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

Private Room Fee
Jun 29-Jul 10, 2018
Sold Out! Wait List Available.
Jul 27-Aug 7, 2018
One Cabin Now Available
May 17-28, 2019
1 More to Guarantee the Departure. Book by November 15 and save $200!  
Jul 26-Aug 6, 2019
Premium Barge. Book by November 15 and save $200!

* 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.

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 12 Days
  • Avg. Distance / 56km (34 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty / 101 - 201
  • Countries / Belgium, Netherlands
  • Price / From USD$5145
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  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Map
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Tour Summary

Daily Ride Summary


1 No cycling today.
2 38 mi / 61 km
3 34 mi / 55 km
4 29 mi / 47 km
5 23 mi / 37 km
6 40 mi / 64 km
7 31 mi / 50 km
8 31 mi / 50 km
9 No cycling today.
10 47 mi / 75 km
11 37 mi / 60 km
12 No cycling today.
  • 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.

    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.
  • Includes
    Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 1 hotel night in Amsterdam, 7 nights' lodging on a luxury barge, 3 nights at hotels in Belgium, all breakfasts, 7 dinners with wine or beer, 7 packed lunches, windmill visit, canal cruise of Ghent, guided Antwerp walk and visit of Cathedral, guided Bruges walk

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Countries
    Belgium, Netherlands
  • Begin/End
    Amsterdam / Poperinge with shuttle to Brussels
  • Arrive / Depart
    Amsterdam (AMS) / Brussels (BRU)
  • Total Distance
    502 km (310 miles)
  • Avg. Distance
    56km (34 miles) per riding day
  • Difficulty
    101 - 201
    Mostly flat with some very gentle rolling terrain the last two days
  • Terms
Daily 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.

Lodging: 2018 departures will be on-board the Zwaantje. 2019 - May departure will be aboard the Fleur. July departure will be on the Magnifique.

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.

Lodging: 2018 departures will be on-board the Zwaantje. 2019 - May departure will be aboard the Fleur. July departure will be on the Magnifique.

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.

Lodging: 2018 departures will be on-board the Zwaantje. 2019 - May departure will be aboard the Fleur. July departure will be on the Magnifique.

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.

Lodging: 2018 departures will be on-board the Zwaantje. 2019 - May departure will be aboard the Fleur. July departure will be on the Magnifique.

DAY 6: Antwerp to Dendermonde

Highlights: Schelde riverbank bike path, Dendermonde

We’ll leave the city of Antwerp and return to the countryside cycling on small roads and along the Schelde river bike path. We will continue pedaling along the tidal river until we reach the provincial capital of Dendermonde. Admire the majestic town hall which presides over the square surrounded by Flemish buildings.

Lodging: 2018 departures will be on-board the Zwaantje. 2019 - May departure will be aboard the Fleur. July departure will be on the Magnifique.

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.

Lodging: 2018 departures will be on-board the Zwaantje. 2019 - May departure will be aboard the Fleur. July departure will be on the Magnifique.

DAY 8: Bicycle Ghent to Bruges

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

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. Bruge 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.

Lodging: 2018 departures will be on-board the Zwaantje. 2019 - May departure will be aboard the Fleur. July departure will be on the Magnifique.

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.

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: 47 mi / 75 km
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Lodging:

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

Highlights: Ieper and Flanders Field Museum, St. Bernadus brewery, 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. On the return to Poperinge, stop by the St. Bernadus brewery and cafè, a family brewery that keeps growing and brewing in the Trappist tradition. Back in town, enjoy a chocolate tasting before our final dinner together.

  • Distance: 37 mi / 60 km
  • 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




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