Teachers' Travel       

 Guided Barging and Cycling

2021 / 2022

 
Amsterdam to Bruges

 

                        AMSTERDAM TO BRUGES ITINERARY  aboard  THE BARGES
MAGNIFIQUE I (now Princess Royal),   MAGNIFIQUE II,   MAGNIFIQUE III,  MAGNIFIQUE IV
All four are classed as Premium Barges,  With two cycling guides on each of the Magnifique barges there is a choice of a longer ride or an easier, shorter one each day.

Day 1: Embarkation: Amsterdam | Amsterdam –  Vianen
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is at 1 PM. At around 2 PM the barge will depart from Amsterdam for Vianen, a small fortified village on the Lek River. After the distribution of bicycles, you can enjoy a short first test bike ride through the surrounding area (approx. 5-15 km/3-9 mi.).

Day 2: Vianen – Schoonhoven – Kinderdijk (Approx. 56 km/34 mi. OR 32 km/19 mi) | Kinderdijk – Dordrecht
Today you will cycle along a beautiful route to Schoonhoven – nicknamed Zilverstad (“Silver City”) – a city renowned for its talented silver smiths since the 17th century. Later in the day as you cycle through the Alblasserwaard region you will reach Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 large windmills. All 19 windmills have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing and are a definite highlight – you will have the opportunity to visit one so don’t forget to bring your camera! From nearby Alblasserdam you will take the “Waterbus”, a fast ferry, that will take and your bike you in approx. 10 minutes to Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland.

Day 3: Dordrecht – Willemstad | Willemstad – Tholen (| Tholen – Kreekrak lock – Antwerp
(
Approx. 32 km/19 mi OR 43 km/26 mi.)

As you enjoy your breakfast, the barge will sail to Willemstad where you will start your day’s cycling. Attractions today include the beautiful “Wouwse Plantage” forest, the fortress town of Bergen op Zoom and the impressive Kreekrak lock. In the afternoon you will once again board the barge which will sail to the port city of Antwerp which is situated on the river Schelde. Antwerp is famous for handling up to 80% of the world's rough diamonds and is a city with a long list of attractions 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. After dinner visit the beautiful old city center.

Day 4: Antwerp – Temse – St. Amands/Dendermonde (Approx.  34 km/21mi  OR 59 km/35.5 mi.)
This morning you will cycle out of Antwerp along a picturesque section of the Schelde River to either St. Amands or Dendermonde – depending on the tides – your home for the night. There is only one way to describe the landscape around the Schelde and that is “magnificent”. It is without doubt one of the natural highlights of the tour.

Day 5: St. Amands/Dendermonde – Ghent (Approx. 53 km/32 mi.)
Today you will continue to follow the river Schelde to Ghent where the barge will moor for the night at a lock in the suburb of Merelbeke. Ghent is a lively university city that boasts a rich history. Since Roman times Ghent’s position at the junction of Leie and Schelde Rivers has ensured that it has been a successful trading port.  The city features an Opera House, 18 museums, more than 100 churches and over 400 historical buildings. Major attractions are St. Bavo Cathedral where a number of masterpieces of medieval art including the world famous ‘Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ by Jan van Eyck are kept and the 91-metre-tall belfry of Ghent, one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city centre. After dinner a small canal boat will take you on a guided tour.

Day 6: Ghent – Bruges (Approx. 22km/13 mi  OR  45 km/28 mi.)
Today you will cycle from Ghent through the beautiful Flemish countryside of western Flanders to Bruges, widely described as the ‘Venice of the North’ and arguably the most beautiful of all the Flemish cities. Bruges attracts more than two million visitors every year who come to see the picturesque medieval town center of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic city and a long list of historic attractions. An outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement, Bruges has managed to maintain its historic fabric as it has evolved over the centuries, with the result that today the city’s original Gothic buildings form an integral part of the town's identity. While you are here you can 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. Dinner tonight will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).

Day 7: Tour around Bruges to the North Sea (Approx. 38 km/23 mi OR 50 km/30 mi.)
Your final day of cycling takes you along a quiet canal and past beautiful poplar trees through an attractive polderlandscape (a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments) dotted with small farm houses to the North Sea coast. Here if you want you can swim in the sea along an inviting 12 kilometer sandy beach, visit any one of numerous cafés and see the dune landscape of “Het Zwin” (a unique nature reserve). On the return ride to Bruges you will cycle along a small picturesque canal.

Day 8: Disembarkation: Bruges
Disembarkation after breakfast until 10 AM: .
 

BRUGES TO AMSTERDAM  ITINERARY  aboard THE BARGES
MAGNIFIQUE   MAGNIFIQUE II   MAGNIFIQUE III   MAGNIFIQUE IV


Day 1: Embarkation: Bruges

Your barge awaits you in the Bruges harbour. Embarkation and check-in where the crew welcomes you on board is from 1 - 2 PM. At 2 pm there is a bike fitting and a short test ride in the Belgian countryside.  After dinner the guide will take guests on a short walking tour of the old town.  Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical city, aptly named the “Pearl of Flanders”.  If you arrive early you may want to 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.

Day 2: Bruges – Ghent (Approx. 35km/21 mi  OR 56 km/34 mi.)
Your cycle tour starts early today on the outskirts of Bruges and you cycle 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 town centre features lovely illuminated streets that are a must to explore, while the architectural richness in the historical centre of the city has to be seen to be believed (during the Middle Ages Ghent was the 2nd largest European city after Paris). The barge will dock for the night at the Merelbeke lock, in a suburb of Ghent and approx.15 cycling minutes to the city centre. After dinner a small canal boat will take you on a guided tour of Ghent.

Day 3: Ghent – Dendermonde/St. Amands (Approx. 40 km/24 mi  OR 53 km/32 mi)
After breakfast in Ghent you will cycle downstream through a diverse landscape along the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde located at the junction of Dender and Schelde Rivers. There is only one way to describe the landscape along the Schelde and that is “magnificent”. It is without doubt one of the natural highlights of the tour. During this section of the Schelde the speed of the barge will be determined by the height of the tide. You will travel from Dendermonde to St. Amands by either bike or barge depending on the tides. Your floating hotel will be docked for the night in St. Amands.

Day 4: St. Amands/Dendermonde – Temse – Antwerp (Approx. 32 km/19 mi OR 49 km/31 mi.)
Today we will follow the Schelde River further downstream through the Temse region to Antwerp. Over the centuries the Schelde River has held strategic importance for the Romans, Vikings, Spanish and Napoleon… today it is a beautiful waterway just perfect for bike and barge holidays!  Antwerp, your destination for the day, is a harbour city 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. Dinner will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).

Day 5: Antwerp – Kreekrak locks | Kreekrak locks Tholen Willemstad Dordrecht (Approx. 36 km/23 mi  OR 20 km/13 mi)
The barge will sail this morning along the Schelde-Rhine Canal and over the huge Kreekrak lock system to Tholen, a former fishing village in the Dutch province of Zeeland. From Tholen you will have the opportunity to see the impressive Volkerak lock system, the fortified town of Willemstad and then you will cycle on to Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and your destination for the day. The skipper will discuss with you in the morning which parts of the tour will be covered by barge or by bicycle. In the evening there will be a guided walking tour.

Day 6: Dordrecht – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen (Approx. 32 km/19 mi OR 57 km/36 mi.)
Today you will start your tour with the “Waterbus”, a fast ferry that will take you and your bike in just 10 minutes to Alblasserdam. After just a few minutes of cycling you will reach 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 be moored for the evening and where you can explore at your leisure after dinner).

Day 7: Vianen – Breukelen | Breukelen Amsterdam (Approx. 35 km/23 mi OR 46 km/28 mi.)
During breakfast the barge will cruise to Breukelen where you disembark to start your final day of cycling. Ride along the Vecht River in an area famous for its beautiful mansions, small castles, impressive houses and their large gardens. After cycling through the villages of Nieuwersluis, Loenen and Vreeland you will arrive at Nigtevecht where you can visit a traditional cheese producer. 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 harbour.

Day 8: Disembarkation: Amsterdam
Disembarkation after breakfast until 10 AM: .

Amsterdam to Bruges  
2020 Dates and Prices
About the barges   2021 Dates and Prices
Route Map
Detailed itinerary for Magnifique barges   Frequently Asked Questions
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