Itinerary

Best of Holland

8 days / 7 nights | Ship: Magnifique I, II, III | Bike and Barge Netherlands

This 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 in the late nineteen nineties on reclaimed land, that was the bottom of the sea just a few years before. 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 and beautiful pictures 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'II spend the night in a small village in the Green Heart. Cycle or sail into Amsterdam, where your journey ends.

In 2018 the Magnifique II tours start and end on WEDNESDAY and the tours with the Magnifique and Magnifique III start and end on SATURDAY.

Route

Parts that are printed in ita/ics parts will be covered by the ship.  All distances are "approximate distances" of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Day 1: Amsterdam I Amsterdam – Zaandam

Embarkation and check-in. The crew will welcome you on board between 1.00 and 2.00 PM. As soon as all guests have arrived a short cruise will bring you to Zaandam, a spot famous for its windmills. Here, your barge will berth in the center of the city for the night. Upon arrival you can enjoy taking your new bike for a briet test ride through the surrounding area. In the evening, enjoy a short walk through the picturesque center of Zaandam.  

Day 2: Zaandam – Zaanse Sehens museum – Waterland – Volendam (33 km/21 mi. or 43 km/26 mi.)

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. 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} 1 Marken – Waterland – Muiden I Muiden – Vianen  (39 km/24 mi. or 46 km/28 mi.)

After breakfast, you will take the ferry for a 30 min. 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 here you'II cycle to the historical town of Muiden with its 14th Century castle on the waterfront. Your cycling tour ends close to the village of Weesp, where the ship is moored. Around 5 PM the ship departs for Vianen and you can enjoy dinner while cruising. Evening and night on board in Vianen, a small fortified town on the lower Rhine River.

Day 4: Vianen – Schoonhoven – Alblasserdam I Alblasserdam – Dordrecht {waterbus ferry} (22 km/13 mi. or 57 km/36 mi.)

Today you have 3 cycle options. The long option leads all the way from Vianen to Alblasserdam. lf you prefer a shorter bike tour you can either bike in the morning or bike in the afternoon. The ship will make a stop halfway in Schoonhoven, also called the 'Silver City'. In the afternoon the cycling tour takes you from Schoonhoven through the Alblasserwaard polder to Alblasserdam, This is where you pass the famous 19 windmills of Kinderdijk {UNESCO World Heritage site). lt 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 before 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. You will spend the night in Dordrecht on board of the ship.

Day 5: Dordrecht – Alblasserdam (waterbus ferry) 1 Alblasserdam – Gouda (37 km/22 mi. or 52 km/33 mi.)

When you've finished breakfast you will return by Waterbus to Alblasserdam to start your cycling tour. Close to Bergambacht you may visit a cheese farm where you will learn about the traditional cheese-making process and you will have the opportunity to taste the results. 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.

Day 6: Gouda – Leiden – Oude Wetering (33 km/21 mi. or 52 km/33 mi.)

Today's cycling tour starts in Gouda {long option) or in Alphen {short option) 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 cycling tour leads via Leiden, the birthplace of famous 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 – Amsterdam (29 km/18 mi. and/or 28 km/18 mi.)

After breakfast, you'II start your last cycling day from Oude Wetering along the canal and through the 'Amsterdam forest' into Amsterdam. During the afternoon you either have the opportunity to make a last beautiful cycling tour through the wetlands of Waterland or to discover this amazing city. Visit the inner city flower market, a museum, do some shopping ... there is just so much to do! In the evening you can join a boat tour through the beautiful canals of old Amsterdam {UNESCO cultural heritage). A wonderful way to conclude of your trip!

Day 8: Amsterdam

Check-out and disembarkation right after breakfast, before 9.30 a.m. 

Good to know

• On this Tour with more than 22 guests the daily cycling tours will be accompanied by 2 knowledgeable and multi­lingual tour leaders. On most days the tour leaders will offer a long and a short (or a quicker and a more relaxed) bike option.
• Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bike option.
• You can also choose to ride individually with the help of a map and route notes (available on board). GPS tracks will be sent to you 4 weeks before the start date of the tour.
• In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
• On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 11 a.m.