Amsterdam Bruges Bike and Boat MS Magnifique

  • 4.7
    (4 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

    181 miles/291 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeFamilyRivers and Lakes
  • Accommodation

    Superior
  • Tour code

    008-108CNL
Price From £910

Overview

A highly enjoyable bike and boat cycling holiday through southern Holland and northern Belgium aboard the superb Magnifique or Magnifique II. 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 the highlights of 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 and in 2016 she was joined by her equally fabulous sister ship, Magnifique II, offering the same levels of style and space.

 

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.

The 19 windmills at Kinderdijk are always a popular highlight as is the delightful city of Ghent and the 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 and much of it is on dedicated bike paths.

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 for itinerary. See ‘Dates & Prices’ tab for details.

View larger map

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 you disembark for a short ride through the surrounding area. This is an opportunity to get used to your bike and to make any adjustments in preparation for the longer rides ahead. You then return to the Magnifique for dinner and your first night aboard.

Day 2: Vianen – Schoonhoven – Kindedijk – Dordrecht, 32 miles/50 kms

Easy Cycling Holidays in Europe

Windmilss of Kinderdijk

Your first cycle ride takes you 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.

You 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 bar 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, 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 your bike. Rejoin the your boat in Dordrecht one of the oldest towns in Holland.

Day 3: Dordrecht – Tholen – Kreekrak Lock – Antwerp, 21 miles/35 kms

Bergen op Zoom

Bergen op Zoom

The day starts with a breakfast cruise south to the town of Tholen where you disembark for today’s ride. You first cycle to nearby 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! You 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. You then head for the incredibly impressive Kreekrak Lock system where you re-board your barge 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.

Day 4: Antwerp – Temse – St Amands/Dendermonde, 27 – 36 miles/42 – 56 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. You will re-join the boat either in St Amands or in Dendermonde where you will spend the night.

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

Ghent city centre - Belgium

Ghent

If you spent the night in St Amands you can choose to cruise or cycle to nearby Dendermonde where everyone disembarks for the day’s ride to Ghent. The route follows another wonderful bike path alongside the Schelde River and the miles glide by easily on this smooth level path. Before you know it you are arriving 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 you 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, 32 miles/50kms

Damme - Belgium*

Damme – near Bruges

Your last ride is a round trip out to the North Sea Coast. The lovely route takes you through the beautiful and serene polder landscape of green fields, canals and small villages. At the coast you cycle along a path through the dunes and nature reserve of Het Zwin. Have a break for lunch here before cycling back back to Bruges and the barge via a different route. Your last night n board is spent in Bruges, a lovely place top go out and celebrate your achievement.

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.

Day 2: Bruges – Ghent, 24 miles/40 kms

Ghent

Ghent

Your first day of cycling takes you towards Ghent, through the beautiful Flemish landscape, along the Ghent canal. Before you know it you are arriving 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 15 minutes cycling away.

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

Dendermonde - Belgium

Dendermonde – Belgium

Start cycling through the diverse and quite wonderful and natural landscape of the tidal Schelde River to Dendermonde. During this section of the Schelde your mode of travel will be determined by the height of the tides, so you will either travel from Dendermonde to St. Amands by bike or barge. Overnight is in St. Amands.

Day 4: St. Amands/Dendermonde – Antwerp, 28 miles/45 kms

Antwerp

Antwerp

Your route today takes you along a beautiful waterway just great for cycling. Your cycling destination 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 dinner is not included. The crew on board will certainly assist with recommendations on where to go.

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

Magnifique - On deck

Magnifique – On deck

The boat will motor along the Canal and over the huge Kreekrak lock system to Tholen, a former fishing village. From Tholen you 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, 16-32 miles/ 25-50 kms


Kinderdijk, Holland

Kinderdijk, Holland

Today the barge will take you 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 you will 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. Then finally on to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek for the evening.

Day 7: Vianen – Breukelen – Amsterdam, 21 miles/35 kms

bicycles on a bridge in Amsterdam

Amsterdam – where bikes rule!

The boat motors to Breukelen where you disembark to start your last cycle. Enjoy the passing views along the Vecht River, as it is an area famous for its beautiful mansions, impressive houses, small castles and gardens. One last stop is in Nigtevecht where you can visit a traditional cheese farm before cycling on to vibrant city of Amsterdam.

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 £958                    
Premium Twin £1149                    
Triple £910                    
Premium Triple £1054                    
Single £1293                    
Magnifique II - superior
Twin £958 £900                  
Premium Twin £1149 £1092                  
Triple £910 £852                  
Upper Deck Suit - 2 share £1341 £1245                
Upper Deck Suit - 3 share £1245 £1178                
Single £1293 £1217                
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Deposit per person £175

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)
Cycle helmets
Drinks onboard
One evening meal
Supplements for special dietary requests
Gratuities/Tips

Supplements

Bike hire, includes lock and pannier (£68)
Electric bike (£180)
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 £1034 £958                  
Triple £987 £910                  
Single £1370 £1293                  
Premium Twin £1226 £1149                  
Premium Triple £1130 £1054                  
Magnifique II - superior
Twin £1034 £958                  
Triple £987 £910                  
Single £1370 £1293                  
Premium Twin £1226 £1149                  
Upper Deck Suite - 2 share £1418 £1341                  
Upper Deck Suite - 3 share £1322 £1245                  
Magnifique III - superior
Twin £1034 £958                  
Triple £987 £910                  
Single £1370 £1293                  
Upper Deck Suite - 2 share £1418 £1341                  
Upper Deck Suite - 3 share £1322 £1245                  
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Deposit per person £175

Price Includes

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

Price Excludes

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

Supplements

Bike hire, includes lock and pannier (£73)
Electric bike (£180)

Practical Information

Bikes

Example of the type of bike used on this tour

Example of the type of bike used 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 and repair kit.

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

Helmets are not provided and we therefore recommend bringing your own.

Accommodation

Three very comfortable boats operate this route. 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. Now for 2018 is the brand new Magnifique III

Magnifique
The Magnifique is a wonderful boat offering an excellent standard of accommodation and facilities. She has 17 air-conditioned cabins with en-suite shower and toilet, flat screen TV and portholes, which are locked for safety reasons. 11 are twin bedded cabins, 2 are singles and 4 are twin bedded premium cabins. The premium cabins are more spacious with a small seating 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.

Magnifique II

Magnifique II - premium twin

Magnifique II – premium twin

Launched in 2016, the Magnifique II offers the same high standards as her elder sister. Adopting the same classical style and modern design, the Magnifique II offers 4 upper deck suites. The lower deck has 14 cabins, one is a larger, premium twin cabin, 12 are twin cabins and one is a single cabin –  all are spacious and well appointed with en-suite facilities, individually regulated air conditioning and flat screen satellite TV. On the main deck there is a comfortable salon/restaurant area with bar. Large doors open onto a partially roofed sundeck.

Meals:
On both 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 on six evenings during the week in the convivial salon. On one night during the week the galley is closed and you will be free to step ashore and find somewhere to eat. The crew will be happy to make recommendations if you wish.

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

Getting There

Gallery

Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 4 reviews 4.7
  • 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.