Bike and Barge: Amsterdam to Bruges Plus! Belgium's Breweries

Bike and Barge: Amsterdam to Bruges Plus! Belgium's Breweries

On this bike and barge tour you will discover the southern region of Zeeland in the Netherlands finally dipping into the West Flanders region of Belgium. By day you'll bicycle through regions known for the phenomenal sightseeing and cycling terrain. You will travel between the world famous cities of Amsterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges and visit iconic places including Gouda and the famous windmills of Kinderdijk. Delve deep into local culture when we meet small cheese farmers and visit a working windmill in the small town of Tholen. In Belgium, explore the battlefields of WWI around the towns of Poperinge and Ypres, and the brewing tradition of fine Belgian beers while visiting St. Sixtus and St. Bernadus abbey cafés.

***If this sounds great but you prefer a shorter trip, check out our Bike and Barge: Amsterdam to Bruges tour. ***

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
May 7-18, 2021
USD$5145
USD$1250 - Will share option not available.
Sold Out - Wait List Available 

* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

Tour Style: Bike and Boat Book This Trip Now Hold-A-Space/Questions Request Custom Date Download Itinerary Tour Map
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 12 Days
  • Total Distance / 495 km (306 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 56km (34 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 1.5 Bike and Boat
  • Countries / Belgium, Netherlands
  • Begin/End / Amsterdam / Poperinge with shuttle to Brussels
  • Price / From USD$5145
More Photos
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Important cities of Amsterdam, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges, Working windmill visit, Extra bicycling available on most days, Gouda and its cheeses, UNESCO World Heritage Sites -Kinderdijk Windmilles, Bruges, Cycling along bike paths and canals, Luxury barge, Painter Peter Paul Rubens

    Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

    Because the barges run on a set schedule you will be required to get to the next docking point on time. We have planned the mileage each day so that this should not be a burden. There are only 4 single supplements available. Cabin space is limited so consider the size of your luggage. A 25 inch suitcase will fit under the bed. WiFi may be sporadic on board the barge.

    For more questions about the Barge check out our Bike & Boat FAQ
  • Includes
    1 hotel night in Amsterdam, 7 nights' lodging on a luxury barge, 3 nights at hotels in Belgium, meals as noted in itinerary, 2 beer tastings, chocolate tasting, windmill visit, canal cruise of Ghent, guided Antwerp walk and visit of Cathedral, guided Bruges walk; and the usual (see below).

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Bike and Boat tour at the Bike and Boat Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Amsterdam (AMS) / Brussels (BRU)
  • Overall Tour Level
    1.5 difficulty level 1.5

    You'll enter and exit larger cities on bike paths. Expect a mix of dedicated bike paths and country roads.

  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    61km / 245m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    3
    55km / 166m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    4
    47km / 86m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    5
    37km / 135m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    6
    55km / 243m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    7
    50km / 156m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    8
    50km / 174m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    9
    Rest day
    10
    75km / 254m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    11
    60km / 321m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    12
    Last day

Terrain Legend

Gentle Gentle

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
Download Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrive Amsterdam

Highlights: Amsterdam, bike fitting and test ride, welcome dinner

Welcome to the vibrant capital city of Holland, Amsterdam! We hope you arrived a few days early to visit some of the highlights of this colorful city — between its museums, canals, hip locales and lively night scene there is plenty to explore. Settle into our hotel where we’ll have our safety meeting and bike fitting followed by our first spin on the bikes before a special dinner together.

DAY 2: Bicycling along the Hollandic Waterline

Highlights: Forts of Muiderslot and Weesp, town of Muiden, Utrecht, dinner on board

Follow bike paths out of Amsterdam and head into the region of the Hollandic Waterline, a defense system born in the 17th Century where castles and military forts with integrated systems of flooding could be used to turn Holland into an island to keep out invaders. A century later the water froze creating a bridge for the French army to attack. This plan has left several imposing forts including Muiderslot and Weesp which we'll cycle past today. Enjoy local farmland and beautiful canals flanked by villas before entering the tiny, quaint center of Utrecht. This university town is home to unique bars dug into old working tunnels. Later, we'll cruise toward our landing spot for the night and enjoy dinner on-board.

  • Distance: 61km (38mi)
  • Gain: 245m (804ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Bike to town of Gouda and Kinderdijk windmills

Highlights: Schoonhoven - famous for its silversmiths, Gouda cheese museum and tasting, UNESCO World Heritage Kinderdijk windmills

This morning our barge will cruise for a few hours to reach the town of Schoonhoven, famous for its silversmiths and carillon makers. Bicycle through town and check out the town hall’s clock-tower bells before heading to Gouda, famous for its orange cheese. Enjoy a visit to the town’s cheese museum, and pick-up some picnic supplies (cheese anyone?) to enjoy at your next stop: the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk. Here 19 majestic windmills are aligned to form a stunning sight. After exploring we'll keep pedaling south to rejoin our boat in Dordrecht. Enjoy dinner on-board and perhaps a leisurely walk in town to enjoy the center.

  • Distance: 55km (34mi)
  • Gain: 166m (544ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Breakfast cruise and bicycle to Tholen

Highlights: Willemstad, a do-it-yourself-moving-bridge; picnic lunch; Roosevelt heritage museum; Tholen; working windmill visit

Another breakfast cruise takes us to Willemstad, a strikingly star shaped fortified town on the shores where the Holland Diep river splits into multiple rivers as it rushes out to sea. Experience the do-it-yourself-moving-bridge before reaching the town of Oud Vossemeer, where the Roosevelt name was very present in the 17th and 18th centuries (and still is), leading many to theorize that the American Roosevelt family whose Dutch ancestor arrived in the US in 1650 was probably from this town. Next we'll pedal south to Tholen which was once an island in this giant estuary-like environment, but is now connected to the mainland. We’ll enjoy a visit to a working windmill this evening.

  • Distance: 47km (29mi)
  • Gain: 86m (282ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Pedal and cruise into Antwerp, Belgium

Highlights: Dairy visit and tasting; cruise into Antwerp; visit "Onze Lieve Vrouwe (Our Lady) Cathedral" home to several of Rubens' paintings

Set off on bikes for a morning ride which includes stopping at a local dairy farm where ice cream and cheese tastings are a must! We’ll get back to the boat before lunch to cruise into Antwerp, enjoying a unique view of the port and harbor as our barge makes its way to the city of diamonds. We’ll enjoy a guided visit of Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens' art in the city’s Cathedral. After which you can head off to visit the rest of the city, including the historic city center, the diamond district, or the Red Star Line Museum from where 2 million emigrants shipped off to North America between 1873 and 1934. Explore the city and enjoy dinner on your own this evening before returning to our boat for a restful night’s sleep.

  • Distance: 37km (23mi)
  • Gain: 135m (443ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Antwerp to Sint Amands

Highlights: Schelde riverbank bike path; Sint Amands; Bosteels Brewery

We’ll leave the city of Antwerp and return to the countryside cycling on small roads and along the Schelde river bike path. We’ve arranged a special visit of a 200 year-old brewery, family-run now by the 7th generation. We will continue pedaling along the tidal river until we reach the quaint town of Sint Amands.

  • Distance: 55km (34mi)
  • Gain: 243m (797ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Bicycle and Cruise into Ghent

Highlights: Bicycle beside stately villas; Ghent's rich historic center

This morning we will continue to cycle along the river before branching north through historic marshes. These marshes are where sheep production thrived due to the nutritious grasses. Subsequently, Ghent became one of the richest cities in the world during the Middle Ages because of its woolen industry. A bike path along the Schelde river brings us to our boat, which we’ll board for lunch as it cruises closer to the city center. While we are docked in a suburb, we’ll transfer into the historical center for a visit. This lively university city is still one of the prettiest cities in Belgium. Admire its traditional, tall Flemish buildings towering over the small streets and plazas. Enjoy dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants or cafés.

  • Distance: 50km (31mi)
  • Gain: 156m (512ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Lodging:

DAY 8: Bicycle Ghent to Bruges

Highlights: Breakfast cruise, Bruges, UNESCO World Heritage Site Medieval City Center

Start the day with a short breakfast cruise before setting off on your bicycle to ride into the crown jewel of Belgium, Bruges. We'll be moored in the city center, providing excellent access to Bruges's many treasures. Stroll along the canals that were once main arteries of the city and don't miss a visit to the medieval square and City Hall. This city is characterized by its fantastic architecture. Bruges is bustling with additional sites to see including the stepped gable houses, market square with the belfort, and historic neighborhoods such as the "Beguinage", a community of lay women from the 13th century to visit. We’ll enjoy dinner together on board our boat tonight.

  • Distance: 50km (31mi)
  • Gain: 174m (571ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 9: Enjoy Bruges, visit Belgian brewery

Highlights: Bruges

Enjoy a mid-morning guided visit around the city of Bruges, after which you can decide to explore the chocolate museum, diamond museum or even the Belgian fry museum! Enjoy this fabulous city but be sure to save some energy to join us at Bruges's famous beer bar late this afternoon for sampling! We'll meet for a private guided tour of the De Halve Maan Brewery late this afternoon.

The May 7, 2021 departure will stay at the Crowne Plaza Brugge.

DAY 10: Bruges to Poperinge

Highlights: Westvleteren, lunch at farm, Poperinge

We pedal southwest directly through the West Flanders region, passing by the Diksmuide and Dodengang trenches. Westvleteren is one of only 6 authentic Trappist beers in Belgium (made by Trappist monks, a branch of Cistercian monks) - one of which is continually ranked amongst the top beers in the world. The 16th Century St. Sixtus Abbey is not open to the public, but you can still enjoy the world's highest-ranking beers from the Abbey at de Vrede café across the street before continuing on to Poperinge, once famous for its textiles and now famous for its hops. Visit the hops museum before enjoying dinner in one of the many restaurants in town.

  • Distance: 75km (47mi)
  • Gain: 254m (833ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Lodging:

DAY 11: Loop to Ieper (Ypres in French) and Flanders Field Museum

Highlights: Ieper and Flanders Field Museum, chocolate tasting

A loop ride today takes us to some important WWI sites where more than half a million Allied and German soldiers died in three major battles between 1914 and 1917. Ypres was strategic to the German’s planned invasion of France, and the Allied soldiers were able to put up effective resistance due to the topography: low lying hills parallel with the French Belgian border created natural “trenches” from which to fight. Visit the Flanders Field museum that starkly documents the war’s impact, and admire the completely rebuilt town as it was razed to the ground in 1917 due to the artillery fighting. Back in town, enjoy a chocolate tasting before our final dinner together.

  • Distance: 60km (37mi)
  • Gain: 321m (1053ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 12: Tour end - Shuttle to Brussels

Highlights: Brussels

We'll transfer you to Brussels today for flights home or further exploration of Belgium. Thanks for joining us on this barge, beer and bike adventure! Bon voyage and Goede Reis!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Arrive Amsterdam

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into Amsterdam (AMS).

How to get to the Day 1 Hotel:

  • Taxi from the airport to the Day 1 Hotel (40 min/EUR 60-75)

Or public transportation:

  1. Commuter Train from the airport to "Amsterdam Centraal" (15 min/EUR 4-5)
  2. Taxi from the Station to the Day 1 Hotel (10-15 min/EUR 15)

View Dutch train schedules at www.ns.nl or trainline.eu. On commuter-type and regional trains, pre-booking of tickets is not necessary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

Day 12: Departure Information

Tour end - Shuttle to Brussels

We offer a complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle to Brussels or Brussels Airport (BRU) on the last day of the tour. Reservations are required. Please reserve your shuttle option by emailing us no later than 30 days prior to your tour start date.  If you can't make these shuttle options, you'll be responsible for your own transportation.

Shuttle arrival times in Brussels:

  • Brussels Airport: 11:30 a.m. Please schedule flights after 1:30 p.m. 
  • Brussels drop-off hotel: 12 p.m. Carrefour de L'Europe Hotel

Keep in Mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

Because the barges run on a set schedule you will be required to get to the next docking point on time. We have planned the mileage each day so that this should not be a burden. There are only 4 single supplements available. Cabin space is limited so consider the size of your luggage. A 25 inch suitcase will fit under the bed. WiFi may be sporadic on board the barge.

For more questions about the Barge check out our Bike & Boat FAQ

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To Do Today!

3–6 Months Prior to Departure

  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed. As you make your plans refer to the Getting To and Away sent to you in your booking confirmation email it provides meeting times and the starting and ending hotels and shuttle information when applicable.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights. Please refer to the Getting To and Away sheet you received in your Reservation Confirmation Email.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program www.experienceplus.com/training.
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 Weeks–2 Weeks Prior to Departure

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your Getting To and Away information and one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bike and Boat Tour Style

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Bike and Boat tour at the Bike and Boat page.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • An amazing experience...the only way to see The Netherlands and Belgium.

    Terry G., Annapolis, MD - May 2019
  • Relaxing, self-paced, leisurely, cultural, active. Loved the leisurely floating of the barge. Would not hesitate to do a barge trip again. Loved the small group, leisurely pace of barge, fabulous food, and instant friends as we all shared much in common.

    Joyce F., Scottsdale, AZ - July 2018
  • Combination bike ride through the quiet countryside and barge ride, with excellent food, wine and beer. We had a super time, and expect to be back next year!

    Dave A., Cary, NC - June 2018
  • Riding with great companions and guides through beautiful fields, quaint towns and waterways. Sailing, sleeping, dining on an excellent barge with a great staff. Super experience!! What was your favorite experience on this trip? Cocktails on the upper deck with the group after a great day of riding!

    Jane T., Milwaukee, WI - June 2018
  • A great trip that almost any rider could do. The routes were scenic and almost not traffic. Drivers were very careful and considerate. I will definitely book another tour next year.

    Elise A., Cary, NC - June 2018
  • Excellent tour, new experience using a boat as a base. Great route through the Netherlands and Belgium country side.

    Sonny L., Aurora, CO - June 2018
  • Only the best bike tour of my life!

    Marty V., Fort Myers, FL - June 2018
  • Great trip and experience.

    Bill H., Milwaukee, WI - June 2018
  • My pleasure came from visiting a new country and experiencing the back roads of The Netherlands and Belgium. We also had perfect weather, so that was a big bonus. Really enjoyed the trip, great experience!

    Joan K., Fort Myers, FL – June 2018
  • A very nice level one trip - for my friends (and family) that are not really bikers, it would be highly recommended. The barge part exceeded my expectations - especially the food, which was excellent. A fun trip - I''ve always enjoyed traveling with you throughout the many years!

    Bob P., Denver, CO - May 2018
  • Excellent trip and not the least of it was the guides and our fellow travelers. They were all interesting and very nice.

    Nancy S., Boulder, CO - May 2018
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? We have told many that it was a perfect 1 level with flat terrain, lovely scenery and historic towns/cities. Excellent bike paths for large percentage of tour. Your bicycles were top notch and chalk arrows the best way to travel and enjoy the surroundings!

    Kae B., Roanoke, VA - May 2018
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Relaxing, fun, interesting, and incredibly bike-friendly. What was your favorite experience on this trip? Living on the barge. I love boats and I love bikes so how much better can it get?

    June M., Saint Paul, MN - May 2018
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