Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Self-guided bike and boat tour combining Holland and Belgium
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Highlights

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

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

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 Belgian and Dutch countryside, or you can simply relax and cruise on the boat.

Day 1: Arrive Bruges & Embarkation

Arrive in Bruges, also called the “Venice of the North” and possibly the most beautiful of all Flemish cities as its medieval quarter is almost completely intact.


Embarkation takes place in the early afternoon (1 PM) before taking a short cycle ride in the countryside to test your bike, making sure you are fully prepared for your first day in the saddle! Enjoy a guided tour of Bruges after your three-course meal.


Overnight: Bruges



Day 2: Cycle Bruges to Ghent

This morning the barge leaves early and just outside Bruges is where your day of cycling begins. Enjoy biking along cycle paths through the flat terrain of Western Flanders and to the lively university city of Ghent. The ship will moor in one of its suburbs. Ghent 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 great success as a trading port over many centuries.


The St. Bavo Cathedral and its many churches and historic buildings in the old center are worth a visit. This evening you will learn about the history and culture of Ghent on a guided city tour with the tour leader.


Cycle: 45km


Overnight: Ghent (suburb)



Day 3: Cycle Ghent to Dendermonde/St.Amands

Pedal alongside a tidal river downstream and view the gorgeous landscapes of the Schelde, one of the natural highlights of this trip!


Cycle to the small, welcoming town of St. Amands* and treat yourself to a refreshing drink upon arrival. (*Depending on the tide you may be cycling to Dendermonde, and sail to St Amands.) The decision will be made by the skipper and depends on high or low tide, which has an effect on the speed of the barge.


Cycle: 40 or 53km


Overnight: St. Amands



Day 4: Cycle St Amands to Antwerp

Cycle through the beautiful landscapes alongside the Schelde river once more, and through the Zeeschelde to the remarkable harbour city of Antwerp - also known as the “Diamond City”.


Make sure to visit the old center, including; the City Hall, the historical square ‘Grote Mark’, the ‘Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe’ Cathedral, and the medieval ‘Steen’ castle. Dinner tonight is not included to allow you to sample the local cuisine of this incredible city (recommendations available on board!).


Cycle: 32 or 49km


Overnight: Antwerp



Day 5: Cycle Kreekrak locks to Tholen

Sail along the Schelde-Rhine Canal and Kreekrak locks this morning, before setting off through forest and typical Dutch villages to Tholen. Tholen once was an island in the middle of the “Zeeland” streams, where many people fished for their living.


Re-join the ship and sail into the city of Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns in Holland. Enjoy an evening walk as your tour guide will tell you about the history of the Netherlands.


Cycle: 36 or 20km


Overnight: Dordrecht



Day 6: Cycle Kinderdijk to Vianen

Your cycle begins in Kinderdijk which with an impressive row of nineteen large windmills is one of the most iconic sights in Holland.


Follow the route to Schoonhoven, nicknamed the “Silver City”, due to its renowned silver industry which began in the 17th century. Enjoy some time browsing the silver shops before continuing on to Vianen, a town on the River Lek.


Cycle: 32 or 57km


Overnight: Vianen



Day 7: Cycle Breukelen to Amsterdam

As you prepare for your last bike ride, the boat cruises to Breukelen, where you disembark and your cycling begins. Ride alongside the small River Vecht which is an area well known for its beautiful mansions and small castles.


Continue on through the small villages of Nieuwerluis, Loenen, and Vreeland, you will arrive in Nigtevecht where you can visit a traditional cheese farm. Continue into the iconic city of Amsterdam where the boat will be moored overnight.


Cycle: 36 or 46 km


Overnight: Amsterdam



Day 8: Onward Travel

Enjoy your last breakfast onboard and disembark until 09:30 AM. Depending on your onward travel arrangements, you may have further time to explore Amsterdam.

Accommodation

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, II, III or IV.


On all vessels, standard twin cabins are on the lower deck. Depending on the ship, there is also the opportunity to upgrade to a premium twin cabin or upper deck suite - see description of each barge below.


Please note: On prior request, the beds in most twin cabins can be set together as a double bed. Extra beds are available in some cabins and have to be requested in advance too.



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.


Please note that the single cabins are limited and it is important to book far in advance if you would like to secure a cabin.



Meals

All meals onboard are included (except one dinner in Antwerp). Breakfast usually consists of fruits, granola, yogurt, bread, cheeses, and meats. There are also extra cheeses, meats, bread and snacks to make yourself a picnic lunch each day. In the evenings, return to the comfort of your boat and enjoy 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

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


The lower deck has 11 twin cabins (11 m²) providing box spring beds and a private bathroom with shower, sink, and toilet. There are 4 premium twin cabins (14 m²) which are slightly larger and include a small sitting area. There’s only one single cabin (7 m² ).


All cabins have portholes, air conditioning, a mini-safe, hairdryer, and flat-screen TV. On the upper deck there is a tastefully furnished salon with a restaurant and bar, a lounge with large windows and Wi-Fi (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 can accommodate 35 guests and sails under Dutch flag and management.


The lower deck has 13 twin cabins (11 M²) and 1 single cabin (8 M²); the upper deck has 4 beautiful suites with French balcony (14 M²). The cabins on the 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, sink, and toilet), air-conditioning, a mini-safe, hairdryer, flat-screen satellite-TV. The upper deck cabins are slightly more spacious and have a small sitting area.


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


MS Magnifique II lounge & bar


MS Magnifique II twin cabin



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 13 twin cabins (11 M²) and 2 single cabins (8 M²); the upper deck has 5 beautiful suites with large opening windows (14 M²). Cabins on the 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, sink, toilet), air-conditioning, a mini-safe, hairdryer, flat-screen satellite-TV.


On the upper deck there is a tastefully furnished salon with restaurant, bar, lounge with widescreen 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


MS Magnifique III; Twin Cabin


Magnifique III Bike and Boat


MS Magnifique III; Dining Area




Magnifique IV

The Magnifique IV is the newest addition to the Magnifique fleet, after the overwhelming success of its sisters. Sailing under the Dutch flag, and management, the barge accommodates 36 guests. Spring 2020 is its launch date, so you’ll be embarking on its first adventure!


The lower deck has 8 twin cabins (12 M²) and a dining room. The upper deck has 10 spacious suites (16 M²) including double beds, a cozy sitting area and a French balcony with beautiful glass doors.


All cabins have their own private bathroom (shower, sink, toilet), air conditioning, flat-screen satellite TV, mini-safe and hairdryer.


On the upper deck you will find a spacious and tastefully decorated salon with bar and lounge area. Relax in one of the comfy seats as you gaze out of the large panoramic windows. The restaurant is separated from the kitchen by a glass wall, allowing you to see the talented chefs in action as they prepare your meals. There is a sun deck, including chairs and tables for you to enjoy the late-night sun in summer.

Availability

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


The Magnifique II and Magnifique IV tours start and end on WEDNESDAY, the tours with the other ships start and end on SATURDAY.



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 waymarked 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 onboard 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 onboard 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 (saddlebag). We strongly recommend that you bring your own helmet. There are a number of helmets that 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 Bruges

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


Getting from 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.

Included

  • 7 Nights in a standard twin cabin
  • All meals (except dinner in Antwerp)
  • Optional daily guided rides
  • Detailed Maps & Information Pack
  • Bike rental
  • 24/7 phone support

Excluded

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

Extras

  • Additional nights in Amsterdam / Bruges
  • Electric bike hire (as a 7-speed bike is included this will just be a supplement)
  • 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 route and the MS Magnifique sailings are extremely popular especially during peak season, which is June and September.

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 comfortable sports shoes, comfortable clothes for cycling, 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.

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