Amsterdam to Bruges Bike and Boat – MS Magnifique

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 (recently renamed Princess Royal) 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 joined the fleet, upholding the high standards set by her sister-ships and in 2020 the equally fabulous Magnifique IV was launched.

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 bike 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.

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

Amsterdam to Bruges Bike and Boat – MS Magnifique

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 (recently renamed Princess Royal) 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 joined the fleet, upholding the high standards set by her sister-ships and in 2020 the equally fabulous Magnifique IV was launched.

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 bike 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.

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

This holiday also operates in reverse, see the Bruges to Amsterdam route.

The captain reserves the right to make changes to the planned route due to changing wind, tide and weather conditions, and where required by organizational necessities.

Please note that this holiday also operates in the reverse direction.

Day 1 : Amsterdam

Embarkation and check-in takes place around 2pm. After settling into your cabin there's plenty of time to head back into Amsterdam for a spot of sightseeing - the city has some world famous museums and its canal lined streets are a delight to explore on foot. At around 5.30pm a welcome meeting takes place on board where you can met the crew, your fellow guests and learn more about the week ahead. This is followed by dinner and afterwards you are invited to join a canal-tour of old Amsterdam. The boat remains moored in Amsterdam overnight.

Day 2 : Amsterdam - Breukelen - Vianen
23 - 28 miles/36 - 46 kms

After breakfast we disembark and begin our first ride of the holiday, following a series of cycle paths out of Amsterdam to the historical town of Muiden. A beautiful 14th century castle stands guard over the town at the mouth of the Vecht River. Our route leads us inland, alongside the river, past some charming villages, impressive mansions and ornate gardens. In the small town of Breukelen we re-board the boat and enjoy an evening dinner cruise south to the small fortified town of Vianen where we moor for the night

Day 3 : Vianen – Schoonhoven – Kinderdijk – Dordrecht
19 or 34 miles/32 or 56 kms

Today's 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. We rejoin the boat in Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland.

Day 4 : Dordrecht – Willemstad – Tholen – Antwerp
23 or 28 miles/36 or 44 kms

The day starts with a breakfast cruise south to the town of Willemstad where we disembark for today’s ride. Willemstad is a lovely old fortified town occupying a strategic position on the main Haringvliet waterway. Our ride leads us south to the former island of Tholen now connected to the mainland by bridges. In the picturesque village of Tholen we can still see evidence of the island’s strong fishing heritage. We re-board the boat near the impressive Kreekrak Lock system for a leisurely cruise to Antwerp. The city has 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 5 : Antwerp – Temse – St Amands
21 or 31 miles/34 or 49 kms

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. Following this extremely pleasant ride we re-board the boat in St Amands and remain moored there overnight.

Day 6 : St Amands – Ghent
32 miles/52 kms

Today’s ride follows another wonderful bike path alongside the Schelde River to Ghent 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 7 : Ghent – Bruges
13 or 28 miles/22 or 45 kms

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. Dinner on-board is not included today to give you a chance to taste what Bruges has to offer.

Day 8 : Bruges - end of trip

After breakfast it’s time to disembark, by 9.30am, and head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 7 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

Smaller framed bikes for children and child seats are also available on request at time of booking.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets can be provided on arrival.

Accommodation

Magnifique IV (superior)

The Magnifique IV was completed in the Spring of 2020 and offers the same high level of comfort and service as her sister ships.

The lower deck features 8 twin bedded cabins (12m²) with two single beds, while the upper deck will offer 10 spacious, double-bedded suites (16 m²) with a cozy sitting area and French balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors. The cabins on the lower deck have portholes (fixed for safety reasons).

All cabins have their own private bathroom with shower, basin and toilet; as well as individually-regulated air-conditioning, flat screen satellite TV, mini safe and hair dryer.

On the upper deck, there is a tastefully decorated bar/lounge area with wide screen TV, large windows to enjoy the scenery and free Wi-Fi. The comfortable and inviting restaurant is separated from the kitchen by a glass wall, so you can see the talented chefs in action. Large glass doors open onto a beautiful partially-covered teak viewing deck, furnished with tables and chairs

Magnifique II (superior)

The Magnifique II offers exceptionally high levels of comfort and service and has 17 cabins. A modern design finished in a classical style, the ship makes a very pleasant base for your cycling holiday.

The upper deck has four spacious suites (14m²) with two separate single beds, a small sitting area and large panoramic windows, one of which can be opened. The lower deck feature 13 cabins, 12 of which are twin bedded cabins (11m²) with two separate single beds, one of which is a larger premium twin with two separate single beds and a small sitting area (13m²). In most cabins, on prior request, the beds can be set together as a double bed. On request, and additional bed is available in two twin cabins and one upper deck suite (above one of the other beds). All the cabins on the lower deck have portholes (fixed for safety reasons).

All the cabins are well appointed and equipped with en-suite facilities with a shower, toilet and sink and the air conditioning in all cabins can be individually regulated. Furthermore they are equipped with a flat screen TV, mini-safe and hairdryer.

On the upper deck there is a tastefully decorated salon with restaurant, bar and a lounge with wide screen TV, large windows to enjoy the scenery and free Wi-Fi. Large doors open onto a partially roofed sundeck with table and chairs. On the top deck you will find a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and deckchairs.

Magnifique III (superior)

The Magnifique III offers the same exceptionally high level of comfort and service as the Magnifique and Magnifique II and has 21 cabins.

The lower deck features 14 twin cabins (12m²) with two separate single beds and 2 single cabins (9 m²). The upper deck has 5 spacious suites (16 m²) with two separate single beds, a small sitting area and a “French Balcony”: ceiling-to-floor sliding glass doors. In most cabins and all suites, on prior request, the beds can be set together as a double bed. On request, an additional third bed is available in one of the suites and one of the twin cabins (Pullman bed, above one of the other beds).

All cabins are well appointed and equipped with en-suite facilities with a shower, toilet and basin. The cabins on the lower deck have portholes (fixed for safety reasons), upper deck suites have sliding glass doors that can be partly opened. The airconditioning in all cabins can be individually regulated. In each cabin you will find a flat screen TV, mini-safe and hairdryer.

On the upper deck, there is a tastefully decorated salon with restaurant, bar and a lounge with wide screen TV, large windows to enjoy the scenery and free Wi-Fi. Large doors open onto a partially roofed teak wood sundeck with tables and chairs on the aft deck

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.

Research Eurostar from UK here

Reviews