Experience Holland and Belgium by both land and canal cruise during an optionally active barge cruise.

Starting at: $4,995 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Traditional cruiser bicycle  <i>Magnifique III</i>, your boutique hotel on the canals  Typical canal in medieval Bruges  Windmills along the river in Kinderdijk  Traditional Dutch landscape of countryside, windmills, and bicycles  Canal houses in Amsterdam  Typical scene in Amsterdam  Rembrandt's <i>The Night Watch</i> at the Rijksmuseum. Credit: Netherlands Tourism Bureau  Vermeer's <i>The Milkmaid</i> in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. Credit: Frans Lemmens/Alamy  Amsterdam's elaborate canal system and popular narrow houses  Travelers sharing the day's activities over dinner on board ship  Part of the crew aboard <i>Magnifique III</i>

A Barge Cruise Through Holland and Belgium

From Bruges to Amsterdam Aboard the 40-guest Magnifique III

9 days from $4,995

Experience Holland and Belgium by both land and canal cruise during an optionally active barge cruise.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Travelers seeking a more active journey will be delighted to discover the Low Countries on this new barge cruise. During optional daily bike tours (averaging two to three hours of easy cycling on flat terrain), you’ll pedal along canal-side paths, stopping to explore medieval villages, windmills, and farmland. (You can also take a break and admire the passing scenery from the deck of your barge.) Plus, enjoy in-depth cultural excursions featuring art and architecture, history, and culture.

Highlights Include

  • *Magnifique III: Become part of the cultural landscape of the Lowlands by traveling aboard a traditional, yet upscale barge. This newly constructed vessel lends itself to a friendly ambiance with a small group of travelers and a helpful Dutch captain and crew. Enjoy delightful meals served family style, a sun deck (with whirlpool), and comfortable, en-suite cabins. Traditional upright touring bikes with 7–8 gears make cycling a pleasure.
  • Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp: Explore the World Heritage site of Bruges, a medieval gem laced with canals, and see Michelangelo’s celebrated Madonna and Child and other important art. Cycle past canals and small villages to Ghent for a walking tour followed by a choice of excursions. In Antwerp you’ll visit the Rubens House, showcasing some of his famous work.
  • Off-the-Beaten Path: Enjoy stops that feature memorable treasures, such as amazing Van Dyck paintings in Dendermonde, a unique museum devoted to 16th-century maps and globes in Sint-Niklaas, and a meeting with silver experts in Schoonhoven.
  • Cultural Traditions: Along the way, savor local beer at a brewery, attend a chamber music performance, and learn about the region’s textile production. You can also sample cheeses in Gouda or explore the World Heritage site of Kinderdijk, famous for its impressive large windmills.
  • Amsterdam: Enjoy time in this city of historic canals, which have been designated a World Heritage site. Following a lunch of traditional specialties, admire the impressive collections of the Rijksmuseum.

Activity Level 3: Advanced

*Please note: This vessel is under construction and is subject to slight modifications.

*During this voyage, we will share the ship with other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Brussels, Belgium

Depart for Brussels, Belgium

Day 2 — Brussels / Bruges

Arrive in Brussels and transfer to Bruges, a World Heritage site. Enjoy time in this city of sublime architecture and art. Visit the Hans Memling collection and the Groeninge Museum, and see Michelangelo’s Madonna & Child in the Church of Our Lady. Pending confirmation, we will meet with the city’s mayor. Transfer to Magnifique III and settle into your cabin. Tonight, the captain hosts a welcome reception and dinner. (R,D) 

Day 3 — Bruges / Ghent

This morning, cruise or cycle past canals and small villages to Ghent. Pause to watch the operation of the “Eye,” Belgium’s giant lock system, and picnic alongside the River Lys.  In the afternoon a guided walking tour of Ghent will reveal the fascinating history of this lively city, which in the Middle Ages was one of the largest and wealthiest in Europe. (B,L,D) 

Day 4 — Ghent / Sint-Amands

Cruise along the Scheldt River to Dendermonde, a small city known for its magnificent Flemish buildings. Those who wish may continue by bicycle from Dendermonde to Sint-Niklaas. Alternatively, remain in Dendermonde to visit the Church of Our Lady, home to two Van Dyck paintings and a 12th-century baptismal font of Tournai stone, and to see the Cloth Hall on Market Square.

Drive to nearby Sint-Niklaas, home to Belgium’s largest square and the only Mercator Museum in the world. The museum gives a chronological history of cartography from ancient to modern times.  Join Magnifique III in Sint-Amands and enjoy an evening concert on board.  (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Sint-Amands / Antwerp

Step ashore in Antwerp to visit its newly renovated Central Station, one of the most beautiful in Europe, and view the restored Harbor House, designed by Zaha Hadid. Continue to the 17th-century Rubens House to see some of the Flemish painter’s famous works. Experience Belgium’s celebrated beer culture on a tour of the recently reopened Antwerp City Brewery. Its iconic De Koninck brews have been made here for more than 180 years, with each variety served in its own special glass. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Antwerp / Dordrecht

View the impressive Kreekrak lock system, before biking from Tholen towards Willemstad; or go ashore to visit the town of Yerseke for a tasting lunch of oysters and mussels.

Continue to Dordrecht, one of the Netherlands’ oldest cities and best discovered on foot. Walk past its historic harbors, ancient warehouses, and busy merchant streets. Visit the Great Church, the Dordrecht Museum, and the 13th-century Augustine monastery. Magnifique III remains docked in Dordrecht overnight. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — Dordrecht / Vianen

This morning we cruise to Kinderdijk, a World Heritage site, to see the impressive windmills. Drive to Gouda for tastings and talks with local producers. Those who wish to may cycle from Kinderdijk to Schoonhoven for a farm lunch, before reuniting with the rest of the group.  

In Schoonhoven, a center for silversmiths since the 17th century, there will be an opportunity to shop and to visit a local craftsman. Follow the Lek River to Vianen and rejoin the ship. After dinner, take an evening walk in Vianen, once home to American Revolutionary hero, the Marquis de Lafayette. (B,L,D) 

Day 8 — Vianen / Amsterdam

This morning you may choose to pedal along the Vecht River.  Then join fellow participants and drive to Amsterdam for a canal cruise through this historic city.

In the afternoon, visit the Rijksmuseum, the State Treasury of Dutch paintings. Rejoin Magnifique III and celebrate a memorable voyage at tonight’s farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Amsterdam / Depart for the U.S.

Disembark and transfer to the airport for return flights home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)