Bike and Barge Holland: Southern Tour

MS Anna Maria Agnes

It doesn't get any better than the Holland Southern Tour on board your home away from home, the barge MS Anna Maria Agnes. Not only will you get the chance to visit a number of famous Dutch cities, but you will also uncover another side of Holland as you cycle through the countryside - the country's "Green Heart". It is here that you will see a landscape of water, meadows, grazing cows, windmills and picturesque farms... it is a landscape that is impossible to feel or look any more Dutch. In short the Southern tour is the perfect tour for anyone wanting to see as much of "typical" central Holland as is possible in one week. What you will come away with at the end of the tour is a greater appreciation of why this part of the Netherlands attracts so many visitors from all corners of the globe every year. As well as being able to discover the natural beauty of Holland's Green Heart you will visit:

- The world famous city of Amsterdam
- Utrecht, the geographical centre of Holland
- Rotterdam, the busiest port in Europe
- Delft, a city with close ties to the Dutch Royal family and the world renowned painter Johannes Vermeer
- Haarlem, a sightseers' paradise

Other attractions over the course of the tour include the cheese city of Gouda, the windmills at Kinderdijk, the silver city of Schoonhoven, the dunes and beaches of the North Sea coastline and the open air museum "Zaanse Schans". For the duration of the tour you will live and travel on board the barge MS Anna Maria Agnes. In 2014 all of the barge's cabins and the salon/restaurant at the front of the vessel were fully renovated, with the result that you are guaranteed a week of travel in total comfort. For many years the MS Anna Maria Agnes has been one of the most beloved vessels for cycling touring cruises in the Netherlands.

Semi-guided cycling tours: daily individual cycling at your own pace. The tour leader also cycles all tours and is available for tips, directions and in cases of emergency.

MS Anna Maria Agnes:
For many years the mid-size river cruiser the MS Anna Maria Agnes for a maximum of 65 guests has been a popular "floating home" on the Holland Southern Tour. In total there are 34 cabins on board this comfortable ship (approx. 10 M┬▓ = 108 square feet) which is perfectly set up for cycle touring. All cabins have an ensuite shower and toilet, single low beds and individually adjustable air-conditioning. There are 12 cabins on the upper deck (supplement) and 22 on the lower deck, including a number of single and triple cabins. All cabins have a window, with at least one that can be opened. The salon is spacious, has large panoramic windows and is equipped with a restaurant and lounge areas that feature comfortable seats, a bar and Wi-Fi access (limited data package). All cabins and the salon/restaurant in the front part of the vessel were fully renovated in 2014. On the large and partially roofed sun deck of this approx. 72 metre-long ship there are tables and chairs and a separate bicycle deck.


Tour Details Holland: Southern Tour | MS Anna Maria Agnes

Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Amsterdam
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from 2 PM in Amsterdam (centre). While you are in Amsterdam make sure you take the opportunity to do some shopping, visit a museum or enjoy a canal tour (reduced price tickets available on board, until 10 PM). A canal tour is a unique way to see the capital of Holland from a different perspective. Your first night on board will be spent in Amsterdam, so you will have plenty of time to explore the city.

Day 2 (Sun): During breakfast: Amsterdam - Breukelen | Breukelen - Utrecht (Approx. 30-40 km/19-25 mi.) | Afternoon: Utrecht - Rotterdam
During breakfast the MS Anna Maria Agnes will cruise to Breukelen where, following the distribution of bicycles, your first day of cycling will see you tour along the beautiful and winding river Vecht with its enchanting background of imposing castles, country houses and quaint tearooms... there is simply no better way to start a cycle tour. You will follow the Vecht into the centre of Utrecht where you will have the opportunity to explore the Dom Cathedral tower and the beautiful centre of the old village. In the afternoon you will continue by ship from Utrecht to Rotterdam, your destination for the day. In the evening: a (free) short city walking tour.

Day 3 (Mon): Rotterdam - Schiedam - Delft - Rotterdam (Approx. 40 km/25 mi.) | Evening: Rotterdam - Dordrecht
You will cycle today via the 'jenever city of Schiedam (jenever is a traditional Dutch gin) and through the Delfland area to Delft, famous, of course, for its blue earthenware. Visit the beautiful city centre with its small canals, picturesque streets, bridges and alleys. For many guests a visit to the Delftware factories of "Royal Delft" is one of the highlights of the tour. In the evening enjoy a dinner cruise from Rotterdam to Dordrecht with arrival at around 8 PM. In the evening enjoy a short walk around the city of Dordrecht (free).

Day 4 (Tue): Dordrecht - Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk - (Gouda) - Schoonhoven (Approx. 25-50 km/15-32 mi.)
First thing this morning the MS Anna Maria Agnes will sail from Dordrecht to Kinderdijk, a village famous for its impressive row of 19 large windmills. All 19 windmills have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing and are a definite highlight - you will have the opportunity to visit one so don't forget to bring your camera! You then have the choice between a longer bike tour with a visit to the beautiful cheese city of Gouda or a short bike tour through the Alblasserwaard. Both tours end in the "silver city" of Schoonhoven on the Lek River, where you can visit a silversmith. In the evening enjoy a small cheese tasting on board the MS Anna Maria Agnes.

Day 5 (Wed): Schoonhoven - Oudewater - Utrecht (Approx. 50 km/32 mi.) | Afternoon: Utrecht - Beverwijk
Today you will cycle from Schoonhoven through the beautiful "Green Heart" of Holland via Oudewater (visit the Witches Weigh House) to Utrecht. Near Oudewater you can visit a traditional cheese farm where you can also buy delicious farm-made Gouda cheese. In the late afternoon the ship will sail from Utrecht to Beverwijk, your destination for the night. In the evening enjoy live music on board.

Day 6 (Thu): Beverwijk - North Sea coast - Haarlem - Beverwijk (Approx. 35-50 km/21-32 mi.) | Evening: Beverwijk - Zaandam
You will have the choice of 2 bike tours today, with both finishing in the historic city of Haarlem. If you are up to the challenge the longer tour takes you through the sand dunes of the North Sea coastline via Bloemendaal and Zandvoort; the shorter tour heads inland to Haarlem. On both tours you will cycle back to Beverwijk. In the evening your ship will sail to Zaandam.

Day 7 (Fri): Zaandam - Amsterdam (Approx. 30 km/19 mi.)
From Zaandam your final day of cycling will take you to the open air museum 'Zaanse Schans' with its beautiful windmills, traditional wooden houses, an old Dutch village, a cheese farm and a traditional wooden clog maker. After exploring the museum continue to cycle through the recreational area of Twiske to Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy everything Amsterdam has to offer. If you didn't go for a canal tour on the first day, you will have the opportunity to do so today. From Zaandam you will cycle to the open air museum "Zaanse Schans" (a.o. traditional wooden houses, windmills, cheese farm and wooden shoe "clog" manufacturing). Continue bike tour through recreational area "Twiske" to Amsterdam. Afternoon and evening in Amsterdam. If you didn't go for a canal tour on the first day, you will have the opportunity to do it today.

Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Amsterdam
Disembarkation after breakfast: End of your trip.

** Both possibilities are being offered - the guest can choose.

All distances are "approximate distances" of recommended bike tours.
When a guest does not want to cycle, he/she can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next harbour.
Program and details barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
Departures on April 5, 22 and 29 and May 6: on Thursday there is an opportunity to visit the world famous Tulip exhibition park "Keukenhof" in Lisse (by bus/train or partly with train+bike; transfers/tickets/entrance fee not incl.).
On the arrival day is it possible to put your luggage on board from 9:30 AM.


PRICES SOUTHERN TOUR SEASON 2017 (per person):
Cabins for: Preseason / Midseason / Main season / Late season
Twin cabin below deck 2 pers.: EUR 739 / EUR 819 / EUR 859 / EUR 799
Twin cabin upper deck 2 pers.: EUR 869 / EUR 949 / EUR 989 / EUR 929
Single cabin below deck 1 pers.: EUR 949 / EUR 1,039 / EUR 1,079 / EUR 1,019
Single cabin upper deck 1 pers.: EUR 1,079 / EUR 1,169 / EUR 1,209 / EUR 1,149
Triple cabin below deck 3 pers.: EUR 719 / EUR 799 / EUR 839 / EUR 779
Triple cabin upper deck 3 pers.: EUR 849 / EUR 929 / EUR 969 / EUR 909

There are a limited number of triple cabins on request available. Please contact us if you want to book a triple cabin.

TOUR DATES SEASON 2017 SOUTHERN TOUR:
Preseason: departure date April 15 and 22.
Midseason: departure date April 29, May 6, 13, 20 and 27; September 2 and 9.
Main season: all other departure dates, weekly from June 3 up to and incl. August 26.
Late season: departure date September 16.

BICYCLES:
The bicycles on board are mostly unisex touring bikes with lightweight frames and normal mount (ladies model), with 7 gears, hand brake & hub brake and pannier bag. Prices of other bikes (e.g. E-Bikes or electrical bikes of the brand "Flyer" (limited stock, pending availability), children's bikes, "slip streamers", tandem bicycles, child trailer etc. and child's saddles (rear) are on request. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles (at no additional fee). However, the crew or tour operators are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of guests own bicycles. In the Netherlands bikers are not obligated by law to wear a bike helmet. Bike helmets are not available on board.

CYCLING TOURS IN HOLLAND: THE "CYCLE JUNCTION NETWORK"
Throughout the Netherlands there is a network of interconnecting cycle routes, with a total length of more than 4,500 km, called the 'Cycle junction network' (Dutch: fietsknooppunten netwerk). A cycle junction is a numbered intersection that is part of a regional cycle route network. Each junction is provided with a number and an information panel. The distance to the next junction is displayed on this panel. The routes between two junctions are signposted in two directions with white and green signs (see picture). On the information panel you can orientate where you are and decide to extend or shorten the route to your destination. We use the cycle junction network in the description of the daily bike tours in the Netherlands and Flanders. The junctions are marked on the maps our guests use for the daily bike tours. The tour guide on board will explain to our guests how this easy system works. He/she will tell you the daily highlights and the detours which are worthwhile as well. On our website we show in a short video how this cycle junction network works.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
The General Conditions (travel conditions) of Boat Bike Tours B.V. apply to cycling cruises, as well as to confirmation and cancellation of such tours. In principle, children are very welcome on board. However, before booking, we advise you to consider whether your child is able to manage a cycle trip of 30-55 km. Children's bikes, tandems, parent-and-child tandems, slip streamers etc. or child's saddles are available on request. Of course you may stay one or more days longer on board (children under the age of 18 years must be under supervision). The interior of the ship is a no-smoking area: smoking is only allowed on the (outside) sun deck. As a safety measure, a statutory smoking ban applies in all cabins; this means that all cabins and rooms on board are non-smoking rooms.

Characteristics:

Tourtype:
individual
Children:
yes
Regions:
Amsterdam, Gouda, Harlem, Lake Yssel, Meuse, North Holland, North Sea, Rhine, Rotterdam, South Holland, Utrecht
Countries:
Netherlands

Benefits:

  • Tour and accommodation on board 8 days/7 nights (Saturday-Saturday) from/to Amsterdam, cabin in the booked category
  • Full board (7x breakfast, 6x self-made picnic lunch for bike tours, 7x three course dinner)
  • Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible)
  • daily short cleaning of the cabin
  • Welcoming drink and -speech on the first evening
  • Experienced and local tour leader (multilingual) with daily briefings of the bike tours, some short city walking tours
  • during the day the tour leader is cycling the daily bike tour as well and can be reached on his cell phone
  • Printed instructions and detailed maps for cycling tours, 1 set per cabin
  • Min. 2 city walks (Rotterdam, Dordrecht) with the tour leader
  • Visits (optional): Delftware factory, visitors centre windmills Kinderdijk, St-Jans church Gouda, cheese farm Oudewater, silversmith Schoonhoven, city hall Zaandam, and some more (entrance fees not included, but for our guests with discounts)
  • Small cheese tasting and 1x live music night on board
  • Discounts on entrance fees and excursions as mentioned in the program, value up to EUR25 p.p.
  • Use of free Wi-Fi in the lounge of the ship
  • Daily complimentary coffee and tea till 4 PM
Start date: on request
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Additional costs:

  • Season and cabin prices see tour description
  • Transfers to/from the docking place at the Sumatrakade in Amsterdam
  • Reservation fee
  • Rental bicycle
  • Other transfers
  • Parking fee
  • Entrance fees & excursions
  • Fees for ferries
  • Drinks on board
  • Personal insurances
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Dietary requirements on request/surcharges may be calculated
  • Reservation fee: EUR 15 per booking/group (obligatory)
  • Rental bicycle with 7 gears, hand and pedal brakes, pannier bag: EUR 70 per week (optional)
  • Rental E-Bike (brand: Flyer or similar) with 3 support levels, 7 gears, range 60-65 km (36-39 miles): EUR 165 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • Ticket canal tour Amsterdam, ca. 60 minutes - for our guests with discount: EUR 12 (at the ticket office approx.: EUR 16)

Discount:

  • Triple cabin see tour description

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