Bridge in Nijmegen, Gelderland, the Netherlands.

Cafe in Maastricht, Limburg, the Netherlands. Flickr:Jorge Franganillo

World War II Battlefield Cruise in Holland

Netherlands Cruises

Follow the Dutch Liberation Route

  • This cultural and historical cruise in Europe offers you the opportunity to not only experience Dutch culture but to also understand it. This is a different side of Holland, apart from tulips, windmills, and cheese. On a luxurious riverboat, you will cruise historic waterways, exploring the Netherland's road to liberation, from German occupation in 1940 to the total surrender of German forces in 1945.

    This is a story of hope, courage and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of near-impossible odds.

    As you read the highlights below, you will understand that this cruise is an epic journey back in time and a comprehensive presentation of Holland before, during, and after World War II.

    Highights:

    • Amsterdam
    • Anne Frank House
    • Dutch Resistance Museum
    • Hollandsche Schouwburg, former deportation center
    • Arnhem and the story of Operation Market Garden
    • Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek
    • British War Cemetary
    • National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek
    • Canadian War Cemetary near Groesbeek
    • National War and Resistance Museum in Overloon
    • Velvet Cave
    • American Cemetary and Memorial

    For those of you who would like to "earn" the fabulous meals on board, there are bikes available in case you opt for a short cycling excursion with your tour leader.

    We have other cultural cruises in our portfolio. Take a look!

  • Magnifique IVPrice per person
    Twin cabin $ 3787 £ 1996 $ 3,448 2295 $ 3980 kr 24715 $ 2,594
    Suite $ 5107 £ 2692 $ 4,650 3095 $ 5367 kr 33330 $ 3,498
    Single cabin $ 5685 £ 2996 $ 5,176 3445 $ 5974 kr 37099 $ 3,894
    Twin cabin for triple use $ 3705 £ 1952 $ 3,373 2245 $ 3893 kr 24176 $ 2,538
    Suite for triple use $ 4942 £ 2605 $ 4,500 2995 $ 5194 kr 32253 $ 3,385

     

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    The closest international airport to your tour start and tour end Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS).

    Local Travel

    Tour starts Amsterdam:
    Schiphol train station is situated directly below the airport. From here, it is a short train ride to Amsterdam Central. Exact mooring location will be provided to you with your final travel information. Sometimes boat will be located within walking distance of the central train station.
    Tour starts Maastricht:
    Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) has a reliable train connection with Maastricht Central Station: Saturdays, every half hour (Intercity), travel time around 2 hr. 25 minutes. The train costs approx. € 25,30 (January 2018). Tickets can be bought at the ticket machines in the airport terminal (NS train station). Credit or debit card only. Please know your pin! From Maastricht Central Station, taxi or public transportation.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before arrival. The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean and Maastricht’s average high/low temperatures and rainfall are very typical of that experienced in the Netherlands in general. Spring and fall temps can be on the cooler side so don’t forget your layers and your rain gear. A good website to explore average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and other weather-related facts is weatherbase.com.

    Recommended

    Bikes on board are available for your pleasure. Don’t hesitate to experience the wonderful world-renowned cycling infrastructure in Holland.

    Remarks

    No premium tour aboard a luxury floating hotel is complete without a world-class chef onboard to wow guests with his culinary creations! Chefs prepare fresh meals every day onboard one of the Magnifique-ships from ingredients that are locally sourced and delivered fresh to the ship each time it docks along its journey. Each meal is themed according to the area you’ll be visiting and perfectly paired with the finest wines and best beers to complement their distinctive flavors. Though Dutch, Flemish and classic French cuisine are favorites, the chefs often surprise guests with Asian dishes or a barbeque on deck manned by none other than the captain himself!

    DOCUMENTS

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.


Where You’ll Stay

Step aboard your floating hotel, the brand new Magnifique IV, and you will immediately feel pampered. The novelty of having a luxury floating hotel room that accompanies you through the canals, rivers, and waterways of Europe is one you will never grow tired of. The ship, with its unique spacious private cabins, designed by a master shipbuilder, will quickly come to feel like home as you explore Europe by water.

What’s Included

  • 8 days/7 nights accommodation on a premium class vessel
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 6 three-course dinners
  • Wine with dinner
  • Complimentary coffee and tea
  • Welcome drink
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • 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 (due to the steel construction of ship, signal strength and speed vary)

What’s Not Included

  • 1 dinner
  • 1 lunch
  • Drinks other than those mentioned
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Transfers to/from the docking place
  • Travel Insurance
TourEuropean Cruises
TypeGuided
Length8 days
From2295 Rates
Tour Reviews

Share This Tour

Tour Dates

Magnifique IV:

Amsterdam to Maastricht: October 30, 2020
Maastricht to Amsterdam: November 6, 2020

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

World War II Battlefield Cruise in Holland Map

Amsterdam to Maastricht

Day 1: Amsterdam
Day 2: Amsterdam – Wijk bij Duurstede
Day 3: Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen – Arnhem
Day 4: Arnhem – Nijmegen – Cuijck
Day 5: Cuijk – Arcen
Day 6: Arcen – Roermond
Day 7: Roermond – Maastricht
Day 8: Maastricht

The planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical, or meteorological reasons, or other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be undertaken, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety. This will not be considered a reason for free cancellation or reimbursement as this will fall under Force Majeure or circumstances or events for which no party can be held accountable.

Day 1: 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 the group 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 center and is now a commemoration center. 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 of 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 maneuver. 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 center 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 revitalized 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 swampland half an hour from the German border because Dutch towns refused to bury the German dead. The rows of grey crosses here stretch a kilometer 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, the mood  will lighten 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 defense at the western border of Germany. This line ran right through Roermond, and the inhabitants of this town suffered badly as a result. Today Roermond is a cozy 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 your 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 on board 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.
 

Maastricht to Amsterdam
 

Day 1: Maastricht 
Day 2: Maastricht – Roermond
Day 3: Roermond – Arcen
Day 4: Arcen – Cuijk
Day 5: Cuijk – Nijmegen – Arnhem
Day 6: Arnhem – Wijk bij Duurstede – Amsterdam
Day 7: Amsterdam
Day 8: Amsterdam

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).

Day 1: Maastricht 
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.  You’ll then be invited by your tour leader on a walking tour of this beautifully preserved city with Roman roots stopping by the 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 your 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 defense 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 cozy 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 swampland half an hour from the German border because Dutch towns refused to bury the German dead. The rows of grey crosses here stretch a kilometer 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 revitalized 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 center 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 maneuver. 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 center and is now a commemoration center. After lunch, your tour guide will take you through the center 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 on board.

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.

 

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

Share This Tour


Tour Reviews

    Traveled this tour? Post Your Feedback

    Read reviews for all tours

    World War II Battlefield Cruise in Holland Boats + Barges

    Magnifique IV Photo

    Magnifique IV Netherlands, Belgium Deluxe Class Boat Following the overwhelming success of the premium barges Magnifique, Magnifique II (2016), and Magnifique III (2018), we are proud to now offer a new addition, the Magnifique IV. The Magnifique IV is currently being constructed and will be ready for the 2020 season!

    PWPC