Bruges to Amsterdam Bike and Boat – MS Magnifique

This incredibly popular bike and boat holiday follows a wonderfully scenic route through northern Belgium and southern Holland. Highlights include the beautiful flemish cities of Bruges and Ghent, the windmills of Kinderdijk and the unique and vibrant city of Amsterdam. Enjoy easy daily rides on level cycle paths, mooring up somewhere new each evening.

This cycling holiday showcases some of the most iconic scenery and towns in Belgium and Holland. 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 delightful cities of Ghent and Bruges are a highlight as are the 19 windmills at Kinderdijk. Tranquil rides alongside the Vecht and Lek rivers will live long in the memory as will your time in Holland’s unique and captivating capital.

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

Bruges to Amsterdam Bike and Boat – MS Magnifique

This incredibly popular bike and boat holiday follows a wonderfully scenic route through northern Belgium and southern Holland. Highlights include the beautiful flemish cities of Bruges and Ghent, the windmills of Kinderdijk and the unique and vibrant city of Amsterdam. Enjoy easy daily rides on level cycle paths, mooring up somewhere new each evening.

This cycling holiday showcases some of the most iconic scenery and towns in Belgium and Holland. 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 delightful cities of Ghent and Bruges are a highlight as are the 19 windmills at Kinderdijk. Tranquil rides alongside the Vecht and Lek rivers will live long in the memory as will your time in Holland’s unique and captivating capital.

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 Amsterdam to Bruges 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. Check out Amsterdam Bruges Bike and Boat – MS Magnifique.

Day 1 : Bruges
6 miles/11 kms

Embarkation is from 1 to 2pm when the crew welcomes you onboard. There is then a welcome meeting where you will meet the crew and receive your bicycle. We then go on a short ride through the countryside around Bruges to get used to the bikes. After dinner you are invited to join a guided walking tour through the centre 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. We spend the night at our mooring in Bruges.

Day 2 : Bruges – Ghent
21 or 36 miles/35 or 57 kms

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 a 30 minute ride from the centre. Before dinner we enjoy a canal boat tour of the historic city.

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

After breakfast in Ghent we start cycling alongside the Schelde River to Dendermonde, a lovely old town that sits at the confluence of the Schelde and Dender rivers. The town has a beautiful old Grote Markt (town square) lined with inviting bars and cafés . Rest assured we will have time to explore this pleasant old town. From here, the state of the tide will determine whether it is possible to continue cycling along the river the 15kms to St. Amands or whether we re-board the boat and cruise this final section. Either way, we will moor in the sleepy little riverside town of St. Amands for the night.

Day 4 : St. Amands – Temse – Antwerp
19 or 31 miles/32 or 49 kms

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. The picturesque City Square with its tall, narrow majestic townhouses is another highlight as is the medieval Steen Castle. This evening the ship's galley is closed but the crew will be happy to recommend restaurants in the vicinity for your evening meal.

Day 5 : Antwerp – Kreekrak Locks – Tholen – Willemstad – Dordrecht
13 or 23 miles/20 or 36 kms

Our boat cruises along the Schelde-Rhine Canal and into the huge Kreekrak lock system. We disembark here for a lovely ride through the natural beauty of the Wouwse Plantage forest. Afterwards we cycle through the charming village of Bergen Op Zoom before crossing the bridge to the picturesque fishing village of Tholen. Here we re-board the boat and enjoy an afternoon cruise past the impressive Volkerak lock system, and the fortified town of Willemstad to Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities in Holland, where we moor for the night. After dinner your guide will take you for an evening walk around the historic town.

Day 6 : Dordrecht – Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Vianen
19 or 36 miles/32 or 57 kms

Today starts with a short 10 minute 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 boat is waiting for us and moors for the night.

Day 7 : Vianen – Breukelen – Amsterdam
23 or 28 miles/36 or 46 kms

During breakfast the boat cruises to Breukelen where we disembark for our last cycle ride of the holiday. Enjoy the views along the Vecht River, as it’s an area famous for 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 the vibrant city of Amsterdam. The boat remains moored in Amsterdam overnight allowing us to experience an evening in this exciting city.

Day 8 : Departure

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.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are 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 Brussels or Charleroi Airport.

Research flights from UK airports here.

From Brussels airport take the train to either Gare du Nord or Gare Centrale in Brussels and then change for the train to Bruges.

From Chareroi airport take the bus to Chareroi Sud train station in Charleroi and then a train to Bruges.

Fly home from Amsterdam Airport or take the Eurostar.

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

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