Bruges to Amsterdam
Belgium, Netherlands Bike + Boat Tour
Perhaps Bruges' relative anonymity is what has kept it so intimate and nostalgic. The motto here is ‘feel the past under your feet’. The city’s crisscrossing canals and cobblestone streets have seen many seafaring traders since the 9th century, when this Flemish capital was founded on an inlet of the North Sea. It grew to be a wealthy trading center with Antwerp and England, though lost its trading powers in 1490 when the Reie River silted up. The city retains a lively and invigorating atmosphere reminiscent of one of Jan van Eyck's 15th century masterpieces. The influences of other Flemish artists also still exude in the northern Renaissance architecture and also in the 13th to 15th century cathedrals. The large Markt Square in the center is lined with cozy outdoor cafés that surround the Belfort. This belfry rises 272 feet and has a 47-bell carillon. Climbing the tower's 366 steps will offer a rewarding view! From here, you'll cycle over streams and quiet country roads though Flemish's tranquil landscape to Ghent. The city's medieval red-brick gables are architecturally exquisite and the St. Bavo's Church houses an invaluable piece of art by the Van Eyck brothers, The Ghent Altarpiece: The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (1432). From here, you'll cycle back into Holland to the quaint villages of Goes in central Zeeland and the seaside town of Willemstad. Amsterdam will be the tour's final destination, and impressively so. With over 6800 historical buildings and an endless array of canals and bridges, Amsterdam is truly a sight to see (along with Rembrandt's famous Nightwatch on display in the Rijksmuseum).
- On the Comfort plus class boats:
- Iris: June 8, July 13, and August 10, 2013
- Elodie: June 30 and
September 22, 2013
- MS Magnifique:
May 4, May 18, June 1, June 15, June 29, September 7, and September 21, 2013
- MS Fluvius:
April 27, May 11, May 25, June 8, June 22, July 6, July 20, August 31, September 14, and September 28, 2013
- On the Comfort class boats:
May 4, June 1, June 15, August 3, August 17, August 31, September 14, and September 28, 2013
- Wending: May 18, 2013
- Fiep: June 8, June 22, August 3, August 31, and September 28, 2013
- Lena Maria: July 20 and August 17, 2013
- On the Standard plus class boat:
- Feniks: May 18, August 3, and October 26, 2013
- MS Serena: June 1, 2013 (Please contact us for boat information!)
Where You’ll Stay
Different class boats are available for this tour. See dates and pricing. Click here for detailed barge information.
- 7 nights’ accommodations on board
- Breakfast buffets, packed lunches, 3-course dinners
- Coffee & tea on board
- Tour guide
- 24-speed or 7 speed hybrid bicycle depending on the boat
- Route information
- Ferry fares en route
- Air-conditioned cabins (some Comfort & all Comfort Plus)
- Daily cabin cleaning (some Comfort Plus)
What’s Not Included
- Beverages (incl. alcohol), available on board
- Train ride from Amsterdam to Bruges, ± €43
- Museum entrance fees
- Dinner while in Antwerp (aboard the Iris)
- Dinner on last night of tour on the Elodie
- Aboard the Wending and the Zwaan: Maps for self-guided option (€9.10 per map. Seven maps are needed).
|Tour||Bike + Boat|
An easy guided tour. Areas are predominantly flat with average daily distances of about 30 miles over good asphalt roads with little traffic.
- Arrival in Bruges
- Bruges - Ghent, 27 0r 13 mi. (43 or 21 km)
- Ghent - Middelburg, 34 mi. (54 km)
- Middelburg - Zieriksee, 30 or 24 mi. (48 or 38 km)
- Zieriksee - Willemstad - Dordrecht, 36 or 24 mi. (58 or 38 km)
- Dordrecht - Vianen, 32 or 16 mi. (51 or 26 km)
- Vianen - Breukelen - Amsterdam, 21 mi. (34 km)
- Amsterdam, disembark following breakfast.
**Please note! The daily itinerary above and in detail below is aboard the Elodie. Each boat has a slightly different itinerary. You will see different itineraries after the detailed day to day description of the tour on the Elodie. If you do not see your boat listed below, we will be happy to send you the specific itinerary.
All distances are approximate. The above planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc. You will note that on some day's a shorter route is available and if chosen would eliminate some of the day's cycling highlights.
DAY 1: Bruges
Welcome to the capital of West Flanders. After settling into your cabin, you can get to know your guide, crew, and fellow passengers. Following introductions, you will undertake a short tour to Damme (5 miles) to accustom yourself to your bicycle. Following dinner you have the evening to explore the city.
DAY 2: Bruges - Ghent, 27 0r 13 mi. (43 or 21 km)
In the morning you leave the city and travel towards Ghent, mainly following the canal between the two cities. It is a lovely, quiet cycle tour with a lot of variety. You will arrive in Ghent in early afternoon, which will allow an opportunity to visit the center with its historic architecture and pleasant atmosphere. The city of Ghent is proud of its rich history and celebrates its past. This lively city with its numerous squares and cozy pubs is an excellent mixture of medieval edifices, stylish shopping streets, splendid mansions, working-class quarters from the beginning of the 20th century (which now often house students), and busy little plazas.
DAY 3: Ghent - Middelburg, 34 mi. (54 km)
Today, Belgium is left behind and the Netherlands is entered via a national cycle route through eastern Flanders to Breskens from Belgium Vlaanderen intto Dutch Vlaanderen. Initially you start with a 2.5 hour boat tour from Ghent to Sas van Gent on the Belgium-Dutch border. After a nice bike ride, you will cross the Westerschelde with the ferry. The change of culture will become clearly noticeable as you enter deeper into the Dutch countryside of the province of Zeeland. The night will be spent in Middleburg.
DAy 4: Middelburg - Zierikzee, 30 or 24 mi. (48 or 38 km)
The route goes through the countryside of Zeeland Flanders, with only a few villages, winding roads, and remnants of many creeks until arrival in the Delta area of four great rivers. Previously, there was an open connection to the sea via the numerous branches of the river. After the flood of 1953, the Delta works were built and dams have closed most tidal inlets of the sea. The province of Zeeland is nearly totally at or below sea level. Before the Delta Project, the chance of flooding was once-in-80-years. The Delta Project, particularly the storm surge barrier, has reduced this chance to once in 4,000 years. Highly recommended is a closer look at the interior and exterior of the storm surge barrier, which is in tomorrow's itinerary. You will find yourself surrounded by concrete that is to last for 200 years, by huge 15 feet steel doors, with storm waves raging underneath. This is something not to be missed!
DAY 5: Zieriksee - Willemstad - Dordrecht, 36 or 24 mi. (58 or 38 km)
From Zieriksee, the cycle tour leads to Willemstad over the Volkerak locks, also part of the plan to protect Holland from the Sea. Willemstad was named after a Dutch King. historically this fortified town has for hundreds of years played and important role in the Dutch military defence system. Overnight in Willemstad.
DAY 6: Dordrecht - Vianen, 32 or 16 mi. (51 or 26 km)
The first part of the day is spent on board as the boat motors to Dordrecht where a tour of the town is on the agenda and then to proceed to Kinderdijk,one of the most famous attractions in Holland. Kinderdijk, located 15 miles east of Rotterdam, is a UNESCO-listed site that boasts 19 pristinely preserved windmills. The windmills were erected in the 1600s to drain the Alblasserwaard polders, which had suffered floods since the 13th century. One such flood, the Saint Elizabeth Flood of 1421, is both the source of the name Kinderdijk and of the associated fairy tale, "The Cat and the Cradle": after the storm, a wooden cradle was spotted on the flood waters, in which a cat jumped to and fro to keep the cradle afloat. When the cradle approached the dry land of the dyke, the locals discovered a baby inside -- hence the name Kinderdijk, Dutch for "children's dyke". Along teh meandering Lek River, youwill proceed with your journey with a stop in Schoonhoven, the "Silver town." Overnight in Vianen.
DAY 7: Vianen - Amsterdam, 27 mi. (43 km)
During a breakfast cruise, you pass through the dramatic locks in the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal and through Breukelen, the charming town that rendered its name to Brooklyn, the well-known New York City district. The final stretch takes you along meandering waterways and through multiple villages. The diverse scenery of this route is very picturesque. On the river Vecht, numerous 17th-century country houses for the upper middle class of those days can be seen. Elegant gazebos or 'tea houses' mark the corners of the spacious gardens on the waterfront. Almost without noticing you enter Amsterdam, following the Amstel River. The extensive network of bicycle paths ensures a relatively easy way back into the city, showing you some remarkable sites in the center. Dinner is on your own this evening which allows you plenty of time to explore without time constraints.
DAY 8: Amsterdam
End of tour, departure following breakfast.
BELOW IS THE ITINERARY ABOARD THE FIEP OR LENA MARIA
- Arrival in Ghent. Bus transfer from Schiphol airport to Ghent included (meeting time is 12 noon)
- Ghent, train to Bruges. Free day in Bruges. In late afternoon train to Dendermonde & short bike ride.
- Dendermonde - Antwerp, 32 mi. (50 km)
- Free time in Antwerp, sail to Willemstad.
- Willemstad - Gouda, 25 mi. (40 km)
- Gouda - Oude Wetering, 25 mi. (40 km)
- Oude Wetering - Amsterdam, 19 mi. (30 km)
- Departure from Amsterdam
BELOW IS THE ITINERARY ABOARD THE MS MAGNIFIQUE AND THE FLUVIUS
- Emarkation in Bruges
- Bruges - Ghent, 28 mi (45 km)
- Ghent - Dendermonde/St-Amands, 24/32 mi (40/53 km)
- St-Amands- Temse - Antwerp, 25 mi (42 km)
- Antwerp - Kreekrak Locks-Tholen-Willemstad- Dordrecht, 15-28 mi (25-45 km)
- Dordrecht - Kinderdijk-Schoonhoven-Vianen, 30 mi (50 km)
- Vianen - Breukelen - Amsterdam, 21 mi (35 km)
- Depature from Amsterdam
BELOW IS THE ITINERARY ABOARD THE IRIS
- Bruges - Ghent, 10 mi. (15 km)
- Ghent - Dendermonde, 25 mi. (40 km)
- Dendermonde - Antwerp, 19 or 35 mi. (30 or 55 km)
- Antwerp - Tholen, 22 mi. (35 km)
- Tholen - Willemstad - Dordrecht, 22 mi. (35 km)
- Dordrecht - Vianen, 22 or 35 mi. (35 or 55 km)
- Vianen - Amsterdam, 28 mi. (45 km)
- Departure from Amsterdam
BELOW IS THE ITINERARY ABOARD THE ZWAAN AND THE WENDING
*Aboard these boats, it is possible to do the tour as self-guided with route descriptions. Please specify at the time of booking if you wish to do this. Maps are available for a small, additional fee. Ask us for details.
- Bruges - Aalterbrug - Ghent, 18 mi. (30 km)
- Ghent - St. Amands, 36 mi. (60 km)
- St. Amands - Antwerp, 22 mi. (35)
- Antwerp - Willemstad, 30 mi. (50 km)
- Willemstad - Gorinchem, 30 or 12 mi. (50 or 20 km)
- Gorinchem - Vianen - Utrecht, 30 mi. (50 km)
- Utrecht - Amsterdam, 24 mi. (40 km)
- Departure from Amsterdam
ALL ITINERARIES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES. DISTANCES ARE APPROXIMATE.
Bruges to Amsterdam Boats + Barges
Elodie Netherlands, Belgium, France Comfort Plus Class Boat The Elodie was built in 1931 and has been completely refurnished into a luxury holiday ship. The ship has a saloon and sundeck and all of its cabins come with air-conditioning. The saloon of the Elodie is furnished in ship-style by using various types of wood in the finishing.
Fiep Netherlands Comfort Class Boat
Iris Comfort Plus Class Boat
Lena Maria Belgium, Netherlands Comfort Class Boat
Merlijn Germany, Netherlands Comfort Plus Class Boat
MS Fluvius Belgium, Netherlands Comfort Plus Class Boat
MS Magnifique Netherlands Comfort Plus Class Boat
Sarah Comfort Class Boat The Sarah is a very comfortable and spacious ship. After years of use as a cargo ship, the Sarah was transformed into a passenger boat in 2002. It is a very modern ship with luxurious cabins, a spacious lounge, and large and inviting huge sun deck.
Wending Netherlands Comfort Class Boat
Zwaan Belgium, Netherlands Comfort Class Boat