What to expect
Experience the wide open landscapes and historic canalside cities of Belgium and Holland as you cycle from beautiful Bruges to the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. 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.
During the first half of the trip, you will have time to appreciate the artwork in Antwerp, textile buildings of Ghent and cafe culture in Bruges. 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 walled town of Willemstad and the cheese shops in Gouda are other stops to look forward to, and you'll tour past Holland’s famous polder landscapes and nature reserves.
For alternative dates, this tour runs in reverse from Amsterdam to Ghent.
At a glance
- Canals and cafe culture in Bruges and Amsterdam
- Dutch meadowlands and 18th century UNESCO windmills
- Cheese shops and walled towns, nature reserves and polders
- Easy cycling on canalside paths and quiet lanes
Day 1 (Sat):
Arrive in Ghent
Transfer by bus from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Ghent in Belgium and check-in on board your barge. Take a walk with your tour guide and explore this lively university city.
Please note that the meeting time for the bus transfer is 12-12.30pm and the bus departs the airport at 1pm.
Day 2 (Sun):
Ghent - Bruges - Dendermonde
9 miles (15km)
Arrive in Bruges by train and soak up the atmosphere and sights on a walk with your tour guide. A horse-drawn carriage ride through the town centre is included for tours in April. Enjoy time at leisure in this historic town, before taking the train in the afternoon to Dendermonde, where you will meet your barge and spend the night. Familiarise yourself with your bike on a short evening ride in and around Dendermonde.
Day 3 (Mon):
Dendermonde - Antwerp
31 miles (50km)
Cycle through the scenic Flemish countryside alongside the river Schelde to the lively town of Antwerp. Explore this old port city at leisure or take a short city walk with your guide, visiting beautiful town houses, the Cathedral of Our Lady and the birthplace of the artist Rubens. Enjoy time relaxing in a local bar, sampling the renowned Belgian beer.
Day 4 (Tue):
Antwerp - Willemstad
28 miles (45 km)
Cycle from Antwerp across the border in to Holland, before joining the boat at Kreekrak locks and sailing the waterways of Zeeland to the beautiful Dutch walled town of Willemstad.
Day 5 (Wed):
Willemstad - Gouda
25 miles (40km)
Sail to the edge of the natural reserve at Biesbosch and start your ride to the lovely town of Dordrecht and the 19 world-famous windmills at Kinderdijk, before continuing through the countryside to reach the cheese town of Gouda. Join your tour leader for a short city walk, admiring sights including the churchs' beautiful stained glass windows, and spend your evening enjoying the city's canals and cafes.
Day 6 (Thu):
Gouda - Oude Wetering
15/28 miles (25/45km)
Take an easy bike ride through authentic Dutch meadowlands to the historic village of Oude Wetering, enjoying the rural peace before arriving in Amsterdam tomorrow.
For departures in April a visit to Flowerpark Keukenhof is planned (included), so the cycling itinerary will be shorter.
Day 7 (Fri):
Oude Wetering - Amsterdam
28 miles (45km)
Cycle along the banks of the river Amstel to the centre of Amsterdam and the mooring place of your barge. In the afternoon there’s time to explore the lively Dutch capital and do some shopping. In the evening, take a round trip of the famous Amsterdam canals or spend time wandering at leisure in the city or relaxing in one of its' many bars and cafes.
Day 8 (Sat):
Depart from Amsterdam
Check out and disembark after breakfast and make your way home or extend your holiday.
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, she 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 a convenient class 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 fare Ghent - Bruges - Dendermonde
- Bus transfer from Amsterdam Airport to Ghent
- Several city walks
- Entrance to Keukenhof flower park and horse carriage ride in Bruges (seasonal, so applies to departures in April & May only)
- Flights and transfers
- Cycle helmets
- Special diets - except vegetarian, diabetic & 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
Transfer by bus from Amsterdam Airport to Ghent.
Alternatively, fly or take the Eurostar to Brussels and make your own way to Ghent.
Take the train from Amsterdam Central to Amsterdam Schiphol airport.
Fly from Amsterdam
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 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!
Excellent tour!Kristina B, Canada, August 2017
Interesting areas of Belgium and Netherlands East on trip with plenty to see whether towns, gardens or nature and excellent food on the barge and along the way as a little treat.Bruce Hislop, July 2016