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Merlijn's famous Holland & Belgien tour

Juni 11 - 21 / 2025

Abreisedatum: 11 juni 2025
Tägliche route abstand 20 bis 60 km / Multi-adventure / Level: Easy

Höhepunkte

Die detaillierte Beschreibung dieser Reise ist nur auf Englisch verfügbar: 

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. We begin our journey in historic Bruges, the jewel of Flanders. Then we’ll head towards Ghent and Antwerp, the diamond city. Venturing on to the Netherlands, we kick off grandly in Dordrecht with plenty of options; Go on a Canoe or hike tour, or explore the culture in one of Holland’s oldest cities. Cycling on to Rotterdam you can view the many windmills and waterways of Kinderdijk and visit a cheese farm. We will then make our way to Amsterdam passing by several picturesque history-rich cities. During this trip, Merlijn offers the most variety of all its Bike & Barge cruise routes with many inclusive activities and excursions.

Merlijn's famous Holland & Belgien tour
Abreisehafen: Bruges Bestimmung: Amsterdam 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.
Reservieren Sie jetzt
7 kabine(n) verfügbar

Tagesprogramm

Holland & België tour

Day 1: Bruges – 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.

*Please note that we will not visit Bruges during the tour, we strongly recommend travelling a few days earlier to see and visit Bruges, also called ‘the Venice of the North’. It 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 and have an evening out.

 

Day 2: Overnight dock – Ghent. Bike tour: 35-40 km

We start with a sailing breakfast, and a bike introduction so you and your ‘barge bike’ can get to know each other. At the first dock your bike tour will start, taking you through the pleasant countryside of western Flanders. Today’s destination Ghent is a lively university city, and once again one with a rich and varied past. The city has its origins in Roman times, and it is where the rivers Leie and Schelde converge. This favorable location has generated a great deal of prosperity over the years. Its main church is the St. Baafs Cathedral, built in various ages and 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 3: Ghent – Baasrode/Sint-Amands. Bike tour 30-35 km or extend to 45-50 km

After breakfast on board, your bike tour starts from Ghent and leads you along the river Schelde. There is a beautiful cycle path, and the landscape around the river is magnificent. Arriving at Dendermonde, a nice country town on the Dender estuary, you will find Merlijn awaiting you. From here, you can board and cruise, or bike on to Baasrode/Sint-Amands, which is a small town on the tidal Schelde river, surrounded by nature.

 

Day 4: Sint-Amands/Baasrode – Antwerp. Bike tour: 40-45 km

Today’s cycle tour will start from our overnight berth, and leads you further along the beautiful but capricious river Schelde. You will soon spot the St. Anna Tunnel, which will take you to the other side of the Schelde, where you’ll find the diamond city of Antwerp.

Antwerp 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’, we’ll include entrance today or tomorrow. Interesting as well are the opulent merchant homes from Antwerp’s illustrious past around the Market Square. At night, you can enjoy some Belgian cuisine, while eating out in one of the 1000+ local restaurants in Antwerp.

 

Day 5: Antwerp – Tholen. Bike tour: Morning 40-45 km, afternoon 25-30 km, or total 65-70 km.

Because we love the city of Antwerp, Merlijn will be docked in the harbour until noon, leaving you with the difficult choice of these two options:

  1. Spend another morning in the city to explore its cultural highlights, or shop in the lively city centre. From noon, you’ll join Merlijn for a cruise through Antwerp’s magnificent harbour and enjoy lunch on board. You then start biking from the little town of Kreekerak to Tholen, a short jaunt on Dutch soil.
  1. You’ll start biking after breakfast, where a long route will lead you through the ‘harbour landscape’ until you reach Kreekerak where you can board Merlijn, or add another 20 km and bike on to Tholen!

All options will cross the border from Belgium to Netherlands, where passports are long gone and end the day in Tholen. Which 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 6: Tholen – Dordrecht. Bike tour: 35-40 km

After another delicious breakfast on board, you’ll start your cycle tour towards Willemstad, which will be on flat terrain through a ‘Dutch polder landscape’. After arriving in Willemstad, you can spend some free time in this picturesque small town with its windmill and harbour, after which the afternoon cruise to Dordrecht will start. If you’re in need of a bit of rest, then today is perfect to cruise along, not just because we’ve just passed the half-way mark of your journey, but also because Merlijn will arrive in Willemstad before lunch, and will stay there until the afternoon before we cruise on. This will afford you the opportunity to visit the town as well. After a nice cruise, we’ll arrive in Dordrecht, one of Holland’s oldest cities. After dinner, there will be time for a walk through this well-arranged, mid-sized city.

 

Day 7: 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 8: Dordrecht – Kinderdijk – Rotterdam. Bike tour: 20-25 km or extend to 45-50 km

After breakfast on board, the cycle tour for today will start. The first stop is ‘Kinderdijk’, which is world-famous for its windmills, you will be able to see an impressive row of them, built to drain the ‘Alblasserwaard polder’. The best way to see this open-air museum is by bike. Kinderdijk is official UNESCO world heritage.

After your visit you continue to the town of Alblasserdam. From here you have two options;

  1. Board a deluxe fast ferry, which will take you directly to Rotterdam, where Merlijn awaits you.
  2. Extend the tour and cross the river by a small ferry, then you’ll cycle on to Rotterdam.

By deluxe ferry or by bike, soon the skyline of ‘Manhattan on the Maas’ - as the city of Rotterdam is also known - will appear. During WWII Rotterdam was heavily bombed, the result of which can still be seen in post-war modern architecture. You’ll cycle along the highlights of this metropole, following the paved cycle paths, you will reach Merlijn. Dinner will be served onboard and we’ll stay overnight in port.

 

Day 9: Rotterdam – Gouda – Vreeswijk. Bike tour: 40-45 km

Today’s cycle tour will start from Rotterdam, your guide will choose the quiet bike paths leading you soon into the polder landscape Netherlands is famous for. 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. You’ll make your way to Schoonhoven, also called the ‘silver city’ because of its fame trading in silver. After visiting this lovely town, Merlijn awaits you for an afternoon cruise along the river ‘Lek’. An old Captain told us that this river best represents the Netherlands, enjoy the beautiful scenery passing by from one of Merlijn’s terraces. Diner will be during the cruise and at night there will be time to take a post meal walk in todays destination Vreeswijk.

 

Day 10: Vreeswijk – Utrecht - Amsterdam. Bike tour: 35-40 km or extend to 55-60 km

One more cruising breakfast before you get on the paddles. The last bike tour of your journey will start from Utrecht, taking you along more traditional Dutch landscapes. Did you already stop at a local bakery for a coffee? (the Dutch really know their coffees!) Following the winding river ‘Vecht’, you will soon reach a dock where you can board Merlijn for an afternoon cruise. Or if you haven't logged enough miles yet, you can cycle on all the way to the final destination. Your tour ends in the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam. A farewell dinner on board will follow.

 

Day 11: Amsterdam

After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye and continue your European trip or leave for the airport. Extend your stay in Holland, and set some time aside to explore the city. You might want to go on a ride along the canals, or visit the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, or the Amsterdam Hermitage.

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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Cologne zu Saarburg

Juli 16 - 23 / 2022
The trip was perfect: well organized and beautiful scenery. Easy biking mostly along paths instead of city streets. Delicious gourmet dinners on the Merlijn. Comfortable beds, pretty ship with bouquets of flowers. Lia, the biking tour guide was amazing; informative, flexible, fun, and strong! I was proud that I could do all the biking with the trusty e-bike!