Gorgeous gate entering Cuijk in North Brabant, the Netherlands. Flickr:Stephan Dufornee en Twan van de Valk

Summertime in Amsterdam, North Holland, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:Moyan Brenn

Amsterdam to Bruges via Maastricht - 14 days

Netherlands, Belgium Bike + Barge Tours

Discover the Dutch Rivers by bike and boat

  • Presenting one of our most popular bike and boat tours in Holland and Belgium with a wonderful twist. This is a 14 day journey winding along the Vecht, Waal, Linge, Maas, and Scheldt Rivers with all the history, culture, art, and nature that our classic tour offers, plus much more. This is 'slow travel' as it was meant to be. You will travel through North Holland, South Holland, Utrecht, Gelderland, North Brabant, and Limburg.

    And as if this tour did not already have it all, we have included Maastricht in the itinerary, one of the oldest cities in Holland. Situated on the border of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, this beautiful medieval city shows her age in the architecture, labrynths of cobblestone alleys and streets, and the Roman bridge stretching over the River Maas, but, she is young at heart. A youthful atmosphere and energy pervades. It is what the Dutch call the "Burgundian" way of life, the "joie de vie".

    Highlights:

    • Bustling Amsterdam
    • Romantic Bruges
    • Cool Rotterdam
    • Ingenious Kinderdijik
    • Quaint Middelburg
    • River landscapes
    • Historical towns and villages
    • Dutch castles and gardens

    Be sure to check out all of our bike and barge tours in the Netherlands.

  • Twin cabin: £ 2396 $ 5,140 2820 $ 4249 NOK 26555 kr 24512 $ 3,187 Single supplement on request

    extra options

    Electric bike: £ 170 $ 365 200 $ 301 NOK 1883 kr 1738 $ 226 Laundry service, per mesh bag (bag provided): £ 6 $ 14 8 $ 11 NOK 71 kr 65 $ 8

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Most people do fly into and out of the same airport (Amsterdam Schiphol, AMS) but If you prefer, you can also fly out of Brussels (BRU) at your tour end.

    Local Travel

    From the airport in Amsterdam, you can access the train station on the lower floor and take a 20 minute shuttle to Amsterdam Central. At the end of your tour, if flying out of Amsterdam, you will take a train from Bruges back to Amsterdam. Depending on time of departure, and type of train, your train travel time ranges from 2 3/4 hours to 3 1/2 hours with one to three transfers. If flying out of Brussels, from Bruges, train travel time is about 1 1/2 hour to the Zaventem Airport. The train departs every hour and costs about €20 per person.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before travel. A very good website to research regional weather is weatherbase.com. The climate in Holland is considered maritime, greatly affected by the sea. Belgium as well is influence by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, with cool summers and moderate winters.

    Remarks

    There will be one cycling guide included in your tour and for those who want to ride guided, they can ride with the guide. You can also cycle self guided using the mobile offline application maps.me. To understand this application, please go to our blog post, Everything You Need to Know about Bike Touring with a GPS. You will find a link to download the app maps.me as well as a step by step instruction link.

    Documents:

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveller's responsibility to insure proper documentation.


Skill Level

This is an easy guided or self-guided bike tour with van support in which you will traverse mainly flat terrain. The majority of the cycling is on designated bike paths or well marked lanes. When entering or exiting towns, traffic will be encountered but always following the well-developed infrastructure for bicycles. There are many paths, signs, signals, and traffic lights designated solely for cyclists.

Where You’ll Stay

You will enjoy your cycling holiday on the comfort plus vessel, the Quo Vadis, known for its atmosphere, cuisine, and wonderful crew.

What’s Included

  • 13 nights accommodation
  • 13 breakfasts, 12 packed lunches, 1 lunch on board, 12 three course dinners
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and water on board
  • Welcome meeting and toast
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Tour guide and daily cycling meeting
  • Van support
  • 8-speed hybrid touring bicycle, including pannier, water bottle, helmet, and a lock
  • GPS Tracks
  • All ferry fares en route
  • Ticket for Castle de Haar
  • Visit of cheese farm and brewery
  • Canalboat tour
  • Belgium beer tasting
  • Free WiFi
  • Gratuities

What’s Not Included

  • 1 dinner in Maastricht
  • Drinks other than those indicated as included
  • Other entrance fees other than what is indicated as included
  • Laundry service (available for a supplement, see pricing)
  • Private excursions
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy
Length14 days
From2820 Rates
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Tour Dates

May 11, 2020

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Day-To-Day Itinerary

Amsterdam to Bruges via Maastricht - 14 days Map

Amsterdam to Bruges via Maastricht

Day 1: Amsterdam
Day 2: Amsterdam - Weesp - Utrecht - Vianen, 29 or 24 mi. (46 or 38 km)
Day 3: Vianen - Heusden,  29 or 33 mi. (47 or 53 km)
Day 4: Heusden - Maasbommel - Cuijk, , 31 or 24 mi.  (50 or 39 km)
Day 5: Cuijk - Arcen, 29 or 33 mi. (47 or 53 km)
Day 6: Arcen - Roermond, 37 or 30 mi.  (59 or 47 km) 
Day 7: Roermond - Wessem - Born - Maastricht, 35 or 21 mi (57 or 36 km) 
Day 8: Maastricht - Hasselt, 34 or 28 mi. (55 or 44 km)
Day 9: Hasselt - Oevel (Herentals) - Antwerp, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 10: Antwerp - St.Amands - Dendermonde, 33 or 19 mi. (53 or 30 km)
Day 11: Dendermonde - Ghent, 29 mi. (43 km)
Day 12: Ghent - Lovendegem - Bruges, 34 or 28 mi. (55 or 45 km)
Day 13: Bruges: via the coast or ride around Bruges, 16 or 5 mi. (28 or 8 km)
Day 14: Bruges departure

All distances are approximate. All itineraries are subject to change due to variables in wind and weather and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, lock repairs, etc

Day 1: Amsterdam, 2 or 15 mi. (3 or 24 km)
Your cycling adventure starts in Amsterdam, famous for its 400 year old canal district, its museums, street artists and performers on the squares, the notorious red-light district, and much more. Try to arrive early so you have time to visit the historical center, a World Heritage site, and to admire the elegant tree-lined canals, tall narrow townhouses, and warehouses. Check-in begins at 10 am.  You will meet the crew and be assigned your bike. In the afternoon, a 10 - 20 km ride through the historical green suburbs and meadows of charming Waterland will get you accustomed to your bike. If you prefer you can take the opportunity to visit some of the interesting art collections of Van Gogh or the Rijksmuseum, and one of the historic houses like the Anne Frank or the Cromhout houses.

Day 2: Amsterdam - Weesp - Utrecht - Vianen, 29 or 24 mi. (46 or 38 km)
Today you arrive in the land of Utrecht, Holland's cultural treasure trove, and navigate along the Vecht River, known for the magnificent summer residences of wealthy Amsterdam merchants from the last 4 centuries. After a sailing breakfast, the boat will more near the center of Weesp, dating back to the 14th century.  Following the winding Vecht, you will  visit a cheese farm. Further along the riverbanks, you will see magnifique mansions, proud castles, and villages with rich gardens. A longer route leaves the river and leads towards Castle De Haar. This castle is an example of a medieval fortress with its towers, ramparts, moats, gates, and drawbridges.The Quo Vadis waits at the edge of Utrecht city to then motor to Vianen, a small historic market town.

Day 3: Vianen - Heusden,  29 or 33 mi. (47 or 53 km)
The route today features the land where many rivers unite,  passing through several 16th century fortress towns. First, Leerdam, known for its glass design, followed by a leisure ride over quiet meadow paths to Gorinchem. From here, you will board the ferry to Woudrichem, a quiet town in the Brabant Province. The long route has the same visits, but follows the more populated area of the  winding Linge River. After Woudrichem, both routes, short and long, follow the winding path of the Bergse Maas. The Quo Vadis will be moored in Heusden, another small  fortress town.

Day 4: Heusden - Maasbommel - Cuijk, , 31 or 24 mi.  (50 or 39 km)
After a sailing breakfast, the boat will moor in Maasbommel, once a bustling Hanseatic port, for you to disembark to cycle along the canalized Maas River whose meanders still define the landscape. Along the winding dikes are small market towns, some with fortifications, and some with castles. This was once the border between the powerful medieval duchies Gelre and Brabant. During the Dutch republic, the new Reformed church ruled the northern banks and the southern banks belonged to German Catholic County of Kleve. Several monasteries were established. 

The long route passes the Gardens of Appeltern, not as well known as the Keukenhof,  but very beautiful.  The gardens are a  permanent exhibition park featuring more than 200 model gardens on 22 hectares. No two gardens are the same. The shorter route passes tiny Megen and over dikes lined with trees with wide views to Ravenstein, where both groups of cyclists reunite.

Both routes continue to the baroque convent chapel of Velp and to lively Grave with its canons at the river and its bridge known from Operation Market Garden. The  Quo Vadis waits in Cuijk, whose cathedral defines its skyline. 

Day 5: Cuijk - Arcen, 29 or 33 mi. (47 or 53 km)
Today, you have two splendid routes, one closer to the Maas River, the other more inland. In the morning, you cross the river and arrive in Limburg, remains of a former duchy. Once past the renaissance townhall of Gennep, the routes separate. The shorter one is more varied, along floodplains with hedges and lakes, several villages, and the Well Castle The longer route runs through the woods of a national park with the ruins of castle Bleyenbeek.   

A highlight waits in Arcen, where the Quo Vadis is moored for your overnight. The fortified town of Arcen, situated between the Maas river and the German border, boasts a wonderful series of gardens covering 32 hectares. You will find great variety and beauty here in over 15 different gardens, such as the rose garden, the oriental water garden, and the shadow garden. Every part of the castle gardens immerses you in a new green experience.

Day 6: Arcen - Roermond, 37 or 30 mi.  (59 or 47 km) 
During the  first part of the day's itinerary, both groups of cyclists will ride together along the Maas. The second part of the itinerary provides a choice between open water landscape for the shorter route, and a wooded adventure via Germany for the longer one. Both groups will unite in Venlo, a lively center with a renaissance town hall on the market square. A good place for a picnic is near Steyl, with three functioning convents and gardens, and in the Mission museum, an unexpected collection of ethnographic and taxidermic objects from the tropics. 

The longer distance cyclists better not stay too long, as this point is not even mid way for them. Continuing on, passing the charming Ronckestein hamlet in the direction of the  German hills, over unpaved roads in the dense Brachter forest, followed by medieval remains in Brüggen, and finally the  picturesque Schwalm brook brings you back into the Maas valley. The shorter route crosses the river, in the direction of Kessel, with one of the oldest castles (restored) and a terrace with a lovely view to the river. 

The town at the conjugation of Roer and Maas River, Roermond, is the day's destination. It was once the trading capital of the Gelre duchy in the middle ages, and since 16th century, the seat of a Catholic bishop. The historic marketplace, monumental churches and monasteries, are all witness of its rich cultural heritage. 

Day 7: Roermond - Wessem - Born - Maastricht, 35 or 21 mi (57 or 36 km) 
Today we pass a narrow part of the country, at one point only 5 km wide as you enter the province of Limburg. The longer route consists of a ride via Thorn, the ‘white Village’ on the Dutch/Belgian border known for its cobblestone streets and white painted houses. The only colored building is the 14th-century church. The short route starts later at Born, rides along the green zone between the waterways to Elsloo, where the groups meet again. Continuing on, the routes are the same and includes taking a ferry to Belgium fields on another strip zone along Smeermaas, once a Roman villa.

If you consider the longer route, please note that Maastricht is too interesting for just an evening walk. This city is the capital of the province, and is beautifully preserved 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! It is also known by foodies so this is a good evening to eat out on the town.

Day 8: Maastricht - Hasselt, 34 or 28 mi. (55 or 44 km)
You enter Belgium today! The long route leads through the Wallonian hills and the beautiful Jeker valley.Continuing through the rolling fields of Flanders to Zichen-Zussen-Bolder, the moated 16th century castle Alden Bieze with its English park will be a highlight.

Shorter distance cyclists bike through the forests of the National Kempen park in the direction of Bokrijk; a heritage park and open air museum with 140 historical buildings from all over Flanders, featuring gardens with local flora and an arboretum with theme garden.

Day 9: Hasselt - Oevel (Herentals) - Antwerp, 31 mi. (50 km)
Cyclists will meet the Quo Vadis, moored near Oevel, and enjoy a sailing dinner towards Antwerp, Belgium's first port, known for its diamonds and the painter Rubens. It has a castle overlooking the Scheldt river, a beautiful main square, lively places around the cathedral. The red city museum tower in the harbor is open late for city panoramas.

Day 10: Antwerp - St.Amands - Dendermonde, 33 or 19 mi. (53 or 30 km)
Today a beautiful ride along the banks of the Scheldt River will provide wonderful variety for your cycling. The long track crosses the river via the exiting St. Ann bike tunnel and leads in the direction of the castle of Bazel, Wissekerke Castle, largely built in the 15th century.  The suspension bridge by the castle is one of the oldest surviving wrought iron suspension bridges in Europe and was designed in 1824. You follow winding dikes along fishing lake via the small town Temse to beautiful villages like Mariekerke and St. Amands. 

The shorter ride basically follows the same route, though you will take a water bus in the beginning and board the Quo Vadis in St. Amands. 

Day 11: Dendermonde - Ghent, 29 mi. (43 km)
You will continue to follow the River Scheldt to Ghent where the ship will moor for the night. Ghent is a lively university city that boasts a rich history. Since Roman times Ghent’s position at the junction of Leie and Schelde Rivers has ensured that it has been a successful trading port.  In total the city features an Opera House, 18 museums, more than 100 churches and over 400 historical buildings. Major attractions are St. Bavo Cathedral where a number of masterpieces of medieval art including the world famous ‘Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ by Jan van Eyck are kept and the 91-metre-tall belfry of Ghent, one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city center.

Day 12: Ghent - Lovendegem - Bruges, 34 or 28 mi. (55 or 45 km)
Rural roads and quiet bike paths lead along the canal, pass many estates. The long route provides the opportunity to see the romanesque Lotenhulle church and the formal gardens of Poeke.

The shorter ride passes through the friendly Aalter marketplace. Perhaps the two groups will converge in Bulskampveld, with its English park and an enclosed garden. Later you pass a striking monument of the Moerbrugge battle in WWII.

The Quo Vadis is moored just outside the fortifications of Bruges, near the train station. The Venice of the North invites you for a quiet evening walk.

Day 13: Bruges: via the coast or ride around Bruges, 16 or 5 mi. (28 or 8 km)
Today you visit one the most beautiful of all Flemish cities, Bruges. The medieval center is completely intact, with addition of some fine baroque and gothic revival architecture. Bruges was in old times an international metropolis and center of commerce and art. With its ramparts, gates, and decorated gables mirrored in the canals, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will enjoy the lively streets and squares, with international services in the stunning decor of the middle ages. A boat ride provides beautiful sights, and the brewery The Half Moon does tours. You shouldn’t miss to visit the medieval palace of Gruuthuuze, and the small Groeningen collection with excellent paintings of Belgium masters.

Perhaps you would enjoy a city tour on bike which can be done in 1/2 day. The longer option of riding leads to the seaside resort Blankenberge with beaches, boulevards, and an Art Deco casino. On the way back, there is charming Lissewege with art exposition in the church and the remains of the old abbey Ter Doest, a enormous 14th century barn to keep the farmers taxes.

Day 14: Departure

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    Amsterdam to Bruges via Maastricht - 14 days Boats + Barges

    Quo Vadis Photo

    Quo Vadis Belgium, Netherlands, Germany Deluxe Class Boat The beautiful MS Quo Vadis, a refurbished cargo barge, was put into service in April 2006 as a bike and boat vessel.

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