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Travel by bike & barge: A unique and “typical Dutch” concept, where a cycling holiday and a journey on a comfortable ship are combined. Cycling cruises are perfect for all who like to cycle during the day and explore beautiful areas, without giving up a comfortable way of travelling. During our tours you don’t have to pack and unpack your suitcases every day to travel from one beautiful place to the next!
During this tour you will explore the most beautiful cities of Holland and Western Belgium (Flanders) by bicycle and barge: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges are wonderful and interesting historical cities. The daily bike tours will lead you through a variety of flat landscapes and along the river Schelde. En route, you will visit many picturesque small towns.
Highlights of our Bike & Barge cruise include:
The landscape of the River Vecht - that inspired many Dutch paintings.
Kinderdijk - the UNESCO protected windmill-park that created one of the first polders.
Zierikzee – this 9th Century centre of trade and prosperity is rich in traditional architecture.
The Delta Works - the Dutch way of taming the sea by building this enormous dam.
Ghent - one of Belgium finest cities, old, yet very much alive, the pride of West Vlaanderen
Bruges - a living historical city with many famous museums, squares, churches and canal
Day 1 (Sat): Arrival and embarkation in Bruges
Arrival and embarkation early afternoon in the beautiful city of Bruges, also called “Pearl of Flanders”. The crew and your Adventurous Women ® ™ Host, will welcome you. You will have plenty of time to discover the beautiful historical city of Bruges, with an afternoon and evening city tour in Bruges.
Day 2 (Sun): Bruges – Ghent ( ca. 45 km / 28 miles)
Today, your day starts on the water and the barge will leave Bruges early. Just outside, your first bike tour to Ghent through the flat land of West-Flanders will start. Your destination today is the historical centre of Ghent. Enjoy the beautiful parts of Ghent during an afternoon stroll. The barge is docked in Merelbeke (a small suburb of Ghent).
Day 3 (Mon): Ghent – Dendermonde / St-Amands (ca. 40/53 km / 24/32 miles)
Today, the barge will sail over the river Schelde to Dendermonde, a nice town on the conjunction of the rivers Dender and Schelde. The bike tour leads along one of the most beautiful parts of the Schelde, a tidal river. You will follow this beautiful tidal river downstream. The departure time will be set by the skipper and is depending on high or low tide. The tide has effect on the speed of the barge. By bike or by barge from Dendermonde to St-Amands. Night in St-Amands.
Day 4 (Tue): St-Amands – Temse – Antwerp (ca. 42 km / 25 miles)
Today we will follow the Schelde further downstream over Temse to Antwerp. There is a beautiful cycling track along the river and the scenery is magnificent. Harbor city Antwerp with it’s beautiful inner city is well known as diamond city and the city where the famous painter Rubens was born. Dinner in a restaurant of your choice.
Day 5 (Wed): Antwerp – Kreekrak locks - Tholen - Willemstad - Dordrecht (ca. 25-45 km / 15-28 miles)
The barge will sail over the Schelde-Rhine Canal, over the huge Kreekrak locks to Tholen, a former fishing village amidst the large streams of the province of Zeeland. From Tholen you will cycle along the impressive large Volkerak locks to the fortified town of Willemstad, then further to end in Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities of the Netherlands. Today, the skipper will discuss with you which part of the tour will be covered by bicycle.
Day 6 (Thu): Dordrecht-Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen (ca. 50 km / 30 miles)
Today the barge will bring you to Kinderdijk, the most famous windmills in the Netherlands with 19 windmills in line (don’t forget your camera!). The windmills were constructed in the 18th century to pump water out of the low Alblasserwaard polder. You can visit one of the windmills. Then bike tour via silver city Schoonhoven to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek. In the evening you can explore this town.
Day 7 (Fri): Vianen – Breukelen | Breukelen - Amsterdam (ca. 35 km / 21 miles)
First the ship cruises to Breukelen, where you disembark and your cycling tour starts. Ride along the small Vecht river: this area is well known for its beautiful mansions, small castles and beautiful houses with large gardens and parks. Over the small villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland to Nigtevecht, where you can visit a traditional cheese farm. Continue over Abcoude and Ouderkerk on the Amstel river to reach Amsterdam. You will meet your barge again in the harbor of Amsterdam.
Day 8 (Sat): Amsterdam
After breakfast: end of the tour and disembarkation till 10:00 AM. If you wish, you can tack on another day or two in Amsterdam to explore, do some shopping or take a canal tour. Your Adventurous Women ® ™ Host will be able to provide you with information and assist you with your ongoing arrangements, before saying farewell.
- Tour and accommodation on board in twin share cabins 8 days / 7 nights (Sat.-Sat.) from Bruges to Amsterdam
- Full board; 7 x breakfast, 6 x picnic lunch during bike tours, 6x three course dinner (dinner in Antwerp is not included)
- Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible); daily quick cleaning of the cabin,
- Welcome drink, presentation of barge + crew and briefing on the first evening;
- Adventurous Women ® ™ Local Host, who will accompany the group at all times and assist with riders who wish to branch off from main ‘guided group’.
- Adventurous Women ® ™ Australian Booking Agent who can assist in arranging your accommodation and train tickets to coordinate with the rest of the group's arrangements (we suggest flying into Amsterdam, staying one night pre-tour, then train to Bruges for beginning of tour)
- Tour leader (multilingual) with daily briefings of the bike tours, some short city tours (free), during the day the tour leader is cycling the daily bike tour and can be reached on his cell phone for individual cyclists; daily fully guided bike tours;
- Printed instructions and detailed maps for individual daily bike tours, 1 set/cabin;
- daily coffee and tea till 4 PM
Flights (international & domestic)
Transfers to/from the docking places in Amsterdam and Bruges
Reservation fee (15 Euro obligatory surcharge)
Bicycle rental (100 Euro for duration of tour)
Other transfers (from airport or accommodation)
Dinner in Antwerp (restaurant recommendations available on board)
Drinks on board Barge
Personal insurances, gratuities (at your discretion).
Special diets on request / surcharges may apply.
OUR BARGE - Magnifique II
New to the fleet - Premium barge MAGNIFIQUE II.
Boasting great accommodation and modern design, combined to create a very cozy atmosphere. There is space for a maximum of 35 passengers in 18 cabins. Highlights of the new barge are - 4 upper deck suites with a small sitting area and large panoramic sliding doors. On lower deck the barge has 13 regular twin cabins and one single cabin. The nice salon combines a restaurant area, bar and lounge area. Large doors open to the partially roofed sundeck.
The bicycles on board are mostly unisex touring bicycles of the German brand VSF with normal mount (ladies model), 7 gears, hand brake and/or pedal brake and pannier bag. Bike rent is optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles or E-bikes (at no extra cost). However, the crew or tour operator are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles. In the Netherlands bikers are not obligated by law to wear a bike helmet. There are some bike helmets available on board (for free).
The interior of the ship is a non-smoking zone: smoking is only allowed on the sun deck. As a safety measure, a statutory smoking ban applies in all cabins; this means that all cabins and rooms on board are non-smoking areas.
All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. If you choose not to cycle one day, you can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next harbor.
On the arrival day is it possible to put your luggage already on board as from 9:30 AM.
A suggested typical day will include a buffet breakfast, briefing on the route & bike check, 2-3 hours of leisurely or moderate cycling (most rides are along sealed tow-paths, back-roads or trails through river valleys or beside canals or perhaps along a rugged coastline), picnic lunch with some sightseeing, a further 2-3 hours (as the boat goes ahead to the next overnight stay) then afternoon tea, a shower or swim, a 3-course dinner followed by a city walk, canal boat sightseeing or a stroll for coffee or night-life in a historic square.
Demand is fast outstripping supply with these barges & early bookings are essential.
To make your booking, please click on the "Book Now" Button and we will provide you with a Tax Invoice for payment of your deposit. (a 40% Deposit is required to secure your place)
Notice of cancellation must be in writing, with an email as an acceptable form of communication, directly to Adventurous Women with the following conditions:
Each of our Tour Operators/Service Providers have their own booking conditions & cancellation policy over and above those of Adventurous Women's booking conditions, please ensure you request them and read them carefully.
Adventurous Women's Cancellation Policy can be viewed at the bottom of this website under the heading 'Cancellation Policy'. Please ensure you read it carefully, as by paying your deposit, you acknowledge that you accept this cancellation policy, over and above that of our Service Providers.
No refund is available after departure of a tour has commenced.