Cycling holiday Amsterdam - Bruges - Amsterdam

Amsterdam Bruges Amsterdam

Cycling two countries in two weeks

Starting at € 1.780,-
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Summary
  • 15 Days Saturday to Saturday
  • 48 km average per day
  • Arrival Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • Departure Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Highlights
  • Two countries in 15 days
  • Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent
  • Delta works
  • 19 Windmills of Kinderdijk
Characteristics
  • Guided Tour
  • Group Tour
  • Bike & Barge
  • Bikelevel 2

    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.

Cycling two countries in two weeks

Amsterdam Bruges Amsterdam bike and barge tour. Two countries, Holland and Belgium, united in this 15 days cycling holiday. Combining the highlights of Holland’s Golden Age and the heydays of the Flemish trade cities in the Middle Ages. And last but not least, Holland’s own world wonder: the Delta Works.

The Dutch 17th century Golden Age and the heyday of the Flemish trading cities of the Middle Ages are united in this route. Variety is the keyword. Notice the difference between the green polder landscape abounding in water, with its tranquil roads and villages and the old world of islands in Zeeland with its pastures, creeks, winding dikes and dams. On top of that the picturesque Flemish countryside between the Belgian monumental cities of Ghent, Bruges and the rich history of the old city-center of Antwerp, city of painter Rubens. The great rivers are a prominent feature in this part of the Netherlands and Belgium. You will get to know our own, Dutch Wonder of the World: the famous Delta Works, evidence of the eternal battle against the waters of the sea.

 

Daily Program

  • Day 1 Saturday: Amsterdam - Oude Wetering, 15 km

    Boarding between 1 pm and 2 pm. A simple settlement at the mouth of the river Amstel, with open connection to the sea: this was Amsterdam in the 12th century. After boarding we sail to the small village of Oude Wetering where the tour guide will take you on a short ride to get used to your bikes. 

  • Day 2 Sunday: Oude Wetering - Gouda, 45 km

    From Oude Wetering you will continue your tour over country roads along river banks and channels through the Green Heart to the city known for its cheese: Gouda. Who thinks of Gouda, not only thinks of cheese, pipes, ‘stroopwafels’ (treacle-waffle) and pottery, but also of stained-glass windows, a fairy-like town hall and atmospheric canals. Gouda is a beautiful Old-Dutch city with a mostly intact city centre. As on most days, after dinner you can take a walk through the city.

  • Day 3 Monday: Gouda - Dordrecht, 39 km

    Today you will cycle along the Dutch IJssel, through the deepest lying polder of the Netherlands Krimpenerwaard and over narrow cycling paths to the river ‘Lek’. Here you will cross the river by ferry to Kinderdijk, a unique and renowned monument where Holland’s largest number of historical windmills is found. From the embankments of the river Lek, you will witness an amazing view of the 19 windmills, which are now listed as a UNESCO’s World Heritage site. This is where you will take a break and visit the interior of a windmill. After a beautiful tour through the Alblasserwaardpolder you will arrive at the banks of the river ‘Beneden-Merwede’.

  • Day 4 Tuesday: Dordrecht - Zierikzee, 54 km

    From Dordrecht we will sail to the Delta area of the Dutch greater rivers during breakfast. Years ago, an open connection existed with the sea due to the many tributaries in this area. After the disastrous flooding in 1953, the Deltaplan was developed and most tidal outlets were closed from the sea by dams. Most parts of Zeeland were, and still are, under sea level and in 1953 the embankments were too weak and too low, causing this area to be at risk for flooding’s once in every 80 years. Now, because of the flood barriers, that chance is reduced to less than once every 4000 years. Just before reaching our destination of today (Zierikzee, on the island of Schouwen-Duivenland) we will visit the ‘Watersnoodmuseum’. This museum tells the tragic events of 1953 and is built in recently renewed caissons, once used for the last closure gap. This was done in November 1953, ten months after the storm surge which broke through more than 300 embankments. Zierikzee is a beautiful town and the centre of the ‘mussel culture’. The ‘Zeeuwse mosselen’ (blue mussels) are a renowned delicacy.

  • Day 5 Wednesday: Zierikzee - Middelburg, 51 km

    This morning you cycle along the Oosterschelde towards the North Sea, to cross 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 paddle to Middelburg, but not without visiting the picturesque port town of Veere. Middelburg is the lively principal town of Zeeland with many old houses, churches, the beautiful town hall and a pleasant shopping. Also to be found in Middelburg is the Roosevelt Academy, a liberal arts college, located in the former late-gothic town hall on the market of Middelburg.

  • Day 6 Thursday: Middelburg - Ghent, 45 km

    Today you have to cross the ‘Westerschelde’, the only estuary which isn’t closed by a dam cause it’s the gateway to the port of Antwerp. A short ferry trip brings you from Vlissingen to Breskens in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Dutch-Flanders)! We are getting close to Belgium. On your daily cycle route you will cross the Dutch – Belgium border back and forth before you definitely cross the Dutch – Belgium border by boat to sail to Ghent.

  • Day 7 Friday: Ghent - Bruges, 45 km

    This morning you will cycle through Ghent to the scenic countryside of Oost-Vlaanderen (East-Flanders). Characteristic for this area are the woods, fields, small villages and castles. From the Aalterbrug (also for the shorter route) the last part of this route takes us over the former tow path along the canal of Oostende-Gent, the oldest canal of Belgium, to Bruges. The impressive city of Bruges is the end destination of this bike and barge trip. This evening you can enjoy the medieval city of Bruges and many of you are likely to stay another day in this beautiful city.

  • Day 8 Saturday: Bruges - Ghent, 21 km

    At 2 pm 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.

  • Day 9 Sunday: Ghent - St. Amands, 47 km

    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 St. Amand were you will spend the night.

  • Day 10 Monday: St. Amands - Antwerp, 40 km

    From St. 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.

  • Day 11 Tuesday: Antwerp - Willemstad, 56 km

    This morning you’ll sail through the 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.

  • Day 12 Wednesday: Willemstad - Gorinchem, 45 km

    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 ship

  • Day 13 Thursday: Gorinchem - Utrecht, 50 km

    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 toward 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.

  • Day 14 Friday: Utrecht - Amsterdam, 40 km

    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.

  • Day 15 Saturday, Amsterdam, end of tour

    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.

Cycling in Holland and Belgium

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.

Boarding in Amsterdam
Gouda, Town Hall
Kinderdijk
Dordrecht
Drawbridge and windmills
Oosterschelde Storm Surge Barrier
Taking the ferry
Ghent
Cycling to Bruges
Bruges
Barges in Bruges
Cycling along the Scheldt river
Antwerpen bike parking
Antwerpen
On the road to Amsterdam
Back in Amsterdam

What else do you need to know?

Prices per person 2021 

Anna Antal
26 June - 07 August 

Twin cabin € 2.010,-
Bunk bed cabin € 1.710,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 2.160,-

01 May - 19 June / 14 August - 29 August / 25 September - 03 October
Twin cabin € 2.230,-
Bunk bed cabin € 1.890,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 2.400,-

04 September - 19 September
Twin cabin € 2.440,-
Bunk bed cabin € 2.068,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 2.630,-

Liza Marleen
01 May - 19 June / 14 August - 29 August / 25 September - 03 October
Twin cabin € 2.410,-
Single use € 3.460,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 2 pax € 2.850,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 3 pax € 2.210,-

04 September - 19 September
Twin cabin € 2.640,-
Single use € 3.800,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 2 pax € 3.080,-
Superior cabin (15 m2) for 3 pax € 2.420,-

Sailing Home
26 June - 07 August

Twin cabin € 2.268,-
Single use € 3.268,-

01 May - 19 June / 14 August - 29 August / 25 September - 03 October
Twin cabin € 2.520,-
Single use € 3.630,-

04 September - 19 September
Twin cabin € 2.760,-
Single use € 3.970,-

Zwaan
All departure dates

Luxury double cabin € 3.120,-
Twin cabin € 2.800 ,-
Smaller double front cabin € 2.370,-
Smaller front cabin for single use € 3.570,-

Not included
Rental bike per week € 190,-
E-bike per week € 360,-

Insurance for rental bike € 40,-
Insurance for e-bike € 80,-

Reservation costs € 20,- per booking.

Included

  • All nights on board
  • Breakfast and dinner on board
  • Lunch packages when on the road
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide, cycles with the group
  • City walks with your tour guide
  • Free WiFi is limited available in lounge and on deck
  • Ferry fares on the route

Not Included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Bicycle rent
  • Bicycle insurance (optional) € 30,- per bicycle
  • Bicycle insurance electric bike (optional) € 80,- per bicycle
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 35,- per person
  • Cancellation insurance (optional)

Special details

  • Please take good notice of Terms & Conditions.
  • If you have special meal requirements 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. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 100, –.
  • Cycletours Holidays reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.

Info

Boarding is between 1 PM and 2 PM. You are expected to arrive on our barge on Saturday at the latest 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. You can bring your luggage in advance: from noon onwards. The mooring place of the barge in Amsterdam is Oosterdok Zip-code 1011 VX (near the Science Center: ‘Nemo’, Oosterdok 2).

Airport

The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. It takes about 16 minutes. The price for a train ticket Schiphol-Amsterdam Central is € 4,30 per person for a single journey. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the airport to the barge in Amsterdam takes about 30 minutes. It costs about € 45,-.

Train

The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is Amsterdam Central Station. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the station to the barge takes about 5 minutes: Costs about € 10,-.

Car

If you arrive by car, we recommend you to arrive earlier to unload your luggage. You can find more information about parking possibilities at I amsterdam. The nearest parking is Parking Centrum Oosterdok, (about € 150,- per week, it is not necessary to reserve in advance; 500m walking distance to the barge).

End of the tour

The tour ends one week later on Saturday morning after breakfast before 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board in Amsterdam. After the tour ends in you can take the train back to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. Should you have an early flight, no problem. You may leave as early as you need to.

Our barge, your hotel

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.

What are the cabins like?

Most cabins are 2-person cabins, but some barges also have triple cabins. There are four categories: Standard Plus (cabins with private shower/toilet; bunk beds), Comfort (cabins as Standard Plus but with twin beds), Comfort Plus (cabins as Comfort, small ship or with air-conditioning) and Comfort DeLuxe (a very comfortable and tastefully furnished 5-star ship; cabins have twin beds and air-conditioning). In all categories 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 team, hospitality comes first

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).

The meals

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 € 50,- 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.

You and the group,new friends from around the world!

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.

Cycling in Holland

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.

F.A.Q.

  • Do you accommodate for special diets

    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.

  • Do I have to wear a safety helmet in the Netherlands

    No, but it is of course sensible to wear one. We provide a safety helmet with our rental bikes, child seat, tag-along and child’s bicycle.

  • What happens if it rains

    Most people wear rainwear and get on their bicycle. If the weather makes cycling absolutely impossible (this doesn’t happen very often!) the guide will arrange an alternative programme which might include a longer visit to one of the towns along the way or cultural excursions.

  • Which countries do the participants come from

    The main countries represented by our cycling guests are: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and France. However we regularly welcome South Africans and Japanese guests.The common language on board is English.

  • Can I rejoin the barge before the end of a stage

    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.