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NETHERLANDS / BELGIUM

Barge and Bicycle: Holland and Belgium

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Netherlands

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Bicycling

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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 May 16 — May 31, 2014

Expand all
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 One: Friday, May 16 - Depart US
Afternoon: Overnight flight.

Lodging: Fiep

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, May 17 - Zaanse Schans/Wooden Shoe Making Demonstration/Bi...
Zaanse Schans/Wooden Shoe Making Demonstration/Bicycle Fitting and Test Run/Welcome Dinner

Morning: Arrival Amsterdam. By coach to de Zaanse Schans, a picturesque village with many windmills and a shop where wooden shoes are made. Your guide will explain the various uses of the windmill, which among other things, was once used to keep the land from flooding.

Lunch: Enjoy a wonderful pancake lunch as your first introduction to Dutch food.

Afternoon: Barge to Utrecht. After docking, test your bike and gear for proper fit.

Dinner: Welcome dinner and orientation.

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, May 18 - Windmills/Willemstad
Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

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: Explore local fare on your own.

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.

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, May 19 - Medieval Bergen op Zoom/Province of Zeeland
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: On your own. Explore the masterful and delectable pastries in the city's bakeries!

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.

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, May 20 - Antwerp: Home of Rubens' Paintings/Sampling Belgi...
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: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free for independent exploration of Antwerp. 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.

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, May 21 - The Albert Canal/Heather Fields and Bicycle Trail...
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: Explore local fare on your own.

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

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 Seven: Thursday, May 22 - Hasselt: Patrician Houses/Dutch Gin
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: Explore local fare on your own.

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, May 23 - Maastricht: Roman Roots/Exploring Maastricht
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: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of the delightful city of Maastricht and a chance to sample beer, gin or a hot chocolate at one of the many terraces.

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 Nine: Saturday, May 24 - Thorn: The White Village/Limburg's Specialty: Vla...
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: On your own. Try the province of Limburg's local specialty, a delicious cake called "vlaai." Our next stop is Roermond.

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.

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, May 25 - Ancient Venlo/Limburg's Forest
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: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: The Dutch often eat "broodjes" for lunch, which are rolls stuffed with meat or cheese. The journey continues, mostly on bike trails and through some forest, to Arcen.

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 Eleven: Monday, May 26 - Arcen: Castle Gardens /Paddestoelen
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: Explore local fare on your own.

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 river Maas.

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 Twelve: Tuesday, May 27 - Province of Brabant/Den Bosch: Gothic Architectur...
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: Explore local fare on your own in Zaltbommel

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.

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, May 28 - Heusden: A Walled Town/Castle Loevestein
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: Explore local fare on your own.

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.

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, May 29 - Vecht River/Our Last 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: Explore local fare on your own.

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.

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, May 30 - Amsterdam: Canals and Bridges/Amsterdam's Museums
Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

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

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time to explore the city and its many museums, including the Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum.

Dinner: Farewell dinner aboard the barge.

Lodging: Fiep

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Sixteen: Saturday, May 31 - Departure
Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Transfer to Amsterdam Airport for return flight. 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 ...
15 nights of accommodations
29 meals: 14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 14 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
12 Field trips

Ratings

4.5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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