What to expect
Formerly known as 'Holland Meets Belgium'. Experience the wide open landscapes and historic canalside cities of Holland and Belgium as you cycle from the Dutch capital of Amsterdam to beautiful Bruges. Riding on easy-going paths and cruising along scenic stretches in a barge, you’ll stop off in walled towns, historic villages and experience some of Europe’s most appealing cities.
As you cycle across Dutch meadowlands, you’ll pass grazing cows and working windmills – Kinderdijk’s famous collection of 19 historic mills are a highlight. The cheese shops in Gouda and the lovely walled town of Willemstad are other stops to look forward to, and you'll tour past Holland’s famous polder landscapes and nature reserves. During the second half of the trip, you will have time to appreciate the artwork in Antwerp, textile buildings of Ghent and the cafe culture in Bruges.
For alternative dates, this tour runs in reverse from Ghent to Amsterdam.
At a glance
- Dutch meadowlands and 18th century UNESCO windmills
- Canals and cafe culture in Amsterdam and Bruges
- Cheese shops and walled towns, nature reserves and polders
- Easy cycling on canal side paths and quiet lanes
Day 1 (Sat):
Arrive in Amsterdam
6 miles (10 km)
Join the barge in Amsterdam from 12.30 - 1pm and set sail at 1.30pm for the historic village of Oude Wetering. Try out your bike with a short test ride in the evening.
Day 2 (Sun):
Oude Wetering - Gouda
15/25 miles (25/40 km)
Start with an easy cycle through authentic Dutch meadowlands to reach the cheese town of Gouda. Spend your evening appreciating the citys' canals and cafes, and see the churchs' beautiful stained glass windows.
For departures in April and on May 5th a visit to Flowerpark Keukenhof is planned (included), so the cycling itinerary will be shorter.
Day 3 (Mon):
Gouda - Willemstad
25 miles (40 km)
Ride to the 19 world famous windmills of Kinderdijk and visit one of the mills. Continue to the city of Dordrecht, cycling through part of the natural reserve at Biesbosch to Moerdijk, where you will meet your boat and cruise on to the beautiful walled town of Willemstad.
Day 4 (Tue):
Willemstad - Antwerp
28 miles (45 km)
Cruise across the impressive waterways of Zeeland to the Kreekrak locks, from where you cycle on to the lively town of Antwerp in Belgium. Explore this old port city in your own time or enjoy a short city walk with your guide, visiting beautiful town houses, the Cathedral of Our Lady and the house where the artist Rubens was born.
Day 5 (Wed):
Antwerp - Dendermonde
31 miles (50 km)
Cycle out of Antwerp and alongside the River Scheldt, taking in the beautiful Flemish countryside. Spend the night in the charming provincial town of Dendermonde.
Day 6 (Thu):
Dendermonde - Ghent
22 miles (35 km)
Cycle through the flat Flemish countryside to the pretty university city of Ghent. See the old patrician houses and Clothmakers’ Hall left behind by the region’s once prosperous textile industry. Visit St Baafs’ Cathedral and see the Adoration of the Lamb oil painting. Take an optional evening walk with your tour guide.
Day 7 (Fri):
Ghent - Bruges
Arrive in Bruges by train and take a walk with your guide around one of Europe’s most visited cities. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride for tours departing in April and on May 5th (included). Spend the afternoon relaxing in the cafes or touring the canals before returning to Ghent by train.
Day 8 (Sat):
Depart from Ghent
Check out after breakfast and make your way home or extend your holiday. A bus transfer is available from Ghent to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, this departs Ghent at 9am and arrives at the airport at around 12pm.
The captain reserves the right to alter the itinerary due to changes in weather and other conditions.
Please note that due to Belgian regulations, passengers are not allowed to stay on the barge while moving through Belgian waterways. Alternative transport can be arranged.
Originally constructed in 1897 to sail the River Rhine, the Tijdgeest was fully renovated and rebuilt in 1998 to provide all possible comforts for today's guests, including wi-fi. Classified as a convenient barge, it can accommodate up to 27 passengers in air-conditioned cabins with private shower and wc. The cabins have a mix of double or twin beds, two have single split-level beds and one cabin sleeps 3 in single beds. There are two single cabins. The spacious upper deck has a living/dining room with panoramic views and an "honesty" bar, where you help yourself to wine, beer or soft drinks and record what you have taken so that you can pay at the end of the week.
Clair de Lune
The barge has been recently renovated and can accommodate up to 17 guests. 5 cabins have two split-level beds, 3 cabins have a double bed and one cabin is for single use. All cabins have their own en-suite shower and wc.
Dates & Prices
Please choose your boat, then click on a departure date for price options at a glance
- 7 nights accommodation: on board a convenient barge
- Board basis: Full board including breakfast, packed lunch and three course dinner
- Hybrid bike with 7 gears and pannier
- English speaking tour guide on board and on bike
- Maps and route information
- Entrance to Windmill Kinderdijk
- Train ride Ghent - Bruges - Ghent
- Bus transfer from Ghent to Amsterdam Airport
- Several city walks
- Keukenhof excursion & horse carriage ride (seasonal so April and May departures)
- Flights and transfers
- Cycle helmets
- Special diets - except vegetarian, diabetic and low-sodium
Reductions 3rd bed (Tijdgeest only)
- Adult (aged 12 years or over) - 18%
- Child (aged up to 3 years) - 60%
- Child (aged 4-11 years) - 33%
Hybrid bike with 7 gears and pannier included. Child bikes, child tag-alongs and child bike seats also included.
Tandems and child trailers available at a supplement on request - please enquire
How to Get There
Fly to Amsterdam
Take the train (NS) to Amsterdam central station. After this you can either walk to the barge or take a taxi.
Alternatively, take the Eurostar to Amsterdam (via Brussels) or the ferry from Harwich, UK to Hook of Holland and then train to Amsterdam central.
If travelling by car, parking costs between €100 and €200 per week.
At the end of this tour you will be transferred by bus back to Amsterdam airport.
Fly from Amsterdam
Alternatively, fly or take the Eurostar from Brussels or the train and then the ferry from Ostend, Dunkirk or Calais to the UK.
News, Reviews & FAQs
Simply click on a question to reveal the answers
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.
How much space will I have in my cabin?
There is limited space in the cabins, so pack light and take a soft suitcase.
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 board the boat and not cycle?
You can stay on the boat in Dutch waters, however due to Belgian regulations, passengers are not allowed to stay on the barge while moving through Belgian waterways. Alternative transport can be arranged.
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 their common interest of cycling.
This holiday also gives you the option to book a same sex shared cabin and avoid a single supplement.
What other customers have said
Been on this tour? Add your review!
A most enjoyable vacation! Good activity and good company.Maria Ester Blanco, USA, July 2018
Amsterdam to Belgium via canal boat and bicycle - a great way to see and experience the local area. Our captain, chef and guide helped make a memorable holiday even better.Adrian Powell, Australia, May 2018