News

Friday 16 february 2024

Our ‘workcation’ in Spain

This past January, we took a workcation to the warmth of Spain, a welcome change from the Dutch winter.

Beyond the cruises you see, there's a world of tasks behind the scenes like writing travel guides, answering queries, and arranging excursions. We drove 2250 kilometers to South Spain, Sacha, our faithful dog, in tow, since flying wasn't an option for her.

During our time in Spain, we focused on enhancing the experiences for Merlijn's voyages. Weekends, however, were for exploring; we hiked through Andalusia's mountains, Sacha bravely joined us, albeit needing a little help at times. Our visits to various local spots revealed breathtaking scenes, making us wish Merlijn could cruise throug Spain.

Our ‘workcation’ in Spain

Friday 16 february 2024

Want to cycle with a Merlijn bike this year?

We've heard from one of our partners that they still have rooms available for the coming season (2024)! This is quite unique and is almost always due to people, or even a group, having to unexpectedly cancel their trip. These rooms are now also bookable through our website. Do you think waiting a few months is long enough and are you ready to pack your bags within a few days? Then quickly take a look at our tour page.

Want to cycle with a Merlijn bike this year?

Wednesday 29 november 2023

Looking back on Merlijn’s Bike, Barge and Cruise Season 2023

As the sun sets on the unforgettable 2023 Bike, Barge, and Cruise season on the Merlijn, we look back on the adventurous bike rides, picturesque towns, and delicious meals that made this trip so special.

We sincerely thank all our guests for joining us and for their pleasure. We love it so much to see how enthusiastically everyone comes on board, only to leave the ship full of memories at the end of the trip, sometimes with a tear! Let's not forget that without you we are nowhere, only through your enthusiasm can we run the Merlijn.Thank you!

Cycling enthusiasts and travelers enjoyed a season full of exploration and fun. Merlijn, our floating home, provided a unique perspective as we paddled through beautiful landscapes and discovered Europe.

From the charming streets of Bruges via former east and west Germany to Vienna in Austria, Merlijn took us on a journey through rich history and culture. Daily excursions brought us in the heart of cities, with Merlijn always on the horizon.

Whether we dined in Merlijn’s cozy restaurant or enjoyed a picnic in a village square, each meal celebrated Europe's diverse culinary treasures.

As we say goodbye to the season 2023 on board Merlijn, we cherish memories of cycling adventures, breathtaking landscapes and new friendships. Until next season 2024, when we set sail again on the Merlijn. We look forward to next season and hope to see you on board!

Looking back on Merlijn’s Bike, Barge and Cruise Season 2023

Wednesday 29 november 2023

Currently we are docked in our home base Dordrecht

We use this time to prepare for the upcoming 2024 season. We carefully inspect the ship and have specialized companies coming by to maintain or repair machinery. Cristina is working on new menu’s and updating tour descriptions for future trips, while Coen is catching up on the administration, bookings and emails. Later on we will also prepare the website for 2025 and design the sailing schedule for 2026!

Our bike Specialist will ensure that the bikes are ready for the new season so that you can explore new environments during your trip.

This period also gives us the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, something that is impossible during the busy (7+ months) sailing season. Docked in our home town Dordrecht (where Coen grew up and we bought our first house back in the days) we love to visit our favorite places, walk through historic streets and relaxe in local cafes - these are the small pleasures of Dordrecht that we can now experience in peace. As we prepare the ship for the adventures to come, we cherish these calm moments aboard our home Merlijn.

Currently we are docked in our home base Dordrecht

Wednesday 29 november 2023

2024 is almost fully booked

It is almost fully booked but we still have several trips available, we will highlight this route; The Premium Germany & Poland tour: ‘Amazon of the North’ on the third and tenth of August. Our tour guides consider this as the most interesting tour that Merlijn has to offer - expect the unexpected. Bike, Barge and Cruise the Amazon of the North, Germany and Poland. Explore the cradle of the Prussians during this tour of former Prussia, and learn more about the former divided nation of Germany. Command your bike through a variety of surfaces, from tarmac to cobble stones, and ride across the sunny isle of Usedom. Cruise through stunning natural areas of the Havel, Oder & Peene rivers, and the Szczecin lagoon. Take a ride in the oldest ship lift in Germany, Niederfinow, and sample the Polish cuisine in Poland’s lively city of Szczecin.

2024 is almost fully booked

Wednesday 29 november 2023

Can't wait to get on board?

Have you been left out? No problem; 2025 will be available online for individual bookings in February 2024. The planning has been known for some time and we have already booked several weeks for groups that want to reserve the entire ship. The always popular tulip trips in April and May have already largely been booked, but we still have 1 week left to sell individually via our website. Furthermore, we go again to the fantastically beautiful blue Danube, a trip that was missed by some in 2024. We will also cycle along the Romantic river 'Main'.

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Can't wait to get on board?

Wednesday 15 february 2023

Berlin | Premium Germany & Poland tour ‘Amazone of the North’

Expect the unexpected. Our tour guides consider this as the most interesting & varied tour that Merlijn offers. Bike, Barge and Cruise the Amazon of the North, Germany and Poland.

Explore the cradle of the Prussians during this tour of former Prussia and learn more about the former divided nation of Germany. Command your bike through a variety of surfaces, from tarmac to cobblestones and ride across the sunny isle of Usedom.

Cruise through stunning natural areas of the Havel, Oder & Peene rivers and the Szczecin lagoon. Take a ride in the oldest ship lift in Germany, Niederfinow, and sample the Polish cuisine in Poland’s lively city of Szczecin.

Berlin | Premium Germany & Poland tour ‘Amazone of the North’

Wednesday 15 february 2023

Merlijn - 2024 tours are live!

Dear Friends,

We are happy to launch all our trips for 2024!! 

For our new friends: We are Coen & Cristina, Captains, managers, chef and proud owners of the cruise ship 'Merlijn'. With Merlijn you can Bike, Barge, and Cruise your way across Europe.

There is a lot of great things planned for the 2024 season. We have a varied program that spans the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Poland! 

We will traditionally start the season in April in Amsterdam with the successful Holland Tulip tour, due to its popularity we have scheduled more sailings than ever before. After this, we will stay a little longer in the Holland with a few trips to Bruges in Belgium, and then cross the border to Germany via the North of the Netherlands. There we sail through all the nooks and crannies of the country and all possible rivers and canals! Bike & barge cruises on the Rhine, Moselle and Saar are of course not missing!

You will notice that in 2024 we will take more time for our homeland, this is because of the many requests from guests for other routes in the Netherlands. You can now book the Texel-island and Hanseatic route in addition to the Tulip tour.

Last but not least; all routes along the Moselle have also become 9 days instead of 8, more variety and more time to enjoy! We look forward to welcome you aboard!

The tours for 2024 are live now and you can discover more about them on our website. You will see that several trips have already been booked by a group or travel agency, if you would like to charter the entire ship yourself we can look at options for 2025. If your desired trip is already booked by a travel agency, please send us an email so we can see who it is with and if they still have rooms available.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with your friends and family, it will help us a lot. 

Kinds regards, greetings, Coen & Cristina

P.S. Our popular Danube trip will be bookable again in 2025. Enjoy other special routes in2024, such as the routes along Berlin.

Merlijn - 2024 tours are live!

Thursday 18 november 2021

We proudly present our 2023 cruise program

Merlijn's 2023 Cruise program is online. Check it out online with up-to-date availability.

Or download an overview of all tours here.

Book your spot now!!

We proudly present our 2023 cruise program

Saturday 29 may 2021

The Merlijn has spread her magic for 20 years.

This year, though a year of uncertitude for many of us, is as well a year that must be celebrated, because Merlijn is celebrating its 20th anniversary!! The history of the Merlijn starts way back in 1930, when it was build as a cargo ship with the name "Adelaar" (Eagle). After more then 70 years and several owners along the way, in 2001 the ship began her new career as a cruise ship with the name everyone knows: "Merlijn".

The Merlijn has spread her magic for 20 years.

Friday 28 may 2021

Bike, Barge & Cruise. There is a reason why it starts with "Bike"

Our bikes are a big part of your Bike & Barge Cruise, that's why we want to provide you with the best quality bike possible. The brand is Sensa from the Netherlands. With a super light frame and 27 gears you can easily climb any mountain in Europe, even the Dutch mountains. (this is what we call the wind that can blow in the Netherlands)

Cycling is the best way to experience local life.

Bike, Barge & Cruise. There is a reason why it starts with

Wednesday 26 may 2021

Merlijn has the most comprehensive sailing schedule and is also heading to the Blue Danube from 2022 on!

We already have so many routes that the season has become too short to sail them all and now, for the first time in her life, Merlijn is going to sail the Danube. That beautiful blue Danube, as it was described by Johann Strauss Jr. in the year 1867 in the Viennese Waltz he composed. 

You can be one of the first guests of Merlijn, cycling along the Danube. We have designed 2 different Danube routes which we sail in both directions, meaning you can choose from 4 tours and even more departures! Have a look at the itinerary by clicking the destinations you like:

Nürnberg-Passau or Vienna-Passau  (Routes also available in 2023)

 

Merlijn has the most comprehensive sailing schedule and is also heading to the Blue Danube from 2022 on!

Tuesday 25 may 2021

Our 2023 sailing schedule will be online soon.

It's a wrap, our 2023 sailing schedule will be online soon. Is your favorite trip sold out in 2022, don't worry, there will be new opportunities in the near future to book your dream cruise.

Sometimes we are asked what is your favorite tour is? Well that's hard to say, because every single trip we offer has a unique character. We have a journey for everyone, from big crowded cities, to very quiet cycle paths in nature, from historical castles to new modern cities. 

Our 2023 sailing schedule will be online soon.

Friday 06 december 2019

Renovation upper-deck finished

After a long time thinking, planning and designing we proudly present our new upper-deck interior!

See all pictures in our photo album

Renovation upper-deck finished

Monday 15 april 2019

Merlijn goes to the Blue Danube!

We are planning to sail the Blue Danube in 2022!

More news coming soon

Merlijn goes to the Blue Danube!

12 may 2019

Amsterdam - Den Bosch

Our tour from Amsterdam to Den Bosch was a trip of a lifetime!!! Coen and his wife Cristina made us feel like family and the accommodations were fabulous!!! Cristina was the Chef and the food was beyond compare. Captain Coen was the most skilled and versatile I have ever sailed with. Lia was our guide and I learned more about the Netherlands in one week than I learned in the four years I lived in Holland forty years ago. This is a small group experience where you come aboard as strangers and leave as life-long friends. Many thanks to Captain Coen and his crew!!! Ernie & Kelly-USA