Active European Holidays
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Amsterdam to Bruges

Amsterdam to Bruges

Trip Highlights

  • Walk the cobble stoned streets of Bruges and Ghent
  • Cycle past a variety of landscapes including windmills of Kinderdijk and the natural reserve of Biesbosch
  • Sample local specialties including Belgian waffles, beer and mussels
  • Soaking up the hospitality onboard the comfortable barge

Trip Summary

The highlights of Holland and Belgium are uncovered on this unique cycling tour of the lowlands and North Sea coast. Beginning in Amsterdam, we visit Gouda well known for its cheese and then cycle to the world famous windmills of Kinderdijk before heading through Dordrecht and the natural reserve of Biesbosch to Willemstad. We continue by barge across the impressive waterways of Zeeland and onto the lively town of Antwerp in Belgium. In the delightful town of Ghent we have a walking tour before continuing to Bruges where small chocolatiers and waffle sellers offer a great reward for your cycling efforts!

Suitability

INTRODUCTORY - GRADE 1

The cycling is introductory (1) grade with daily cycling distances from 10 to 50km. 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. *For safety reasons, we highly recommend that cycle helmets be worn during cycle sections.

Itinerary

At approximately 12:30pm, you can check into the barge - all ports are located near Amsterdam Central station. Later that afternoon around 1:30pm the barge crosses Amsterdam and heads for the village of Oude Wetering. During the sailing you will have a light snack on board (boarding in Amsterdam only - not lunch). In the evening there will be a warm up ride in the vicinity of the town.

Meals:  D

An early start this morning as you pedal through the Dutch meadowlands enroute to Gouda. There will be ample time to explore the town both before and after dinner. The famous St. Jans church with its beautiful stained glass windows is the longest church in the Netherlands and certainly worth exploring. Spring departures: a visit is included on this day to the Flowerpark Kuekenhof and the cycling tour will be shorter (25km).

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the ship brings us to the world famous windmills of Kinderdijk. We plan to visit one of the mills, and then pedal to Dordrecht. In the afternoon we will meet the barge and sail to the beautiful walled town of Willemstad where we spend the night.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today the barge sails right across the impressive waterways of Zeeland. At the Kreekrak locks, just before the Belgian-Dutch border, you will get on your bikes and cycle to the lively town of Antwerp in Belgium. In the evening join the tour leader for a short walk around this port town then free time to explore its interesting streets and abundance of jeweler’s shops. The city has a large Hasidic Jewish community who have traditionally controlled the thriving diamond industry.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we cycle out of Antwerp and through the pretty Flemish countryside alongside the river Schelde. The River Schedle 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 always had considerable commercial and strategic importance over the years. In the charming provincial town of Dendermonde you'll spend the night aboard the barge.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we have an early departure as the ship needs around 7 hours to reach Ghent. The river Schelde is a tidal river and thus the barge may have to wait for high tide to continue. The cycle heads through terrain that is typical flat Flemish countryside. In the old city of Ghent we join the tour leader for a walk through the wonderful town centre. There are many interesting bars and shops dotted throughout and lovely old bridges.

Meals:  B,L,D

The day starts with a train ride to Bruges. After arriving there is a short guided walk past the many historic monuments in the centre of Bruges. You have until mid afternoon to explore Bruges, sample some delicious waffles or chocolates before we return by train to Ghent. Spring departures: a horse and carriage ride is included through the centre of Bruges.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning at 9:00am you check out and transfer by bus to Amsterdam Airport, approximate arrival time 12:00pm. Alternatively, you can disembark in Ghent for individual departure - please advise in advance if you will not be taking the group bus transfer.

Meals:  B

Bruges to Amsterdam

Group transfer by bus at approximately 12:00pm from Amsterdam Airport to Ghent in Belgium. On arrival around 5:00pm, check in aboard the hotel barge. Please advise in advance if you will instead make your own way to the barge in Ghent (luggage can be dropped off from around 1:00pm). In the old city of Ghent we join the tour leader after dinner for a walk through the wonderful town centre. There are many interesting bars and shops dotted throughout and lovely old bridges.

Meals:  D

This morning we take a train ride to Bruges. After arriving there is a short guided walk past the many historic monuments in the centre of Bruges. You have until mid afternoon to explore Bruges, sample some delicious waffles or chocolates before we return by train to Ghent. Later we take the train to Dendermonde where there will be an opportunity to warm up our cycle legs on a short evening bike ride to discover the town and surrounds. Spring departures: a horse and carriage ride is included through the centre of Bruges.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Dendermonde the cycle route takes you through the pretty Flemish countryside alongside the river Schelde to Antwerp. The River Schedle 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 always had considerable commercial and strategic importance over the years. In the afternoon there is a short guided city walk in Antwerp and afterwards there is free time to explore this port town, with its interesting streets and abundance of jeweler’s shops. The city has a large Hasidic Jewish community who have traditionally controlled the thriving diamond industry. In the evening you may wish to visit some bars to sample the many excellent Belgian beers. Even if you do not drink the beer, the bars are always lively and interesting.

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning we will cycle from Antwerp over the Belgian-Dutch border to the large Kreekrak locks. Here we will meet the ship and sail to the beautiful walled town of Willemstad where we spend the night.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning you have a short sail on the barge before the day's cycle begins. Through the countryside you cycle to the windmills of Kinderdijk and later continue to the cheese town of Gouda. In the evening you may wish to join your tour leader for a short city walk, or explore the town for yourself. The famous St. Jans church with its beautiful stained glass windows is the longest church in the Netherlands and certainly worth exploring.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today enjoy an easy bike ride right through some real Dutch meadowlands and end your trip in a small village called Oude Wetering. Be sure to enjoy the quietness of the rural Dutch countryside before you arrive in busy Amsterdam tomorrow. Spring departures: a visit is included on this day to the Flowerpark Kuekenhof and the cycling tour will be shorter (25km).

Meals:  B,L,D

On the banks of the river Amstel you cycle in the direction of and then across the Amsterdam town centre to the mooring place of your barge, located near Amsterdam Central station. In the afternoon there’s time to explore the lively Dutch capital and do some shopping. In the evening there’s a city walk and you may wish to make a round trip of the famous Amsterdam canals.

Meals:  B,L,D

The trip concludes after breakfast around 9:00am. Individual departure.

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 B barge on a twinshare basis with ensuite facilities. Depending on the boat, cabins are configured with two lower beds and/or bunk beds (supplement applies for Category A comfort barge departures - lower twin berths only, while a discount applies for bunk bed cabins or Category C barge). If you are travelling by yourself you will be matched with another passenger, or single supplement applies for a single cabin - limited and on request.
  • 7 speed bike with pannier, lock and insurance (electric bike available on request - supplement applies)
  • Several city walking tours and entrance to Kinderdijk windmill
  • Train ride Ghent - Bruges - Ghent (or Ghent - Bruges - Dendermonde for reverse itinerary)
  • Group bus transfer from Ghent to Amsterdam Airport on Day 1 (or Amsterdam Airport to Ghent on Day 8, depending on which way the itinerary operates)
  • Information pack including route notes & maps per cabin
  • Experienced multilingual (English, German and Dutch) guide for cycle tours and city walks
  • Spring departures: visit to Keukenhof and horse & carriage ride (supplement applies)

What's Not Included

  • Travel to / from Amsterdam
  • Drinks and other items of a personal nature
  • Helmets - mandatory on all bike tours, you are encouraged to bring your own well-fitted helmet
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specified
  • Transfers not specified including for non-cyclists as outlined above
  • 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).

Upcoming Travel Dates

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Countries:Holland and Belgium
Starting Point:Amsterdam
Activities:GUIDED CYCLING
BARGE
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:HMB
Prices From:GBP£835 Per Person
Single Supplement Category C Barge(only on request & where available):GBP£150  Click for more information
Single Supplement Category A or B Barge(only on request & where available):GBP£190  Click for more information