Holland & Belgium Bike & Barge: Amsterdam

The best way to experience life in the Low Countries is to follow their tranquil waterways — and that’s exactly what you’ll do on this delightful vacation.

  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 35 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 4 hr
  • Small Groups: 24
  • Biking
  • Easy
  • Plane

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Holland & Belgium Bike & Barge: Amsterdam

Traveling as the locals do, along easy bike paths, you'll explore Antwerp—the "Diamond City"—and the medieval cities of Bruges and Ghent...visit a family in their fishing-village home...behold an ancient castle and historic windmills...delve into centuries-old traditions...and watch everyday life go by from the comfort of your intimate barge. All along this leisurely itinerary, you'll set your own pace for discovery. And you'll only unpack once!

Cultural Highlights

  • Unpack just once, then cruise for seven nights by private canal barge
  • Experience the countryside up close, as only a barge-and-bike tour allows
  • Learn the art of silversmithing during a private demonstration
  • Immerse yourself in local life as you visit a family in their home
  • Admire Holland’s iconic, 19th-century windmills
  • Picnic alongside historic locks
  • Discover Bruges, one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe
  • Take a guided boat excursion to the center of Ghent
  • Sip authentic Belgian beer
  • Enjoy attentive service aboard our private barge

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain through the trip. Our VBT support shuttle is available every day at designated waypoints for those who need assistance.

Average Daily Mileage: 15 – 35 miles
Average Daily Ride: 2 – 4 hours on bike paths and roads through both urban and rural areas

Climate Information

Average Daily Temperature (°F) – Amsterdam
Apr 53°  May 61°  Jun 66°  Jul 69°  Aug 70°

Average Rainfall (in.) – Amsterdam 
Apr 1.5  May 2  Jun 2.4  Jul 2.9  Aug 2.4

What’s Included:

Bicycle Tour Only - without Air

  • 7 nights aboard a private canal barge
  • 15 meals  7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • Transfers
  • 7 nights aboard a private canal barge, 1 night in an Amsterdam hotel, 2 nights in a Bruges hotel
  • 18 meals  10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Guided walking tours in Amsterdam and Bruges
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Amsterdam  3 nights for only $445 • Post-trip: Brussels  2 nights for only $395

Both Vacation Options Include

  • 1 glass of wine with all dinners aboard the barge
  • FREE use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • 6 days of cycling with FULL VAN SUPPORT during the cruise portion of your trip
  • Welcome reception
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
  • Special Good Buy Discount
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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $1345 | Land Only Single Supplement: $1045

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What's Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart U.S. / Fly to Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Depart the U.S. for the Netherlands. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

DAY 2: Arrive in Amsterdam

Upon arrival at the Amsterdam airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area – VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. (Please note: Also make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you.) After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative, who will be holding a VBT sign and who will make arrangements for your transfer via taxi or minibus to your Amsterdam hotel (transfer time is approximately 20 minutes, depending on traffic).

Important: Transfers are provided by Schiphol Taxi, who will be looking for you and carrying a VBT signboard. You may be approached by other companies offering a transfer. Please use only Schiphol Taxi, telephone +31 654 354 601 or +31 681 299 101. Transfers provided by any other company will be at your own expense.

Please note: If you cannot find the VBT representative, or have been delayed in customs or because of lost luggage, please go to the Red & White Meeting Point and wait there. You can also go to one of the yellow information desks in the main hall and ask if they will telephone Schiphol Taxi (using the number above) on your behalf. This service is free of charge.

Please note that the hotel check-in time is 3:00 pm, but they will do their best to get you to your rooms as soon as possible. After checking in, you have free time to explore Amsterdam. VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Amsterdam.

Try one of Amsterdam's wonderful restaurants for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Hotel Vondel

DAY 3: Embark barge / Warm-up ride / Cruise to Vianen

VBT No-Air Package guests: You are responsible for making your own way to meet our barge, between 1:00 and 1:45 pm. Please note that you cannot embark before this time, as the barge is being prepared for you. If you are late, you must contact the barge as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements, as we will sail at 2:00 pm. The barge will be moored in Oosterdok, near the entrance of the NEMO museum, behind the Amsterdam Centraal train station. Contact telephone number is 0620 245 095 from within The Netherlands or ++31 620 245 095 from abroad. Please refer to the information listed in the tour handbook.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Trip Extension guests: After breakfast, make sure your luggage is packed and ready to be transported to the barge. At 9:30 am, meet one of our VBT Trip Leaders in the hotel lobby for a guided walking tour of Amsterdam, visiting many of the city's highlights. We board the barge at 1:45 pm and depart at 2:00 pm. At the docks, meet the barge crew and your second VBT Trip Leader, who will welcome you aboard with refreshments. Cruise out of Amsterdam on the IJ waterway, catching glimpses of houseboats and floating houses.

The barge stops before dinner for your warm-up ride, which follows the river Vecht. This evening, gather with the group for a welcome dinner onboard. After dinner, there is a crew presentation. We moor in Vianen, a small city on the river Lek.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Barge Fiep
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 11 miles (17.5 km)

DAY 4: Cycle to Kinderdijk / Cruise to Dordrecht

After breakfast, we cycle along the small canals of the rural region of Krimpenerwaard. We trace the route of the river Lek through Schoonhoven, known as the “Silver City” for its long silversmithing tradition. Continue on to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where 19 of Holland's famous windmills — some more than 260 years old — decorate the horizon. Then we cycle (or cruise, if you prefer) to Dordrecht, one of Holland's oldest towns and birthplace of the state of The Netherlands, fathered by William of Orange. We stroll through the city's historic center to get a glimpse of its rich past. This evening, your Trip Leaders will give you insight into the region's water management systems. We moor tonight in Dordrecht and enjoy dinner on board.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 14 or 30.5 miles (24 or 49 km)

DAY 5: Cruise to Willemstad / Cycle to Tholen

This morning, enjoy a short language lesson while we sail to Willemstad, an old fortified town on the Haringvliet. There'll be time here to explore. Then we cycle to Tholen, once an island in the middle of the large Zeeland streams where many people fished for their living. Today, it is connected to the mainland, but it remains a picturesque village with relics of an eventful past. We pedal through its quiet farmlands and pause for a picnic lunch at historic locks. We meet our barge later, before continuing to Tholen, where we’ll visit with a local family in their home.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 26 miles (42 km)

DAY 6: Cycle and cruise to Antwerp, Belgium

This morning, we cycle through the Wouwse Plantage, a wooded area adjacent to Tholen, and cross the Oesterdam in the Oesterschelde; our barge waits on the other side. From here, cruise to the impressive port of Antwerp. After lunch on board, you have the rest of the afternoon to explore. Antwerp is not only known as the “Diamond City,” but also as the native city of the painter Rubens. You may wish to visit the Cathedral of Our Lady and the Market Square, which is surrounded by beautiful historic townhouses. Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own in a local restaurant.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 19 miles (29.9 km)

DAY 7: Cycle to Dendermonde

After we cruise out of Antwerp, we board our bikes for a ride to Temse, Basel Castle, and along the old Schelde River. On the way, lunch is on your own near Basel Castle. Our afternoon route continues past magnificent river views to Dendermonde, the centuries-old city with a Benedictine abbey at its center. Before dinner on board tonight, you can learn more about Belgian beer during our onboard beer tasting.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 18.5 or 33 miles (30 or 53 km)

DAY 8: Tour Ghent

After breakfast, we cycle from Dendermonde to Ghent. Located at the confluence of the Schelde and Leie rivers, this “City of 200 Bridges” was founded around 600 AD and boasts many beautiful buildings dating to medieval times, when the textile industry brought great wealth to Ghent's merchants. Enjoy a leisurely lunch on board the barge before a guided boat excursion to the center of Ghent. Then explore this attractive medieval canal city on your own. Many old patrician houses have been preserved in the city center. One historic building is the Cloth Makers' Hall, built in 1425, where textile merchants used to meet. The city's major church is St. Baaf's Cathedral, constructed and enhanced in various styles over many centuries. In the cathedral, admire a number of masterpieces of medieval painting, including Jan van Eyck's famous “Adoration of the Lamb.” Try one of the local restaurants for dinner.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 21 miles (33.5 km)

DAY 9: Arrive in Bruges

During breakfast this morning, our barge cruises out of the city. Cyclists who have chosen the longer ride option can begin cycling toward Bruges. Others remain on board until Aalter Bridge, where the shorter cycling route to Bruges begins. The barge rejoins the main canal and meets us all in Bruges in the late afternoon.

Regarded by many as Europe's best-preserved medieval city, Bruges is laced by a network of canals lined by beautiful houses built by wealthy textile merchants. A 350-foot, 13th-century belfry tower, which houses Europe's most famous carillon, presides over the city's Market Square. You have ample time to marvel at the medieval ambiance of this lovely city and to walk its winding streets. Dine on the barge one last time this evening.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 15 or 28 miles (24 or 45 km)

DAY 10: Depart barge / Discover Bruges / VBT No-Air Package ends

VBT No-Air Package guests: After breakfast, your tour ends. It is important that you leave the barge no later than 9:00 am so the crew can prepare for our next guests. Please refer to the information listed in the tour handbook.

VBT Air Package guests and Post-Trip Extension guests: After breakfast, say goodbye to your barge crew and one Trip Leader, then walk through Bruges's winding streets to the hotel with your second Trip Leader. During the walk, you will get an orientation of the historic city center. Please note that hotel check-in time is 3:00 pm. There will be a VBT group checking out of the hotel, so please do not plan for your room to be available earlier. VBT and the hotel appreciate your understanding and cooperation. You may leave your bags with reception while you explore Bruges. There is so much to see and do just around the corner. VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes recommendations on what to see and do.

Bruges was northern Europe's leading trade center between the 13th and 15th centuries, driven largely by its thriving wool and textile industries. The city has been famous for its fine lace for 500 years; you may wish to visit one of the small cottage industries revolving around lace-making. Enjoy dinner on your own in town tonight.

Hotel: Hotel Navarra
Meals: B

DAY 11: Free day in Bruges

Today is free for you to independently explore Bruges or one of the nearby villages. Dinner is on your own in town tonight.

Hotel: Hotel Navarra
Meals: B

DAY 12: Depart for U.S.

After breakfast*, meet in the hotel lobby for your transfer to the Brussels airport and your flight back to the U.S.** Please note: Be sure that you are waiting at the designated time and transfer location.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the Front Desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” The transfer is prearranged by VBT and is prepaid. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

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Accommodations

Hotel Navarrat

Ideally located in the historic center of Bruges, near the Market Square with its famous Belfry Tower, the Hotel Navarra offers an intimate and welcoming atmosphere, coupled with excellent service. The elegant, 17th-century mansion in which the hotel is housed is listed as a historic monument, yet you’ll enjoy modern amenities that include free WiFi, a spa, an indoor swimming pool, a sauna, a gym and a small garden with sun terrace.
Free WiFi Included

Barge Fiep

A cozy and spacious two-deck, 22-passenger barge with a homelike atmosphere, the Fiep has 12 comfortable cabins—10 twin and 2 single— with private bathrooms, private showers and the barge has climate control throughout. Common areas include a dining area and lounge with a bar and a sun deck at the bow. Smoking is permitted outside on the sun deck only. The barge moors each night. Drinks of all types are available for purchase at the bar on board the Fiep. It is not customary for guests to bring their own wine and liquor onboard; your understanding is appreciated. Onboard meal menus are set, though the chef is happy to accommodate vegetarians and those on restricted diets for health reasons.

Hotel Sandton Brussels Centre

The hotel is ideally located in the historic and commercial heart of Brussels. The hotel’s location is a short walk from museums, art galleries, fashionable shops and cozy restaurants and is perfect for independent exploration of the city.
Free WiFi Included

Barge Sailing Home

The Sailing Home is a comfortable, two-deck motor passenger ship featuring 12 twin-bedded cabins, each with private shower and toilet. In service since April 2001, the barge has climate control throughout. Inside, the salon and bar are decorated in a modern Victorian style and have a relaxed atmosphere. There is a sundeck available for guests at the bow. Smoking is only permitted outside on the sundeck. The barge moors each night. Drinks of all types are available for purchase at the bar on board the Sailing Home. It is not customary for guests to bring their own drinks or to use the bar facilities of the barge (including ice, glasses and crew services); your understanding is appreciated. Onboard meal menus are set, though the chef is happy to accommodate vegetarians and those on restricted diets for health reasons.

Barge Iris

A luxurious and spacious two-deck, 24-passenger barge with a homelike atmosphere, the Iris was put into service in April 2005. Its 12 comfortable cabins have private bathrooms with showers, and the barge has climate control throughout. Common areas include a dining area and lounge with a bar, and a sun deck at the bow. Smoking is permitted outside on the sun deck only. The barge moors each night. Drinks of all types are available for purchase at the bar on board the Iris. It is not customary for guests to bring their own wine and liquor onboard; your understanding is appreciated. Onboard meal menus are set, though the chef is happy to accommodate vegetarians and those on restricted diets for health reasons.
Photos

Holland Bike & Barge Traveler Photo Gallery

Reviews
  • Ratings Summary

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    48 out of 49 travelers would recommend this tour to a friend.

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  • Cannot beat a barge and bike trip

    Our bike and barge trip in holland and Belgium was excellent. So relaxing to return after biking to our "home" the Sailing Home. Beautiful ship, well appointed with brass, lovely paneling and windows all around. It was elegant without being fancy. Help yourself honor bar, comfy chairs,and a wonderful, friendly, and efficient crew of four. Our room was very comfortable with a great bathroom. I worried that I might feel clostrophbic, but an air handling unit worked beautifully. Meals were great, with a choice each night. Well prepared by our German chef. Our guides exceeded expectations, sweet and knowledgable with lots of information about the culture and the area. We felt an immediate connection with them both. Love,love,love, Holland, quaint towns, beautiful gardens and easy bike riding, as the locals always make room for the bikers on the road. A wonderful country. While we enjoyed Belgium, we really fell in love with Holland. All hotels were in great locations with nice breakfasts each morning. We had rain in Brussels, a bit of a damper, but lots of museums to keep us busy. I would definitely do a trip again with vbt, but can't imagine anything better than a barge trip! Highly recommend!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 06, 2014
    Posted by: Gayle51
    From: Biddeford, ME, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
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  • Wonderful Trip

    We had a great time on our Holland Bike and Barge trip. The whole trip was just a lot of fun, great mix of activity, ability to return back to the same place every evening, fun people and wonderful guides and crew. The barge was very nice, meals were great and the crew was very friendly and helpful. The rooms were small, but really well thought out in terms of space. The lounge areas were very nice. The daily bike rides were well thought out, we could take our time for pictures and enjoy the small towns along the way. They mixed up the rides, some days all day on a bike, others a mix of bike and visiting a city. The tour guides were very knowledgable and really fun. We have already recommended this tour to everyone we have spoken to!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 30, 2014
    Posted by: KG13
    From: Encinitas, CA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • An Amazing Trip!

    We had the best time on our bike and Barge trip through the Netherlands and Belgium. The food and accommodations were great, the tour guides were very friendly and the sights were amazing! The bicycling was flat which made it very nice to see the country and do the longer mileage each day. Loved this trip!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 17, 2014
    Posted by: Kikitarr
    From: Parker, CO, USA
    Age: 35 to 44
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Great food and fellowship

    From the guided stroll through Amsterdam from Hotel Vondel to barge Sailing Home through the final walk through Bruges to the hotel this trip is a delight. The trip leaders and the Sailing Home crew are great, but it was the diverse, friendly, and enthusiastic fellow biker/bargers that made this trip so special. We excelled in misreading our route notes and getting ourselves lost, but enjoyed every minute, even our one day in the rain. And the food both on the barge and in the towns!!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 29, 2014
    Posted by: Stu72
    From: Upstate New York
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • guides were the best,the barge ride was great;the fellow bikers great!

    We just got back from a great 2 weeks in the Netherlands and Belgium, on the VBT bike and barge tour. Did a 3 day pre-trip in Amsterdam, a wonderful city! Then 7 days on the "Sailing Home" river barge, with a fantastic 4-person crew. The 7 days of cycling were filled with history and fun facts from both our wonderful guides- Lia and Eric! All the 20 guests were a lot of fun, and we all felt like family after only a day or two. The riding was relaxed, and the terrain was flat, but the landscapes and local folks were fantastic! The Dutch folks were amongst the most friendly people we have ever encountered. If you are thinking about a bike and barge trip, do this one first.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 24, 2014
    Posted by: upstaters
    From: New York state,USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Convenience and Beauty

    Holland and Belgium are modern and progressive countries. More bicycles than cars fill the streets. Women dressed for work with high-heeled boots cycle with milk crates on the front to carry their lap tops. It's a culture unlike any other I've visited. Progressive, modern thinking combined with artistic masterpieces from the 16th century. See Rembrandt, Van Ecyk, Van Gogh and Vermeer. All of the major museums are easy to find and easy to negotiate. It was very comforting to know where we would eat and sleep every evening. No time was wasted packing and unpacking. We had 3 female guides as one was in training, so all our needs were taken care of immediately. The food on the barge was exquisite and could be individualized if need be. The crew was cross-trained so our ship captain might be serving dessert and the ship's owner could be clearing the table. The cycling was all level which added to my pleasure. The VBT bikes are more comfortable than my bike at home and the guides cleaned and serviced them every evening. Homes, gardens, farms and scenery were beautiful and cared for with pride. Daily we saw majestic swans on the waterways. My favorite cities were Amsterdam and Bruges in Belgium. Our double room on the barge was comfortable with individualized temperature control and plenty of storage space. After the evening meal, one could do a short guided walk of the city or share drinks with the other travelers in the barge's comfortable lounge. For those who were tired or in need of alone time, retiring to one's room was also an option. There was no pressure to participate in any activity. The guides went out of their way to accommodate the tastes and needs of every traveler on our barge.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: May 31, 2014
    Posted by: Esther
    From: PA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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    • Trip Leaders:
  • Great way to meet Europe!

    We did this tour in June-July 2013. My first ever trip to Europe. Easy rides, beautiful scenery. The accommodations on the IRIS were fine. Small, but well planned. Food very good. It could be longer, with more time to spend on side trips, but that would not work well for the Barge. Super explanations off the cities and history of the area. Hotel in Bruge excellent, very good in Amsterdam ( small bath and crowded floor plan there)

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: April 23, 2014
    Posted by: MountainMan
    From: Oro Valley, AZ
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Bike and Barge - best way to see Holland and Belgium!

    A bike and barge trip had been on my bucket list before bucket lists were a thing. With a 60th birthday approaching, I decided the time has finally come! I had seen much of Europe, but never Holland and Belgium, so that was an easy choice. I researched many companies, but VBT always kept coming out ahead. The included airfare and the single supplement policy put it over the top. The 3 day pre-trip extension to Amsterdam introduced me to the coolest city on earth. Not only was it the most bike-friendly place I had ever visited, I found fascinating history, art, music and cuisine at every turn. Friday meant time to meet the group and head to the Iris, our comfortable, floating home for the next 10 days. The crew of 5, which included the barge’s owner, could not have been more attentive. Our personal chef shopped the local markets at each stop and delivered outstanding meals – my favorite being the huge daily European breakfast buffet. Our two Dutch guides, Marieke and Ferry, were not just bike guides. They provided yummy snacks just when we needed them, found us when we strayed, shared history, architecture and customs along the way and even hosted a beer tasting one night. The cycling was easy with options to do as little or as much as one wanted. There was not a single person in the group of 24 whose company I did not enjoy. The countryside cycling through picturesque villages and farms was so idyllic a smile never left my face. I was sad for the day to end until I remembered the fabulous dinner with wine that was awaiting me on board the Iris. The city-wide music festival in Ghent was an unexpected treat and the quaint village of Bruges was like wondering around a fairy-tale - one filled with Belgian waffles, Belgian beer, Belgian chocolate and more chocolate. My kind of fairy-tale! What a great way to celebrate my 60th. This was my first VBT trip, but certainly not my last. VBT has spoiled me for life – and I like it!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 23, 2014
    Posted by: Dale13
    From: Bangor, Maine
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Nice accommodations, fun biking, good food, great guides!

    This tour offers great biking, delicious food, and wonderful sights! The barge is very comfortable, plenty of storage space, great crew! Loved getting a little exercise biking while touring so many lovely places.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 02, 2013
    Posted by: Maryann
    From: Boston, MA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Wonderful tour filled with non-stop fun!

    This was my first VBT tour and it totally exceeded my expectations! The food, the trip leaders, the barge, the route notes - everything was perfect. It was busy and active while also being very relaxing since all we needed to do was eat, sleep and bike. I would highly recommend it!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 06, 2013
    Posted by: Snacker53
    From: Chicago, IL, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • First biking trip, but, not our last

    The Holland Belgium Bike tour was terrific even with the worst weather we ever experienced on a trip. We actually looked forward to beating out the weather on our daily rides. Our trip leaders Jannakah and Theo were energetic, knowledgeable, fun to be with and approachable. Can't say enough good about the leaders and crew. The home visit was a nice experience. Our room on the barge was pleasant with a large window and plenty of storage. Food excellent on the barge. Lenny the owner was always available. Having wifi on the Barge was a plus so we could check up on family at home. Lenny would take our wet clothes at the end of a ride an dry them in the engine room so we could be dry at the start of the next day. A nice touch was the towel warming bars in the bathroom. One suggestion is to update the route directions. Some points were not clear and others were incorrect. This made the ride challenging at times. All in all a great experience.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 23, 2013
    Posted by: BikingComputernana
    From: Michigan
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Nothing like a VBT Barge and Bike Trip !

    I have taken a number of VBT trips and they are all very special in their own way. If you have never taken a barge and bike trip with VBT, just do it ! There is nothing like a good day biking and then coming back to the ship and relaxing and interacting before dinner with your new friends, having a drink and just enjoying life. Dinner on board the ship is a treat with the on board chef creating a delicious meal. After dinner, "hang out" with the guides, crew, and fellow bikers, talk about the days ride or just read a book ! Way to go VBT....

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 07, 2013
    Posted by: Stu44
    From: Mamaroneck, NY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • One of the best vacations I've ever taken!

    This was a great tour! I loved the combination of eating and sleeping on the barge, biking through the beautiful countryside, and learning about all the towns and cities in Holland and Belgium that we visited. The guides were excellent. They were very professional and were able to add significantly to each place we rode through - whether it was teaching about the history of the area or explaining where the best eating places were located. The barge was very comfortable and I liked being able to get to know all the other members of our group well since we ate many of our meals on board and socialized each afternoon relaxing on the front deck before dinner. The food was fantastic - very good quality, well presented, and delicious! The land is absolutely flat with only a slight incline every so often as we rode over a bridge crossing one of the many canals. We had one day of headwind and a bit of rain on a couple of days but otherwise the weather was sunny and very comfortable. I liked the challenge of reading the route notes and being able to ride at our own pace with one or two others. I also liked knowing that there were several possibilities each day: ride the regular bike route, bike a longer version of the route, ride in the van for part of the route, ride the whole day on the barge as it cruised along. It was a wonderful tour!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 22, 2012
    Posted by: KathyP
    From: Upstate NY
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • This tour is perfect for bikers of all levels

    Wonderful everything - itinerary, leaders, accomodations, barge crew and all! Can't say enough about this trip. Have already signed up for another bike and barge for 2013

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: October 08, 2012
    Posted by: nb5newyork
    From: Upstate NY
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Excellent trip which was the first for both daughter and I.

    This was an easy bike ride or if you wished for the more avid rider you could add additional miles. The evening city walks were informative and a nice experience to enjoy a walk and relax before the nite on the barge. The ability to spend the entire tour on the barge and not have to pack and unpack each day was most rewarding. Having free time to explore the sites and cities and dine on your own has been an assets for our choice of tours.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 05, 2012
    Posted by: Marti
    From: Michigan
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Two beautiful countries

    VBT handles all the logistics and we are free to enjoy our fellow travelers, the experience and the wonderful environment. The guides plan full days and city tours and were well informed and fluent. They were always pleasant and accommodating. This is my second barge tour and both times I wanted more; to be able to wake up just One More Day on the barge. If you have a birthday during the trip, you might get a singing candle!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: September 11, 2012
    Posted by: PatriciaE
    From: Denver, CO
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The best of our 3 barge trips.

    The trip was excellent and the entire group of 24 worked well together. The guides were excellent. My one comment was the chef you did not want to get on the wrong side of him while his food was excellent his personality was gruff. Along with the food I would suggest one small change at breakfast. There needs to be a little flexability. We always started at 8 with the food and had to leave the barge normally by 9 which included the route maps. Many people were struggling with that schedule and it would have been nice if the chef simply had laid out the cold part of the breakfast by 7:30 with instructions the hot or cooked dishes would always be served at 8. It would have helped. Bill

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 14, 2012
    Posted by: Bill72
    From: Woodway, WA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Trip leaders great. Boat great. Chef on boat superb. Disappointed about no tulips on trip.

    Loved the trip leaders and the chef on the boat. Boat was comfortable and the whole set up worked well. I was shocked out of my mind to find out on the first night in Holland that we would not be seeing tulips on the bike tour. The tour was promoted as being during the tulip season when amazing numbers of tulips are in bloom but if it was disclosed, it was very low key disclosure that this was not a bike trip to see tulips. Many others on the trip felt the same way and at the beginning that was a downer. We all ended up enjoying the trip anyway but I think that your sales staff and materials need to make this clear. My friend and I skipped the first day of biking to go see tulips since the total reason she chose to come on the trip was to see tulips.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 11, 2012
    Posted by: Queenie
    From: Greensboro nc
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • An unforgettable experience!

    The biggest adventure was the unpredictable weather. Then the surprise at enjoying it tremendously as part and parcel of bicycling through countryside that lies below sea level, learning about the role of the many windmills in harnessing the water for rich horticultural results. The cities visited, with their many canals, interesting buildings, beautiful cathedrals, sometimes built on top of ancient Romanesque excavations, were charming and impressive. Good food, an overabundance of different beers, the waffles OMG, and of course the gift shops filled with exquisite lace and tapestries. Best of all, returning to the barge for a glass of fortifying stuff, a delicious meal and great conversations with a wonderful group of people including our guides and hosts. A trip not to be missed!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 10, 2012
    Posted by: BikingBird
    From: Windsor, CA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Everything and more!

    We loved our biking, we loved our barge, we loved our itinerary, but most of all we loved the team of people who made sure that we were spoiled, well looked after - and yet somehow treated like old, dear friends. They were all simply amazing - each in their own way. Thank you VBT. We can't wait for our next trip!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 07, 2012
    Posted by: BKNell
    From: Austin, TX, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • My 4th VBT each one unique and magical

    Thank you to your wonderful guides. We have great memories and look forward to our next adventure.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 07, 2012
    Posted by: Claire
    From: Quincy, MA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Lots of local interaction!

    Upon visiting the "love" bridge in Bruge, we became part of a local groom's scavenger hunt. He needed a picture with tourists and a hug! What fun! Our guide Marieka, always shared her great knowledge of the local towns and countrysides we visited.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: Morgangale
    From: Burlington, VT, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Even accompanying rain and chill did not dampen spirits + enthusiasm for tour.

    Easy riding, good barging and company, succulent food and knowledgable and enthusiastic guides easily overcame the many days of rainy, windy and chilly weather! As one pundit said, "nobody comes to the Netherlands for the weather." It's a well thought out tour with something of interest for all ages from a delightful home visit, country picnic and, of course, windmills. The cities and towns visited were historic and yet modern with well informed guides to orient us. There is also time to discover and explore on your own. Ghent and Antwerp stand out. And how about Belgian fries with mayo! Highly recommend as both an invigorating as well as relaxing holiday.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: Giddy
    From: Boston, MA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The trip is worth doing.

    The trip was very enjoyable. The barge was very comfortable. The biking was quite easy, although we had some periods of rain on every day except one. The meals onboard were quite good. The leaders were the highlight of the trip: they were excellent, We have taken the Mosele river trip, which we thought was a better trip because there was less industrial development along the river, the villages were smaller and less conjested, and there were some very interesting castles.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: Squier
    From: Golden, CO
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • It was cold and rainy.

    Despite the fact that it poured rain the majority of the trip and was in the 40's F. with strong winds one of the days, I had a delightful time. I loved learning the history of Holland and Belgium and seeing the cities in action. I especially like going places that are not tourist driven so, although Borges was beautiful, it was very touristy.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: Mae1
    From: Boston, MA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Netherlands by bike

    Great trip - bikes were new and easy to ride - lots of assistance and knowledge of the area from trip leaders and terrific food and crew. Add to that some beautiful countryside and great towns. Made for a wonderful trip overall.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: ronnie
    From: Greensboro, NC, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Variety, history, great countryside, almost all inclusive.

    Despite the rain (spring tulip season) we enjoyed great countryside, just the right amount of exercise, delicious food, cozy barge accommodations, experienced trip leaders. Looked forward to each day! Highly recommend the Amsterdam trip excursion.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: Mags
    From: Greensboro, NC, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • This was a wonderful vacation

    The whole trip on the Barge Iris was wonderful. The crew, trip leaders and even the dog were great, very friendly and helpful. The food on the Barge was excellent as was the food selections. I enjoyed this trip so much I am thinking about doing another barge trip. This was a great way to see parts of Holland and Belgium you normally don't see as a tourist.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 29, 2012
    Posted by: Kcrsn
    From: San Diego, CA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This tour was the perfect combination of cycling, boating, and city tours.

    This was my first VBT experience and it won't be my last. Everything was top notch...from the hotels, to the barge, to the cycling routes, to the food, and to especially the barge crew and trip leaders. We started our trip with the pre-trip to Amsterdam and loved the city. The cycling routes were amazing and trip leaders Ferry and Wouter were fabulous. Every evening we would take a city walking tour and learn about the history of the town. Ending up in Bruges was a real treat. And, I can't say enough about the the barge crew...everyone was welcoming and did everything possible to make the trip great.

    Posted on: June 26, 2012
    Posted by: Chris26
    From: Atlanta, GA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • BEST VACATION EVER!

    From the time we were picked up at the airport, until we were on our way home, we were cared for with the utmost courtesy and attention by the VBT staff. The barge was elegant, the food excellent! The VBT leaders were always helpful with a smile. The tour was through a beautiful landscape, never hurried, and such a delight for those of us who like to simply tour on a bicycle. The guides were so thorough in their knowledge of the countryside and the city, that I would highly recommend this trip. My husband and I are planning to go again, and bring our siblings and their spouses with us-all 16 of them!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 26, 2012
    Posted by: kandymom
    From: Troy, OH, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Best of Both Worlds - Bike and Barg

    Not enough accolade words exist to explain how wonderful this trip is! No luggage to take from place to place - one bed every night and the best food! Super companions help to make this one of the best trips we have taken with VBT!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 18, 2012
    Posted by: JimT
    From: West Chester, PA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • This is what bike riding in Heaven must be like!

    The joy of riding through cities and towns in a place that respects bikes makes this trip very special. The joy of only packing and unpacking a couple of times allows more time for socializing with interesting people on the barge. The joy of having first-rate tour guides who knew where to go and how to get there. And, last, but far from least, was the joy of cooking, or rather; eating absolutely fantastic meals aboard the barge. We looked forward every morning to hearing the menu for the evening; always fresh and delicious!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 18, 2012
    Posted by: Birthday70
    From: Shawnee, KS, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Best bike trip ever

    I loved the IRIS and having a home away from home. The food was great; the staff very helpful, knowledgable and friendly. But guess why they have (had) all those windmills in the Netherlands--it's really really windy there!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 18, 2012
    Posted by: Blizzard
    From: Virginia
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • excellent combination of excersise, sightseeing, good accomodations and good food.

    this was one of my favourite vacations. biking was not hard, but we had an option of longer routes every day, so it was enough physical activity for me. scenary is buqolic, with little lambs under the willow trees, cute houses and pastures. once you are back on boat, you have a glass of vine or a cup of tea, take a shower, and go out into town. excellent dinner follows. people in our group were all delightful. i loved amsterdam, antwerp and brugges, there is so much to see. i do not know any better way to combine all my favourite things in one trip. we were also very fortunate with weather and with gregg marston joining us on that trip-he treated us to a great dinner. this was my second trip with vbt, and i will try to go on other trips, because both times i lovrd it. i also want to mention that my husband does not do such trips, and i did not feel bad being alone on the first trip and with my girlfriend on the second-as i said, people were friendly and fun. as for the price, it seemed a little pricy at first, but for the level of service we were getting, i think it was a reasonable price. and oh, i loved the brugges hotel-with a spa in an ancient cellar.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 18, 2012
    Posted by: raisa
    From: westbrook, ct
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Super fun tour.

    The entire tour went like clockwork - there was so much to see and do, and the leaders went beyond expectations to make sure we had a great time.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 17, 2012
    Posted by: Dave
    From: Malone, NY
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • It was a wonderful, fun filled, intimate and picturesque experience.

    This trip was a truly outstanding experience for my wife, sister and brother-in-law. Every aspect of this adventure, from the time we were greeted by the VBT representative in Amsterdam until we were dropped off at the Brussells airport was very well done. This was our first biking vacation. We saw so much of the countryside and met many of the fine people of Holland and Belgium that we quickly signed up for the Heart of Europe trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Johnjoeh
    From: Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • a bike & barge trip holland

    What a way to see a country. you get to stay on a barge , meet new people. Food was the greatest. I would do it again. Staying on a barge was a great experience. What a trip

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: suzie
    From: Surprise, AZ, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Great Trip.

    The boat was comfortable and efficiently designed. The food was very good, and each dinner meal gave good options. The two guides were excellent. The route notes and map were a bit more challenging on this trip, largely due to following bike trails rather than roads. It's the only trip (of 3) that we got lost a couple of times. The maps were black and white photo copies that were not very helpful. Some of the landmarks used to indicate turns were a little confusing. I love the trips and we're about to do our 4th next month in Ireland, but I don't enjoy missing turns and getting lost, especially when language is a bit of a barrier.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: sparty71
    From: Savannah, GA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Great tour

    The trip leaders were knowledgeable and kind. They made a great tour even better. Being on the barge was so much fun. Didn't have to pack and unpack and the food was great. Can't wait to go on my next bicycle and barge tour later this summer.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Lola
    From: Point Arena, CA 95468, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • A Fairy Tale Ride

    Amsterdam to Bruges is a fairy tale ride: never have I seen such luxurious gardens, picturesque cottages, quaint villages and, yes -- storks! This a perfect ride for both beginners and seasoned riders. It is absolutely flat terrain, so the experienced riders can fly, the novices can comfortably roll. The barge is so comfortable and it is so nice to only unpack once. The meals are outstanding -- the ingredients purchased fresh each day. Each evening we would tour the town where we were moored. Did I mention Belgian chocolate -- need I say more?!?

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: NancyK
    From: Evanston, IL, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • We really enjoy the barge feature..unpack once during the biking phase. As usual, VBT does a great job on all phases of the trip.

    As usual, VBT did a great job. The pretrip in Amsterdam gave us time get to know the city. The Iris barge was great. It allowed us the opportunity to unpack once during the whole trip (except the time in Bruges). The atmosphere on the barge gave us a chance to mix with the other bikers more easily. The meals were excellent. The routes were well planned, and the guides did a great job helping us. We really like the use of route maps and the three distance options most days...and the great snacks availble in the van! And, the biking equipment is first-rate. The postrip in Brussels was also most enjoyable. VBT delivers a great trip for a very reasonable price. We highly recommend it.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Dennis37
    From: Madison, WI, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The food and the scenery were fantastic

    The crew and leaders treated us a special guests. We felt like family by the time the trip ended.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: barbara
    From: Connecticut
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Outstanding service and barge accomodations

    Biking and scenery werere great. Very enjoyable and comfrortable barge accomodations. Guides were terrific.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: TomC
    From: Prairieville, LA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Great vacation

    Our first organized bike tour and it was great. We tried to do one a few years later on our own and decided the extra money to go with VBT was more than offset by the benefits. The tour guides, the barge and crew, the bikes, maps, routes, scenery and daily support combined to make it one of the best trips we've ever had. We have recommended VBT, and this trip specifically, to many others and our slide show of our trip has never failed to garner Oohs and Ahhs. Would love to do another VBT trip soon, even this same one again.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: MikeR
    From: Fresno, CA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • This tour had everything we wanted in a vacation

    Lew and I both agreed that this was one of our best vacations ever.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Faye4
    From: Demarest N
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Bike and Barge Amsterdam to Bruge

    Just imagine biking along a waterway with the perfume of a blooming flower permeating the air. Imagine eating Mustard Soup. It was not my imagination, it was real on the Amsterdam to Bruge bike trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: sophie
    From: piedmont NC
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Excellent and easy biking on a floating hotel!

    Excellent combination of biking and floating through Holland and Belgium. The countryside provided many opportunities to meet people in villages, parks. The barge was so comfortable and chef so terrific I spent a day on board enjoying the quiet and views. The guides were marvelous : caring and attentive always ready to assist. Wonderful and fun trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Savipam
    From: New York, NY, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This trip convinced us to travel with VBT again!

    We had great leaders and we enjoyed a walk about town wherever we were for the night. We also had the opportunity to visit in homes and talk frankly of issues in both our countries. This was a huge plus for us. We loved unpacking once and the options for variable biking distances, experiencing both rural areas and cities of the Netherlands and Belgium. The barge cruise was relaxing, quiet with scrumptous meals. We have traveled 3 times with VBT and have a trip this summer coming up! Lori and Murray

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Ziggy17
    From: Iowa City, IA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Very Interesting

    The trip was great, but the cycling was very easy. Our guides were great as they were in Ireland and Peru. We continue to love VBT as a company, having traveled with several other companies. The barge did get a little tiring, being in the same place with the same Chef every night.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 15, 2012
    Posted by: TomS
    From: Colorado
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions

Pre-Trip Extension - Amsterdam

3 nights for only $445

Post-Trip Extension - Brussels

2 nights for only $395

Get The Most Value With VBT

Travel Protection Plan

  • VBT takes pride in making sure every step is taken to ensure your perfect vacation, but unexpected events can arise.
  • Our exclusive Preferred Vacation Protection Plan provides extra peace of mind.
  • What could be more precious to protect than you and your loved ones?

Air Advantage

Secure, easy, pay at your own pace...
VBT is committed to providing unsurpassed value to our travelers, including airfare. Fly aboard world-class airlines, enjoy extended stays, and even choose your departure times and routes with Customized Air and save even more on your vacation.

Good Buy Plan

Save even more...
Reserve early, lock in your low cost and save! Your dream vacation is within your reach when you take advantage of our discounts for paying in advance. The earlier you pay, the better you save.

Talk To A
VBT Tour Consultant

(800) 245-3868

  • Mon – Fri 8:30am – 6:30pm EST
  • Saturday 10:00am – 3:00pm EST

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VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, 614 Monkton Rd., Bristol, Vermont 05443-0711
Talk to a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868