Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Glorious and vibrant tulips blooming at Kinderdijk
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Highlights

  • Easy, flat cycle path riding from Amsterdam to Bruges.
  • Visit the UNESCO windmills of Kinderdijk.
  • Explore the art and canals of Amsterdam and Antwerp.
  • Fairy-tale market squares and Belgium beers of Bruges.
  • Return each evening to the comfort of your luxury boat.

Cycle and sail through Holland and Belgium and the historical cities of Amsterdam, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges on your stylish barge, the MS Magnifique I, Magnifique II or the Magnifique III.

Follow flat paths in traditional landscapes of small winding rivers and canals, polders, dykes and windmills, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk.

Enjoy 7 nights aboard your “floating hotel” which is docked every night in interesting towns and cities. During the day you have the freedom to cycle through charming Dutch and Belgian countryside, or you can simply relax and cruise on the boat.

Day 1: Arrive Amsterdam and embark. Sail to Nigtevecht. Cycle Nigtevecht to Breukelen. Sail to Vianen

Arrive in Amsterdam and make your way to where your premium boat is docked for your amazing cycling cruise! Embarkation is in the early afternoon and then you begin sailing to Nigtevecht.


From here you can take a short cycle ride beside the small winding River Vecht to Breukelen, then re-embark your barge and sail to Vianen, a small fortified town; you will spend the night here.


Cycle: Approx 15 km


Overnight: Amsterdam


Day 2: Cycle Vianen via Schoonhoven to Kinderdijk. Sail to Dordrecht

After breakfast you will cycle a beautiful route to Schoonhoven, nicknamed the “Silver City”, due to its renowned silver industry which began in the 17th century. Enjoy some time browsing through the silver shops before continuing on through the Alblasserwaard polder to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With an impressive row of nineteen large windmills it is one of the most iconic sights in Holland.


Whilst here it will be possible to visit inside one of these windmills before the barge takes you further downstream to Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland.

Cycle: Approx 55 km

Overnight: Dordrecht


Day 3: Sail to Tholen. Cycle Tholen to Kreekrak Lock. Sail to Antwerp

As you enjoy a delicious breakfast the boat sails to Tholen. From here you begin with a cycle through the pretty forest area of “the Wouwse Plantage”, via Bergen op Zoom with its fine 15th and 16th century buildings and south towards the  impressive Kreekraksluis (lock). Your boat will dock at the end of the dam and from here sails through to the remarkable port of Antwerp.


This city is not only known as the “Diamond City” but it is also where Rubens lived and you can admire his paintings housed in the cathedral. 


Cycle: Approx 40 km


Overnight: Antwerp


Day 4: Cycle Antwerp to St Amands or Dendermonde

If you wish spend a little more time exploring Antwerp you can do so, before heading out on a beautiful bike path which you follow out of the port to the Zeeschelde. Pedal alongside a tidal river upstream and view the gorgeous landscapes of the Schelde. Cycle to either St Amands or Dendermonde (the boat will dock tonight in either place). Both are friendly and welcoming towns.


Cycle: Approx 50-60 km


Overnight: Dendermonde or St Amands


Day 5: Cycle St Amands or Dendermonde to Ghent

If the night was spent in St Amands you can choose to cycle or cruise to Dendermonde. From here today’s bike tour once again follows the River Schelde. Ghent, a lively university city, is your destination today. It is a place with an interesting history as it was founded in Roman times. Its convenient location at the confluence of the Leie and Schelde Rivers has brought it much bygone prosperity, culminating in the late 13th to early 14th centuries.


The textile industry brought great wealth and many old buildings, such as Cloth Hall (1425) and the main Church of St BavoCathedral, which was built in different ages and styles. Here you can see somemedieval masterpieces, such as "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" by Jan van Eyck.


Cycle: Approx 40 or 50 km


Overnight: Ghent


Day 6: Cycle Ghent to Bruges

Cruise to the beginning of today’s bike tour which starts just outside the city and passes through the pleasant countryside of Western Flanders to Bruges. Bruges, also called the “Venice of the North” maybe the most beautiful of all Flemish cities as its medieval quarter is almost completely intact. Bruges was at that time a centre of commerce and art.


Take a guided tour this evening around this fabulous city; admire the beautiful streets and canals of Bruges (with your TourLeader).


Cycle: Approx 45 km


Overnight: Bruges


Day 7: Loop Cycle via the North Sea

The final bike tour of your journey takes you along a quiet canal, at times lined with poplar trees, and surrounded by an attractive polder landscape with traditional farm houses.


Upon reaching the North Sea coast and a 12 km long sandy beach you can enjoy lunch amongst the attractive dune landscape of “Het Zwin” (an unique nature reserve). Later, head back to the wonderful city of Bruges, where your boat will be docked again tonight.


Cycle: Approx 50 km


Overnight: Bruges


Day 8: Onward Travel

Disembark and make your way home.

Accommodation & Boat Information

You will spend each night on the boat in your very comfortable cabin.Your boat is always docked at night and only sails during the day. Depending on your sailing date you will spend the week aboard Magnifique I, Magnifique II or Magnifique III. On all vessels, standard twin cabins are on the lower deck. There is also the opportunity to upgrade to a premium twin cabin on the Magnifique I or upgrade to an upper deck suite on the Magnifique II or the Magnifique III.


Details of each Magnifique boat are detailed further down this page.


Single Cabins & Solo Cyclists

Single cabins are available although a supplement is payable. This trip is also available to solo cyclists (with a supplement) and is perfect as there are plenty of people to chat with every day.


Meals

All meals on board are included (except one dinner in Bruges). Breakfast usually consists of fruits, granola, yogurt, breads, cheeses and meats. There are also extra cheeses, meats, breads and snacks to make yourself a picnic lunch each day. In the evenings, return to comfort of your boat and enjoy a 3-course dinners with your fellow cyclists. Dietary requirements will be catered for where possible, please let us know at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements. Some special or unusual dietary requests may incur a surcharge.


MS Magnifique I

The MS “Magnifique”, a premium barge, is 63 metres long and accommodates approximately 32 – 35 guests. It sails under the Dutch flag and was completely modernized in 2010 and extended by 14 metres during the winter of  2012/13.


The lower deck has 17 cabins: 11 twin cabins (approx. 11 m², 2 single beds next to each other), 4 premium twin cabins (approx. 14 M², with 2 single beds next to each other and a small sitting area), and 2 single cabins (approx. 8 M²). The premium cabins are more spacious and have a small seating area.


All cabins have portholes (all portholes are fixed for safety reasons), shower and toilet, individually regulated air conditioning and flat screen TV with SAT reception. If requested, twin rooms may be converted into triple cabins with an extra bed (above one of the other beds).


On the upper deck there is a tastefully furnished salon with a restaurant and bar, a lounge with large windows and Wifi (limited use of data). There are also two partly covered teak wooden sun decks with chairs and tables and a cycle shed (front deck). Guests can relax on the aft deck in the whirlpool/Jacuzzi.




MS Magnifique Twin Cabin



MS Magnifique Restaurant 


MS Magnifique II 

The Magnifique II is 63 meters long barge can accommodate 35
guests and sails under Dutch flag and management.


The lower deck has 14 cabins: 13 twin cabins (approx.11 M², 2 single
beds as twins or double next to each other) and 1 single cabin (approx. 8
M²); the upper deck has 4 beautiful suites with French balcony (approx.
14 M², 2 single beds next to each other, small sitting area), cabins on
lower deck have portholes (all portholes are fixed for safety reasons),
upper deck suites have large windows that can be opened. All cabins
have en-suite facilities (shower + toilet), individually regulated air-conditioning, flat screen satellite-TV. On request, an extra bed is
available in some twin cabins and in 2 suites (Pullman bed above one of
the other beds). On the upper deck there is a tastefully furnished salon
with restaurant, bar, lounge with wide screen TV, large windows, Wi-Fi
(limited use of data). A partly-covered teak wooden sun deck with chairs
and tables on the aft deck and a cycle shed (front deck).


MS Magnifique II twin cabin



MS Magnifique II twin cabin



MS Magnifique II lounge & bar


MS Magnifique III

The Magnifique III is 70 meters long barge can accommodate 40
guests and sails under Dutch flag and management.


The lower deck has 14 cabins: 13 twin cabins (approx.11 M², 2 single
beds as twins or double next to each other) and 2 single cabins (approx. 8
M²); the upper deck has 5 beautiful suites with large opening windows (approx.
14 M², 2 single beds next to each other, small sitting area), cabins on
lower deck have portholes (all portholes are fixed for safety reasons),
upper deck suites have large windows that can be opened. All cabins
have en-suite facilities (shower + toilet), individually regulated
air-conditioning, flat screen satellite-TV. On request, an extra bed is
available in some twin cabins and in 2 suites (Pullman bed above one of
the other beds). On the upper deck there is a tastefully furnished salon
with restaurant, bar, lounge with wide screen TV, large windows, Wi-Fi
(limited use of data). A partly-covered teak wooden sun deck with chairs
and tables on the deck and a cycle shed (front deck).



Magnifique III Bike and Boat




Magnifique III Bike and Boat

Availability

You can start your Amsterdam to Bruges to Bike & Boat tour on selected Saturdays and Wednesday between April/May and September into October. Please check the website for departure dates.


Time of Year

This Bike & Boat tour can be enjoyed from the spring right through to the autumn. Spring will be beautiful because all the tulips will be in bloom, but this is also the most popular time, so it is important to book early if you are thinking of going in April or early May.


Grade & Terrain 

Although almost completely flat this cycle tour is graded easy to moderate as the daily distance ranges between approximately 15-60 km. You will be cycling mostly on the dedicated cycle paths alongside canals, rivers and through the iconic cities and towns of the region. This tour is well-suited to those who have never taken a cycling holiday before as it is flat and predominantly traffic-free.You also have the option of skipping the cycling and relaxing on board.


Navigation

The route is way marked throughout and upon arrival on your boat you will be supplied with printed instructions and detailed maps for each daily bike tour. There is also an on-board multi-lingual tour leader who will give daily briefings of the cycle tours and who will also cycle the daily route should you wish to join him/her. This person can also be reached by mobile/cell phone should there be a breakdown or emergency.


Bikes

The bikes on board are 7-gear unisex hybrid bikes with pedal brakes and are included in the cost of your trip. There are also E-bikes available upon request (at a supplement). All rental bikes are equipped with a pannier (saddle bag). We strongly recommend that you bring your own helmet. There are number of helmets which have been left on board but we cannot guarantee the fit or availability. Therefore we strongly advise you bring your own helmet.


Due to very restricted space on board there is limited availability to bring your own bike – please check with us at the time of booking.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sun screen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to Amsterdam

By Air - Amsterdam Schiphol Airport just outside Amsterdam, is a major European airport and is served by direct flights from most major UK and European airports as well as international destinations.


By Train - Amsterdam is linked with London, either via Paris or Brussels (around 5 hours) by high speed train. Visit Rail Europe for prices and booking.


By Ferry/Car - Ferries from the UK to Holland run from Harwich to the Hook of Holland, Hull to Rotterdam and Newcastle to Amsterdam. Direct Ferries lists prices and schedules.


Getting from Bruges

Bruges is easily accessed by flights from Brussels Airport. Take a 90 minute train ride with Belgian Railways from Bruges to the airport. It is also possible fly from Antwerp Airport with a 1h25 train ride from Bruges.  


By Train -There are also excellent rail links from all over Europe from Brussels and Bruges. Visit the Belgian Railways website to check train times and book tickets from Bruges to other European destinations.  


Included

  • 7 Nights in a standard twin cabin
  • All meals (except dinner in Bruges)
  • Optional daily guided rides
  • Detailed Maps & Information Pack
  • Bike rental
  • 24/7 phone support from our area manager and our office

Excluded

  • Travel to Amsterdam / from Bruges
  • Dinner in Bruges
  • Fees for excursions or entrances
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Travel insurance

Extras

  • Additional nights in Amsterdam / Bruges
  • Electric bike hire
  • Single cabin supplement(s)
  • Cabin Upgrades

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this trip is extremely popular throughout the season.

How fit do I need to be?

Although almost completely flat this cycle tour is graded easy to moderate as the daily distance ranges between approximately 15-60 km. You will be biking mostly on the dedicated cycle paths alongside canals, rivers and through the iconic cities and towns of the region. This tour is well-suited to those who have never taken a cycling holiday before as it is flat and predominantly traffic-free and you also have the option of skipping the cycling and relaxing on board.

What equipment do I need?

You will need good footwear and comfortable clothes for cycling along with a waterproof jacket and trousers, a helmet and a sunhat. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.

What happens if I can't cycle a stage?

If you don't want to cycle it is possible to relax on the boat as it moves to the next port of call and depedning when the boat moves, you may have time to further explore your surrounds on fot.

Spectacular Bike & Barge Tour

5

Informative and helpful tour guides, accommodating to every fitness level, educational, delicious food, comfortable accommodations.

Cindy

Chicago

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Would do this again

5

We loved the bike and Barge Great boat biking was excellent

Blondie

USA Aurora Il

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Enjoyable cycle and barge Amsterdam to Bruges

5

The only complaint was that the maps that were provided were not that easy to decipher. Whether this was because we weren't used to the numbering system used in the Netherlands or our own misinterpretation of the map. The people who managed best were those with their own GPS. The need for maps etc only applied if one wanted to go off individually.

Jan the jumper

Australa

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Fabulous!

5

This was our first cycling holiday and it won't be the last. We cycled though fabulous countryside and pretty towns and villages The guides were fabulous and very entertaining the ship was magnificent and the crew brilliant. The food was excellent and plentiful and the bikes were in good shape I loved every minute included the torrential rain we had one afternoon. It was so refreshing after the 36 degrees of the previous day!

Nickers1961

Trowbridge

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Almost perfect

4

This trip was almost perfect - the bikes were in great condition, the boat was clean and spacious, the crew and guides were fabulous as was the food and drinks. The only complaint I had was that everyone had to ride together in a group. I've been on similar trips before and we were given a Garmin for the bike with the route downloaded, and we could go at our own pace and not get lost. We would all meet for lunch and arrive at slightly different times depending on our speed. It worked quite well. For this trip the guides gave us paper directions and the routes were marked, but there were so many twists and turns and ferries that it would have been very stressful to ride alone and try to follow the street signs. So on one hand it was fun to be with the group during the day, but there was no opportunity to stop and look at things more closely or take photos or even take a water break without holding up the entire group.

Lucas

USA

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Loved it. Beyond our expectations

5

Love the combination of activity with relaxation at the end of the day.

Cycler

Canada

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Yes

5

So fun! The sites we saw, the kms we cycled. The food on boat was amazing. The staff were amazing! I couldn't have asked for a better trip. I would definitely look into more like it. A great way to really see a country.

Teresa the traveller

Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Best way to see the country, villages and towns

5

Super experience. Magnifique was top notch. Great crew and great accommodations.

Marian

Minneapolis, Mn

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We are thinking of booking AGAIN!

5

We had an international group of riders and terrific, approachable and fun guides. It could not have been more fun.

Margo

USA

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Fantastic in every way

5

Macs prepared us well for this bike tour with cycling tips for training, clothes to wear and even suggested chamois butter which we bought. Most participants were retired but had varied biking abilities which with one large group, slowed us down a lot. The riding distances were fine for us but not for many. It is very fair to rate this tour as "novice" but a second guide would make the group more manageable. We volunteered to be the sweep every day which was a big responsibility to keep the group safe- saw some clueless cycling habits.

Jane and Ralph

Steveston BC

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Amsterdam to Bruges Bike & Boat (MS Magnifique)

4.9 15

100.0

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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