Embarkation time in Bruges is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. The ship awaits you in the Bruges harbor. After a welcome meeting with the crew at 2 p.m. there is time for bicycle fitting and a short test-ride through the countryside around Bruges. After dinner the tour leader will take you for a walk through the center of town.
We advise you to come to Bruges one or more days earlier, so that you will have plenty of time to discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical city of Bruges, aptly named the “Pearl of Flanders”. While you are there make sure you visit one of Bruges many museums or simply take in the stunning beauty and culture of this unforgettable city from the comfort of a sidewalk café.
Sunday: Bruges – Ghent cycle trip: ± 57 km.
Your cycle tour starts early today in the outskirts of Bruges. You will start your first day of cycling by pedaling towards Ghent through the beautiful Flemish landscape along the Ghent canal. On arrival in Ghent make sure you make the effort to discover the best of what this historical city has to offer during an afternoon stroll. Ghent’s medieval town center features lovely illuminated streets that are a must to explore, while the architectural richness in the historical center of the city has to be seen to be believed (during the Middle Ages Ghent was the 2nd largest European city after Paris). The ship will dock for the night at a lock, in a suburb of Ghent and approx. 30 cycling minutes from the city center.
Monday: Ghent – Dendermonde cycle trip: ± 40 km.
After breakfast in Ghent you will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde, a friendly little town, located at the junction of Dender and Schelde Rivers. Dendermonde has a beautiful town hall located at a cozy square. The ideal place to have a nice Belgium beer after your bicycle ride. Worth visiting is also the St. Alexius Beguinage where you can learn about housekeeping, work and recreation in the lives of former generations.
Tuesday: Dendermonde – Antwerp cycle trip: ± 48 or 63 km.
Today we will follow the Schelde River further downstream through the Temse region and the small village of Baasrode to Antwerp. This part of the route is along a most beautiful and twisting section of the Schelde which over the centuries held strategic importance for the Romans, Vikings, Spanish and Napoleon. Antwerp, your destination for the day, is a harbor city situated on the river Schelde famous for handling up to 80% of the world’s rough diamonds and as the birthplace of the famous painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens. There are many highlights in the city to discover including: the City Hall, one of several majestic buildings constructed during the Renaissance period, the historical City Square Grote Market, the Onze-Lieve- Vrouwe Cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle.
Wednesday: Antwerp – Kreekrak locks – Tholen – Dordrecht cycle trip: ± 36 or 20 km.
This morning, the ship will sail along the Schelde-Rhine Canal and over the huge Kreekrak lock system. Here your bicycle tour starts through the beautiful “Wouwse Plantage” forest to Tholen, Tholen once was an island in the middle of the large Zeeland streams, where many people fished for their living. Nowadays Tholen is connected to the mainland in various ways. But it is still a picturesque village with many relics of an eventful past. From Tholen you will join the ship again for a nice afternoon sail to the beautiful city of Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland. Halfway the ship will pass the impressive Volkerak lock system. Your tour leader will take you for an evening walk and tell you about the history of the Netherlands.
Thursday: Dordrecht – Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen cycle trip: ± 57 km.
A fast ferry will bring you to Alblasserdam. From here you will cycle to Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 UNESCO cultural heritage-listed windmills – one of which you can visit (don’t forget your camera!). The windmills were constructed in the 18th century to pump water out of the low Alblasserwaard polder (a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments). You will then continue to cycle via Schoonhoven to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek where you will spend the evening. Since the 17th century Schoonhoven – nicknamed Silver City – has been renowned for its talented silversmiths.
Friday: Vianen – Breukelen – Amsterdam cycle trip: ± 38 or 48 km.
During breakfast the barge will cruise to Breukelen where you disembark and start your final day of cycling. Ride along the Vecht River in an area famous for its beautiful mansions, small castles and beautiful houses with large gardens and parks. After cycling through the villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland you arrive at Nigtevecht where you can visit a traditional cheese farm. Continue cycling through the historical town of Muiden and on to Amsterdam where you will meet the barge for the final time in the Amsterdam harbor.
Saturday: End of your tour
Dismerbakation: after breakfast at 9:30 a.m.
You say goodbye to the crew, your tour leader and your fellow travellers.