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The historic centre of Ghent

Bruges - Amsterdam, MS Magnifique III

By bike and boat from Bruges to Amsterdam

8 Days / 7 Nights
Easy
The historic centre of Ghent

This tour combines cultural highlights and charming scenery in both Holland and Flanders. You ride on flat cycle paths from Amsterdam to Bruges, the "Venice of the North", over multiple stages. In Belgium, you can enjoy the historical Flemmish towns of Antwerpen, Ghent and Bruges where there are gabled houses and patrician houses, narrow alleys and a rich cultural past wherever you go, which is still expressed in the architecture and artwork nowadays. In Holland, you can admire the impressive country homes, cheese farms and Kinderdjik's 19 windmills along the way on the MS Magnifique III.

Itinerary at a glance

Embarkation time in Bruges is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. The ship awaits you in the Bruges harbor. After a welcome meeting with the crew at 2 PM there is time for bicycle fitting and a short test-ride through the countryside around Bruges. After dinner the guide will take you for a short walk through the center of town.

We advise you to come to Bruges one or more days earlier, so that you will have plenty of time to discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical city of Bruges, aptly named 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.

You will start your first day of cycling by pedaling 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 medieval center features lovely illuminated streets that are a must to explore, while the architectural richness in the 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 ship will dock for the night at a lock, in a suburb of Ghent and approx. 30 cycling minutes from the city center. Before dinner a small canal boat will take you for a guided tour through the historic city.

In the morning you will spend some time in Ghent. Later in the morning you will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde located at the confluence of Dender and Schelde rivers. There is only one way to describe the landscape along the Schelde and that is: “magnificent”. It is without doubt one of the natural highlights of the tour. During this section of the Schelde the speed of the 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. Your floating hotel will be docked for the night in St. Amands.

Today we will follow the Schelde river 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.

This morning, the ship will sail along the Schelde-Rhine Canal and over 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 streams, 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 of an eventful past. From Tholen you will join the ship again for a nice afternoon sail to the city of Dordrecht. Halfway the ship will pass the impressive Volkerak lock system.

Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands is your destination for the day. The guide will take you for an evening walk and tell you about the history of the Netherlands.

Today you will start your tour with the “Waterbus”, a fast ferry that will take you and your bicycle 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 (Lower Rhine), where you will stay for the night and where you can explore at your leisure after dinner.

During breakfast the ship will cruise to Breukelen where you disembark to start your final day of cycling. Ride along the Vecht River in an area famous for its beautiful mansions, small castles, impressive houses and their large gardens. After cycling through the villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland you will arrive at Nigtevecht where you can visit a traditional cheese farm. Continue cycling through the historical town of Muiden and on to Amsterdam where you will meet the barge for the final time in the Amsterdam harbor.

End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.

Route information

Easy

Prices & Dates

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour

Included

  • Fully guided cycling tours accoring to itinerary from Bruges to Amsterdam 
  • 7 nights in outside cabins of the booked cabin category
  • 1 welcome drink 
  • Full meals (7x breakfast, 6x packed lunch for cyclists, 6x coffee and tea on board, 6x 3-course-dinner) 
  • On board tour guide incl. daily tour briefing
  • Daily cabin cleaning, change of bed linen and towels as needed
  • 1 route book per cabin 
  • All harbour, lock and bridge fees
  • Entrance Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp 
  • Tasting Belgium products 
  • Canal trip through Ghent 
  • Wifi
  • GPS-data

Optional 

  • Bring your own bike €10,- / electric bike €25,- (on request only, limited) 

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Guarded parking areas at the main station (Stationsplein)

Things to note

  • Minimum number of participants: none 
  • Further important information according to the package travel law and additional information about your bike and boat trip can be found here!
  • This tour is a partner tour.

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Christine Pölzleitner

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