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The Netherlands (Holland) and Belgium

Amsterdam to Bruges

Bike and Barge Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,675 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 14.00 to board. At around 14.00 the ship will depart from Amsterdam for Vianen, a small, fortified village on the Lek River. After dinner you have the opportunity to enjoy a short first test ride through the surrounding area.

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

Today you will cycle along a beautiful route to Schoonhoven – nicknamed Zilverstad (“Silver City”) – a city renowned for its talented silver smiths since the 17th century. Later in the day as you cycle through the Alblasserwaard region you will reach Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 large windmills. All 19 windmills have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing and are a definite highlight – you will have the opportunity to visit one so don’t forget to bring your camera!

From nearby Alblasserdam you will take the “Waterbus”, a fast ferry, that will take you and your bicycle in approx. 10 minutes to Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland.

Day 3
Dordrecht - Bergen op Zoom (via Willemstad)
26 or 31 Miles / 42 or 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

As you enjoy your breakfast on board, the ship will sail to Willemstad where you will start your day’s cycling. Willemstad is a beautiful old fortified town on the Haringvliet waterway. The ride will take 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.

You’ll then cycle on to today’s destination, Bergen op Zoom. Bergen op Zoom is a historic fortified town that once lay on the open waters of the Oosterschelde. After dinner you can take a walk through the old town. The narrow streets, old town, market and church squares and idiosyncratic monumental buildings show the history of a rich and eventful past that goes back more than eight hundred years.

Day 4
Bergen op Zoom - Antwerp (via Kreekrak Lock)
23 or 28 Miles / 36 or 44 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch

In the morning you will enjoy a small bike ride through the beautiful “Wouwse Plantage” surrounding Bergen op Zoom. In the early afternoon you will once again board the ship and 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.

Dinner tonight (not included) will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).

Day 5
Antwerp to St Amands (via Temse)
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 (via Dendermonde)
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
27/04/2023 Magnifique IV
Fully Booked
Return Date
04/05/2023
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,765.00
Start Date
02/05/2023 Magnifique III
Fully Booked
Return Date
09/05/2023
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,765.00
Start Date
04/05/2023 Magnifique II
Fully Booked
Return Date
11/05/2023
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,765.00
Start Date
16/05/2023 Magnifique III
Fully Booked
Return Date
23/05/2023
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,765.00
Start Date
25/05/2023 Magnifique IV
Fully Booked
Return Date
01/06/2023
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,765.00
Start Date
30/05/2023 Magnifique III
Fully Booked
Return Date
06/06/2023
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,765.00
Start Date
01/06/2023 Magnifique II
Fully Booked
Return Date
08/06/2023
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,765.00
Start Date
08/06/2023 Magnifique IV
Fully Booked
Return Date
15/06/2023
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,765.00
Start Date
13/06/2023 Magnifique III
Return Date
20/06/2023
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,765.00
Start Date
15/06/2023 Magnifique II
Guaranteed
Return Date
22/06/2023
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,765.00

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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) and / or GPX files (on request)

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 your barge in Amsterdam. Boarding takes place on day 1 of the tour at 14.00, and you’ll shortly after sail to Vianen

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

3 boats to choose from: Magnifique II, Magnifique III and Magnifique IV.

Please Note Upper deck suites are only available when making a booking for 2 people.

Magnifique II – Max 37 passengers The upper deck has four spacious suites (14 m² – 151 sq.ft.) with two separate single beds, a small sitting area and large panoramic windows, of which the middle part can be opened. The lower deck has thirteen cabins: one premium twin cabin (13 m² – 140 sq.ft.) with two separate single beds and a small sitting area and twelve beautiful twin cabins (11 m² – 118 sq.ft.) with 2 separate single beds. In most cabins, on prior request, the beds can be set together as a double bed. All cabins have en-suite facilities with a shower, toilet and sink. The cabins on the lower deck have portholes (fixed for safety reasons), upper deck suites have 2 m / 6.6 ft. wide windows (which can be partly opened) and the air conditioning in all cabins can be individually regulated. Furthermore, in each cabin you will find a flat screen satellite TV, a mini safe and a hair dryer.

Magnifique III – Max 40 passengers The upper deck has five spacious suites (16 m² – 172 sq.ft.) with two separate single beds, a small sitting area and a “French Balcony”: ceiling-to-floor sliding glass doors. The lower deck has fourteen beautiful twin cabins (12 m² – 129 sq.ft.) with two separate single beds and two single cabins (9 m² – 97 sq.ft.). In most cabins and all suites, on prior request, the beds can be set together as a double bed. cabins have en-suite facilities with a shower, toilet and basin. The cabins on the lower deck have portholes (fixed for safety reasons), upper deck suites have sliding glass doors that can be partly opened. The air conditioning in all cabins can be individually regulated. Furthermore, in each cabin you will find a flat screen satellite TV, a mini safe and a hair dryer.

Magnifique IV – Max 36 passengers The upper deck houses 10 generous suites, while the lower deck houses eight twin cabins and the dining room. The spacious suites, each measuring 16 m² (172 ft²), have two separate beds, set next to each other as a hotel style bed (200×160 cm – 78×62 inches), a cozy sitting area, and a large sliding window. The twin cabins below deck, measuring 12 m² (129 ft²) feature two single beds and fixed portholes. All cabins have their own private bathroom with shower, basin and toilet; as well as individually-regulated air-conditioning, flat screen satellite TV, mini safe and hair dryer.

Wi-Fi is available on all three boats, and on the top deck all three barges have a hot tub / Jacuzzi.

Bike Hire

Rental bikes on board are generally unisex city bikes with a step-through frame and a comfortable up-right riding position. The bikes are handmade in the Netherlands by Azor, specially designed by our local partner.

The bikes have a lightweight aluminium frame and come equipped with responsive handbrakes, a Shimano 7 speed nexus drive, Selle-Royal gel saddle (adjustable), an easy to use lock (fixed on the frame) and Schwalbe Marathon anti-puncture tyres.

We also have e-bikes available, however only a small number on each departure and so these are always on request. The e-bikes are typically an Azor Steps (or a comparable brand/model) with Nexus 7 gears and hand brakes. The crank Shimano motor (400 WH) offers 4 support levels. The E-bikes have a comfortable gel saddle and a lock on the frame.

Your tour leader will have both a puncture repair kit and a pump to help out with any bike issues along the way.

We always recommend bringing along your own helmet, however we can provide these locally if preferred at no additional cost. Please request at the time of booking.

It is not possible on this tour to bring your own pedals, however if you’d like to bring your own saddle please do let us know in advance, and we can double check whether this will be possible on your chosen departure, and whether you’ll need to bring along any specific tools.

You are welcome to bring along your own bikes if preferred, however the barges have limited space for bikes so this does need to be requested well in advance to secure a spot. Please contact us to check whether this will be possible on your preferred date.

If you‘re bringing along your own electric bike, again the spaces on board are limited so this is also on request. Please let us know in advance.

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