Best of Holland
8 days / 7 nights | Ship: Magnifique I, II, III | Bike and Barge Netherlands
This premium tour combines iconic and hidden highlights to give a fantastic impression of Holland’s unique characteristics. Over eight days you’ll travel in style aboard one of our luxury hotel barges: the Magnifique, Magnifique II, Magnifique III or Magnifique IV. Your cycling cruise starts in Amsterdam with an enjoyable dinner cruise to Zaandam, followed the next day by a taste of living history at the Zaanse Schans open air museum. Enjoy a cycling tour to Hoorn through the heart of a polder named De Beemster, recognized by UNESCO as a “masterpiece of creative planning”, where Renaissance ideals were used to design a reclaimed landscape.
You’ll visit the picturesque former island of Marken, now linked to the mainland. From there you’ll cycle to IJburg, one of Amsterdam’s newest neighborhoods. This part of the city was built in the late 1990s on reclaimed land – just a few years earlier it was the bottom of a lake. Continue by barge to the small town of Vianen on the Lower Rhine river. Visit Schoonhoven, well known for its silver, and the Kinderdijk UNESCO world heritage site with its 19 windmills. Lovely views and beautiful pictures guaranteed!
Enjoy the vibrant city of Rotterdam where the waterfront is packed with attractions: from maritime museums to superb bikeways, along with visionary new architectural developments. From here the tour continues north to Gouda, world famous for its cheese and candles. Explore the Green Heart of Holland, a large green rural area encircled by a ring of some of the Netherlands’ biggest cities. You’ll spend the night in a small village in the Green Heart. Cycle or sail into Amsterdam, where your journey ends.
Tours with the Magnifique II and Magnifique IV start and end on a WEDNESDAY.
Tours with the Magnifique and Magnifique III start and end on a SATURDAY.
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 and 2 p.m. Once all guests have arrived a short cruise will bring you to Zaandam, a city 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 brief test ride through the surrounding area. In the evening, enjoy a short walk through the picturesque center of Zaandam.
Day 2: Zaandam – Zaanse Schans museum – Hoorn (Cycling 41 km / 26 miles or 51 km / 31 miles)
After breakfast set out on your first cycling tour to the Zaanse Schans open air museum for a short visit. Continue cycling through small villages in the beautiful historic polder named De Beemster. Today’s bike tour ends in the town of Hoorn, former home of the Dutch East India Company and one of the world’s most important harbors in the 17th century.
Day 3: Hoorn – Volendam | Volendam – Marken (ferry) | Marken – Waterland – Muiden | Muiden – Vianen (Cycling 39 km / 24 miles or 46 km / 28 miles)
While enjoying breakfast the ship will bring you to Volendam, a small, picturesque fishing harbor on the shores of Lake IJsselmeer. From here you’ll take a ferry to the former island of Marken. Explore this charming, authentic village before continuing your cycling journey along the coastline to IJburg, a new and modern part of Amsterdam that was recently built on land reclaimed from a lake (that was previously the sea). From here you’ll cycle to the historical town of Muiden with its 14th century waterfront castle. Today’s cycling tour ends near the village of Weesp, where you’ll rejoin your ship. Around 5pm the ship departs for Vianen and you can enjoy dinner while cruising. Spend the evening and night in Vianen, a small fortified town on the Lower Rhine river.
Day 4: Vianen – Schoonhoven | Schoonhoven – Kinderdijk ( Cycling 32 km/ 19 miles) | Kinderdijk – Rotterdam (waterbus ferry)
During breakfast the ship will sail to Schoonhoven, the “Silver City”, where today’s cycling tour starts. The tour takes you through the Alblasserwaard polder to Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 large windmills. Listed as a UNESCO cultural heritage site, these windmills are a definite highlight of any trip to the Netherlands. From nearby Alblasserdam you’ll board the “Waterbus” fast ferry, which will take you and your bicycle into the center of Rotterdam in about 20 minutes. With its vibrant waterfront, this city is Europe’s largest port. In the afternoon, a local guide will show you the most interesting corners of the inner city. Dinner on board is not included this evening, so you can enjoy a wonderful meal at one of Rotterdam’s many restaurants.
Day 5: Rotterdam – Gouda (Cycling 35 km/21 miles or 45 km/27 miles)
After breakfast, bike right through Rotterdam and follow the winding river Rotte to leave the city. You’ll soon find yourself cycling through the “Green Heart of Holland” to Gouda, the cheese and candle capital of Holland. Take your time in the afternoon and evening to enjoy this beautiful historical city, with its old market square and Weigh House, where cheese used to be weighed.
Day 6: Gouda – Leiden – Oude Wetering (Cycling 33 km/21 miles or 54 km/34 miles)
Start the morning with a visit to Gouda’s St. John’s church, with its renowned stainedglass windows. Today’s cycling tour takes you from Gouda through the typical scenery of the Green Heart of Holland, with its green landscapes, expansive views, small canals and tiny lakes – all below sea level! Today’s long cycling option leads through Leiden, the birthplace of the famous painter Rembrandt and home of the oldest university in the Netherlands. The cycling journey ends in the small village of Oude Wetering, where the ship will be docked for the night.
Day 7: Oude Wetering – Amsterdam | Roundtour Amsterdam Waterland (Cycling 28 km/18 miles)
The ship sails early this morning to take you to Amsterdam. During the afternoon you can choose to take a last beautiful bike ride through the wetlands of Waterland north of Amsterdam, or to discover this amazing city. Visit the inner-city flower market, explore a museum or do some shopping… there’s so much to do! In the evening you can join a boat tour through the beautiful, UNESCO-listed canals of old Amsterdam – a wonderful way to conclude 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.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.