Holland & Belgium Bike & Barge: Brussels

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 and Belgium Bike & Barge: Brussels

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 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
  • Immerse yourself in local life as you visit a family in their home
  • Learn about Holland’s vital water-management systems
  • Master essential Flemish and Dutch phrases during an onboard language lesson
  • 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 to moderate terrain throughout the trip. There are undulating roads, and some of the bike paths are unpaved. Our VBT support shuttle is available every day at designated points for those who need assistance.

Average Daily Mileage: 10 – 38 miles
Average Daily Ride: 2 – 4 hours on bike paths and roads through both urban and rural areas

Climate Information

Average Daily Temperature (°F) – Brussels
Apr 55°  May 63°  Jun 67°  Jul 72°  Aug 72°

Average Rainfall (in.) – Brussels
Apr 2.1  May 2.9  Jun 2.9  Jul 2.3  Aug 1.7

 

What’s Included:

Bicycle Tour Only - without Air

  • 7 nights aboard a private canal barge
  • 16 meals  7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • Most transfers
  • 7 nights aboard a private canal barge, 2 nights in a Bruges hotel, 1 night in an Amsterdam hotel
  • 19 meals  10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Guided walking tours in Bruges and Amsterdam
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Brussels  2 nights for only $395 • Post-trip: Amsterdam  3 nights for only $445

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 Brussels

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

DAY 2: Arrive in Bruges

Upon arrival at the Brussels airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If any portion of your luggage appears to be 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 that 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. Please wait here while your representative helps make arrangements for your transfer via taxi or minibus to your Bruges hotel (transfer time is approximately 1 hour, depending on traffic). The transfer company's name is Taxi Snel, telephone number 050 36 36 49.

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.

Seek out a restaurant for dinner on your own tonight.

Hotel: Hotel Navarra

DAY 3: Full day in Bruges

Today, join our local guide at 9:00 am in the hotel lobby for an orientation tour of Bruges. The rest of the day is yours to sightsee and shop in Bruges, a city that has been compared to a vast open-air museum. Be sure to go to the top of the Belfort Tower for a panoramic view of the city and its entire medieval splendor. You may want to visit the 12th-century Basilica of the Holy Blood, said to contain a small vial of Christ's blood that was brought to Bruges from the Holy Land in 1149. Or stop by the Memling Museum, housed in one of the oldest surviving medieval hospitals in Europe.

This evening, try a nearby restaurant for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Hotel Navarra
Meals: B

DAY 4: Embark barge / Warm-up ride and cruise to Ghent

VBT No-Air Package guests: You are responsible for making your own way to meet the 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 next to bus parking Buiten Katelijnevest in central Bruges. The contact telephone number is ++31 620 245 095.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Trip Extension guests: After breakfast, spend more free time in Bruges. Make sure your luggage is packed and ready to be transported to the barge before 11:30 am. At 12:45 pm, join our VBT Trip Leader in the hotel lobby and walk together to our barge in time for a 2:00 pm departure. At the docks, meet the barge crew and our second VBT Trip Leader, who welcome you aboard with refreshments.

We cruise out of Bruges on a charming canal. The barge stops before dinner so you can take a warm-up ride to Aalter. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner on board and learn a bit of Flemish and Dutch during a brief language class. We moor in Ghent, one of Belgium's most beautiful cities.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 7.5 miles (12.5 km)

DAY 5: Tour Ghent / Cycle to Dendermonde

After breakfast, take a boat excursion to the center of Ghent with a local guide, then explore on your own. 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. 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.” (On Sunday morning there is a service in the cathedral, and it is not possible to see this famous painting—only the replica.) Lunch is on your own in Ghent.

The bike path we'll follow out of the city parallels the Schelde River. If you’re in the mood for a picnic for lunch on your own, you're sure to find a nice spot with magnificent views. Your destination today is Dendermonde, a centuries-old city with a Benedictine abbey at its center. This evening, your Trip Leaders will give you insight into the region's water management systems. You can also enjoy a Belgian beer tasting and crew presentation.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 21 miles (34 km)

DAY 6: Cycle from Dendermonde / Continue ride to Antwerp

Today we cycle from Dendermonde via Temse along the Shelde River, arriving at Basel Castle in time for lunch on your own. After lunch, continue cycling to Antwerp. Meet the barge at one of Antwerp's historic docks in the afternoon, then walk into town to dine on your own in one of the many restaurants and enjoy a free evening.

Hotel: Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B
Daily Options: 14 or 33.5 miles (22.5 or 53.5 km)

DAY 7: Visit Antwerp / Cycle to Tholen

This morning, we visit Antwerp, known as the “Diamond City” and the hometown of the painter Peter Paul Rubens. In the middle of the city, you'll find the Cathedral of Our Lady and beautiful old townhouses around the Market Square. We'll have lunch on board while we're cruising through the impressive port of Antwerp.

In the early afternoon, cycle across the Oesterdam in the Oesterschelde. The dam connects Flanders to Tholen, today's destination along the Wouwse Plantage, a wooded area. Tholen was once an island in the middle of the extensive 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. After dinner, we will visit a family in their Tholen home.

Hotel: Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 18 miles (29 km)

DAY 8: Cycle from Tholen to Willemstad / Cruise to Dordrecht

This morning we cycle from Tholen to Willemstad, a rural agricultural area. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the historic locks. You have time to explore Willemstad, an old fortified town on the Haringvliet. From here, set sail to Dordrecht. The barge moors in the city's historic center, making for an easy and delightful afternoon of exploring. Dordrecht is one of Holland's oldest towns and birthplace of the state of The Netherlands, fathered by William of Orange. This evening, explore more of the town on your own and find a regional restaurant for dinner.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 24 miles (39 km)

DAY 9: Cruise to Kinderdijk / Cycle to Schoonhoven / Vianen

During breakfast, we sail the River Noord to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, 19 of Holland's famous windmills — some more than 260 years old — decorate the horizon. Then we cycle to Schoonhoven, known as the “Silver City” for its long silversmithing tradition. Spend the night in Vianen, a small city on the River Lek.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 17 or 31 miles (27 or 49.5 km)

DAY 10: Arrive in Amsterdam

During breakfast this morning, we will cruise to Breukelen, where we begin cycling toward Amsterdam. Follow the beautiful rivers Vecht and Amstel, which lead you right into the city. Stop for a picnic lunch along the way. Tonight, enjoy our last dinner on board.

Hotel: Barge Sailing Home
Alternate Hotel: Barge Iris or Fiep
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 15.5 or 34 miles (25 or 55 km)

DAY 11: Depart barge / Explore Amsterdam / 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 their next guests.

VBT Air Package guests and Post-Trip Extension guests: After breakfast, say goodbye to your barge crew and VBT Trip Leader, then join your other Trip Leader for an orientation walk through Amsterdam's canal-lined streets to our hotel. Please note that check-in time is 3:00 pm, but the staff will do their best to get you to your rooms as soon as possible. After checking in, explore Amsterdam and enjoy dinner on your own. VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Amsterdam.

Hotel: Hotel Vondel
Meals: B

DAY 12: Depart for U.S.

After breakfast*, meet in the hotel lobby to transfer to the Amsterdam airport and your departing flight back to the U.S.** Be sure 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 Vondel

A wonderful First-Class hotel located in the heart of vibrant, historic Amsterdam, the Hotel Vondel is extremely well suited for every traveler, thanks in large part to its distinctive, artful atmosphere and individual character. The Vondel is close to Amsterdam’s museum quarter, the lively Leidseplein, tree-lined Vondelpark dining, shopping and entertainment venues. Its cozy bar, attractive garden, and brightly decorated breakfast restaurant make us feel right at home.
Free WiFi Included

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-Belgium Bike & Barge Traveler Photo Gallery

Reviews
  • Ratings Summary

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    27 out of 28 travelers would recommend this tour to a friend.

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  • A priceless adventure

    Our trip could not have been better -- the tour leaders, the meticulous planning that made it all run smoothly, the bike riding along lovely bike paths and through small towns. The detours were just right -- not just Antwerp and the stunning medieval city of Ghent, but a Dutch town in full World Cup fever, and a massive parade of children and their parents, the culmination of an annual fitness event. The barge experience was delightful -- excellent food, good camaraderie. Our Amsterdam extension was truly memorable -- especially the Van Gogh museum and the Anne Frank house, but also the spectacle of a true biking city. Our mouths are already watering for our next trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 28, 2014
    Posted by: Obadiah
    From: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • What an awesome trip!

    Hello, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this trip. Everything is taken care of for you. The Trip Leaders are very friendly and genuinely care about making sure you have a wonderful time. The food was top notch. Chef Markus is an excellent cook. The barge we were on - Sailing Home - was very well appointed. It was such a beautiful boat with the hardwood floors and leather couches; you felt like you were floating on water in someone's living room. Even the cabins where you slept were very comfortable. I would recommend this trip!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 19, 2014
    Posted by: JM2014
    From: Wisconsin, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
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  • just awesome combination of biking, culture, and comfort

    Wneh a black interesting looking duck nearly took me of the bicycle flying from one canal to another on the opposite side of the road in Holland, that was the only scary moment on the whole trip. Every day, we had a choice of a bike route from 15 to 35 miles, and it was great to bike past pastoral trees, tulips, lambs (it was April) with no hills and nice weather, then have a glass of wine on the deck of our pretty Iris, then explore a new city. People in our group were fun, and Gregg joined us and took us all to a fancy dinner. Brugges was all history with a smell of chocolate. The ancient basement of the hotel became a spa where we spent the last evening of the trip. What else can you ask for?

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: April 23, 2014
    Posted by: raisa29
    From: Westbrook, CT, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Beautiful bike paths through peaceful countyside

    I loved being almost completely out of auto traffic. Everyone there rides bicycles so touring is safe and fun. Beautiful countryside. Very cool to come home to our own "hotel" barge every night that followed us around. Never had to pack up day after day. Tour leaders gave us space to tour at our own pace, yet kept a close eye on us to take care of us. Only complaint is that the barge could have had more ventilation in the rooms. Hopefully, they have fixed that. Overall it was a 10.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 23, 2014
    Posted by: glenn
    From: Charlotte, NC, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • A relaxed tour of the byways of rural Belguim & The Netherlands, bookended by the beauty and culture of Bruges & Amsterdam

    Our centrally located hotel in Bruges was a great base of operations to wander through the streets and museums there. The view from the top of the Belfry was breathtaking. The Iris was a very comfortable home away from home allowing us to settle in for the riding portion. A relaxed social hour with our mix of cyclists from many different parts of the country followed by Inma's well planned and executed meals provided a wonderful way to wind down after completing the day's cycling activity. A walking tour of Ghent and of smaller towns along the rivers and canals gave us a baseline for further exploration. Each morning we received our 'Route-Notes' and discussed the day's riding. These Notes allowed us a great deal of freedom to make our way toward the day's objectives at our own pace. A stark comparison with another group that we met along the way who weren't provided with any written guidance and had to ride 'Mother Goose' style, all together, all the time. After reaching Amsterdam and undertaking another walking tour we were turned loose to enjoy museums, parks, and the bustle of a busy city with many more bicycles than cars. The Hague and Delft were a quick train and tram ride away and made for an excellent day trip. Throughout the tour our leaders and the ship's complement provided excellent service. We thoroughly enjoyed this our fourth VBT cycling adventure and look forward to our next one.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 11, 2013
    Posted by: CT1945
    From: Annandale, VA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Perhaps the most relaxing "active vacation" we have every taken!

    We have been on several active vacations--this was similar, with enjoyable biking and scheduled activities. The barge was a unique and special component-fun, relaxing (no packing and unpacking daily) and allowed us to see this maritime area in the best way. The Amsterdam "extension" was wonderful-this package seemed like two vacations in one! An excellent choice for both experienced and first time VBTers alike.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 31, 2013
    Posted by: RJandLJ
    From: Akron, OH, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • One of my best trips EVER!

    I have never been to Europe before. Do not speak any foreign language, but felt at home right away on this trip. Loved seeing all the historic buildings and cities. Bike were very comfortable, easy to adjust and very easy to ride. Hotels were different from American but convenient to both Brugge and Amsterdam. I have been looking at the route on Google Earth and seen nice pictures, particularly of Ghent at night. A recommendation on how to see this would add to the trip. The only other trip coming close to this was rafting the Grand Canyon! The dining room on the Iris can be noisy, sound absorbing material on ceiling or walls would make it better. My Picture is of a woodpile at a private home we walked past one evening in Ghent. The owner of the house invited us to see his rooftop garden and heating system. A very nice, extra touch, not required by the trip but something that makes it special.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: July 17, 2013
    Posted by: MountainMan
    From: Arizona
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Excellent Tour

    We just returned from our Belgium-Netherlands Bike and Barge trip. It exceeded our expectations. The barge crew made us feel at home and responded with pleasure to our requests. The tour guides were remarkable in their knowledge of biking, history and culture. They made our experience great. And our fellow passengers were an engaged and interesting group of people. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We commented that we felt we were biking through a storybook with beautiful windmills, pastures and backyards. The rides were not difficult and opportunity was available to ride less if desired. You will not regret signing up for this trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 16, 2013
    Posted by: RockhoundAZ
    From: Tucson, AZ, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • beautiful countryside, extremely easy biking

    This tour is for the casual, weekend bicyclist. There is not enough cycling for active cyclists. Too much time was spent sightseeing and walking around cities and villages because of the barge's schedule and docking requirements. The barge accommodations and food were adequate, not great. Limited internet access on board and at some hotels. (Having to pay for internet is objectionable.)

    Response from VBT
    VBT Product Team - July 15, 2013

    Thank you for your comments. The tour that you were on is rated as ‘Easy’ – which is designed for those trying a bike vacation for the first time and the bike routes are less challenging than our trips rated “Easy/Moderate” or “Moderate”. At VBT we try to provide a comfortable mix of active and leisure time – you may bike as little or as much as you’d like – and feel that absorbing the culture and viewing the sites are an integral part of any bicycling vacation. Furthermore, we do our best to secure free Wi-Fi at our accommodations but it is not always feasible. However, going forward as we roll out our 2014 vacations, we will state whether Wi-Fi access is free or at a cost in our materials. Again, thank you for taking the time to send in your thoughts. It is feedback like this that provides us with an opportunity to improve our travelers’ experience.

    Posted on: July 15, 2013
    Posted by: goblue
    From: California
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Couldn't have been better.

    I am definitely not a biker but the guides worked out a ride for me each day that suited my very limited abilities. Everything about the trip was great!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: May 29, 2013
    Posted by: Betsy
    From: Durango, CO, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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    View Reviewer's Photos:

  • We rank this trip as one of our best

    Experiencing Holland and Belgium by bike and barge is a wonderful way to see these countries. Both are very bike friendly and have easy to navigate bike paths. The route chosen afforded a wide range of views from quaint little towns to rural countrysides to lively harbors. What a treat it was to get off the bike after a full day of riding and arrive home to our barge for a refreshing shower and wonderful meal. The crew of the barge and our guides were excellent and made our trip even more memorable. We experienced so much in a relatively short time - a delightful home visit, great art, great food, great beer and great cheese. We met many wonderful people and would rank this trip as one of our favorites.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 21, 2012
    Posted by: cindyss
    From: Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • History of 2 countries, personal exercise, magnificent countryside, 5 Star Hosts, new friends all wrapped into one package.

    You think you might know what to expect, but were we ever wrong. It surpassed all our expectations, and then some. Our enthusiasm level during, and now post-trip, are still in the stratosphere. Example: 2 friends we've referred are taking the exact same bike/barge excursion in May, 2013. And ourselves personally have just confirmed a biking adventure to the Czech Republic in June, 2013. Now that's EXCITING!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 18, 2012
    Posted by: Paco
    From: Liberty Lake, WA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Easy riding through beautiful scenery

    The Belgium and Holland Bike and Barge Tour was like biking through scenes of the Dutch masters paintings. The countryside is so peaceful, and the unhurried pace of the tour gives you an opportunity to absorb this tranquility. The small towns have an old world charm about them, enhanced by the narrow roads and colorful gardens. Our fellow riders were a friendly group of people with varied interests. Having a master chef prepare the tasty and creative meals was a nightly dining treat. This was our first VBT Tour, and we are already planning our next trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 11, 2012
    Posted by: Joyce
    From: Auror IL
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Beautiful countryside, nice group and educational walking tours

    We enjoyed our trip for several reasons: Nice group of people who we felt comfortable with Experienced and informative group leaders Learning experiences during our walking tours Comfortable accommodations on our barge the Sailing Home Nice, easy cycling through beautiful countryside . We'd certainly take another bike and barge trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 06, 2012
    Posted by: MarkyG
    From: Locust Valley, NY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • A relaxing tour to the land where bicycles rule.

    The Holland and Belgium Bike & Barge tour is the best way to experience this very interesting part of the world. The barge is very comfortable and the meals are terrific. Cycling in a country that has more miles of bike trails than roads is truly a pleasure.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 28, 2012
    Posted by: Dan99
    From: Cincinnati, OH
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Great scenery, great food, great guides, great biking!!

    My wife and I had never been on a "group" trip before. The bike and barge trip had it all----phenomenal guides, incredible scenery, fantastic food AND we never had to move hotels since the barge was our home. The other travelers in our group were terrific--solo travelers, couples, and at the end of it all, we made some great new friends. It was FUN, FUN, FUN! Life is short--go have some fun!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 21, 2012
    Posted by: JES19
    From: Duluth, MN, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Riding was smooth and comfortable

    Riding through Belgium and Holland was a new experience. The Barge was always nice to come back to and the food provided by our chef was tremendous. Easiest ride of all I have done

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 19, 2012
    Posted by: Ernie43
    From: Illinois
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • bike 'n barge heaven

    This tour (direction: Bruges to Amsterdam) spoiled me for land-based travel. What a joy to bike all day (with stops for snacks and tours of farms, windmills etc, of course) and then find your floating hotel waiting for you! Unpack once, settle in and relax... great meals aboard, great staff, got absolutely spoiled (I mean, fresh water with a slice of lemon in my water bottle every morning? Wow...) and would do it again in a heartbeat! Very well organized, good trip notes, but you may want to bring your own GPS or cyclometer as turns and landmarks weren't always quite where I expected them to be! This was very easy riding and we were very lucky with the weather, saw beautiful countryside and met the nicest people you can imagine in the villages and everywhere. What a good excuse to try those chocolates and fries... all that biking, right? Mmmm...

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 19, 2012
    Posted by: skater
    From: Austin, TX, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • this trip was a 'once in a lifetime trip!'

    the tour was so well organized with every detail taken care of for the traveler. the staff was fabulous! Everything was so wonderful that I am traveling this year to Ireland on VBT's Walking Tour with my husband to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 18, 2012
    Posted by: Martha
    From: lexington, South Carolina
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Excllent!!

    Cycling is probably one of the best ways to see a small portion of a country and this tour certainly is no exception. The accommodations on the Iris were great and the cycling was fantastic. I most especially enjoyed the family visit; it is highly unlikely that I would ever have the opportunity to visit so informally with someone from the host country in their home. This was certainly one of the highlights of the trip for me.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Penny
    From: Birmingham, Alabama
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Planned expertly, and excellent food the whole time. Great bikes!

    We felt pampered on this very well organized trip. The equipment was in top shape, and our tour leaders fun and hard-working, wanting us to have a wonderful time. The chef was fun, and did a superb job of planning delicious, healthy meals. Our room was cozy, comfortable, and we loved not having to pack and re-ack during the week. It was so fun to meet Gregg Marston--that was an added bonus!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: LeisureBiker
    From: Liberty, MO
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • This trip had it all!

    This trip is quintessential VBT. Wonderful biking through a country so varied in sites and experiences. In one week, we biked past windmills, visited a cheese farm, saw stunning Dutch Masters paintings, and had wine with a Dutch family. Our barge captain and crew gave us a total experience of the canal system. We even sat with her at the helm and got a lesson in barging! History, culture, great food, new friends, biking, and fun - what else can you ask for.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Lee5555
    From: Guilford, VT
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • This was the trip of a lifetime!

    This was my first VBT trip and I did not really know what to expect as a single woman traveling with a friend. I originally signed on for this trip as it was a destination I had always wanted to see plus the price of the trip included the air fare. This made it doable for me financially. The leaders provided my first impression and they were exceptional. Throughout the trip, they provided such enrichment as they knew the history and culture of the area intimately plus provided fun and camaraderie throughout the week. They were tireless in providing us with the best experience possible. The barge itself was lovely with outstanding food and service. Not only are Belgium and Holland beautiful countries to ride through, but the tour provided wonderful opportunities to visit a host family for an evening, a fascinating look at the workings of a farm, a cheese factory, plus more. I never felt rushed and yet I felt we saw and experienced so much. I was so thrilled with the whole experience that I started to plan my next trip as soon as I arrived home.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Susan742
    From: Seattle, WA, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • best VBT trip out of 6!

    The absolutely flat terrain ( the highest elevation change was crossing a railroad track!) , the ease of having your beautiful and commodious home follow you, the beautiful scenery, the beer and chocolate tastings, the wildlife along the canals, and the bike-friendly environment all made this trip my favorite out of the 6 I have done.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Ellen
    From: Port Townsend, WA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Living on the barge was fantastic!

    Not having to change hotels for the entire week was a wonderful addition to the great itinerary. The pre and post trip were equally as good as the main trip. Because we were lucky enough to be there during the peak of the tulip bloom, we had a unique opportunity to see acres and acres of colorful flowers. I loved riding on the bike paths and understanding how wonderful and healthy it is to use them for daily transportation.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: jog2733
    From: Appleton WI
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Great cycling scenery

    Great food, pleasant staff and beautiful country side. Our leaders were very knowledgable and entertaining and their English was excellent. Much better than my Dutch!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Other tours I recommend:

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: susie45
    From: Waco, Texas
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • For scenery, history, culture, and easy cycling, this was a great trip!

    I have taken a dozen VBT trips over the years--three in Vermont, another three in North America, one in New Zealand, one in Hawaii, and four previous trips in Italy or France--but this one topped them all for convenience and diverse features. The barge was an excellent floating hotel to which you return each night. This is the first VBT trip where there never was a serious hill, but the countryside still was beautiful. Visited some great museums, including the Ann Frank House in Amsterdam. Amsterdam must be the bicycling capital of the world--there seem to be many more bicycles than cars on the streets. I scandalized our tour when in Antwerp by taking a comprehensive (but non-participatory) evening tour of the red light district; I counted 230 windows. Bike & Barge is such a great way to bicycle that my wife has agreed to do the Moselle River trip with me this coming October.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Joey2
    From: South Burlington, VT
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Excellent and then some

    My husband and I usually travel together without a group but for my birthday I wanted to bike so we went on the bike and barge trip from Brussels to Amsterdam. The trip was perfect. First we never had to pack and unpack - being on the barge was like having a home base to work from. We biked everyday through the wonderful countryside and often VBT surprised us with a picnic lunch along the way, a tour of a working farm or a visit to a local's home. My husband who does not do well with planned group activities loved every minute of the trip from the guides to the daily adventure of finding the designated path. He biked by himself or with the group, whichever he preferred on a given day. The food on the barge was fabulous. I have a limited diet due to being sensitive to gluton and lactose intolerant and every meal I ate was delicious and free of these allergines. All the other guests thoroughly enjoyed the food as well. In the evening we were often taken to the town we were in and given a walking tour and some information about its history. When we got to a larger city there was a local guide who took us around to see what was to see. Then offf again on our bikes. I always wanted to go on a trip to Europe, eat as much as I wanted and not gain weight. Well this was the perfect trip in that regard and the perfect birthday. As I tell people when they ask, VBT thought of everything - I cannot make any suggestions on how to improve things - the trip was just perfect!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Bettina
    From: Newton, MA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions

Pre-Trip Extension - Brussels

2 nights for only $395

Post-Trip Extension - Amsterdam

3 nights for only $445

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