Bike and Boat Belgium: Brussels to Bruges on the Magnifique
Distance: 270 km (46 km/day)
Type of Biking: Hybrid
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
About your bike tour
Enjoy a relaxing bike and boat tour through Belgium's Flanders region aboard the MS Magnifique. Sail from Brussels to Bruges while staying aboard a wonderfully restored canal barge featuring a jacuzzi on deck.
Visit some of Flander's most cultured cities, including Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. Cycle on tow paths along tree-lined old canals and rivers to ancient villages. Meet the locals in the countless pubs along the way and sample some of the world's best local beers.
Enjoy your stay along the MS Magnifique, where you can take in the scenery from the sun deck or the cozy salon with its large windows. You may even want to take a day off and relax in the jacuzzi as the ship cruises to the day's destination.
What we love
- relaxing in the jacuzzi on deck after a good day's ride
- cycling along canals to ancient villages made famous by classical artists
- sipping coffee in the numerous outdoor cafes
- drinking delicious local beer and sampling fresh mussels and 'frites'
- savouring a selection of Belgian chocolates
What to know
- if you don't feel like riding your bike, you can stay aboard and enjoy the ride while the ship sails to the day's destination
- try to book early, the ship sells out quickly
Photos of this bike tour
Travel destinations on the map
— Day 1: Brussels (Bruxelles-Capitale)
The MS Magnifique awaits you in the Brussels harbour where the crew will welcome you on board.
After settling in, take a walk through Brussel's historical city center, along the gothic town hall, the beautiful guild houses on the Grote Markt and of course along Manneke Pis ("peeing little guy" statue).
Dinner and overnight on-board so time to explore Brussels in the evening as well.
40 km Day 2: Willebroek (Flanders)
We enjoy breakfast while the Magnifique sails to Vilvoorde, where we start our first ride. Our first stop on the ride is Mechelen, a town with over 300 historical building, 8 of these are churches, on less then 3 square kilometers.
We continue cycling through lush, soft slanted hilly countryside, along picturesque villages and large country estates to Willebroek.
While we cycle, the barge sails to Willebroek to meet us. After our ride, we can relax in the on-deck jacuzzi or stroll through town.
45 km Day 3: Antwerp (Flanders)
Tour from Willebroek via Lier to Antwerp.
On today's ride, we pedal along the quaint Nete River to Lier, a lovely town known for Caves, the delicious dark Belgium ale made from here.
After a taste of ale, we cycle through the outskirts of Antwerp with stately villas and manicured gardens to Antwerp.
Antwerp is a fascinating harbour city and is one of the world's major diamond centers with many highlights: the City Hall is one of several majestic buildings constructed in the Renaissance, the historical City Square Grote Market, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe cathedral and the medieval Steen Castle.
We dock in Antwerp, dine on-board and are then relax on the ship or head off to check out Antwerp's pubs and cafes.
50 km Day 4: Dendermonde (Flanders)
Today’s cycle ride takes us along the Schelde River to Hemiksem, a pretty village with a restored 13th Century Abbey. From here, we ride to Niel, a village that lies next to the nature reserve Walenhoek. The tour continues through an historical brick factory area between Niel and Boom where bricks have been manufactured since the Middle Ages (and still are!).
Our ride continues to Dendermonde, lovely city with an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Relax after your ride in the beautiful Flemish Grote Market square.
Overnight in Dendermonde.
48 km Day 5: Ghent (Flanders)
Today’s bike tour follows dreamlike Flemish landscape to Ghent, a city that was the 2nd largest European city just after Paris in the Middle Ages. The city looks much the same as it did then so you may want to stroll through the city streets and enjoy the architecture and ambiance.
We dock in Merelbeke, about a 15 minute bike ride to the city center of Ghent.
40 km Day 6: Bruges (Flanders)
After breakfast on the Magnifique, we cycle along the Ghent Canal to Oostende through the coastal Flemish landscape.
Our ride takes us to Bruges, known as "The Venice of the North". Its city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is filled with lovely canals and stunning architecture.
Dinner and overnight on-board so time to explore Bruges in the evening as well.
55 km Day 7: Bruges (Flanders)
Today we ride along relaxing canals with lots of poplars and through an attractive "polder" landscape (land that was under sea level and reclaimed as farmland), with with quaint farm houses and scenery made famous by numerous Flemish painters.
We pass the small city of Damme, than into the fashionable and exclusive seaside resort Knokke, on the North Sea cost. After lunch, enjoy a long sandy beach, numerous cafés and the attractive dune landscape of “Het Zwin” (a unique nature reserve). The route continues through Sluis, a small Dutch village and back to Bruges riding along a small canal.
We celebrate our last night together with a dinner on-board, drinks on-deck or in one of the local night spots on Bruges.Today we ride along relaxing canals with lots of poplars and through an attractive polder landscapes.
— Day 8: Bruges (Flanders)
The tour ends in Bruges just after breakfast. It was great to have you aboard!
Airport or train to Brussels.
Airport in Bruges. Or take the train to airports in Antwerp or Brussels.
The bicycles on board are mostly unisex touring or. trekking bikes with normal mount (ladies model), 7 gears, hand brake and/or pedal brake and pannier bag. E-bikes have to be ordered at least 14 days before departure: prices on request. Bike rent is optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles (at no extra cost). However, the crew or tour operator are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles.
In the Netherlands bikers are not obligated by law to wear a bike helmet. Bike helmets are not available on board.
7 gear, hand- and/or pedal brakes, pannier bag
- Tour and accommodation on board 8 days / 7 nights (Sat.-Sat.)
- 7 x breakfast
- 6 x picnic lunch during bike tours
- 7 x three course dinner including. 1 glass of wine
- Cash bar on board
- Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible); daily short cleaning of the cabin,
- Welcoming drink and on the first evening
- Tour leader with daily briefings of the bike tours, some short city tours, daily guided bike tours. The tour leader is cycling with the group
- Maps and info material on board
- Daily coffee and tea till 4 PM
- Rental bicycle
- Other transfers
- Entrance fees & excursions
- Fees for ferries
- Drinks on board
- Personal insurance
- Gratuities (at your discretion)
Description of Accommodation during the bike tour
The 63 meter long MS Magnifique (28-32 guests) has a beautiful salon with a huge bar. Meals are served to you daily in the restaurant area. Both sun decks are particularly attractive with chairs and a jacuzzi to enjoy the river landscapes slowly passing by. The Englisch-speaking courier takes care of everything: a number of excursions on land & guided tours in the towns are included. Bicycles are available on board for short excursions or longer tours.
Accommodation & Rates
- $1,306: Double Room (1 bed)
- $1,389: Double Room (2 beds)
- $1,945: Single Room
- $1,760: Junior Suite
Photos of Accommodation
Photos are examples, actual hotel & room may vary.
July 20th – September 7th 2013