The Scheldt is the most important arterial road in Flanders. It is of inestimable importance for the economy, culture and nature.
The river has its source in the north of France in Gouy-Le-Catelet on the plateau of Saint-Quentin, 95 meters above sea level. It is a small source, which first forms a small stream which is fed by other streams and tributaries. All those streams and rivers that feed the Scheldt, together with the Scheldt, form the Scheldt basin. When the Scheldt enters Belgium, the difference in level with the sea has dropped to 16 meters.
Until Ghent we sail on the Upper Scheldt. After Ghent, the name changes to Zeeschelde. From that moment on, the river is already part of the sea, the tides can be felt as far as Ghent and there is no longer a lock or other obstacle to the sea. Beyond Antwerp, it enters the Netherlands and is called the Western Scheldt. The Scheldt flows into the North Sea at Vlissingen.
The special thing about the Scheldt is that the tidal movement can be observed very deep inland. The tide is also active in its tributaries Durme, Rupel, Kleine and Grote Nete, Dijle and Zenne. On the Dender the tide is held back by a weir and lock in Dendermonde.
The salt marshes and mudflats that arise on the banks of the Scheldt as a result of the tide are protected natural reserves in many places. The Scheldt estuary is home to a very rich flora and fauna. The Scheldt land between the estuary of the Rupel and the Dender is considered as one of the most beautiful river landscapes in our country. Sailing on this part of the Scheldt is therefore a special experience.
Naturally, the Scheldt is also an important shipping route for supplies to and from the ports of Antwerp, Vlissingen, Terneuzen and even Ghent and Brussels. If you participate in our boat trips from Antwerp, several very large sea-going vessels will cross your sailing route.
Numerous rich cities arose on the banks of the Scheldt. They testify to the high quality and refinement of the old Flemish culture. During our day trips we combine sailing with guided visits to a number of historic centers and new monuments such as the MAS museum. Antwerp, Rupelmonde, Temse, Dendermonde and Ghent are just a few of the centers that you can discover.
In recent years Brussels has slowly but surely build an image as a city by the water. It is now obvious that Brussels, as many other major capitals, has its waterway. And we are not referring to the Zenne, but the Brussels-Scheldt maritime canal.
The 'Zenne Canal' is reviled by some, but increasingly appreciated by others who see it as a blue ribbon in the city, offering space, relief and biodiversity. An open place to walk, live, do leisure activities... and where one can indeed also enjoy sailing. Along the navigation, you are at the forefront of discovering the metamorphosis that the canal districts are currently undergoing.
Anderlecht is developing new residential areas along the canal, in the centre of Brussels the quays are being renovated and lofts "with a view of the canal" attract more and more candidates. Historic buildings are finding new functions, whilst the authentic character remains preserved in combination with sustainable architecture. Interesting sites near the water are Tours & Taxis and the "Gare Maritime", which recently received the ARC20 architecture prize. The former Bellevue brewery has been transformed into the Mima museum and the COOP, a services & cultural centre, is housed in the former flour mill on the Demets quay. The COOP building offers a breathtaking view of Brussels from its panoramic terrace.
Quai Beco will be transformed in a green and recreational area along the waterfront, and the Suzan Daniel bridge, reserved for pedestrians, cyclists and tram, will soon be put in place in the Beco dock. Further north, at the Place des Armateurs, rises the Up-site residential tower, the highest residential building of the country. In front of this complex a complete new sports infrastructure will be built.
In Vilvoorde, the ambitious Watersite project with many new lofts and flats is taking further shape.
In Grimbergen, Kapelle-op-den-Bos and Zemst, nature takes
over. We sail through the rich and varied landscape of the Green Belt, with
beautiful pieces of nature, parks and forests. The northern part of the Green
Belt is known under the name 'Brabantse Kouters', with solid loamy soils,
intersected by numerous streams and the Senne, which is never far away. West of
Brussels you end up in the Pajottenland and the Zenne valley, an oasis of
space, greenery and silence.
A nautical guide on board will narrate the history of the canal and its many aspects. Sailing in Brussels and its green belt is synonymous with a fascinating and instructive experience.
The Dender is one of our most idyllic rivers. It crosses nature reserves, but also flows through the centres of important historical cities such as Geraardsbergen, Ninove and Aalst. Only at the mouth at Dendermonde the river was kept out of the city. Since 1978 the tidal lock of Dendermonde separates the Dender from the tidal sensitive Zeeschelde, so there are no more tides on the Dender.
The Dender is meandering its way through the landscape. While sailing you will discover low-lying lakes, with alternating natural marshlands and poplar plantations. Originally, the Dender was a strongly winding river with varying water levels. Usually it is calm, but after heavy rainfall the water can rise rapidly and flow very fast. Hence the name 'Tanara', the sparkling one, that the Celts gave to the Dender.
This fickleness has always been attempted to control. However, sailing under very strong currents remains forbidden and in order to make the Dender navigable in summer, 12 locks and weirs were built to keep the water level sufficiently high. These old, still manually operated locks contribute to the charm of the Dender. As a plus, the old, heritage-rich towns built cycle paths and beautiful public spaces along the water's edge. But above all, the Dender region has a lot of natural beauty and the attraction of this meandering river amidst lots of greenery is very great. Sailing on the Dender is therefore a particularly pleasant leisure activity.
Our ships can welcome 20 to 350 guests for a celebration, teambuilding, excursion, seminar...
Within the framework of the Corona measures, we limit the capacity of the ship to less than half, in order to respect 'social distancing'. On board we also provide hand sanitizer and information posters with clear safety instructions. Each ship has its own atmosphere, setting and arrangement and is equipped with bar, audio and multimedia devices. Sailing can be done from different embarkation points, with or without catering.