Amsterdam to Bruges Bike & Boat – Fluvius (& Lena Maria)
From Amsterdam to the diamond capital of Antwerp, from the ‘Silver City’ of Schoonhaven to gilded façades and the greenest Ablasserwaard polders by the windmills of the Kinderdijk, enjoy a real voyage of discovery. This classic tour through Holland and Flanders pays homage to the enterprising merchants of the Golden Age and the engineering minds which have made the landscape what it is today. Make the comfortable riverboat MS Fluvius or MS Lena Maria your floating home and cruise the lowland waterways down to beautiful medieval Bruges, enjoying scenic cycling stretches between selected points along the way. If you’ve ever fancied really going Dutch, then this classic combo has to the break for you. 2023 prices now available. Read More
8 Days, 7 Nights
Apr - Sept
Grade 1 (Very Easy)
Why not go Dutch? Take to the lowland waterways of Holland and Flanders on board the comfortable floating accommodation, riverboats MS Fluvius or MS Lena Maria and pedal around just like the locals. Packed full of classic city and countryside sights to treasure including Amsterdam, Antwerp, historic Dordrecht, Dendermonde, Ghent and Bruges, this linear cycling holiday is a real classic. Whether you’re in the saddle on the riverside or canalside paths or sitting back on board your comfortable floating home and watching the world drift by, you’ll soon see Holland and Belgium from a different perspective.
Due to navigation conditions, the exact details of itineraries/embarkation points may be modified at the discretion of the boat’s Captain. All overnights are on board your floating accommodation, the MS Fluvius or MS Lena Maria. Details of the transits to the next destination are outlined in the itinerary below.
Day 1 All aboard in Amsterdam!
Join the MS Fluvius or MS Lena Maria moored in central Amsterdam and settle in to your floating accommodation on board one of these classic Dutch barges, before it sets off along the narrow canals of Amsterdam towards the River Vecht. At Nigtevecht, it’s time to disembark and enjoy a brief encounter with your bike, pedalling along winding riverside paths to Breukelen in the province of Utrecht, an area renowned for fine country mansions along the river built by wealthy 17th century merchant families from Amsterdam. Meeting back up with MS Fluvius or MS Lena Maria, the afternoon finishes with a cruise down to Vianan, an attractive small town on the River Lek with fortifications and a 15th century brick gateway.
Overnight mooring – Vianen.
Miles 9 Kms 15
Day 2 So much more than just double Dutch
Start the day with a satisfying stretch of cycling down to Schoonhaven with its majestic medieval town hall, city walls and rows of narrow gabled houses lining the waterside. A super-wealthy place to be in the 17th century, home to skilled silversmiths and clockmakers, it’s still known locally as ‘Silver City’ today. Don’t miss the impressive town clock or the glittering prizes in the museum dedicated to the Dutch silver trade. But just when you think things could hardly get more Dutch, the famous Unesco World Heritage Site, the Kinderdijk, comes into view. Only a short cycle across the Alblasserwaard polder from Schoonhaven, you can feast your eyes on a row of mighty drainage windmills. Nineteen in number, these working mills make an amazing site, but be sure to visit one to experience these impressive wooden structures along with all their creaks and cranks up close. Your classic Dutch barge awaits to cruise onwards to Dordrecht, the ‘Island on the Dort’ with its fine ‘Grote Kerk’ and bordered by no less than five rivers. Historic Wolwevershaven (wool weavers harbour) with its charming rows of narrow gabled houses is your typically Dutch port for the night.
Overnight mooring – Wolwevershaven
Miles 34 Kms 56
Day 3 Across the borderlands to Belgium & Antwerp
Disembark the MS FLuvius or MS Lena Maria at Tholen after a short breakfast cruise and bike it via the woodlands of the ‘Wouwse Plantage’ to Bergen Op Zoom. Its name suggests a hill or two (Bergen) where the sand pushed against the mainland clays, but everything around here is relative! The city boasts an historic marketplace, gateways and the fine 15th/16th century Markiezenhofpalace, now a museum and cultural centre. A relaxed pedal push later, the mighty Kreekraksluis lock complex comes into sight, with the MS Fluvius or MS Lena Maria docked at the end of the dam to deliver you down the tidal River Schelde into Belgium in style, all the way to the very historic heart of Antwerp. The city of diamonds, the world of Rubens, the capital of the province of Flanders – there’s so much to see, but the paintings by the local Great Master in the gothic ‘Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal’ built in 1351 has to be a must. After supper, there’s a tour of the old city with a bit of local insight courtesy of your on board guide.
Overnight mooring – Antwerp
Miles 13-23 Kms 20-36
Day 4 Along the Schelde to Dendermonde
Disembark from MS Fluvius or MS Lena Maria with your bike at Zeeschelde for a day of mainly riverside cycling through the beautiful landscapes around the tidal River Schelde as it ebbs and flows its way to meet the River Dende at Dendermonde. Your destination will be either St Amands or the historic town of Dendermonde with its ‘Vleeshuis’ on the marketplace and impressive city hall and belfry.
Overnight mooring – St Amands or Dendermonde
Miles 25 or 34 Kms 42 or 56
Day 5 Through East Flanders to glorious Ghent
From a mooring at St Amands, either set off by bike or stay aboard your floating hotel to cruise to historic Dendermonde. From Dendermonde, enjoy more scenic cycling as you push your pedals along the pathways of the River Schelde and glide towards where it meets with the River Leie at the vibrant university city of Ghent. Although more modest than Antwerp or Bruges, Ghent combines wonderful flourishes of medieval architecture with refreshing contemporary culture and even has Roman roots. ‘Gravensteen’, its 12th century ‘Castle of the Count’ built by Phillip of Alsace, has round towers and battlements which seem to rise out of the river and are a must-climb moment just for the city views. Before you meet back up for dinner with the MS Fluvius or MS Lena Maria at Merelbeke lock in the city suburbs, the historic ‘Graslei’ area has to be on the menu, as well as St Bavo’s Cathedral for a healthy helping of fine art by Van Eyck.
Overnight mooring – Ghent (Merelbeke)
Miles 29-39 Kms 48-64
Day 6 Westward ho! En route to beautiful Bruges.
A gentle cycle through the charming West Flanders countryside, never straying too far away from the river, leads to the canal lands of Bruges – a place which wears a coat of very many colours and a good number of different hats too! The largest city in West Flanders, a Unesco World Heritage Site, the Venice of the North, the most beautiful of all Flemish cities … it’s hard to know quite whether to start, but climbing the 366 steps up the ‘Belfort’ is likely to give you the bearings you need as well as some perspective over the intact medieval city centre. Graze the fine art offerings at the Groenigemuseum, shop for lace, fine chocolate or check out perhaps the city’s most whacky offering – the ‘Frietmuseum’ (yes, whole museum dedicated to chips!). That should give you an appetite for supper in town tonight!
Overnight mooring – Bruges
Miles 28 Kms 45
Day 7 An encounter with the coast
Time to leave the hustle and bustle of Bruges for a quieter canal or two. The coast is closer than you think and with massive sandy stretches and wonderful nature reserves just a gentle cycle away, who can resist? Pedal along poplar-lined pathways across the West Flanders polders dotted with farmsteads to meet the North Sea around ‘Het Zwin’ with its famous dune landscape. Kick-back and relax at a café or plan a little paddle perhaps before leaving the refreshing North Sea breezes behind you for the busy life of Bruges once again.
Overnight mooring – Bruges
Miles 23-31 Kms 38-51
Day 8 Depart after breakfast
Following your final breakfast on board your floating home, you might choose to stay a while longer in Bruges, return to Amsterdam by train or plan a different route for your onward journey.
Extra nights in hotel accommodation can be booked to allow more time to explore Bruges at your leisure.
Programme of activities included in the price:
• Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening
• Daily briefings regarding the bike tours from the multi-lingual tour lead who will be cycling the daily tour route and contactable by phone.
• Short guided city tours with the tour leader as specified
• Tea and coffee on board (afternoons)
Dates & PricesDownload Prices
For tour start days/dates, seasons and all prices, please click on the PRICES button above
En suite individually adjustable air-conditioned twin cabin, 10 sqm, shower/WC, porthole (not openable). MS Fluvius has a saloon and bar, restaurant and partly-roofed sundeck. Lena Maria, all cabins have openable windows and are 10.5 sqm. This tour is also available on Lena Maria. Details are broadly the same (dates differ) but please note that Lena Maria is a smaller barge. The main differences are: 12 twin cabins sleeping 24 on the main deck. Cabin size 10.5 sqm, all have an opening window & en-suite facilities and only 1 guide on board
Buffet/continental breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner
Hire of hybrid bicycle with 7 gears and hand or back-pedal brakes and single pannier bag
Instructions and route maps provided on arrival (1 per cabin); there is also a Tour Guide who will be cycling the daily routes
Other services, items and local experiences:
- Welcome drinks and briefing on the first evening
- Some short guided town walks
- Fees for ferries and waterbuses in the itinerary
- Free tea and coffee (until 4pm)
The detailed itinerary may be affected by navigational issues such as unfavourable weather, floods or low tides. These will be decided by the boat’s captain
Please note that the price EXCLUDES
Fuel surcharges of between €2.50 and €6.50 per day, payable locally, excursions and entrance fees during the tour
On board drinks (except tea and coffee)
Dinner in Bruges (Day 6 – Sunday)
Costs of getting to and from the tour area and transport to and from the dock in Bruges and Amsterdam
On board EITER the riverboat MS Fluvius or MS Lena Maria (specific barge depends upon departure date) In an outside-facing 2 bed cabin with private facilities and air-conditioning situated on the lower deck. We are pleased to discuss details on request.
Please note: images featured here in the gallery are of the MS Fluvius only.
The riverboat has 22 cabins and can accommodate up to 44 passengers.
- Upper deck twin cabin
- Upper deck suite
MS Lena Maria
The riverboat has 12 cabins and can accommodate up to 24 passengers. For images of the riverboat, please see Boat Plan & Details.
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