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Canal boating in Belgium or Holland

Hi, all. This is my first post! We rented a self-drive canal boat for a week in Burgundy last year. A great experience! We'd like to do it again this June and are thinking of Niewport, Bruges and Ghent. in Belgium. Has anyone done this? Any recommendations for itineraries or canal boat operators in Belgium or Holland? Which is better for canal boating, Belgium or Holland? thanks! Robert Wolfson, SF Bay Area, Calif.

Posted by
1343 posts

Are you confined to the low countries?

We have sailed in Scotland and Ireland - both were wonderful. We used "Le Boat".

Posted by
5 posts

THanks for the reply. We'd like to try Scotland and Ireland sometime. Robert

Posted by
2029 posts

As I see there are several agencies offering canal boat rentals.

According the maps you can reach from Nieuwpoort, Brugge / Bruges, Ieper / Ypres and Gent / Ghent. Lovely place too visit is nearby Veurne, not big but has a nice market place. In general you wil see in Belgium places with a more medieval character, in the Netherlands it’s more about 17th century cities and villages.

The waterway network in The Netherlands is way more extensive as in Belgium, 6000km versus 1500km. I have totaly no experience with sailing, boating or what so ever, but to my opinion the eminently province for boating remains Friesland, however other places in the Netherlands are certainly worth to consider. Enough canals, rivers and lakes in Utrecht, Noord- and Zuid-Holland, but sailing between the historic cities along the river IJssel sounds appealing too.

Our national tourist organisation ANWB can be helpful for preparing your trip. The website is only in Dutch, but you can ask questions to Iris under Contact & service, fill in “Je vraag....” (your question) in your own language.

Hard to say which of the two countries is best for boating, but speaking for myself I think the Netherlands is more to prefer as it is traditionally more interconnected with water.