Using the bus itself was fairly easy and worthwhile. My main issue was the lack of information given by the tour operator concerning the canal boat tour, my printed ticket said I would need to use bus stop 5 or 6, listing one of the companies as 'the Blue Boat tour' when in actual fact, after asking a tour guide due to the lack of tour boats at stops 5 and 6, we needed to get off at bus stop 1 and find the boat company called 'Lovers'.
You are also told what there is to see and do when you arrive at each stop, but depending upon the tour guide on the bus, you sometimes do not get told which direction you would need to head or what you should exactly be looking for.
This is quite a good tour and our tour guide was very knowledgeable. It seems that the tour is centred around the schedule of the steam train as more time was spent at a small town (where the train station is based prior to arriving in Hoorn) where there was very little to do (especially in bad weather) and less time was spent at the remaining two places where there was actually quite a lot to see and do. I would have preferred to do the two towns in the morning and for us to then take the steam train from Hoorn with the last destination being the enclosing dike rather than this being at the start.
This trip is split 50/50, around 5 and half hours travelling (in total) and the same amount of time is spent in Bruges (times will alter depending on traffic, we lost around half an hour in Bruges because of this). Once you arrive in Bruges you are taken on a short walking tour and given information about what there is to see and do and well as the points of reference that you should make a note/take pictures of in order to find your way back to the bus (instructions were made very clear and everyone made it back!)
Once we arrived in the market square, we were free to spend the rest of our remaining time doing the activities and seeing the sights of our own choosing. Although there is a lot to see and do in Bruges, this tour gives you a great indication of what the city has to offer and there is plenty of time to fit in a canal boat tour as well as various other sights.
Out of interest, I looked into trains from Amsterdam central to Bruges and although no price could be given, the train ride included two transfers and would take on average around 5 hours one way, which actually makes this day trip quite reasonable and worthwhile.
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