24047
Netherlands

Nordic Walking in the Netherlands: A Walk-and-Barge Adventure

Sail from bustling Amsterdam to medieval towns and fishing villages as you explore the art, history and culture of the Netherlands on Nordic walking adventures with local experts.
Program No. 24047RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
3,199
Flights start at
675
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9 days
8 nights
16 meals
7 B 2 L 7 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans, Purmerend, Orientation
Purmerend
L,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: No Nordic walking today. Getting on/off motorcoach; driving transfer is approximately 30 miles (50 km); about 1 hour total, with stops. Getting on barge; barge time is approximately 3 hours.

Morning: Our Group Leader will be waiting for everyone to arrive and, once all present, we will board a motorcoach for our first field trip to the village of Zaanse Schans. We will visit a klompenmaker who will show us the art of wooden shoe production through a demonstration with commentary.

Lunch: At a village restaurant located in an 18th-century grain barn, we will enjoy an authentic taste of the Netherlands featuring a specialty of Dutch-style pancakes, savory or sweet. They can measure almost a foot in diameter and are often eaten as a main course. Coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: We’ll proceed by motorcoach to our boat and begin our barge transfer to Purmerend. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Adventures Afloat program. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. The time available in each port is set by the cruise line. Whenever possible, the Road Scholar daily schedule indicates port arrival and departure times (subject to change by the cruise line). This may mean that free time in port is limited. Regardless of the time in port, Road Scholar delivers a robust educational program. All routes, field trips, and excursions are subject to change as weather and sea conditions may affect the itinerary. Sea conditions could affect the progress of the ship, making it run late and sometimes miss ports because it is not safe to dock. Because of this, the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. The operators reserve the right to change the content of field trips and excursions without prior notice. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Aboard the barge, we’ll enjoy a plated 3-course meal plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase that can be charged to your tab and settled in cash (Euros only) prior to the conclusion of the program on the last night aboard.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Nordic Walking Instruction, De Rijp, Alkmaar
Alkmaar
B,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Getting on/off barge. Walking about 6 miles total throughout the day; approximately 3 hours; flat terrain, primarily on dedicated paved paths. Walking about 1 mile in the evening; flat terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard the barge, we’ll have a breakfast buffet offering a rotating hot main course plus meats, cheeses, eggs, cereals, yogurt, and breads, with coffee, tea, juices, water.

Morning: Our Group Leader will present an introduction to Nordic walking, from which we’ll learn about the history of this popular European sport. Poles are fitted to each participant, and our Group Leader will begin with the first lesson based on the ALFA technique. After leaving the ship, we will be off walking on trails and quiet roads around De Rijp. This area of the province of North Holland has changed over the centuries; some of the land we are on has been reclaimed from the sea and we will learn that we are walking below sea level. Throughout the program when the group is sailing aboard the barge, the captain will invite us over different days into his steering house to learn about navigating the waters of the Netherlands, and to help steer the barge!

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in De Rijp. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: We will explore the village of De Rijp independently before continuing with our Group Leader to Alkmaar, where the barge will be waiting. Before getting to Alkmaar, however, our walk takes us along a canal where we see many pleasure boats. The Dutch are big on boating—no wonder with all the canals, rivers, and lakes of the Netherlands.

Dinner: Aboard barge.

Evening: We'll join our Group Leader for a walk without our poles through the historic old town of Alkmaar. During our walk, we’ll see the beautiful, ornate town hall of this medieval settlement.

DAY
4
Beaches, North Sea, Barge to Texel
Texel
B,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Getting on/off barge and bus. Barging time is about 5 hours. Driving 10 miles, under 1/2 hour. Walking approximately 8 miles total throughout the day; flat terrain, primarily on dedicated paved paths and beaches.

Breakfast: Aboard barge.

Morning: Each day we will start with more instructions to improve our Nordic walking skills on land. Exercises to help with proper technique and stretching will be part of our daily routine. We will travel by bus to a village near the North Sea and set out for a walk on the beach. Packed sand is ideal for Nordic walking as we trek north.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Boarding the barge at the end of our walk in Sint Maartensvlotbrug, we will be joined by a lecturer who will discuss how the land was reclaimed from the sea and how the windmills kept the land dry. We’ll continue to sail to the island of Texel, just north of the northern tip of the province of North Holland, where we can go ashore and walk. During the summer months, the population of this beautiful island increases dramatically as tourists from all over Europe come here to take their vacation alongside the ubiquitous flocks of sheep.

Dinner: Aboard barge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Ecomare, Den Burg
Medemblik
B,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Getting on/off barge and bus. Minimal driving. Walking distance about 4 miles throughout the day; flat terrain, primarily on dedicated paved paths, approximately 1.5 hours total throughout the day.

Breakfast: Aboard barge.

Morning: We will drive by bus this morning to Ecomare for an expert-led introduction to this rehabilitation center, where wounded and sick birds and seals are treated. Ecomare is also home to a bird sanctuary and marine aquarium, including two porpoises. From Ecomare we will walk to Den Burg, Texel’s largest town.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Den Burg.

Afternoon: After having independently explored the delightful town of Den Burg, we will drive by bus back to the barge and continue motoring to the mainland. We’ll relax on board while sailing to Medemblik, where we will find a bustling harbor with many sailboats and 17th-century homes.

Dinner: Aboard barge.

Evening: We will join our Group Leader for an exploration of Medemblik, a former fishing town located on the IJsselmeer.

DAY
6
West Friesland, Twisk, Chimneys
Enkhuizen
B,L,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Getting on/off barge and bus. Minimal driving. Walking about 4 miles total throughout the day; flat terrain, primarily on dedicated paved paths. Barging time is about 4 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard barge.

Morning: We will leave the ship and drive by bus to the picturesque village of Twisk for a walk by the farms and homes. This part of North Holland is called West Friesland as it lies to the west of the province of Friesland, on the other side of the IJsselmeer. Many years ago, the wealthy merchants in Amsterdam bought second homes here and to show off their wealth, they had the chimneys decorated. We will walk back to Medemblik, where we will board our barge and continue sailing to Enkhuizen.

Lunch: Aboard barge.

Afternoon: We will leave the ship to explore Enkhuizen on our own, a former thriving fishing port on the IJsselmeer. The town crest of Enhuizen is a shield with three herring, symbolizing its past fishing industry. An ornate town hall, an old defense tower from 1540, and a former city prison, which tilts 15 degrees, add much charm to this bustling town. The name IJsselmeer comes from IJssel (the name of the river that runs into the lake) and “meer” (lake). We’ll then return to the barge.

Dinner: Aboard barge.

Evening: Our Group Leader will take us on a short walking field trip from the barge to the former city gate where we’ll enjoy a great view of the harbor with its fishing fleet. We’ll then return to the barge.

DAY
7
Hoorn, Barge to Amsterdam
Amsterdam
B,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Getting on/off barge and bus. Minimal driving. Walking approximately 7 miles throughout the day; flat terrain, primarily on dedicated paved bicycle paths. Barging time is about 5 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard barge.

Morning: We will bus to the dike that separates the IJsselmeer from the lower-lying land around it. As we walk on the dike, we will see sailboats and barges to our left, and way below to our right, homes and farms. This is as peaceful as it gets, and having by now perfected our Nordic walking skills, we will walk proudly to Hoorn.

Lunch: On our own to sample local cuisine in Hoorn.

Afternoon: We will explore the charming town and harbor of Hoorn before returning to the barge for our final sailing to Amsterdam where it all began.

Dinner: Aboard barge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Amsterdam Canals, Free Time
Amsterdam
B,D
Liza Marleen

Activity note: Getting on/off barge. There will be no Nordic walking today. Walking about 1.5 miles during morning group activities; approximately 2 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard barge.

Morning: Our Group Leader will lead a walking journey along the city’s canals until we reach the city center. The Amstel River is crossed by several canals and lined with beautiful 16th- and 17th-century homes, which feature a variety of different gable styles.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Amsterdam.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Amsterdam. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may wish to venture to the Anne Frank House or the Rijksmuseum. If you want to relax, you might like to seek out one of the local cafés for a drink while soaking in the atmosphere.

Dinner: Aboard the barge, we’ll enjoy our delicious and festive farewell dinner. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out, disembarkation, and departures in the morning.

DAY
9
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Barge disembarkation time by 9:00 a.m. See your program's “Transportation Information” regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Aboard barge. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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