Highlights of this tour

Discover magical green river landscapes

Historical cities Utrecht & Maastricht

Vibrant Limburg province hospitality

Luxury cruise, fully guided

Guidance
  • Fully-guided: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Semi-guided: Daily briefing by the tour leader, independent cycling but tour leader available ICE.
  • Independent: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Fully-guided
Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 8 days

The Netherlands’ road to liberation, from German occupation in 1940 to the total surrender of German forces in 1945, is a story of hope, courage and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of near impossible odds.

Luxury cruise, fully guided
Our 8-day cruise takes you through some of The Netherlands’ most historically significant sites where you’ll learn about the period leading up to the war and occupation, the battles, the dark years of the occupation, the liberation and the long-lasting consequences of World War II. One of our tour leaders will accompany you for the duration of the trip, and you’ll meet many local experts along the way who will share both the harrowing, and heart-warming, stories of the people whose lives were forever changed by this significant chapter of human history.

Resistance and Liberation
We begin in Amsterdam where you’ll learn how the inhabitants of the city lived through the war and coped under Nazi occupation.
In Arnhem a local expert will share the story of Operation Market Garden, a brave attempt by allied forces to land thousands of paratroopers inside enemy lines and end the war by taking control of a series of bridges.

Culture, leisure and local cuisine
However, this cruise is not just about the history of World War II. You will also have an opportunity to unwind and enjoy a few cultural highlights, leisure and local cuisine.

Day to day program Amsterdam - Maastricht

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Day 1 (Sat): Amsterdam 

After you set sail on the Magnifique IV, you’ll receive the official welcome by the crew and your tour leader, after which you’ll unpack, settle in and get a short overview of the days to come. Your tour leader will then guide on a walking tour through Amsterdam to visit the Anne Frank house, where you will come to understand exactly why the Soviet writer Ilya Ehrenburg wrote of Anne Frank: “one voice speaks for six million – the voice not of a sage or a poet but of an ordinary little girl.” This will be followed by dinner onboard, the perfect opportunity to share the day’s experiences and get to know your fellow passengers.

Day 2: Amsterdam – Wijk bij Duurstede

Your morning begins with a guided tour of Amsterdam, partly on foot and partly in canal boat, over the course of which your tour guide will take you to the Dutch Resistance Museum to step back in time to the 1940s and learn the stories of the Dutch people who lived during that time. Then you’ll visit the Hollandsche Schouwburg which was originally a theatre that was converted during World War II to a deportation centre and is now a commemoration centre. Lastly, after lunch the Magnifique IV will bring you to Wijk bij Duurstede, a picturesque little town on the Rhine River.

Day 3: Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen – Arnhem

Day three begins with a leisurely breakfast as The Magnifique IV sails toward Wageningen to visit the Hotel “de Wereld” where Canadian General Charles Foulkes and German Commander-in-Chief Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the capitulation of German forces in the Netherlands on 5th May 1945. The rest of the day will be dedicated to learning the details of Operation Market Garden, one of the largest airborne operations of World War II in which the Allied Forces tried to encircle the heart of Germany’s industry in a bold effort to end the war by Christmas 1944. The book and popular movie “A Bridge Too Far” tells the tragic story of this courageous military manoeuvre. From visiting historic sites such as “Ginkelse Heide” where the 17th battalion of The King’s Own Scottish Borderers landed on 17th September, to touring the underground airborne experience at the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek and the British War Cemetary, where 1,754 Allied Troops are buried, you will come away from this day with a newfound respect for those who gave their lives to end the war. You’ll re-join the ship in the city of Arnhem where a local guide will take you on a walking tour of the historic John Frost bridge, named after the heroic British Major-General who defended the bridge during the Battle of Arnhem.

Day 4: Arnhem – Nijmegen – Cuijck

Another relaxed breakfast aboard the ship as you sail through a lush river landscape to the city of Nijmegen where a local guide will take you on a tour around the Waal bridge and share some fascinating stories about the battles that took place here. A few steps from the bridge, a brand new information centre about World War II has been built, well worth a visit. From there, a bus will bring you to the National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek where you’ll learn about the economic and political circumstances that lead to the second World War. It also shows the different roles ordinary people were forced to play in order to survive German occupation and goes on to detail the landing of allied forces in Operation Market Garden, the final push into Germany and, ultimately, liberation. Interestingly, the museum also tells the story of the time directly after the war, how the land was revitalised and rebuilt and how a more united Europe was created. You’ll also visit the Canadian War Cemetary near Groesbeek, one of the largest Commonwealth War Cemeteries where many young men who fell in the Rhineland battles in the final months of the war are buried.

Day 5: Cuijk – Arcen

After a hearty breakfast, you’ll hop on a bus to visit the largest war museum in the Netherlands, the National War and Resistance Museum in Overloon. Here you will learn not only how more than 50 million people lost their lives in just five years, but also how the resourceful Dutch population managed to survive the restrictions and shortages of oppression. Attention is paid to not only resistance and the nature of the persecution during in the time of occupation, but also how the liberation came to be, with special attention being paid to the Battle at Overloon. You’ll also visit the German War Cemetary Ysselsteyn, which was created in swamp land half an hour from the German border because Dutch towns refused to bury the German dead. The rows of grey crosses here stretch a kilometre deep, it’s one of the world’s largest German war cemeteries and though 32,000 people are buried here, sadly, it doesn’t even represent 0.05% of all the deaths in the Second World War. After that sobering visit, we’ll lighten the mood considerably for the evening with a stroll around the magnificent castle gardens of Arcen.

Day 6: Arcen – Roermond

Yet another relaxed breakfast on board as you enjoy a river cruise over the beautiful river Maas en route to Roermond. A local guide will take you around Roermond and share the story of how this town was caught in the crossfire during the last months of the war when, in August 1944, Hitler strengthened the German line of defence at the western border of Germany. This line ran right through Roermond, and the inhabitants of this town suffered badly as a result. However, nowadays Roermond is a cosy provincial city famed for its rich cultural heritage and known throughout the world as the home of Pierre Cuypers who, having designed both the Rijksmuseum and the Central Station in Amsterdam, is regarded as one of the most important Dutch architects of the 19th century.

Day 7: Roermond – Maastricht

The first part of our program on day seven takes place entirely underground! The marl cave in Valkenburg served as a shelter for six days and six nights to roughly 400 people in September 1944, when heavy fighting took place during the liberation Valkenburg. After liberation, the Velvet Cave served as a field hospital for American soldiers, some of whose signatures can still be found on the walls. Your next stop is Margraten, the American Cemetary and Memorial commemorating the 8,301 US soldiers who died when the US 30th infantry division liberated this site on 13th September 1944. In the early afternoon, your bus will bring you to Maastricht. This beautifully preserved city with Roman roots is the perfect place to visit a museum, do some shopping or enjoy the abundance of hotels, restaurants, bars and historical sites at the town’s main square, known as the “Vrijthof”. A farewell dinner will be served onboard the ship.

Day 8: Maastricht

Fond farewells to the captain, crew, tour guide and new friends you will have made on this epic journey back in time. A final breakfast will be served and disembarkation will take place until 9.30 am.

Good to know

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

  • The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).
  • In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the day tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
  • On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 11 a.m.
  • Cultural Cruises Europe is a brand of Boat Bike Tours BV, a leading cycling cruises tour operator. Boat Bike Tours BV will handle all bookings on behalf of Cultural Cruises Europe BV

Day to day program Maastricht - Amsterdam

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Day 1: Maastricht 

After you set sail on the Magnifique IV, you’ll receive the official welcome by the crew, after which you’ll unpack, settle in and get a short overview of the days to come from your tour leader. You’ll then be invited by your tour leader on a walking tour of this beautifully preserved city with Roman roots stopping by town’s main square, known as the “Vrijthof”. This will be followed by dinner onboard, the perfect opportunity to share the day’s experiences and get to know your fellow passengers.

Day 2: Maastricht – Roermond

The first part of our program on day two takes place entirely underground! After breakfast, a bus will take you to the marl cave in Valkenburg which served as a shelter for six days and six nights to roughly 400 people in September 1944, when heavy fighting took place during the liberation Valkenburg. After liberation, the Velvet Cave served as a field hospital for American soldiers, some of whose signatures can still be found on the walls. Your next stop is Margraten, the American Cemetary and Memorial commemorating the 8,301 US soldiers who died when the US 30th infantry division liberated this site on 13th September 1944. The afternoon bus will take you to Roermond where a local guide will take you around town and share the story of how this town was caught in the crossfire during the last months of the war when, in August 1944, Hitler strengthened the German line of defence at the western border of Germany. This line ran right through Roermond, and the inhabitants of this town suffered badly as a result. However, nowadays Roermond is a cosy provincial city famed for its rich cultural heritage and known throughout the world as the home of Pierre Cuypers who, having designed both the Rijksmuseum and the Central Station in Amsterdam, is regarded as one of the most important Dutch architects of the 19th century.

Day 3: Roermond – Arcen

The Magnifique IV sets sail early on the morning of day three, giving you the chance to enjoy a leisurely breakfast while you drift on toward Venlo. From there, you’ll hop on a bus to visit the largest war museum in the Netherlands, the National War and Resistance Museum in Overloon. Here you will learn not only how more than 50 million people lost their lives in just five years, but also how the resourceful Dutch population managed to survive the restrictions and shortages of oppression. Attention is paid to not only resistance and the nature of the persecution during in the time of occupation, but also how the liberation came to be, with special attention being paid to the Battle at Overloon. You’ll also visit the German War Cemetary Ysselsteyn, which was created in swamp land half an hour from the German border because Dutch towns refused to bury the German dead. The rows of grey crosses here stretch a kilometre deep, it’s one of the world’s largest German war cemeteries and though 32,000 people are buried here, sadly, it doesn’t even represent 0.05% of all the deaths in the Second World War. After that sobering visit, we’ll lighten the mood considerably for the evening with a stroll around the magnificent castle gardens of Arcen.

Day 4: Arcen – Cuijk

After breakfast, a bus will take you to the National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek where you’ll learn about the economic and political circumstances that lead to the second World War. It also shows the different roles ordinary people were forced to play in order to survive German occupation and goes on to detail the landing of allied forces in Operation Market Garden, the final push into Germany and, ultimately, liberation. Interestingly, the museum also tells the story of the time directly after the war, how the land was revitalised and rebuilt and how a more united Europe was created. You’ll also visit the Canadian War Cemetary near Groesbeek, one of the largest Commonwealth War Cemeteries where many young men who fell in the Rhineland battles in the final months of the war are buried. You will re-join the ship in Cuijk, a friendly town along the river.

Day 5: Cuijk – Nijmegen – Arnhem

Your day begins with a morning bus ride after breakfast to the city of Nijmegen. Here, a local guide will take you on a tour around the Waal bridge and share some fascinating stories about the battles that took place here. A few steps from the bridge, a brand new information centre about World War II has been built, well worth a visit. A relaxed lunchtime cruise aboard the ship will bring you to Arnhem, famous for its involvement in Operation Market Garden. Here you’ll learn about how this was one of the largest airborne operations of World War II in which the Allied Forces tried to encircle the heart of Germany’s industry in a bold effort to end the war by Christmas 1944. The book and popular movie “A Bridge Too Far” tells the tragic story of this courageous military manoeuvre. Your ship will dock for the night near the John Frost bridge, where a local guide will take you on a walking tour of the bridge, named after the heroic British Major-General who defended it during the Battle of Arnhem.

Day 6: Arnhem – Wijk bij Duurstede – Amsterdam

After breakfast, a bus will take you to the Airborne museum in Oosterbeek where we strongly recommend seeing the underground airborne experience, which puts you in the midst of the battle of Arnhem. Later, you’ll visit the British War Cemetary, where 1,754 Allied Troops are buried, followed by a walking tour of a little church that served as in infirmary in the middle of the front line. Every year, veterans and their families still come to this church in September to pay their respects. On the way back to the ship in Wijk bij Duurstede, you’ll stop by “Ginkelse Heide” where the 17th battalion of The King’s Own Scottish Borderers landed on 17th September. In Wageningen you’ll visit the Hotel “de Wereld” where Canadian General Charles Foulkes and German Commander-in-Chief Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the capitulation of German forces in the Netherlands on 5th May 1945. Over dinner, the Magnifique will set sail for Amsterdam, our final destination.

Day 7: Amsterdam

Your morning begins with a guided tour of Amsterdam, partly on foot and partly in canal boat, over the course of which your tour guide will take you to the Dutch Resistance Museum to step back in time to the 1940s and learn the stories of the Dutch people who lived during that time. Then you’ll visit the Hollandsche Schouwburg which was originally a theatre that was converted during World War II to a deportation centre and is now a commemoration centre. After lunch, your tour guide will take you through the centre of Amsterdam to visit the Anne Frank house, where you will come to understand exactly why the Soviet writer Ilya Ehrenburg wrote of Anne Frank: “one voice speaks for six million – the voice not of a sage or a poet but of an ordinary little girl.” This will be followed by a final dinner onboard.

Day 8: Amsterdam

Fond farewells to the captain, crew, tour guide and new friends you will have made on this epic journey back in time. A final breakfast will be served, and disembarkation will take place until 9.30 am.

Good to know

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

  • The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).
  • In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the day tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
  • On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 11 a.m.
  • Cultural Cruises Europe is a brand of Boat Bike Tours BV, a leading cycling cruises tour operator. Boat Bike Tours BV will handle all bookings on behalf of Cultural Cruises Europe BV

Prices & information

Prices & availability

Below you see an overview of the available (blue) dates; the yellow dot means that this date has 2 or less cabins available, orange is ‘on request’ and red means that on this date there aren’t any cabins available. Then click on the preferred date. After this, choose your ship (some tours have only one ship, and therefore there is no choice), the number of cabins in the required (and available) category, any desired additional products, and ‘local costs’ (such as special dietary needs, which you usually pay for onboard). On the right side, you’ll find the ‘Booking Summary.’ After completing your preferences and necessary information click ‘Book now’ to finalize your booking.

  • Available
  • 2 or less available
  • On request
  • Not available
Departure date -

Choose preferred ship

Please select your cabin(s)

Pricing overview - 2020
Cabin type For 2020
Twin cabin 2 pers. €2295 Suite 2 pers. €3095 Single Cabin 1 pers. €3445 Triple Twin 3 pers. €2245 Triple Suite 3 pers. €2995
Included in this tour
  • 8 days/ 7 nights
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 6 x 3-course dinner
  • Wine with dinner
  • Coffee and tea on board free of charge
  • Welcome drink
  • Use of bed linen and towels
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Climate-controlled cabin
  • Daily briefings and lectures by professionals
  • Fully guided tours
  • Some short fully guided cycling tours on request
  • All fees for museums, transportation during tours
  • Unlimited wifi on board
Excluded in this tour
  • 1 dinner
  • 1 lunch
  • Drinks
  • Personal insurances
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Transfers to/from the docking place
  • Parking fees
Additional options & information 2020
  • Rental bicycle: €80 per week
  • Rental E-Bike: €180 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • You can find a description of the bicycles under ship.
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle €10/week
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike €25/week
  • Please click on this link for more information
  • Helmets:  A helmet can be rented for €10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.

 

Transfer between Amsterdam and Maastricht:
There is a good train connection between these two cities. Please visit the following websites for timetables, tickets or more information www.goeuro.co.uk or www.trainline.eu.

 



Available ships for this tour

Premium Experience the higher levels of comfort, smaller groups and extra’s.
Magnifique IV Holland, Belgium, Netherlands
max. 36 passengers
18 cabins
1 tours available with this ship

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Battlefields Cruise WWII

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