Bike and Barge Netherlands: Best of Holland
This new tour with the premium barges Magnifique, Magnifique II and Magnifique III combines many highlights and gives you a fantastic impression of characteristic Holland. The cycling cruise starts in Amsterdam, with an enjoyable dinner cruise to Zaandam. Followed by the Zaanse Schans open air museum as a must see highlight the day after.
Enjoy a cycling tour to Volendam through the unique wetlands of Waterland, a large open area with tiny lakes and canals. This town is famous for its harbor, fresh fish – like eel and herring – pictures in typical Dutch costumes and the ‘Palingsound’; a kind of Dutch folk or country music. You will also visit the picturesque former island of Marken.
From there you will cycle to IJburg, the newest part of Amsterdam. This part of the city was built just a decade ago on the polder land, what once was the bottom of the sea. Continue by barge to the small town of Vianen on the Lower Rhine River. Visit Schoonhoven, well known for its silver, and the UNESCO site at Kinderdijk, with its 19 windmills. Lovely views guaranteed!
Enjoy the old city of Dordrecht that already obtained city rights in 1220 ad. From here the tour continues north to Gouda, world famous for its cheese and candles. Explore the Green Heart of Holland, a large rural and green area amidst the horseshoe-shaped ring of cities in the western part of the country. You’ll spend the night in a small village in the Green Heart. Cycle or sail into Amsterdam, where your journey ends.
NEW 2018: The MS MAGNIFIQUE'S will have two tour guides for guided cycling in smaller groups; guests can opt for longer/shorter of quicker/slower cycling tours (depending on the route). Only available when there are at least 18 guests on board.
NEW: in 2018 the Magnifique II tours start and end on WEDNESDAY and the tours with the Magnifique I and III start and end on SATURDAY.
DATES SEASON 2018 “BEST OF HOLLAND”:
- BARGE MAGNIFIQUE: Departure dates on Saturday: April 28; July 28 and August 4, 2018
- BARGE MAGNIFIQUE II: Departure dates on Wednesday: May 16
- BARGE MAGNIFIQUE III Departure dates on Saturday: July 7 and 14; August 18 and 25, 2018
On other dates the barge offers some cycling cruises on the route “Holland & Flanders” between Amsterdam and Bruges or short break Tulip Cruises in Springtime (info on request).
Day 1: Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Zaandam (Approx. 1 – 5 km | a few yards – 3 miles)
Embarkation and check-in in the center of Amsterdam at 2 pm. Just before dinner the ship will leave Amsterdam to make a short dinner cruise to Zaandam. In Zaandam, the ship moors in the center of the city or near the open-air museum Zaanse Schans. Bikes will be handed out and you can make a short ride, as a test or a first introduction to this tour.
Day 2: Zaandam – Zaanse Schans museum – Waterland – Volendam (Approx. 33 – 46 km | 21 – 29 miles)
After breakfast: start of the first cycling tour to the open-air museum Zaanse Schans for a short visit. Continue cycling through small villages in the beautiful wetlands of Waterland to Volendam (2 cycling options – shorter and longer). The ship sails via Amsterdam to Volendam. Late afternoon, dinner, evening and night on board in Volendam, the small and picturesque fishing harbor on the shores of the Lake IJsselmeer.
Day 3: Volendam – Marken (ferry) | Marken – Waterland – Muiden – Weesp (Approx. 35 – 45 km | 22 – 28 miles)
After breakfast, you will take the ferry for a half hour crossing from Volendam to the former island of Marken. Visit this nice, authentic village and continue cycling along the coastline towards IJburg, a new and modern part of Amsterdam that was recently built on reclaimed land from the sea. From thereon you’ll cycle to the historical town of Muiden with its 14th Century castle on the waterfront. Your cycling tour ends in the nearby village of Weesp, where the ship is moored. Around 4 pm the ship departs for Vianen and you can enjoy a three course dinner while cruising. Evening and night on board in Vianen, a small fortified town on the lower Rhine River.
Day 4: Vianen – Schoonhoven – Alblasserdam | Alblasserdam – Dordrecht (waterbus ferry) (Approx. 22 – 48 km | 14 – 30 miles)
After breakfast it is time to get back on the saddle. Or not, because if you opt for the longer tour, you will start cycling straight from Vianen along the River Lek (lower Rhine) to Schoonhoven. In the meantime, the ship will sail to Schoonhoven, also called the ‘Silver City’, where the shorter cycling tour shall start. The next (or first, depending on what option you choose) part of today’s cycling tour goes from Schoonhoven through the Alblasserwaard polder to Alblasserdam, where you will take the Waterbus ferry to Dordrecht. Dordrecht, or Dordt as it is called by insiders, is one of the oldest Dutch cities, on the conjunction of 3 major rivers. In the evening, after dinner, you can join for a short city walk. The night will be in Dordrecht on board of the ship.
Day 5: Dordrecht – Alblasserdam (waterbus ferry) | Alblasserdam – Kinderdijk – Gouda (Approx. 30 km | 19 miles)
When you’ve finished breakfast you will return by Waterbus to Alblasserdam. This is where a short cycling tour starts to the famous 19 windmills of Kinderdijk (UNESCO World Heritage site). It is known as one of the most photogenic sights of the Netherlands. You can have a look around in one of the windmills and the visitor center. Continue cycling to Gouda, the cheese and candle capital of Holland. Enjoy this beautiful historical city, the old market square and the Cheese Weighing House during the afternoon and evening. This evening dinner is not included, so you will enjoy a wonderful meal in one of many restaurants in Gouda. We have various restaurant recommendations available on board. Night on board the barge in Gouda.
Optional cycling option: an additional afternoon round tour from/to Gouda: 20-25 km.
Day 6: Gouda – Leiden – Oude Wetering (Approx. 40 – 54 km | 25 – 34 miles)
Today’s cycling tour starts in Gouda and shows you the typical scenery of the so-called Green Heart of Holland with green landscapes, wide views, small canals and tiny lakes – all below sea level! The optional longer cycling tour leads via Leiden, the birthplace of renowned painter Rembrandt and residence of the oldest university of the Netherlands. Both cycling options end in Oude Wetering. Dinner, evening and night on board the ship in this small village.
Day 7: Oude Wetering – Ouderkerk aan de Amstel – Amsterdam (Approx. 23 – 43 km | 15 – 27 miles)
After breakfast, you’ll start your last cycling tour from Oude Wetering along the Amstel River via Ouderkerk aan de Amstel into Amsterdam. En route you can visit a cheese and clog farm, where you taste (and shop for) some cheeses. The Amstel River is the eponym of Amsterdam. For the optional shorter cycling tour you can stay on board for the first part and cross the Lake Westeinder. Start your cycling tour in the outskirts of Amsterdam, ride through the Amsterdamse Bos (forest area) and the Vondelpark. Dinner, evening and night on board in Amsterdam. In the evening you can join the boat tour through the canals of old Amsterdam (UNESCO cultural heritage). A wonderful end of your trip!
Day 8: Amsterdam, end of the tour
Check-out and disembarkation right after breakfast, till 9 am.
Details: Parts printed in italics will be covered by the ship.
All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
Program and details barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
When a guest does not want to cycle one day, he or she can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
On the arrival day it is possible to load your luggage on board from 9:30 AM.
Your tour guide will guide the bike tour daily, however it is also possible to ride the bike tour individually (self-guided).
NEW: The Magnifique's will have two tour guides for guided cycling in smaller groups; guests can opt for longer/shorter of quicker/slower cycling tours (depending on the route). Only available when there are at least 18 guests on board.
Tour descriptions and detailed cycling maps are available on board for anyone interested in taking the self-guided option.
The guide can be reached on his/her mobile phone in cases of emergency or technical breakdown of the bicycle.
- Tour and accommodation on board in the booked category , 8 days/7 nights from/to Amsterdam
- Full board; 7x breakfast, 6x picnic lunch during bike tours, 6x three course dinner (dinner in Gouda is not included);
- Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible); daily short cleaning of the cabin;
- Welcoming drink and speech on the first evening;
- 2 Tour leaders (multilingual) with daily briefings of the bike tours, some short city tours (free); During the day the tour leader will cycle the daily bike tour and can be reached by individual travelers on his/her cell phone; daily fully guided bike tours;
- Printed instructions and detailed maps for daily bike tours, 1 set per cabin;
- Complimentary coffee and tea.
- Transfers to/from the docking places in Amsterdam;
- Reservation fee;
- Dinner in Gouda;
- Rental bicycle or e-bike;
- Other transfers;
- Parking fees;
- Entrance fees & excursions;
- Drinks on board;
- Personal insurances;
- Gratuities (at your discretion);
Dietary requirements on request/surcharges may be calculated.
Rental bicycle with 7 gears, hand- and pedal brakes, pannier bag and helmet: €75 per week (optional)
Rental E-Bike incl. pannier bag and helmet: €165 per week (only on request, limited number of e-bikes available, early booking recommendable)
The MS Magnifique is 63 meters long, accommodates max. 35 guests, sails under the Dutch flag and management and was completely modernized in 2010 and extended by 14 meters during the winter of 2012/13. The lower deck has 16 cabins: 11 twin cabins (approx. 11 M², 2 single beds next to each other), 4 premium twins (approx. 14 M², 2 single beds next to each other, small sitting area), 1 single cabin (approx. 8 M²). All cabins have portholes (all portholes are fixed for safety reasons), en -suite bathroom with shower and toilet, individually regulated air conditioning, flat screen (satellite) TV, a small safe and a hair dryer. On request, an extra bed is available in some twin cabins (above one of the other beds). On the upper deck there is a tastefully furnished salon with restaurant, bar, lounge area with wide screen TV, large windows, Wi-Fi (with unlimited data use). Two partly covered teak wooden sun decks with chairs and tables and cycle shed (front deck), and with a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and barbecue on the aft deck.
MS Magnifique II
The 63 meters (209 ft) long and 7.10 meters (23.3 ft) wide barge was built in 2015/2016 and as many as 35-38 guests can be accommodated on board to enjoy a very pleasant stay during their tour. The lower deck has 14 cabins: 1 premium twin cabin (approx. 13 M² | 139 sq.ft, 2 single beds next to each other and a small sitting area), 12 twin cabins (approx. 11 M² | 118 sq.ft, 2 single beds next to each other) and 1 single cabin (approx. 8 M² | 86 sq.ft). The upper deck has 4 beautiful suites (approx. 14 M², 2 single beds next to each other, small sitting area) with large panoramic windows. The cabins on the lower deck have portholes (all portholes are fixed for safety reasons), upper deck suites have a 2 meter wide window (one of which can be opened).
All cabins have en-suite facilities (shower and toilet), individually regulated air conditioning, a flat screen satellite TV, a small safe and a hair dryer. On request, an extra bed is available in 2 twin cabins and 1 upper deck suite (above one of the other beds).
On the upper deck there is a tastefully furnished salon with a restaurant, bar, a lounge with a wide screen TV, large windows and Wi-Fi (unlimited use of data). There is a partly covered teak wooden sun deck with chairs and table on the aft deck for the use by guests and a cycle shed (front deck). The barge has a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and deckchairs to relax on Top deck for beautiful views around.
The Magnifique II is the sister ship of the Magnifique and sails under Dutch flag and management too. The hospitable crew looks forward to welcoming you on board.
MS Magnifique III
After the overwhelming success of the premium barges Magnifique and the in 2016 launched Magnifique II, we can proudly announce the construction and launch of the new premium barge Magnifique III for April 2018.
Facts & figures:
Number of guests: 40
Length/width/draught: 70 m / 7.2 m / 1.6 m
All cabins and suites have en-suite bathrooms with shower and toilet, individually regulated air conditioning, flat screen (satellite) TV, a small safe and a hair dryer. On request, an extra bed is available in some twin cabins (above one of the other beds). Most cabins can also be booked as cabins with a double bed (on previous request only).
• 14 regular twin cabins (approx. 11 M² , 2 single beds as twins, next to each other)
• 2 single cabins
• 5 upper deck suites with a small sitting area and large windows (a part of the windows can be opened). (approx. 14 M², 2 single beds as twins, next to each other)
• the spacious salon with large windows combines a restaurant area, bar and lounge
• 2 screens (a camera and a navigation system) to see the real time position of the barge
• large doors open to the partially roofed sundeck
• a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and deckchairs to relax