Maastricht Amsterdam | Barge Sarah
Bike and Barge through Holland from Amsterdam to Maastricht. Broad rivers meandering through endless lowlands
“Thinking of Holland I see broad rivers languidly winding through endless fen, lines of incredibly tenuous poplars like giant plumes on the polder's rim”.
These lines of a famous poem by the Dutch poet Marsman characterise this wonderful journey between Amsterdam and Maastricht, the southernmost city in the Netherlands. Discover magical flat and green landscapes formed by the rivers Vecht, Lower Rhine, Waal, Linge and Meuse: a tangle of old gullies, cut-off meanders, dikes and flood plains with a typical flora and fauna. Visit historical towns, remarkable villages and some castles and gardens along these rivers. In the hospitable province of Limburg, cycling tours will cross borders regularly: although the Meuse flows through the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium are only a stone’s throw away. You can eat ‘Kuchen’ (cake) in a German ‘Konditorei’ in the morning and have a delicious afternoon beer in a street café in a Belgium village. The journey ends in Maastricht, the capital of the province of Limburg, famous for its lively center and vibrant hospitality.
Itinerary: Amsterdam – Weesp – Vianen – Heusden – Cuijk – Arcen – Roermond – Maastricht or the other way around.
Day 1 (Sat): Maastricht
After check in around 14.00 h there is time to explore the city of Maastricht, a beautifully preserved city with Roman roots. In this town you find the treasure house of the St. Servaas Church, the Bonnefanten museum for art and antiquity, and the Kazematten, a system of underground fortress works from the 18th century. In addition to these places of interest, it is also worthwhile visiting the marl caves, or just to thoroughly enjoy yourself on the Vrijthof. You will not get bored!
After dinner you can test the bikes (approx 10 km/6 miles).
Day 2 (Sun): Maastricht – Born | Born – Roermond (approx. 45 km/27 miles)
During breakfast you join the barge to Born via the Juliana Canal, where you disembark at the locks. From here you bike over the Dutch/Belgian border into Belgium to Maaseik. This town is famous for the painters Hubert and Jan van Eyck. On the market square you see typical renaissance houses with their impressive facades. You can also use the opportunity to try a Belgian “pint” on this beautiful square. Then you continue to Thorn, the ‘white Village' on the Dutch/Belgian border known for its cobblestone streets and white painted houses. The only non-white building is the 14th-century church. Our destination for today is the city of Roermond, where of the river Roer and Maas come together. Roermond is known by it's rich cultural heritage. Since 1559 it has been a bishop city. In the center you will find many historical buildings. Roermond is also the city of Pierre Cuypers, according to many the most important Dutch architect of the 19th century. He is the architect of the Rijksmuseum and Central Station in Amsterdam.
Day 3 (Mon): Roermond – Venlo – Arcen (approx. 50 km/31 miles)
First you follow the river on the east bank to the beautiful village of Beesel, where the grain mill 'grey bear' Stads proudly along the river. Then you cross over to the other bank to Kessel. Kessel is one of the oldest villages on the Meuse. At lunchtime you arrive in Venlo, with many historical moments and a lively inner city. In the afternoon you ride to Arcen, a former fortified town on the banks of the Meuse. There you can visit the beautiful castle gardens: the Rosarium, with ten different rose gardens; the water and sculpture garden; the Lommerrijk, with shadows, waterfalls and streams; the valley, with six 'international' gardens; Casa Verde, with Mediterranean and tropical gardens; the golf garden, overlooking the largest waterfall in the Netherlands.
Day 4 (Tue): Arcen – Cuijk (approx. 48 km/29 miles)
Today a magnificent bike tour is on the program. First you will bike pass Well where you find the Well castle with its heavy round brick tower dating from the 14th century. You continue through the National Park Maasduinen close to the German border. Around lunchtime you arrive in Afferden.
You will find the barge again in Cuijk, another interesting city on the banks of the Maas. The St. Martins Church, a neo-gothic church houses very well kept baroc-organ (built 1639-1650). This organ is one of the oldest in the Netherlands.
Day 5 (Wed): Cuijk – Maasbommel (approx. 40 km24 miles) | Maasbommel – Heusden
Today you bike from Cuijk along the Maas river to the cities Grave and Ravenstein. Both are medieval cities. In Grave you will see canons from the time of Napoleon. Grave has also played an important role in Operation Market Garden during the second world war, because it was situated near an important bridge. This bridge is now called John S. Thompson Bridge. In Ravenstein you can visit the Tanner’s Cottages in the city park. From Maasbommel you will join the barge again on which you will have a nice sail to Heusden, a very beautifully restored fortified city.
Day 6 (Thu): Heusden – Gorinchem | Gorinchem – Vianen (approx. 41 km/29 miles)
In the morning you will join the barge to Gorinchem, a charming town on the river Waal.
From there you cycle through a typical Dutch landscape to Leerdam a little town on the banks of the river Linge. Leerdam is famous for its glasswork. You can visit a glas blower. .A visit of the centuries-old crystal factory of Royal Leerdam is on the program. You can see a team of master glass blowers at work. In the afternoon you continue to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek.
Day 7 (Fri): Vianen – Breukelen | Breukelen – Amsterdam (approx. 40 km/24 miles)
You will sail during breakfast. Today’s bike tour, that starts in Breukelen leads along the winding river Vecht to Amsterdam. In Loenen you will visit a mill. Final destination is Amsterdam, where you can take a tour through the canals or visit the Rijksmuseum or the van Gogh museum.
Day 8 (Sat): Amsterdam
End of tour. Disembarkation after breakfast, till 9:30 am.
Details: In italics printed parts will be covered by the ship.
Program and details barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
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.
Your tour guide will guide the bike tour daily, however it is also possible to ride the bike tour individually (self-guided).
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
Included in the cost of the tour
- Tour and accommodation on board 8 days/7 nights (Saturday-Saturday) from/to Amsterdam, cabin in the booked category;
- Full board (7x breakfast, 6x picnic lunch during bike tours, 7x three course dinner);
- Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels on request); daily cleaning of the cabin;
- Welcoming drink and -speech on the first evening
- Tour leader (multilingual) with daily briefings of the bike tours; during the day the tour leader is cycling the daily bike tour and individual travellers can reach him/her on his/her cell phone
- daily fully guided bike tours;
- Entrance National Glass Museum Leerdam
- Printed instructions and detailed maps for daily bike tours, 1 set per cabin;
- Daily coffee and tea.
- Transfer to and from the docking place
- Bike rental (incl. pannier) € 70
- Other transfers;
- Parking fees;
- Personal insurances
- Gratuities (at your discretion)
- Drinks and expenses on excursions (not mentioned under included)
Rental bicycle with 7 gears, hand- and pedal brakes, pannier bag : €75 per week (optional)
Rental E-Bike: €165 per week (only on request, limited number available, early bookings strongly recommended)