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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • guided cycle
Accommodation
  • barge
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1990USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: MAB

Trip highlights


  • Discovering the vibrant cities of Amsterdam and Maastricht by bike and on foot
  • Cycling through the countryside past locks, windmills and cheese farms
  • Visiting historical towns such as Vianen, Ravenstein and Grave
  • Discovering the magical flat and green landscapes formed by the many rivers
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of your fellow passengers aboard a comfortable barge

Follow the great rivers of the Netherlands on a scenic bike and boat trip encapsulating the essence of this historically rich and vibrant country. The journey begins in either Amsterdam or Maastricht, the Netherland's southernmost city. Pedalling between castles and villages, the route meanders along the Vecht, Lower Rhine, Waal, Linge and Meuse rivers, crossing borders regularly with neighbouring Belgium and nearby Germany. 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. Whilst Amsterdam needs little introduction, less known Maastricht is the capital of the province of Limburg, famous for its lively center and warm hospitality. At night you are based on a floating hotel, with an attentive crew on board. Taking a day off cycling is not a problem, or choosing a longer or shorter cycle route each day allows maximum flexibility.

Trip Grading

introductory

More info about grading system

Expand all | Collapse all

Arrive Amsterdam and make your own way to the barge. Embarkation and check-in, where the crew will welcome you on board, is at 1pm. At around 2pm the boat will leave Amsterdam and sail to Weesp, a small city on the banks of the river Vecht. Weesp has an historical centre with many canals and buildings dating from the 17th & 18th century along with beautiful windmills. Here the bicycles will be distributed and you can enjoy a short bicycle ride. After dinner you will have time to stroll through this charming city.

Meals:  D

After breakfast, we start our cycle ride along the beautiful meandering river Vecht with impressive mansions on its banks. Along the way we will visit a Dutch cheese farm, where cheese is still produced according to traditional methods. We will then meet the barge in the city of Utrecht and from there sail the Amsterdam-Rhine canal to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Vianen we cycle through a typical Dutch landscape to Leerdam, a little town on the banks of the river Linge. Leerdam is famous for its glasswork. We then continue by bike along the Linge to Gorinchem, a charming town on the river Waal. After a short visit, we rejoin the barge to Heusden.

Meals:  B,L,D

During breakfast the boat cruises from Heusden to Oss, a city on the Maas river. We then cycle along the river to the medieval cities of Ravenstein and Grave. In Ravenstein you can visit the Tanners' Cottages and in Grave we will see cannons dating from the time of Napoleon. Grave played an important role in "Operation Market Garden" during the Second World War, because it was situated near an important bridge, now called the John S. Thompson Bridge. Following the Maas river we will meet the barge in Cuijk where we spend the night. Here, the neo-gothic St Martins Church houses a well kept baroque organ (built 1639-1650), one of the oldest in the Netherlands. After dinner we will visit museum Ceuclum in Cuijk and you can climb the tower for a magnificent view of the Maas valley.

Meals:  B,L,D

We cycle along the Maas valley to Afferden and Heyen, and on to Arcen. The route continues through the National Park Maasduinen to Well where we will find the Well castle with its heavy round brick tower dating from the 14th century. Time permitting, you can visit the famous castle gardens, known for their extensive and diverse flowers and other vegetation. Another option is to visit the local brewery.

Meals:  B,L,D

Our bike route follows the Meuse river, crossing back and forth by ferry or bridge to follow the most interesting paths. The first stop is Venlo, with many historical monuments and lively inner city. At lunchtime we arrive in Kessel, one of the oldest villages along the Meuse. Cross over to the other bank and continue the bike ride to the beautiful village of Beesel, where the grain mill ‘grey bear’ stands proudly along the river. Todays’s ride ends in the city of Roermond, where of the river Roer and Meuse come together. Roermond is known for its rich cultural heritage. Since 1559 it has been a bishop city. In the centre 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. Dinner tonight (not included) and will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).

Meals:  B,L

Today, the cycling tour continues through charming villages and the beautiful landscape the province of Limburg. First stop is 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 14ith century church. From Thorn we cycle across the Dutch / Belgian border to the Belgian city Maaseik, which is famous for the painters Hubert and Jan van Eyck. On the market square you will see typical Renaissance-style houses with their impressive facades. Take the opportunity to enjoy a nice Belgian “pint” on this beautiful square. The boat will be waiting in Born from where we cruise to Maastricht. Maastricht, the capital of Limburg province, is a beautifully preserved city with Roman roots. In this town you find the Saint Servatius Church, the Bonnefanten museum for art and antiquity and the Kazematten (casemates), a system of underground fortresses from the18th 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.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast the journey comes to an end as you say farewell to the guide and crew. Check out until 9:30am.

Meals:  B

Expand all | Collapse all

Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board between 1pm and 2pm. After the welcome meeting there is time for a bicycle fitting and a short test-ride. After dinner we will take a walk through the centre of town. Maastricht, the capital of Limburg province, is a beautifully preserved city with Roman roots. You will find the Saint Servatius church, the Bonnefanten museum for art and antiquity and the Kazematten (casements), a system of underground fortresses from the 18th century. In addition to these places of interest, it is also worthwhile visiting the marl caves, or just enjoy yourself on the Vrijthof square.

Meals:  D

During breakfast, we cruise to Born via the Juliana Canal, where we disembark at the locks. From here we cycle over the border into Belgium and on to Maaseik, famous for the painters Hubert and Jan van Eyck. On the market square you will see typical renaissance houses with their impressive facades. If it's not too early maybe sample a Belgian “pint” on this beautiful square. We then continue to Thorn, the ‘white Village’ on theDutch/Belgian border known for its cobblestone streets and white painted houses. The only non-white building is the 14 century church. We continue to the city of Roermond, where the river Roer and Meuse come together. Roermond is known by its rich cultural heritage - since 1559 it has been a bishop city. In the centre 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 in Amsterdam.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we continue our cycle to Arcen. First we follow the river on the east bank to the beautiful village of Beesel, where the grain mill ‘Grey Bear’ stands proudly along the river. We then cross to the other bank to Kessel which is one of the oldest villages on the Meuse. At lunchtime we arrive in Venlo, with its many historical moments and a lively inner city. In the afternoon, the ride continues to Arcen, a former fortified town on the banks of the Meuse. Time permitting you can visit the famous local castle gardens, known for their extensive and diverse flowers, or visit the local brewery.

Meals:  B,L,D

We start the day by cycling through Well and where we will find Well Castle with its heavy round brick tower dating from the 14th Century. We continue through Maasduinen National Park close to the German border, arriving into Afferden at around lunchtime. Continue to meet the barge in Curijk, an interesting city on the banks of the Meuse. The St Martins Church, a neo-gothic church, houses a very well kept baroque-organ (built 1639-1650), one of the oldest in the Netherlands. After dinner we will visit the museum Ceuclum where you can climb the tower for a magnificent view of the Maas valley.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we bike along the Meuse river to the medieval cities of Grave and Ravenstein. In Grave we will see cannons from the time of Napoleon. Grave played an important role in "Operation Market Garden" during the Second World War, because it was situated near an important bridge, now called John S. Thompson Bridge. In Ravenstein you can visit the Tanners' Cottages in the city park. On arrival in Oss rejoin the barge and sail to Heusden, a very beautifully restored fortified city. Dinner tonight (not included) will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).

Meals:  B,L

This morning we will sail to Gorinchem, a charming town on the river Waal. From here we cycle through a typical Dutch landscape to Leerdam a little town on the banks of the river Linge which is famous for its glasswork. In the afternoon we continue to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek.

Meals:  B,L,D

During breakfast we sail to Breukelen where we start cycling along the winding river Vecht to Amsterdam. Along the way in Loenen we will visit a mill. Our destination is Amsterdam, where you can take a tour through the canals, visit the Rijksmuseum or the van Gogh museum.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast the journey comes to an end as you say farewell to the guide and crew. Check out until 9:30am.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, 6 dinners (does not include drinks) - Continental breakfasts are served and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. At breakfast you will prepare your packed lunch for the day which will be sandwiches, fruit & juice. If you choose not to cycle on a particular day, the crew will serve lunch on board. Dinner will consist of three courses inclusive of either a pasta, vegetarian or meat dish.
  • 7 nights accommodation aboard a Standard category barge with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis. The trip price is based on a standard twin cabin below deck. We do not match clients together so if you are travelling solo you will need to book a single cabin (limited and on a request basis - this is single use of a twin cabin).
  • Rental bike with handbrake or backpedal brake, helmet and pannier (electric bike available on request - supplement applies)
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (one set per cabin), GPS tracks available in advance on request
  • Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening
  • Experienced multilingual guide for fully guided cycle tours and daily briefings
  • Several short walking tours
  • Linen and change of towels as required
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Tea and coffee on board
  • Fees for ferries
  • Entrance to museum Ceuclum in Cuijk
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Amsterdam and from Maastricht (or vice versa depending on departure date)
  • Meals not listed as included including 1 dinner in Roermond (direction Amsterdam to Maastricht) or Heusden (direction Maastricht to Amsterdam), drinks
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Entrance fees not listed as included
  • Transfers not listed as included
  • Tips - while tipping is not obligatory, it is customary to offer a tip if the guide and crew have done a good job. As a guide we would recommend EUR30-60 per person (to be distributed between the guide/s, captain and crew).
  • Catering for special diets (except Vegetarian). A supplement is payable for example lactose or gluten free diets - EUR65pp (subject to change) paid locally on board.
  • Optional canal tour of Amsterdam - tickets can be purchased on board
  • Bike insurance - payable locally (EUR10 for standard bikes and EUR25 for e-bikes) - further details of this Limitation of Liability (damage) policy are available on request
  • Parking of own bike on board (EUR10 for regular bike and EUR25 for Ebike)
  • Items of a personal nature

Cabins


Bike information


Grading

introductory  

INTRODUCTORY - GRADE 1 The cycling is introductory (1) grade with daily cycling distances from 6-53km (1-33mi). As with all of our cycling programs, wind and poor weather could make the trip grade change. Should you not wish to cycle there are walking options available. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos, visit a museum or enjoy the market places in many of the interesting towns visited. It is considered suitable for children, as long as they have road sense, are familiar with the workings of a bike (gear change etc) and are comfortable cycling alongside moving vehicles at times. Electric bikes are available for a supplement and when used will ensure the cycling is comfortable for less physical cyclists - however it is still essential that you are comfortable cycling on roads and in light traffic in variable weather conditions. *For safety reasons, we highly recommend that cycle helmets are worn during cycle sections.


Departure dates


Notes

H
High Season
1
Trip starts in Amsterdam
2
Trip starts in Maastricht
DN3
Departures are on board the barge Gandalf (O), Sarah (S) or Flora (K)
DN4
high season is from 10 May to 13 September - supplement applies

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$1990USD

Options & Supplements*
  • triple cabin discount (pp)USD$-67
  • E-bike SupplementUSD$180
  • Single Supplement (single use twin cabin) - max 1 per depUSD$780
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

Videos

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