Amsterdam Bruges Bike and Boat – MS Fluvius
CategoryBike and Boat
Self Guided or Guided
Start / FinishAmsterdam or Bruges / Bruges or Amsterdam
Distance181 miles/291 kms
Come and experience one of the most popular bike and boat routes in Europe. Easy cycling along dedicated cycle paths, taking in some of Holland and Belgium’s most iconic sights. On this route you’ll visit Amsterdam, the windmills of Kinderdijk, Dordrecht, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. Your home for the week will be the comfortable river cruiser MS Fluvius.
Over seven memorable days the MS Fluvius navigates the rivers and canals between Amsterdam and Bruges. You’ll enjoy daily cycle rides in the company of an experienced and knowledgeable guide who will lead you along dedicated cycle paths to beautiful old cities and world famous sights. The emphasis is very much on relaxation and you’ll find the rides well paced with plenty of time to enjoy the fabulous scenery.
At Kinderdijk you can admire the beautiful old windmills – most of them are occupied but one is a museum which you are welcome to visit. Browsing the many silversmiths’ shops in Schoonhoven ( aka Silver City) is always enjoyable as is strolling through the historic winding streets of the oldest town in Holland – Dordrecht.
The diamond city of Antwerp with its ornate market square is fascinating and you’re bound to fall in love with the charming cities of Ghent and Bruges.
Of course, Belgium is a proud producer of some of the worl’ds best chocolate and some truly sensational beers and for many these two facts outweigh all the other highlights.
Please note that this holiday also operates in reverse on certain dates. For specific departure dates and routes see the ‘Dates and Prices’ page.
This is an easy cyling holiday that can be enjoyed by anyone with a basic level of fitness. E-bikes are a highly recommended option for anyone who has concerns about teh daily distances detailed in the itinerary.
Itinerary & Map
This leisurely cycle route follows mostly level terrain and much of it is on dedicated bike paths.
This tour also operates in the opposite direction on certain dates. See ‘Dates & Prices’ tab for details.
Day 1: Amsterdam – Breukelen – Vianen, 9 miles/15 kms
The boat leaves Amsterdam at 2pm and cruises south past Breukelen and the busy city of Utrecht to Vianen on the picturesque Lek River. Here you are invited to disembark for a very short ride. This is an opportunity to get used to your bike and to make any fine-tuning adjustments prior to he the longer rides ahead. On returning to the boat dinner is served!
Day 2: Vianen – Schoonhoven – Kindedijk – Dordrecht, 34 miles/56 kms
The first day’s ride leads you alongside the river to Schoonhoven, which is also known as Zilverstad (Silver City). The town boasts a plethora of silversmiths and consequently there are a myriad of silver shops, as well as a very interesting silver museum, to browse at your leisure.
The route leads you along the Alblasserwaard Polder to the famous windmills of kinderdijk. This impressive collection of 19 traditional windmills are still fully functioning and all bar-one are inhabited. The one unoccupied windmill is a museum which is open to the public.
From nearby Alblasserwaard you take the water-bus (fast ferry) teh short distance to the town of Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland, where your boat is waiting for you.
Day 3: Dordrecht – Tholen – Kreekrak Lock – Antwerp, 20 miles/34 kms
After breakfast you disembark in the town of Tholen. The route leads you to Bergen op Zoom, a lovely little place with quaint shops and a picturesque town square. You then leave civilisation behind and cycle along a quiet cycle path through the superbly named “Wouwse Plantage” forest. Next stop is the huge and impressive Kreekrak Lock where you re-board the boat for a leisurely cruise into Antwerp. Known for it’s long association with the diamond trade, the city was also once the hometown of one Peter Paul Rubens and many of the master’s works can be viewed in the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Cathedral. After dinner we recommend a stroll through the centre of the old town.
Day 4: Antwerp – Temse – St Amands/Dendermonde, 34 miles/55 kms
There’s plenty of time to look around Antwerp a little more this morning before following a cycle path out of the city along the bank of the Schelde river. You’ll be following the river for the whole ride today and the scenery is quite sublime. Quaint riverside towns interupt the natural beauty every now and then, tempting you to stop for a coffee or a wander around. You will re-join the boat in St Amands or Dendermonde where the boat remains moored overnight.
Day 5: St Amands/Dendermonde – Ghent, 24 – 32 miles/40 – 53 kms
After breakfast you continue alongside the Schelde River. A few easy kilometers later you arrive in the City of Ghent, where the Schelde and Leie Rivers meet. This confluence more than likely contributed to the town’s meteoric rise and success as commercial centre in the middle ages. The wealth and grandeur of of the city is still can still be seen in the churches and ornate houses scattered throughout the beautiful old town centre. The boat moors for the night in the lock at Lovendegem on the outskirts of the city.
Day 6: Ghent – Bruges, 28 miles/45kms
After a relaxing ride through the countryside of western Flanders you arrive in Bruges, easily the most beautiful of the Flemish cities. Gothic, gabled townhouses line the still canals which are traveresed by small ornate stone bridges at various intervals. There can be few cities more condusive to exploration by bike or foot than Bruges and you’ll spend a very pleasant afternoon wandering the beautiful old streets of this rather special city. We doubt it needs pointing out but the Belgians are of course renowned for their chocolate and their beer – both are offerred in abundance throughout the old town.
Day 7: Bruges – North Sea Coast – Bruges, 30 miles/50kms
The final ride of your holiday takes you out to the North Sea coast. After a day in teh city it’s great to be surrounded by nature once more. The polder landscape pf meadows, canals and windmills is quite sparse but very striking. The dunes of the of Het Zwin nature reserve separate the beaches from the meadows and this is followed by an exhillerating ride along the impressive sea defences. Weather permitting you may be tempted to go for a dip before saddling up for teh return ride to Bruge along a picturesque canal path. The final night aboard is spent in Bruges, a fitting finale to your Dutch/Flemish cycling adventure.
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast it’s time to disembark and head for home or your next adventure.
Dates & Prices
|2018 Arrival Dates|
|Amsterdam to Bruges|
|Bruges to Amsterdam|
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|Fluvius - comfort|
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|Deposit per person||£200|
Board basis: Full board*
Daily coffee and tea until 4pm
Services of a tour guide
Maps & route information
Bike hire & helmet (see supplements)
Supplements for special dietary requests
Entrance fees, excursions and ferries
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£185)
The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed, hybrid models with 7 speeds and comfortable saddle with upright riding position. The bikes also come equipped with rear pannier, lock and repair kit.
Electric bikes, smaller framed children’s bikes, trailers and tag-a-longs are also available.
Helmets are not provided, but can purchased on-board locally. We do however recommend bringing your own.
This tour operates on the MV Fluvius, a comfort class barge. More images of the barge can be found the gallery.
MS Fluvius (comfort)
The MV Fluvius is a very popular boat offering a comfortable standard of accommodation and facilities.
She has 22 individually controlled air-conditioned cabins; the lower deck has 14 twins (10 m²) and one smaller twin (9 m²). The upper deck has 3 twins (10 m²) and 4 doubles (12 m² with 140x200cm double bed). All cabins have en-suite shower and toilet with hairdryer. All windows in the twin cabins are fixed, however, the brand new 4 double upper deck cabins have large panoramic windows that can be opened. Some cabins are available for single use. Triples are not available.
On deck, there is a spacious lounge and bar and dining area. There is also a partially covered sundeck with tables and chairs to relax in the fresh air.
A hearty breakfast is provided each morning, along with a packed lunch to take with you on the daily rides. A three-course meal is served each evening in the dining area.
Daily complimentary coffee and tea is available.