Details

Start date:01 September 2018
End date:17 September 2018
  • Departs:Bruges (Belgium)
  • Ends:Cologne (Germany)

Price

  • $5975 per person, twin share
  • Single supplement Not Available
More booking details

Inclusions

Travel, accommodation, most meals, attractions, guides, bus tours and ferries as per the itinerary.

Not included; Optional activities, bike hire, gratuities

What our guests say

Thank you Bruno & Christine for a wonderful tour. In a few word “Buonissimo” our Northern Italian walking tour was a smorgasbord of breathtaking scenery, compelling history, cultural insights, fine Italian cuisine and wines and many captivating Italian characters all superbly packaged and led by you both.

– Ellis & Bronwyn

A big thank you for taking us on such an adventure as our Italian Viaggo. Every day was amazing and every walk had its “oh my goodness” effect, we just loved it. Walking gave us such a sense of achievement and of really being in Italy.

– Sandra

Many thanks, what a fantastic adventure in a country I would never have explored had it not been for you. I admire your organisation, hospitality and breadth of knowledge.

– Gillian

Many thanks for a wonderful trip. Somehow you organised perfect weather, magnificent wilderness trips, a bus full of congenial people and good accommodation and food. Your warmth and friendliness made the whole time especially enjoyable. Looking forward to our next trip.

– Bill & Helen

Thank you so much for the great trip. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The standard of the tour was excellent, the accommodation was great as were the extra activities. We really enjoyed the morning teas and picnic lunches and most of all we enjoyed your friendship and care for the comfort of your passengers.

– Ian & Rona

Join Bruce & Lindy Bishop along with 22 fellow travellers on this once in a lifetime tour through Western Europe. Avoid crowded European highways by travelling aboard the comfortable “floating hotel” canal barge ‘Quo Vadis’. Follow the network of historic canals winding through beautiful rural landscapes and stroll or cycle the cobbled streets of quaint villages along the way.

We cruise through Belgium, France and Holland on the canal system then onto the magnificent River Rhine for the upstream journey into Germany. Spend leisurely days in the lounge or on deck watching the scenery pass by from our comfortable barge, or do the easy optional cycling excursions along tow paths, cycle ways and village streets. Some other days we spend visiting local sights and attractions by bus. Itineraries are leisurely with time to stop for a coffee or beer and to really soak up the experiences along the way.

2018 marks 100 years since the end of WW1. Preparations are in full swing in Flanders and along the Somme for the expected influx of visitors for this milestone. Our itinerary gives a wonderful opportunity to visit the main sites and to learn more about and honour those who served on the Western Front.
Unpack once, settle in to the homely facilities, enjoy varied and quality meals, interact with the small group of travellers and crew and watch the beautiful European scenery pass by.

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Itinerary

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Travel Notes

CANAL BARGE FACILITIES;
Our home for this tour is a beautifully refurbished canal barge ‘Quo Vadis’ with comfortable air-conditioned twin share en-suite cabins for 22 passengers plus crew. It has spacious lounge/dining areas and outside sundeck. Meals are beautifully prepared and presented and the bar is well stocked and prices are very reasonable. Wi-fi is limited but free. The vessel is skippered by the owner who involves himself with his passengers and ensures that everything is “ship shape”. Because the barge is small with a retractable wheelhouse it can access some of the narrower canals and can fit under some of the lower bridges.

CYCLING;
Cycle touring is a major part of this itinerary and is the best way to really experience and enjoy the flat lowland countries we will travel through. Daily rides are led by a guide at a steady pace allowing ample time for coffee/lunch stops and a quiet beer here and there etc. The rides are varied passing through farmlands, forests, pretty villages and towns, along canals and levy banks of rivers with windmills etc. They can be from 20-50kms in length. Bikes and helmets can be hired on board and some electric bikes are available for the less regular riders. Each bike is equipped with weatherproof saddle bags, water bottle and holder and have chain gears.

Getting to Bruges/ Departing from Cologne;
Bruges and Cologne are easily accessible by rail from almost anywhere in Europe. London is about 3.5hrs by fast train from Bruges with one change (Brussells) and costs approx $100. Other cities within a similar range are Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

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Highlights

  • Evening guided walk along the cobbled streets of Bruges.
  • Cycle along the tow path of the Bruges-Ghent canal and see WW11 relics
  • Spend 3 nights in Armentieres in Northern France and tour the famous WW1 battlefields such as Fromelles, Polygon Woods, Passchendaele, Villers Bretonneux, Le Hamel and others
  • Join the evening ceremony at Menin Gate in Ypres
  • Visit the school in Villers-Bretonneux in the Somme and see the School Museum
  • Cycle tour of the medieval port city of Ghent
  • Overnight tie-ups in interesting towns and villages allowing evening walks into town
  • Visit Kinderdijk and see the row of 19 windmills built in the 18th century
  • See the historic cheese weighing house in Gouda & the old city hall
  • Spend 2 nights in Amsterdam with a free day to see the city at your leisure
  • Cruise under and walk across the John Frost Bridge in Arnhem defended by British forces in the WW11 Battle of Arnhem featured in the movie “A Bridge Too Far”
  • See the industrial landscape of the Ruhr valley, one of the world’s biggest industrial regions
  • Visit the former ancient Roman stronghold of Cologne and see the city hall dating from 1330
  • Enjoy the company of your fellow travellers and crew