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Allie Hartmann

Explore the Best Boat Trips in Ghent

Hey there, travel buddies! If you’re dreaming of a magical adventure through the heart of Belgium, look no further than the charming city of Ghent! 

Nestled along scenic waterways, Ghent is a gem just waiting to be discovered. And what better way to explore its enchanting sights than with a delightful boat tour? Picture yourself gliding along the canals with a friendly guide sharing fascinating tales of the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. 

These tours are a fantastic way to soak in the beauty of Ghent, from its stunning medieval architecture to its cozy riverside cafes. Ready to embark on a captivating journey? Let’s set sail and uncover the hidden treasures of this captivating city together!

If you want to know more fun things to do in Ghent, be sure to check out my article, “Things to do in Ghent!

Hop on Hop off Canal Cruise Ghent Belgium
Canal cruise ghent

50-Minute Medieval Center Guided Boat Trip

Why Ghent is the Perfect Place for a Boat Trip

Ghent boat trip

Ghent, or Gent as the locals say, is a picturesque city crisscrossed with beautiful canals. 

Imagine gliding along these waterways, surrounded by stunning medieval architecture, while a friendly guide shares fascinating stories. 

Sounds dreamy, right? There are many canal cruises in Ghent, each offering a unique perspective on the city. 

Whether you’re with a group of friends, on a romantic getaway, or enjoying a solo adventure, there’s a perfect boat tour for you.

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Boat Tour Tickets & Practical Information

There are several ways to purchase tickets for your boat trip in Ghent:

Where to Buy Boat Tour Tickets

Popular Boat Tour Companies in Ghent:

Here are some reputable companies offering delightful boat tours in Ghent:


De Bootjes van Gent is now known for its classic and private tours. It also offers evening cruises. Gent Watertoerist offers a range of tours, including themed and nature cruises, and Rederij Dewaele specializes in private and customized tours for a more personalized experience.

Tickets prices:


Boat Trip Ghent tickets

Duration of Tours and Departure Points
Boat tours in Ghent typically last between 40 minutes to 1.5 hours. Private tours can be tailored to your schedule.

Most boat tours depart from central locations, such as:
Graslei and Korenlei: These picturesque streets along the canal are popular departure points.
St. Michael’s Bridge: Another central location offering stunning views.

Types of Boat Trips in Ghent

Classic canal cruise ghent

Classic Canal Cruise

This is the most popular boat tour in Ghent. The classic canal cruise takes you on a scenic journey through the city’s historic heart.

You’ll board a cozy boat and embark on an adventure, passing by iconic landmarks like the Gravensteen Castle and the medieval Graslei and Korenlei. The view from the water is simply breathtaking!

What to expect:

  • A friendly guide sharing fun facts and historical tidbits.
  • A leisurely pace, perfect for snapping lots of photos.
  • Stunning views of Ghent’s beautiful buildings and bridges.

Private Boat Tours

Want a more intimate experience? Opt for a private boat tour. These are perfect for couples, families, or small groups looking for a personalized adventure. 

You can choose your route, and your guide will tailor the tour to your interests. It’s a unique way to see Ghent at your own pace.

What to expect:

  • A customized itinerary based on your preferences.
  • A private boat all to yourselves.
  • A knowledgeable guide ready to answer all your questions.
Ghent Belgium

Evening Boat Cruises

Ghent transforms into a fairy-tale city at night. An evening boat cruise lets you experience this magic firsthand. 

The buildings are beautifully illuminated, and the reflections on the water create a mesmerizing scene. It’s a romantic and serene way to end your day in Ghent.

What to expect:

  • The soft glow of Ghent’s lights reflected on the canals.
  • A peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
  • The chance to see the city in a whole new light (literally!).

Nature and Wildlife Boat Tours

Ghent isn’t just about medieval architecture. The city also boasts some lovely green spaces and waterways teeming with wildlife. 

A nature and wildlife boat tour takes you out of the city center and into these tranquil areas. It’s perfect for nature lovers and anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

What to expect:

  • Scenic views of Ghent’s parks and natural areas.
  • A chance to spot local wildlife like birds and fish.
  • A relaxing and refreshing experience in nature.
Ghent belgium canal cruise
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Fun Facts to Impress Your Friends

While you’re enjoying your boat trip, here are some fun facts to share and impress your fellow travelers:

Ghent’s Canals are Centuries Old: The city’s waterways date back to medieval times and were crucial for trade and transport.
Gravensteen Castle’s Dark Past: This imposing fortress was once used as a court and prison.
The Dragon on the Belfry: Keep an eye out for the golden dragon atop the Belfry of Ghent. It’s been watching over the city since the 14th century!

What to Bring on Your Boat Trip

To make the most of your boat trip in Ghent, here are a few essentials to bring along:

  • Camera or Smartphone: You’ll want to capture the beautiful views.
  • Sunscreen and Hat: If you’re taking a daytime tour, protect yourself from the sun.
  • Light Jacket or Sweater: Evenings can be cool, so it’s good to be prepared.
  • Comfortable Shoes: You might want to take a walk around Ghent before or after your cruise.

Other Ways to Enjoy Ghent’s Waterways

If you can’t get enough of Ghent’s canals, here are a few other ways to enjoy them:

  • Kayaking: For the adventurous, renting a kayak is a fun way to explore at your own pace.
  • Paddleboarding: Yes, you can paddleboard on Ghent’s canals! It’s a unique and exciting way to see the city.
  • Waterbike: Rent a waterbike for a fun and active experience on the water.

Tips for the Best Boat Trip Experience

Boat tours can fill up quickly, especially in the summer. Booking ahead ensures you get the time and date you want.

Ghent’s weather can be a bit unpredictable. A quick check can help you dress appropriately.

The guides are super friendly and knowledgeable. Don’t be shy to ask them anything that piques your curiosity.

After your boat tour, walk around the city. Ghent is incredibly walkable, and you’ll find charming spots around every corner.

Wrapping Up Your Ghent Adventure

After your boat trip, there’s still so much more to explore in Ghent. Visit the bustling markets, dine in cozy cafes, or wander the cobbled streets. Each corner of Gent holds a new surprise, and the city’s warm and welcoming vibe will make you feel right at home.

A boat trip in Gent is more than just a tour; it’s an experience. It’s about feeling the city’s heartbeat from the gentle sway of a boat. It’s about seeing centuries of history reflected in the water. It’s about making memories that will last a lifetime.

So, lovely travelers, if you’re ready for an adventure filled with charm, history, and a touch of magic, Ghent’s canals are calling your name. Hop on board, take in the stunning views, and let this beautiful city captivate your heart. And don’t forget to visit the famous Gravensteen Castle. Happy cruising!

Editor: Hi! I’m Allie, and welcome to my travel blog. Born and raised in Texas and moved to Germany 8 years ago on a quest for self-discovery. Follow me on this great adventure as I’ll be your trusted travel guide, sharing my experiences, insights, and tips from my journeys around the globe.

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