Teachers' Travel       

 Guided Barging and Cycling

2017

 
Amsterdam to Bruges

AMSTERDAM TO BRUGES ITINERARY

FLUVIUS   -    MAGNIFIQUE  -     MAGNIFIQUE II

Day 1 (Sat): 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 leave Amsterdam and will sail to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek, where you will spend the night. Here the bicycles will be distributed and you can enjoy a short bike ride (5-15 km/3-9 mi.).

Day 2 (Sun): Vianen – Schoonhoven – Kinderdijk (Approx. 56 km/34 mi.) | Kinderdijk – Dordrecht
After breakfast you will cycle a beautiful route to Schoonhoven – nicknamed Zilverstad (Silver City) – a city renowned for its talented silver smiths since the 17th century. As you continue to cycle along the Lek River you will pass through the Alblasserwaard region to Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 large windmills – one of which you can visit – which have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing. 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 (Mon): Dordrecht – Tholen | Tholen – Kreekrak lock (Approx. 43 km/26 mi.) | Kreekrak lock – Antwerp
During breakfast the barge will sail to Tholen where you will start your day’s cycling by visiting the “Wouwse Plantage” forest. Other attractions on the day are the fortress town of Bergen op Zoom and the impressive Kreekrak lock. After once again meeting up with the MS Fluvius you will finish your day by sailing 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 has many attractions that include: 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 (Tue): Antwerp – Temse – St. Amands/Dendermonde (Approx. 42-56 km**/25-34 mi.)
Today’s tour will see you cycle out of Antwerp on a beautiful cycle path along the picturesque tidal Schelde River to either St. Amands or Dendermonde, 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 (Wed): St. Amands/Dendermonde – Ghent (Approx. 53-40 km**/32-24 mi.)
This morning you will either start cycling from St. Amands or will sail to Dendermonde where you will start cycling. From Dendermonde you continue to follow the river Schelde in the direction of Ghent where the barge will moor for the night at a lock in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent. Ghent is a lively university city that boasts a rich history. The city’s position at the junction of Leie and Schelde Rivers has meant that it has been a major trading port since Roman times. In total the city features an Opera House, 18 museums, more than 100 churches and over 400 historical buildings. A major attraction is 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.

Day 6 (Thu): Ghent – Bruges (Approx. 45 km/28 mi.)
Today you will pedal from Ghent through the beautiful Flemish countryside of western Flanders to Bruges, widely described as the ‘Venice of the North’. The city attracts more than two million visitors every year who come for the ambience of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center. An outstanding example of a medieval 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 constructions 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.

Day 7 (Fri): Tour around Bruges to the North Sea (Approx. 50 km/30 mi.)
Your final day of cycling takes you along a quiet canal and past beautiful poplar trees through an attractive polder landscape (a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments) dotted with small farm houses to the North Sea coast. Here you will have the opportunity to swim in the sea along an inviting 12 kilometre sandy beach, visit any one of numerous cafés and see the attractive 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 (Sat): Disembarkation: Bruges
Disembarkation after breakfast until 10 AM:


ITINERARY   BRUGES TO AMSTERDAM

FLUVIUS   -    MAGNIFIQUE  -     MAGNIFIQUE II

Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Bruges
Arrival and embarkation in Bruges. The barge awaits you in the Bruges harbour. Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from early in the afternoon. You will have plenty of time to discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical city of Bruges, aptly named the “Pearl of Flanders”, during the afternoon and in the evening. 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.

Day 2 (Sun): Bruges – Ghent (Approx. 40 km/24 mi.)
Your cycle tour starts early today on the outskirts of Bruges following the distribution of bicycles after breakfast. You will start your first day of cycling by pedalling 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.

Day 3 (Mon): Ghent – Dendermonde/St. Amands (Approx. 40-53 km**/24-32 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 (Tue): St. Amands/Dendermonde – Antwerp (Approx. 45 km/28 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 (Wed): Antwerp – Kreekrak locks | Kreekrak locks Tholen Willemstad Dordrecht (Approx. 25-45 km**/15-28 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.

Day 6 (Thu): Dordrecht – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen (Approx. 25-50 km**/16-32 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 (Fri): Vianen – Breukelen | Breukelen Amsterdam (Approx. 35 km/21 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 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 harbour.

Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Amsterdam
Disembarkation after breakfast until 10 AM: End of your trip. If you want, you can explore Amsterdam or one of its numerous museums, do some shopping or go on a canal tour (not included).


Bike and Barge  Amsterdam Bruges
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