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Holland & Belgien tour

Mai 31 - Juni 10 / 2025

Abreisedatum: 31 mai 2025
Tägliche route abstand 20 bis 60 km / Multi-adventure / Level: Easy


Die detaillierte Beschreibung dieser Reise ist nur auf Englisch verfügbar: 

This tour can be booked through a partner, contact us to find out the availability and contact detail.


Expect more bike-route options, more peace while riding and more time for city's & culture. 

Bike, Barge and Cruise the most beautiful parts of the Netherlands (Holland) & Belgium, and sample the local cuisine of the two countries along the way by stopping at local bakeries and enjoying two dinners out. From Amsterdam, we’ll make our way to Rotterdam, via Weesp and Vreeswijk, picturesque small towns in The Netherlands. View the many windmills and waterways of Kinderdijk, and visit a cheese farm. Experience Dordrecht with plenty of options; Go on a Canoe or hike tour, or explore the culture in one of Holland’s oldest cities. Then, we venture on to Belgium, starting in Antwerp, the diamond city and Ghent. We’ll end our journey in historic Bruges, the jewel of Flanders. During this trip, Merlijn offers the most variety of all its Bike & Barge cruise routes with many inclusive activities and excursions.

Holland & Belgien tour
Abreisehafen: Amsterdam Bestimmung: Bruges Reisezeit: 11 tage Länder: Belgien, Niederlande Tägliche route abstand : 20 bis 60 km / Multi-adventure / Level: Easy
Radfahren und Kreuzen Sie die schönsten Teile der Niederlande (Holland) & Belgien. Eintritt zur Kirche von Antwerpen & rundfahrt in Ghent inkl.
€ 3.610,- p.p.
Alle Kabinen über ein Reisebüro gebucht


Holland & België tour

Day 1: Amsterdam – Overnight dock

Afternoon check in, afterwards Merlijn will set sail. We’ll present you with a welcome drink and introduce the crew. We will also provide information on the tour, the ship, and offer you a safety briefing. After you have become acquainted with your home for the next 10 days, we will serve you dinner in Merlijn’s restaurant. In the evening, there will be time for a stroll on land because Merlijn will be docked for the night in a small Dutch town.


Day 2: Overnight dock - Vreeswijk. Bike tour: 20-25 km or extend to 40-45

After a first delicious breakfast, our guide will give you a good explanation on how to use the bikes and safety on the road. Meanwhile the crew will unload the bikes ashore, we'll measure you for the right bike and your first bike ride can begin. You cycle on good bike paths along the small ‘Vecht’ river and beautiful surroundings, you begin to understand why cycling is so popular in the Netherlands! Just after your picknick lunch, Merlijn will await you at a dock. You can choose to board or cycle on and extend your tour. Afternoon everyone boards the ship and enjoy an afternoon cruise to Vreeswijk.


Day 3: Vreeswijk - Rotterdam. Bike tour: 40-45 km or extend to 60-65 km

Early morning we already offer you a choice; start cycling after a quick breakfast and enjoy a long ride, or Relax a bit more, cruise along with Merlijn and join the cycle group later for the ride of the day! One of these days we will visit a real Dutch cheese farm, these hard-working farmers are not always open for visits, so we will look at when is most convenient. You can see how cheese is made and often buy tasty 'souvenirs'. Talking about cheese, you cycle by Gouda along the way! The city you might know as 'Gudah', known worldwide for its cheeses.

After your visit, you cycle on passing the polder landscape Netherlands is famous for. Reaching Rotterdam, your guide will choose the most quiet bike paths leading you to the Merlijn docked in the port of Rotterdam. At night there’s time for a stroll on land.


Day 4: Rotterdam – Kinderdijk - Dordrecht. Bike tour: 30-35 km or extend to 40-45 km

Today’s cycling tour will start directly after breakfast. Soon the skyline of ‘Manhattan on the Maas’ - as the city of Rotterdam is also known - will appear. You will bike along the highlights of this metropole, while following the paved cycle paths. Cross the river with a ferry to reach ‘Kinder-Dijk’, which is world-famous for its windmills, and you will be able to see an impressive row of them, built to drain the ‘Alblasserwaard polder’. Kinderdijk is official UNESCO world heritage. The best way to see this open-air museum is by bike! For the last section of the day, we offer 2 options:

  1. Board a ferry, which will take you directly where the Merlijn is berthed in Dordrecht
  2. Extend the tour and cycle on to Dordrecht.


Day 5: Dordrecht. Bike tour: 20-25 km + Canoe tour or Hike.

Merlijn stays in port today, giving you the opportunity to enjoy Dordrecht, and it’s amazing nature in the ‘backyard’ to the fullest. We have added this day to the tour to give you more choice and multi adventure. Let’s start with the options.

  1. Give your bike a day off, and enjoy everything Dordrecht’s old city offers like; Culture & Museums; in 1814 the first Dutch constitution was signed here. Or shopping; Dordrecht has the longest continuous shopping street in the Netherlands! Of course you can just relax onboard and finally read that book you brought.
  2. Our guide can lead you, with a short bike ride, to 'the Biesbosch', a large and very well-known national park. Put your bike on the kickstand, hop into a canoe, and paddle for several hours through the small creeks of this area. You can spot wildlife and enjoy the quiet life of the Biesbosch. Don't be afraid to get lost as we will be guidance. If canoeing isn't for you, take a look at the next option.
  3. Also for this option, you will cycle with the group to the national park. We have prepared a hiking trail which, depending on the ability of the group, will be between 10 and 15 km. Many Dutch people preceded you to walk along this unique nature reserve. After your visit to the Biesbosch, we cycle together as a group back to the ship.

Tonight you are enjoying dinner on your own in the city, there is a good range of delicious dishes both local and international. By arranging dinner by yourself, you really have the freedom to arrange this day completely as you wish. Dordrecht is also the home port of the owners of Merlin, so we can inform you well about the possibilities.


Day 6: Dordrecht – Willemstad - Tholen. Bike tour: 35-40 km

There will be a sailing breakfast while we cruise to Willemstad. You will then spend some free time in this picturesque small town with its windmill and harbour, after which your bike tour to Tholen will start. The tour will be on flat terrain through a ‘polder landscape’. Tholen was once an island in the middle of the large Zeeland streams, where the main occupation was fishing. Nowadays, it is connected to the mainland in various ways, but is still a charming village with many relics of an eventful past.


Day 7: Tholen – Antwerp. Bike tour: Morning 25-30 km, afternoon 40-45 km, or total 65-70 km.

Today’s bike tour is not too long, leaving you time to spend an entire afternoon exploring Antwerp if you wish. The tour starts after breakfast and just before you reach Antwerp by bike, we offer you two options;

  1. Board the Merlijn, and together we’ll sail through Antwerp’s magnificent harbour to our docking place in the historic centre. You will have lunch on board, and arrive in the city early to explore the cultural highlights.
  2. Carry on biking through the ‘harbour landscape’ until you reach Merlijn’s berth in Antwerp.

All options will cross the border from Netherlands to Belgium, where passports are long gone and lead you to Antwerp. This city is not only known as the ‘diamond city’, but also as the native city of the painter Rubens. In the heart of the city you will see the Cathedral of ‘Our Lady’ (entrance included), as well as opulent merchant homes from Antwerp’s illustrious rich past, around the Market Square. You can also spend your afternoon shopping in the lively city centre. Tonight you can enjoy some Belgian cuisine while eating out in one of the 1000+ local restaurants in Antwerp.


Day 8: Antwerp – Baasrode/Sint-Amands. Bike tour: 40-45 km

After breakfast your bike tour will start. You’ll leave Antwerp behind you, and wave goodbye while entering the St. Anna tunnel, which will take you to the other side of the Schelde river. From here, you follow the river further upstream via Temse to Sint-Amands. There is a beautiful cycle path, and the landscape around the river is magnificent. Sint-Amands is a small town on the tidal Schelde River, surrounded by nature. Enjoy another delicious dinner on board.


Day 9: Sint-Amands/Baasrode – Ghent. Bike tour: 50-55 km

In the morning, we cruise to another dock, at the Dender estuary. Your bike tour starts from here and leads you further along the beautiful but capricious tidal river Schelde. Soon you will see the city of Ghent. Ghent is a lively university city, and once again one with a rich past. This city has its origins in Roman times, at the place where the rivers Leie and Schelde converge. This favorable situation brought a great deal of prosperity over the years. The major church is the St. Baafs Cathedral, built in various ages and in various styles. The berth in Ghent is a fair distance from the centre. We will cycle a loop along the city, and we will organize a boat ride through the city’s canals, before biking to the Merlijn.


Day 10: Ghent - Bruges. Bike tour approx. 40-45 km

Your last cruising morning onboard, we’ll soon reach a dock where your bike tour will start, taking you through the pleasant countryside of Western Flanders to Bruges. Bruges, also called ‘the Venice of the North’, is perhaps the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old centre, which dates back to the Middle Ages, is almost completely intact. At the time, Bruges was a metropolis, a centre of art and commerce, which we can still fully enjoy. It’s also a great place to shop or have an evening out. We end the day with a farewell dinner onboard.


Day 11: Bruges

After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye and continue your European trip or leave for the airport.


*Please note that we will not visit Bruges during the tour, we strongly recommend staying a few days longer to see and visit Bruges.

Included in your tour:

  • 10 nights onboard Merlijn
  • Individual climate control and private bathroom with shower, sink and toilet in all cabins
  • Supply of bedding, towels, facial tissues, hand soap, shampoo, sewing kit, vanity kit, bathrobe & slippers
  • Full service of staff, daily cleaning of the cabins, manned bar (no self-service)
  • Porterage of luggage upon arrival and departure
  • Daily loading and unloading of your bicycle to and from the ship
  • Use of lightweight state-of-the-art bicycle
  • Use of a waterproof bike bag, universal sized helmet, towel and a personal water bottle
  • English speaking-tour guide (experienced guide who knows the route like the back of their hand)
  • Brochures of the area available on board
  • Harbour, lock and canal fees


Included culinary care:

  • Welcome drink with bubbles
  • All day unlimited coffee, tea, hot chocolate and potable ice water (self-service)
  • Extensive breakfast buffet daily with at least; 2 warm dishes, freshly baked croissants or similar pastries, various types of bread, toaster, yoghurt, cereals, fresh fruit and various beverages.
  • Packed lunch prepared by the staff in a special lunch bag with at least a lavish sandwich, snack and drink.
  • 8 three-course dinners
  • Dinners are based on ‘plate service’, meals are served in the dining area.
  • Meals are perceived by our guests as “luxurious” or even “gourmet style”.


Included beverages during bar opening hours:

  • Several sodas served from a small bottle
  • Wide variety of wines (also non-alcoholic wine)
  • Beer on tap and various beers from the bottle (also non-alcoholic beer)


Included excursions:

  • Ferry costs on the bicycle route
  • Boat ride through the canals of Ghent
  • Entrance to the Cathedral of ‘Our Lady’ in Antwerp
  • Deluxe fast ferry ride
  • Cheese farm visit
  • Windmill visit
  • Hike or Canoe tour


Not included in your tour:

  • 2 dinners
  • Excursions, entrance fees and guided tours other than mentioned
  • Beverages other than those mentioned (such as spirits and cocktails)
  • City maps, bike maps, etc. (we have a lot available however we can’t guarantee every destination)
  • Inbound and outbound journeys, such as flights, trains, bus or other type of transfers
  • Insurances
  • Gratuities (cash only)
  • Electronic payments of your onboard expenses (cash only)


For your comfort, we rent out electric bikes at € 30,- each per day, reservations in advance are advisable.


The Cancellation policy also applies to pre-booked and reserved use of e-bike or any other extra requested services.

The general terms and conditions of Merlijn de magie van water B.V. apply to all bookings, offers and agreements. Please find them on our website under ‘Terms & Conditions’.

Merlijn complies the General Data Protection Regulation to protect your privacy. Please find them on our website under ‘Privacy statement’.

We reserve the right to modify schedule and/or program. If (part of) the route is not navigable due to weather conditions and/or other nautical reasons and/or is closed off due to circumstances and/or for safety reasons, the operator and/or the captain has the right to change the schedule. This includes changing the location of departure and/or arrival and temporarily suspending departure. Nautical and/or meteorological reasons are understood to mean, among others, weather conditions, the tide, obstruction of waterways/shipping lanes, and the condition of the ship. Closed off due to circumstances and/or safety reasons are understood to mean, among others, terrorism, diseases, natural disasters. Changes in schedule and/or program do not give the customer the right on free cancellation.

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Alle Kabinen über ein Reisebüro gebucht

28 juli 2018

Berlin/Spandau to Magdeburg, July 14th 2018

Dear friends,

Patti and I had a wonderful time on our trip.   You were all so focused on ensuring everything was perfect for our group. 

I came with very high expectations and they were greatly exceeded!  As an engineer I was so impressed with the barge.

Thank you once again for treating us to such a fine adventure! 

Regards, Ed Buehler