End Location: Bruges, Belgium Closest Airport: Brussels Airport (BRU)
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Price: $3,960 per person, double occupancy$4,960 per person, single occupancy, limited availability
Enjoy VIP Access and Exclusive Brewery Tours and Tastings: Sip unique regional brews in some of the most historic and best beer-stocked pubs in Belgium. Visit Belgian beer lovers’ “Meccas” such as Westvleteren and Het Anker as well as a host of other incredible breweries on this Beer and Chocolate Lover’s Belgium Beercation Cruise
Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic: Immerse Yourself into the world of Belgian Chocolate via our specially curated chocolate experiences. From tastings, to beer and chocolate pairings to workshops which will teach you the secrets of creating your own mouth-watering chocolates, by the end of your Beer and Chocolate Lover’s Belgium Beercation Cruise, your Belgian chocolate savvy will reach Willy Wonka worthy levels!
Learn from the Experts with our Special Guest Co-Host: We are happy to announce that Pete Slosberg, who most of you know as creator of Pete’s Wicked Ale-the first American Brown Ale and founder of Pete’s Brewing Company , will be cohosting this year’s Beer and Chocolate Beercation Cruise. What makes Pete the perfect co-host for his trip is that he also happens to be a very talented chocolate maker and the founder of a chocolate company called Cocoa Pete’s Chocolate Adventures. Of course, never one to stand still, Pete stays busy brewing collaborations with friends and judging beer competitions around the globe, which is how we met. He is also the Co-Founder of the South Beer Cup- the GABF and CBC of all South America; was named Ambassador of Latin American Craft Beer to the World; and is on the Board of Advisors of The Planetary Society(with Bill Nye the Science Guy and Neil DeGrasse Tyson). So pretty much, whatever activity we are enjoying or theme we are exploring on this trip, Pete will be certain to have some great insider viewpoints and stories to share.
Savor Gourmet Meals and Cuisine a La Bière: Tempt your taste buds with meals prepared with fresh local ingredients daily by our private onboard chef, savor delicious cuisine a la biére and regionally inspired meals both onboard and along the route. And of course, sip some of the best beer in the world, fresh from the source! Experience for yourself why Bon Beer Voyage won the World Food Travel Association’s Food Trekking Award for Best Tour Operations on Water twice!
Tour Belgium Like a Local: Taste your way through dynamic Brussels, enjoying regional specialties from beer to waffles. Enjoy the breweries and chocolate shops in Antwerp – a city known for diamonds and designer fashion, but full of the jewels of the chocolate world; Explore scenic Ghent on a private canal cruise & savor some unique beers and chocolates in beautiful Bruges, one of the most perfectly preserved medieval towns in Europe. Let our local guides share their cities and immerse you in the local culture. Check out the local beer scene with special brewery visits and tastings or with our beer guide and our exclusive beer hunting maps and app, as well as some free time to explore on your own.
Relax with Comfortable Accommodations: All of the cabins on our canal cruiser are individually climate controlled with heat and air conditioning. Each cabin has two twin beds, a window and private bathroom with shower. Photos of our barge, the Fiep are available under our Photos link on our website.
Be Our Guest:Relax it’s your vacation! No driving! No figuring out where to eat or how to get from one place to the next! We are happy to help with any of your beercation travel planning; so don’t hesitate to contact us for pre- or post hotel nights, flights, insurance quotes, or for any other assistance you may need. Get ready for the best beercation cruise and tour of Belgium ever on the The Ultimate Beer & Chocolate Lover’s Belgium Beercation Cruise 2023!
The Ultimate Beer & Chocolate Lover’s Belgium Beercation Cruise
with special Guest Host: Pete Slosberg October 8 – 15, 2023 on our Exclusive Private Canal Barge
Early Booking Pricing Only $3960 pp person Double Occupancy
Limited Single Occupancy (waitlist only) at $4960
The most convenient airports for this beercation are: Arrival:Brussels Airport (BRU) Departure: Brussels Airport (BRU)
Covid-19: Due to the constantly fluid situation surrounding Covid 19, Vaccination, Booster and/or Testing Requirements vary from country to country. You will be required to meet the current requirements at the time of your tour for the country or countries in which you will be touring in order to participate in the tour. Proof of vaccination and/or tests may be requested at embarkation/arrival. See Terms and Conditions for further info.
Privately Chartered Canal Cruiser Accommodations Aboard The Fiep
VIP Brewery Tours and Tastings
VIP Chocolate Tours and Tastings
Onboard Meals with Private Chef
Privately Guided City Tours
Entry to Museums and Sightseeing
Private Motorcoach Transportation
Exclusive Gourmet Beer-Paired Dinner
Airfare and transportation to and from tour start point and end point
Meals or drinks with meals not specified in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry or telephone calls
Expenses for any activities not included on the itinerary
Passport or visa fees
Gratuities for barge crew, guides, bus drivers and tour leaders
Tour insurance to cover tour cancellations/interruptions, lost luggage, etc
For full information, please navigate to our Terms & Conditions webpage
Any necessary Covid-19 testing requirements for arrivals or departures
Day 1 Sunday: Bruges – Welcome Aboard – and Welcome to the Land of Beer & Chocolate!
Welcome aboard! Settle in to your home for the week, then join us for a welcome toast while we meet our crew during the onboard briefing. Then it’s time to begin your immersion into the world of Belgian Beer and Chocolate!
Our introduction to chocolate will begin at Bruge’s Chocolate Museum: Choco-Story. Our privately guided tour will take us on a journey of the senses through time – a feast for the eyes, the nose and the taste buds! We’ll learn the story of the origin and evolution of chocolate through a unique collection of almost a thousand chocolate- related objects; and we’ll see how chocolate is made, from the variety of raw ingredients to the development of the production process. We’ll uncover the secret of beautiful silky chocolate and finish our visit with a chocolate tasting!
After our visit at Choco-Story, we’ll head to Brouwerij Bourgogne des Flandresfor a “brewnique” experience, designed exclusively for Bon Beer Voyage! This program will take us on a privately guided tour through the brewery and distillery, where you will enjoy a unique view of the brewing process. After the tour, you’ll be introduced to the magical world of beer blending. You will get to try your hand at blending your own Bourgogne des Flandres and see if you have what it takes when we compare it to ‘the real thing’ at the end of the blending session. Then we will finish our visit with a beer and chocolate pairing with these 3 beers along with 3 local artisanal chocolates! Following our fabulous afternoon of beer and chocolate, we’ll head back to the barge for our welcome aboard dinner.
After dinner if you are not too jet-lagged from the trip overseas, you can join our beer guide for some beer hunting. (This could be visiting an historic pub or searching the local shops for rare and unique beers to sample or add to your collection). D
Day 2 Monday: Bruges with morning sailing to Gent
This morning we’ll enjoy a peaceful sail along the canals and breakfast on board. Make sure to pop up on deck to snap some photos and take in the view.
During our sail we will be treated to a special chocolate and beer orientation workshop with our guest host, Pete Slosberg, founder/brewer of Pete’s Brewing Company and creator of Pete’s Wicked Ale. What you may not know about Pete is that he is also the founder/creator of a chocolate company, Cocoa Pete’s Chocolate Adventures!
We’ll have a late morning brunch, then it’s off to visit Ghent where we will relax and enjoy the sights from the lively Graslei quay to the medieval castle Gravensteen during our private sightseeing cruise on the river Leie.
After our canal boat tour we’ll walk over to the the famous Jenever bar‘t Dreuplekot for a taste of this local specialty drink. (The flavor options of this gin based liquor comes in a wide variety that run from straight up to – of course – chocolate!) Right outside is a patio overlooking the canal which is shared by the excellent Waterhuis bar so this is a great opportunity to chill and have a few beers from their extensive menu or head off to explore Ghent and taste some local fare during dinner on your own before heading back to the barge at your leisure. B, L
Day 3 Tuesday: Ghent -Mechelen – Buggenhout – Dendermonde
This morning we channel our inner-chocolatiers during a hands-on private chocolate workshop. We knew we found the perfect hostess for our workshop in the passionate and welcoming Mieke, when we stepped into her atelier which was filled with chocolate benches, chocolate frames and other chocolate decor, along with the delicious scent of chocolate. Mieke, describing her passion for what she does says “Chocolate makes people happy, and I love to make people happy!” We certainly were happy when we went to visit her back in October! During the workshop, we will work together in small groups, so everyone can have a chance to try the techniques we will learn to temper the chocolate and then design our own chocolate creations, which we will get to bring back with us as souvenirs (or proof of our artistic ability 😉
After all of our hard work as dedicated chocolate makers, we surely will have worked up an appetite and a great thirst, so we will head to Brouwerij Het Anker to sample their delicious beers and enjoy lunch and a tour of their world-class brewery. On our way back towards Dendermonde, where our barge will be moored for the evening, we are going to make a stop at one of our favorite breweries, Brouwerij de Landtsheer, where they make the delicious Mahleur line of beers. Dinner this evening is back on the barge, followed by optional beer hunting in Dendermonde, with Mike, your beer guide. B, L, D
Day 4 Wednesday: Dendermonde to Antwerp
This morning we will fuel up with breakfast onboard before heading to Antwerp to continue our education on chocolate and beer. Today we will visit the Chocolate Nation Museum, which takes over the story of chocolate where Choco-Story left off; telling us the stories of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the famous Belgian chocolate houses as well as countless other facts and info about chocolate, from bean to bar. The amazing tasting – straight from the tempering machines -finishes this visit like a chocolate lover’s dream. After this, you will have free time for lunch and to explore Antwerp on your own… maybe you can work off your chocolate buzz with a visit to the zoo, or one of the many great museums or De Koninck – The Antwerp City Brewery. And of course countless beer bars and shops await you. We suggest if you are shopping for diamonds in the world famous diamond district, however, you do this before hitting the pubs!
Later this afternoon we will meet up and head over to visit Antwerpse Brouw Compagnie (Seef Brewery), where Johan Van Dyck revived a type of beer known as siefbier – a Belgian Ale made with buckwheat that was brewed in Antwerp prior to WWI. Johan spent 2 years searching out and recreating the recipe which led to the award-winning Seef beer. You can taste Seef, along with a number of other styles brewed here (including a chocolate beer!) during our visit. From Seef, we are just a few blocks away from our barge, where dinner awaits us this evening. After dinner, it is a short stroll to check out the view from the top of the nearby Mas museum… or a perhaps you are up for a little more beer hunting? B, D
Day 5 Thursday: Antwerp to St Amand
After breakfast on board, we will head out to meet our guide, for our Antwerp Chocolate Walking Tour. Our guide is the very first tour guide in Antwerp to offer a delicious and entertaining walk on this tantalizing subject. We plunge into the history of chocolate and how it found its way to this part of the world. You will find out everything on these precious beans that were used as a currency in the world of Aztecs and Mayas, a strong medicine in the 16th century and an aphrodisiac at the court of powerful kings and emperors. Our guide will share (chocolate) tales and stories about Casanova, Madame de Pompadour, Louis XIII and many more. You will learn why it’s good to eat chocolate and how it can protect you from illness and despair. Not only will you live healthier when you eat chocolate every day, you will also look better since cocoa is wonderful for your skin.. You will also learn about the “praline” (filled chocolate)- the 1912 invention that put Belgian chocolate on the map. And of course you will get a chance to taste some of the most delicious pralines in town, – well, actually, in the world!
After our tour we will grab a beer in one of the many cool local pubs Antwerp has to offer and then stroll over to the waterside port, which is located nearby a medieval castle, to meet our barge for lunch and an afternoon sail. For those ready to get their hands dirty, Pete will be hosting an onboard chocolate workshop this afternoon, where we will learn the secrets of making mouth-watering chocolate truffles.
This evening, we will be docked in the harbor port of St. Amand. Here, we can stretch our legs with a short walk over to visit with a local artist that makes unique sculptures and jewelry out of stone. After another incredible day, we’ll be treated to a delicious dinner onboard the barge tonight. B,L,D
Day 6 Friday: St Amand – Brussels- Ghent
This morning, we’ll be treated to a morning sail and breakfast onboard before we head out for our big day in Brussels!
Brussels is a beer and food lovers dream, among other things! Today we will experience the city with a local guide on a private walking tour highlighting some of the history, street murals and food specialty items (including beer, frites and chocolate!) found in Brussels.
Then we are off to visit Brussels Beer Project. With a tag line on their website that says “Leave the abbey, join the playground!” you know you are in for something a little bit different from your previous Belgian Beer/Brewery experiences. Their description continues with “Belgium is no dusty beer museum and we’re on a mission to keep writing the beer story of today and tomorrow.We brew one new beer every week, we welcome brewers from all around the world and our community is always engaged.Beyond beer, we want to set an example of a responsible company and be a reason of pride in our community. We made the first beer made of unsold bread in the world, now a symbol of circular economy, already 5 years ago and have been pushing our own boundaries ever since.” We are currently working up details for a special visit with this special brewery!
After our BBP visit, you are free to explore Brussels on your own for a few hours before we meet up for our dinner at one of Brussels many excellent restaurants known for local Belgian fare. If you are looking to experience “Mussels in Brussels” or other Belgian specialties, this is the place to do so! After dinner we will return to the barge with our coach – full, relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep!
B, L, D
Day 7 Saturday: Ghent – morning sail to Beernem -Westvleteren – Bruges
This morning relax on board and watch the scenery as we sail to Beernem on the way back to Bruges, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. An extended continental breakfast will be available for early risers and brunch will be available later in the morning through early afternoon.
Sufficiently charged up from a great morning, we will to head off to visit Westvleteren, where monks brew what is widely acclaimed as “the best beer in the world”. Here we will taste this famous Trappist beer in their In de Vrede Cafe, where you can also get some lunch. If we are lucky, they might even have some “westies” for sale in their gift shop. This makes for one serious beer geek souvenir!
After we leave Westvleteren we’ll head off to visit our friend Kristof Vandenbussche at his Fort Lapin brewery, where he has been brewing beer just outside the walls of Bruges since 2011. Kristof used to manufacture refrigeration and electrical installations, so he actually converted the building where he worked into the brewery where he now brews his delicious creations! Over the years things have gone so well and the business has grown so much that by the time we visit, we may be enjoying our tastings in a brand new expanded facility.
Recently, Kristof was approached by Dominique Persoone, the most famous chocolatier in Belgium and owner of the Chocolate Line chocolate shops, to brew a chocolate beer for him. Kristof already makes a delicious chocolate stout, but that beer is made with chocolate malts, whereas the beer he is brewing for Persoone will be made with actual chocolate nibs. Kristof will discuss the differences between the processes and profiles of these 2 beers during a comparative tasting.
We’ll head back to Bruges where you will have some free time to explore, grab a beer or maybe even stop off at the Chocolate Line for some last minute souvenirs, before making your way back to the barge for our Farewell dinner.
After dinner relax on the barge, head into town to explore on your own or join your beer guide for a final beer hunting expedition in the medieval city. B,D
Day 8 Sunday: Bruges
All good things must come to an end … enjoy a final breakfast on board before disembarking our barge to depart for flights home or wherever your travels will take you!
The Ultimate Beer and Chocolate Lover’s Belgium Beercation Cruise 2023 on our Exclusive Private Canal Barge October 8 – 15, 2023
Early Booking Pricing Only $3960 pp person Double Occupancy
Limited Single Occupancy at $4960 currently waitlist only
You (Ruth) and Mike did an excellent job. You exceeded all our expectations! All the beer dinner pairings were beautifully matched with the courses. You obviously did your homework with each and every pairing. Mike made me feel like he knew the territory like a native, and was more than happy to hear others’ suggestions yet humbly making better suggestions. You guys make a great team! Keep up the good work!”
– Dan M., Stamford, CT
Everyone keeps asking me what my favorite part of the trip was and I can never give a straight answer because there were too many awesome things! It was amazing to see so many cool breweries I couldn’t do on my own. Food, transport and accommodations were great. Everything was taken care of! Can’t wait to go again!
– Elizabeth Smith, Brooklyn, NY
Things will never be the same again! My beer palate has been expanded after the Amsterdam to Bruges barge cruise!! Mike & Ruth were easy going, fun people to “hang out with & explore the Dutch & Belgian beer culture. I felt like I had known them for years. The tour was beyond my already high expectations.
– Stan Broniak
If you enjoy beer and beer culture, Bon Beer Voyage is a MUST DO on your bucket list!!!
– A.S., Lutz, FL
Plenty of room in the common areas. Meals were better than I had expected. The staff was fantastic and went out of their way to help when hubby didn’t feel up to dinner
Please Read our Terms & Conditions, and complete your Signature & Release Form before you travel. You will need to sign this online form for each guest and have it back to us at least 30 days prior to tour departure-thanks. Our beer tour itineraries are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather, transportation problems, or an unexpected business closure. We’re continually looking for ways to improve our tours and we sometimes come across a special new pub or brewery since the itinerary was published that we’d like to share with you. Since our beer tours are planned far in advance, we may occasionally adjust the itinerary as necessary to provide you with the best trip possible! Since a minimum number of passengers are required in order to run each trip, we suggest you refrain from non-refundable air purchases until 2 months prior to your departure date or confirmation of sailing.