This tour will take you from Bruges to Paris, or Paris to Bruges, on a boat owned and operated by a charming husband and wife team who take special care to make this your best vacation ever. Aboard the barge Feniks, this tour takes you through Belgium and France. On every tour they will show you the famous attractions known by the big crowds, but will also take you to the undiscovered treasures of each country.
Their cycle guide takes you on a tour of about 35-50 km a day, but if you want to cycle a longer or shorter distance, they provide you with maps and all the information you need. Of course you can also stay on the boat and enjoy the landscape from the sundeck. In the evening the guide takes you for a stroll in town, to show you all its beauty.
The barge operators will provide you with all the information you need, serve you lovely food and let you taste the countries specialities; they listen to what you want to give you the holiday of a life time. No need to bring more than your personal belongings, you will have everything you need when staying on the Feniks.
From the well preserved historical towns of Belgium to the little villages of France, you will cycle on quiet country roads, towpaths, paved forest trails an the occasional cobblestone road.
You will visit several castles, including the famous Versailles,visit the town where Van Gogh lived and painted, see the well-known war museum in Peronne, a mine museum in Lewarde, stay in Belgium’s most well kept town Bruges and visit lovely Paris, the City of Light. The terrain starts flat in Belgium, but will also climb some hills in France.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
This tour has three optional start cities: Paris, Bruges or Peronne. This tour may also be booked as 7 night itinerary, basically cutting the tour in half.
Day 1: Bruges
At 14.00 P.M. we welcome our guests on board. You meet your companions or to take with you on your first bike ride to Damme. Of course you can also choose to go sightseeing in the lovely town of Bruges. The centre is at walking distance. In the evening we will be serving you a welcome dinner.
Damme is a very small town about 5 miles from Bruges. It used to be the port of Brugge. There are a few nice buildings to see, you will bike along a nice canal.
Bruges is the capital of the province of West-Vlaanderen.The town finds its origins around a county-castle in the second half of the 9th century.. The city reminds of a giant open-air museum. The enormous number of monuments and the well preserved grid of medieval streets attracts large numbers of visitors. In town there are many museums. Bruges is famous for its lace-work and chocolates. You can explore the city walking, cycling, by carriage or by boat in the city-canals.
Overnight in Bruges.
Day 2: Bruges – Gent
Every morning we serve you a good breakfast and you can make your own lunch package just the way you like it.After breakfast you can choose to stay on the boat and enjoy the sights while we sail to the next town, join our guide on a cycle-tour to the lovely town of Gent or use our maps and go cycling on your own.We welcome you back home at the Feniks in the afternoon with a bowl of homemade soup.After dinner our guide takes you for a walk in Gent.
Gent is one of Flanders major cities, it is the capital of the province of Oost-Vlaanderen. The city is lively and has a cosy historic centre, there are impressive buildings dating back to the later Middle Ages and the town has various curiosities.
Overnight in Gent.
Day 3: Gent – Oudenaarde
After breakfast the cycling-route will lead you along the river into farmland to Oudenaarde. Oudenaarde is called the pearl of the Flemish Ardennen. It used to be well-known in whole Europe of its wall-carpets and silverware. There are over a hundred protected monuments, two of them are on the UNESCO-list: the Begijnenhof and the town hall in which you will find a museum famous for its Gobelin-carpets.There are some nice churches and the castle Liedts. Or maybe you would like to visit one of the towns beer breweries. We can take you for a tour in the famous Kriek brewery to taste the typical Belgium kriek beer, made from cherries.
Overnight in Oudenaarde.
Day 4: Oudenaarde – Tournai
Today the cycle-route will take you on well-paved towpaths. We will head for Tournai, one of the oldest cities of Belgium.
Tournai belongs to Romance Flanders, from today you can practice your French lessons. It used to be one of the greatest cultural and economic centres of Flanders and some traces of that can still be seen today like the Our lady’s Cathedral and the Saint-Brice church. Other parts of interest are the 13th century Scheldt bridge and the main square as well as several old city gates, historic warehouses and a variety of museums.
Overnight in Tournai.
Day 5: Tournai – Bouchain/Arleux
Today we will cycle through the oldest regional park of France: Scarpe-Escaut.The park has forests, swamps and large fields with miles of cycling and walking paths.
If possible we will also visit the town of Arleux. It is famous for its smoked garlic, which you can smell everywhere on the streets. Our guide can take you for an excursion there and maybe the cook will make you her well-known garlic soup.
Bouchain is a nice cosy town in the French region Nord-Pas-de-Calais. It has 5000 inhabitants.
Overnight in Bouchain.
Day 6: Bouchainn/Arleux – Peronne
After breakfast we will cycle to the town of Lewarde. There we will find one of the biggest mine-museums of the world. You can visit the old mine with a small train which is spectacular and you will be guided by old mine-workers.
After our visit to the museum we will meet the Feniks to join its sail through a 3.5 mile long boat tunnel towards Peronne. Peronne is a commune of the Somme department in France.It is close to where the Battles of the Somme took place during World War 1.The Museum of the Great War is located in the ancient chateau. This museum is a “must” visit for those with a passion for the horrors of the great war.The city of Peronne also has a nice town centre, there is a beautiful church and you can visit the Alfred Danicourt museum with one of the finest collections of early Gallic coins and antique gold jewellery.
Overnight in Peronne.
Day 7: Peronne
Today the barge will stay in Peronne.You can relax on the boat or explore the surroundings of the town by bike or walking. Our guide can help you by planning a beautiful day out.
Overnight in Peronne.
Day 8: Peronne – Noyon
After breakfast we will cycle along the river and through farmland to Noyon, a small but historic French town in the Oise department, Picardie. It has an impressive cathedral: the Notre-Dame, a nice museum about John Calvin and you can see the remains of sections of the Roman walls.
Overnight in Noyon.
Day 9: Noyon – Compiegne
Our cycle-routes will get a bit more hillier, we will cycle through the forest of Compiegne , visit the lovely village st Jean-aux-Biox and make a stop at the castle of Pierrefonds, some say it is the most majestic fortified castle of France.The castle has a museum with ancient bicycles and cars, rooms with the original furniture and a beautiful ballroom. At the square in front of the castle is the starting point of the famous Parijs-Roubaix cycling-race.Also in the forest is the Rethondes Armistice Clearing where World War 1 was ended.
Compiegne also has a very nice church the Eglise St.-Antione with a collection of unique Greek porcelain and a beautiful city hall.
Overnight in Compiegne.
Day 10: Compiegne – Creil
Today we will continue our tour through the forest and the real countryside of France.We will end our day in the city of Creil. On the way we will visit the graffiti-museum with art dating from the stone age. Creil is a town with a nice Gothic church with a 13th century interior and a 16th century tower. It also has a museum with 19th century provincial furniture, pottery and paintings. Overnight in Creil.
Day 11: Creil – Auvers sur L’oise/Conflans
We will cycle through the forest to the famous castle of Chantilly. This chateau is located in one of the largest forests near Paris, it has one of the finest museums of historical paintings in France, a well stocked library, beautiful gardens and a living horse museum. After our visit to the castle we will cycle to the Feniks at Auvers sur l’Oise.
At dinner time we will be sailing to Conflans, a lovely town, close to Paris. Auvers sur L’oise is a little village where a lot of famous artists used to live. Van Gogh made over a 70 paintings here and you can visit the graves of him and his brother. In the auberge Ravoux where he used to live and work, you can find a small museum.
Overnight in Auvers sur L’oise/Conflans
Day 12: Auvers sur L’oise/Conflans – Bougival/La Defense Paris
While the guests are having breakfast the Feniks will sail to Bougival. There we will go off with our bikes. We will make a tour through town and then go to the Palace of Versailles. The chateau of Versailles is one of the largest castles of the world and on the heritage list of UNESCO. You can take a look inside or wonder through the gardens. After our visit to the castle we will meet the Feniks. If possible the boat will sail to La Defense in Paris and stay there overnight. This will give us more time to visit Paris.
Bougival is a little commune in the western suburbs of Paris, the town is home of a number of French celebrities. It was known as the cradle of impressionism. Painters like Monet and Renoir painted the light, sky and water of this area. In the historical centre you will find the 12th century Notre-Dame church.
Overnight in Bougival.
Day 13: Bougival/La Defense Paris – Paris
Today the Feniks will take us for a unique sailing tour through the centre of Paris. We will pass several monuments like the Notre Dame and the Eifel Tower. After we arrived at our final destination our guide will show you the famous spots of Paris on a city walk. It is also possible to enter Paris by bike.
Paris is the capital of France and the country’s largest city. It is been called The City of Light, La Ville Lumière. There are many things to see and do: Paris has 150 museums, famous parks and gardens, beautiful cathedrals and churches and other remarkable buildings.You can visit a market or go shopping and in the evening see the theatre, cabaret or some live music.
Overnight in Paris.
Day 14: Paris
Free day to explore Paris at your own leisure..
Day 15: Departure
Departure from boat in Paris.
RATING – Easy to Moderate
The terrain starts flat in Belgium, but we will also climb some hills in France. Suitable for all levels of cyclist.
The most convenient flights are into Brussels Airport. There are trains from the terminal to Bruges every hour, at a cost of approx. Euro 25.00. The voyage takes approx. 1 1/2 hours.
MS FENEKS 4*
Originally, the Feniks was built in 1928 as a freighter on the Dutch, Belgium and French waters. She is a very strong vessel with many years of meritorious service and is known because of her beautiful line and speed. In 1992 The Feniks was reconstructed to a hotel passenger ship and put in service for several sailing holidays. Since then The Feniks has undergone several refits to keep the ship up to date with all modern facilities.
Since 2015 your new hosts are Ivo and Marius: one of us is always on board. From architect to captain, from consultant to sailor and cook, Ivo and Marius welcome you on board. We work with an enthusiastic crew.: there is Rick, our permanent chief cook, and Sven, our tireless sailor.
We have an extended library on board, a varied collection of cds and dvds, a television and many magazines to entertain you. Of course we have several family/party games a board and not to forget lots of information and maps of the route, the sailing area and the places we are visiting.
Aboard you will find:
The cabins are clean and well cared for. All cabins are equipped with:
There is a washer and dryer available and as well as a and everything else you need for a comfortable stay a board of the Feniks. Due to the narrow waterways the Feniks travels, the barge is narrower than barges some travelers may be accustomed to, and the bunk bed cabins are only about 4 square meters/43 square feet with bathrooms of about 2 square meters/21 square feet. Twin cabins are slightly larger.
Outside on the deck you will find various seats to take in the best views over the great landscapes. There is a sundeck to relax on or you can sit under the awning which give you shelter from the sun or light rain. If the weather allows, we serve the meals outside on the deck. Have you always wanted to drive a ship? Winfred will welcome you in the wheel house.
SCHEDULE & PRICE – 14 night tour
Departure Dates 2017: From Paris: Oct 1
Departure Dates 2018: From Bruges: May 12, June 9, Sep 15
From Paris: May 26, Sep 1 Sep 29
|Per person, double occupancy: 14 night tour||CAD||$3295|
|Deduction for cabin with bunk beds
Surcharge for E-bike
|Per person, double occupancy: 7 night tour||$1695|
NOTE: No single surcharge applies however maximum 2 cabins per tour
This tour includes:
Telephone: 705-949-1710 or 888-297-4786
Station Mall, 293 Bay St., Sault Ste Marie, P6A 1X3
Monday to Friday: 9.30 am. to 5.30 pm.
Saturday: by appointment