configured with two lower beds, while double cabins are configured with a double bed.
  • The trip price is based on a standard twin cabin below deck - supplement applies for other cabin categories (twin cabin upper deck, double cabin upper deck or single below deck cabin) except a small twin cabin main deck where a discount applies. We do not match clients together so if you are travelling solo you will need to book a single cabin (limited and on a request basis).
  • Rental bike with helmet and pannier (e-bike available on request - supplement applies)
  • Daily briefings. While you cycle independently, the tour leader also cycles each day. Optional guided package available - supplement applies
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (one set per cabin), GPS tracks available
  • Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening
  • Several city walking tours
  • Linen and change of towels as required
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Daily tea and coffee during breakfast and 3-4pm
  • WIFI
  • carbon offset

  • Travel to Bruges and from Amsterdam
  • Meals not detailed in the itinerary
  • Drinks and other items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specified
  • Transfers not specified
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Tips - while tipping is not obligatory, it is customary to offer a tip if the guide and crew have done a good job. As a guide we would recommend EUR30-60 per person (to be distributed between the guide/s, captain and crew).
  • Catering for special diets (except Vegetarian). A supplement is payable for example lactose or gluten free diets - EUR65pp (subject to change) paid locally on board.
  • Optional canal tour of Amsterdam - tickets can be purchased on board
  • Bike insurance - payable locally (EUR10 for standard bikes, EUR25 for e-bikes) - further details of this Limitation of Liability (damage) policy are available on request
  • Fees for ferries and Waterbus
  • Guide - this is a self guided cycle trip. Optional guided package - supplement applies. Includes Fees for ferries and Waterbus

Cabins


Bike information


Suitability

introductory

1

INTRODUCTORY - GRADE 1 The cycling is introductory (1) grade with daily cycling distances from 11 to 63km (6 to 39mi). As with all of our cycling programs, wind and poor weather could make the trip grade change. Should you not wish to cycle there are walking options available. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos, visit a museum or enjoy the market places in many of the interesting towns visited. It is considered suitable for children, as long as they have road sense, are familiar with the workings of a bike (gear change etc) and are comfortable cycling alongside moving vehicles at times. Electric bikes are available for a supplement and when used will ensure the cycling is comfortable for less physical cyclists - however it is still essential that you are comfortable cycling on roads and in light traffic in variable weather conditions. *For safety reasons, we highly recommend that cycle helmets be worn during cycle sections.


Departure dates


Notes

DN1
All departures are on board the barge Fluvius.
1
Guided package extra. On all departure dates you can book a “fully guided” option in 2024. That means you will cycle with a tour leader in a small group of max. 20 guests (limited availability).
DN3
For departures running in reverse, see our trip 'Amsterdam to Bruges - Comfort' - trip code UAM.
DN4
Supplement applies to departures on comfort Plus boat De Holland

Priceper person from

£1380GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Discount for Small Twin cabin Below DeckGBP£-27
  • Optional Guided PackageGBP£90
  • E-bike SupplementGBP£150
  • Upper Deck Twin Cabin (smaller than an upper double) - supplementGBP£180
  • Upper Deck Double Cabin (larger than an upper twin) - supplementGBP£360
  • Single Supplement (single use of twin lower deck cabin )GBP£550
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

Videos

Amsterdam to Bruges Bike and Barge Tour | UTracks Active Travel