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The MS Sarah during a narrow passage through a city

Maastricht – Amsterdam, MS Sarah

Discover Dutch rivers

8 Days / 7 Nights
The MS Sarah during a narrow passage through a city

"When I think of Holland, I see wide rivers winding through the seemingly endless fen landscape, accompanied by towering rows of poplars standing like feather bushes at the edge of the polders."

These lines from a famous poem by the Dutch poet Marsman describe all too well this wonderful journey between Amsterdam and Maastricht, the southernmost city in the Netherlands.

The journey begins in Maastricht, the capital of the province of Limburg and famous for its lively city center and warm hospitality.

Discover the enchanting flat and green landscapes formed by the rivers Vecht, Lower Rhine, Waal, Linge and Meuse: a tangle of ancient water channels, meandering meanders, dikes and flood plains with a special flora and fauna.  Visit historic towns, charming villages and some castles and gardens along these rivers. In the hospitable province of Limburg, cycling tours regularly cross borders: although the Meuse flows through the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium are just a stone's throw away. So you can have cake in a German pastry shop in the morning and a delicious beer in a Belgian sidewalk café in the afternoon. The trip ends in Amsterdam, the vibrant capital of the Netherlands.

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Itinerary at a glance

After embarkation around 2 p.m., there will be plenty of time to explore the beautiful, historic city of Maastricht, founded by the Romans. Sights include the treasury of St. Servaas Church, the Bonnefanten Museum of Contemporary Art, and the casemates, an underground system of vaults and part of an 18th-century fortification.  In addition, a visit to the marl caves is worthwhile. Or just relax on the large square Vrijthof with its many cafes. There will certainly be no boredom here! After dinner you can test the bikes during a short tour.

Whilst you are having breakfast, the barge will move on to Born via the Juliana Canal where you disembark at the locks. From here you will cycle over the Dutch/Belgian border into Belgium to Maaseik. This town is famous for the painters Hubert and Jan van Eyck. At the market square, you will see typical renaissance houses with their impressive facades. You can also use the opportunity to try a Belgian “pint” whilst at 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.  Today's destination is the city of Roermond, where the river Roer and Maas join. 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, who according to many is the most important Dutch architect from the 19th Century. He designed the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam's central station.

You start today by following the river along 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. Once there you can visit the beautiful castle gardens. The Rosarium has got ten different rose gardens. There is also 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 and the golf garden overlooking the largest waterfall in the Netherlands.

Today there is a magnificent bike tour on the program. First you will cycle past Well where you will find  Well castle with its heavy round brick tower dating back to 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 is a neo-gothic church house with a very well kept baroque organ that was built between 1639-1650. This organ is one of the oldest in the Netherlands.

Today you cycle from Cuijk along the Meuse to Grave and Ravenstein. Both are beautiful medieval towns. In Grave you can still discover some cannons from Napoleon's time. Grave also played a major role in the air-ground operation 'Market Garden' during World War II, as it was in close proximity to an important bridge. This bridge is now called the John S. Thompson Bridge. At Maasbommel, reboard your ship and then sail to Heusden, which is a truly beautifully restored fortified town. Dinner (not included) will be in town at a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).

In the morning you will travel on 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 there. A visit to the centuries-old crystal factory of Royal Leerdam is on the program for today. 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.

Whilst you are eating breakfast today the barge will move on. Today’s bike tour starts in Breukelen and leads along the winding river Vecht to Amsterdam. In Loenen you will visit a mill. The final destination is Amsterdam where you  can go on a tour through the canals or visit the Rijksmuseum or the van Gogh museum.

End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.

Route information


Easy tour on mostly flat, asphalt roads. Also suitable for inexperienced cyclists, with distances up to 55 kilometers.

Prices and dates

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • 7 nights in an outside cabin with toilet and shower in the selected cabin category
  • Full board: 7x breakfast, 6x packed lunch for bike trips, 6x cake and coffee in the afternoon, 6x three course meal
  • All harbour and bridge fees
  • GPS data
  • Bed linen and towels provided
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Welcome drink
  • Daily route briefing
  • Local guide for the guided bike tours

Optional extras

  • Bike rental insurance € 10/week, for e-bikes € 25/week. Risk and limitation of liability in the case of damage or loss of the rental bike by you.
  • Parking space for own bike € 10, for own electric bike € 25.
  • Helmets: You can rent a helmet for 10 € per week. Reservation in advance is compulsory. Payment in advance.

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Amsterdam train station is close to the pier
  • Amsterdam Oosterdok can park: secure car park at the train station. Costs about € 20 per day (www.parkingcentrumoosterdok.nl)

Things to note

  • Further important information according to the package travel law and additional information about your bike and boat trip can be found here!
  • The use of your own bike is limited due to space on deck! Please specify when booking whether your own bike is an electric or normal bike.
  • The owner of the ship, the crew, the tour guide and the organiser are not liable for the damage or theft of own bicycles. 
  • No minimum number of participants
  • This tour is a partner tour.

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