Amsterdam Bruges Bike and Boat – MS Magnifique

  • 4.5
    (7 reviews)
  • Category

    Bike and Boat
    Self Guided or Guided
  • Grade

    Easy to Leisurely
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Amsterdam or Bruges / Bruges or Amsterdam
  • Distance

    199 miles/320 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeFamilyRivers and Lakes
  • Accommodation

    Superior
  • Tour code

    008-108CNL
Price From £971

Overview

A very popular and highly enjoyable bike and boat holiday cruising through southern Holland and northern Belgium aboard one of the superb Magnifique boats. Ride along level cycle paths, through historic towns, past windmills and dykes. Highlights include Amsterdam, the windmills of Kinderdijk and the lovely cities of Ghent and Bruges.

This cycling holiday showcases some of the most iconic scenery and towns in Holland and Belgium. Your comfortable barge carries you gently along the waterways  of this culturally rich region, dropping you off at various points along the way to enjoy relaxing rides through ever-changing scenery.

The Magnifique has long been recognised as one of the most luxurious barges afloat on Dutch waterways and in 2016 she was joined by her equally fabulous sister ship, Magnifique II, offering the same levels of style and space. In 2018 the Magnifique III will join the fleet and is guaranteed to uphold the same high standards as her sister-ships.

 

The daily cycle routes are varied and interesting with each day bringing something different – one day it could be a serene river-bank ride past small villages and open countryside, the next an exploratory ride through a beautiful and historic city.

You can opt to accompany the bikes guides each day or use the maps and route notes available on board to navigate yourself.

The 19 windmills at Kinderdijk are always a popular highlight as are the delightful cities of Ghent and Bruges. Tranquil rides alongside the Vecht and Lek rivers will live long in the memory as will the picturesque ride out to the North Sea Coast from Bruges.

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 leisurely cycle route follows mostly level terrain along dedicated cycle paths. E-bikes are also an option on this very popular cycling holiday.

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, please scroll down to read the reverse itinerary. See ‘Dates & Prices’ tab for details of which departure operates in which direction.

View larger map

AMSTERDAM – BRUGES (scroll down for Bruges – Amsterdam itinerary)

Day 1: Amsterdam – Vianen, 9 miles/15 kms

Vecht River - Breukelen - Holland

Breukelen

Embarkation is at 1pm and at around 2pm the barge leaves Amsterdam and cruises south past the pretty town of Breukelen and the bustling city of Utrecht to the charming town of Vianen on the Lek River. Here we disembark for a short ride through the surrounding area. This is an opportunity to get used to our bikes and to make any adjustments in preparation for the longer rides ahead. We then return to the Magnifique for dinner and our first night aboard.

Day 2: Vianen – Schoonhoven – Kindedijk – Dordrecht, 34 miles/56 kms

Easy Cycling Holidays in Europe

Windmilss of Kinderdijk

Our first cycle ride takes us along the River Lek to Schoonhoven. The town is renowned for it’s silversmiths which explains how it came by its nickname of Zilverstad or Silver City. As you might expect, there are many silverware shops to browse as well as a silver museum.

We then cycle along the Alblasserwaard Polder (polders are areas of re-claimed land) to the fantastic windmills of kinderdijk. This impressive collection of 19 windmills were originally built to pump the Alblasserwaard polder dry. Today, a modern pump does most of the hard work but the windmills are still fully functioning and all but one have resident families living inside. The unoccupied windmill is a museum which you are welcome to explore during your visit.

When you’ve seen enough, we ride to nearby Alblasserwaard and catch the  water-bus (fast ferry) to the town of Dordrecht some 10 minutes away. The journey will cost €4 and this includes our bikes. We rejoin the Magnifique in Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland.

Day 3: Dordrecht – Wilemstad – Kreekrak Lock – Antwerp, 26 miles/43 kms

Bergen op Zoom

Bergen op Zoom

The day starts with a breakfast cruise south to the town of Wilemstad where we disembark for today’s ride. The route leads us south to Bergen op Zoom a gorgeous little town with narrow winding streets and a lovely square at its heart. It might be a bit early for a coffee break but if not this is just perfect! We then cycle out of the town and into the wonderfully named Wouwse Plantage, a forested area used by locals for walking, cycling and other outdoor pursuits. We then head for the incredibly impressive Kreekrak Lock system where we re-board the  Magnifique for a leisurely cruise to Antwerp. The city has a long been associated with the diamond trade but it was also the home of Peter Paul Rubens  and many of his works hang in the city’s Onze Lieve Vrouwe Cathedral. After dinner on board step ashore for a leisurely stroll around the beautiful old city centre.

Day 4: Antwerp – Temse – St Amands/Dendermonde, 28 – 37 miles/47 – 59 kms

Antwerp - Belgium*

Antwerp

After breakfast you can explore Antwerp a little more if you wish before cycling out of town along the banks of the Schelde river. Much of today’s route follows a superb cycle path which offers fantastic views of the river and surrounding countryside. Small riverside towns line the bank providing plenty of opportunities to stop for a rest and/or refreshments. We re-board the Magnifique either in St Amands or in Dendermonde where we remain moored for the night.

Day 5: St Amands/Dendermonde – Ghent, 25 – 33 miles/40 – 53 kms

Ghent city centre - Belgium

Ghent

If we spent the night in St Amands we can choose to cruise or cycle to nearby Dendermonde from where the day’s ride to Ghent begins. The route follows another wonderful bike path alongside the Schelde River and the miles glide by easily on this smooth level path. Before long we arrive in the lively University City of Ghent where the Schelde and Leie Rivers meet. This may have been one of the factors that contributed to the town’s phenomenal success as trading centre in the middle ages – at one time it was the second largest city north of the Alps after Paris. The opulence and grandeur of of the city’s past is still evident in the lovely old churches and merchants’ houses in the beautiful old town centre.The barge moors for the night in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent.

Day 6: Ghent – Bruges, 28 miles/45kms

Bruges

Bruges

Today’s ride starts just outside Ghent and leads us through the pleasant countryside of western Flanders to the City of Bruges. Probably the most beautiful Flemish City, Bruges has a long history stretching back to the Vikings. A network of cobbled streets and canals lined with wonderful old townhouses criss-cross the city centre. Every now and then these give way to quaint squares accommodating wonderful old churches and museums. Of course the Belgians are master chocolatiers and brewers and Bruges offers an abundance of chocolate shops and cosy bars.

Day 7: Bruges – North Sea Coast – Bruges, 31 miles/50kms

Damme - Belgium*

Damme – near Bruges

Our last ride is a round trip out to the North Sea Coast. The lovely route takes us through the beautiful and serene polder landscape of green fields, canals and small villages. At the coast we follow a cycle path through the dunes of the Het Zwin nature reserve. Here a 12km sandy beach beckons and you may be tempted to take a bracing dip in the North Sea if the weather is warm enough. Afterwards we cycle back to Bruges via a different but equally picturesque route for our final night aboard the Magnifique.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast it’s time to disembark and head for home or your next adventure.

BRUGES TO AMSTERDAM

Day 1: Embarkation Bruges

Bruges

Bruges

Embarkation is from 1pm when the crew welcomes you onboard. Afterwards you are free to explore the city. Probably the most beautiful Flemish City, Bruges has a long history stretching back to the Vikings. A network of cobbled streets and canals lined with wonderful old townhouses criss-cross the city centre. Every now and then these give way to quaint squares accommodating wonderful old churches and museums. Of course the Belgians are master chocolatiers and brewers and Bruges offers an abundance of chocolate shops and cosy bars to enjoy.

Day 2: Bruges – Ghent, 34 miles/56 kms

Ghent

Ghent

Our first day of cycling takes us towards Ghent, through the beautiful Flemish landscape, along the Ghent canal. Before long we arrive in the lively University City of Ghent where the Schelde and Leie Rivers meet. This may have been one of the factors that contributed to the town’s phenomenal success as trading centre in the middle ages – at one time it was the second largest city north of the Alps after Paris. The opulence and grandeur of the city’s past is still evident in the lovely old churches and merchants’ houses in the beautiful old town centre. The barge moors for the night in Merelbeke, a suburb of Ghent and just a 15 minute ride from the centre.

Day 3: Ghent – Dendermonde/St. Amands, 24-32 miles/40-53 kms

Dendermonde - Belgium

Dendermonde – Belgium

After breakfast in Ghent we start cycling through the diverse and quite wonderful and natural landscape of the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde, a lovely old town with a pretty Grote Markt (town square) lined with inviting bars and cafés. Here it is often possible to re-board the boat and cruise along the river to St. Amands but in certain tidal conditions we must cycle the 15kms to St Amands where the Magnifique will be waiting for us.

Day 4: St. Amands/Dendermonde – Antwerp, 28 – 35 miles/47 – 59 kms

Antwerp

Antwerp

After breakfast we begin cycling downstream, alongside our old friend the Schelde River. We’ll be pedalling through the Temse region a particularly beautiful stretch of the river Our destination today is Antwerp, a city that has long been associated with the diamond trade. It is also the home of Peter Paul Rubens and many of his works hang in the city’s Onze Lieve Vrouwe Cathedral. You are free to eat out this evening as the ship’s galley staff have the evening off. The crew will be happy to recommend restaurants nearby.

Day 5: Antwerp – Kreekrak locks – Tholen – Willemstad – Dordrecht, 15-28 miles/ 25-45 kms

Magnifique II

Magnifique II underway

The Magnifique will motor along the Schelde-Rhine Canal and through the huge Kreekrak lock system to Tholen, a former fishing village. From Tholen we have the opportunity to see the impressive Volkerak lock system, and the fortified town of Willemstad, before cycling on to one of the oldest cities in Holland, Dordrecht. The captain will discuss which parts of the tour will be covered by barge or by bicycle depending on the tides.

Day 6; Dordrecht – Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen, 31 miles/ 50 kms


Kinderdijk, Holland

Kinderdijk, Holland

Today starts with a short waterbus ride to Alblasserdam, where we disembark with the bikes. A short ride brings us to Kinderdijk, a village that has an impressive collection of 19 windmills, which were originally built to pump the Alblasserwaard polder dry. Today, a modern pump does most of the hard work but the windmills are still fully functioning and all bar one have resident families living inside. The unoccupied windmill is a museum, which you are welcome to explore during your visit. From here we cycle to Schoonhoven, renowned for it’s silversmiths, which explains how it came by its nickname of Zilverstad or Silver City. As you might expect there are many silverware shops to browse as well as a silver museum. We then pedal on to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek where the Magnifique is moored for the night.

Day 7: Vianen – Breukelen – Amsterdam, 28 miles/46 kms

bicycles on a bridge in Amsterdam

Amsterdam – where bikes rule!

The boat motors to Breukelen where we disembark for our last cycle ride of teh holiday. Enjoy the views along the Vecht River, as it’s an area famous for its beautiful mansions, impressive houses, small castles and gardens. One last stop is in Nigtevecht where we can visit a traditional cheese farm before cycling on to vibrant city of Amsterdam. The Magnifique remains moored in Amsterdam overnight allowing us to experience an evening in this vibrant city.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast it’s time to disembark and head for home or your next adventure. Disembarkation is by 10am.

Dates & Prices

2017 Arrival Dates - scroll down for 2018 dates
Boat key* Magnifique / † Magnifique II
Amsterdam to Bruges
April29 †
May6 *20 *27 †
June3 *10 †17 *24 †
July01*08 †15 *22 †29 *
August5 †19 †26 *
September9 *23 *30 †
October7 *
Bruges to Amsterdam
May6 †13 *20 †27 *
June3 †10 *17 †24 *
July1 †8 *15 †22 * 29 †
August12 †19 *
September2 *16 *23 †30 *
October7 †14 *21 †

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2017 Prices - scroll down for 2018 prices


008-108CNL
Per person
29 Apr
to
07 Oct
14 Oct
to
21 Oct
Magnifique - superior
Twin £1023                    
Premium Twin £1227                    
Triple £971                    
Premium Triple £1125                    
Single £1381                    
Magnifique II - superior
Twin £1023 £961                  
Premium Twin £1227 £1166                  
Triple £971 £910                  
Upper Deck Suit - 2 share £1432 £1329                
Upper Deck Suit - 3 share £1329 £1258                
Single £1381 £1299                
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Deposit per person £200

Price Includes

7 nights accommodation
Board basis: 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches & 6 evening meals
Maps and Route information
Daily coffee and tea until 4pm
Services of a tour guide
Maps and Route information
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Drinks onboard
One evening meal
Supplements for special dietary requests
Gratuities/Tips

Supplements

Bike hire, includes lock, pannier and helmet. (£73)
Electric bike (£192)
2018 Arrival Dates
Amsterdam to Bruges
Magnifique5, 19 May. 2, 16, 30 June. 14 July. 11, 25 August. 8, 22 September. 06 October
Magnifique II9, 23 May. 6, 20 June. 4, 18 July. 15, 29 August. 12, 26 September. 10 October
Magnifique III28 April. 26 May. 9, 23 June. 21 July. 4 August. 1 September
Bruges to Amsterdam
Magnifique19, 26 May. 9, 23 June. 7, 21 July. 18 August. 1, 15, 29 September. 13 October
Magnifique II30 May. 13, 27 June. 11 July. 8, 22 August. 5, 19 September. 3 October
Magnifique III5 May. 2, 16, 30 June. 28 July. 11 August. 6 October

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2018 Prices
008-108CNL
Per person
28 Apr
to
29 Sep
03 Oct
to
13 Oct
Magnifique - superior
Twin £1104 £1023                  
Triple £1053 £971                  
Single £1462 £1381                  
Premium Twin £1309 £1227                  
Premium Triple £1207 £1125                  
Magnifique II - superior
Twin £1104 £1023                  
Triple £1053 £971                  
Single £1462 £1381                  
Premium Twin £1309 £1227                  
Upper Deck Suite - 2 share £1514 £1432                  
Upper Deck Suite - 3 share £1411 £1329                  
Magnifique III - superior
Twin £1104 £1023                  
Triple £1053 £971                  
Single £1462 £1381                  
Upper Deck Suite - 2 share £1514 £1432                  
Upper Deck Suite - 3 share £1411 £1329                  
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Deposit per person £200

Price Includes

7 nights accommodation
Board basis: 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches & 6 dinners
Maps and Route information
Daily coffee and tea
Tour guide (2 when min 22 guests on board)
Daily, guided bike rides
Maps and Route information
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Drinks onboard
One dinner in either Antwerp or Bruges
Supplements for special dietary requests
Entrance fees, excursions and ferries.

Supplements

Bike hire, includes lock, pannier and helmet. (£78)
Electric bike (£192)

Practical Information

Bikes

An example of the bike provided on this tour.

An example of the bike provided on this tour.

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,repair kit and a reuseable water bottle which is yours to keep. Helmets are also provided.

Electric bikes, smaller framed children’s bikes, trailers and tag-a-longs are also available.

Accommodation

Three very comfortable sister-ships will operate this route in 2018. The Magnifique has long been recognised as one of the most luxurious barges afloat and in 2016 she was joined by her sister ship, Magnifique II, offering the same levels of style and space. In 2018 the brand new Magnifique III will join the fleet, and she is sure to uphold the tradition of high quality fnishing and attention to detail.

Magnifique

MS Magnifique barge - Twin Cabin

Magnifique – Twin Cabin

The Magnifique is a wonderful boat offering an excellent standard of accommodation and facilities.

She has 17 air-conditioned cabins with en-suite shower/wc, flat screen TV, mini-safe, hairdryer and portholes, which are locked for safety reasons. 11 are twin bedded cabins (11m²), 2 are singles (8m²) and 4 are twin bedded premium cabins. The premium cabins are more spacious (14m²) and incorporate a small sitting area. Some cabins can be converted for triple occupancy with the addition of a bunk bed.

On the upper deck there is tastefully decorated spacious salon with restaurant, bar and lounge with wide screen TV and windows to enjoy the scenery. There are also two, partly covered teak sun-decks, with tables and chairs as well as a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and BBQ. Free wifi is available throughout the ship.

Magnifique II

Magnifique II - premium twin

Magnifique II – Upper Deck Suite

Launched in 2016, the Magnifique II offers exceptionally high levels of comfort and service. A modern design finished in a classical style the ship makes a very pleasant base for your cycling holiday.

The lower deck features 14 cabins, 12 of which are twin bedded cabins (11m²), one of which is a larger premium twin cabin with small sitting area (13m²) and one is a single cabin (8m²). All are well appointed and equipped with with en-suite facilities, individually regulated air conditioning, flat screen TV, mini-safe and hairdryer. They also feature one or two portholes which cannot be opened. Some of these cabins can accommodate a third bunk bed.

Magnifique II - twin cabin

Magnifique II – twin cabin

The boat also features 4 elegant upper deck suites, each with a large window that can be partially opened. These spacious en-suite cabins each occupy 14m² and feature twin beds, a cosy seating area en-suite shower/wc, individually regulated air conditioning, flat screen TV, mini-safe and hairdryer.

On the main deck there is a comfortable salon/restaurant area with bar. Large doors open onto a partially roofed sundeck. Free wifi is available throughout the ship.

 

Magnifique III

Scheduled to enter service in Spring 2018, the Magnifique III will offer the same exceptionally high level of comfort and service as the Magnifique and Magnifique II

Magnifique III - artists impression twin cabin lower deck

Magnifique III – artists impression twin cabin lower deck

The lower deck will feature 14 twin bedded cabins (approx 11m²) and 2 single cabins. All will be well appointed and equipped with with en-suite facilities, individually regulated air conditioning, flat screen TV, mini-safe and hairdryer. They will each have one or two portholes which cannot be opened. Some of these cabins will be able to accommodate a third bunk bed.

Magnifique III - artists impression upper deck suite full

Magnifique III – artist’s impression – upper deck suite

5 larger, upper deck suites will also be available. These will occupy approximately 14m² and include larger windows, which can be partially opened, a small sitting area, en-suite shower/wc, individually regulated air conditioning, flat screen TV, mini-safe and hairdryer.

On the main deck there is a comfortable salon/restaurant area with bar. Large doors open onto a partially roofed sundeck. Free wifi is available throughout the ship.

 

Meals:
On all three vessels, 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 apart from one when you are free to step ashore and make your own arrangements – the crew will happily recommend restaurants on this evening.

Daily complimentary coffee and tea is available between 3 pm and 4 pm.

Getting There

Fly to Amsterdam or take the Eurostar train. From Amsterdam Central station you can then take a bus or catch a taxi to the boat.

Research flights from UK airports here.

Gallery

Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 7 reviews 4.5
  • Date - 18/09/2017
  • Name - Peter Maccormick
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - well done all the information was great
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - the food could of been much better especially at breakfast !! on some days not enough food was served
  • Date - 11/09/2017
  • Name - Denise Elder
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - Good. The interinary was slightly different to what was actually carried out
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Cycling was interesting, relatively easy as predominantly flat country through rural, small villages and a couple of larger towns.
    Motorists were bike savvy, polite and courteous.
  • Date - 28/08/2017
  • Name - Adrian Bonsall
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - Very responsive service given to all our enquiries and requests.
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - Superbly equipped boat, excellent meals, very knowledgeable and personable guides, interesting and reasonably demanding cycle routes all made for a truly memorable holiday.
  • Flexitreks response - Many thanks Adrian. The Magnifique boats rather set the standard for cycling holidays afloat on European waterways and we're glad you enjoyed it so much.
  • Date - 05/06/2017
  • Name - Catlyne Hos
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - Everything we needed to know was available for us.
    We were a little confused off the train at Bruges on how to orient ourselves and find the boat, but it wasn't really any major problem.
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - We loved the cycling, the chosen routes, the comfort and convenience of the barge and overall experience was great.
    The air conditioning in the room was tricky, not working sometimes when we were docked using power, but we weren't told that until later, so we had some hot nights with little relief.
    The guide Tom, while funny, helpful and experienced, was at times a little vague and had trouble keeping an eye on our large group as we straggled through the countryside.
    Overall it was a great experience and I would recommend it.
  • Flexitreks response - Many thanks for the comprehensive review Catlyne. The air conditioning automatically turns off if the ambient temperature is sufficiently cool but it can be turned on in individual cabins at the customer's request - I am sorry if you were not informed of this and hope it didn't marr an otherwise enjoyable holiday.
  • Date - 10/09/2016
  • Name - Bruce
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - Good r sponge time and nice to deal with one lady over the period
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - Great boat. Great food. Lov e the cycle. Just a bit scary through the big towns with traffic in unfamiliar places.
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks Bruce. Glad you enjoyed yourself and that you managed to negotiate the narrow streets of those medieval towns along the way.
  • Date - 30/07/2016
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - Ally was very helpful in providing a rapid response to my questions re: barge trip. She phoned me soon aftrer I made an online inquiry and arranged a booking on the barge. I would use and recommend Flexitreks in the future.
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Tour was splendid, crew friendly, guide (Tom was laidback, funny and took us on many land tours at stops along the way and a private canal tour in Amsterdam), food was fine, but not as good as on a previous bike-boat tour I took off the Croatian coast.
  • Flexitreks response - Lovely to hear you will use us again and that you enjoyed your cycling Holiday aboard the lovely Magnifique. Her new sister-ship, the Magnifique II, is also now in service offering the same levels of style and comfort.
  • Date - 05/06/2016
  • Name - Greg
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - Great trip. Only concern was that I had to ask for the itinerary of the Brugge to Amsterdam direction. It is slightly different than the opposite direction that is listed on the website. However, the information was sent briskly.
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - Second boat/barge tour on our holiday. Really enjoyed the luxury Magnifique II. Accommodations and showers were great. Thoroughly enjoyed the meals, staff and the barge in general. Bicycles were good. City tours, anecdotes and briefings were all enjoyable. Cycling paths along this route are incredible. Look forward to doing more cycling trips in the future.
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks for the review Greg and so glad you enjoyed your trip on the Magnifique II.