Logo EuroSail
slide-EN-1-01
slide-EN-2-01
slide-EN-3-01

Belgium and France: Paris – Bruges or vv

Duration: 14 Days
Price: from € 2249
Level: Relaxed
  • During this trip through northern France and Flanders (northern Belgium), from Paris to Bruges, you will cycle through attractive landscapes, over gently forested undulations and across open farmland, along the rivers Seine, Oise and Somme, Scarpe and Scheldt. Here the watershed appears to be the actual border.

    This tour is characterized by a wide variation in landscapes and has all the ingredients a good bike and barge tour needs to explore these interesting regions. Highlights of the first stage in France are – obviously – beautiful Paris, the “City of Lights” as unbeatable start of a beautiful discovery tour, the Chateau de Chantilly and its art gallery the Musée Condé that houses one of the finest collections of paintings in France, and World War I battle fields and memorials in the Somme valley. The second stage in Belgium features highlights like Vincent van Gogh’s heritage, tapestry in Oudenaarde, history in medieval Ghent, a nice Belgium beer at end of your daily cycling tour and magnificent Bruges, “Pearl of Flanders” and destination of this two-week discovery tour.

    The cycling tours go over gently forested undulations and across open farm land, along the rivers Seine, Oise, Somme and Scheldt; the French-Belgian border also appears to be more or less the watershed between the river basins of Seine and Scheldt. As well as being able to discover many picturesque villages each day – both on your bicycle and on foot – you will be able to:

    Visit many highlights of Paris / Walk to the grave of Vincent van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise / Admire the splendid chateau of Chantilly, a luxurious castle with an impressive art collection and horse dressage / Visit the town of Péronne with her fascinating “Grande Guerre” museum / Pass through Oudenaarde, the town of the tapestry weavers / Explore Ghent where several masterpieces of medieval painting are to be found /  Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical center of Bruges. 

    NB: With 18 guest or more, the daily cycling tours will be accompanied by two knowledgeable and multi-lingual tour leaders. On most days, the tour leaders will offer a long and a short (or a quicker and a more relaxed) cycling option.

    This tour is being offered with various ships. There may be slight differences in the day-by-day program, depending on the ship. You will find all details (per ship) in each individual day-by-day program description.

  • TOUR DATES 2019 – FLEUR: Paris – Bruges departure on Sept 28
    TOUR DATES 2019 – ZWAANTJE: Paris – Bruges departures on June 29 and August 24
    TOUR DATES 2019 – ZWAANTJE: Bruges – Paris departures on May 18 and July 27

    Cabin type Max passengers Price
    Twin
    Single (on request)
    2
    1
    € 2249 / € 2349
    € 3347 / € 3524

     


  • Barge Zwaantje (24 passengers / 12 cabins)                Premium

    The “Zwaantje” (little Swan) is a fully converted passenger barge under Dutch flag and management with a length of 40 meters (131 ft.) that can accommodate 24 passengers. On lower deck the barge has 12 sleeping cabins: 10 twin cabins with two single beds each and two cabins with a double (French) bed. All cabins have a small en-suite bathroom with toilet, shower and wash basin, a fixed window (both double cabins have larger windows that also open) and individual air conditioning. On the main deck you will find the nice and cozy salon with airco and large panoramic windows, a restaurant area, lounge corner and a small bar. Depending on the quality of the network connection (mobile internet, limited data amount), the salon offers free Wi-Fi. The barge has a very spacious sun deck (90 square meters / 860 square ft.) with chairs and tables and a beautiful view, where you can relax or join the skipper in the wheel house. Bicycles will be stored in a separate area on the sun deck.

    Barge Fleur (20 passengers / 10 cabins)                    Premium

    The Fleur started cruising in 2002. This tasteful passenger barge with its sleek lines was built to fit the smaller locks and canals in France and has been cruising the French waters ever since. Reint Dragt has been the owner for many years now. These years of experience and commitment are reflected in every detail and guarantee that your vacation will be a pleasant one. The Fleur can accommodate a maximum of 20 guests on her trips on the French waterways
    The Fleur has two decks. On the top deck there is a lounge with large windows, a roomy sitting area, a cozy bar and a half-covered sun deck. The sundeck is the ideal place to drink a cup of coffee or an aperitif. In the lounge the Fleur offers free Wi-Fi. Please note that due to the mobile network connection, the quality is not always stable. The salon has central heating and air-conditioning.
    On the lower deck the Fleur has 10 comfortable guest cabins (8 m2, single beds). Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and basin. Also the cabins have central heating and air-conditioning. In each cabin you will find a small safe and hair dryer.

  • Day 1 (Sat): Paris – Paris (Bougival)
    Embarkation and check-in at 2 p.m. in the center of Paris. After a welcome by the captain, crew and tour leader the barge will sail right through the city. Mooring place for the night is in a suburb of Paris. After a sailing dinner there is time for a short walk.
    We advise you to come to Paris one or more days earlier, so that you will have plenty of time to discover this interesting city.

    Day 2 (Sun): Paris (Bougival) – Auvers-sur-Oise (38 km/23 mi.)
    From the starting point Bougival you cycle alongside the Seine to St. Germain-en-Laye, where you will climb the plateau on top of which you will find a palace and gardens. Here you have a splendid view over Paris. Later you pass Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where the Oise and the Seine merge. From the 19th century Conflans has been an important center of navigation in Northern France. Your destination is Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent the last days of his life and where he and his brother are buried in the local cemetery. This region was loved by many impressionist painters. After dinner an evening walk to the van Gogh cemetery.

    Day 3 (Mon): Auvers-sur-Oise – Beaumont | Beaumont – Creil (42 km/26 mi.)
    Sailing breakfast to Beaumont. Starting in Beaumont, you follow the Oise upstream. On your bicycles you pass the abbey of Royaumont and soon thereafter you arrive in Chantilly, with its famous castle. The castle is also well known for the horse-racing circuit and royal stables. Today’s destination is Creil, a country town, which in the 19th century was famous for its fine pottery.

    Day 4 (Tue): Creil – Pont-Ste-Maxence | Pont-Ste-Maxence – Compiègne (33 km/21mi. or 48 km/29 mi.)
    During breakfast you sail to Pont-St-Maxence. This town owes its name to the fact that in very olden times there already was a bridge over the Oise and so Pont-St-Maxence became the place to stay the night for kings and merchants who were on their way to Flanders. From here your biking tour starts. Not far from here you pass the abbey of Moncel, which in 1309 was founded by King Philips le Bel. Before you reach your destination Compiègne, you cycle through the forest named after this town “Forêt de Compiègne”. French kings loved to hunt here. The longer route ads some more miles of forest and also the little town of Pierrefond, where you can admire the exterior of the impressive castle. Compiègne owes its architectural wealth to the proximity of Paris. The gardens of the Chateau de Compiègne are definitely worth a visit.

    Day 5 (Wed): Compiègne – Pont l’Évêque | Pont l’Évêque – Chauny (41 km/26 mi.)
    Today you and the barge will leave the Oise River, to continue the trip by using the canal system that connects France and Belgium. In the morning you cycle into the most northern part of the forest of Compiègne. Here you will visit the “Clairière de l’Armistice”, the place where the French and German generals signed the Treaty to end World War I. You can have a look into the small but interesting museum. Thereafter you will cross the river Aisne and cycle through the forest of Ourscamp. In the afternoon you will spend some time in Noyon, where you can visit one of the oldest Cathedrals of the country. After your visit you will cycle back to the canal at Pont l’Eveque, where the ship will be waiting for you. Time to relax on the front deck while cruising to Chauny.

    Day 6 (Thu): Chauny – St. Quentin (41 km/25mi. or 54 km/34 mi.)
    Today the barge will continue the cruise on the old Canal of St.-Quentin, a beautiful old canal with many locks. The canal still breathes peace and quietness and reminds of a rich shipping history. Coals from the mines needed to be transported to the south, so Napoleon decided to construct the canal in 1801. Here the Fleur is in her natural environment and for the first time during this tour the sizes of the locks are just right for her. The cycling leads you through the Somme-region, quiet countryside with small villages. Today’s destination is St. Quentin. St. Quentin arose in the 2nd century on a junction of Roman roads. The lively provincial capital of the Aisne flourished as a destination for pilgrims around the grave of St.-Quentin. The gothic basilica was built between 1230 and the 15th century and has a unique double transept. The Town Hall is a jewel from the 16th century, with a splendid façade in flamboyant Gothic style.

    Day 7 (Fri): St. Quentin
    Today the Fleur will stay in St.-Quentin. If there is enough interest you can participate in a day excursion by bus to the battlefields of World War I in the Somme valley (not included). But it is also possible to use the day for exploring the city of St. Quentin and for shopping. Today there will be no dinner on board: you can select one of the many restaurants of St. Quentin.

    Day 8 (Sat): St. Quentin – tunnel of Riqueval – Honnecourt (36 km/23 mi. or 66 km/41 mi.)
    The Canal de St. Quentin traverses an area with large differences in height; therefore it was necessary to build some tunnels. The longest one is the tunnel of Riqueval, which is 5,670 meters (3.5 miles) long. Today the Fleur will sail through this tunnel. Like in former years, ships are still pulled through the tunnel in two hours by an electrically driven towboat. At The northern end of the tunnel is the watershed between rivers Somme and Escaut (French name of the Scheldt). At the tunnel is a little museum. You will spend the night in a little village called Honnecourt.

    Day 9 (Sun): Honnecourt – Cambrai – Pont Malin (39 km/24 mi. or 58 km/37 mi.)
    Today you will continue your trip along the old Canal de St. Quentin. In the morning you will pass the ancient abbey of Vaucelles. Your first stop will be in Cambrai, once a roman provincial capital and an important destination for pilgrims. First in 1677 Cambrai became French. Worth seeing are the impressive restored buildings of the city fortress, built under Charles V, the old city gate that dates from 1300, the so called “Spanish House” and the cathedral next to it. In the afternoon we will leave the old Canal de St. Quentin to continue on the Canal du Grand Gabarit to Pont Malin, where we will spend the night.

    Day 10 (Mon): Pont Malin – Doornik (Tournai) (43 km/26 mi. or 57 km/36 mi.)
    Today the Fleur follows the Canal du Grand Gabarit for a few hours, passing through a former industrial area of northern France. Ancient coal mines and steel sites border the canal. You will start your ride in Denain and will cross the border soon. Once in Belgium you cycle through the so-called “white land”. The charming little fortress town Antoing lies at the heart of this region and since the Roman times (white) limestone has been mined here. Today’s destination is Doornik (in French: Tournai), one of the oldest cities of Belgium. Now you are in Wallonia, French speaking Belgium, where all towns and villages have both a French and a Flemish name. Up till the beginning of the 17th century Doornik was ruled by the French. Here, tapestry weaving gained in importance, while the cloth industry became less important. In the various museums of the town, excellent examples can be seen. In 1940 the entire city center was destroyed after a German air-raid. However, the town has been renovated splendidly. Especially the Cathedral de Notre Dame (12th and 13th century) is worth seeing, as well as the Belfort, which was built at about 1200.

    Day 11 (Tue): Doornik (Tournai) – Oudenaarde (41 km/26 mi. or 47 km/29 mi.)
    Now the barge sails downstream the river Scheldt and after crossing the language barrier you enter the Flemish region. From here onwards Flemish is the spoken language. Your target today is Oudenaarde. In former days this little town was situated on the border of the French and German Empires and as a result it was involved in wars frequently. Since Oudenaarde was right in the firing-line, there was always someone on the look-out. The statue of the most famous watchman, “Hanske de Krijger”, is on the splendid city hall. In the first half of the 16th century this city hall was built of sandstone in Brabantine late Gothic style and it is one of the most beautiful city halls of Flanders. Oudenaarde is also known as the town of the tapestry weavers. Their tapestry is famous all over the world.

    Day 12 (Wed): Oudenaarde – Ghent (41 km/26 mi.)
    Shortly after starting your cycling tour at Oudenaarde you briefly stop at the ruins of the old abbey of Ename, located at the river Scheldt. You keep on following the river towards Ghent, your destination. Ghent is a lively university town with a rich history. The town arose in Roman days on the confluence of the rivers Leie and Schelde. This favorable location brought on quite some wealth with a peak in the late 13th and early 14th century. The cloth industry was a source of great richness in the late Middle Ages. In the city many patrician residences have been preserved. In the “Lakenhal” – Cloth Hall – (1425) the cloth traders gathered. The most important church is St. Baafs cathedral, which was constructed in different centuries and in different styles. In the cathedral several masterpieces of medieval painting are to be found. “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by Jan van Eyck is the most famous of all. You may wish to take a city tour by boat or visit the old castle Gravensteen.

    Day 13 (Thu): Ghent – Aalterbrug | Aalterbrug – Bruges (30 km/18 mi. or 40 km/24 mi.)
    While enjoying breakfast you will cruise the Canal Ghent – Bruges to Aalterbrug. Here you will start your cycling tour. Today your cycling tour goes through the pleasant flat country side of Western Flanders to Bruges. Bruges, also called “Venice of the North”, is said to be the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old center, which dates from the Middle Ages, is almost completely intact. In past ages, Bruges was a metropole, center of trade and art, which you can still fully enjoy.

    Day 14 (Fri): Bruges (22 km/13 mi. or 40 km/24 mi.)
    Today the Fleur will stay in Bruges. An optional bicycle ride through the pleasant countryside around Bruges will be offered, but you can also choose to spend your time in beautiful Bruges and visit a museum or do some shopping.

    Day 15 (Sat): Bruges
    End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.

    Parts that are printed in italics will be covered by the ship.
    All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
    The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).

  • Day 1: Bruges (18 km/11 mi.)
    Embarkation and check-in is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. in the center of Bruges. After a welcome by the crew there is time for bicycle fitting and a short test-ride. After dinner the tour leader will take you for a walk through the center of town.
    We advise you to come to Bruges one or more days earlier, so that you will have plenty of time to discover this interesting city.
    Bruges, also called “Pearl of Flanders”, is probably is the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old center, which dates from the middle Ages, is almost completely intact. In that period Bruges was a metropolis and – after Paris – the 2nd largest city of Europe, center of trade and art, which you can still fully enjoy.

    Day 2: Bruges ­– Aalterbrug | Aalterbrug – Ghent (37 km/23 mi. or 45 km/28 mi.)
    After breakfast you’ll start cycling. You will zigzag through charming woodland and pasture. Half way the canal between Bruges and Ghent your barge will be waiting for you. Once everyone is on board the anchor will be lifted to continue by barge to Ghent. In the evening you can make a nice tour through the historical center of Ghent with a small canal boat.
    Ghent is a lively university city, also with a rich past. The city has its origins in Roman times, at the confluence of the rivers Leie and Scheldt. This favorable site resulted in great prosperity over the years, which had its peak late 13th, early 14th century. Textile manufacturing brought great wealth. In the city center many old patrician houses have been preserved. In the Clothmakers’ Hall (1425) textile merchants used to meet. Ghent’s major church is St. Baafs’ Cathedral, raised in various ages and in various styles. In the cathedral you can admire a number of masterpieces of medieval painting, of which the “Adoration of the Lamb” by Jan van Eyck is the most famous.

    Day 3: Ghent ­– Oudenaarde (41 km/26 mi.)
    This morning you will cycle back into downtown Ghent, where you will have some more time to enjoy the buzz and beauty of this historical city center. In the late morning you will hop on your bicycles again, onwards to Oudenaarde. Oudenaarde is a small town, which was situated on the border of the French German Empire, so the town was the involuntary witness (and victim) of many wars. Because it was often in the firing line, there was always someone on the lookout. The statue of most famous watchman, “Hanske de Krijger”, still stands on the magnificent town hall, that was built in the first half of the 16th century and is one of the most beautiful in Flanders. Style is Brabant late gothic, material is sandstone from Balegem. Oudenaarde is also known as the town of tapestry weavers. The tapestries became famous all over the world. Before reaching Oudenaarde you will visit an interesting archaeological site (of an old Abbey) Ename which is located at the eastside of the river Scheldt.

    Day 4: Oudenaarde­ – Doornik (Tournai) (41 km/26 mi. or 47 km/29 mi.)
    Before leaving Oudenaarde, there is a guided visit to the beautiful town hall. After that you will follow the river Scheldt upstream and cross the linguistic frontier, thus arriving in the Wallonia region. From now on people speak French and villages, towns, and cities have French names. Today’s destination is Doornik or (in French:) Tournai, one of the oldest towns of Belgium. Doornik was under French government until the early 17th century. Just like in Oudenaarde, after the decline of textile industry, tapestry became important here. In 1940, the entire town center was destroyed in a German air raid, but renovation of the center of town has been very successful. Especially the Notre Dame Cathedral (12th and 13th century) is worth seeing. Also the Belfort, built around 1200, is definitely worth a visit.

    Day 5: Doornik (Tournai) – Bleharies | Bleharies – Pont Malin (38 km/23 mi. or 53 km/32 mi.)
    During breakfast the barge cruises into the direction of the Belgian-French border, through the so called “white land”, where (white) limestone had been quarried since Roman times. Around the village of Bleharies at the border, you will start today’s bicycle ride. Immediately after the border the routes split. The shorter tour will go through forest areas and includes a visit to the town of St. Amand-Les-Eaux. The longer tour goes through more open land, through tiny mining towns towards Lewarde, where a mining museum can be visited. Spend the night at the great lock of Pont Malin. The barge is no longer cruising the river Scheldt, but a large canal, which leads to Dunkirk in the end. This part of the region is characterized by metal industry.

    Day 6: Pont Malin – Thun l’Évêque | Thun l’Évêque – Honnecourt (31 km/20 mi. or 59 km/37 mi.)  
    The barge leaves the large canal during breakfast and will from now on follow the Canal de St.Quentin. Here the Fleur is in her natural environment and for the first time during this tour the sizes of the locks are just right for her. The small canal breathes peace and quietness and reminds of a rich shipping history. Coals from the mines needed to be transported to the north, so Napoleon decided to construct the canal in 1801. At Thun l’Évêque you will start cycling to the city of Cambrai, once a Roman provincial capital and an important destination for pilgrims. Worth seeing are the impressive restored buildings of the city fortress, built under King Charles V. After this, cycle on to Marcoing and from there you will follow the valley of the Scheldt (l’Escaut in French). You will pass the ancient abbey of Vaucelles until you reach your destination Honnecourt.

    Day 7: Honnecourt – tunnel of Riqueval | tunnel of Riqueval – St. Quentin (30 km/19 mi. or 66 km/41 mi.) 
    The Canal de St. Quentin was constructed during the government of Napoleon. The canal traverses an area with large differences in height; therefore it was necessary to build some tunnels. The longest one is the tunnel of Riqueval, which is 5,670 meters (3.5 miles) long. Today the Fleur will sail through this tunnel. Like in former years, ships are still pulled through the tunnel in two hours by an electrically driven towboat. Above the tunnel is the watershed between rivers Escaut (Scheldt) and Somme. From there the barge therefore goes downhill again into the direction of St.Quentin. In case you choose today’s long option, you will disembark before the tunnel to start a long day of cycling with – half way – a visit to the impressive museum of WWI in Péronne. The short option will either start before or after the tunnel. Final destination of today is St. Quentin where you will spend the Saturday too. St.Quentin was founded in the 2nd century on a junction of Roman roads. The lively provincial capital of the Aisne flourished as a destination for pilgrims around the grave of St.Quentin. The gothic basilica was built between 1230 and the 15th century and has a unique double transept and windows from the 13th and 14th century. The Town Hall is a jewel from the 16th century, with a splendid façade in flamboyant Gothic style.

    Day 8 (Sat): St. Quentin
    Today the Fleur will stay in St. Quentin. If there is enough interest you can participate in a day excursion by bus to the battlefields of World War I in the Somme valley (not included). But it is also possible to use the day to explore the city of St. Quentin and for shopping. Today there is no dinner on board. You can select one of the French restaurants of St. Quentin.

    Day 9: St. Quentin – Castres | Castres – Chauny (34 km/21 mi. or 48 km/30 mi.)
    During breakfast the Fleur sails southwest into the valley of the Somme river. The cycling goes through the Somme region, a quiet countryside with small villages, to Ham. The Fleur continues over the old canal of St. Quentin to Chauny, where you will spend the night.

    Day 10: Chauny – Bretigny | Bretigny – Compiègne (48 km/29 mi. or 52 km/33 mi.)
    From Chauny you will set course for Compiègne. In the morning you will spend some time in Noyon where you can visit one of the oldest Cathedrals of the country. The cycling tour goes through the forest of Ourscamp and you will cross the river Aisne, where the forest of Compiègne begins. Here at “Clairière de l’Armistice”, French and German generals signed a Treaty to end World War I. You can visit the small but interesting museum that tells the story. Soon after, you will arrive at Compiègne. The town owes its magnificent buildings to the proximity of Paris and the great forests, where the French kings loved to stay and hunt. The gardens of the Chateau de Compiègne are definitely worth a visit.

    Day 11: Compiègne – Creil  (45 km/27 mi. or 60 km/37 mi.)
    Today you will start your cycling tour through the forest south of Compiègne, after which you will follow the valley of the Oise river downstream into the direction of Creil. The long tour will add a loop, and include the little town of Pierrefonds, where you can admire the exterior of the “Disney-like” castle with the same name. Right before Pont Ste. Maxence we will pass by the abbey of Moncel, founded in 1309 by King Philip the Fair. Pont Ste. Maxence owes its name to the fact that – in the Middle Ages – here was one of the few bridges to cross the Oise river. It became a place to spend the night for merchants and kings, who were on their way between Paris and the cities in Flanders.

    Day 12: Creil – Beaumont – Auvers-sur-Oise (42 km/27 mi. or 57 km/35 mi.)
    You will start cycling from Creil towards the precious and famous castle of Chantilly, also very known for the horse racing circuit and royal stables. After the visit you continue through nice forest and pass the abbey of Royaumont. Short option will be picked up by the barge at Beaumont. The long option will cross the river Oise and follow the river to Auvers sur Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent the last days of his life and where he and his brother Theo are buried on the cemetery. You can visit Vincent’s grave during an evening walk. This region was very popular among impressionist painters.

    Day 13: Auvers-sur-Oise – Paris (Bougival) (39 km/24 mi.)
    Since you arrived in Auvers late yesterday, you will first spend some time in Auvers to search for “the soul of Van Gogh”. Then, full of impressionist impressions, you will cycle in the direction of the capital of Light. There is time for lunch at Conflans Sainte Honorine, where the Oise and Seine rivers merge. Conflans has been an important shipping center in Northern France since the 19th century. In the afternoon you will cycle up to the castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, from where you have a splendid view over Paris. After that you will continue along the river to Bougival where you will spend the night.

    Day 14: Paris (Bougival) – Paris
    Today the Fleur will finally cruise the Seine, upstream into Paris. It is not far in a straight line, but the Seine makes a number of large meanders here. You will cruise right through the center of Paris. You can spend the rest of the day as you like. You can explore the city by subway, or by a bus that takes you along all the sights.

    Day 15: Paris
    End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.

    Parts that are printed in italics will be covered by the ship.
    All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
    The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).

  • Day 1 (Sat): Paris
    Embarkation and check-in at 2 p.m. in the center of Paris. After a welcome by the captain, crew and tour leader, there is time for a walk to the Cathedral Notre-Dame and the Ile de la Cité. Night in Paris.

    Day 2 (Sun): Paris – Bougival (35 km/ 21 mi.)
    During breakfast the Zwaantje cruises the river Seine through the center of Paris. At about 10.30 a.m. you will be able to go ashore for an interesting bike ride. You can also choose to stay on board and enjoy the view while cruising out of Paris. The ship will moor in an outskirt of the city.

    Day 3 (Mon): Paris (Bougival) – Auvers-sur-Oise (38 km/23 mi.)
    After breakfast you will cycle along quiet towpaths along the river Seine to the higher situated St. Germain; the gardens of Le Nôtre provide a magnificent view across Paris. Next you will ride through a forest area to Conflans for a picnic on the pier amongst the terraces. After a short stop at the Pontoise Bridge, you continue cycling across the picturesque Chemin des Monts to the church of Auvers, famous for Van Gogh’s paintings. You will have the possibility to visit Van Gogh’s grave on the local cemetery during a short evening walk.

    Day 4 (Tue): Auvers-sur-Oise – Beaumont | Beaumont – Creil (42 km/26 mi.)
    Sailing breakfast to Beaumont. Start your bike tour in Beaumont and follow the Oise River upstream. You will pass the abbey of Royaumont, one of the best preserved abbeys from the 13th century. During the afternoon you will visit the splendid Chateau de Chantilly, a magnificent castle with a horse dressage and its art gallery – the Musée Condé – that houses one of the finest collections of paintings in France.

    Day 5 (Wed): Creil – Pont-Ste.-Maxence | Pont-Ste.-Maxence – Compiègne (33 km/21 mi. or 48 km/29 mi.)
    During breakfast the barge will bring you to Pont-Sainte-Maxence. This town owes its name to the fact that in the Middle Ages here was one of the very few bridges over the Oise River. Therefore Pont-Ste-Maxence became the place to stay the night for kings and merchants, who were on their way to Flanders. From here your biking tour starts. Not far from here you pass the abbey of Moncel, which in 1309 was founded by King Philip le Bel. Before you reach your destination Compiègne, you will cycle through the forest named after this town “Forêt de Compiègne”. French kings loved to hunt here. The longer tour ads some more miles of forest and also the little town of Pierrefond, where you can admire the exterior of the impressive castle. Compiègne owes its architectural wealth to the proximity of Paris. The gardens of the Chateau de Compiègne are definitely worth a visit.

    Day 6 (Thu): Compiègne – Pont l’Évêque (41 km/26 mi.)
    Today you leave the river Oise to continue your trip by way of the canal system connecting France and Belgium. In the morning you cycle into the most northern part of the forest of Compiègne.  Here you visit the “Clairière de l’Armistice”, the place where the French and German generals signed the Treaty to end World War I. You can have a look into the small but interesting museum. Thereafter you will cross the river Aisne and cycle through the forest of Ourscamp. In the afternoon you will spend some time in Noyon, where you can visit one of the oldest Cathedrals of the country. After your visit you will cycle back to the canal at Pont l’Évêque, where the Zwaantje will be waiting for you.

    Day 7 (Fri): Pont l’Évêque – Haudival | Haudival – Péronne (44 km/28 mi. or 54 km/34 mi.)
    Today you continue the cruise on and along the Canal du Nord. The construction of this canal was already planned in 1903, but it took until 1966 to finish the works. It was built to replace the older and smaller Canal de St. Quentin, constructed by Napoleon in 1801, to transport coal from the mines to the north. During breakfast the barge will bring you to Haudival from where the cycling tour starts through gently rolling, open countryside to the art deco town of Ham, along the river Somme and other picturesque villages to Péronne. The barge will be moored just outside this charming town with its intimate square and church as well as a castle and the fascinating Grande Guerre museum.

    Day 8 (Sat): Péronne
    Today the Zwaantje will stay in Péronne. You have time to visit the museum, take some rest and do some shopping. Today there is no dinner on board. You can select one of the local restaurants.

    Day 9 (Sun): Péronne – Ytres | Ytres – Moeuvres (19 km/11 mi. or 45 km/27 mi.)
    The first part of your cycling tour goes through the valley of the Somme River. Later you will continue through the sparsely populated open and rolling landscape to Ruyaulcourt. At the end of WW1 this area was the frontline of the battle around the Somme.
    The Canal du Nord has 2 tunnels, where the barge has to sail through. The longest one is the tunnel of Ruyalcourt, which is 4,350 meters (2.7 miles) long. As soon as are all back on board, the Zwaantje will pass this tunnel. Above the tunnel is the watershed between the rivers Somme and Escaut (Scheldt). From there the barge therefore goes downhill into the direction of Arleux. Mooring is in Moeuvres, an outskirt of this town.

    Day 10 (Mon): Moeuvres – Cambrai – Arleux (35 km/21 mi. or 51 km/31 mi.)
    Your cycling tours leads to the city of Cambrai, once a Roman provincial capital and an important destination for pilgrims. Worth seeing are the impressive restored buildings of the city fortress, built under King Charles V. Then you will cycle through the marshlands of Chantraine to rural Arleux.

    Day 11 (Tue): Arleux – Doornik (Tournai) (57 km/36 mi.)
    Today the Zwaantje follows the Canal du Grand Gabarit for a few hours, passing through a former industrial area of northern France. Old coal mines and steel sites border the canal. You will start your bicycle ride in Arleux. The tour goes through open farm land, through little mining towns towards Lewarde, where a mining museum can be visited.
    Once in Belgium you will cycle through the so-called “white land”. The charming little fortress town Antoing lies at the heart of this region and since the Roman days, (white) limestone has been mined here. Today’s destination is Doornik (in French: Tournai), one of the oldest cities of Belgium. Now you are in Wallonia, French speaking Belgium, where all towns and villages have both a French and a Flemish name. Up till the beginning of the 17th century Doornik was ruled by the French. Here, tapestry weaving gained in importance, while the cloth industry became less important. In the various museums of the town, excellent examples can be seen. In 1940 the entire city center was destroyed after a German air-raid. However, the town has been renovated splendidly. Especially the cathedral the Notre Dame (12th and 13th century) is worth seeing, as well as the Belfort, which was built at about 1200.

    Day 12 (Wed): Doornik (Tournai) – Oudenaarde (41 km/26 mi. or 47 km/29 mi.)
    Now the barge sails downstream the river Scheldt and after crossing the language barrier you enter the Flemish region. From here onwards Flemish is the spoken language. Your target today is Oudenaarde. In former days this little town was situated on the border of the French and German Empires and as a result it was involved in wars frequently. Since Oudenaarde was right in the firing-line, there was always someone on the look-out. The statue of the most famous watchman, Hanske de Krijger, is on the splendid city hall. In the first half of the 16th century this city hall was built of sandstone in Brabantine late Gothic style and it is one of the most beautiful city halls of Flanders. Oudenaarde is also known as the town of the tapestry weavers. Their tapestry is famous all over the world.

    Day 13 (Thu): Oudenaarde – Ghent (41 km/26 mi.)
    Shortly after starting your cycling tour at Oudenaarde you briefly stop at the ruins of the old abbey of Ename, located at the river Scheldt. You keep on following the river towards Ghent, your destination. Ghent is a lively university town with a rich history. The town arose in Roman days on the confluence of the rivers Leie and Schelde. This favorable location brought on quite some wealth with a peak in the late 13th and early 14th century. The cloth industry was a source of great richness in the late Middle Ages. In the city many patrician residences have been preserved. In the “Lakenhal” – Cloth Hall – (1425) the cloth traders gathered. The most important church is St. Baafs cathedral, which was constructed in different centuries and in different styles. In the cathedral several masterpieces of medieval painting are to be found. “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by Jan van Eyck is the most famous of all. You may wish to take a city tour by boat or visit the old castle Gravensteen.

    Day 14 (Fri): Ghent – Aalterbrug | Aalterbrug – Bruges (30 km/18 mi. or 40 km/24 mi.)
    While enjoying breakfast you will cruise the Canal Ghent – Bruges to Aalterbrug. Here you will start your cycling tour. Today your cycling tour goes through the pleasant flat country side of Western Flanders to Bruges. Bruges, also called “Venice of the North”, is said to be the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old center, which dates from the Middle Ages, is almost completely intact. In past ages, Bruges was a metropole, center of trade and art, which you can still fully enjoy.
    We advise you to stay in Bruges one or more days longer, so that you will have plenty of time to discover this interesting city.

    Day 15 (Sat): Bruges
    End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.

    Parts that are printed in italics will be covered by the ship.
    All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
    The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).

  • Day 1: Bruges (18 km/11 mi.)
    Embarkation and check-in is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. in the center of Bruges. After a welcome by the crew there is time for bicycle fitting and a short test-ride. After dinner the tour leader will take you for a walk through the center of town.
    We advise you to come to Bruges one or more days earlier, so that you will have plenty of time to discover this interesting city.
    Bruges, also called “Pearl of Flanders”, is probably is the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old center, which dates from the middle Ages, is almost completely intact. In that period Bruges was a metropolis and – after Paris – the 2nd largest city of Europe, center of trade and art, which you can still fully enjoy.

    Day 2 (Sun): Bruges ­– Aalterbrug | Aalterbrug – Ghent (37 km/23 mi. or 45 km/28 mi.)
    After breakfast you’ll start cycling. You will zigzag through charming woodland and pasture. Half way the canal between Bruges and Ghent your barge will be waiting for you. Once everyone is on board the anchor will be lifted to continue by barge to Ghent. In the evening you can make a nice tour through the historical center of Ghent with a small canal boat.
    Ghent is a lively university city, also with a rich past. The city has its origins in Roman times, at the confluence of the rivers Leie and Scheldt. This favorable site resulted in great prosperity over the years, which had its peak late 13th, early 14th century. Textile manufacturing brought great wealth. In the city center many old patrician houses have been preserved. In the Clothmakers’ Hall (1425) textile merchants used to meet. Ghent’s major church is St. Baafs’ Cathedral, raised in various ages and in various styles. In the cathedral you can admire a number of masterpieces of medieval painting, of which the “Adoration of the Lamb” by Jan van Eyck is the most famous.

    Day 3 (Mon): Ghent ­– Oudenaarde (41 km/26 mi.)
    This morning you will cycle back into downtown Ghent, where you will have some more time to enjoy the buzz and beauty of this historical city center. In the late morning you will hop on your bicycles again, onwards to Oudenaarde. Oudenaarde is a small town, which was situated on the border of the French German Empire, so the town was the involuntary witness (and victim) of many wars. Because it was often in the firing line, there was always someone on the lookout. The statue of most famous watchman, “Hanske de Krijger”, still stands on the magnificent town hall, that was built in the first half of the 16th century and is one of the most beautiful in Flanders. Style is Brabant late gothic, material is sandstone from Balegem. Oudenaarde is also known as the town of tapestry weavers. The tapestries became famous all over the world. Before reaching Oudenaarde you will visit an interesting archaeological site (of an old Abbey) Ename which is located at the eastside of the river Scheldt.

    Day 4 (Tue): Oudenaarde­ – Doornik (Tournai) (41 km/26 mi. or 47 km/29 mi.)
    Before leaving Oudenaarde, there is a guided visit to the beautiful town hall. After that you will follow the river Scheldt upstream and cross the linguistic frontier, thus arriving in the Wallonia region. From now on people speak French and villages, towns, and cities have French names. Today’s destination is Doornik or (in French:) Tournai, one of the oldest towns of Belgium. Doornik was under French government until the early 17th century. Just like in Oudenaarde, after the decline of textile industry, tapestry became important here. In 1940, the entire town center was destroyed in a German air raid, but renovation of the center of town has been very successful. Especially the Notre Dame Cathedral (12th and 13th century) is worth seeing. Also the Belfort, built around 1200, is definitely worth a visit.

    Day 5 (Wed): Doornik (Tournai) – Bleharies | Bleharies – Arleux (47 km/29 mi.)
    During breakfast the barge cruises into the direction of the Belgian-French border, through the so called “white land”, where (white) limestone has been quarried since Roman times. Around the village of Bleharies at the border, you will start today’s bicycle ride. The tour goes through open farm land, through little mining towns towards Lewarde, where a mining museum can be visited. You will spend the night in Arleux.

    Day 6 (Thu): Arleux – Ruyalcourt (35 km/21 mi. or 51 km/31 mi.)
    The barge leaves the large canal and will from now on follow the Canal du Nord. The construction of this canal was already planned in 1903, but it took until 1966 to finish the works. It was constructed to replace the older and smaller Canal de St. Quentin, constructed by Napoleon in 1801, to transport coal from the mines to the north. Your cycling tours leads to the city of Cambrai, once a Roman provincial capital and an important destination for pilgrims. Worth seeing are the impressive restored buildings of the city fortress, built under King Charles V. Later you will cycle through the marshlands of Chantraine to rural Ruyaulcourt.

    Day 7 (Fri): Ruyalcourt – Péronne (19 km/11 mi. or 45 km/27 mi.) 
    The Canal du Nord has 2 tunnels, where the barge has to sail through. The longest one is the tunnel of Ruyalcourt, which is 4,350 meters (2.7 miles) long. Today Zwaantje will sail through this tunnel. Above the tunnel is the watershed between rivers Escaut (Scheldt) and Somme. From here the barge therefore goes downhill again into the direction of Péronne.
    After passing the tunnel you will continue cycling through the valley of the river Somme through sparsely populated open and rolling landscape. At the end of World War 1, this area was the frontline of the battle around the Somme. You will continue cycling to Péronne.

    Day 8 (Sat): Péronne
    Today the barge will stay in Péronne. The Zwaantje will be moored just outside this charming town with its intimate square and church as well as a castle and the fascinating Grande Guerre museum. Today there is no dinner planned on board. You can select one of the many restaurants of Péronne.

    Day 9 (Sun): Péronne – Épénancourt | Épénancourt  – Noyon – Pont l’Évêque (40 km/24 mi. or 50 km/31 mi.) 
    During breakfast the Zwaantje will bring you to the little village of Épénancourt. There you have to get on the bicycles in time for a long ride through gently rolling, open countryside to the art-deco town of Ham and along the river Somme and other picturesque villages. Destination is Noyon with its imposing cathedral.

    Day 10 (Mon): Pont l’Évêque – Compiègne (33 km/21 mi. or 57 km/35 mi.)
    From Pont l’Évêque you will set course for Compiègne. You will ride through the forest of Ourscamp and cross the river Aisne where the forest of Compiègne begins. Here, at “Clairière de l’Armistice”, French and German generals signed a Treaty to end World War I. You can visit the small but interesting museum that tells the story. Soon you will arrive at Compiègne. The town owes its magnificent buildings to the proximity of Paris and the great woods, where the French kings loved to stay and hunt. The gardens of the Chateau de Compiègne are definitely worth a visit.

    Day 11 (Tue): Compiègne – Creil (45 km/27 mi. or 60 km/37 mi.) 
    Today you cycle first through the forest south of Compiègne, after which you will follow the valley of the Oise further downstream into the direction of Creil. The long tour will add a loop in order to include the little town of Pierrefonds, where you can admire the exterior of the “Disney-like” castle with the same name. Right before reaching Pont Ste. Maxence you will pass by the abbey of Moncel, founded in 1309 by King Philip the Fair. Pont Ste. Maxence owes its name to the fact that in the Middle Ages here was one of the very few bridges over the Oise river. It became a place to spend the night for merchants and kings, who were on their way between Flanders and Paris.

    Day 12 (Wed): Creil – Beaumont Auvers-sur-Oise (42 km/27 mi. or 57 km/35 mi.)
    You start cycling out of Creil towards the precious and famous Castle of Chantilly, also very known for the horse racing circuit and royal stables and for its art gallery – the Musée Condé – that houses one of the finest collections of paintings in France. After the visit you continue through a nice forest and pass the abbey of Royaumont. If you take the short option, you will be picked up by the barge at Beaumont. The long option will cross the river Oise and follow the river to Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent the last days of his life and where he and his brother Theo are buried on the cemetery. You will have the possibility to visit Van Gogh’s grave on the local cemetery during a short evening walk. This region was very popular among impressionist painters.

    Day 13 (Thu): Auvers-sur-Oise – Paris (Bougival) (39 km/24 mi.)
    Since you arrived in Auvers late yesterday, you can first spend some time in Auvers to search for “the soul of Van Gogh”. Then, full of impressionist impressions, you will cycle in the direction of the Capital of Light. There is time for lunch at Conflans Sainte Honorine, where the Oise and Seine rivers merge. Conflans has been an important shipping center in Northern France since the 19th century. In the afternoon you will cycle up to the castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye from where you will have a splendid view over Paris. After that you will continue along the river to Bougival, where you will spend the night.

    Day 14 (Fri): Paris, Bougival – Paris
    Today the barge finally cruises the Seine, upstream into Paris. It is not far in a straight line, but the Seine makes a number of large meanders here. You will cruise right through the center of Paris. You can spend the rest of the day as you like. You can explore the city by subway, or take a bus roundtrip that takes you along all major sights.

    Day 15 (Sat): Paris
    End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.

    Parts that are printed in italics will be covered by the ship.
    All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
    The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).

  • Included in the price
    – 15 days / 14 nights
    – 14 x breakfast
    – 13 x dinner on board
    – Packed lunches 
    – Coffee and tea on board
    – Welcome drink
    – Use of bed linen and towels
    – Daily cleaning of the cabin, 1 x change of bed sheets
    – Climate-controlled cabins
    – Daily briefings
    – Fully guided cycling tours (from 18 guests: 2 tour leaders, 2 groups)
    – Some short walking tours
    – Map (1 per cabin)
    – GPS tracks
    – Use of a helmet
    – Use of a waterproof pannier bag
    – Water bottle
    – Fees for ferries
    – Visit museum Glade of the Armistice
    – Entrance castle Chantilly
    – Visit town hall Oudenaarde
    – Canal trip through Ghent
    – Wi-Fi

    Not included
    – 1 x dinner (Zwaantje in Péronne / Fleur in St.Quentin)
    – Drinks
    – Bicycle rental or E-bike rental
    – Personal insurances
    – Gratuities (at your discretion)
    – Entrance fees and excursions (not mentioned under included)
    – Transfers to/from docking place
    – Parking fees

    Fleur: Bike rental € 170
    Zwaantje: Bike rental €160
    E-Bike rental: € 175 per week (only on request, limited number available)
    Gluten free or lactose free diet: € 50 per week. only on prior reservation and payment

  • Good to know
    With 18 guest or more, the daily cycling tours will be accompanied by two knowledgeable and multi-lingual tour leaders. On most days, the tour leaders will offer a long and a short (or a quicker and a more relaxed) cycling option. The option for a long tour is also depending on weather conditions and wishes of the group.
    When there are less than 18 guests aboard, the tours will be accompanied by one knowledgeable and multi-lingual tour leader.
    During days when two bicycle options are possible, the tour leader will make a choice to guide the longer or the shorter option after consultation of the group. Not all mentioned highlights can be visited during the short cycling option.
    In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
    On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 11 a.m.

    Level of difficulty
    The trip is rated as level 2: Relaxed.
    These holidays are appropriate for anyone with good physical condition and basic cycling skills. Distances up to 50 kilometers per day. You spend about 5 hours on your bicycle. Short slopes with heights up to 100 meters.

    Type of bike
    Zwaantje: 

    The bikes are unisex bikes with 21 gears, an easy and low entry, two handbrakes, a lock and pannier bag.
    The E-Bike has hand breaks only, 3 gears and support levels, a lock and pannier bag (only on request, limited number available)
    Fleur: 
    Bicycle of the brand Gudereit with 11 gears, handbrakes, lock and pannier bag.
    E-Bike of the brand Gudereit EC-4 with 8-gear, handbrakes. lock and pannier bag (only on request, limited number available, only 2).

    Point of departure: Bruges or Paris
    The trip begins in Bruges or in Paris.
    In Bruges the ship is moored at the parking areas for touring buses near the Buiten Katelijnevest, not far from the train station.
    In Paris the ship is moored in the Port d’Arsenal near the Place de la Bastille or at the quai de Bercy, depending on your travel date.
    You are expected aboard at 2 p.m.
    The Fleur will leave Paris saturday afternoon
    . The Zwaantje will leave sunday morning.
    From Bruges both ships will leave on sunday morning.
    If you cannot arrive on time, will you please notify us by telephone or e-mail?

    Transfer between Paris and Bruges:
    There is a good train connection between these two cities. Please visit one of the following websites for timetables, tickets or more information www.goeuro.co.uk or www.trainline.eu.

    Legal notice: For the tours on the Fleur, Boat Bike Tours is not the organizing operator, but the travel agent for this tour; this is a so called ‘partner tour’. Tour operator is: Fleur BV in Monnickendam (NL).

    CONTACT:
    Tel Fleur: +31 (0) 622738010 / +31 (0) 631783857
    Tel Office: +31 (0) 299313071
    e-mail: info@eurosailtravel.com

    Mooring Bruges

    Brugge weergeven op een grotere kaart

    Mooring Paris