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NETHERLANDS / BELGIUM

Barge and Bicycle: Holland and Belgium

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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 Sep 20 — Oct 5, 2013

Expand all
Day One: Friday, September 20 - Depart US
Afternoon: Overnight flight.

Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Two: Saturday, September 21 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Sunday, September 22 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Monday, September 23 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Tuesday, September 24 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Wednesday, September 25 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Thursday, September 26 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Friday, September 27 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Saturday, September 28 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Ten: Sunday, September 29 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eleven: Monday, September 30 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Twelve: Tuesday, October 01 - 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 cycle 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Thirteen: Wednesday, October 02 - Heusden: A Walled Town/Castle Loevestein
Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Through lectures and excursions, 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: Dinner onboard as the barge motors on to Vianen.

Lodging: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Fourteen: Thursday, October 03 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Barge

Ship Information: The Allure was built in 1908 as a cargo ship and converted into a passenger boat in 1998. A total renovation was completed in 2012. The barge is 138' x 22' wide.

Contact info:
No street address available as
the barge continually moves, Netherlands
phone: +31 651552268
Room amenities: Private bath with shower, toilet, and sink. There is a porthole in the bathroom and cabin which opens.

Facility amenities: Chartered exclusively for Road Scholar participants, the Allure is a comfort class barge, with a salon where meals are served, a sitting area, a reading-corner, sun deck, and a small bar. There are (10) double occupancy cabins with twin lower beds.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Fifteen: Friday, October 04 - 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: Allure

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Sixteen: Saturday, October 05 - Departure
Breakfast: Aboard the barge.

Morning: Transfer to Amsterdam Airport for return flight.

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
12 Field trips

Ratings

4.5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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