You might have spotted these serene rafts drifting by on the rivers of Ghent – they’re run by Vlot Gent. And the thing I like most about them is that they are totally peaceful, unlike the other motorboats that look cool from the riverbanks but are pretty difficult to have a conversation on. These vlots are run on solar and wind energy and are completely environmentally friendly, which is another bonus. Of course, they are slower than the motorised boats, and this took us a bit of time to get used to, but once we did, we could have sat there all day.
When I went on a vlot (it literally means ‘float’ in Dutch) for the first time I booked the table and chairs set-up. This is good for big groups (maximum 8) who want to bring food and drinks. The other option is the beanbags and coffee tables, more of a lounge set-up, which is good for smaller groups where you really want to just put up your feet and have a drink. But both styles are available for 4, 6 or 8 people.
You get your vlot for 2 or 4 hours, or the whole day, and you set sail from Ter Platen which is a little outside the centre. In 2 hours we were able to get to the Ajuinlei and back but you often see the vlots along the leafy Coupure if there’s more time.
I would definitely book at least a week in advance as the fleet is quite small.