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The Netherlands (Holland) and Belgium

Amsterdam to Bruges

Premium Bike and Barge Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$1,830 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 vacation 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.
Please note - This itinerary is valid only for the 2022 season. If you are interested in booking for 2021 please chat to our team, and we can send you the 2021 itinerary.
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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
  • Meals: Dinner

Today you will arrive in Amsterdam and make your way to your barge for 14.00 to board. After unpacking your luggage in your cabin, you’ll still have plenty of time to explore this famous city. An introduction to the tour will take place on board at 17.30, where you’ll meet the crew and your first dinner will be served. After dinner we’ll enjoy a canal tour through the center of Amsterdam.

Day 2
Amsterdam to Vianen
23 or 28 Miles / 36 or 46 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

You’ll start your first day on the bike by cycling out of Amsterdam to the historical town of Muiden, with its 14th century waterfront castle. You’ll ride along the Vecht River in an area famous for its beautiful mansions, small castles, impressive houses and their large gardens. Close to Vreeland you can visit a traditional cheese farm.

After cycling through the charming villages of Loenen and Nieuwersluis, you’ll arrive at Breukelen where you’ll rejoin the ship. Around 17.00 the ship will set sail for Vianen and you can enjoy dinner while cruising. You’ll spend the evening and night in Vianen, a small fortified town on the Lower Rhine river.

Day 3
Vianen to Dordrecht
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 of the week – 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 4
Dordrecht to Antwerp
23 or 28 Miles / 36 or 44 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

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

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 vacation? If you’re looking for an opportunity to try some quiet roads, cycle paths or some accessible, cycle friendly routes these trips 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 trip 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
28/04/2022 Magnifique IV
Fully Booked
Return Date
05/05/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,055.00
Start Date
03/05/2022 Magnifique III
Return Date
10/05/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,055.00
Start Date
05/05/2022 Magnifique II
Fully Booked
Return Date
12/05/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,055.00
Start Date
07/05/2022 Princesse Royal
Return Date
14/05/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,055.00
Start Date
12/05/2022 Magnifique IV
Fully Booked
Return Date
19/05/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,055.00
Start Date
16/05/2022 Magnifique IV
Return Date
23/05/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,055.00
Start Date
19/05/2022 Magnifique II
Fully Booked
Return Date
26/05/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,055.00
Start Date
02/06/2022 Magnifique II
Fully Booked
Return Date
09/06/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,055.00
Start Date
09/06/2022 Magnifique IV
Fully Booked
Return Date
16/06/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,055.00
Start Date
14/06/2022 Magnifique III
Fully Booked
Return Date
21/06/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,055.00

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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 the mooring point in Amsterdam and home again from the mooring point in 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. Most flights from North America to Brussels require overnight travel (multiple travel days) and a stop over in an intermediary airport, with Norwegian, Icelandair or Aeroflot, combined with another airline being a common combination. There may be a direct flight option to Amsterdam, with KLM often offering this.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your tour. Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements so we can ensure they fit in with the trip schedule.

Accommodation

3 boats to choose from: Magnifique II, Magnifique III & Magnifique IV (additionally Princesse Royale in 2022). Please Note all upper deck suites are only available when making a booking for 2 people.

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.

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.

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.

2022 only Princesse Royal – This premium barge (formerly Magnifique) accommodates up to 30 guests and breathes an atmosphere of luxury and comfort. The 16 lower deck cabins are provided with box spring beds and a bathroom with shower, sink and toilet. On the main deck you’ll see that the bar is the center of attention, especially during the evening. Around are tables and comfortable chairs where you will be seated during breakfast and when the deliciously cooked dinners are served. In front there is a sitting area and outside are some seats. Last but not least: the Jacuzzi on the aft deck.

Bike Hire

The bikes on board are traditional touring bikes (unisex models, usually with a low, step-through frame) with 7 or 8 gears and hand brakes, with pannier bags provided.

We also have e-bikes available, however only a small number on each departure and so these are always on request.

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, and there will be a fee of $30.

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News, Reviews & Stories

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