pijl

Amsterdam-Gouda-Bruges

From: $1,420 USD

8 Days / 7 Nights
Type: Guided
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Imagine Yourself…

  • Cycling flat, winding roads past beautiful woodlands
  • Taking a ferry to see Holland’s largest number of historical windmills
  • Sampling the famous blue mussels of Zierikzee
  • Losing yourself in the medieval streets of Belgium’s Flemish cities

Overview

Two famous cities in Belgium and the Netherlands are the first and last stops on this fascinating Bike and Boat holiday. You will enjoy Bruges, one of the most beautiful, historic cities of Belgium, and Amsterdam, the architecturally and culturally wonderful capital of the Netherlands. Our tour will also take you to the delightful cities of Gouda and Dordrecht, and the renowned 19 windmills of Kinderdijk. You’ll notice subtle differences between the green Dutch polder landscape with water aplenty, quiet roads, and villages, the old island world of Zeeland with fields, creeks, winding dikes, and dams, and the picturesque but drier countryside between the Flemish cities of Ghent and Bruges in Belgium. These two Belgian cities experienced their golden age long before the emergence of the Dutch as a mercantile powerhouse. This is clearly evident in the architecture and paintings of the Flemish school. The mighty rivers in this part of the Netherlands and Belgium are prominent features along the route and you’ll be impressed by the Netherlands’ own world wonder, the Delta Works, which bear witness to Holland’s ongoing battle against the sea.

 

REVERSE ROUTE:     Bruges  Antwerp  Amsterdam

 

Daily Itinerary

  • DAY 1 - Amsterdam - Ouderkerk a/d Amstel – Oude Wetering – 6 miles (10 km)

    When you arrive on board the ship in Amsterdam by 2 p.m., you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It’s also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper, and crew – and of course your fellow passengers. At 2:15 p.m. we will leave Amsterdam cruising on the river Amstel to Ouderkerk a/d Amstel. After dinner we will cycle our first kilometers through the polder Ronde Hoep to Oude Wetering. During dinner aboard the ship, the program for the next day and the global planning of the week will be discussed.

  • DAY 2 - Oude Wetering – Gouda – 28 miles (45 km)

    From Oude Wetering we will continue on country roads, along canals and rivers to the cheese town, Gouda. You will have time in the late afternoon to admire the stained glass windows in the St. John’s Church or to enjoy one of the sidewalk cafés in Gouda’s famous main square. In the square you’ll find the beautiful Town Hall, one of the few remaining examples of Gothic architecture in Holland. Every hour you’ll hear the city hall’s chimes and can watch the puppet show depicting the moment city rights were given to Gouda back in 1272 by Earl Floris V. After dinner we’ll take another walk through the city.

  • DAY 3 - Gouda – Alblasserdam - Dordrecht – 24 miles (39 km)

    Today we will cycle along the Dutch IJssel, through the deepest lying polder of the Netherlands, Krimpenerwaard, and over narrow cycling paths to the river “Lek”. Here we will cross the river by ferry to Kinderdijk, where Holland’s largest number (19) of historical windmills is found. Kinderdijk is now listed as an UNESCO’s World Heritage site. You’ll visit a working windmill that’s now a small museum. It’s well worth the climb up the narrow steps to the top. After the Kinderdijk, we will tour through the Alblasserwaardpolder, then take a ferry which will bring us to the banks of the river Beneden-Merwede in Dordrecht. Dordrecht is one of the oldest cities in Holland, which lies at the intersection of three busy waterways.

  • DAY 4 - Dordrecht – Willemstad - Zierikzee – 32 miles (51 km)

    The ship sails during breakfast to the delta region of Holland’s large rivers. The many small waterways here used to have an open connection with the sea, but after the flood of 1953, large civil engineering works were carried out as a part of the Delta Plan so that dams closed off most tidal inlets. Revised plans have produced a number of dams and bridges in a second line of defence. You will find yourself surrounded by concrete that is built to last for 200 years. In Willemstad, an old fortified town, we will start our cycle tour and ride over the Volkerakbrug (with one of the busiest locks in the world) to the former island of Goeree-Overvlakkee. Our destination today is Zierikzee, a beautiful town and the center of the “mussel culture.” The blue mussels from this area are a renowned delicacy. Just before reaching our destination we will visit the ‘Watersnoodmuseum’. This museum tells the tragic events of 1953 and is built in recently renewed caissons, once used for the last closure gap.

  • DAY 5 - Zierikzee – Middelburg - Vlissingen: 31 miles (51 km)

    Today we will encounter one of the Wonders of the World as we bike across the great dam that was built after the devastating flooding of Zeeland in 1953. Now all the islands of Zeeland are connected by dams, but each has retained its own character. Cycling on quiet country roads, we will head for Middelburg, a small city with another lovely town center and the capital of the province of Zeeland. Before Middelburg we will visit the picturesque port town of Veere.

  • DAY 6 - Vlissingen - Ghent – 28 miles (45 km)

    We will travel to the Dutch-Belgian border in Sas van Gent, the former gateway to the harbor of Ghent, through an area with small villages, creeks, bending embankments, and beautiful panoramas. In case you choose the shorter cycle route, we will embark here. During our journey we’ll witness the lively maritime traffic in the canal from Ghent to Terneuzen, with impressive industrial buildings along the shores. After a short journey of 1.5 hours, we will arrive in Ghent.

    From the pier, we’ll take the tram to the medieval center of this beautiful city. We will spend the night in this town, a major trading center during the Middle Ages and still one of Flanders’ most important cities today. The city center has many well-preserved patrician mansions and architecturally delightful civic and commercial buildings.

    Today we will cycle straight through the beautiful center of Ghent on a peaceful route. We’ll pedal past the Leie Bridge and enter the tranquil countryside of East Flanders. Traveling down winding roads and through patches of woodland, we head to Bruges. The final section of the route will take us along the towpath next to the canal running from Ghent to Oostende. In the afternoon and evening you can enjoy the heart of the fascinating city of Bruges.

  • DAY 7 - Ghent – Bruges – 28 miles (45km)

    Today we will cycle straight through the beautiful center of Ghent on a peaceful route. We’ll pedal past the Leie Bridge and enter the tranquil countryside of East Flanders. Traveling down winding roads and through patches of woodland, we head to Bruges. The final section of the route will take us along the towpath next to the canal running from Ghent to Oostende. In the afternoon and evening you can enjoy the heart of the fascinating city of Bruges.

  • DAY 8 - Tour Ends

    Our tour concludes after breakfast. The barge will be moored near the Buiten Katelijnevest in Bruges.

Dates & Prices

Green = Open | Yellow = Limited | Red = Full

Departure

Barge

Twin

Superior

Triple

Single use

May 2

Clair de Lune

$ 1750

$ 1830

May 9

Sailing Home

$ 1890

$ 2680

May 16

Wending

$ 1660

 $ 1560

$ 2070

May 23

Sailing Home

$ 1890

$ 2680

June 6

Wending

$ 1660

 $ 1560

$ 2070

June 13

Liza Marleen

$ 1810

$ 2080

 $ 1680

$ 2550

June 20

Sailing Home

$ 1890

$ 2680

July 4

Sailing Home

$ 1710

$ 2420

July 11

Wending

$ 1510

$ 1420

$ 1880

July 18

Sailing Home

$ 1710

$ 2420

August 1

Sailing Home

$ 1710

$ 2420

August 8

Wending

$ 1510

$ 1420

$ 1880

August 15

Sailing Home

$ 1890

$ 2680

August 22

Wending

$ 1660

$ 1560

$ 2070

August 29

Sailing Home

$ 1890

$ 2680

September 5

Wending

$ 1790

$ 1690

$ 2230

September 12

Sailing Home

$ 2060

$ 2890

September 19

Wending

$ 1790

$ 1690

$ 2230

September 19

Liza Marleen

$ 1980

$ 2240

$ 1820

$ 2790

September 26

Sailing Home

$ 1890

$ 2680

Prices are per person in US Dollars – inclusive bike rental

  • What's included

    • 7 nights on board the ship (sheets, blankets, and towels)
    • 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches, and 7 dinners
    • Coffee and tea on board
    • 24-speed bicycle, incl. helmet, pannier bags, lock, water bottle, & bike insurance
    • Tour guide (multilingual)
    • 3 City Walks
    • Route information and road book
    • Ferry fares on route
    • Reservation costs
  • Bikes

    A well maintained, comfortable 24-speed hybrid bicycle is available free of charge for each participant. Men and women’s models are available in sizes appropriate to your height. The bikes come with helmets, grip shifters, hand brakes, carrier bag, lock, repair kit, water bottle holders, water bottle, and bike insurance. Electric bikes can be rented for this tour ($130 per person).We advise you only to rent an electric bike if you have first tried one at home. They’re heavier than regular bikes and therefore can be difficult to maneuver. In addition, you can rent children’s bikes, child seats, bike trailers, and tag-alongs.

    Women's bike - Van Gogh Tours - Bike and Barge Mens bike - Van Gogh Tours - Bike and Barge Electric bike - Bike and Barge - Van Gogh Tours

  • Meals

    The cook prepares all meals: a substantial breakfast and a three-course dinner of very good quality. A packed lunch may be prepared after breakfast. Tea and coffee will be ready when you arrive on board in the afternoon. There’s a bar on board with reasonably-priced beer, wine, and soft drinks. If you have special meal requirements, please mention this when booking. In the case of a Vegan/gluten-free and lactose free diet there is an additional charge of $85 per week.

  • Not included

    • Airfare
    • Drinks from bar on board or when cycling
    • Admission fees to the various museums or places of interest (about €25)
    • Trip cancellation insurance

Accommodations

The accommodations listed below are examples of those usually used on the tour. Depending on availability, you may be booked in a different accommodation of equal quality.

Reviews

We did the Amsterdam-Bruges Route on the Sailing Home barge. The whole tour was excellent. The accommodations, the food, the staff, the tour guide ( Wim) and the biking route were all excellent. By the time we finished, we were best friends with the other 10-15 couples on the tour. Scale of 1-10, a 10!

Timothy & Anne Marie Curran, August 2023


 

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