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Guided Bike and Boat
Belgium, Holland / From Bruges to Amsterdam
Two countries by boat
Day by Day
1° Arrival and embarkation in Bruges.
Arrival and embarkation early afternoon in the beautiful city of Bruges, also called “Pearl of Flanders”. The crew will welcome you. You will have plenty of time to discover the beautiful historical city of Bruges. Afternoon and evening with city tour in Bruges.
2° Bruges – Ghent (40 km - 25 miles).
Today, your day starts on the water and the barge will leave Bruges early. Just outside, your first bike tour to Ghent through the flat land of West-Flanders will starts. Your destination today is the historical centre of Ghent. Enjoy the beautiful parts of Ghent during an afternoon stroll. The barge is docked in Merelbeke (a small suburb of Ghent).
3° Ghent – Dendermonde / St-Amands (40/53 km - 25/33 miles).
Today, the barge will sail over the river Schelde to Dendermonde, a nice town on the conjunction of the rivers Dender and Schelde. The bike tour leads along one of the most beautiful parts of the Schelde, a tidal river. You will follow this beautiful tidal river downstream. Depending on high or low tide, the speed of the barge may vary. Therefore, the skipper will discuss the departure time with you of today’s tour. By bike or by barge from Dendermonde to St-Amands, night in St-Amands.
4° St-Amands / Dendermonde – Antwerp (45 km - 28 miles).
Today we will follow the Schelde further downstream over Baasrode and Temse to Antwerp. There is a beautiful cycling track along the river and the scenery is magnificent. Antwerp is well known as a major sea port, one of the world’s leading diamond and the city where the famous painter Rubens was born.
5° Antwerp – Dordrecht (25/45 km - 15/28 miles).
The barge will sail over the Schelde-Rhine Canal, over the huge Kreekrak locks to Tholen, a former fishing village amidst the large streams of the province of Zeeland. From Tholen you will cycle along the impressive large Volkerak locks to the fortified town of Willemstad, then further to end in Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities of the Netherlands. Today the skipper will discuss with you which part of the tour will be covered by barge or by bicycle.
6° Dordrecht-Kinderdijk – Vianen ( 25/50 km - 15/30 miles).
Today the barge will bring you to Kinderdijk, the most famous windmills in the Netherlands with 19 windmills in line (don’t forget your camera!). The windmills were constructed in the 18th century to pump water out of the low Alblasserwaard polder. You can visit one of the windmills. Then bike tour via silver city Schoonhoven to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek. In the evening you can explore this town.
7° Vianen – Amsterdam (35 km - 20 miles).
First the ship cruises to Breukelen, where you disembark and your cycling tour starts. Ride along the small Vecht river: this area is well known for its beautiful mansions, small castles and beautiful houses with large gardens and parks. Over the small villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland to Nigtevecht, where you can visit a traditional cheese farm. Continue over Abcoude and Ouderkerk on the Amstel river to reach Amsterdam. You will meet your barge again in the harbour of Amsterdam.
After breakfast: end of the tour and disembarkation till 10:00 AM. If you wish, you can visit Amsterdam or one of its numerous museums, do some shopping or make a canal tour (not included).
Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Along the way you may find temporary deviations (for example roadworks) which cannot be foreseen; in this case each rider can decide autonomously how to deal with these stretches.
The Netherlands is the country of bycycles, mainly due to the flat territory, beneath the sea level. The cycle path net, almost all paved, is very widespread and signed with white and red signals and with small stumps called “mushrooms”, numbered and signed on the maps.
It is easy to cycle in Belgium too, above all if you ride your bike along the flat maritime region. Belgium has recently unified its bike paths net with the Dutch one.
It will not be hard to deal with this tour, but you will need to be a bit trained in order to stay a whole week on the saddle! Wind and rain are very frequent in this country and they might make your cycling difficult. Sometimes the bike lanes are separated from the street only by a red line, so you need to pay attention. Ask your guide on board, he will be able to give you more information.
How to get there
The precise point of embarkation will be written in the final document that you will receive some days before departure.
The easiest way to get to Bruges is arriving to Brussels by plane. Then you can reach Bruges by train. Brussels has two airports: Charleroi (45 km away form the centre) and International Zaventem (12 km). To get to the city centre you can take a shuttle bus (duration: 1 hour; cost: 13 € one way), whereas at the International you can find a train that takes you directly to the central station (duration: 20 minutes). Further information on the airport websites.
The parking palces in Bruges are:
- parking place at the station, cost: 3,50 € per day. You will also get a bus ticket to reach the centre of Bruges.
- t’Zand, secure parking, cost: 9 € per day. Further information in the final document.
Accommodation and meals
Overnights, breakfasts and dinner will be on board of the river boats:
The MAGNIFIQUE is 63 meters long, accommodates approx. 32 – 35 guests, sails under Dutch flag and management and was completely modernized in 2010 and extended with 14 meters during winter 2012/13. The lower deck has 17 cabins: 11 twin cabins (approx. 11 M², 2 single beds next to each other), 4 premium twins (approx. 14 M², 2 single beds next to each other, small sitting area), 2 single cabins (approx. 8 M²); all cabins have portholes (all portholes are fixed for safety reasons), shower + toilet, individually regulated air conditioning, flat screen TV (satellite); if requested, an extra bed is available in some twin cabins (above one of the other beds). On the upper deck there are a tastefully furnished salon with restaurant, bar, lounge with wide screen TV, large windows, Wifi (with limited data use). Two partly covered teak wooden sun decks with chairs and tables & cycle shed (front deck), and with a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and barbecue on the aft deck.
The MAGNIFIQUE II is being constructed between May 2015 and February 2016. The 63 meters long barge can accommodate 35 guests and sails under Dutch flag and management. The lower deck has 14 cabins: 13 twin cabins (approx. 11 M², 2 single beds next to each other) and 1 single cabin (approx. 8 M²); the upper deck has 4 beautiful suites with large panoramic windows (approx. 14 M², 2 single beds next to each other, small sitting area). Cabins on lower deck have portholes (all portholes are fixed for safety reasons), upper deck suites have a 2 meter wide window (one window can be opened). All cabins have en-suite facilities (shower + toilet), individually regulated air conditioning, flat screen satellite-TV; if requested, an extra bed is available in some twin cabins (above one of the other beds). On the upper deck there are a tastefully furnished salon with restaurant, bar, lounge with wide screen TV, large windows, Wi-Fi (limited use of data). A partly covered teak wooden sun deck with chairs and tables on the aft deck and a cycle shed (front deck).
On this very beloved tour sails the small and comfortable river cruiser MS FLUVIUS for max. 36 guests. On board of this cosy ship are a total of 19 cabins (ca. 10 M² = 108 square feet) with shower + toilet, all with 2 low beds and air-conditioning, individual adjustable, and ventilation system; 3 cabins on the upper deck (supplement) and 16 cabins on the lower deck. All cabins have a window (all windows are fixed). The salon with bar is a large room for common use and has a semi-separate restaurant area. On the large and partially roofed sun deck of the ca. 70 Meter long ship are sitting places (tables + chairs) and storage room for the bikes. The ship sails under Dutch flag and had its sailing area in Holland, Belgium and Germany for many years and it is a very popular small river cruise ship for boat & bike tours.
On this very beloved tour sails the small and comfortable passenger barge MS GANDALF for max. 22 guests. On board of this cosy ship are a total of 10 cabins (ca. 8 M²) with shower + toilet, all with 2 low beds and central heating; All cabins windows can be opened. The salon is a large room for common use and is your restaurant area as well. On the two sun decks of the approx. 45 meter long ship are sitting areas with tables + chairs and storage room for the bikes. Equipped with a double-roof of solar panels, it runs for a great part on green energy! This is not only environment- friendly, but also comfortable for guests: since the ship hardly needs to use a generator to produce electricity, the nights are still and quiet on board. The popular ship sails under Dutch flag and has been sailing in Holland, and Belgium for many years. Skipper Hans Petrus and his experienced crew offer you an exceptional vacation aboard!
Overnight and full board (breakfast, packed lunch and dinner) are included. The service you have booked will be specified in the embarkation voucher with the acronym FB (Full board). Drinks are never included. Breakfast: several kinds of bread, cheese, chocolate, jam, orange jiucem milk, coffee, tea etc. Packed lunch: during breakfast you will prepare your packed lunch. The crew will provide you with fruit and drinks.
Dinner: three courses of dutch or international cuisine. Wine, beer and drinks are not included, you can purchase them on board.
Bikes and accessories
The bicycles on board are mostly unisex touring bikes with light-weight frames and normal mount (ladies model), with 7 gears, hand brake & hub brake.
The bikes are equipped with:
- pannier bag;
- repair kit.
In the Netherlands bikers are not obligated by law to wear a bike helmet. Bike helmets are not available on board.
YOU WILL RECEIVE BY MAIL, some days before departure:
- embarkation voucher with details on the name of the boat and the precise embarkation point
- Tour Notes
- FINAL DOCUMENT
Please confirm us you have received all the information.
If you have any doubt, please contact us before departure.
YOU WILL RECEIVE ON SITE:
- tour maps.
Do not worry if the map is small, your real guide is the numbers you will find on every crossing on the cycle paths, that will help you find the correct way.
By your side
Every morning or every evening a collaborator of ours will explain the route of the day. Do not hesitate to ask him/her any question or doubt. During the day he/she will be riding along the route and can be reachen on his/her mobile phones for any problem.
For the whole our you will have two hotline numbers to be contacted in case of need: the Girolibero phone number in Italy EVERY DAY FROM 8.00 A.M. TO 8.00 P.M. and the phone number of the local partner.
Bike and Boat
From Amsterdam to Bruges
8 days / 7 nights from 879 €