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NETHERLANDS / BELGIUM

Barge and Bicycle: Holland and Belgium

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Road Scholar
Program #10530RJ
16 Days | 15 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Participants must bring and wear their own bicycle helmet.

Itinerary for Sep 4 — Sep 19, 2015

Expand all
Day One: Friday, September 04 - Overnight Flight
Depart From: Board an overnight flight.

Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Two: Saturday, September 05 - Arrive in Amsterdam / Transfer to Zaanse Schans /...
Arrive in Amsterdam / Transfer to Zaanse Schans / Barge to Utrecht / Bicycle Fitting / Orientation / Welcome Dinner

Note: Please note that the barge does not move at night and only motors during the day.

Arrive To: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

Morning: Transfer by motorcoach to the picturesque village of Zaanse Schans just outside Amsterdam. Led by a local historian, we will visit a "klompenmaker" and observe the art of wooden shoe production.

Lunch: Enjoy an authentic taste of the Netherlands at a village restaurant located in an 18th-century grain barn. The restaurant specializes in Dutch-style pancakes, savory or sweet treats can measure almost a foot in diameter, often eaten as a main course.

Afternoon: We proceed by motorcoach to the Fiep and then barge to Utrecht.

Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Following the orientation and after docking in Utrecht, bicycles will be fitted to the participant and skill testing will take place.

Please be aware that indicated times are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: This evening, and for other dinners aboard the barge, we will have plated three-course meals featuring tasty local cuisine: appetizer, entrée, and dessert plus water; other beverages available for purchase (that can be charged to your tab and settled prior to departure with cash payment in Euros on the last night aboard).

Evening: At leisure. The evening is free to continue becoming acquainted with your fellow participants or relax aboard the barge. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Sunday, September 06 - Barge to Schoonhoven / Kinderdijk / Barge to Will...
Barge to Schoonhoven / Kinderdijk / Barge to Willemstad / History of The Netherlands Lecture

Note: Biking distance: 23 miles

Breakfast: Aboard the barge, the breakfast buffet will offer a changing hot item each day as well as meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurts, cereals, breads, juices, and hot beverages.

Morning: Lecture on safety, rules of the road, and the IBT corner system as you barge to Schoonhoven, a town known for its silversmiths. Then a stop in Kinderdijk provides for an unbelievable view of a row of windmills along the dike.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Board the barge in Dordrecht and continue on to Willemstad. Before dinner, attend a lecture on the history of The Netherlands.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Monday, September 07 - Medieval Bergen op Zoom Lecture / Province of Zee...
Medieval Bergen op Zoom Lecture / Province of Zeeland / Barge to Antwerp

Note: Biking distance: 27 miles

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Bicycle to the medieval town of Bergen op Zoom, and attend a lecture on its history and traditions. There is even a Dutch song named for the town.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Bicycle along a dike to the locks where the barge will depart and continue on through the province of Zeeland, to Antwerp, Belgium.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Tuesday, September 08 - History of Antwerp Lecture / Antwerp Independent ...
History of Antwerp Lecture / Antwerp Independent Exploration / Belgium History Lecture

Note: Biking distance: no biking

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Explore Antwerp, the diamond capital of Belgium. A lecture on the city's history is followed by a field trip to the elegant guild houses of the 16th century and the cathedral, home to three of Rubens' works, including his masterpiece, Deposition.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Antwerp to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Try french fries with a platter of mussels - nothing is more Belgian! Sample one of the many beers brewed by monks; it is not likely you'll find these brands stateside.

Before dinner, attend a lecture on Belgian history.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Wednesday, September 09 - Barge the Albert Canal / Heather Fields / Hasselt
Note: Biking distance: 24 miles

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Depart Antwerp by barge via the Albert Canal, a busy commercial hub. Learn about the governing and operation of the canal's locks as the barge cruises into the Kempen, a peaceful region of moors, heather fields and forests.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: After lunch (which might be a picnic!), bicycle on a quiet trail along the Albert Canal to Hasselt.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Thursday, September 10 - Hasselt Field Trip & Lecture / Dutch Gin / Maastr...
Note: Biking distance: 26 miles

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Explore Hasselt and learn about the 12th-century cathedral with its 18th-century tower, as well as the patrician houses on the big square, which date to the 1600s and have names such as "The Pelican" and "The Sword."

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Before leaving Hasselt, look into the town's specialty: Dutch gin, which has nothing to do with the Dutch, but that's what the Belgians call it. You may not want to try this drink during the day as there is still a way to go to Maastricht after crossing the border into Holland.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Friday, September 11 - Maastricht Field Trip & Lecture / Maastricht Inde...
Note: Biking distance: no biking

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Discover the beautifully preserved city of Maastricht. Learn about its Roman roots through a lecture and field trip. Explore the Gothic St. Servaas Church and Hellgate, the only gate left from 1229 CE.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Maastricht to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Don't miss the chance to sample beer, gin or a hot chocolate at one of the many terraces.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Saturday, September 12 - Barge to Born / Thorn / Limburg Province / Roermo...
Note: Biking distance: 24 miles

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Barge to Born via the Juliana Canal, where you debark at the locks. From here, bicycle to Thorn, the White Village on Belgium's border known for its patterned, cobblestone streets and white painted houses. The only non-white building is the 14th-century church.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. Try the province of Limburg's local specialty, a delicious cake called "vlaai." The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Pleasant biking as we enjoy the homes around us with their little gardens and the owners' cars parked in front (not many homes have a garage). You'll note that cars in The Netherlands tend to be smaller than those in the USA.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Ten: Sunday, September 13 - Venlo / Limburg's Forest / Arcen
Note: Biking distance: 30 miles

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Bicycle to Venlo, an ancient city dating back to the Romans. As you explore, notice the many different Dutch dialects, including the local Limburg dialect with its soft "g" sounds.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Dutch often eat "broodjes" for lunch, which are rolls stuffed with meat or cheese. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: The journey continues, mostly on bike trails and through some forest, to Arcen.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eleven: Monday, September 14 - Arcen Castle Gardens / Paddestoelen / Cuyk
Note: Biking distance: 31 miles

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: The day starts in Arcen with a field trip to the gardens at the local castle. Today’s trip takes us close to the German border. Don’t look for any customs people, either here or in Belgium, the Europeans have done away with border checkpoints years ago.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Holland has more bicycle paths than any country in the world and all are marked by road signs in the form of "paddestoelen," or mushrooms, which have a number on top corresponding to a detailed bicycle road map, as well as directions to nearby towns. End the day in Cuyk on the Maas River.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Twelve: Tuesday, September 15 - Province of Brabant / Zaltbommel / Barge to the L...
Province of Brabant / Zaltbommel / Barge to the Locks of Lith / Den Bosch

Note: Biking distance: 25 miles

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: In the province of Brabant, explore small villages, taking in the local customs and well-tended homes. Gardening is big in The Netherlands and it shows!

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice in Zaltbommel. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Barge to the Locks of Lith before ending the day with a ride into Den Bosch, where the painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) lived and worked. The cathedral is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture, including devil-shaped gargoyles. Later, explore more of the capital of the province of Brabant.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Thirteen: Wednesday, September 16 - Heusden / Loevestein Castle / Ferry to Gorinchem ...
Note: Biking distance: 25 miles

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Through a lecture and excursion, explore the walled-town of Heusden, then continue on to an exploration of the well-preserved Loevestein Castle, which was built in 1357.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: From the castle, cross by ferry to Gorinchem and see a 16th-century Gothic tower, slightly leaning to one side. Continue by barge to Vianen to stay for the night.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Fourteen: Thursday, September 17 - Vecht River / Barge to Amsterdam
Note: Biking distance: 11 miles

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Enjoy one last ride on your two-wheeler from Breukelen, located on the river Vecht, to Nigtevegt before we set sail toward Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: After lunch we meet up with our barge and relax on deck as we motor to Amsterdam, our final destination.

Dinner: Aboard the barge.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Fiep, formerly known as the Anna Cornelia, was built in 1912 as a cargo ship. She was converted into a passenger vessel in 2001 and underwent a total renovation in 2013. There are two sundecks with awnings, tables and chairs, as well as a sitting lounge and dining area. The ten twin-bedded and two single cabins are all located on the lower deck of the barge.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 06 51552268
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Fifteen: Friday, September 18 - Amsterdam's Canals / Amsterdam Independent Explor...
Amsterdam's Canals / Amsterdam Independent Exploration / Farewell Dinner

Note: Biking distance: no biking

Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Our guide leads you on a journey along Amsterdam's canals to the city center. The Amstel River is crossed by several canals, lined with beautiful 16th- and 17th-century homes with a variety of different gable styles.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and cuisine of your choice in Amsterdam. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader at your own cost if you like.

Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity for independent exploration in Amsterdam to do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. If you haven’t already been there, venture to the Anne Frank House or the Rijksmuseum. If you want to relax, seek out one of the local cafés to sip a Heineken or cup of coffee while watching the locals.

Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants tonight at our farewell dinner aboard the barge. Get a good night's sleep and prepare for departure in the morning.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Sixteen: Saturday, September 19 - Program Concludes / Departures
Breakfast: Aboard the barge. This concludes our program.

Morning: Transfers to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for onward travel.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you return on more rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
14 nights of accommodations
29 meals: 14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 14 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
13 Field trips

Ratings

4.5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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