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The MS Sarah during a narrow passage through a city

Maastricht – Amsterdam, MS Sarah

The Meuse and its tributaries

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.

Itinerary at a glance

Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. After the welcome meeting there is time for bicycle fitting and a short test-ride. After dinner the tour leader will take you for a walk through the centre of town. We advise you to come to Maastricht one or more days earlier, so that you will have plenty of time to discover this interesting city.

Maastricht is 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!

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 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 Amsterdam.

Today you start biking from Roermond. First you follow the river on the east bank to the beautiful village of Beesel, where the grain mill ‘grey bear’ stands 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. If there is still time left, you can visit the famous local castle gardens, known for their extensive and diverse flowers and other vegetation. Another option is the beer garden of the local brewery.

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 bike from Cuijk along the Meuse 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 Oss you will join the barge again on which you will have a nice 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).

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. In the afternoon you continue to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek.

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.

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

Route information


Prices & Dates

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • Fully guided cycling tours according to itinerary from Maastricht to Amsterdam  
  • 7 nights in outside cabins in the booked cabin category 
  • 1 welcome drink
  • Full meals: (7x breakfast, 6x packed lunch for cyclists, 6x coffee and tea on board, 6x 3-course-dinner)
  • On board tour guide incl. daily tour briefing 
  • Daily cabin cleaning, change of bed linen and towels as needed
  • 1 route book per cabin
  • All harbour, lock and bridge fees
  • Entrance museum Ceuclum in Cuijk 
  • Wifi 
  • GPS-data

Optional extras

  • Bring your own bike: €10,-/week, electric bike: €25,-/week (on request, limited) 
  • Bike insurance for rental bike €10,-/week, for electric bike €25,-/peek, limitation of risk and liability in the event of damage to or loss of the bicycle you have rented 
  • Helmets €10,-/week, reservation necessary and to be paid for in advance

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Amsterdam train station is close to the pier
  • Amsterdam Oosterdok can park: secure car park at the train station. (www.parkingcentrumoosterdok.nl)

Things to note

  • Minimum number of particiapnts: none
  • Further important information according to the package travel law and additional information about your bike and boat trip can be found here!
  • This tour is a partner tour.

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Christine Pölzleitner

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Christine Pölzleitner
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