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Bike & Barge Bruges to Amsterdam

  • Canal view Bruges
  • Windmills at Kinderdijk
  • River near Dendermonde
  • Church
  • Belgium building tops
  • Sheep in the field
  • Castle in Ghent
  • Canal in Bruges
  • Antwerp building
DURATION
12 Day(s)
DAILY BIKING
10 to 32 miles
TRIP DIFFICULTY
1-Easier
STARTING FROM
$4595
SINGLES ADD FROM
$1,100

Trip Overview

Join us for an incredibly simple and fun way to travel … bike and barge! You cycle, and your mobile hotel meets you at the next location … with a cozy cabin and a three-course dinner. This tour gives you an insider look at two beautiful countries, Belgium and the Netherlands. See iconic windmills, farms, woodlands and locks — and bike on flat terrain around the enticing Belgian cities of Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent. Then cruise across the border to explore history-rich Dutch villages in the Netherlands … before ending in vibrant Amsterdam with opportunities to see the famous canals and museums.

Enjoy all these two countries are famous for, including a beer tasting, informative walks to see ancient architecture, and a welcoming culture on our Bruges to Amsterdam bike & barge tour.

Itinerary

From start to finish, check out the route.

DAY 1 - Arrival Day
Distance: about 5 miles + Bruges walking tour | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
After a hearty welcome on the ship in Bruges, you get on your bike right away for a test ride along the old city wall. Passing windmills and the city gates, you make your way to the edge of the city center. From there, our guide takes you on a walking tour through the crisscross of canals and medieval alleys. Bruges, the Venice of the North, is the best start a bike tour could have with its endless history and beautiful sights.
DAY 2 - Bruges to Ghent
Distance: 21 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
In the morning, you set sail into the countryside, where you will be dropped off to start cycling to Ghent. It’s an easy first full cycling day of only 21 miles, but that gives you enough time to explore today’s end goal: the city of Ghent. As Charles V’s birthplace and the second biggest city in Northern Europe in the late Middle Ages, this city has many historical sights to see and is regarded as even prettier than Bruges. Ride close to the city center from where you can explore the city by foot. In the evening, you explore the city again, but this time in the best possible way, namely via a small tour boat that picks us up close to the ship.
DAY 3 - Ghent to Dendermonde
Distance: 25 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
In the morning, you can visit Ghent on foot. People may take this time to explore the city — and maybe shop — on their own. There is a town walk offered for those who are interested in the cultural highlights. At the top of that list is the painting “The Adoration of the Lamb of God” by the Van Eyck brothers in the cathedral. In the afternoon, you bike along the Schelde River to Dendermonde for about 25 miles. Belgium is one of the most famous beer-producing countries, and so this evening, you enjoy a Belgian beer tasting.
DAY 4 - Dendermonde to Antwerp
Distance: 20 or 32 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
The distance today can be adjusted to your wishes: you can do all 32 miles, or a pickup or drop off is possible, making the day more like 20 miles. The goal for the day is Antwerp, the city of Diamonds. Antwerp was home to the famous Painter Peter Paul Rubens, and many of his paintings are still in the city to be admired. Antwerp’s Golden age was the 16th century when its trade blossomed, and it became the sugar capital of Europe. Many of the city’s central buildings still originate from that time, and while walking the streets, it feels as if it is 500 years ago. At the end of the afternoon, the bike guide walks you into town to show you the beautiful city center … and good restaurant choices, since tonight you enjoy the cuisine of the local restaurants on your own.
DAY 5 - Antwerp
Distance: 0 to 10 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Today you take your time to explore the city of Antwerp more fully. Your guide takes you to the significant sights, like the Cathedral of Our Lady with its Rubens paintings inside … and shows you the smaller, lesser-known ones, like the old Beguinage, where unmarried women could live like nuns until they found a suitable husband. The rest of the day is for you to spend on your own in the city. You could visit museums like the Rubens House — which has many paintings in his old residence — or the Red Starline museum featuring the ships that brought many American immigrants to the U.S. more than 100 years ago. If you prefer to go biking, you can join our bike guide for an alternative sightseeing tour on your bike.
DAY 6 - Antwerp to Tholen
Distance: 23 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Your day starts with a cruise through the impressive modern harbor of Antwerp. You start your bike ride near the Kreekrak Locks in the Netherlands. It’s a short ride today, surrounded with the presence of waterways. Your first Dutch village to stay in for the night is Tholen. Once an island, it’s now connected to the mainland. Water, rivers, and the sea surround and divide the Province of Zeeland. Because a huge flood swallowed parts of it in 1953, it’s now protected by dams that created big lakes, where once the sea was rolling in and out. (Yes, New Zealand was named after this province! Zee = Sea.)
DAY 7 - Tholen to Dordrecht
Distance: 16 or 27 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Tholen was an island in the middle of several large Zeeland streams, known as the Rhine Delta. It’s on the North Sea where many fishermen lived. Today, Tholen is connected to the mainland, but it retains its picturesque charm and boasts many fishing and boating relics of its colorful past. You start your cycling from here, and cross the bridge to the mainland. After a lovely quiet ride along the Volkerak Lock, you arrive in the beautiful fortified city of Willemstad. This star-shaped fortification is still very visible. Willemstad was named after King William of Orange. You have some time to stroll around before you go on board again for a sail to Dordrecht.

Dordrecht is a historic town; its location at the confluence of several rivers gave it a perfect position for trading. Many harbors in the city have names related to the tradesmen who had their storage there, like the Wolwevershaven (wool weavers). Also, Dordrecht had an important role in 1680, when religious leaders from Protestant churches visited the Synod of Dordrecht. This conference prevented a civil war and was “won” by the more conventional Protestants against further reformation. Also, the Dort Bible originates from this convention.
DAY 8 - Dordrecht-Kinderdijk-Schoonhoven-Vianen
Distance: 19 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
You definitively start with a major highlight today: Kinderdijk. This land reclamation project from the 18th century has 19 windmills standing together. You have the opportunity to go all the way up into one of the windmills or to have a coffee overlooking this UNESCO World Heritage site. You cycle to it, pay a visit, and also bike through it!

Today is a rural day, as you pass many farms, fields, and livestock. Cycle to Schoonhoven at the river Lek, which is a town of silversmiths … and a perfect stop for lunch. Then continue to Vianen, also on the river — but a bit removed from its banks — with a little round lock to pass through.
DAY 9 - Vianen-Breukelen-Almere-Volendam
Distance: 25 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
You start the day with an early cruise to Breukelen (Brooklyn, New York, was named after this town), where you begin a very interesting day of cycling. The first part follows the river Vecht, which is known for its famous 17th-century merchants’ estates, beautiful gardens and little tea houses along its banks. You continue to a castle from 1370, the Muiderslot, which is open for visits. From there, you cross a high bridge to get to the newest land of the Netherlands: the Flevopolder!

This 370-square-mile island was reclaimed from the sea in the 1950s and ’60s. Here you get a fine example of Dutch urban planning where bike and car never meet. Bridges and tunnels make it so that, apart from the buildings, you wouldn’t even know you’re riding in a city. This city, Almere, will be the place where you get on board the Iris again for a cruise to Volendam.

Old meets new: Volendam is a very touristic little village, famous because of its fishermen and the traditional costumes that still are worn at festive and formal occasions — and for tourism. This is a busy place during the day, but a nice village in the evening.
DAY 10 - Volendam - Marken to Amsterdam
Distance: 15 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
This last day of cycling starts with a ferry to the small island of Marken. Here you find one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the country, “The Horse of Marken.” Standing on a pier in the water, this lighthouse is worth a photo or two. From here, you get back to the mainland and cycle through farmland. You are almost in Amsterdam, but still this is countryside, with farms, fields and farm animals. You now follow the canal on a cycle path and end up at the ferry to the Central Station in Amsterdam. From here, it is just a few minutes to where the Iris is docked.

Depending on your biking speed, you will likely have a part of the afternoon to start exploring Amsterdam!
DAY 11 - Exploring Amsterdam Day
Explore on your own | Comfort barge Iris
You are in Amsterdam for a whole day, and you are welcome to explore this town and visit the highlights you would enjoy best. There are so many options! Try the hop-on-hop-off bus, or there are canal cruises, markets, museums, parks, shops … The day is yours. Please book your reservations for museums online early, so you are sure you can visit your favorites. Or enjoy strolling along the canals and appreciating the lovely buildings, shops, restaurants and cafés.
DAY 12 - Departure Day
Departure Day
After breakfast, we say farewell to you from the barge at about 9 a.m. You can catch trains from Central Station nearby or a taxi to the airport … or stay on for more exploring in Amsterdam.

Itinerary

From start to finish, check out the route.

DAY 1 - Arrival Day
Distance: about 5 miles + Bruges walking tour | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
After a hearty welcome on the ship in Bruges, you get on your bike right away for a test ride along the old city wall. Passing windmills and the city gates, you make your way to the edge of the city center. From there, our guide takes you on a walking tour through the crisscross of canals and medieval alleys. Bruges, the Venice of the North, is the best start a bike tour could have with its endless history and beautiful sights. You spend two nights here to fully enjoy the city.
DAY 2 - Bruges to Ghent
Distance: 21 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
In the morning, you set sail into the countryside, where you will be dropped off to start cycling to Ghent. It’s an easy first full cycling day of only 21 miles, but that gives you enough time to explore today’s end goal: the city of Ghent. As Charles V’s birthplace and the second biggest city in Northern Europe in the late Middle Ages, this city has many historical sights to see and is regarded as even prettier than Bruges. Ride close to the city center from where you can explore the city by foot. In the evening, you explore the city again, but this time in the best possible way, namely via a small tour boat that picks us up close to the ship.
DAY 3 - Ghent to Dendermonde
Distance: 25 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
In the morning, you can visit Ghent on foot. People may take this time to explore the city — and maybe shop — on their own. There is a town walk offered for those who are interested in the cultural highlights. At the top of that list is the painting “The Adoration of the Lamb of God” by the Van Eyck brothers in the cathedral. In the afternoon, you bike along the Schelde River to Dendermonde for about 25 miles. Belgium is one of the most famous beer-producing countries, and so this evening, you enjoy a Belgian beer tasting.
DAY 4 - Dendermonde to Antwerp
Distance: 20 or 32 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
The distance today can be adjusted to your wishes: you can do all 32 miles, or a pickup or drop off is possible, making the day more like 20 miles. The goal for the day is Antwerp, the city of Diamonds. Antwerp was home to the famous Painter Peter Paul Rubens, and many of his paintings are still in the city to be admired. Antwerp’s Golden age was the 16th century when its trade blossomed, and it became the sugar capital of Europe. Many of the city’s central buildings still originate from that time, and while walking the streets, it feels as if it is 500 years ago. At the end of the afternoon, the bike guide walks you into town to show you the beautiful city center … and good restaurant choices, since tonight you enjoy the cuisine of the local restaurants on your own.
DAY 5 - Antwerp
Distance: 0 to 10 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Today you take your time to explore the city of Antwerp more fully. Your guide takes you to the significant sights, like the Cathedral of Our Lady with its Rubens paintings inside … and shows you the smaller, lesser-known ones, like the old Beguinage, where unmarried women could live like nuns until they found a suitable husband. The rest of the day is for you to spend yourself in the city. You could visit museums like the Rubens House — which has many paintings in his old residence — or the Red Starline museum featuring the ships that brought many American immigrants to the U.S. more than 100 years ago. If prefer to go biking, you can join our bike guide for an alternative sightseeing tour on your bike.
DAY 6 - Antwerp to Tholen
Distance: 23 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Your day starts with a sail through the impressive modern harbor of Antwerp. You start your bike ride near the Kreekrak Locks in the Netherlands. It’s a short ride today, surrounded with the presence of waterways. Your first Dutch village to stay in for the night is Tholen. Once an island, it’s now connected to the mainland. Water, rivers, and the sea surround and divide the Province of Zeeland. Because a big flood swallowed big parts of it in 1953, it’s now protected by dams that created big lakes, where once the sea was rolling in and out. (Yes, New Zealand was named after this province! Zee = Sea.)
DAY 7 - Antwerp to Tholen
Distance: 23 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Your day starts with a sail through the impressive modern harbor of Antwerp. You start your bike ride near the Kreekrak Locks in the Netherlands. It’s a short ride today, surrounded with the presence of waterways. Your first Dutch village to stay in for the night is Tholen. Once an island, it’s now connected to the mainland. Water, rivers, and the sea surround and divide the Province of Zeeland. Because a big flood swallowed big parts of it in 1953, it’s now protected by dams that created big lakes, where once the sea was rolling in and out. (Yes, New Zealand was named after this province! Zee = Sea.)
DAY 8 - Antwerp to Tholen
Distance: 23 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Your day starts with a sail through the impressive modern harbor of Antwerp. You start your bike ride near the Kreekrak Locks in the Netherlands. It’s a short ride today, surrounded with the presence of waterways. Your first Dutch village to stay in for the night is Tholen. Once an island, it’s now connected to the mainland. Water, rivers, and the sea surround and divide the Province of Zeeland. Because a big flood swallowed big parts of it in 1953, it’s now protected by dams that created big lakes, where once the sea was rolling in and out. (Yes, New Zealand was named after this province! Zee = Sea.)
DAY 9 - Antwerp to Tholen
Distance: 23 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
Your day starts with a sail through the impressive modern harbor of Antwerp. You start your bike ride near the Kreekrak Locks in the Netherlands. It’s a short ride today, surrounded with the presence of waterways. Your first Dutch village to stay in for the night is Tholen. Once an island, it’s now connected to the mainland. Water, rivers, and the sea surround and divide the Province of Zeeland. Because a big flood swallowed big parts of it in 1953, it’s now protected by dams that created big lakes, where once the sea was rolling in and out. (Yes, New Zealand was named after this province! Zee = Sea.)
DAY 10 - Volendam - Marken to Amsterdam
Distance: 15 miles | Terrain: Easier | Comfort barge Iris
This last day of cycling starts with a ferry to the small island of Marken. Here you find one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the country, “The Horse of Marken.” Standing on a pier in the water, this lighthouse is worth a photo or two. From here, you get back to the mainland and cycle through farmland. You are almost in Amsterdam, but still this is countryside, with farms, fields and farm animals. You now follow the canal on a cycle path and end up at the ferry to the Central Station in Amsterdam. From here, it is just a few minutes to where the Iris is docked.

Depending on your biking speed, you will likely have a part of the afternoon to start exploring Amsterdam!
DAY 11 - Exploring Amsterdam Day
Explore on your own | Comfort barge Iris
You are in Amsterdam for a whole day, and you are welcome to explore this town and visit the highlights you would enjoy best. There are so many options! Try the hop-on-hop-off bus, or there are canal cruises, markets, museums, parks, shops … The day is yours. Please book your reservations for museums online early, so you are sure you can visit your favorites. Or enjoy strolling along the canals and appreciating the lovely buildings, shops, restaurants and cafés.
DAY 12 - Departure Day

After breakfast, we say farewell to you from the barge at about 9 a.m. You can catch trains from Central Station nearby or a taxi to the airport … or stay on for more exploring in Amsterdam.

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 04, 2023 Jun 15, 2023 $4595.00 Date SOLD OUT Sold Out Sold Out

What’s Included

11 nights’ lodging on the barge (2 bunks per cabin), breakfast buffet, 8 dinners (1 drink included each night; 3 dinners on your own), 10 packed lunches, coffee & tea, daily cabin cleaning, snacks. Leaders and support van. Short walking tours and entrance to the Muiderslot castle and Kinderdijk windmill museum. Use of helmet & regular bike — or up to 6 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 04, 2023
End: Jun 15, 2023
Cost: $4595.00
Availability: Date SOLD OUT
Sold Out

What’s Included

11 nights’ lodging on the barge (2 bunks per cabin), breakfast buffet, 8 dinners (1 drink included each night; 3 dinners on your own), 10 packed lunches, coffee & tea, daily cabin cleaning, snacks. Leaders and support van. Short walking tours and entrance to the Muiderslot castle and Kinderdijk windmill museum. Use of helmet & regular bike — or up to 6 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.

Comfort Barge Iris
The comfort barge Iris is one of the best: it has been sailing since 2005, under current management since 2011. Fully air-conditioned, lovely front sundeck, lounge and dining-area and self-service Bar. Delicious 3-course dinners and packed lunches. Lots of options at Breakfast. Two berths per cabin; most can be pushed together to form one bed. Air conditioning is included. En suite bathroom for each cabin includes shower, toilet and sink.

Inns

Where you stay along the way.

Comfort Barge Iris
The comfort barge Iris is one of the best: it has been sailing since 2005, under current management since 2011. Fully air-conditioned, lovely front sundeck, lounge and dining-area and self-service Bar. Delicious 3-course dinners and packed lunches. Lots of options at Breakfast. Two berths per cabin; most can be pushed together to form one bed. Air conditioning is included. En suite bathroom for each cabin includes shower, toilet and sink.

Gallery

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

Canal view Bruges Windmills at Kinderdijk River near Dendermonde Church Belgium building tops Sheep in the field Castle in Ghent Canal in Bruges Antwerp building