Hofgarten in Bonn, Germany. Photo via Flickr:Thomas

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

Amsterdam to Koblenz

Germany, Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

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

  • This bike and boat tour in Holland and Germany begins in Amsterdam, the most bicycle friendly city in the world and everything in Amsterdam seems a bit more magical when viewed from a boat!

    In lively and lovely Düsseldorf, on the banks of the Rhine River, sample the famous local dark beer, Altbier. Dusseldorf is a regional economic powerhouse and international city. The Altstadt is not just Dusseldorf's lovely old town, but also where the city's nightlife is based.

    Highlight of your time in Wesel, will be the Willibrordi Cathedral. Though heavily damaged in WWII, it has now been restored.

    The tour ends in the beautiful city of Koblenz, where the Rhine & the Mosel rivers meet. The city consists of the Aldstadt (old city) and the Neustadt (new city). The Aldstadt is the shape of a triangle, with two sides consisting of the Rhine & Mosel Rivers, and the third side is covered by endless hills topped with fortresses. While the old city is very condense, the new city is more spread out with an attractive view of the Rhine.

    *Ask us about our pre tour tulip theme extension. You will be accommodated in the Amrath Frans Hals Hotel for three nights and have days filled with excursions.

    **What more biking and boating? Combine this tour with Koblenz to Aschaffenburg for 15 days onboard the Iris!

    Want to see more Bike and Barge tours in Germany?

  • Iris: £ 942 $ 1,675 1150 NOK 11308 kr 10438 $ 1,357 Twin cabin for single use on request.

    extra options

    Electric bike: £ 66 $ 117 80 NOK 787 kr 726 $ 94

    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

    Fly to Amsterdam.

    Local Travel

    Train from Amsterdam airport to Amsterdam Centraal Station.


    Please check local conditions prior to arrival. Average high/low temperature in degrees Fahrenheit for the area: May, 61°/46°, June 66º/52º, July 69º/55º, and October, 57°/46°

Where You’ll Stay

Accommodations aboard he lovely Iris, a comfort plus vessel

What’s Included

  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board your floating hotel
  • Breakfast
  • Packed lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • Daily cleaning of cabin
  • Coffee and tea
  • 11 speed Gudereit hybrid bike including bike bag, helmet, and water bottle
  • Welcome drink
  • Route information
  • Tour guide (two tour guides will be available with minimum of 18 on board)
  • Ferry fares en route

What’s Not Included

  • 1 dinner
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance
  • Drinks other than mentioned
  • Entrance fees and excursions not mentioned
  • Gratuities
Length8 days
From1150 Rates
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Tour Dates

Aboard the Iris: May 12, 2018

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 Map

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

Daily distances are approximately 45 to 50 km, accept for arrival day

Day 1: Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede
Your adventure starts in the heart of Amsterdam, where the IRIS is docked and ready to sail. Boarding must be complete by 12:30 pm.  The boat will pick up anchor and begin to motor at 1 pm, giving you a taste of the beauty of Amsterdam seen from the water. You will then enjoy a short scenic ride along the Vecht River where the sophisticated traders and aristocrats of Amsterdam had there countryhomes, or better: estates. The winding little river is a branch of the Rhine, so you are already going in the right direction: upstream. Don’t worry…it’s flat cycling and stays like that all the week! 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 – 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 like a bulldozer. Awaiting you on the other side is world-famous Kröller-Müller art gallery and sculpture park with the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world and also works by Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondriaan round out the collection. From here you cycle to  Arnhem ‘Home of Eagles,’ given its name by Romans stationed on the Rhine. 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 – Rees
Today's theme could be 'Bridges, Battlegrounds and Castles'. The 13th century Doornenburg Castle is an impressive brick behemoth where German commanders set up headquarters during the Battle of Arnhem. Naturally, it became a prime target for British bombers and you can imagine what happened next. After a tour, you pedal away and say tot ziens (see ya) to 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 barges are the big fish. Emmerich is also home to a WWII Biber submarine and one-man U-Boat in the Rhine Museum. Final destination is Rees, famous for its medieval wall, towers,  and river promenade with art sculptures, restaurants and cafés…the perfect place to raise your glass of  Riesling  or beer stein and watch the Rhine flow by.

Day 4: Rees – Düsseldorf
The great Ruhr region was once Germany’s blast furnace during the Industrial Revolution, until recently. 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. And, it’s home to the mega supermarket chain Aldi. Youcruise through world’s biggest inland harbor in Duisburg then it’s anchors away to the modern, sparkling city of Düsseldorf—Germany’s fashion and advertising capital. Here you can sample Altbier which doesn’t mean the beer is old; it’s 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 Harbor—the rehabbed riverside warehouse district that will blow your mind. 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) Say it…“Haxen!” (one of our favorite barbarian words) You’ll need a couple cold ones to wash down the Haxen. Bring it on Düsseldorf!

Day 5: Düsseldorf – Cologne
Today’s ride stretches from one rival city to the other. Be it beer suds or soccer clubs, ne’re the two agree. In Düsseldorf you drink Altbier, but you’ll forget that word exists when you arrive in Cologne. Here in Köln, Kölsch is king. It’s the largest city on this  Rhine cruise and #4 after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. 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 comes to life in the Roman-Germanic Museum. After the telecommunications tower with its rotating restaurant, Cologne Cathedral is next. This giant Gothic beauty reaches God’s ears. It’s 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, glaziers and roofers. You’ll never forget the toll of her famous bells either. There are many free concerts. Ear plugs provided on Sundays—no joke. The best place to take it all in is at Café Reichard for a German trifecta: coffee, cake and cathedral views. BikePlanet’s favorite district for rambling is the medieval Hay Market. Here you can fill your steins with good Kölsch beer. Top it off with an order of Himmel un Ääd (heaven and earth). Apples and mashed potatoes is Cologne’s comfort food on steroids. What a colossal city.

Day 6: Cologne - Bonn
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: Bonn - Koblenz
A morning cruise leads past the Siebengebirge (seven hills) and officially enters 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. We pass little villages with old churches and medieval harbor crane. Arriving in Koblenz, we 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? Well, you will find one just steps away from the barge.

Day 8: Departure

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Amsterdam to Koblenz Boats + Barges

Iris Photo

Iris France, Germany Comfort Plus 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.