Zuidehavenpoort in Old Harbor Zierikzee, Zeeland, the Netherlands. Flickr:Frans Berkelaar

Bruges to Cologne

Belgium, Netherlands, Germany Bike + Barge Tours

Bike and Boat tour from the coastal zone of the North Sea to the European inlands

  • On this bike and boat tour, you enjoy the landscape and culture of three countries Belgium, Netherlands and Germany.

    A great variety of experiences are waiting for you here as you bike a wonderfully easy and relaxing terrain. Except for the surroundings of the historical inner cities, all the cycling is done on bike lanes or quiet country roads.

    Highlights:

    • Historic Bruges
    • Ghent
    • Rural landscape of Flanders
    • Middelburg
    • The Delta works
    • Green islands of Zeeland
    • The Dutch Rhine
    • Arnhem
    • Dusseldorf
    • Bonn

    We have many other bike and boat tours in Germany. Be sure to check them out!

  • Twin cabin: $ 3290 £ 1713 $ 2,983 1995 $ 3427 kr 21367 $ 2,250 Twin cabin/single-use: on request

    extra options

    Electric bike (Vitality Eco 3/FL 400 Wh Shimano Nexus 7 -speed): pending

    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

    Because of the distance between tour start and tour end, we suggest flying into one airport and out of another. The closest international airport to your tour start in Bruges is Brussels International Airport (BRU). The closest international airport to your tour end in Cologne is Frankfurt (FRA).

    Local Travel

    Train travel from and to the airports is very convenient.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before your arrival. The climate in Bruges is a continental Atlantic climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean and Cologne, experiences a mild continental climate as well. Summers are generally cool. You will first travel north into Holland, along the coast and then northeast into Germany and finally south to end in Cologne. The greater part of Germany lies in the cool/temperate climatic zone in which humid westerly winds predominate. A good website to use to research regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more is weatherbase.com.

    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 traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa


Where You’ll Stay

On board the Deluxe class boat, the Quo Vadis

What’s Included

  • Accommodations for 10 nights onboard the Quo Vadis, a Deluxe class vessel
  • 10 breakfasts, 9 packed lunches, 9 three-course dinner
  • Welcome meeting and toast
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water on board
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • 8-speed hybrid touring bike (VSF brand with T-50 Shimano components) with gel saddle, lock, pannier and helmet
  • Complimentary water bottle
  • 2 tour leaders for the bike tours
  • Daily cycling 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)
  • †Wifi
  • †Important to note, due to steel construction of the ship, cruising locations, and other factors, Wifi signal speed and strength may not be what you are accustomed to and may not meet your expectations. If you are dependent on a constant, strong, fast, and reliable signal at all times, please consider a personal hot spot. See our FAQ page.
  • What’s Not Included

    TourBike+Boat
    SkillEasy
    Length11 days
    From1995 Rates
    Tour Reviews

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    Tour Dates

    July 24, 2021

    Tour Boats

    Day-To-Day Itinerary

    Bruges to Cologne Map

    Day 1: Arrival in Bruges
    Day 2: Bruges – Ghent, 30 mi. (48 km)
    Day 3: Ghent – Sas van Ghent – Middelburg, 30 or 33 mi. (48 or 53 km)
    Day 4: Middelburg – Veere – Zierikzee, 25 or 33 mi. (40 or 53 km)
    Day 5: Zierikzee – Willemstad – Dordrecht, 25 or 34 mi. (40 or 50 km)
    Day 6: Dordrecht – Alblasserdam – Nieuwpoort – Vianen – Wijk bij Duurstede, 21 or 34 mi. (34 or 54 km)
    Day 7: Wijk bij Duurstede – Rhenen – Arnhem, 18, 24 or 35 mi. (29, 38 or 56 km)
    Day 8: Arnhem – Emmerich – Rees – Ruhrort, 28 or 34 mi. (44 or 54 km)
    Day 9: Ruhrort – Düsseldorf, 26 or 33 mi. (42 or 52 km)
    Day 10: Düsseldorf – Zons – Cologne, 19 or 25 mi. (30 or 40 km) 
    Day 11: Departure from Cologne

    All distances are approximate. The itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, including, but not limited to weather, last-minute mooring changes, and restructuring of locks or bridges.

    Day 1: Arrival in Bruges
    Your cycling adventure starts in Bruges, one of the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. In old times it was an international metropolis and center of commerce and art. A completely intact medieval town remains, combined with some fine baroque and gothic revival architecture. With its ramparts, gates, and decorated gabels mirrored in the canals, Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Check-in is at  3 pm in the afternoon, followed by a meet and greet with the crew and fitting and test ride.  This evening you will enjoy the romantic canals in the "Venice of the North."

    Day 2: Bruges – Ghent, 30 mi. (48 km)
    The first group ride takes the shortest way to Ghent. It will be easy cycling on quiet roads with canal views through hamlets and villages. Near Moerbrugge, you will pass the site of the bridgehead that the Canadian 4th Armoured Division used to cross the Ghent-Bruges Canal during the Battle of the Scheldt on 10 September 1944. Ghent has a rich heritage and is much more than a museum town. Ghent is a delightful and eclectic blend of medieval buildings, stylish shopping streets, early modern architecture, gothic churches with striking baroque interiors and several squares with numerous terraces. The cathedral is impressive and shows the famous Ghent altarpiece, finished in 1432. The Quo Vadis will be moored just a short bike ride south of the center, close to the university and museum quarter.

    Day 3: Ghent – Sas van Ghent – Middelburg, 30 or 33 mi. (48 or 53 km)
    As you enjoy a sailing breakfast, the Quo Vadis will cross the border. The first ride will be an inland route through the deserted border area between the Belgium castle Boekhoute and the Dutch small fortress town IJzendijke. A more seaside route leads through the mussel village Philippine, and then along the sandbanks of the Wester Scheldt, the gateway for Antwerp harbor. The Breskens ferry across the Scheldt mouth will transfer to the former island of Walcheren, featuring Flushing, the historic navy harbor from where the English-Dutch war attacks on London were conducted. The Quo Vadis will moor in attractive Middelburg, dominated by the 12th-century abbey from where the monks started land reclamation around their island. Later the town was a prosperous trading center, second in the Dutch republic.

    Day 4: Middelburg – Veere – Zierikzee, 25 or 33 mi. (40 or 53 km) 
    Today features a ride between sea and sky in the delta of the Rhine, Maas, and Scheldt rivers. Though the several islands are now connected as a result of land reclamation and the huge dams of the Delta Works,  each has retained its own character. One of the highlights of this tour is the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier, the most impressive construction of the Delta Works. Everyone first visits charming Veere, a small historic harbor with old Scottish connections. The long route leads to the Veere, the short one starts here. Both routes visit the storm barrier featuring Neeltje Jans, a raised sand flat to facilitate the construction of the barrier. This provides for tidal inlets that maintain the original water environment with oyster and mussel farming. The shorter track goes back to Beveland, a beautiful ride along the coast of the Eastern Scheldt, through the fishing village of Colijnsplaat with a reconstruction of a Celtic temple that was found here. 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.

    Day 5: Zierikzee – Willemstad – Dordrecht, 25 or 34 mi. (40 or 50 km)
    Today you travel from Zeeland towards Holland. Those that choose the long route, can first visit the Inundation museum, or the "National Knowledge and Remembrance Centre for the Floods of 1953".  Located in a secluded area, it is housed in 4 huge "boxes" used to restore the dikes and offers an in-depth picture of the events during and after the flood of 1 February 1953. The museum was officially opened on the 2nd of April 2001. The route then leads through the fishing village of Bruinisse, followed by a beautiful ride on open land between sky and sea on the island of Overflakkee, featuring Oude Tonge. This small watersports village was badly impacted by the 1953 flood catastrophe. 305 people lost their lives and were buried in a mass grave near the dike just outside the village. Those cycling the shorter route will stay on board until St. Philips island, and then enjoy a lovely route through the fields of Brabant, along silent treelined dikes with old ribbonlike hamlets, though, a tiny lock settlement and finally, lively small market town Dinteloord. The long and short route meet in Willemstad, a small historical garrison town with fortifications of the old Dutch Republic. Once back on board, while you enjoy your dinner, the Quo Vadis navigates to the center of interesting Dordrecht, the oldest city of Holland, once an important market because of its strategic position.

    Day 6: Dordrecht – Alblasserdam – Nieuwpoort – Vianen – Wijk bij Duurstede, 21 or 34 mi. (34 or 54 km) 
    In the morning, a ferry will transfer you to the Alblasserwaard, a fenland between streams. Many inundations and sinking grounds make water management essential. Canals and ditches were dug and windmills constructed for pumping water.  In the Kinderdijk, you will find 19 mills in impressive rows. Then via an inland bike road, you cycle to a cheese farm, while enjoying the lovely scenery, with abundant water and meadow birds. The route continues via the hamlet Donk and the mills of Groot Ammers. The short route finishes in Nieuwpoort; a charming small town built around a dam. The long route continues on with a ferry to Schoonhoven, the silver town.  Another ferry will transfer to Vianen, to board the waiting Quo Vadis. This evening, you will enjoy a sailing dinner on the Quo Vadis as it navigates to Wijk bij Duurstede,  a charming small and very authentic town.  

    Day 7: Wijk bij Duurstede – Rhenen – Arnhem, 28 or 34 mi. (44 or 54 km)
    The Quo Vadis navigates to  Rhenen during breakfast. During the Second World War, Rhenen was heavily damaged but later rebuilt. The two routes follow the lower roads between floodplains and hills to Wageningen, Holland's smallest university town where the peace treaty 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 here is beautiful, the earliest sections dating from the 13th century. In the courtyard is a thick trunked Robinia tree, the oldest in the country. The longer route goes to Oosterbeek slowly climbing inland to have a nice undulating ride along sloping woods and parks and will visit the Dutch heritage museum. Here you will find a nice collection of traditional building types from all over the country. The longest route sets off from Rhenen, directly inland through the forest of the Hoge Veluwe with an opportunity to visit the Kröller Müller Museum, with one of the best collections of early modern and recent Dutch art, featuring several by Van Gogh. There is also a sculpture park and an Art Deco palace. The Quo Vadis will moor in downtown Arnhem, along the banks of the Rhine, close to the little Airborne Museum and near the John Frostbridge.  This evening you may enjoy dinner at your own expense in one of the many restaurants in town.

    Day 8: Arnhem – Emmerich – Rees – Ruhrort,  28 or 34 mi. (44 or 54 km)
    Today you will cycle the last part in the Netherlands along quiet dikes. After a visit to Castle Doornenburg,  you board a ferry to the German border. Here you visit Kleve with the legendary Schwanenburg Castle 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. The longer route continues, passing the revival gothic Moyland castle, to Kalkar's historic center with 7 beautiful altarpieces in the church. It is known for its theme park housed in a former nuclear power plant. Back onboard in Rees, you will then enjoy a sailing dinner on the Quo Vadis, arriving later in Ruhrort at the mouth of Ruhr River.

    Day 9: Ruhrort – Düsseldorf, 26 or 33 mi. (42 or 52 km)
    You begin your day in the Ruhrharbour, the port for the densely populated Ruhr area, once infamous for its polluting coal mines and steel factories which have now been closed for 20 years. Since then, the rich heritage has been restored, museums opened, and green parks created. You can see some of these changes in nearby Duisburg. The longer route continues to Moers, a friendly town with Arts & Crafts architecture to then meet up with the shorter route in Linn. This is a small, but historic town, and here there will be an opportunity to visit a castle built from the 13th to 17th century and a luxurious 18th-century‘ hunting lodge’. Then, by ferry, a visit to Kaiserswerth is on the agenda with its impressive millennial old ruins of the legendary Barbarossa castle. The Quo Vadis will wait moored just before the center of Düsseldorf, capital of the state Nordrhein-Westfalen and one of the main German centers of visual arts. Apart from the museums and academies, there are abundant opportunities for shopping and to stroll the ‘Altstadt’ with its many venues.

    Day 10: Düsseldorf – Zons – Cologne,19 or 25 mi. (30 or 40 km) 
    This morning you will enjoy your last sailing breakfast, getting off near fortress Zons with its picturesque streets. You are still in the "industrial zone", providing excellent roads through green zones between former chemical plants, little villages, and suburbs. The longer route leads via the ferry to the other Rhinebank and passes through Monheim with its quaint Altstadt, Marienburg, Wiesdorf estate, and the Bayer facility, featuring its Tropicarium, a 300-square-meter jungle that was created in the early 1980s. Date trees, rice, sugar cane, fruit trees, China cassia, and African mahogany grow here along with 400 other crop plants from the tropical and subtropical climate zones. Continuing on, the route passes through the charming historical village of Flittard, approaching Cologne via the Hohenzollern bridge. Those who want to arrive earlier in Cologne can remain on the left bank, and have a foretaste of the city. You will enjoy the picturesque Romanesque church of Rheinkassel. Cologne, founded in Roman times, suffered great damage in WWII, in spite of that, it still has the spectacular gothic cathedral, 12 beautiful Romanesque churches, several other historical monuments, and a lively city center.

    Day 11: Departure from Cologne
    Disembarkation after breakfast at about 9 am.

    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 Cologne Boats + Barges

      Quo Vadis Photo

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

      PWPC