Two countries, Belgium and Holland
Two countries, Holland and Belgium, united in one bike and barge route. Combining the highlights of Holland’s Golden Age and the heydays of the Flemish trade cities in the Middle Ages.
Two countries, Belgium and Holland
Suitable for people of all ages. On some days you will be cycling through a windy area or (depending on the tour) may encounter short slopes with differences in heights up to 75 m. or (gently rolling terrain); with distances to 60 kilometers per day. You spend about 5 hours on your bicycle.
Two countries, Holland and Belgium, united in one bike and barge route. Combining the highlights of Holland’s Golden Age and the heydays of the Flemish trade cities in the Middle Ages.
Variety is the keyword in this tour. Cycling and sailing you will cross different landscapes: the green Dutch polder landscape with water aplenty and quiet roads and villages, the picturesque countryside between the Flemish cities and of course the rich history of the old city-centers of Amsterdam, Antwerp (city of the painter Rubens), Ghent and Bruges. The large rivers in this part of the Netherlands and Belgium are a prominent feature along the route.
Boarding between 1PM and 2PM. When you arrive on board the ship you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper and crew and of course your fellow passengers. At 2 p.m. you will start off the city walls of Bruges for a trip to Ghent. The barge will mostly be following the canal between Bruges and Ghent to Aalterbrug, which offers a beautiful, peaceful cycle route with an unexpected variety of experiences.After dinner you will have some time to discover the old and characteristic city centre. The city of Ghent is proud of its rich past, the many well-preserved guild’s and patricians’ houses as well as old warehouses, Gravensteen (a mediaeval castle), St Nicholas Church (with 13th century foundations), St Baaf’s Cathedral and the ‘Belfort’ (Belfry;14th century). But Ghent is much more than just a museum town. This lively city with its numerous squares and cosy pubs is an excellent mixture of mediaeval edifices, stylish shopping streets, splendid mansions, working-class quarters from the beginning of the 20th century which now often house students and busy little squares where people eat out till the wee hours on a sultry summer night.
Early Sunday morning you will cycle through the old centre of Ghent. After coffee you will leave for a nice day along one of the most beautiful rivers of Europe: the Scheldt. After approximately 20 km you’ll reach Wetteren, a nice flemish city which is well known for it’s rose nurseries. But also a good place to learn what the Belgium word ‘staminee’ means. Berlare is the last place before Dendermonde so it’s a perfect place to taste some Belgian beer before you board the ship again. Your boarding place for today is Dendermonde, a city which is known for the legend of the Beiaart. From Dendermonde you’ll sail to quiet village of Sint-Amands where you will spend the night.
From Sint-Amands the cycleroute leads you along the river and past nature reserves like the mudflats of Durme and Schausselbroek. Especially the mudflats of Durme is worth mentioning cause it’s one of the last fresh water marshes along this tidal part of the river and therefore has a unique flora and fauna. You continue your tour through Bazel, one of the most beautiful villages of Belgium. For an escalator the wooden moving stairs in the St. Anna tunnel under the Scheldt is a unique experience before entering the city centre of Antwerp. The historical centre of Antwerp is worth a visit, here you’ll find: the Onze Lieve Vrouwenkerk and the Rubenshuis. In the Willemsdok, near the Museum for Modern Art (Museum Aan de Stroom, closed on Mondays) you will find the barge.
This morning you’ll sail through the big harbour of Antwerp, a big difference with the nature reserves and quite villages of yesterday. But due to the big sea going vessels and large harbour cranes it’s a fascinating journey which brings you to Holland where you start your biketour at the Kreekrak locks. By bike you will make a beautiful tour over the ‘Brabantse wal’ a sand wall dating back from the times when Mammoths roam the area. Today you won’t find any big elephants but the area seemed to be perfect for strawberry and asparagus fields. So be here at harvest time (depending on the weather: around June). From the woodlands around Bergen op Zoom you continue through a polderlandscape to the old fortified town of Willemstad, near the Volkeraksluizen (locks) at the Haringvliet, the busiest locks of Europe.
From Willemstad you’ll sail this morning to Werkendam where you go ashore to continue your tour by bike through the land of Heusden and Altena. Along the Bergse Maas, the south border of the land of Heusden and Altena, you continue your tour along the fortified town of Heusden. From here another river, the ‘Afgedamde Maas’ leads you back to the river Waal where you started your tour this morning. Here you’ll find another beautifull fortified town, Woudrichem. A ferry brings you to the other side of the river where you’ll board the barge.
From Gorinchem you will follow the meandering river Linge through the Betuwe. This area is known for the large amount of orchards and therefore will be covered with blossoms in the months april and may. Along the city of Leerdam, famous for its glass, you continue your tour in northern direction towards Utrecht. On your way towards Utrecht you’ll pass the so called ‘Wiel van Bassa’ the biggest dike burst hole in the Netherlands and another relic of the everlasting battle against the water. From Vianen you sail to Utrecht. After dinner you can take a public bus to the old centre of Utrecht.
During breakfast you will sail to Breukelen (Brooklyn) from where you will cycle to Amsterdam along the two most beautiful rivers of Holland, the Vecht and the Amstel. Along the route you will find the magnificent country houses and mansions from the 18th century with their splendid, well-kept gardens. After dinner you have the option to take a canal cruise through the canals of Amsterdam.
End of the tour after breakfast, before 10 AM. If you have an early flight, ask the the tourleader to arrange a taxi to the Airport.
The barge is moored near Bargeweg on just outside of the Bruges city center and near the Bruges train station. You are expected to arrive at our barge on Saturday at between 1 PM and 2 PM. When you arrive on board, you can settle in and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the tour leader, skipper and crew and of course your fellow passengers. The barge leaves dock at 2.15 PM. Your first bike ride is along the canal from Bruges to Ghent. Easy riding on towpaths and quiet roads. At Aalterbrug the barge picks you up and sails to the bustling city Ghent. During dinner aboard the ship, the program for the next day and the global planning of the week are discussed. Instructions on cycling and safely procedures will also be given.
Today you will have the day at your free disposal. The city of Ghent is proud of its rich past, the many well-preserved guild’s and patricians’ houses as well as old warehouses, Gravensteen (a mediaeval castle), St Nicholas Church (with 13th century foundations), St Bavo’s Cathedral and the ‘Belfort’ (Belfry;14th century). But Ghent is much more than just a museum town. This lively city with its numerous squares and cosy pubs is an excellent mixture of mediaeval edifices, stylish shopping streets, splendid mansions, working-class quarters from the beginning of the 20th century which now often house students and busy little squares where people eat out till the wee hours on a sultry summer night. You can also choose to go cycling with your guide. The castles and luxurious villas in and around Destelbergen, at a stone’s throw from Ghent, are silent witnesses of the rich history of this municipality along the banks of the river Scheldt.
Today you will leave Belgium and arrive in the Netherlands. During breakfast you will sail to Sas van Gent and cycle through Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Dutch-Flanders). With a short ferry trip from Breskens to Vlissingen (Flushing) you cross the Westerschelde. From Vlissingen it’s just 30 minutes cycling to Middelburg, the capital of Zeeland. Modern Middelburg has preserved and regained much of its historic and picturesque character. There are lavish 17th and 18th century merchant houses and storehouses standing along canals. The medieval abbey is still in use today, as a museum and as the seat of the provincial government.
First you will ride to the town of Veere, formerly an important trading place. From Veere you will cycle over the Veersgatdam (here you have the possibility of a beach visit) to North Beveland. Soon you will reach the Oosterscheldedam. The enormous locks are built in this embankment and can be closed during storms and high tides protecting the south-west of the Netherlands against the sea. This embankment was one of the last in a series of barriers against the sea. When cycling along the embankment, one will realize why this has been one of the most difficult and costly challenges to protect the country now and in the future and to let seawater into the widespread Delta area. It is precisely why the Deltaworks are referred to as the one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. After this dam you will peddle to Zierikzee.
A nice ride on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland is on the program. You ride to Bruinisse. The village is known as a very isolated community. The main source of income is the mussel fishery, on the dike to the Grevelingen you will find a statue of an opened mussels. You will ride on to Willemstad (an old fortified town) and go on board there. Sailing to Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities of Holland and located at the crossroads of busy waterways.
From Gorinchem you will visit Woudrichem (an old fortified town) and most famous castle in the Netherlands, Loevestein. You follow the meandering river Linge through the Betuwe. This area is known for the large amount of orchards and therefore will be covered with blossoms in may. Along the city of Leerdam, famous for its glass, you continue your tour in northern direction towards Vianen.
During breakfast you will sail to Breukelen (Brooklyn) from where you will cycle to Amsterdam along two of the most beautiful rivers of Holland, the Vecht and the Amstel. Along the route you will find the magnificent country houses and mansions from the 18th century with their splendid, well-kept gardens. Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin as a dam of the river Amstel. Almost without noticing you enter Amsterdam, following the Amstel River. The extensive network of bicycle paths ensures a relatively easy way back into the city, showing you some remarkable sites in the centre. Then it is time to say goodbye to your bike. Before the fare-well dinner you may want to go for a walk in town. At night there you may want to take a canal trip or go on a city walk through the centre of the city
Cycling in cycle countries
Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of both countries. The average daily distance is around 45 kilometers. Most participants prefer riding in a group with the cycling guide, but you can also ride individually. A road book is included (1x per cabin). Gps-tracks can be provided by e-mail.
! Note: in 2024, the tour starts on Thursday!
Reservation costs € 20,- per booking
Contribution Dutch Guarantee Fund € 5,- per person (Insolvency Protection)
13 May & 24 June & 30 September in 2023 / 20 June & 26 September in 2024
Twin cabin € 1.340,- / € 1.470,-
Single use € 1.920,- / € 2.110,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 2 pax € 1.580,- / € 1.700,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 3 pax € 1.230,- / € 1.350,-
09 September in 2023
Twin cabin € 1.465,-
Single use € 2.115,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 2 pax € 1.715,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 3 pax € 1.345,-
20 May - 17 June, 26 August & 07 October in 2023 / 16 May - 13 June, 22 August & 03 October in 2024
Twin cabin € 1.400,- / € 1.535,-
Single use € 2.020,- / € 2.220,-
01 July - 12 August & 21 October in 2023 / 27 June - 08 August & 17 October in 2024
Twin cabin € 1.260,- / € 1.380,-
Single use € 1.815,- / € 1.995,-
09 September in 2023 / 05 & 19 September in 2024
Twin cabin € 1.535,- / € 1.685,-
Single use € 2.205,- / € 2.420,-
27 May - 24 June & 19 August -02 September & 30 September
Twin cabin € 1.235,-
Bunk bed cabin € 1.045,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 1.330,-
22 July & 5 August
Twin cabin € 1.115,-
Bunk bed cabin € 945,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 1.195,-
Twin cabin € 1.350,-
Bunk bed cabin € 1.145,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 1.460,-
23 May, 15 & 29 August & 26 September
Twin cabin € 1.334,-
Single use € 1.695,-
Triple cabin € 1.250,-
Twin cabin € 1.210,-
Single use € 1.530,-
Triple cabin € 1.130,-
Twin cabin € 1.460,-
Single use € 1.840,-
Triple cabin € 1.370,-
Extra options (price in 2023/ in 2024) :
Rental touring bike per week € 100,- / € 110,-
E-bike per week € 195,- / € 220,-
Insurance for rental bike € 30,- (in 2024: insurance is included in the rental price)
Insurance for e-bike € 40,- (in 2024: insurance is included in the rental price)
Special diet (gluten free, lactose free, vegan) € 75,- per diet (possible on request up to 14 days prior to start of the tour)
Embarkation is between 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM. The barge leaves dock at 2 PM. You can recognise the barge by the banner with Cycletours written on it. The name of your barge is printed on the voucher, which you will receive separately. After arrival there’s coffee and tea on board. Other drinks are also available on cash payment. If you want you can bring your luggage in advance, from noon onwards.Then you can explore Bruges at your leisure. The mooring place of the barge in Bruges: at the ‘Buiten Katelijnevest’ near the Bargeweg (nearly 1 km/ 0.6 miles from the train station).
The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Brussels Airport (BRU). By train it is about 1½ hours from the airport to the railway station in Bruges. Walking distance from the train station to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the airport to the mooring place will take about 1 hour and costs about € 180,-. The tour ends one week later in Amsterdam, so another possibility is to fly to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). From the airport you can take the international train to Bruges. Travel time is about 3½ hours. Information about the time table you find on www.nsinternational.nl
The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is the Bruges railway station. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. By taxi it takes about 5 minutes to the barge.
Should you arrive by car, we strongly advise to arrive earlier to unload your luggage. More information on parkings in Bruges: www.visitbruges.be.
The tour ends one week later on Saturday morning after breakfast at 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board in Amsterdam. The mooring place of the barge in Amsterdam: at the Oosterdok (near Science Center NEMO, Oosterdok 2); 1.2 km/o.75 miles from the Central Station in Amsterdam.There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from Amsterdam Central Station to Schiphol Airport . Travel time is about 16 minutes and a one-way ticket (2nd clas s) costs about € 6,-. Should you need to travel to Brussels Airport you can take the international train (Intercity). Travel time is 3 hours and a one-way ticket (2nd class) costs about € 50,-.
On this tour the following barges are scheduled
The barge “Sailing Home” is built by Cycletours for Bike & Barge Tours in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Read more...
The Anna Antal is a former shuttle barge which was converted into a luxury motor passenger ship for Bike & Barge tours in the Netherlands and Belgium. Read more..
The “Liza Marleen” is a luxury motor passenger barge, built on the completely dismantled shell of a seafaring freight logger. This barge is ideally suited for trips on the wider waterways, like the Dutch Waddenzee, the IJssel lake and the Zeeland Streams. Read more...
The “Wending” is a former freight barge that started a new life in the early nineties as a luxury passenger motor barge. Since then the “Wending” is a familiar sight on several routes in the Netherlands and Belgium. Read more...
Rental bikes on this tour.
Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedalling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck. Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury.
Free WiFi is (limited) available in lounge and on deck.
The cabins have central heating and a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 220 voltage. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.
The captain/skipper, the chef and your tour guide all welcome you warmly. They are prepared specifically for these trips and will provide good and safe passage, good meals, and a friendly, pleasant atmosphere. They will, of course, also give you a great deal of interesting information during and after the cycling and sailing. The skipper is responsible for the smooth running of things on board; the cook is in charge of the catering. A tour leader accompanies you during the bike ride and can assist in case of breakdowns. He/She will be your guide to point out the things of interest along the way and is multi-lingual (Dutch/English, some speak German and/or French).
Your chef is used to cook delicious meals for hungry cyclists. Besides an extensive breakfast, you will also be offered a packed lunch for on the road. It consists of different types of bread and sandwich fillings, juice, a snack and a piece of fruit. Lunch package needs to be prepared by yourself after breakfast. Dinner is different every day. There is a first course, main course and dessert The meals on board are included in the price, as are coffee and tea. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be obtained at a reasonable charge. When you return on board after the day’s cycling, a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit will be waiting for you.
If you suffer from food allergies or food intolerance (such as lactose- or gluten- intolerance/-allergy) or if you have special meal requirements (vegetarian; pescetarian; vegan meals; gluten free meals etc.), we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus and special food requirements cannot always be met in all details.
In case of vegan meals, gluten free or lactose diet, there is an additional charge. This charge is € 75,- per diet/ per person/per week when you order the diet when booking and € 100,- per diet/ per person/per week when ordering on spot.
One of the most attractive aspects of the Bike & Barge holidays is that you encounter an international company on board, including people from e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, France and United Kingdom. It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, solo travelers, couples and also families with children (during the school holidays). Most groups are made up of 12 to 26 people.
Holland is a cycling country: 17 million inhabitants all with bikes. The number of cyclists necessitates a cycling infrastructure: cycle paths (30,000 km), cycle routes (long and short distance), cycle bridges, cycle tunnels, cycle ferries and special signposts for cyclists. Cycling is part of normal life in the Netherlands; parents bring their children to school by bike, people go to work by bike, factory workers, doctors, even the prime minister! Cyclists, of course, have to observe traffic rules and regulations. The most important rule is to remember that you are not alone on your bike and that you are sharing the road with your group and other road users. Your guide on board will tell you all you need to know about the traffic rules and regulations.
Yes, this must be notified when booking, but at least 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet or vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50,- per week. On some tours there also is an additional charge of € 50, – for lactose-free meals.
No, but it is of course sensible to wear one. We provide a safety helmet with all our own rental bikes.
Most of the participants then wear rainwear. When the weather is so bad that cycling becomes really impossible (and that is almost never the case!), The guide organizes an alternative program with, for example, cultural excursions and city tours.
The main countries represented by our cycling guests are: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and France. The common language on board is English.
No, the barge doesn’t take the same route that the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.