Hofgarten in Bonn, Germany. Photo via Flickr:Thomas

Many canals in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:Elyktra

Amsterdam to Koblenz and Koblenz to Amsterdam

Germany, Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

From the flat, farming countryside of Holland, to the mountain chains of the Rhineland

  • During this cycling holiday in the Netherlands and Germany, you will follow the river Rhine from Amsterdam to Koblenz (or reverse). In the Netherlands, you will cycle along the winding river Vecht with its impressive castles form the 17th century along the riverbanks. You can enjoy lovely Dutch river country as you ride through the “Hoge Veluwe” National Park with its abundant scenic beauty. In Germany, you will spend the night in Remagen and visit Bonn, where you will stroll the beautiful city center and in Cologne, where visiting its extraordinary cathedral is a must. Koblenz is an interesting and lively city, where the Rhine and the Mosel converge.
    As you follow the Rhine Cycle Route, you will see and feel the rich history of this majestic river from the Romans to the Industrial Revolution and from World War II to the German reunification.

    Highlights:

    • National Park de Hoge Veluwe
    • Arnhem and Remagen
    • Cologne Cathedral
    • Romantic Rhine Valley

    A full list of our Bike and Barge tours in Holland and our Bike and Barge tours in Germany can be found here.

  • Twin cabin £ 1093 $ 2,202 1275 NOK 12113 kr 11181 $ 1,454
    Twin cabin family style £ 1093 $ 2,202 1275 NOK 12113 kr 11181 $ 1,454
    Twin cabin friend's style £ 1093 $ 2,202 1275 NOK 12113 kr 11181 $ 1,454
    Triple cabin family style £ 1067 $ 2,150 1245 NOK 11828 kr 10918 $ 1,419
    Triple cabin friend's style £ 1067 $ 2,150 1245 NOK 11828 kr 10918 $ 1,419
    Single cabin/front of boat £ 1530 $ 3,083 1785 NOK 16958 kr 15653 $ 2,035

     

    ZwaanAugust 15 and October 18
    Luxury double £ 1357 $ 2,734 1583 NOK 15039 kr 13882 $ 1,805
    Twin  £ 1220 $ 2,458 1423 NOK 13519 kr 12479 $ 1,622
    Triple £ 1177 $ 2,372 1373 NOK 13044 kr 12040 $ 1,565
    Small double/front of boat £ 1077 $ 2,171 1257 NOK 11942 kr 11023 $ 1,433
    Small double for single use/front of boat £ 1533 $ 3,088 1788 NOK 16986 kr 15679 $ 2,038

    Iris:

    8-day tour:
    Twin cabin: £ 1260 $ 2,539 1470 NOK 13965 kr 12891 $ 1,676 Single supplement: On request
    Extended 15-day tour:
    Twin cabin: £ 2270 $ 4,574 2648 NOK 25156 kr 23221 $ 3,019  

     

    extra options

    Zwaan:
    2019: Electric bike: £ 69 $ 138 80 NOK 760 kr 702 $ 91 2020: Electric bike £ 71 $ 143 83 NOK 784 kr 723 $ 94

    Children's discounts, bikes, seat, trailer bike, and bike trailer are available.

    Gluten-free/Celiac/vegan diet: £ 43 $ 86 50 NOK 475 kr 438 $ 57

    Iris:
    2020:
    Electric bike (8-day tour): £ 77 $ 155 90 NOK 855 kr 789 $ 103 Electric bike (15-day tour): £ 154 $ 311 180 NOK 1710 kr 1578 $ 205
     

    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

    Closest international airport to Amsterdam is Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and to Koblenz, Frankfurt International Airport (FRA). You could fly into one airport and out of another depending on your tour start and end. Both airports have train stations in the lower level.

    Local Travel

    Amsterdam:
    There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. It takes about 16 minutes. The price for a train ticket Schiphol-Amsterdam Central is approx. € 4,20 per person for a single journey. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the airport to the barge in Amsterdam takes about 30 minutes and costs approx. €45
    Koblenz:
    Trains from the airport in Frankfurt to Koblenz are many times direct trains and take about 1 1/2 hour travel time.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before your arrival. The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and Koblenz, as well, has a mild continental climate. A good website to use to research regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more is weatherbase.com.

    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.

    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.


Tour Dates

Amsterdam to Koblenz: 
August 17, 2019
Koblenz to Amsterdam:
October 20, 2019

Zwaan (9-day tour)
Amsterdam to Koblenz: 

Standard season: August 15, 2020
Koblenz to Amsterdam:
Low season: October 18, 2020
Iris (8-day tour)
Amsterdam to Koblenz: May 16, 2020


(You can extend the tour on the Iris all the way to Metz for a 15-day bike and boat extravaganza!) See Metz to Koblenz on board the Iris beginning May 23, 2020.

 

Where You’ll Stay

Accommodation aboard the comfort boat, the Zwaan

What’s Included

Zwaan

  • 8 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner on board
  • Packed lunches
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide
  • Min. 3 city walks with tour guide
  • Road book (one per cabin)
  • Ferry fares on the route
  • 24-speed city touring bicycle (Batavus Boulevard) with helmet and pannier
  • GPS tracks on request
  • Free Wifi (limited, available in the lounge and on deck)

Iris

  • 7 nights accommodations in climate controlled cabins
  • Breakfast and 6 dinners
  • Glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • Packed lunches
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide (from 18 guests 2 guides)
  • Cabins cleaned daily
  • Bike rental, helmets, panniers, and water bottle
  • Entrance to the National Park Hoge Veluwe

What’s Not Included

Zwaan

  • Electric bicycle (Van Dijck Eris, step through with helmet) available with supplement. See pricing.
  • Drinks other than mentioned
  • Entrance fees and excursions not mentioned (approx: €15)
  • Gratuities
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance

Iris

  • Electric bicycle (available with supplement. See pricing
  • One dinner
  • Drinks other than mentioned
  • Entrance fees and excursions not mentioned (
  • Gratuities
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length9 days
From1275 Rates
Client Reviews

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Skill Level

This is an easy, guided bike and boat tour with average daily distances between 35 and 45 km.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Amsterdam to Koblenz and Koblenz to Amsterdam Map

Day 1: Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede, 11 mi. (17 km)
Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede, sailing to Wageningen, cycling to Arnhem, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 3: Arnhem, sailing to Pannerden, cycling to Rees, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Rees, sailing to Wesel, cycling to Ruhrort, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 5: Ruhrort - Düsseldorf, 26 mi. (42 km)
Day 6: Düsseldorf, sailing to Zons and cycling to Cologne, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 7: Cologne to Remagen, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 8: Remagen - Koblenz, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 9: Koblenz

*All distances are approximate. The itinerary is subject to change, even on very short notice,  due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, docking location changes, lock repairs,  etc.

Day 1: Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede , 11 mi. (17 km)
You are expected to arrive on the barge on Saturday by 2 PM. Boarding begins at 1 pm. It is very important to be on time since the barge needs to leave the mooring place in Amsterdam at 2: 15 PM. The barge can’t wait due the opening hours of bridges and/or locks. When you arrive on board the ship, you can put your luggage 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 and crew and of course your fellow passengers. Once the boat arrives in Negtevecht, the cycling begins. You pedal along the river Vecht, where, in the 17th and 18th centuries, many country estates known as “buitenplaats” were built on the banks of the river by rich merchants and administrators from Amsterdam.  You bike along the meandering river to Breukelen. This town is known in New York as Brooklyn. The Zwaan is waiting for you to sail to Wijk bij Duurstede, an old settlement at the river Lek.

Day 2:  Wijk bij Duurstede, sailing to Wageningen, cycling to Arnhem, 31 mi. (50 km)
Today you enjoy breakfast during sailing to the city of Wageningen and then bike along the Nederrijn River. Later you bike through National Park de Hoge Veluwe with its abundant scenic beauty. Your bike tour ends today in Arnhem, famous for her role in the Second World War.

Day 3: Arnhem, sailing to Pannerden, cycling to Rees, 25 mi. (40 km)
Biking starts from Pannerden. Before you hit the German border, you pass Doornenburg, with its wonderfully maintained medieval stronghold. From Doornenburg you take the right bank of the Rhine and pass the border at Lobith, a village every schoolchild knows. At Tolkamer the Dutch used to impose tolls on incoming ships. On the way to your destination Rees you pass Emmerich, a bigger town with a lovely boulevard along the Rhine. You may also stop at Kalkar. This beautiful town is also known for the failure of the German Nuclear Energy program in the 70s. A completely finished nuclear processing plant has never been put into functioning due to massive protest and is recently re-opened as an attraction park! You end your day in Rees, a town with impressive remains of fortification.

Day 4: Rees, sailing to Wesel, cycling to Ruhrort, 25 mi. (40 km)
Once again you sail during breakfast and get off at Wesel. Today, you focus on the Ruhr area where Germany’s and probably Europe’s largest industries are housed. On a surface of 4.600 km2, very rich in coal, a vast landscape folds out of steel plants and textile industries, combined with chemical industrial plants. Cities like Essen, Duisburg, Oberhausen and Dortmund are glued together through a maze of highways, railways and waterways. Once very prosperous and therefore a target in 1923 when Belgium and French troops tried to enforce WW 1 payments of Prussia. And a number one target in 1944-1945 for sure. Hard to imagine that you can cycle here, but you can! The German government put extensive effort in re-developing the area after the closing down of many factories. In the afternoon, you visit the enormous landscape park of Duisburg-Nord, where you get to see huge former industrial plants and receive a more detailed explanation and information about this area. It may not be always scenic, but it is an impressive landscape indeed and not to be missed when one visits the Rhine. You will find the ship in Ruhrort

Day 5: Ruhrort - Düsseldorf, 26 mi. (42 km)
Today you leave the Ruhr-area behind and head first to Krefeld. In the 18th century, Krefeld grew thanks to the textile industry. Velvet, silk, and brocade were sold to emperors and kings from all over the world. There is still the statue of a silk weaver. The weavers worked in small houses that simultaneously served as a factory and house. In Krefeld, one can still see some of these houses. The destination is Düsseldorf. In the evening there is time to visit the Altstadt. You can try their famous local dark beer, Altbier. You will be amazed at what an international city this is, with almost a fifth of the population being foreigners.

Day 6: Düsseldorf, sailing to Zons and cycling to Cologne, 19 mi. (30 km)
Today you will enjoy a great ride into West Germany’s former Capitol city. When the wall came down in 1990 most of the government moved back to Berlin. It’s the birthplace of musical genius Ludwig van Beethoven. Even after he’d lost his hearing in his ‘20s, Beethoven continued to write classics like Moonlight Sonata. It’s a tune that puts you in the Bonn mood. This is also where gummy bears are born every day. You can visit the world-famous Haribo factory with all the gummy sweets and gadgets—imagine Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sure Bonn has its “museum mile,” but Bonn’s parks and gardens are the cat’s meow when it’s sunny. The first-rate Botanical Gardens at Poppelsdorf Palace are among the oldest. Have you ever seen a water lily whose giant pads hold the weight of a 95-pound child!? And the world’s rarest flowering plant, titan arum—the stinky Sumatran Corpse Flower that takes 7 years to blossom for one day…fairytale flowers! Stroll Bonn’s endless river promenade and the nearby Rheinaue Leisure Park. So many sights right near our dock. For the best views of legendary Siebengebirge hills, join locals under the great chestnut trees at the ‘Alter Zoll’ beer garden. It’s a former Rhine toll station and military fort along the river and another BikePlanet favorite.

Day 7: Cologne to Remagen, 28 mi. (45 km)
Today you cycle further along the Rhine to the former capital of West-Germany and birthplace of Beethoven Bonn. From Bonn, you keep following the river and former border of the Roman Empire to mooring place Remagen. Remagen was once a Celtic settlement and after that a Roman fort. Remagen became world famous in the 2nd World War, thanks to the struggle for the “Bridge of Remagen” and the 60’s film of the same name. In March 1945 the Allies crossed the Rhine on the Ludendorff Bridge after the failure in Arnhem in September 1944. Today the Peace Museum is housed in the surviving piers.
In the city center, you will find a pedestrian area with stylish shops, interesting cafes, and traditional, cozy pubs. Narrow streets with ancient Roman names will take you from the old town to the Rhine promenade

Day 8: Remagen - Koblenz, 28 mi. (45 km)
During the final stage of your bike and barge cycling holiday, you will experience for the last time the rich history of this majestic river. You visit the Andernach, once a Roman settlement. It is still a wonderful town with many historical sites. Shortly after Andernach, you arrive in Koblenz. Its name comes from the Latin Confluentes, meaning the merging of two rivers (Rhine en Moselle). The statue of Emperor Wilhelm of Prussia on the merging point is an impressive landmark. Koblenz is a city cozily rebuilt after the Second World War damages.

Day 9: Departure
Your tour officially ends after breakfast.

Koblenz to Amsterdam
Reverse itinerary

Day 1: Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede
Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede - Wageningen - Arnhem
Day 3: Arnhem - Pannerden - Rees
Day 4: Rees - Wesel - Düsseldorf
Day 5: Düsseldorf - Cologne
Day 6: Cologne - Bonn
Day 7: Bonn - Koblenz
Day 8: Koblenz

Day 1: Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede
Your adventure starts in the heart of Amsterdam, where the IRIS is docked and ready to sail. On board, as the boat navigates, you will get a taste of the beauty of Amsterdam seen from the water. You cycling begins as a scenic ride along the prestigious houses along the Vecht, where the sophisticated traders and aristocrats of Amsterdam had their country homes.  The winding little river is a branch of the Rhine and you follow this upstream. Your biking ends in Breukelen (yes, indeed: where Brooklyn NY gets the name. By the end of the afternoon, you board the barge and cruise to Wijk bij Duurstede, a small fortified town on the river Rhine. Enjoy an evening stroll and turn in your comfortable cabin!

Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede - Wageningen - Arnhem
What a magical place! No visit to Holland is complete without a ride through Europe’s largest drifting sand dunes in the National Park Hoge Veluwe. Imagine an African safari with grassy plains and weathered pines, bogs brimming with rare species, and hardwood forests filled with birdsong. The geography is wild thanks to an Ice Age glacier that dumped its load of sand and gravel in the region.  Awaiting you on the other side is the world-famous Kröller-Müller art gallery and sculpture park with the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world. Also showcased are works by Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondriaa.  The route continues to Arnhem ‘Home of Eagles,’ given its name by Romans stationed on the Rhine. Perhaps you recall the 1977 classic A Bridge Too Far and the failed Allied-Forces attempt to break through German lines and take several bridges (including Arnhem) in Operation Market Garden? Renamed the John Frost Bridge, you may walk or ride across this beloved landmark into Arnhem center which is teeming with art, fashion and all things Lekker (Sweet, fun, cool).

Day 3: Arnhem - Pannerden - Rees
Of bridges, battlegrounds, and castles, for example,  the 13th-century Doornenburg Castle. It’s an impressive brick behemoth where German commanders set up headquarters during the Battle of Arnhem. Naturally, it became a prime target for British bombers. After a tour, your route leaves Holland, crossing the border into Germany. Around the bend is Emmerich, home of Germany’s longest suspension bridge. This engineering feat spans some 1,600 ft across the Rhine and you can bike across for super aerial photos. Some 500 ships pass underneath it every day. Before the Rhine was channeled in the 1800s, sturgeon, shad, and salmon used to swim the river — not anymore. Now, the barges are the big fish. Emmerich is also home to a WWII Biber submarine and one-man U-Boat which you can view in the Rhine Museum. Day's destination is Rees, famous for its medieval wall, towers and river promenade with art sculptures, restaura, ts and cafés. This is the perfect place to raise your Riesling glass or beer stein and watch the Rhine flow by. 

Day 4: Rees - Wesel - Düsseldorf
The great Ruhr region was once Germany’s blast furnace during the Industrial Revolution. Not today.  Pedaling peacefully along the Rhine, you’ll see historic factory stacks, now mostly quiet and converted into other uses and venues, a reminder of when coal was king. This area is also where Neanderthal Man was found in 1856.  You cruise through the world’s biggest inland harbor in Duisburg followed by the sparkling city of Düsseldorf, Germany’s fashion and advertising capital. Think supermodel Claudia Schiffer. You can sample Altbier which doesn’t mean the beer is old! It is a top-down fermentation style that’s hoppy and bitter-crisp. The waiters won’t ask if you want a second beer, it will just appear in front of you. Explore the Altstadt along the river or check out Media Harbo, the rehabbed riverside warehouse district that is very trendy. The city sparkles with international flair, übermodern architecture, and swanky folk. A casual feeling reigns in the evening when the “suits” loosen their ties at the 17th century Füchschen Brewery for roast pork shank (Haxen)  You’ll need a couple of cold ones to washit down. Bring it on Düsseldorf!

Day 5: Düsseldorf - Cologne
Today’s ride stretches from one rival city to the other.  In Düsseldorf, you drink Altbier, but you’ll forget that word exists when you arrive in Cologne. Here, Kölsch is king. Everything worth seeing is within walking distance from the barge. The city isn’t just big, it’s ancient. The Romans set up their northern military headquarters here in 50 AD.  The blending of Roman and Germanic cultures is showcased in the Roman-Germanic Museum. The cathedral of Cologne towers above all. It is longer than a football field and holds 20,000 people! It takes an army of specialists to maintain the 750-yr old landmark, 80 stonemasons, glazers, and roofers. Once you hear the tolling of its bells, you will never forget it. There are many free concerts. The best place to take it all in is at Café Reichard for a German trifecta, coffee, cake and cathedral views. district for rambling The medieval Hay Market is a wonderful place to meander.  Here you can fill your steins with good Kölsch beer and top it off with an order of Himmel un Ääd (heaven and earth). Apples and mashed potatoes is Cologne’s comfort food!

Day 6: Cologne - Bonn
Today you will pedal to  West Germany’s former Capital city. When the wall came down in 1990, most of the government moved back to Berlin. It’s the birthplace of musical genius Ludwig van Beethoven. You can visit the world-famous Haribo factory with all the gummy sweets and gadgets—imagine Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Bonn’s parks and gardens are spendidi. The first-rate Botanical Gardens at Poppelsdorf Palace are among the oldest. Have you ever seen a water lily whose giant pads hold the weight of a 95 pound child!? And the world’s rarest flowering plant, titan arum, the Sumatran Corpse Flower that takes 7 years to blossom for just one day! Stroll Bonn’s endless river promenade and the nearby Rheinaue Leisure Park.  For the best views of the legendary Siebengebirge hills, join the locals under the great chestnut trees at the ‘Alter Zoll’ beer garden. It’s a former Rhine toll station and military fort along the river.

Day 7: Bonn - Koblenz
This morning you cruise past the Siebengebirge (seven hills) and officially enter the legendary middle Rhine valley with its dramatic cliffs and curves, romantic castles, sloping vineyards and sleepy half-timbered villages. You sail past the ancient volcano, Dragon’s Rock where the hero Siegfried killed the dragon and bathed in its blood to become invincible. The Dragon’s Castle lies in ruins, a reminder of French revenge. Today’s biking starts in Remagen with a stop at Ludendorff Bridge. It was only one of two bridges still intact over the Rhine during Operation Lumberjack in the final days of WWII. In a stroke of good luck, U.S. Army got 25,000 troops, six Army divisions, tanks, artillery, and trucks across the river. You pass little villages with old churches and the medieval harbor crane. Arriving in Koblenz, you moor in the shadows of mighty Ehrenbreitensteinfortress. Here the noble Riesling grape is the Queen of Cups. Trocken means dry. Order one and prepare to become a convert for life. Prefer a beer in the Koblenz’ Biergarten? Just steps away from the barge!

Day 8: Koblenz

 

 

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Amsterdam to Koblenz and Koblenz to Amsterdam Boats + Barges

Zwaan Photo

Zwaan Belgium, Netherlands Standard Class Boat Once a cargo boat, the Zwaan (Swan) was completely renovated and converted into a comfortable passenger barge. On board you will find seven comfortable cabins allowing a total capacity of 16 passengers.

Iris Photo

Iris France, Germany Premium Class Boat The Iris was put to sea in April 2005. She is a refitted freight barge that accommodates 24 overnight passengers. The interior of the Iris is fresh, tasteful and comfortable. The Iris can navigate on most rivers and canals in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. On the top deck you will the lounge, a roomy sitting area, a cozy bar and a sun deck. The whole barge has central heating and air-conditioning.

PWPC