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Flanders & Wallonia

Cycling along the river Scheldt

Bruges
Brussels Airport

  • Start
  • Finish

Bruges
Brussels Airport

The Schelde River, also spelled Scheldt river (in  French: l’ Escaut), 270 miles (435 km) long, rises in northern France and flows across Belgium to its North Sea outlet in Dutch territory. The Romans, Vikings, Spaniards and Napoleon; they all understood the strategic importance of the Scheldt. This unique Bike & Barge tour Flanders & Wallonnia along the river Scheldt, gives you the possibility to discover all the highlights on her banks and beyond.
You will cycle in the often so picturesque Flemish countryside, between the Belgian Medieval cities of Oudenaarde, Ghent, Bruges and Tournai (Doornik). Some of these ancient cobblestone roads are (in)famous being part of the Tour of Flanders (speed cycling race in Belgium). Die-hards can try one or two of them! On this tour you cross the language border (Flemish/France) by bicycle! Even a short visit to France and a visit to a brewery are part of this new bike & barge tour Belgium Flanders & Wallonia along the river Scheldt.   

  • Type of tour Guided
  • Level 1
  • Duration 8
  • Distance 45km, average per day
  • Bruges, Oudenaarde & Ghent
  • Short visit to France
  • Flanders countryside
  • Tournai, oldest city of Belgium

Daily Program

1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1

Saturday: Bruges, boarding is between 1 PM and 2 PM, cycling to Aalterbrug and sailing to Ghent

21KM
Saturday: Bruges, boarding is between 1 PM and 2 PM, cycling to Aalterbrug and sailing to Ghent

When you arrive on board the ship you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper and crew and of course your fellow passengers. At 2 p.m. you will start off the city walls of Bruges for a trip to Ghent. The barge will mostly be following the canal between Bruges and Ghent to Aalterbrug, which offers a beautiful, peaceful cycle route with an unexpected variety of experiences.
After dinner you will have some time to discover the old and characteristic city centre. 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 Baaf’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.

Day 2

Sunday: Visit Ghent, cycling to Oudenaarde and visit brewery

20KM
Sunday: Visit Ghent, cycling to Oudenaarde and visit brewery

Another nice ride in the countryside of Flanders, partly along the river Schelde. Our goal today is Oudenaarde, famous for its town hall, church, beer breweries and the Tour of Flanders (speed cycling race). City walk.

Day 3

Monday: Oudenaarde - Tournai

48KM
Monday: Oudenaarde - Tournai

We can visit the centre this morning while museums are open now. We continue our tour in the Schelde river valley. After crossing the language border (Flemish/French) the river is called L’Escaut. On your left the first hills appear on the horizon. Some of these ancient cobblestone roads are (in)famous being part of the Tour of Flanders (speed cycling race in Belgium). Die-hards can try one or two of them! In a small village we can have our lunch. Today’s destination is Tournai. Here you can see how big ships sail through the gate of the medieval water gate. The town centre is on the UNESCO world heritage list. A visit to the immense cathedral (5 towers) is not to be missed! City walk after dinner.

Day 4

Tuesday: Tournai roundtrip

50KM
Tuesday: Tournai roundtrip

Tournai, is called in Dutch ‘Doornik’ and historically ‘Dornick’ in English. Tournai is one of the oldest cities in Belgium and has played an important role in the country’s cultural history. It is a French-speaking Walloon town.
The city is considered to be one of the most important cultural sites in Belgium. The mixed Romanesque-Gothic style cathedral of Notre Dame de Tournai and the belfry, considered the oldest in Belgium, have been designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Inside the cathedral the Châsse de Notre-Dame flamande, a beautifully ornate 12th-century reliquary, gives witness to Tournai’s wealth in the Middle Ages. Other places of interest are the 13th-century Scheldt bridge (Pont des Trous) and the main square (Grand Place), as well as several old city gates, historic warehouses, and a variety of museums.
The roundtrip will bring you across the border to France where you cycle in the decor of the speed cycling race ‘Paris-Roubaix’.

Day 5

Wednesday: Doornik - Bossuit

45KM
Wednesday: Doornik - Bossuit

After crossing the language border (Flemish/French) the river is called Scheldt again. Back in Flanders you will have a nice day of relaxed cycling, a bit further away from the west riverbank.  You will cycle in the Flemish countryside with her famous pubs and authentic atmosphere. You will pass the castle of Bossuit near Avelgem.  The mooring place is in the very small town of Bossuit.

Day 6

Thursday: Bossuit - Asper Gavere

45KM
Thursday: Bossuit - Asper Gavere

You will experience the typical landscape of Flanders: fields with all kind of crops, winding country roads, small towns, some forests. Enjoy the relaxed and quiet cycling to the west of the river Scheldt and enjoy the authentic countryside. You partly follow the river, but also will go a bit further west of the river Scheldt.

Day 7

Friday: Asper Gavere, cycling to Aalterbrug and sailing to Bruges

40KM
Friday: Asper Gavere, cycling to Aalterbrug and sailing to Bruges

You return to Bruges today. You first cycle on quiet roads back to Aalterbrug, avoiding the city of Ghent. On your way you can bring a visit to the gardens of the Ooidonk Castle along the river Leie. In Aalterbrug the barge is waiting for you to sail back to Bruges.

Day 8

Saturday: Bruges, en of this trip after breakfast (debarkation before 10 AM)

Friday: Asper Gavere, cycling to Aalterbrug and sailing to Bruges

Travel Dates

Date Availability Departure Accomodation Category  
8/31/2019 - 9/7/2019 Available Bruges Liza Marleen Comfort Plus Book now

Tour prices

Accommodation Room Price Children 0-2 years Children 3-11 years
Prices are per cabin 0 0
Liza Marleen Twin Cabin € 2240,- 0 30% reduction
Liza Marleen Twin Cabin Superior (15m²) € 3075,- 0 30% reduction
Liza Marleen Single Cabin € 1610,- 0 0

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
Hybrid bicycle, 24-gears Hybrid bicycle, 24-gears Batavus Boulevard, incl. bike helmet €90
Electric bicycle, unisex Electric bicycle, unisex Van Dijck Eris, step-through bicycle incl. bike helmet €170
Set of 2 bike maps Set of 2 bike maps Falk, scale 1:50,000 (1 inch=0.8 miles) €20
Cycletours bicycle insurance Cycletours bicycle insurance No own-risk €15
Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike No own-risk €40

Included

  • All nights on board (Sat.-Sat. 8 days / 7 nights), cabin in the booked category;
  • Full board (7 x breakfast, 6 x self-made picnic lunch for bike tours, 7 x three course dinner)
  • Use of bed linen and 2 towels (change of towels possible)
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide
  • Min. 3 city walks with the tourguide
  • Free WiFi is limited availabe in lounge and on deck, for more than 100 MB there is a surcharge
  • Road book, 1x per cabin
  • Ferry fares on the route

Not included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Bicycle rent
  • Bicycle insurance (optional) € 15,- per bicycle
  • Bicycle insurance electric bike (optional) € 40,- per bicycle
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 15 per tour
  • Personal insurance/ Cancellation insurance (optional)

Specials details

  • Please take good notice of our Terms & Conditions.
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
  • Cycletours Holidays reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure
  • The program is subject to change without notice.

Arrival info

Embarkation is between 1 PM and 2 PM. You are expected on our barge on Saturday at the latest at 2 PM.
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 noon onwards.
Then you can explore Bruges at your leisure.

The mooring place of the barge in Bruges: at the ‘Buiten Katelijnevest’ near the Bargeweg (nearly 1 km/ 0.6 miles from the train station).

Airport

The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Brussels Airport (BRU). By train it is about 1½ hours from the airport to the railway station in Bruges. Walking distance from the train station to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes.
A taxi from the airport to the mooring place will take about 25 minutes and costs about € 35,-.

The tour ends one week later in Amsterdam, so another possibility is to fly to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). From the airport you can take the international train to Bruges. Travel time is about 3½ hours. Information about the time table you find on www.nshispeed.nl/en.

Train

The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is the Bruges railway station. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes.
By taxi it takes about 5 minutes to the barge.

Car

Should you arrive by car, we strongly advise to arrive earlier to unload your luggage. More information on parkings in Bruges: www.visitbruges.be.

End of the tour

The tour ends one week later on Saturday morning after breakfast before 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board in Bruges. The mooring place of the barge in Bruges: near the ‘Bargeweg’ (nearly 1 km/o.6 miles from the train station).
The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Brussels Airport. By train it is about 1½ hours from Bruges to the airport. A taxi to the airport will take about 25 minutes and costs about € 35,-.

Should you need to travel to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), you can take the international train. Travel time is about 3½ hours (changing trains two times) and a one-way ticket (2nd class) costs about € 50,-.

Our ship, your hotel

Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedalling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck.

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.
Free WiFi is (limited) available in lounge and on deck.

What are the cabins like?

Most cabins are 2-person cabins, but some barges also have cabins for 3 persons (2 low beds+upper bed). There are four categories: Standard Plus (cabins with private shower/toilet; bunk beds), Comfort (cabins as StandardPlus but with twin beds), ComfortPlus (cabins as Comfort, small ship) and Comfort DeLuxe (a very comfortable and tastefully furnished 5-star ship; cabins have twin beds and air-conditioning).

In all categories the cabins have central heating and a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 22o voltage. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

The team, hospitality comes first
The captain/skipper, the chef and your tour guide all welcome you warmly. They are prepared specifically for these trips and will provide good and safe passage, good meals, and a friendly, pleasant atmosphere. They will, of course, also give you a great deal of interesting information during and after the cycling and sailing.
The skipper is responsible for the smooth running of things on board; the cook is in charge of the catering. A tour leader accompanies you during the bike ride and can assist in case of breakdowns. He/She will be your guide to point out the things of interest along the way and is multi-lingual (Dutch/English, some speak German and/or French).

The meals

Your chef is used to cook delicious meals for hungry cyclists. Besides an extensive breakfast, you will also be offered a packed lunch for on the road. It consists of different types of bread and sandwich fillings, juice, a snack and a piece of fruit. Lunch package needs to be prepared by yourself after breakfast. Dinner is different every day. There is a first course, main course and dessert The meals on board are included in the price, as are coffee and tea. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be obtained at a reasonable charge. When you return on board after the day’s cycling, a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit will be waiting for you.
If you have special meal requirements (vegetarian meals, or if you are on a diet), we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.

You and the group,new friends from around the world!

One of the most attractive aspects of the Bike & Barge holidays is that you encounter an international company on board, including people from e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, and Spain. It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, men and women, singles and couples and also families with children (during the school holidays). Most groups are made up of 12 to 30 people.

The most beautiful cycling routes

Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of the country. The average daily distance is around 45 kilometers. Most participants prefer riding in a group with the cycling guide, but you can also ride individually. A road book is included (1x per cabin). Bike maps can be purchased when booking and will be handed over to you on board.

Book this tour

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the average daily temperature during my holiday in the Netherlands?

    The average daily temperatures per month are listed below:

    April: 13°C / 55.5°F
    May: 19°C / 66°F
    June: 21°C / 70°F
    July: 23°C / 73.5°F
    August: 23°C / 73.5°F
    September: 20°C / 68°F
    October: 15°C / 59°F

    The rain is spread pretty evenly over the year, so there is not much point in trying to avoid the Dutch drizzle. Current weather forecast
    Visit www.worldweather.org/037/c00143.htm

  • Can I bring along my own bicycle?

    Yes, you may. On most tours this has no bearing on the total cost of the trip, however, please mention this at time of booking. Sometimes an additional charge may be requested for the bicycle when transferring from one place to another.

  • Can you rejoin the barge before the end of a stage?

    No, the ship doesn’t take the same route that the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.

  • Do you accommodate for special diets?

    Must be notified when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
    In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week. On some tours there also is an additional charge of  € 50, – for lactose-free meals.

  • Does a guide accompany us?

    On our guided tours a tour guide will accompany the group during their cycling route.

    When mentioned ‘self-guided’, the tours are on an individual basis and no guides are provided. We will provide you with a thoroughly detailed and comprehensive description of the routes, enabling you to follow the route correctly without problems. Furthermore, these route descriptions are frequently accompanied with information on the main tourist attractions that you will come across.

More questions

Price starting from € 1120,- * * There are no extra's included in this price

Accommodations

Liza Marleen
Liza Marleen

About the barge Liza Marleen

The “Liza Marleen” is a luxury motor passenger barge, built in 1997-98 on the completely dismantled shell of a seafaring freight logger. This barge is ideally suited for trips on the wider waterways, like the Dutch Waddenzee, the IJsselmeer and the Zeeland Streams, but it can also be found cruising on the smaller inland waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium. The tastefully decorated lounge is equipped with an audio installation, television and video. In the evenings it is possible to come together in the spacious sitting area. Winter of 2015 on 2016 The Liza Marleen is converted to a more luxurious barge.

Cabin plan Liza Marleen

8 cabins have two low beds, which can be placed together. Two cabins are so spacious, that they can expand with 2 lower beds or a third bed and a cot. All cabins have a private bathroom with sink, shower and toilet, heating and air conditioning.

 

  • Offical name Liza Marleen
  • Length 38 m
  • Width 6.6 m
  • Capacity 20 persons
  • Electricity 220 Volts

Route

 

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