Group dinner on the boat
12th May – 19:30
Don’t miss out a unique experience and an exclusive welcome in a special, historic setting.
Pick-up and drop-off point: Koophandelsplein, Ghent. Parking option in the underground parking garages a few minutes' walk away.
The reconstruction of an 18th century barge
The construction of the Ghent Barge is an initiative of the late Captain André De Wilde and Walter De Buck. The reconstruction of this 18th-century historic ship became one of the most prestigious social employment projects in Flanders. It is the result of a unique collaboration between the government, private companies and the VDAB. The assignment was given to "de Steenschuit" from Boom. They took care of the construction of the ship with all the technical equipment. "Loods 13" from Ghent was responsible for the creation of the figurehead and all ornaments.
From royal passengers to ordinary travellers
The Barge was a flat barge that was used since the 17th century by the States of Flanders on the Brugse Vaart to transport people and goods between Ghent and Bruges. For about 200 years, the fixed shuttle service between Ghent and Bruges was ensured via De Barge. In the 19th century, De Barge faced increasing competition from diligences, the iron steamer and the first trains, which caused the official barge service to be discontinued in 1839.
The ship was known for its comfortable travel and culinary indulgence on board. Among the passengers were: the Infante Isabella of Spain in 1625, Tsar Peter the Great in 1717, the King of France Louis XV in 1745, Prince Charles of Lorraine (in 1749, 1752 and 1756), the King of Denmark Christian VI in 1768, Princess Marie-Louise in 1810 and the King of Belgium Leopold I in 1834.