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2 Country tour - Bruges and Paris by Bike + Boat

Paris - Bruges | Bruges - Paris

map France + Belgium by Bike + Boat

Route

Tour Profile / Level 2

The trip is rated as Level 2: Calm and relaxed cycling with short climbs up to 100 meters in altitude. Distances with over 50 kilometers per day. Approximately 5 hour daily bike rides. Good physical condition is important.

Itinerary Paris – Bruges

Day 1: Paris – Bougival
Embarkation takes place at 2 pm in the center of Paris. After a welcome by the captain, crew and tour guide, the ship departs and cruises through the city center. In the late afternoon, the tour group will gather for a welcome drink and your tour guide will have some safety information for you. The ship continues to Bougival, a picturesque suburb of Paris, during dinner. After dinner, we offer a short walking tour of the town where many artists lived, especially in the 19th century. Our tip: If you want to discover Paris in more depth, you can arrive a few days before departure.

Day 2: Paris (Bougival) – Auvers-sur-Oise, approx. 42 - 46 km
After breakfast, cycle along quiet country roads along the Seine to Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Here, stroll along the higher Grande Terrasse, lined with 300-year-old lime trees, and enjoy the magnificent view of western Paris. Then continue through an idyllic wooded area to Conflans. After a short stop at the bridge of Pontoise, take the picturesque Chemin des Monts path to the small church of Auvers, made famous by a painting by Van Gogh. The grave of the famous painter is also located in the Auvers cemetery. You can visit it during an evening walk.

Day 3: Auvers-sur-Oise – Beaumont – Creil – Pont-Ste-Maxence, approx. 43 km
During breakfast, the boat departs for Beaumont. In Beaumont you will get on your bike and follow the course of the Oise upstream. On the way you will pass Royaumont Abbey, considered one of the best preserved 13th century monasteries. At noon, you will reach the enchanting village of Chantilly. In the impressive stables of the castle you will find the horse museum, where daily shows with real horses are organized. The bike tour ends in Creil. There you will disembark and the ship will take you to your destination today, Pont-Sainte-Maxence.

Day 4: Pont-Ste-Maxence – Compiegne, approx. 44 - 54 km
Your bike tour today starts in Pont-Sainte Maxence. On the way, you will pass the Abbey of Moncel, founded in 1309 by King Philip the Fair. Before you reach your destination for today, Compiègne, you will cycle through the forest "Forêt deihr deCompiègne". This was a popular hunting ground of the French kings. On the longer tour, you will cycle even longer through this forest area and also visit the town of Pierrefond with its imposing castle. Compiègne owes its architectural wealth to its proximity to Paris. The castle park of the Château de Compiègne is definitely worth a visit.

Day 5: Compiegne – Pont l’Eveque, approx. 42 - 51 km
First we go to l’Armistice de la Clairière, an important town during the First World War. Then on via Tracy and the abbey of Our-champs with its picturesque ruins through hilly woodland to Noyon with its imposing cathedral. For a longer bike ride, you can go to Blérancourt, where there is a charming 17th century town hall and a small palace with flower garden.

Day 6: Pont l’Eveque – Haudival – Peronne, approx. 47 - 56 km
Today you will continue your journey up and along the Canal du Nord. The construction of this canal was planned as early as 1903, but it was not until 1966 that the work was completed. It was intended to replace the old Canal de St. Quentin in order to better transport coal from the mines to the north. The old canal was built in 1801 by order of Napoleon. During breakfast, the ship will take you to Haudival, where the next bike tour begins. It leads through gently rolling open countryside via the Art Deco town of Ham and on along the Somme with its picturesque villages to Peronne. MS Zwaantje is moored outside this atmospheric town with its secluded market square, church, a fort and the captivating Musee de Grande Guerre.

Day 7: Péronne, rest day
Today the ship stays in Peronne. You will have time to visit the museum, stroll around the town a bit or go shopping. Dinner at a restaurant of your choice. (not included, restaurant recommendations available on board).

Day 8: Peronne – Ytres – Moevres, approx. 40 - 52 km
The first part of your bike tour leads through the Somme river valley. Then it goes through sparsely populated, open hilly countryside to Ruyaulcourt. The Canal du Nord has two tunnels through which the ship must pass. Once everyone is on board, the ship passes through the tunnel, above which is the watershed between the rivers Scheldt and Somme. The ship then sails back downhill towards Arleux. Its berth is located in the outskirts of Moeuvres.

Day 9: Moeuvres – Cambrai – Arleux – Pont Malin, approx. 35 - 50 km
Today you will visit Cambrai, a lively provincial town with listed buildings and a beautiful park. Then you cycle along the Chantraine moorland to rural Arleux.

Day 10: Pont Malin  Denain  Doornik, approx. 47 - 51 km
Today the ship sails for a few hours along the Canal du Grand Gabarit, passing through the former industrial region of northern France. Old coal mines and steel mills line the canal. The bike tour begins in Denain. It continues through open fields and small mining towns to the Belgian border. In Belgium you cross the so-called "white country". Our destination for today is Doornik (French: Tournai), one of the oldest cities in Belgium. This historically most interesting city is definitely worth a visit.

Day 11: Doornik – Oudenaarde, approx. 41 - 43 km
The ship sails downstream across the Scheldt and you reach the region of Flanders. From here on Flemish is spoken. Your destination for today is Oudenaarde. In earlier times, this small town was located on the border between the French and German empires and was thus a frequent theater of war. Since the town was right in the line of fire, there was a permanent guard post. The figure of the most famous guard, "Hanske de Krijger", stands on the dome of the magnificent town hall. Oudenaarde has also made a reputation as a carpet weaving town.

Day 12: Oudenaarde – Ghent, approx. 45 km
Shortly after you leave for your next tour in Oudenaarde, you can make a short stop at the ruins of the old Ename Abbey, which was located on the Scheldt River. You will continue to follow the river towards Ghent, your destination for today. Ghent is a lively university town with a rich history. Originally Roman, and situated at the confluence of the Scheldt and Leie rivers, Ghent was a rich trading and textile city in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, to which the Lakenhal, the cathedral and the town hall bear witness. Fabrics were traded in the Lakenhal (1425). The most significant church is St. Baaf’s Cathedral, which was built in several centuries and different architectural styles. In the cathedral you can see some masterpieces of medieval artists. The most famous painting here is probably" The Adoration of the Lamb of God" by Jan van Eyck. Possibility to take a tour to the city center or visit the old castle Gravensteen.

Day 13: Ghent – Aalterburg – Bruges, approx. 34 - 44 km
During breakfast the Zwaantje takes us to Aalter. There you will get on your bike to cycle along trees and fields and past small villages and castles to the country estate of Hertsberge, where you can visit an interesting agricultural museum. Early arrival in Bruges, arguably the most picturesque city in Flanders, which was one of the most important European banking and art centers from the 14th to the 16th century.

Day 14: Bruges, approx. 22 - 38 km
Today the ship stays in Bruges. The tour guide offers a shorter or longer bike tour through the beautiful surroundings of the city today. You can also spend the day in Bruges to see the city, visit a museum, go shopping or enjoy a delicious beer in one of the sidewalk cafes.

Day 15: Bruges
After breakfast you will leave the ship. Disembarkation till 9.30 am.

Itinerary Bruges – Paris

Day 1: Bruges
Arrival and embarkation in Bruges at 2 pm. After greeting with the crew, bike distribution will take place followed by a short test ride. After dinner, the tour guide will offer a walking tour of the old town. To do Bruges justice, we recommend arriving a day or two in advance so that you have enough time to explore this interesting city. This city is also called "the pearl of Flanders" and is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the region.

Day 2: Bruges – Aalterbrug – Ghent, approx. 34 - 44 km
After breakfast your first bike tour starts. The path winds through beautiful wooded areas and meadows. Halfway between Bruges and Ghent, the ship is already waiting for you. Once everyone is on board, the ride continues across the canal to Ghent. Ghent is a lively university city with a rich past. In the city center many old patrician houses are still preserved. In the "Lakenhal" (1425) the cloth merchants met and transacted their business. The most famous church is the Cathedral of St. Bavo, which was built in the course of several centuries in the different architectural styles. The cathedral houses a whole treasure of medieval masterpieces, including the painting "The Adoration of the Lamb of God" by Jan van Eyck.

Day 3: Ghent – Oudenaarde, approx. 46 - 53 km
In the morning you cycle to Ghent, where you can take a small canal boat for a nice tour of the historic center. Later in the morning you continue towards Oudenaarde. This small town used to be located in the border area of the French and German empires and was therefore often the scene of warlike conflicts. Therefore, the town’s watchtower was always manned by guards. The most famous watchman is "Hanske the Warrior": to this day he stands atop the magnificent town hall. Built in the Brabant Gothic style, the sandstone building is one of the most beautiful town halls in Flanders. Oudenaarde is also known as the city of carpet weavers.

Day 4: Oudenaarde – Doornik (Tournai), approx. 42 km
Before you leave Oudenaarde, there is a guided tour of the town hall. Then you follow the Scheldt upstream, crossing the language border and entering the Walloon part of Belgium. Today’s destination is Tournai, one of the oldest cities in Belgium. Highlights worth seeing include, above all, the church of Notre Dame (from the 12th and 13th centuries) and the Belfry Tower, built around 1200.

Day 5: Doornik (Tournai) – Bleharies – Arleux, approx. 41 - 53 km 
During breakfast the ship sails towards the Belgian-French border through the so-called "white country", where limestone has been mined since Roman times. Near the border village Bleharies our bike tour starts. The route leads over vast fields and through small mining towns to Lewarde. There you can visit the mining museum. Today you will spend the night in Arleux.

Day 6: Arleux – Ruyaulcourt, approx. 36 - 51 km
The ship leaves the big canal today to continue on the Canal du Nord. The construction of this canal was planned as early as 1903, but it was not until 1966 that the work was completed. It was intended to replace the old Canal de St. Quentin in order to transport coal from the mines to the north. The old canal was built in 1801 by order of Napoleon. The bike tour takes you to the city of Cambrai, a former Roman provincial capital and also an important place of pilgrimage. Worth seeing here is the impressively restored city fortress, which was built under Charles V. Later, you will cycle through the Chantraine marshland to rural Ruyaulcourt.

Day 7: Ruyaulcourt – Péronne, approx. 39 - 52 km
The Canal du Nord has two tunnels through which the ship must pass. The tunnel of Ruyalcourt is the bigger of the two with 4350 m length. Above this tunnel is the watershed between the Escaut (Scheldt) and Somme rivers. From there the ship goes downhill in the direction of Péronne. By bike we continue our tour through the Somme Valley and ride through the sparsely populated, extensive hilly landscape. After that we continue to Péronne. The road between Bapaume and Péronne formed the battle front in the Somme region at the end of the First World War. The bike tour ends in Péronne.

Day 8: Péronne, rest day
Today the ship stays in Péronne. It’s just outside this charming town with its picturesque marketplace, church, ruined castle and impressive Grand Guerre Museum. There is no dinner on board today. You can have dinner in town at one of the many restaurants.

Day 9: Péronne – Épénancourt – Noyon – Pont l’Évêque, approx. 39 - 48 km
During breakfast, the boat will take you to the small village of Épénancourt. There we will get on our bikes and set off for a long tour. The route runs through the gently rolling countryside, picturesque villages and along the Somme River to the Art Nouveau town of Ham. Today’s final destination is Noyon with its imposing cathedral.

Day 10: Pont l’Évêque – Compiègne, approx. 36 - 45 km
From Pont l’Évêque, the tour continues to Compiègne on the Oise River. Compiègne owes its architectural richness to its proximity to Paris and to the vast forests where the French kings liked to stay. Worth seeing is the Château de Compiègne with its magnificent gardens. The bike tour leads through the forest of Ourscamp and across the river Aisne to Clairière de l’Armistice. At this place the French and German generals signed the treaty that sealed the end of the First World War. We can visit there a small but interesting museum.

Day 11: Compiègne – Pont-Sainte-Maxence, approx. 45 - 55 km
Today you cycle through the forest south of Compiègne and follow the Oise further downstream towards Creil. The longer route still includes a detour to the small town of Pierrefonds, where you have a magnificent view of the fairytale castle of the same name. Just before Pont Ste. Maxence, you will pass the Abbey of Moncel, endowed by King Philips the Handsome in 1309.

Day 12: Pont-Sainte-Maxence – Creil – Beaumont – Auvers sur Oise, approx. 42 - 57 km
You leave the bustling town of Creil by bike and ride to the enchanting Chantilly with its famous castle, also known for its horse racing track and the royal stables. After this visit, you will continue the tour through a beautiful forest area and a little further on you will reach Royaumont Abbey. For the shorter tour, you will rejoin the ship at Beaumont. On the longer tour we cross the river Oise towards Auvers-sur- Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent his last days. Here is also his grave, which you can visit in the evening.

Day 13: Auvers sur Oise – Paris (Bougival/Rueil), approx. 42 - 46 km
After arriving late yesterday in Auvers, you now have some time to follow in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh. Then, on your bike and with many impressionist impressions in your luggage, we approach the capital of light. Lunch in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where the Oise and Seine rivers meet. At noon we continue to St.Germain-en-Laye. to the palace, where we have a beautiful view over Paris. You will continue by bike along the river to Bougival.

Day 14: Paris (Bougival/Rueil) – Paris
Today we finally head upstream on the Seine to Paris. It won’t be long now, but there are still some big loops in the Seine. The ship’s berth is in the center of the city. You can spend the rest of the day as you wish.

Day 15: Paris
After breakfast you will leave the ship. Disembarkation till 9.30 am.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Due to varying wind and weather conditions, as well as organizational necessities, we reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary.

Please keep in mind that the ship is both your hotel and a machine that needs to be maintained and operated - both during the day and at night. Operational noise is therefore unavoidable.

Services

  • 14 nights in cabins shower/toilet (air-conditioned)

  • Full board (14x breakfast buffet, packed lunches, 13x dinner)

  • Coffee & tea on board

  • Welcome drink

  • Use of bed linen and towels (1x change of bed linen)

  • Daily cabin cleaning

  • All port & lock fees

  • Bike tour guide (fully guided tours, from 18 persons 2 tour guides and 2 groups)

  • Various short walks

  • Daily route briefing

  • Canal tour through Ghent

  • Visit city hall in Oudenaarde

  • Visit museum of the clearing of Rethondes (memorial)

  • Entrance to Chantilly Castle

  • Detailed map and information material per cabin

  • GPS tracks

  • WI-FI

  • Cycling helmet and waterproof luggage bag

  • For the environment’s benefit:
    1 biodegradable water bottle
    The CO² emitted during the trip will be compensated by the NGO Justdiggit.

Dates & Prices

Dates

Merkmale

    Season / Period
    Type
      11.05. - 25.05.24
    Bruges - Paris (MV ZWAANTJE)
      20.07. - 03.08.24
    Bruges - Paris (MV ZWAANTJE)
      06.07. - 20.07.24
    Paris - Bruges (MV ZWAANTJE)
      20.09. - 04.10.24
    Paris - Bruges (MV ZWAANTJE)
      21.09. - 05.10.24
    Paris - Bruges (MV FLEUR)

    Extras

    Bicycles & Equipment
    21-/11-speed bike 195
    E-bike 480
    Bringing of own bikes not possible!

    Best - Price - Guarantee

    If you would verifiably receive better conditions and/or prices from another tour operator at the time of booking we guarantee at least the same conditions PLUS 1 handlebar bag for FREE!
    All prices per person in EUR

    Ship

    Welcome on board!

    For this tour, the passenger ships MS Fleur and MS Zwaantje are used, which enchant their guests with an inviting atmosphere.


    MS FLEUR

    The Fleur started cruising in  2002. This small, yet very tasteful passenger barge with its sleek lines has ten comfortable guest cabins with two seperate beds. Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and basin, central heating and air-conditioning; windows are fixed for safety reasons. On the upper deck , there is a lounge with large windows, a roomy sitting area, a cozy bar and a half-covered sun deck. >>more


    MS ZWAANTJE

    The Zwaantje is a new built passenger barge.  The owners have restyled the interior in winter 2014-2015 and have created a warm and cozy atmosphere. On the lower deck, the Zwaantje has twelve comfortable guest cabins. Ten  twins (7m²)  and 2 doubles (6m²). All cabins have ventilation, air- conditioning  and a window. Only the windows in the double cabins can be opened. >>more

     

    Bicycle

    Rental-Bicycles & equipment

    The bicycles on board are 11-speed or 21-speed touring bicycles with hand brakes. The bikes are equipped with a pannier and a water bottle holder. Helmets can be rented free of charge on board.


    Electric bikes | E-Bikes | Pedelecs

    On some barges we offer modern quality-electrically assisted e-bikes (Pedelecs) with 7 or 8-gear-hub circuit, gradual selectable help of pedaling power and deep UNISEX-comfot-entrance. The bikes are equipped with a powerful Panasonic or Bosch-Pedelec-Engine and a powerful Lithium-Ion-Battery, one battery-charge is sufficient for up to 65 kilometers. The range of the battery is depending on supportlevel, riding manners, body weight and terrain. In a more hilly terrain or with a higher bodyweight there is more batterycapacity used then in flat areas or with a low bodyweight. You can save battery, when you start with most possible low support and increase only if needed. The batteries are supposed to be charged overnight with the provided battery charger.

    IMPORTANT: book E-bikes early, because of limited capacity!


    Bicycle breakdowns

    Breakdowns can happen, also when bikes are well serviced and maintained. Flats can be fixed by yourself. If there’s a difficult repair you may ask your guide on spot.

    Useful

    Arrrival - Parking - Departure

    Arrival by plane

    Airport: Paris / Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Paris / Orly (ORY), Brussels (BRU)

    Tour start in Paris
    From Paris Est, take metro line 5 towards Place d’Italie and get off at Quai de la Rapée. Continue on foot or by taxi to the pier.

    Tour start in Bruges
    For this tour, it is best to use Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport or Brussels Airport. From Charles de Gaulle airport, take a train via Brussels to Bruges. This journey takes about 3 hours. From Brussels you can take a direct train to Bruges. This journey takes 1 hour. If you arrive via Brussels airport, you can travel to Bruges by train. The train station in Bruges is not far from the pier. You can walk (15 minutes) or take a taxi.


    Arrival by train

    Station: Paris, Bruges
    Paris: From Paris Est, take metro line 5 towards Place d’Italie and get off at Quai de la Rapée station. Continue on foot or by taxi to the pier.
    Bruges: see Flight Arrival above.

    For the latest timetable and price information, click >>here


    Arrival by car

    Bruges: Unguarded parking near the station or Parking`t Pandreitje.
    Paris: Parking at the Gare de Lyon (Quay de Bercy).

    Unfortunately, it is not possible to reserve parking spaces.


    Additional information

    For space reasons we would like to ask you to refrain from using luggage with a hard shell, the storage space in the cabin is very limited!

    Bringing of own bikes is not allowed due to space limitations.

    Videos

    Travel stories

    4,8 of 6 Stars | 3
    Loved the boat, staff was terrific, food was outstanding, Guide Fred was excellent (always figuring our best route considering weather and conditions, executed great cornering strategy so no one got lost, good bike maintenance...M.K. 06/18
    4.1 11.07.2022 | John T. 2 Country tour / Bruges - Paris (or v.v.) by Bike + Boat

    Paris to Bruges

    Not particularly interesting places, except for Paris, Ghent, and Bruges. We did not follow the expected itinerary and this caused problems
    • Overall satisfaction 3
    • Booking handling 3
    • Travel documents 3
    • Per-Tour information 5
    • Accomodation 5
    • Board 5
    • Route description 5
    • Route-character 4
    • Bicycle + equipment 5
    • Price-performance ratio 3
    more
    5.5 11.06.2018 | Mary K. France + Belgium by Bike + Boat

    Bruge to Paris - 2 weeks a 10 day trip would be ideal but that may be difficult from a company perspective

    Loved the boat, staff was terrific, food was outstanding, Guide Fred was excellent (always figuring our best route considering weather and conditions, executed great cornering strategy so no one got lost, good bike maintenance, etc. Did not care for ...
    • Overall satisfaction 6
    • Booking handling 6
    • Travel documents 6
    • Per-Tour information 6
    • Accomodation 6
    • Board 6
    • Route description 4
    • On-site assistance 6
    • Route-character 4
    • Bicycle + equipment 6
    • Price-performance ratio 5
    more
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