Netherlands Bike + Boat Tour
This bike tour in Holland takes you along beautiful paths through some of Holland's most scenic countryside, and each day's destination seems better than the one before. Starting and ending in Amsterdam, this tour also visits the prestigious towns of Haarlem, Leiden, Scheveningen, The Hague, Delft and Rotterdam.
Should time permit, this tour may also make a stop in Gouda, where traditional horse-drawn carriages still bring cheese to the Waag or weighing house. And don’t forget that April and May are the tulip months in Holland, and during this time this tour will make a special trip to the Keukenhof (a park filled with hundreds of various tulips and other floral marvels).
- On the Standard Plus boat, the Liza Marleen:
June 15, June 22, June 29, July 6, July 13, September 7, September 14, September 21, and September 28, 2013
- On the Comfort class boats,
- The Anna Maria Agnes: June 15,
June 22, June 29, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27, August 3, August 10, August 17, August 24, August 31, September 7 and September 14, 2013
- The Zwaan:
July 20, 2013.
- On the Comfort Plus class boat, the Elodie: July 7,
July 21, August 4, and September 29, 2013
- *All dates aboard the Elodie can be combined with the Northern Tour as a 15-day tour. Please contact us for pricing and details!
- **Please note: We encourage booking early for this tour.
Where You’ll Stay
On the Standard Plus class boat, the Liza Marleen or the Comfort Plus class boats, the Zwaan, Anna Maria Agnes, or the Elodie.
- 7 nights’ accommodations on board
- Breakfast buffets, packed lunches, 3-course dinners
- Coffee and tea on board
- *Tour guide
- Route information
- Road book (1 per cabin)
- 24-speed hybrid bicycle
- Route information
- Ferry fares en route
- *Please note, aboard the Anna Maria Agnes the tour guide does not guide the group. You will receive detailed route descriptions and maps. The tour guide will give daily descriptive briefings of the route and will be biking the route, but not as a guide/leader.
What’s Not Included
- Bicycle protection (mandatory on the Elodie, €15 per bike)
- Helmet rental
- Museum entrance fees (approximately € 15 per tour)
- Beverages (incl. alcohol), available on board
- Road book on the Elodie (available for € 5)
- 1 x dinner (on the Elodie)
- Aboard the Liza Marleen or the Zwaan: Maps for self-guided option (€9.10 per map. Three maps are needed.)
|Tour||Bike + Boat|
Easy, guided tour with average daily distances of ± 26 miles on flat, bike paths and well-maintained asphalt roads with little traffic.
Itinerary for the Liza Marleen and the Zwaan.
*Aboard these boats, it is possible to do the tour as self-guided with route descriptions. Please specify at the time of booking if you wish to do this. Maps are available for a small, additional fee. Ask us for details.
- Amsterdam, boarding at 4 PM; optional cycling, 12 miles (20 km)
- Amsterdam - Haarlem, 29 miles (47 km)
- Haarlem - via the dunes or the Keukenhof (April/May) - Lieden, 24/30 miles (38/48 km)
- Leiden - Delft, 30 miles (49 km)
- Delft, The Hague
- Delft, sailing to Rotterdam, fast ferry to Kinderdijk, cycling to Schoonhoven/Nieuwpoort or Vianen 27/32 miles (44/52 km)
- Schoonhoven/Nieuwpoort or Vianen - sailing to Breukelen - cycling to Amsterdam, 27 miles (43 km)
- Amsterdam, disembark by 10 AM.
SATURDAY: Amsterdam - Short bike ride, 12 miles (20 km)
Boarding begins at 4 PM. When you arrive on board the boat you can put your baggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper, crew, and of course your fellow passengers. The bicycles will then be distributed and straight from the moorings of the boat you can have a short bike trip through quiet parts of town. If time permits, you can also bike outside the city. Amsterdam was once a simple village at the mouth of the Amstel River but expanded rapidly with its famous rings of canals in the Golden Age (18th century). The palace on the Dam Square is sometimes called the 8th wonder of the world because it is built on 13,659 piles. Amsterdam, as we know it today, is famous for being able to cater to all tastes, including lovers of diamonds. In the evening you will dine on board. During the meal, the plans for the rest of the week are discussed.
SUNDAY: Amsterdam - Haarlem, 28 miles (47 km)
You leave the boat and take the ferry across the IJ, before cycling through the peaceful streets of Amsterdam-Noord. Quickly you are outside the city and riding through the recreational area of ‘t Twiske to the “Zaansche Schans”. This is a unique residential/industrial area with different museums, mills, crafts, restaurants, a visitor center, and boat trips. It gives you an excellent impression of how the Zaans region looked in the 17th and 18th centuries. Once you have seen all you want, you continue on your way and pass the typical green-painted wooden houses of this area. You cross the IJ again, and then cycle via Spaarndam to Haarlem. Haarlem offers you many interesting sights from the seventeenth century. Haarlem lent its name to Harlem in New York, while another claim to fame is that Mozart once gave a concert in the St. Bavo church (1390-1520) on the Grote Markt (market place). There are many 17th century monuments: the weighing house, the Town Hall, and the Vleeshal (meat hall), which houses a part of the Frans Hals Museum with its 17th century old masters.
You can find works by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, and many others in the Teylers Museum on the River Spaarne. The boat will be moored in the center of town, so you can see the St. Bavo church and take a leisurely stroll to the beautiful market with numerous sidewalk cafés.
MONDAY: Haarlem - via the dunes or the Keukenhof (April/May) - Lieden, 28 miles (46 km)
The morning ride brings you through the center of Haarlem to see some of the typical almshouses. Then, if you like, you can visit the “Cruquiusgemaal”, one of the three steam-powered pumping stations that drained the Haarlemmermeer between 1849 and 1852. Today, it is a museum and gives a good picture of the Dutch “war against the water”. In the spring, you can ride through the bulb-growing area to the Keukenhof, while in the summer you ride through the dunes to the beach. The boat is expecting you in Leiden. Leiden is an old city with many little courtttyards, facades, and historical buildings built between the 15th and 18th century. Leiden, meaning ‘built on waters’, came into existence around 800 AC as a market place at the confluence of the New Rhine, the Vliet and the Mare. It was a center for the medieval linen industry. For a long time it was second only to Amsterdam in political importance. Leiden was a center for resistance against the Spanish occupation in the 16th century. During the siege in 1574, six thousand of the inhabitants died from starvation and the plague. The Spanish siege was eventually broken by a combination of deliberate inundation and a storm. Shortly afterward the Protestant fleet called the "Geuzenvloot" entered the city with provisions. This fact is still celebrated in October. As a reward for its courage in face of the Spaniards, Leiden was given the right to found a university in 1575. There are 14 museums in the town: The State Museum for Cultural Anthropology with many valuable exotic exhibits; The Municipal Museum (de Lakenhal 1640) which houses works by many famous Dutch painters: - Dou, Steen, Rembrandt and van Goyen; The State Museum of Archaeology with, among other artifacts, a well-stocked Egyptian wing. It is also the birthplace of Rembrandt van Rijn. The famous 400-year-old Hortus Botanicus, with its countless exotic plants and trees, is also well worth a visit. The town center has many shops to browse through and you don’t have to look far for a cup of coffee.
TUESDAY: Leiden - Delft, 30 miles (49 km)
You head south out of town and cycle along the Vliet canal to cut through to the coast at Voorschoten. At the Wassenaarse slag you can have a rest at the beach. The route to Delft rides along water again. The painter Johannes Vermeer has made the town famous, but it is also known as the town of William of Orange. The old center is well worth a visit. When the weather is clear the view from the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is spectacular; a large part of the Southern Tour can be seen from here! This is a well-conserved medieval city with canals, a magnificent town hall and a royal tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk. It is here that the famous Delft Blue pottery originated. This distinctive blue and white pottery is still produced by hand. If there is enough time you can visit one of the Delft Blue factories. There are numerous museums and other sites of interest in Delft. This is not only a city of culture but also a city of science. The Netherlands are known around the world for their water management projects. Most of these projects were designed here.
WEDNESDAY: Delft, visit to The Hague by public transport
The city of the Hague has an international character with its wide avenues, parks and stately mansions. Places of interest are the Peace Palace (housing the International Court of Justice), the Binnenhof with the 13th century Ridderzaal (Knights' Hall) seat of the Dutch government and parliament and the Mauritshuis, a former palace,now a famous museum with paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt and Rubens.
THURSDAY: Delft, sailing to Rotterdam, fast ferry to Kinderdijk, cycling to Schoonhoven/Nieuwpoort or Vianen, 28 miles (45 km)
The first part of the route takes you through the center of Rotterdam so you get the best views of the modern architecture of this port. Your cycling day starts in Kinderdijk and then takes you through the Alblasserwaard, situated in between rivers with scenery of water and meadows to accompany you. The many inundations and the slowly sinking surface made water management essential in this fenland. Canals and ditches were dug and windmills were constructed; of the latter nineteen remain today. Their job has nearly totally been taken over by electric pumping stations. After a visit to one of the millsou will continue on bike.
Via the Groot-Ammers stork sanctuary, you cross the Lek to Schoonhoven, famous for its silver industry. Olivier van Noort, the first Dutchman to sail around the world (in the 17th-century) is buried in the Barholomeuskerk. The bells in the open clock tower of the town hall were cast from his ship’s cannons.
The short route follows the Lek river quite closely up to Vianen; the longer route follows the idyllic Vlist river via Haastrecht to Oudewater.
It’s off to the river again, to follow the dike as far as IJsselstein. Here you cross the river to spend the night in Vianen, an old fortified town.
FRIDAY: Vianen - sail to Breukelen - cycle to Amsterdam, 26 miles (42 km)
During your sailing breakfast, you cross the river and pass the impressive locks of the Amsterdam-Rhine canal. In Breukelen you disembark. Brooklyn in New York is named after this charming little town. The last stage takes you along twisting water courses through large and small villages. This route is extremely picturesque with striking contrasts in landscape. This placid river is lined with handsome 17th century villas, each with its own waterfront gazebo, some with thatched roofs, others resembling classical stone temples. These villas were built by the wealthy Amsterdam merchants of the day. You pass through Vreeland, Loenen, certainly one of the most attractive villages along the Vecht, and Nieuwersluis. Nieuwersluis is well known for its military prison at the Willem III barracks. Riding along the Amstel river, you enter Amsterdam almost without noticing it. Thanks to the extensive network of bicycle paths, it doesn’t take you much trouble to visit some prominent places in the town center. In the evening, you can take a round trip by boat over the canals, and then go for a walk through town if you wish.
SATURDAY: Amsterdam - Day of departure
Individual departure following breakfast
Itinerary for the Anna Maria Agnes
- Arrival in Amsterdam
- Amsterdam - Rotterdam, 19 to 25 mi. (30 to 40 km)
- Rotterdam - Dordrecht, 25 mi. (40 km)
- Dordrecht - Schoohoven, 19 to 32 mi. (30 to 50 km)
- Schoonhoven - Beverwijk, 32 mi. (50 km)
- Beverwijk - Zaandam, 21 or 32 mi. (35 to 50 km)
- Zaandem - Amsterdam, 19 mi. (30 km)
Itinerary for the Elodie
- Amsterdam - Breukelen - Vianen, 23 mi. (37 km)
- Vianen - Dordrecht, 17 or 29 mi. (27 or 47 km)
- Dordrecht - Rotterdam - Delft, 16 mi. (26 km)
- Delft - The Hague - Leiden, 24 mi. (39 km)
- Leiden - Haarlem, 22 mi. (35 km)
- Haarlem - Amsterdam, 26 mi. (42 km)
*Please note, aboard the Elodie, this tour can be combined with the Northern tour as a 15-day tour. Please contact us for details!
All distances are approximate. The above planned itineraries are subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.
Southern Tour Boats + Barges
Anna Maria Agnes Netherlands Comfort Class Boat
Elodie Netherlands, Belgium, France Comfort Plus Class Boat The Elodie was built in 1931 and has been completely refurnished into a luxury holiday ship. The ship has a saloon and sundeck and all of its cabins come with air-conditioning. The saloon of the Elodie is furnished in ship-style by using various types of wood in the finishing.
Liza Marleen Standard Plus Class Boat
Zwaan Belgium, Netherlands Comfort Class Boat