From bike to sightseeing in Cochem, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Flickr:Frans Berkelaar
Biking the windmills of Kinderdijk in South Holland, the Netherlands. Flickr:Luca Casartelli

Wondrous architecture in Bruges, Belgium. Flickr:Dennis Jarvis

Bruges to Cochem - 14 days

Belgium, Netherlands, Germany Bike + Barge Tours

Bike and boat through three countries!

  • Get ready for an epic bike and boat tour, the epitomy of 'slow travel', through three of our most popular destinations, Beligium, Holland, and Germany. You will not need a vacation from your vacation with this relaxed immersion.

    Begining in the romance of Bruges, your bike and boat tour meanders first southwest and then heads north, crossing Holland's Western Scheldt, which provides a direct route to the sea. Continuing over the Eastern Scheldt including the Delta Works, Holland's Diep, and Haringvliet, you then start west and north through Dordrecht and Arnhem. You will connect to the Rhine River and head south, entering Germany, and follow the river through a typical German landscape. Beautiful scenery lines the cycle path, interspersed with famous cities, valley slopes with vineyards and picturesque villages.

    The 'slow travel' approach to tourism is about taking your time and savoring each moment. And that is exactly what you will do. Enjoy!

    Highlights:

    • Romantic Bruges
    • Beautiful port city of Gent
    • Scheldt region
    • Delta Works, technological marvel
    • Dusseldorf, hip and trending
    • Cologne, cultural capital
    • Historic Arnhem
    • And so much more!
  • Price £ 2288 $ 5,068 2840 NOK 27453 kr 25342 $ 3,294

    extra options

    Electric bike rental payable on board (rate is per day): £ 12 $ 27 15 NOK 145 kr 134 $ 17 Laundry service, per mesh bag (bag provided): £ 6 $ 13 8 NOK 73 kr 67 $ 9

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    You can fly into Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) or Brussels (BRU) and fly out of Frankfurt International Airport (FRA).

    Local Travel

    Both Schiphol and Brussels have train stations in the airport. Train travel time from Amsterdam to Bruges is approx 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Train travel from Brussels is about 1 1/2 hours. Travel to Frankfurt at the end of your is very convenient as well and entails approximately 2 1/2 hour travel time.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before your arrival. The Rhine River Valley has almost a Mediterranean climate. Average high/low temperatures in degrees F for the region in June are 73°/54° and degrees C, 21°/12 °. A good website to research not only high/low temperatures in any region but also average rainfall and other weather related information is weatherbase.com.

    Remarks

    There will be one cycling guide included in your tour and for those who want to ride guided, can do so. You can also cycle self guided using the mobile offline application maps.me.
    To understand this application, please go to our blog post, Everything You Need to Know about Bike Touring with a GPS. You will find a link to download the app maps.me as well as a step by step instruction link. And don’t forget, we are here to help!

    Documents:

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveller's responsibility to insure proper documentation.


Where You’ll Stay

On board the comfort plus vessel, the Quo Vadis

What’s Included

  • 14 days / 13 nights accommodation
  • 13 breakfasts, 12 packed lunches, 12 three course dinners
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and water
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • 8 speed city touring bike, pannier, helmet, water bottle
  • Tour guide
  • Van support
  • Daily tour meeting
  • GPS tracks
  • All ferry fares en route
  • Admission tickets for the Peace Museum Bridge at Remagen and Airborn Museum Arnhem
  • Visit of a windmill (Kinderdijk)
  • Entrance Reichsburg Cochem
  • WiFi
  • Gratuities

What’s Not Included

TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy
Length14 days
From2840 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

June 27, 2020

Skill Level

This is an easy bike and boat tour through three countries!

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Boarding in Bruges at 3 pm
Day 2: Bruges - Ghent, 30 mi. (48 km)
Day 3: Ghent - Middleburg, 30 or 33 mi. (48 or 53 km)
Day 4: Middleburg - Zierikzee, 33 or 25 mi. (53 or 40 km)
Day 5: Zierikzee - Willemstad/Dordrecht, 34 or 25 mi. (54 or 40 km)
Day 6: Willemstad/Dordrecht - Kinderdijk to Vianen, Vianen - Wijk bij Duurstede
Day 7: Wijk bij Duurstede - /Rhenen -  Arnhem, 18, 24, or 35 mi. (29, 38, or 56 km)
Day 8: Arnhem - Emmerik - Rees - Ruhrort, 47 or 29 mi. (60 or 38 km)
Day 9: Ruhrort - Dusseldorf, 26 or 33 mi. (42 or 52 km)
Day 10: Dusseldorf - Zons - Cologne, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 11: Cologne - Königswinter, 30 mi. (48 km)
Day 12: Königswinter - Koblenz
Day 13: Koblenz - Cochem
Day 14: Cochem, end of tour

Day 1: Boarding in Bruges at 3 pm
Your cycling adventure starts in Bruges, one the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Historically, it was once an international metropolis and center of commerce and art. The medieval city center is completely and faithfully restored and preserved and is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Day 2: Bruges - Ghent, 30 mi. (48 km)
The first ride in a group takes the shortest way to Ghent as this beautiful historic town deserves mor than an hour or two. it. It will be easy cycling on quiet roads and bike paths with canal views through hamlets, villages and farmland. As you near Moerbrugge, you will come upon the Peace Memorial, which commemorates the Battle of Moerbrugge.

Ghent is proud of its rich heritage and is much more than museum town. This university town has an excellent mixture of medieval buildings, stylish shopping streets, early modern architecture, baroque churches and several squares with numerous terraces. The cathedral is impressive and showcases the famous Ghent altarpiece, finished in 1432. A canal ride here will showcase the beautiful sights. The Quo Vadis is moored on a short ride a bit south of a center, close to the university and museum quarter.

Day 3: Ghent - Middleburg, 30 or 33 mi. (48 or 53 km)
While you enjoy your breakfast, the Quo Vadis navigates across the border. An inland route leads to the  Boekhoute Castle and the small Dutch fortress town, IJzendijke. A more seaside route leads toward Philipine, remains of the once prosperous Biervliet, and along the sandbanks of the Wester Scheldt, the gateway for Antwerp harbour. You might spot some seals.
The Breskens ferry across the Scheldt transports to the former island of Walcheren and the  historical navy harbor from where in the English-Dutch wars, the  attacks on London were made. The Quo Vadis waits for you  in lovely Middelburg, founded in the 12th century as an abbey. The city was the second most important center for the Dutch East India Company, active in Africa colonizing the southern coasts and slave trading on the western coasts.

Day 4: Middleburg - Veere - Zierikzee, 33 or 25 mi. (53 or 40 km)
The route today takes place in the delta of Rhine, Maas and Scheldt rivers. Although the different islands got connected,  after the big flood disaster of 1953 with huge dams of the Delta Works, they all have retained their own character. One of the higlights of this tour is the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, the most impressive construction of the Delta Works. 

Your route continues to the charming village of Veere. From 1541, everything that was exported to Holland from Scotland (mainly wool) came ashore in, and was distributed from Veere. This contract brought the town not only prosperity but also a very lively Scottish expat community that stayed for 300 years.

The shorter track goes back to Beveland, providing a beautiful ride along the coast of the Eastern Scheldt.  The longer route continues via the storm barrier to Schouwen Island, along the wetlands at the Scheldt banks. The Quo Vadis can be found in Zierikzee, dominated by the ‘Fat tower’; once a rich trading-port with a beautiful harbor and lots of monuments. A stroll down the narrow streets of Zierikzee is an absolute delight. Quaint old houses take you back in time to the town's glory days when ships set sail to sell salt, wool, fish, grain, and red dye as far afield as the Baltic and the Mediterranean. 

Day 5: Zierikzee - Willemstad/Dordrecht, 34 or 25 mi. (54 or 40 km)
Today you travel from Zeeland towards Holland. The longer distance can first visit  the  Watersnoodmuseum housed on a deserted spot in four large caissons, or chambers,  used to restore the dikes after the bombings in World War II. What follows is a lovely ride to the Island of Overflakkee and the town of Oude Tonge, badly impacted by the 1953 flood catastophe. 305 People were buried in a mass grave near the dike just outside the village. 

The shorter distance riders stay on board unitl St. Philips Island and begin to pedal to Brabant, along peaceful  treelined dikes with old ribbonlike hamlets. The two groups meet in Willemstad, a small historical garrison town with fortifications symbolising the old Dutch republic. Back on board, the Quo Vadis will navigate during dinner to the center of  Dordrecht, the oldest city of Holland, once an important market because of its strategic location.

Day 6: Willemstad/Dordrecht - Kinderdijk to Vianen, Vianen to Wijk bij Duurstede
A fast ferry will transfer to the Alblasserwaard, a fenland between the big rivers. Because of flooding and sinking of the land, water management was crucial. Canals and ditches were dug and windmills were constructed. At Kinderdijk, 19 well preserved windmills line in an impressive row. Via an inland bikepath, the route leads to a cheesefarm for a visit. You will enjoy the lovely scenery with water and meadow birds. The route continues  via hamlet Donk and the mills of Groot Ammers, and finishes for the short trackers on the Quo Vadis in Nieuwpoort.

The long trackers continue with a ferry to silvertown Schoonhoven, with its leaning tower and a weighthouse built over a canal. Continuing on, you cycle by characteristic old farms and between village gardens, through the  Dutch geographic center,  Another ferry transfers to Vianen to meet the Quo Vadis. During dinner, the boat will navigate to Wijk bij Duurstede. You will enjoy a stroll through this lovely little town.

Day 7: Wijk bij Duurstede - Rhenen -  Arnhem, 18, 24, or 35 mi. (29, 38, or 56 km)
Another sailing breakfast is on the agenda as the boat maneuvers to Rhenen. During the Second World War, suffered almost complete destruction.  The city was evacuated during the battle for the Grebbeberg in May of 1940, and upon return, the citizens found that some 160 houses were fully destroyed and some thousand houses heavily damaged. The two shorter routes follow lower roads between floodplains and hills to arrive to Wageningen, a samll university town where the peace of WWII was signed. It has a lively marketplace, a huge sculpture collection, and a nice arboretum on a terrace overlooking the river.  Doorwerth castle, parts of which were constructed as early as the 13th century is beautiful located and its courtyard is a thick trunked Robinia tree, the oldest of the country. Oosterbeek has a little 10th century church used as a hospital during the 1944 Arnhem battle.

The longer route goes to Oosterbeek slowly climbing inland to have a nice undulating ride along sloping woods and parks. There is opportunity to visit the Dutch heritage museum with its nice collection of different traditional building types from all over the country.

The longest route sets of at Rhenen, directly inland through the forest of the Hoge Veluwe and can visit the Kröller Müller museum,  with one of the best collections of early modern and recent Dutch art, with some fine Van Goghs and a sculpture park, an Art Deco palace,  and an original presentation of natural history. The Quo Vadis will be in downtown Arnhem, at the banks of the Rhine, close to the little Airbornemuseum near the John Frost bridge.  

Day 8: Arnhem - Emmerik - Rees - Ruhrort, 47 or 29 mi. (60 or 38 km)
Today you cycle the last of the  Netherlands via quiet dikes Just before the border, you take a ferry Kleve,  with legendary castle Schwanenburg and a baroque park that inspired Berlin Tiergarten. The short track leads further via Germany's longest suspension bridge to Emmerich, where the Quo Vadis is waiting. 

Longer distance cyclists will continuing on, passing the revival gothic Moyland Castle with conceptual and abstract art, to the restored historic center of Kalkar with seven beautiful altarpieces in the church. It is known for its nuclear power plant at the Rhine, now in use as a theme park. On board at Rees, you will enjoy a sailing dinner on the Quo Vadis, arriving late in Ruhrort; opposite to Duisburg at the mouth of Ruhr River.

Day 9: Ruhroot - Dusseldorf, 26 or 33 mi. (42 or 52 km)
Beginning from the  Ruhr harbor; the port for the densely populated Ruhr area that was infamous for its polluting coal mines and steel factories, all of which were closed during the last 20 years. Since then heritage has been restored, art museums opened and green parks created. You will see some of these changes in nearby Duisburg. 

The long route continues to Moers meeting the other cyclists in Linn, tiny historic town with a castle built from 13th to 17th century, and a luxurious 18th century ‘hunting lodge’.  After this you  take a ferry to visit charming Kaiserswerth, with its impressive millennium old ruins of the legendary Barbarossa castle. 

You will find the Quo Vadis in the center of Düsseldorf, capital of the state Nordrhein-Westfalen and one of the main German centers of visual arts. Apart from museums and academies there are wealthy shopping streets with fine modern architecture and a cosy ‘Altstadt’ with many venues.

Day 10: Dusseldorf - Zons - Cologne, 25 mi. (40 km)
Once the boat arrives at ancient Zons with its narrow streets and defense towers. A ferry will transfer to the other side of the Rhine. You cycle pass Monheim with its cosy Altstadt, the Marienburg Estate, Wiesdorf with a Bayer workers settlement and Japanese garden, and the charming historical village of Flittard. You approach Cologne via the Hohenzollern Bridge, at its most impressive side. Cologne suffered great damage in WWII, but still has its spectacular gothic cathedral, 12 beautiful romanesque churches, several other monuments and a lively atmosphere.

Day 11: Cologne - Königswinter, 30 mi. (48 km)
The route first crosses a bridge to the greene east banks, passing farmlads, silent villages, and the castle Lülsdorf,  to take a ferry to Bonn, capital of the former West Germany. From here, the route continues further south along the Rhine. At Seven Mountains, where you will find some lovely halftimbered house, the Quo Vadis waits near the ferry in Königswinter. You  have arrived in the Middle Rhine area, famous for its castles on high rocks.

Day 12: Königswinter - Andernach - Koblenz, 21 or 33 mi. (33 or 53 km)
Today you pass 14 castles, mostly on hilltops flanking the rivers. This concentration is in a wider region and was caused by continuous conflicts between medival feudal rulers, leaving most of them ruined. The attractive landscape and the presence of mineral sources increased tourism in the 19th century, and some castles were restored or rebuilt. You will also see more halftimbered houses, in rural areas,  popular until the beginning of the 19th century, as Germany came under the rule of Prussia and the wood from the forests was no longer available. The route follows the river with several historic small trading towns. Approaching the bridge of Remagen, known since WWII and explained in a local museum, you pass 14 recent sculptures. A longer route continues more inland via Mülheim with a dismantled nuclear power plant and a historic halftimbered town center. The Quo Vadis is waiting in charming Andernach near the historic crane, in town is a beautiful romanesque church and a half ruined castle in a park. You will enjoy a sailing diner as the boat motors to Koblenz at the confluence with the Moselle.

Day 13: Koblenz - Winningen -  Cochem, 34 mi. (44 km)
Today you will enjoy a nice ride on the banks of the Moselle with sloping vineyards and hilltop castles,  passing charming halftimbered villages, and small historic towns. You should not miss the charming Kobern townsquare, the garden of Schloss Liebich, the vast Von der Leyen Castle,  the Hatzenpfort Tower, or the fine romanesque church of Karden.
A highlight is Burg Eltz in the beautiful Elzbach valley. To visit this you can enjoy an attractive detour inland, and 2½ km wooded footpath. The Klotten ferry transfers over the river and on a quiet road, you cycle to the mooring of the Quo Vadis, just before Cochem.

Day 14: Cochem, end of tour

More details coming soon!

If you’re looking for a different flavor, check out our full list of bike and boat tours or view all our featured bike trips, specials, and news.

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Bruges to Cochem - 14 days Boats + Barges

Quo Vadis Photo

Quo Vadis Belgium, Netherlands, Germany Comfort Plus Class Boat The beautiful MS Quo Vadis, a refurbished cargo barge, was put into service in April 2006 as a bike and boat vessel.

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