Day 1: Join Amsterdam, cruise to Zaandam
Between 1:00-2:00pm, you can check-in to the barge in Amsterdam. It is possible to bring your luggage on board from 11:00am. You will cruise to Zaandam in the afternoon, a picturesque city renowned for its windmills and cheese making. The barge will dock in the centre of the city. On arrival, the bikes will be distributed and you can enjoy a short bike ride in the surrounding area. You will have the opportunity for an evening walk after dinner.
Day 2: Cycle to the open air museum Zaanse Schans, visit Haarlem (24 or 34km/14 or 21mi)
After breakfast you will cycle to the open air museum Zaanse Schans (entry included) which features beautiful windmills, traditional wooden houses, an old Dutch village, a cheese farm and a traditional wooden clog maker. After returning to the barge by bike in the afternoon, you have the option of cycling to Haarlem (24km/14mi) or enjoying the scenery from the barge as you cruise approx 2.5hrs. This vibrant medieval city is known for its textiles, beer brewing and as a major centre for the Tulip trade. The barge will dock in the centre of Haarlem, allowing you plenty of time in the afternoon or evening to take a walk through the small and historical centre complete with the Grote Markt (central square), St. Bavo church and the Teylers and Frans Hals museums.
Day 3: Cycle to ‘Keukenhof’ flower farm and on to Oude Wetering (39 or 57km/24 or 35mi)
Today you will cycle to the famous flower garden ‘Keukenhof’ for a visit which is included (alternatively by local bus – not included) – it is arguably the most famous flower park in the world where you can admire about 6 million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other flowers. Around 12noon after an extensive visit, you will continue by bike to the barge docked in Oude Wetering on the shores of the Westeinder Lakes (alternatively by taxi – not included).
Day 4: Visit Aalsmeer, the world’s biggest flower auction, cruise to Amsterdam (28km/18mi)
Today you have an early morning cycle to visit the world’s biggest flower auction in Aalsmeer*. Millions of flowers are auctioned off here and are instantly sent out to all corners of the world. By 9am you will return to the barge in Aalsmeer where an elaborate brunch will be waiting for you before you make your way to Amsterdam by bike or, if you choose, on board the barge. During the afternoon and evening you will have ample time to discover this amazing city. There are many things to choose from, such as visit the inner city flower market, go to one of the many museums, do some shopping or enjoy a boat trip through the infamous canals. *Aalsmeer is closed on weekends and public holidays. This is an optional visit. A visit to the flower auction is not possible on the following dates: 26 March (Magnifique II), 25 March, 2 and 15 April (Magnifique III).
Day 5: Trip concludes in Amsterdam
Disembark after breakfast until 9:30am. It may be possible to leave your luggage on board until approx 3:30pm giving you more time to explore the beautiful city of Amsterdam (please speak with the crew).