Enjoy the flat rides through the Dutch and Belgian countryside, have time to see the highlights and time to explore on your own. Enjoy the best of two worlds!
Come and see it and enjoy our bike paths to get to all the Dutch highlights, such as Amsterdam’s canals, the old fisherman villages, the new city build in the polder, the Unesco world heritage site Kinderdijk, the unique ensemble of windmills.
Sail with us into Belgium and get to know the lively modern and old architecture dating back to the 13th century. Places oozing history, with guides telling you the tales of the town. The River Schelde will throw us back in time, as we cycle along through rural country roads. Beers await us; you will love the Duvels and Westmalle’s.
For sure this tour will bring you everything you expect it to be. It’s a combination of the two most popular tours in the bike&barge world, seeing the Netherlands more extensively AND having time to explore the beauty of Belgium as well.
This is a new and longer tour, offering you more cycling days and more time to explore the highlights and make your own choices to explore and relax.Read more
After a welcome meeting and short testing of our bikes, we have the rest of the afternoon to explore the city. The bike guide will take you on a stroll along the canals and squares while telling you about Amsterdam’s great history. Amsterdam once was the leading capital of the world in trade and finance and the impressive buildings it’s merchants built are still there to be admired today.
Early night in? Or a canal cruise on your own? Or a pub? Just make sure you get back on board to get some rest for the next day, mamma said.
Amsterdam - Volendam 25 miles/ 40 km
In the morning we start by taking the ferry across the IJ, the lake that splits Amsterdam in two, to get away from the busy bike lanes in the center. From there we head out into the water rich farmlands above Amsterdam. Here birds and farm animals make up most of the scenery. We make our way to the small island of Marken. Here we find one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the country; The horse of Marken. Standing on a pier in the water, this light house is worth a picture or two. The day ends with another ferry ride which takes us to the town of Volendam. This famous fisherman’s town is mostly known for its green houses and traditional clothing. And a hotspot for tourisme especially during the day.
Flevopolder - Vianen 31 miles/ 50 km
In the morning we cross the IJsselmeer, the big lake in the centre of the Netherlands, and by this, we go from the old to the new, because we’re dropped off in the Flevopolder. This 370 square mile island has been reclaimed from the sea in the 1950’ and ’60s. Here we get a fine example of Dutch urban planning where bike and car never meet. Bridges and tunnels make it so that apart from the buildings you wouldn’t even know you’re riding in a city. A very high bridge takes us back into the old country, to prove this a castle from 1370, the Muiderslot, awaits us. And after that, we find more old stuff along the river Vecht, which is known for its famous 17th-century merchants’ estates, beautiful gardens and little tea houses along its banks. The day ends when we cross into Breukelen over its bridge, and we go back aboard for the last cruise to our docking town for the day: Vianen.
Vianen - Kinderdijk - Dordrecht 30 miles / 48 km
Today’s ride is a rural one in which few follow a small stream with farms and windmills along with it. The later will be even more the theme of the last stretch of the day when we enter the area of Kinderdijk, this land reclamation project of the 18th century has 19 windmills standing together. There is the possibility to go all the way up into one or to have a coffee overlooking this UNESCO World Heritage site. After this, a short sail will lead us to the oldest town of the Netherlands: Dordrecht. Bridges, canals and a slanting church, Dordrecht is full of history.
Dordrecht to Tholen 25 miles/ 40 km
A sailing breakfast leads us to Willemstad. This star-shaped fortified town was once an important defensive position and to named after the founding father of the Netherlands, William of Orange.
From there we bike alongside the impressive complex of locks ‘de Volkerak’ to Tholen. Tholen was an island in the middle of the large Zeeland streams, otherwise known as the Rhein Delta on the North Sea where many fishermen lived. Today Tholen is connected to the mainland, but it retains its picturesque charm and boasts many fishing and boating relics of its colourful past.
Tholen to Antwerp, entering Belgium 20 miles / 32 km
There aren’t many forests in Holland, but you will have the unique thrill of biking through the Wouwse Plantation, an otherworldly landscape of sand dune forests alternating with fields of heather and moorlands. Along the way, we visit a Canadian and British World War Two Cemetery to pay our respects and have a quiet walk. After this short ride, it’s a cruising lunch to Antwerp, the city of Diamonds. Antwerp was home to the famous Painter Peter Paul Rubens and many of his paintings are still in the city to be admired. Antwerp’s Golden age was the 16th century when it’s trade blossomed and it became the sugar capital of Europe. Many of the buildings in the centre still originate from that time and while walking the streets you can feel as if you are 500 years ago. From the 19th century until recently, Antwerp was the world centre for diamond refining and trade.
Antwerp 10 miles / 17 km
Today we take our time to explore the city of Antwerp more fully. Our guide will take you to the significant sights like the Cathedral of Our Lady with its Rubens Paintings inside and show you the smaller lesser-known ones, like the old Beguinage where unmarried women could live like nuns until they found a suitable husband. The rest of the day is for you to spend by yourself in the city. You could visit museums like the Rubens House, which has many paintings in his old residence, or the Red Starline museum about the ships that brought many American immigrants to the US more than a 100 years ago. If you’d like to go biking, you can join our bike guide for an alternative sightseeing tour on bike.
Antwerp to Dendermonde 32 or 20 miles / 52 or 32 km
In Antwerp, we will make use of an iconic way of crossing the river: a tunnel and elevators ONLY for pedestrians and bicyclists! And there we are on the other side, from where we make our way up the Scheldt river. This will not be our last ferry of the day as we want to cross the river a few times. We eat our lunch in the garden of Castle Wisselkerke. This also won’t be the last castle of the day because this region is full of them. Another thing our bike path crosses many times are the flood zones of the river which attracts a wide variety of waterbird to the area. Our docking for the day is in Dendermonde, a small but historic town with a great town square for us to enjoy a real Belgian beer.
Dendermonde to Gent 25 miles/ 40 km
The Belgian country roads take us along small towns, lakes, castles and lead us to Gent. As the birthplace of Charles V and the biggest city in the 13th century in Northern Europe after Paris, this city has many historical sights to see and, by many, regarded as prettier than even Bruges. In the evening a small boat will pick us to see the city as most traders would have, from the water.
Gent to Bruges 25 miles / 40 km
Today we will have some more time to explore Gent before we continue our path to the destination of our trip: Bruges.
From Gent, we go into the woods where we eat our lunch at an old estate. Taking an old rail to trail form the last bit, we enter Bruges, dubbed the Venice of the North. Docked right up against the centre we can easily explore the city with its criss-cross of canals and medieval alleys.
Bruges or roundtrip cycling, distance depends on group choices
The mesmerizing city of Bruges offers so many options to spend a day that we have decided to offer two nights on the barge here, so you will be able to visit everything you want.
Of course for those who’d rather bike: a bike route will be offered. Depending on the weather we could go to the beach or do a city sightseeing tour. And then, finally, at the end of all these days, sit on the front deck and enjoy a Belgium beer if that’s up to your ally!
An informal last diner on board will be the perfect way to end this unique trip.
Departure day in Bruges
Oh, alas! This morning your guided tour ends after breakfast. It is time to see goodbye and see you again soon. You can leave your luggage until 12.00 and spend some more time in Bruges. Taxis can be arranged by the ship. Enjoy some more time in Bruges! Additional hotels can be found using www.booking.com.
Premium barge IRIS
One of the best: our premium barge IRIS, sailing since 2005, under our management since 2011. Fully air-conditioned, lovely front sundeck, lounge and dining-area and selfservice Bar. Delicious 3 course dinners and packed lunches. Lots of options at Breakfast.
your private cabin
Your air-conditioned cabin has two comfortable beds and lots of storage (for such a small cabin!). Ensuite your private bathroom.
If you do not feel like cycling you are welcome to stay on board and have a private cruise!
breakfast and dining area
Every morning the smell of fresh rolls will welcome you to breakfast! Enjoy our breakfast buffet and pack your lunch, get ready to go!
After the cycling enjoy our 3 course dinner here.
- 11 nights on board in double/twin cabin with en suite bathroom !!
- Bed linen and towels
- Breakfast buffet
- 9 x dinner on board ( 2 x on your own)
- 10 x pack your lunches for the day
- Coffee and tea on board
- Tour guide (from 18 guests 2 guides)
- Cabins cleaned daily
- Climate-controlled cabins
- Helmets, panniers and waterbottle
- The entrance of the Muiderslot and Kinderdijk Mill,
- Bike rental € 154,- per bike (2022)
- E-bike on availability, € 300,- (2022)
- Laundry service, inquire on board
- Entrance fees for museums, monuments, etc.
- Travel and cancellation insurance
- Miscellaneous beverages and expenses on excursions.
- Gratuities for Staff and Guides
E-bikes on request & availability € 300,- per bike (2022)