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The Netherlands (Holland) and Belgium

Amsterdam to Bruges

Premium Bike and Barge Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,215 P.P.
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Holland and Belgium are intrinsically linked with cycling and waterways, so what better way to explore these beautiful areas than with a mixture of both? The classic artist’s landscape, synonymous with long canals, windmills and a rich industrial heritage can be explored on this route, finishing up in the picturesque, World Heritage city of Bruges.
This relaxed cycling holiday starts in Amsterdam, travelling along the canals and waterways, guaranteeing a striking and diverse introduction to the heart of the country. The cycling will take us along calm, tranquil riversides, through perfectly preserved historic villages and along winding dike roads. Along the way, we pass by beautiful windmill-strewn countryside along the Merwede canal and get to explore one of the oldest cities in Holland; Dordrecht. 
Your accommodation for the week is on a specially designed barge. Please see the accommodation section below for more information relating to the barges. During the day, a local leader will be leading the way, however route descriptions are provided if you'd prefer to cycle independently from the group.
This tour is run in conjunction with a local partner and you will join their guests on the tour. You will spend your evenings sharing experiences of the day with an international group of cyclists over authentic regional cuisine, cooked and served on board the barge. Please get in touch if you'd like to know the make up of the group booked onto your chosen departure.
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Holiday Highlights

  • Staying on board a charming Dutch Barge
  • Cycling through beautiful Flemish cities
  • Enjoying a leisurely evening meal, with a friendly mix of nationalities
  • Viewing the impressive 17th century windmills at Kinderdijk
  • Discovering the birthplace of the legendary Flemish artist Rubens
  • Marvelling at the illuminated city centre of Ghent

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Amsterdam - Sail to Vianen
  • Meals: Dinner

Today you will arrive in Amsterdam and make your way to your barge for 13.00 to board. Around 14.00 the barge will sail to Vianen, a charming fortified town on the River Lek, where the barge will spend the night. Here the bicycles will be distributed and there will be an option of a short bike ride, to warm our legs up. We’ll then enjoy a delicious evening meal as we get to know the people in the group.

Day 2
Vianen to Dordrecht
19 or 34 Miles / 32 or 56 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

We’ll start the day cycling via Schoonhoven, known as the Silver City due to it’s reputation for talented silversmiths since the 17th Century, to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk and its impressive row of 19 windmills. Make sure you have your camera handy!

From nearby Alblasserdam we’ll take our bikes aboard the ‘Waterbus‘, a fast ferry, for approx. 10 minutes, until we reach the historic town of Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland.

Day 3
Dordrecht to Antwerp
23 or 28 Miles / 36 or 44 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

During your breakfast, enjoy a relaxing sail to Willemstad where you will start your day’s cycling. Willemstad is a beautiful old fortified town on the Haringvliet waterway. Your bicycle ride takes you to Tholen, once an island in the middle of the large Zeeland streams, where many people fished for their living. Nowadays Tholen is connected to the mainland in various ways, but it is still a picturesque village with many relics of an eventful past.

In the afternoon you will once again board the ship which will sail to the port city of Antwerp, situated on the river Schelde. Antwerp is famous for handling up to 80% of the world’s rough diamonds and is a city with a long list of 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 you can visit the beautiful old city center.

Day 4
Free Day in Antwerp
Non-Cycling Day
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Today your barge stays in Antwerp. This means you have the whole day to discover this city of culture, filled with cobblestones and Flemish baroque masterpieces. You can visit the Rubens House, and the Palazzo where the brilliant artist lived with his family. You’ll find some of his painting just a ten-minute walk away in the Onze Lieve Vrouwe (Our Dear Lady) Cathedral.

Alternatively you could visit the famous beer brewery of ‘de Koninck’ for a tour and tasting, explore the fascination Museum on the Scheldt river (MAS – Museum aan de Stroom) or go shopping in Antwerp’s welcoming shopping are.

Dinner tonight isn’t included, so you have the chance to dine at a restaurant of your choosing.

Day 5
Antwerp to St Amands
21 or 31 Miles / 34 or 49 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning we’ll cycle out of Antwerp along a picturesque section of the Schelde River to St Amands, your home for the night.

The landscape around the Schelde is really quite magnificent, and the perfect backdrop for an idyllic day on your bike. Without doubt one of the natural highlights of the tour!

Day 6
St-Amands to Ghent
32 Miles / 52 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today you will continue to follow the river Schelde to Ghent where the ship will moor for the night. Ghent is a lively university city that boasts a rich history. Since Roman times Ghent’s position at the junction of Leie and Schelde Rivers has ensured that it has been a successful trading port. The city features an Opera House, 18 museums, more than 100 churches and over 400 historical buildings. Major attractions are St. Bavo Cathedral where a number of masterpieces of medieval art including the world famous ‘Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ by Jan van Eyck are kept, and the 91-metre-tall belfry of Ghent is one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city center.

Before dinner a small canal boat will take you for a guided tour through the historic city centre.

Day 7
Ghent to Bruges
13 or 28 Miles / 22 or 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Today we’ll cycle from Ghent, through the beautiful Flemish countryside of western Flanders, to Bruges, widely described as the Venice of the North. A beautiful Flemish city.

Bruges attracts more than two million visitors ever year who come to see the picturesque medieval town centre of the UNESCO World-Heritage listed historic city centre and long list of historic attractions. An outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement, Bruges has managed to maintain its historic fabric as it has evolved over the centuries, and the city’s original Gothic buildings still today form an integral part of the town’s identity.

While you‘re here, you can visit one of Bruges’ many museums or simply take in the beauty and culture of this unforgettable city from the comfort of a sidewalk café.

Day 8
Departure from Bruges
  • Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to the crew and your fellow travellers, before starting your journey home. Disembarkation is by 09:30am.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The route follows mostly flat terrain along quiet roads and cycle paths. Around 50% of the route is shared with traffic, and 50% is on cycle paths where you’ll be separated from motor vehicles. If any of the days are too long, or you would just like to put your feet up for a day, there is the option to stay on board the barge during the day.

Due to the leisurely nature of the tour we do recommend a hybrid bike, however as the majority of the route sticks to tarmac the route is suitable for road bikes. (There may however be short sections on cobbles or hard-packed gravel or dirt roads where you may have to take extra care).

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Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 2: Gentle

Distances generally between 15-30 miles / 24-48 kms per day

For those looking for an easy-going route

Mainly on the flat

Some undulations and the odd cheeky challenge

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Maybe you have recently got into cycling and would like to do more over consecutive days, or maybe you‘re looking for a more energetic alternative to your usual holiday? If you‘re looking for an opportunity to try some quiet roads, cycle paths or some accessible, cycle friendly routes these holidays might be for you. You’ll come across some gently undulating terrain and the odd cheeky challenge, so we’d generally expect those on a Grade 2 holiday to ride their bikes relatively frequently at home, perhaps commuting to work or heading out for some leisurely rides at the weekend.

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
29/04/2021 Magnifique IV
Return Date
06/05/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,365.00
Start Date
06/05/2021 Magnifique II
Return Date
13/05/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,365.00
Start Date
11/05/2021 Magnifique III
Return Date
18/05/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,365.00
Start Date
20/05/2021 Magnifique II
Return Date
27/05/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,365.00
Start Date
27/05/2021 Magnifique IV
Return Date
03/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,365.00
Start Date
03/06/2021 Magnifique II
Return Date
10/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,365.00
Start Date
08/06/2021 Magnifique III
Return Date
15/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,365.00
Start Date
10/06/2021 Magnifique IV
Return Date
17/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,365.00
Start Date
17/06/2021 Magnifique II
Return Date
24/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,365.00
Start Date
22/06/2021 Magnifique III
Return Date
29/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,365.00

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Whats Included Tick

A) Barge accommodation (shared twin / double en suite cabins)

B) Linen and towels provided

C) Daily cabin cleaning

D) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L= Packed Lunch, D=Dinner)

E) English speaking local leader

F) Fully guided cycling tours and some short walking tours

G) Daily briefings

H) Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)

I) Coffee and tea on board

J) Fees for ferries / waterbus

K) Entrance Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp

L) Canal trip through Ghent

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Single cabin (available if required)

D) Travel insurance

E) Personal clothing and equipment

F) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

G) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

H) Travel to barge on arrival day

I) Travel from barge on departure day

J) Meals not included on the itinerary

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The Essentials

Travel Options

We ask that you make your own way to the mooring point in Amsterdam and home again from the mooring point in Bruges.

There is a direct ferry route from Newcastle in the UK to Amsterdam and good train connections between Amsterdam and Bruges.

The most convenient airports for this trip are into Amsterdam (AMS) and back from Brussels (BRU). Alternatively you can book a return flight to one of these airports and travel by train between the cities. There are many flights from the UK to Amsterdam airport (AMS) and the most convenient option to Brussels airport (BRU) is from London Heathrow with British Airways or Brussels Airlines.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your holiday.

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements so we can ensure they fit in with the holiday schedule.

Accommodation

Accommodation on this trip is on a barge. We have 3 barges available: the Magnifique II, the Magnifique III, and the Magnifique IV. (We also run the itinerary on the Fluvius; see our tour entitled Amsterdam to Bruges – Bike and Barge Holiday.) Please Note all upper deck suites are only available when making a booking for 2 people.

The Magnifique II was newly built in 2016 and has a capacity of 34 passengers. All cabins have en-suite facilities, air conditioning, a flat screen TV, wifi, safe and hairdryer. There are some upper deck suites with a small sitting area and panoramic windows, as well as a premium twin cabin if you’d like an upgraded cabin. The salon combines a restaurant, bar and lounge area, complete with large doors opening onto the partially-roofed sundeck, where you’ll find a hot tub.

The Magnifique III, completed early in 2018, houses 40 guests, with cabins holding en-suites, air conditioning, a flat screen TV, wifi, safe and hairdryer. There are some upper deck suites with a small sitting area and panoramic windows. The salon combines a restaurant, bar and lounge area, complete with large doors opening onto the partially-roofed sundeck, where you’ll find a hot tub.

The Magnifique IV, brand new for 2020, houses 36 guests, with cabins holding en suites, air conditioning, a flat screen TV, wifi, safe and hairdryer. The Magnifique IV’s upper deck features a spacious and tastefully-decorated salon with air conditioning, a bar and lounge area. Here you will find large panoramic windows, a widescreen TV, and information screens displaying the barge’s real time location. Wi-Fi is also available.

Bike Hire

The bicycles on board are mostly traditional touring bicycles (unisex models with a sloping cross bar) with 7 gears and hand brakes.

We also have e-bikes available to rent. We only have a small number, however, and so these are always on request. These bikes generally have 7 gears (with 6 support levels) and hand brakes.

You’ll be provided with a pannier bag and a bike pump. Your tour leader will have both a puncture repair kit and a pump to help out with any bike issues along the way.

We ask that you please bring along your own helmets (or we can provide helmets locally on request). It’s possible for you to bring your own pedals and / or saddle, however we do ask that you bring along your own tools to fit them to your rental bike.

GPX tracks are available on request (please contact our office for details).

It is possible to bring along your own bike on this tour, however the barges have limited space for bikes. If you’d like to bring your own bike, please contact us to check whether this will be possible on your preferred date.

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News, Reviews & Stories

Reviews

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