Difficulty Rating : 3 Start: Bruges Finish: Amsterdam Terrain: Easy cycle, generally flat terrain Daily Average: 47km Weekly Average: 295km Tour Type: Bike and Boat,Family,Group Teaser: Starting from the charming, abundantly decorated city of Bruges we cycle towards the lively city of Ghent, full of entertainment
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This bike and boat tour is available starting either from Amsterdam or from Bruges.  

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 dotted with windmills and scattered solitary villages.

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 to Amsterdam. The river into the city is lined with large, monumental country houses, built in the Golden Age by the rich merchants of Amsterdam.   A night in this iconic city finishes off a wonderful week on the bike.

This tour runs from Thursday to Thursday!

A downloadable version of the itinery is available from the Resources Tab

Itineraries

Day 1

Bruges ~ Aalterbrug / Ghent (21 km )

You welcome you on our barge on Thursday between 12.30pm - 1.30pm. The barge leaves the dock at 2pm. You will first cruise through Amsterdam before reaching the wetlands south of the city and the mooring place of today, the village of Oude Wetering.
After dinner the tour leader will escort you on the first kilometers of your bike trip during a short ride around the village.

Day 2

Ghent

Today you will have the day at your free disposal. The city of Ghent is proud of its rich past, the many well-preserved guild’s and patricians’ houses as well as old warehouses, Gravensteen (a mediaeval castle), St Nicholas Church (with 13th century foundations), St Bavo’s Cathedral and the ‘Belfort’ (Belfry;14th century). But Ghent is much more than just a museum town. This lively city with its numerous squares and cosy pubs is an excellent mixture of mediaeval edifices, stylish shopping streets, splendid mansions, working-class quarters from the beginning of the 20th century which now often house students and busy little squares where people eat out till the wee hours on a sultry summer night.
You can also choose to go cycling with your guide. The castles and luxurious villas in and around Destelbergen, at a stone’s throw from Ghent, are silent witnesses of the rich history of this municipality along the banks of the river Scheldt.

Day 3

Ghent - Middelbrug, 45 km

Today you will leave Belgium and arrive in the Netherlands. During breakfast you will sail to Sas van Gent and cycle through Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Dutch-Flanders). With a short ferry trip from Breskens to Vlissingen (Flushing) you cross the Westerschelde. From Vlissingen it’s just 30 minutes cycling to Middelbrug, the capital of Zeeland. Modern Middelburg has preserved and regained much of its historic and picturesque character. There are lavish 17th and 18th century merchant houses and storehouses standing along canals. The medieval abbey is still in use today, as a museum and as the seat of the provincial government.

Day 4

Middelbrug - Zierikzee, 50 km

First you will ride to the town of Veere, formerly an important trading place. From Veere you will cycle over the Veersgatdam (here you have the possibility of a beach visit) to North Beveland. Soon you will reach the Oosterscheldedam. The enormous locks are built in this embankment and can be closed during storms and high tides protecting the south-west of the Netherlands against the sea. This embankment was one of the last in a series of barriers against the sea. When cycling along the embankment, one will realize why this has been one of the most difficult and costly challenges to protect the country now and in the future and to let seawater into the widespread Delta area. It is precisely why the Deltaworks are referred to as the one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. After this dam you will peddle to Zierikzee.

Day 5

Zierikzee - Willemstad, sailing to Dordrecht, 55 km

A nice ride on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland is on the program. You ride to Bruinisse. The village is known as a very isolated community. The main source of income is the mussel fishery, on the dike to the Grevelingen you will find a statue of an opened mussels. You will ride on to Willemstad (an old fortified town) and go on board there. Sailing to Dordrecht, one of the oldest cities of Holland and located at the crossroads of busy waterways.

Day 6

Dordrecht, sailing to Gorinchem, cycling to Vianen, 50 km

From Gorinchem you will visit Woudrichem (an old fortified town) and most famous castle in the Netherlands, Loevestein. You follow the meandering river Linge through the Betuwe. This area is known for the large amount of orchards and therefore will be covered with blossoms in May. Along the city of Leerdam, famous for its glass, you continue your tour in northern direction towards Vianen.

Day 7

Vianen, sailing to Breukelen, cycling to Amsterdam, 40 km

During breakfast we sail to Breukelen (Brooklyn) from where we cycle to Amsterdam along the two most beautiful rivers of Holland, the Vecht and the Amstel.
Along the route we pass 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.

  • 7 nights on board barge 
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • All meals (breakfast & dinner on board) and packed lunch
  • 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

    Bike rental is not included in our 2024 tour price. This is an additional:
    €110.00 Hybrid Bike
    €220.00 Electric Bike

    Discounts are available for children, please see itinerary or email our office for more information

For 2024 bike rental is not included in the basic tour package.

On this tour we rent out Batabus Galivier Hybrid bikes. A good bicycle available for all participants from ages nine and up with 24 gears and handbrakes. All bikes are comfortable lightweight touring bikes. The bikes are equipped with:
- Pannier bags, Helmet, Odometer, Good lock, Water bottle
- You will get a repair kit when biking on your own.

It is also possible to rent an E - bike
Your bike has 24 gears, a detachable lithium-Ion battery, hand brakes, pannier bags, a good lock, water bottle and a repair kit.

Bike Insurance is included in 2024.

Following two cycles in Ireland, this was our first bike and boat trip.  We had a wonderful time and even got engaged in Antwerp.  The boat, crew, and bicycles were fantastic.  The daily distances were very manageable, the scenery lovely and the lunch stops were so good, we didn’t want to get going again.  Will definitely do another one, just so many tours to choose from…..

Robert & Cindy (Bruges to Amsterdam June 2018)

The Bruges-Amsterdam bike trip was wonderful!  We loved the barge, the food, the guide (Bert), the bikes, the routes.  We biked through beautiful countryside, lovely villages and even into crazy Amsterdam.  It was a great trip.

Cat & Richard (Bruges to Amsterdam Sept 2018)

My group had a fabulous time on our trip. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the accommodation on the barge. The crew on the barge was friendly and helpful. The food was excellent. We really enjoyed eating meals with the other passengers and it was nice that we were able to pack a healthy lunch each day. This was my first time doing a trip like this with a guide and I enjoyed having someone to explain the historical significance of each area. It was nice having someone to explain the historical significance of each area and having planned stops at different attractions.

Paula London (Bruges to Amsterdam, 2017)

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 keep them happy, but he did it all! The route was such fun. 

Nancy & Steve Bachand (Bruges to Amsterdam May 2016)

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)

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

Teresa Linz (Bruges to Amsterdam group 2016)

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)

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)

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)

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 delicious! 

The Wilt Family (Amsterdam to Bruges) 2013

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

Mick & Patti S. (Amsterdam to Bruges 2013)

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

The Wilt Family 2013

SAILINGS 2024
COMFORT DELUX BARGE "SAILING HOME"
Bruges to Amsterdam
:  May 16, 30, June 13, 27, July 11, 25, August 8, 22, September 5, 19, October 3, 17
Amsterdam to Bruges :  May 9, 23, June 20, July 4, 18, August 1, 15, 29, September 12, 26, October 10
€1380 ( low season ) /  €1535 ( standard season ) /  €1685 ( high season ) per person in twin cabin
€1995 ( low season )  / €2220 ( standard season ) /  €2420 ( high season )  single cabin occupancy

COMFORT BARGE "WENDING"
Bruges  to Amsterdam :  May 23, July 18, August 15, 29, September 12, 26
Amsterdam to Bruges : May 16, June 6, July 11, August 8, 22, September 5, 19
€1210 ( low season ) /  €1334 (standard season) / €1460 ( high season ) per person in twin cabin
€1530 ( low season ) /  €1695 (standard season) /  €1840 ( high season )  single cabin occupancy
€1130 ( low season ) / €1250 (standard season) / €1370 ( high season) triple cabin

COMFORT PLUS BARGE "LIZA MARLEEN"
Bruges to Amsterdam :  June 20, September 26   
Amsterdam to Bruges :  June 13, September 19
€1470 ( standard season ) /  €1610 ( high season ) per person in twin cabin
€1700 ( standard season ) /  €1840 ( high season ) per person in superior twin cabin
€1350 ( standard season ) /  €1475 ( high season )  per person in triple cabin
€2110 ( standard season ) /  €2325 ( high season )  single cabin occupancy

Bike hire is not included in the tour price:
€110 bike hire
€220 e-bike

Self Guided Tour Information

Self Led tours are not an option on this route.

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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 Thursday at 1.30 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 12.30 PM You are expected on our barge on Thursday the latest at 1.30 PM. The barge needs to leave the mooring place in Bruges at 2 PM. So it is very important you are on time. The barge can't wait due to 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 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.

Sailing Home - Category Comfort de Luxe

The "Sailing Home" started cruising in 2001. This beautiful passenger ship can accommodate 26  passengers. The interior of the salon and bar is decorated in a mode Victorian style and offers wonderful comfort.  There are 13 spacious and comfortable guest cabins each one with a private bathroom. central heating and air-conditioning.  On the top floor you will find the salon, a roomy lounge, a cosy bar and a sun deck.

Sailing Home - Category Comfort de Luxe image 1Sailing Home - Category Comfort de Luxe image 1

Liza Marleen - Category Comfort

The “Liza Marleen” is a luxury motor passenger barge, built in 1998 with the cabins being fully renovated for the 2016 season. It has a capacity for 22 people with 8 double cabins and 2 triple cabins. 
All cabins come with a private bathroom and central heating. The triple cabins have one double bed on top and one single bed undeeath. The double cabins have two separate beds on top of each other. The “Liza Marleen” has a beautiful, spacious and tastefully decorated salon and plenty of room on deck. 

Liza Marleen - Category Comfort image 1Liza Marleen - Category Comfort image 1

Tour Date Options

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Primary Contact Details.

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Insurance

We require you to have Travel Insurance when you book the tour. It is important that you are covered in case of cancellation due to injury as the deposit is non refundable

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Acommodation

For single travellers, we organise accommodation on a twin sharing basis. Please note it may not be possible on all our tours and a single supplement will be applied.

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Other Information

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Payment Information

If you have been on a previous tour, there is a €50.00 discount on our week long tours in Ireland (unfortunately this discount does not apply to other European trips)

A €250.00 deposit is required for each person booking on a holiday. The Balance payment is required two month prior to the starting date. The deposit is forfeited in the event of a cancellation of your booking. The balancing payment is also non-refundable in the event of the cancellation occuring within 14 days of the tour starting date. All transactions are taken in Euro.

We will contact you to confirm your booking and payment details.

Please ensure that you have read the terms and conditions before proceeding.

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Booking Conditions

Irish Cycling Safaris Ltd (“the Company”) accepts bookings subject to the following conditions:

  • The contract is between the Company and the client, being any person travelling or intending to travel on a tour operated by the company. The contract, including all matters arising from it, is subject to Irish law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish courts. A booking is accepted and becomes definite only from the date when the company sends a confirmation. It is at this point that a contract between the company and the client comes into existence. Before your booking is confirmed and comes into existence the company reserves the right to increase or decrease brochure prices. The company or their agents reserve the right to decline any booking at their discretion.
  • To secure a booking the Company or their agent requires a completed booking form and the necessary deposit. (Full payment if travel within 60 days). The first named client must be over 18 years of age. Clients booking by telephone, by website/E-mail or fax will be deemed to have signed the booking form and read and accepted our terms of booking. The person signing, or being deemed to sign, the booking form warrants that he/she has full authority to do so on behalf of all persons whose names appear thereon, and confirms that all such persons are fully aware of and accept these conditions.
  • The balance of all monies due, including any surcharges applicable at the time, must be paid to the company or their agents not later than 60 days before departure. In the case of non-payment of the balance by the due date the Company reserves the right to cancel your booking and cancellation charges will apply. If any cheque is dishonoured we reserve the right to charge €25 to cover administration costs.
  • Travel Insurance is mandatory for all clients whilst on a tour organised by the Company. Clients are wholly responsible for arranging their own insurance. Clients are responsible for ensuring that they are in possession of private Travel insurance with protection for the full duration of the tour in respect of at least medical expenses, injury, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment, with adequate cover.
  • An administration fee of €25 per booking plus any additional costs incurred will be charged if a confirmed booking is changed or transferred to a different departure date or tour, up to 60 days prior to departure. Thereafter all changes will be treated as cancellations and subject to the relevant charges. Changes are subject to availability. For an administration fee of €25 you may request a credit voucher. This must be redeemed within 12 months of issue and must be used against a new booking. The voucher is non transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash. In certain circumstances, which the Company considers reasonable, the booking may be transferred to another suitable person; however the tour arrangements must remain the same and will only be allowed if all suppliers agree to accept the name change. If a transfer is allowed an administration charge of €25 per person will be charged plus any extra charges levied by suppliers.
  • Should the client wish to cancel, cancellation charges will be imposed. These are calculated from the day written notification is received by the company or their agent as a percentage of the total tour price, including surcharges as follows:

    > 60 days before departure – retention of deposit

    60-14 days before departure – 50%

    < 14 days before departure – 100%

  • Clients are responsible for arranging, and must be in possession of, a valid passport and any visas and vaccination certificates required for the whole of their journey. Information about these matters or related items (climate, clothing, baggage, personal items etc) is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
  • Should the client have a reason to complain, you must immediately notify our representative and the relevant supplier. If the client’s complaint is not dealt with satisfactorily at the time, they must write to us with full details of the complaint within 28 days of the end of the tour. Failure to notify complaints entirely within accordance of this clause will diminish or extinguish the client’s ability to claim compensation.
  • The company provides all services on a “ground only” basis. The client is responsible for arranging their own travel to the designated start points of each tour. The company cannot accept any liability for any delay/cancellation in your transportation and cannot offer any refunds for lost holiday time.
  • Clients agree to accept the authority and decisions of the Company’s employees, tour leaders and agents whilst on the tour with the company. If in the opinion of such persons the health, level of fitness or conduct of a client at any time before or after departure appears likely to endanger the safe, comfortable or happy progress of a tour the client may be excluded from all or part of the tour without refund or recompense. In the case of ill health the company may make such arrangements as it sees fit and recover the costs thereof from the client. If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and the Company shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. If you are affected by a condition, medical or otherwise, that might affect you or affect other people’s enjoyment or active participation of the tour, you must advise us at the time of booking. No refund will be given for any unused services.
  • The Company will use its best endeavours to operate all tours as advertised. However, it reserves the right to change any of the facilities, services, prices or itineraries described in our brochure/website. If a major change is necessary or deemed advisable, the company will advise the client as soon as reasonably possible, if there is no time before departure. A major change does not apply to a change of transport or named accommodation, but is usually considered a major change in itinerary or change in duration of a client’s holiday. If advised of a major change before departure, the client will have the choice of accepting changes (at additional cost if applicable), purchasing another available tour from the company, or cancelling the tour with a full refund.

    Provided that the major change is not as a result of situations outside the company’s control or consolidation, compensation will be paid as follows:

    Notification Period Given / Compensation Per Person

    More than 30 days: Nil

    14-30 days: €40

    Less than 14 days: €50

     
  • Force Majeure. We regret we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by reasons of circumstance amounting to “force majeure”. In these conditions “force majeure” means any event which we the supplier of services in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events include war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire or adverse weather conditions, epidemics or health risks and all similar events outside our control.
  • The company reserves the right to cancel a tour in any circumstances but will not cancel a tour less than 4 weeks before departure except for “force majeure”, consolidation, or the client’s failure to pay the final balance. Unless the client fails to pay the final balance, the company, upon cancellation will return all monies paid to it, or offer the client an alternative holiday of comparable standard if available (if less expensive than original we will refund the difference, if more expensive, the client will have to pay the difference). Compensation will not be payable (1) where the company is forced to cancel as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care or (2) where an insufficient number of people book the clients chosen holiday and we notify we are cancelling for this reason not less than 28 days before departure. In all cases our liability is limited to offering the above choices and the compensation payments (where applicable) set out in clause 11. No compensation is payable if we notify you of cancellation more than 8 weeks before departure. We cannot be held responsible for any costs or expenses you may have as a result of cancellation.
  • Client’s bookings are accepted on the understanding that they appreciate the risks inherent in adventure travel and that they undertake the tours featured in our programme at their own volition. Our obligations, and those of any suppliers providing any service or facility involved in any travel arrangements you book with us, are to provide services and facilities with reasonable care and skill. Facilities will be provided to the realistic minimum standard recommended by the regulatory authorities responsible.
  • Bike Hire: The equipment including all accessories supplied is let out on hire. The equipment remains the property of the company and the Client will not sell, hire out or otherwise part with the possessions thereof.

    The Client undertakes not to misuse the equipment and to return it with all accessories in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear accepted). The company shall be entitled to charge the client for any damages caused to equipment during the period of hire. In event of a breakdown, other than a result of the Clients misuse, the company will use its best endeavours to repair or procure repair of the equipment.

    The company will not be liable for any damage or loss whatsoever, through breakdown or other defect in the equipment or other circumstances beyond the company’s control. The Client shall indemnify the company with respect to all costs, claims, expenses and demands suffered or incurred which arise directly or indirectly out of the use of the equipment during the period of hire. The company reserves the right to charge the client for partial or full settlement of any claim. In the event of the equipment being stolen or lost, the company reserves the right to call upon the client to indemnify the company the replacement of the equipment. However, should the equipment subsequently be returned in a satisfactory condition, the company undertakes to refund the clients indemnity within 14 days.

    The Client will ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use, will not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and will immediately notify the company in the event of breakdown or loss of equipment.

  • Clients bringing their own bikes do so on the proviso that their equipment is in a suitable condition for participation in a tour. Responsibility for maintenance of bicycles brought by clients rests with the client. The company will endeavour to accommodate such clients, but cannot guarantee that correct tools and spares will be available, given the wide range of possibilities that exist.