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Bike & Barge Amsterdam to Bruges

  • Canal view Bruges
  • Windmills at Kinderdijk
  • Bike by tulip field
  • Church
  • Belgium building tops
  • Sheep in the field
  • Biking on the Bruges tour
  • Castle in Ghent
  • Canal in Bruges
  • Antwerp building
DURATION
11 Day(s)
DAILY BIKING
10 to 32 miles
TRIP DIFFICULTY
1-Easier
REVIEWS
STARTING FROM
$4595
SINGLES ADD FROM
$1,100

Trip Overview

This 11-day tour 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; and personal encounters with locals as you bike through Flanders. Above all, you enjoy wonderful cycling off the beaten path, along quiet country roads.

On this outstanding tour, you have time to explore this region’s intriguing cities, visit world-class museums or spend an afternoon shopping. This tour’s relaxed cycling passes through the gorgeous, green and flat Dutch countryside in the Lower Rhine delta and in Flanders — the western region of Belgium.

Visit charming villages, a Dutch cheese farm, 19 windmills at Kinderdijk, and world-famous historic cities. You 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 and amazing engineering. And the Flanders region of Belgium awaits you, which has a reputation for its fabled medieval towns — and superb food and drink.

On some trips the route is reversed, but the 2024 trip is Amsterdam to Bruges.

Itinerary

From start to finish, check out the route.

DAY 1 - Amsterdam Arrival Day – Weesp
Distance: about 6 miles | Terrain: Easier | Lena Maria
Meet at the barge at the Oosterdok in Amsterdam. The crew and leaders welcome you on board between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. At around 2 p.m., the ship leaves for Weesp. This small city on the banks of the river Vecht has a historical center with many canals and buildings dating from the 17th and 18th century. It also has a few beautiful windmills. The scenic river Vecht and the small roads along the river attract boaters and cyclists. Have a bike fitting and a test ride with the group. After dinner, you have time to stroll through this charming city.
DAY 2 - Weesp – Utrecht – Vianen
Distance: 28 miles | Terrain: Easier | Lena Maria
Start cycling in Weesp along the beautiful meandering Vecht River. This area is famous for its beautiful mansions, small castles, and impressive houses with expansive gardens. Along the way, visit a real Dutch cheese farm, where cheese is still produced according to traditional methods. You meet the ship in the city of Utrecht and from there, cruise along the Amsterdam-Rhine canal to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek.
DAY 3 - Vianen to Dordrecht with windmills
Distance: 13 or 36 miles | Terrain: Easier | Lena Maria
Today you cycle a beautiful route along the Lek River to Schoonhoven — a city renowned for its talented silversmiths since the 17th century, earning it the nickname Zilverstad (“Silver City”). Later in the day, as you cycle through the Alblasserwaard region, you reach Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 UNESCO cultural heritage-listed windmills – one of which you can tour (don’t forget your camera!). The windmills were constructed in the 18th century to pump water out of the low Alblasserwaard polder. From nearby Alblasserdam, you will either bike to Dordrecht or take the “Waterbus,” a fast ferry that carries you and your bicycle in about 10 minutes to Dordrecht. “Dordt,” as it is called by insiders, is one of the oldest Dutch cities, and sits on the confluence of three major rivers. In the evening, after dinner, you can join our guide for a short city walk visiting some of Dordt’s 1,600 monuments and statues … and the picturesque point where the waterways meet.
DAY 4 - Dordrecht to Tholen
Distance: 28 miles | Terrain: Easier | Lena Maria
As you relax with a tasty breakfast aboard your ship, it motors to Willemstad, where you start your day’s cycling. Willemstad is a beautiful old fortified town on the Haringvliet waterway. From here, you pedal to Tholen, which once was an island in the middle of the large Zeeland stream system — a place where many people fished for their living. Now, Tholen is connected to the mainland in various ways, but it is still a picturesque village with many relics from an eventful past.
DAY 5 - Kreekrak locks to Antwerp
Distance: 13 or 36 miles | Terrain: Easier | Lena Maria
After coffee and breakfast, you leave the barge for a bicycle tour through the “Wouwse Plantage” forest, heading south to the impressive Kreekraksluis, or Kreekrak lock.

In the afternoon, you board the ship to cruise to the port city of Antwerp, which is situated on the river Schelde. Antwerp, your outstanding 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.
DAY 6 - Antwerp
Antwerp | Lena Maria
Today your ship stays in Antwerp. This means you 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 can 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 brewery of de Koninck for a tour and beer tasting, explore the fascinating Museum on the Scheldt River (MAS — Museum aan de Stroom) or go shopping in 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.
DAY 7 - Antwerp – Temse – St. Amands
Distance: 21 or 31 miles | Terrain: Easier | Lena Maria
This morning, you cycle out of Antwerp along a striking section of the Schelde River to St. Amands, where your home-away-from-home docks for the night. There is only one way to describe the scenery along the Schelde, and that is “magnificent.” Its natural splendor is, without doubt, one of the highlights of the tour. In the evening, you have another opportunity to taste one of Belgium’s incomparable “biers,” — the famous Duvel brew is a specialty of the region.
DAY 8 - St. Amands – Ghent
Distance: 32 miles | Terrain: Easier | Lena Maria
During breakfast, the ship brings you to the city of Dendermonde. Here you disembark and bike along the Schelde River to Ghent, where the ship may either moor for the night at a lock in a suburb of the city or be closer to downtown. Ghent is a lively university town that boasts a rich history: Since Roman times, Ghent’s position at the confluence of the Leie and Schelde rivers has ensured its success as a trading port, at one point making it the second largest city in Europe. The old city features an Opera House, a total of 18 museums, more than 100 churches and over 400 historical buildings.

Two of the major attractions are St. Bavo Cathedral — where a number of medieval art masterpieces are kept, including the world-famous “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by Jan van Eyck — and the 91-meter-tall belfry of Ghent, which is one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city center. Tonight, you can explore the city center of Ghent at your leisure.
DAY 9 - Ghent – Bruges
Distance: 13 or 28 miles | Terrain: Easier | Lena Maria
After a fortifying breakfast, you cycle onward from Ghent through the beautiful Flemish countryside of Western Flanders to Bruges, which is widely described as the “Venice of the North” and is arguably the most beautiful of all the Flemish cities. Bruges attracts a great many European and foreign vacationers thanks to its picturesque, UNESCO-listed medieval city center and a wealth of attractions for history lovers. An outstandingly-preserved example of a medieval settlement, Bruges has managed to maintain its historic fabric as it has evolved over the centuries, with the result that today the city’s original Gothic buildings form an integral part of its identity. While you are here, you can 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. In the evening, your guide takes you for a walk to show you some beautiful parts of the city center — and maybe you can even taste a “Brugse Zot,” a famous local beer.
DAY 10 - Bruges and the North See
Distance: 0, 16 or 31 miles | Terrain: Easier | Lena Maria
Today your barge stays in Bruges, giving you many options on how to spend the day. Explore the city of Bruges on your own, and/or enjoy a guided walk in the afternoon. You also have two biking options in the morning: one of about 31 miles to the De Han and beach, and the other of about 16 miles around Bruges and its castle.
DAY 11 - Departure Day in Bruges
The end of your tour: enjoy your last breakfast on board and disembark before 9:30 a.m.

Map

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

Start End Cost Availability
Jun 29, 2024 Jul 09, 2024 $3216.50 Date SOLD OUT Sold Out Sold Out

What’s Included

10 nights’ lodging on the barge (2 bunks per cabin),10 breakfast buffet, packed lunches, 9 dinners, 1 glass of wine or beer with each included dinner, coffee & tea, daily cabin cleaning and snacks. Short walking tours. Beer tasting and visit to a cheese farm. We also include detailed maps and itineraries, experienced guides, full van support — plus use of a bike and helmet. Up to 8 e-bikes per departure at no extra fee. NOT included: Airfare and tips for crew & leaders, optional extra museums.

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

Start: Jun 29, 2024
End: Jul 09, 2024
Cost: $3216.50
Availability: Date SOLD OUT
Sold Out

What’s Included

10 nights’ lodging on the barge (2 bunks per cabin),10 breakfast buffet, packed lunches, 9 dinners, 1 glass of wine or beer with each included dinner, coffee & tea, daily cabin cleaning and snacks. Short walking tours. Beer tasting and visit to a cheese farm. We also include detailed maps and itineraries, experienced guides, full van support — plus use of a bike and helmet. Up to 8 e-bikes per departure at no extra fee. NOT included: Airfare and tips for crew & leaders, optional extra museums.

Inns

Where you stay along the way.

Lena Maria
Ideal for bike and barge tours is this spacious river cruiser, Lena Maria. She offers lots of room and comfort to a maximum of 24 passengers. All of the 12 cabins, that are located on the lower deck, are provided with 2 low beds, storage facilities for your luggage, and a small, private bathroom. On the upper deck you’ll find a restaurant area on one side and on the other a salon with nice seats. A perfect spot to regain your strength after a few hours on your bicycle

Guests say …

Quotes from guests about this tour:


“I enjoyed the bike and barge, not having to hop from hotel to hotel made the journey so much more relaxing. Being able to relax out on the top of the barge after riding and after dinner to watch the sunset was an added plus.”

— Susan G.

"[About the leaders] They both were engaging and supportive. They made the trip enjoyable."

— Nancy D.

"Loved not having to pack and unpack...definitely added to our relaxation. And, this was the first tour where we came home both gaining weight! The food was great!!”

— Nancy & Dave C.

Gallery

Images from this tour. Click each to see it larger.

Canal view Bruges Windmills at Kinderdijk Bike by tulip field Church Belgium building tops Sheep in the field Biking on the Bruges tour Castle in Ghent Canal in Bruges Antwerp building