Amsterdam to Bruges Bike & Barge - Comfort

Amsterdam to Bruges Bike & Barge - Comfort

Trip Highlights

  • Discovering the vibrant cities of Amsterdam and Bruges by bike and on foot
  • Cycling through the countryside past locks, windmills and cheese farms
  • Visiting interesting towns such as Antwerp, famous for its nightlife and Ghent with its cobble stone streets
  • Sampling local specialties including Belgian waffles, beer and mussels
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of your fellow passengers aboard a comfortable barge

Trip Summary

Experience the great cities of the Netherlands and western Belgium on this classic barge and bike trip between Amsterdam and Bruges. En route visit Antwerp and Ghent whose historic centres will enchant you with their history and refined culture. Wind your way by bike along the Vecht river with its impressive mansions and country houses, visit a cheese farm and the 19 windmills in Kinderdijk. Via Dordrecht and Kreekrak lock, the barge cruises through the 'delta' province of Zeeland to Belgium. Cycling with the group and guide or on your own with a set of maps and directions - the choice is yours. In the evenings, relax on board your comfortable barge or explore the towns on foot.

Suitability

INTRODUCTORY - GRADE 1

The cycling is introductory (1) grade with daily cycling distances from 15 to 64km (9 to 39mi). As with all of our cycling programs, wind and poor weather could make the trip grade change. Should you not wish to cycle there are walking options available. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos, visit a museum or enjoy the market places in many of the interesting towns visited. It is considered suitable for children, as long as they have road sense, are familiar with the workings of a bike (gear change etc) and are comfortable cycling alongside moving vehicles at times. Electric bikes are available for a supplement and when used will ensure the cycling is comfortable for less physical cyclists - however it is still essential that you are comfortable cycling on roads and in light traffic in variable weather conditions. *For safety reasons, we highly recommend that cycle helmets are worn during cycle sections.

Itinerary

Arrive Amsterdam and make your own way to the barge. Embarkation and check-in, where the crew will welcome you on board, is at 1pm. At around 2pm the boat will leave Amsterdam and sail to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek, where we will spend the night. Here the bicycles will be distributed and you can enjoy a short bicycle ride.

Meals:  D

In the morning we cycle through beautiful Dutch meadowlands to the so-called 'silver city' Schoonhoven, renowned for its talented silversmiths since the 17th century. We continue through the Alblasserwaard region to the impressive 19 windmills of Kinderdijk, a UNESCO cultural heritage listed site. You will have the opportunity to visit one of the mills. From nearby Alblasserdam we take the “Waterbus” fast ferry (10 mins) to Dordrecht, one of the Netherlands' oldest towns. Overnight Dordrecht.

Meals:  B,L,D

During breakfast we cruise to Tholen, where our day's cycling starts. We visit the “Wouwse Plantage” forest and the impressive Kreekrak lock. After once again meeting up with the boat we finish your day cruising to the port city of Antwerp which is situated on the river Schelde. Antwerp is famous for handling up to 80% of the world’s rough diamonds and has many attractions including: the City Hall, one of several majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period, the historical City Square Grote Market, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle. After dinner visit the beautiful old city centre.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today’s tour will see us cycling out of Antwerp on a beautiful cycle path along the picturesque tidal Schelde Rive and through magnificent Flemish countryside to Dendermonde. The river stretches for 435km through northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands and is connected by several canals to the basins of the Rhine, Meuse and Seine Rivers. The Schelde has had great commercial and strategic importance over the years. Our base tonight is Dendermonde, a friendly provincial town along the river.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we continue to follow the river Schelde to Ghent, a lively university city with a rich past. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to discover more of the city, or to shop in the lively centre. Ghent was founded in Roman times, where the rivers Leie and Schelde converge. Its convenient location has brought much prosperity. During the Middle Ages it was a prominent city-state, and its the textile industry and Cloth Hall, established in 1425, brought merchants together. Many aristocrats remain today. The main church St Bavo Cathedral reflects different periods in history and building styles, and houses some masterpieces of medieval art, the most famous of which is "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Jan van Eyck. The barge is docked at the lock in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent approx. 30min by bike to the city centre.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the cycle route leads us through pleasant Flemish countryside of Western Flanders to Bruges. You will have ample time to explore Bruges, known as the 'Venice of the North' and is perhaps the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. The UNESCO listed Old Town dates from the Middle Ages and is almost completely intact. At that time the city was a metropolis and centre of commerce and art, and its glory is visible today in the many beautiful buildings. You can visit one of Bruges' many museums or simply take in the stunning beauty and culture of this unforgettable city while strolling or from the comfort of a sidewalk cafe.

Meals:  B,L,D

Our last cycle takes us along a quiet canal and past beautiful poplar trees, through an attractive polder landscape (a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments) with nice small farm houses, and on to the North Sea coast. A 12km (7.5mi) long sandy beach, numerous cafés and the attractive dune landscape of “Het Zwin” (a unique nature reserve) provide enough variety during your lunch break. Return cycle to Bruges along a small picturesque canal for our last evening aboard. Alternatively the day is at your leisure if you choose to spend more time in Bruges.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast the journey comes to an end as you say farewell to the guide and crew. Check out until 9:30am.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, 7 dinners (does not include drinks) Continental breakfasts are served and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. At breakfast you will prepare your packed lunch for the day which will be sandwiches, fruit & juice. If you choose not to cycle on a particular day, the crew will serve lunch on board. Dinner will consist of three courses inclusive of either a pasta, vegetarian or meat dish.
  • 7 nights accommodation aboard a Category A or B+ barge with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis. Category A (Fluvius): all twin cabins are configured with two lower beds, while double cabins are configured with a double bed. The trip price is based on a standard twin cabin below deck - supplement applies for other cabin categories except a small twin cabin main deck where a discount applies (twin cabin upper deck, double cabin upper deck or single cabin). Category B+ (Gandalf): all cabins are configured with two lower beds. We do not match clients together so if you are travelling solo you will need to book a single cabin, below deck only (limited and on a request basis).
  • 7 speed trekking bike rental with handbrake or backpedal brake and pannier, helmet (electric bike available on request - supplement applies)
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (one set per cabin), GPS tracks available in advance on request
  • Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening
  • Experienced multilingual guide for fully guided cycle tours and daily briefings. Fluvius only: an extra cycle guide for group size of 22 passengers or more
  • Several city walking tours
  • Linen and change of towels as required
  • Daily cabin cleaning (Fluvius) or mid week cabin cleaning service (Gandalf)
  • Tea and coffee during breakfast and after the cycling tours til 4pm
  • Fees for ferries and Waterbus
  • WIFI
  • Air-conditioned cabin (Fluvius only)

What's Not Included

  • Travel to Amsterdam and from Bruges
  • Meals not detailed in the itinerary
  • Drinks and other items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specified
  • Transfers not specified
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Tips - while tipping is not obligatory, it is customary to offer a tip if the guide and crew have done a good job. As a guide we would recommend EUR30-60 per person (to be distributed between the guide/s, captain and crew).
  • Catering for special diets (except Vegetarian). A supplement is payable for lactose or gluten free diets - EUR50pp (subject to change) paid locally on board. See below for further details regarding catering for dietary requirements.
  • Optional canal tour of Amsterdam - tickets can be purchased on board
  • Bike insurance - payable locally (EUR10 for standard bikes, EUR25 for e-bikes) - further details of this Limitation of Liability (damage) policy are available on request

Upcoming Travel Dates

Reviews

The bike and barge part of the trip was wonderful...the guides knowledgeable and the meals on the barge beautifully done.

S. Griessel, Nanoose Bay, BC Canada, 18 May 2019

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Countries:Holland and Belgium
Starting Point:Amsterdam
Finishing Point:Bruges
Activities:GUIDED CYCLING
BARGE
Grade:introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:UAM
Prices From:GBP£1140 Per Person
Single Supplement (below deck only) - 2021 low season:GBP£460  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.