Brussels, from old harbor to today’s canal

Boat tour in Brussels + guided walk in the old harbor area

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Brussels is not passed through by one but actually by two canals: the canal Brussels-Charleroi and the Sea canal Brussels-Scheldt. These two canals come together under ‘place de Sainctelette’. The oldest canal allowed ships from Antwerp and Willebroek to ship their goods to the heart of the city. The first port of Brussels was situated in the quarter that today bears the name of Saint-Catherine. Many traces of the past are still recognizable in streetnames, in the buildings of the neighborhood and the houses of that time... During this tour you will discover by concrete examples the development of Brussels, city by the water.


Guided tour of the Saint-Catherine district. During this guided walk you will be immersed in the history of the city. Numerous signs show the presence of the first port of Brussels. Until today, the streets still contain names such as firewood quay, arduin quay or brick quay.... The numerous fish and mussels restaurants, old docks and fountains, the ancient wheel,... are many signs of the presence of the old port.

12:00 - 12:15:

boarding (av. du Port / Sainctelette - Brussels).


While cruising, you will discover Brussels and its port, the historic buildings of Tour & Taxis and the 'Familistère' Godin, historic bridges, new pedestrian bridges and new parks near the canal. There is also the Laeken Domain, the Brussels marina and new buildings along the canal in Brussels and Vilvoorde. Efforts are being made to improve biodiversity in and along the water by creating nesting places for swallows, installing green riverbank rafts, etc... We continue our boat trip through the northern green belt and pass Grimbergen and Kapelle-o/d-Bos. The ship turns before the lock of Zemst and heads back to the starting point in Brussels.


End of the boat trip (av. du Port / Sainctelette).

> When: Possible all year round for groups hiring the ship (from 30 to 60 people).

Or in combination with a Waterbus tour (2h) from 1/05 till 31/10.

> Prices:

Ship rental: contact us without obligation for a customized quote.

Waterbus: 7 € (2h)

Guided walk: 121 € / 2h / 20 pax

> Info & reservation: Rivertours: T. 02 218 54 10 or

Our ships

The Rivertours ships can welcome 30 to 300 guests for an event, a party, an excursion,... Each ship has its own atmosphere, setting and décor and is equipped with a bar, as well as audio and multimedia equipment. We set out from various embarkation points, with or without catering.

>> Click here for our rental prices









De Ark