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1
introductory

Traveller Rating

 

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

8 Days£1740GBP

Overview

Trip Code: BRA

Trip highlights


  • Walking the cobble stoned streets of Bruges and Ghent
  • Cycling past a variety of landscapes including windmills of Kinderdijk and the river Schelde
  • Sampling local specialties including Belgian waffles, beer and mussels
  • Soaking up the hospitality onboard your comfortable barge

Experience the great cities of the Netherlands and western Belgium 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 the Kreekrak lock, the barge cruises from Belgium through the 'delta' province of Zeeland. Cycling with the group and guide or on your own with a set of maps and directions - the choice is yours. In the evenings, relax on board your comfortable barge or explore the towns on foot.

Countries:

Belgium and Holland

Starting Point:

Bruges

Finishing Point:

Amsterdam


Embarkation in Bruges is between 1-2pm (luggage can be brought on board from 11am). After a welcome meeting with the crew at 2pm, there will be a bicycle fitting and a short warm-up cycle through the surrounding countryside. After dinner you can join the guide for a short walk through the centre of town. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Bruges is perhaps the most beautiful of all Flemish cities, with its Old Town almost completely intact. During the Middle Ages, the city was a metropolis and centre of commerce and art, evident in its many beautiful facades. It is a nice town for shopping and exploring. We suggest sampling a waffle, coffee or traditional Belgian beer around the Grote Markt (big market place). Tip: There is so much to see in Bruges - we recommend having a night or two here pre tour.

Meals:  D

We start our first day of cycling by pedaling towards Ghent through the beautiful Flemish landscape along the Ghent canal. Ghent is a lively university city with a rich past, and in the afternoon you can discover more of its beauty on foot. The city was founded in Roman times, where the rivers Leie and Schelde converge. During the Middle Ages, Ghent was Europe's second largest city after Paris. Its convenient location has brought much prosperity over time, culminating in the late 13th and early 14th century. The textile industry brought great wealth, with the Cloth Hall established in 1425 bringing many merchants together, and many aristocrats remain today. 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 (in the visitors' centre). The barge will dock at the lock in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent approx. 30 minutes by bike from the city centre. Before dinner a small canal boat will take you for a guided tour through the historic city.

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 confluence of the Dender and Schelde rivers. The boat's departure time will be set by the skipper, dependent on the tides. The River Schedle stretches over 400km 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, and has had considerable commercial and strategic importance over the years. We will continue by bike or barge from Dendermonde to St Amands, depending on the tides.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we follow the Schelde further downstream through the Temse region to the lively port town of Antwerp. This part of the route is along a beautiful and winding section of the river which over the centuries held strategic importance for the Romans, Vikings, Spanish and Napoleon. Our destination is Antwerp, famous for handling most of the world’s rough diamonds and as the birthplace of the painter Rubens. You will find some of his paintings in the “Onze Lieve Vrouwe” (Our Lady) Cathedral. Its other attractions 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 tonight (recommendations available on board).

Meals:  B,L

In the morning we cruise through the Schelde-Rhine Canal and the imposing Kreekraksluis (Kreekrak lock). Here our cycle tour starts through the beautiful ‘Wouwse Plantage’ forest to Tholen, a former fishing village amidst the large streams of the province of Zeeland. From Tholen we join the barge again for an enjoyable afternoon cruise to Dordrecht, en route passing through the impressive Volkerak lock system. Today, the skipper and guide will discuss with you which part of the tour will be covered by bicycle. After dinner you can join the guide for an evening walk through the town centre of Dordrecht, which is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we take the 'Waterbus' (fast ferry, 10 minutes) to Alblasserdam, from where it is a short cycle to the famous windmills of Kinderdijk. The windmills were constructed in the 18th century to pump water from the low Alblasserwaard polder. We will continue by bike to Schoonhoven, renowned for its talented silversmiths, and Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek (Lower Rhine), where we will stay for the night and which you can explore at leisure after dinner.

Meals:  B,L,D

During breakfast we will cruise to Breukelen then disembark for our last day of cycling. Following the winding river Vecht, the area is well known 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 en route to Nigtevecht, where we can visit a traditional cheese farm. We will continue cycling through the historical town of Muiden and on to Amsterdam and the barge in the harbour. You can explore the lively Dutch capital on foot or take a ride to see 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 and disembark by 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 packed 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 in a twin share cabin with ensuite facilities on a Deluxe category barge (cabins are configured with two lower beds - supplement applies for premium twin or upper deck suite on select departures, or single cabin. A discount applies for LaMar cabin with split beds on a twin share basis). 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).
  • Bike rental with handbrake or backpedal brake - 7 speed, waterproof pannier, helmet and water bottle (electric bike available on request - supplement applies)
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (one set per cabin), GPS tracks available on request
  • Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening
  • Two multilingual tour guides for fully guided cycling tours (group sizes of 22 passengers or more, except LaMar which is only one tour guide), daily briefings
  • Several short city walks
  • Linen and change of towels as required
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Entrance to Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Tasting of Belgian products, Canal trip through Ghent
  • WIFI
  • Fees for ferries

  • Travel to Bruges and from Amsterdam
  • Dinner in Antwerp or Bruges
  • Drinks (available for purchase on board) and other items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specified
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Transfers not specified
  • A supplement will apply if you are booking a single cabin (we do not match single travellers)
  • 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.
  • Bike insurance - payable locally (EUR10 for standard bikes and EUR25 for e-bikes) - further details of this Limitation of Liability (damage) policy are available on request
  • Fee to bring your own bike (note this is not possible on La Mar due to space limitations)

Bike information


Suitability

introductory

1

INTRODUCTORY - GRADE 1 The cycling is introductory (1) grade with daily cycling distances from 11 to 57km (6 to 36mi). 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. *For safety reasons, we highly recommend that cycle helmets be worn during cycle sections.


Departure dates


Notes

H
High Season
Note:
Operates with the Magnifique I (3), Operates with the Magnifique II (S), Operates with Magnifique III (K), Operates with Magnifique IV (O). Operates with La Mar (D)
Note:
High season is from 25 Apr to 30 Jun and from 29 Aug to 30 Sep - supplement applies. Discount applies to October 10,12 & 17 departures. Additional high season supplement does not apply to single cabins - variable pricing applicable.
Note:
Fuel Surcharge - A fuel surcharge may be levied where fluctuations arise.The exact amount of the fuel surcharge will be determined 28-35 days before the start of the trip based on the fuel price applicable at that time. The fuel surcharge must be paid in cash on arrival on board the boat. Indication: the surcharge is approx. € 2.50 to € 6.50 per perperson per travel day
Note:
For departures running in reverse, see our trip 'Amsterdam to Bruges - Deluxe' - ABR

Priceper person from

£1740GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Discount for twin cabin with split beds - LaMar ppGBP£-81
  • Discount for 10 & 12 & 17 October 2024 dep ppGBP£-54
  • Electric Bike SupplementGBP£170
  • Premium Twin Cabin - pp supplement (Mags II (seasonal supp applies)GBP£230
  • Junior Deck Suite Supplement (Magnifique I only) pp - seasonal supps applyGBP£360
  • Single cabin Supplement (on Mag III only) - low season 2024GBP£430
  • Single use of twin cabin with split beds - LaMar onlyGBP£450
  • Single cabin Supplement (on Mag III only) - high season 2024GBP£530
  • Upper Deck Suite Supplement (Magnifique II, III, IV only) pp - seasonal supps applyGBP£550
  • Single use of twin cabin - Supplement (on request) - low seasonGBP£700
  • Single use of twin cabin - Supplement (on request) - low season 2024GBP£700
  • Single use of twin cabin - Supplement (on request) - high season 2024GBP£770
*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