What to expect
Cycle and sail through famous Flemish landscapes, stopping off in Belgium’s most impressive cities. Perfect for leisurely cyclists, you’ll combine peaceful barge cruises with easy rides along tow paths and flat rural routes, spending your nights on a charismatic barge. The capital city of Brussels makes a striking start point and cycling into one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities, Bruges, is a highlight on the last day.
You'll ride past rolling farmland and isolated windmills, pedalling along waterside routes to visit ancient villages where beer is brewed in the traditional way. At the North Sea coast, you can stroll along the sandy beach, smell purple sea lavender in the sand dunes and look out for storks. Flanders’ art cities are simply stunning, the Baroque buildings of Antwerp and Ghent's oil painting are two stops to get excited about.
2019 departure dates are now sold out, why not take a look at the Brussels to Bruges - Hotel & Bike tour.
At a glance
- Striking art and architecture in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges
- Open farmland, peaceful canals and famous Flemish landscapes
- Flat cycling terrain and atmospheric barge accommodation
- Authentic coastal villages, ancient abbeys and solitary windmills
Day 1 (Sat):
Arrive in Brussels
Meet in Brussels harbour to check on to the barge from 3 pm to 5pm (1pm to 2pm for the Magnifique) - luggage can be left on board from 9.30 am. Explore the capital of Belgium strolling through the historic centre, visit the Gothic town hall and the beautiful guild houses on the Grote Markt.
Day 2 (Sun):
Vilvoorde – Mechelen – Willebroek
25 miles (40 km)
Enjoy breakfast whilst the barge sails to Vilvoorde. Cycle to Mechelen with over 300 listed buildings listed in less then 3 square kilometres. Cycle on through green, undulating countryside, through picturesque villages and large country estates to Willebroek to meet the barge.
Day 3 (Mon):
Willebroek – Antwerp
31 miles (50km)
Cycle along the banks of the River Nete and onwards via the compact agricultural town of Lier. Continue past typical villas and manicured gardens to Antwerp, one of the world's major diamond cities. Visit the majestic Renaissance City Hall, the historical Grote Market, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle.
Day 4 (Tue):
Antwerp - Dendermonde
31 miles (50 km)
Cycle along the river Schelde to Hemiksem before a short ascent to Rupelmonde, where the Rupel flows into the Schelde. Pass a historic brick factory before crossing the Brussels-Rupel Canal towards Dendermonde for a drink on the beautiful Flemish market square Grote Markt.
Day 5 (Wed):
Dendermonde – Ghent
30 miles (48 km)
Pedal to Ghent and take a tour of Ghent’s beautiful streets and historic city centre. Overnight in the small suburb of Merelbeke.
Day 6 (Thu):
Ghent – Vinderhoute – Bruges
25 miles (40 km)
Cycle along the Ghent Canal to Oostende through the beautiful Flemish landscape to Bruges, the "Venice of the North“. Explore its canals, visit its museums and enjoy a drink in the magnificent Grote Market square.
Day 7 (Fri):
North Sea Coast
34 miles (55 km)
Cycle beside a quiet canal, passing poplar trees and traditional farm houses to reach the medieval town of Damme. Continue to the North Sea coast and relax in a café on the 12 kilometre sandy beach. Take in the dune landscape of Het Zwin Nature Reserve before pedalling back to Bruges.
Day 8 (Sat):
Depart from Bruges
Check out after breakfast and disembark by 9.30 am, to explore more of the city or begin making your way home.
MS Gandalf - SOLD OUT
This cosy and comfortable river cruiser accommodates up to 22 guests in 10 cabins, all with separate twin beds, central heating and private shower and wc. All cabin windows can be opened. Some cabins can take a 3rd bed on request. There is a spacious saloon and restaurant area and two sun decks, offering seating areas with tables and chairs and storage space for the bikes. The environmentally-friendly solar roof panels make for peaceful nights on board, as the ship needs to make little use of the generator to produce power.
Dates & Prices
Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance - 2019 departures sold out
- 7 nights accommodation aboard a standard class barge
- Board basis: Full board including 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches or packed lunches on cycling days and 7 (three course) dinners
- English speaking tour guide on board and on bike
- Cycle maps and route information (1 set per cabin) - GPS tracks available
- Welcome meeting and drink
- Local contact for assistance
- Daily coffee and tea during breakfast and in the afternoon
- Flights and transfers
- Bike hire
- Cycle helmets
- Drinks aboard the barge
- Transfers to/from the docking in Bruges and Brussels
- Entrance fees & excursions
- Ferry fees & tips
- Special dietary requests - please see below
Bike Hire & Extras
Bikes come with a pannier, a small repair kit, and lock all included at no extra cost when you hire a bike.
How to Get There
Fly to Brussels
Alternatively, take the Eurostar to Brussels or the ferry to Zeebrugge, Dunkirk, Ostend or Calais.
Your car can be left at the free car park.
Take the train (Belgian Rail) to Brussels.
Fly from Brussels
Alternatively, take the Eurostar from Brussels or the ferry from Zeebrugge, Dunkirk, Ostend or Calais.
News, Reviews & FAQs
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
How much space will I have in my cabin?
There is limited space in the cabins, so pack light and take a soft suitcase.
Will the itinerary ever change?
For Boat & Bike tours the boat will generally keep to the advertised itinerary, however the captain may have to adapt the itinerary due to the river or sea conditions.
What is the average temperature on this tour?
Can the boat cater for special dietary requirements?
Please advise us of any special requirements at time of booking and we will notify the boat operator in advance. Understandably, kitchen galley space is limited and it may not be possible to provide specialist products (eg. Gluten free). We suggest you bring a few items with you and, in some cases, these can be provided at a supplement.
Can I stay on the boat during the day and not cycle?
Yes, you can relax on the boat or explore when you arrive at each destination instead of cycling.
Do I have to cycle as part of a group?
This tour is guided and self-guided, so you have the option to cycle with your guide or independently with the maps and route notes provided.
Can I book by myself?
Absolutely! Boat & Bike tours are very sociable and a good choice for single travellers wishing to mix with other guests and share your common interest of cycling.