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Holland - Bruges to Amsterdam

Holland - Bruges to Amsterdam

Degree of difficulty - A

This bike and boat tour is available starting either from Amsterdam or from Bruges.  

If starting from the charming, abundantly decorated city of Bruges we cycle towards the lively city of Ghent, full of entertainment and among other things known for its many different types of beer. Both cities had their heyday in the Middle Ages, long before the Dutch Golden Age (17th century) and this is clearly visible in the architecture and paintings of the so-called Flemish School. From Flanders we continue into the Netherlands, with its variety of landscapes, wide views over broad waters, dramatic cloudy skies and scattered solitary village.

A rich history unfolds with the 'Vestingdriehoek' (Triangle of Fortified Towns): Gorinchem, where you can still see the walls of the old fortified town, Loevestein Castle, one of the Netherlands' best-preserved castles and the old city of Woudrichem completes the triangle. Along the river Vecht you cycle (back) to Amsterdam. Along the river is an abundance of large, monumental country houses, built in the Golden Age by the rich merchants of Amsterdam. One example is the centre part of Breukelen's Town Hall: this used to be part of Michiel de Ruyter's country house.

The itineraries are very slightly different depending if you are going from Amsterdam to Bruges or from Bruges to Amsterdam.    We have outlined our Bruges to Amsterdam tour bere but for more details please look at our tour dossiers below...

Day 1 (Sat) Bruges – Aalterbrug, 21 km & sailing to Ghent, 21 km

At 2 PM we will board our comfortable barge and then set off on our bikes for a ride along the canal between Bruges and Ghent to Aalterburg. After we warmed up our legs we will board the ‘Zwaan’ again and make our way to Ghent. After our dinner you will have a chance to visit this stunning medieval city. From our berth you can easily reach the city centre. This lively city with its numerous squares and cozy pubs is an excellent mixture of mediaeval edifices, stylish shopping streets, splendid mansions, working-class quarters from the beginning of the 20th century that now often house students and busy little squares where people eat out until the wee hours on a sultry summer night.

Day 2 (Sun) Ghent – cycling to Dendermonde & sailing St. Amands, 47 km
Early Sunday morning you will cycle through the old centre of Ghent. After coffee you will leave for a nice day along one of the most beautiful rivers of Europe: the Scheldt. After approximately 20 km you'll reach Wetteren, a nice flemish city which is well known for its rose nurseries. But also a good place to learn what the Belgium word 'staminee' means. Berlare is the last place before Dendermonde so it's a perfect place to taste some Belgian beer before you board the ship again. Your boarding place for today is Dendermonde, a city which is known for the legend of the Beiaart. From Dendermonde you'll sail to quiet village of St. Amand were you will spend the night.

Day 3 (Mon) St.Amands - Antwerp, 40 km
Along the Schelde we will cycle through the nature reserve Schausselbroek. The area has a large variety of landscape and interesting fauna. In Steendorp we will board the barge, that will take us to the historical centre of Antwerp. We will visit the town. Worth a visit are: the Onze-Lievevrouwenkerk and the Rubenshuis. In the Willemsdok, near the Museum for Modern Art (Museum Aan de Stroom) you will find the barge.

Day 4 (Tues) Antwerp – sailing to Krekrauksluizen and cycle to Willemstad, 56 km
This morning you'll sail through the big harbour of Antwerp, a big difference with the nature reserves and quite villages of yesterday. But due to the big sea going vessels and large harbour cranes it's a fascinating journey which brings you to Holland where you start your biketour at the Kreekrak locks. By bike you will make a beautiful tour over the 'Brabantse wal' a sand wall dating back from the times when Mammoths roam the area. Today you won't find any big elephants but the area seemed to be perfect for strawberry and asparagus fields. So be here at harvest time (depending on the weather: around June). From the woodlands around Bergen op Zoom you continue through a polderlandscape to the old fortified town of Willemstad, near the Volkeraksluizen (locks) at the Haringvliet, the busiest locks of Europe.

Day 5 (Wed) Willemstad –sailing to Werkendam and cycle to Gorinchem, 45km
From Willemstad you'll sail this morning to Werkendam where you go ashore to continue your tour by bike through the land of Heusden and Altena. Along the Bergse Maas, the south border of the land of Heusden and Altena, you continue your tour along the fortified town of Heusden. From here another river, the 'Afgedamde Maas' leads you back to the river Waal where you started your tour this morning. Here you'll find another beautifull fortified town, Woudrichem. A ferry brings you to the other side of the river where you'll board the ship.

Day 6 (Thurs) Gorinchem – Vianen - Utrecht, 50 km
From Gorinchem you will follow the meandering river the Linge, through the Alblasserwaard to Leerdam, famous for its glass. You will visit a glaze company. You will continue your tour to Culemborg, a peaceful town situated at the Lek and you will follow the river to Vianen. You will sail to Utrecht. After dinner you can take a bus to the old centre of Utrecht.

Day 7 (Fri ), Utrecht – sailing to Brooklyn and cycle to Amsterdam, 40 km
During breakfast you will sail to Breukelen from where you will cycle to Amsterdam along the two most beautiful rivers of Holland, the Vecht and the Amstel. Along the route you will find the magnificent country houses and mansions from the 18th century with their splendid, well-kept gardens. After dinner you have the option to take a canal cruise through the canals of Amsterdam.

Day 8 (Sat) Departure
Amsterdam, end of the tour after breakfast.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

€1125 per person sharing in a 2 bed cabin
€1595 for single occupancy
€1100 per person in a 3 bed cabin (Zwaan option only )

€1080 per person sharing in a 2 bed cabin
€1140 per person sharing in a large 2 bed cabin
€1225 for single occupancy  

€1020 per person in a 3 bed cabin  

€1025 per person sharing in a 2 bed cabin
€1225 for single occupancy (Barge Wending only)

€970 per person in a 3 bed cabin ( Barge Wending only )

€875 per person sharing in a 2 bed cabin
€1125 for single occupancy
Triple cabins not available

Tour Includes

- 7 nights on board ship
- bedclothes and towels 
- Coffee and tea on board
- All meals (breakfast & dinner on board) and packed lunch
- 24-speed bicycle (with pannier bags, lock, water bottle)
- Guide cycling with the group
- Route information and road book - one set per cabin
- Ferry fares on the route
- 3 city walks with tour guide
€65 E-Bike supplement ( subject to availability )

Group tour dates ( Red = booked out / not available, Blue = Limited Availability and Green = available)

6-May, 13-May, 20-May, 27-May,
3-June, 10-June, 17-June, 24-June,
1-July, 8-July, 15-July, 22-July, 29-July,
5-August, 12-August, 19-August, 26-August,
2-September, 9-September, 16-September, 23-September, 30-September,

Self Guided Tour Information

Self Led tours are not an option on this route

Our motorized passenger vessels, about 35-45 meters in length, are former river vessels especially converted for this kind of holiday. The barges all comply with the strict safety regulations laid down by the Dutch Shipping Inspection Authorities. On board you find a cozy dining room, a sun deck/a deck for the bicycles. All cabins are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower and toilet, 220 Voltage and central heating. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.
Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury!

Zwaan – Category Comfort Plus

Zwaan Barge Zwaan Barge2 Zwaan Barge3

Hotelboat Zwaan's chef prepares nice meals, which are served in the livingroom or,
wheather permitting, on the sundeck.
Capacity: 14/18 persons
Wifi: on board (only in the Netherlands)
Electricity: 220 V 
Cabins: Seven cabins with private hot shower and toilet
2x Family-style room, 2/3 p with double bed + single bed - 2x Friends-style room
2/3 p with 3 single beds (one bunk) - 2x Twins-style room, 2 p with two separate beds
- 1x Lovers Nest, 2 p with double bed

Anna Antal – Category StandardPlus/Comfort

Anna Antal Barge Anna Antal Barge1 Anna Antal Barge2

Capacity: 18 persons
Cabins: Nine cabins with private shower, washbasin, toilet and central heating.
5 x 2-berth cabins with low beds (Comfort)
4 x 2-berth cabins with bunk beds (StandardPlus)
Saloon: The Anna Antal is pleasant for a day’s stay and it has a cozy bar

Wending – Category Comfort 

Wending Barge Wending Barge2 Wending Barge3

The “Wending” is a former freight barge that started a new life in the early nineties as a luxury passenger motor barge. Since then the “Wending” is a familiar fixture on several routes in the Netherlands and Belgium. 

Capacity: max. 28 people/ On the Bike & Barge tours: max. 25 people
Cabins: The ”Wending” has 8 double and 2 triple cabins. The beds in the cabins are side by side.
In the triple cabin one bed is placed over the other two. All cabins with private bathroom and central heating.
Day Stay: The “Wending” has a roomy and cosy salon, equipped with a complete music installation and TV.
After a strenuous bike ride it is a great place to relax.
Electricity: 220 V

Arrival to tour start:
You will find the boat in Bruges: near the ‘Buiten Katelijnevest’ (not far from the train station- about 950 metres).

Train: For travel information from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport to Bruges by train: www.nshispeed.nl/en Travel time by train: appr. 3,5 hours

On foot it is between 10 to 15 minutes from the station to the barge.

For travel information from Bruges to Amsterdam: www.b-rail.com

Taxi: A taxi from the station in Bruges takes about 5 minutes to the barges.

You are expected on our boat on Saturday at 2 PM.

After arrival there's coffee and tea on board. Other drinks are also available on cash payment. If you want you can bring your luggage in advance, from 10 AM onwards. Then you can explore Bruges at your leisure.

Arrival at 2 PM You are expected on our barge on Saturday the latest at 2 PM. The barge needs to leave the mooring place in Bruges at 2.15 PM. So it is very important you are on time. The barge can’t wait due the opening hours of bridges and/or locks.

You can recognise the barge by the banner with Cycletours written on it. The name of your barge is printed on the voucher, which you will receive separately. After arrival there's coffee and tea on board. Other drinks are also available on cash payment.  If you want you can bring your luggage in advance, from 10 AM onwards.

Train For travel information from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport to Bruges by train: www.nshispeed.nl/en Travel time by train: appr. 3 ½ hours

On foot it is between 10 to 15 minutes from the station to the barge. Take exit ‘ centrum’ at the station and then turn right. Straight on and after 3rd bridge turn right. See map below.

Taxi A taxi from the station in Bruges takes about 5 minutes to the barge.

Had a wonderful time. Loved the bike, loved the pace, barge was good, good was terrific. Was sad to leave it all behind.

Teresa Linz (Bruges to Amsterdam group 2016)

We had a wonderful time, our third Cycling Safaris trip and if possible it surpassed our expectations. The boat was charming, our room was adequate and very clean. Mike was our cycle guide and lead us on a memorable ride. It is difficult to take a group of varying cycling abilities and keep them all together and kep them happy; but he did it all! The route was such fun. 

Nancy & Steve Bachand (Bruges to Amsterdam May 2016)

We would definitely recommend traveling on the Zwaan. The whole crew were extremely friendly and we all enjoyed our first trip to the Netherlands!

The Wilt Family 2013

Mick and I had a wonderful trip on the barge. The crew and Kass were outstanding and the food was just excellent. Our accommodations on the barge were very comfortable.

Mick & Patti S. (Amsterdam to Bruges 2013)

Everything was absolutely fantastic. We had no problems with the travel arrangements. The bikes were great and very easy to use! The barge...they were wonderful!! The food was delicous! 

The Wilt Family (Amsterdam to Bruges) 2013

The cycle tour more than met our expectations. The crew all provided excellent hosting, support and guidance. The food was delicious, ample and varied. Facilities on the barge provided satisfactory comfort. Overall a lot of fun with a great group and well organized.

Colin Maddocks (Amsterdam to Bruges 2013)

It was a wonderful vacation. The crew of the Zwaan were absolutely the most welcoming, professional and pleasant people. The food was fabulous. The boat was clean and comfortable

Mary Huis (Amsterdam to Bruges 2013)

We had a marvellous week, very helpful staff, good cycling, interesting places to visit, an excellent cook and the weather was kind. It really could not have been better in my view.

Ian Forrest (Amsterdam to Bruges 2012)

The cycle trip was absolutely wonderful! The crew of the boat was top-knotch, friendly, professional, and fun! Holland is a great place to bike, with nonthreatening trails and delightful people. The food on the boat was spectacular.

Esther Johnson (Bruges to Amsterdam 2012)

Getting in Touch...

Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,

Telephone: +353 1 2600749
Fax: +353 1 7161168


Office hours:
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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