Boats in Harderwijk in Gelderland, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:Frank Meijn

Tulip fields abound in April and May before harvest. Photo via Flickr:IMBiblio
4.8/5 (13 ratings)

Authentic Holland

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Cycle Central and Northern Holland!

  • This wonderful bike and boat tour showcases authentic Holland and takes you through the central and Hanseatic region of the Netherlands. It cuts through the Rhine valley and its very beautiful tributary the IJssel, and across the "border lakes", which are situated between the “old” mainland with many beautiful harbor towns, and the “new” reclaimed land of the province of Flevoland, that was once the bottom of the sea.

    This region thrived during the Middle Ages when rivers were the most important trade routes in Europe. The affluence of those years is visible everywhere in abundant civil and religious architecture.

    The east-central mainland province, Gelderland is the least populated and the largest of the Dutch regions and is a lovely green area with several large national parks and lovely cycling.

    Highlights:

    • Amsterdam
    • The nature reserves of Achterhoek, Veluwe, and Gooi
    • Large and small Hanseatic cities and towns such as Deventer and Kampen
    • Natural beauty of the Rhine and Ijssel Valley
    • Border Lake region of reclaimed land
    • Flat, easy cycling

    Want to see more bike and barge tours in the Netherlands?

  •  

    Anna AntalLow seasonHigh season
    Twin cabin/comfort £ 879 $ 1,949 1035 $ 1559 NOK 9746 kr 8997 $ 1,170 £ 969 $ 2,147 1140 $ 1718 NOK 10735 kr 9909 $ 1,288
    Bunk bed cabin/standard plus £ 756 $ 1,676 890 $ 1341 NOK 8381 kr 7736 $ 1,006 £ 833 $ 1,846 980 $ 1477 NOK 9228 kr 8518 $ 1,107

    Bunk bed cabin for single use

    £ 942 $ 2,089 1109 $ 1671 NOK 10443 kr 9640 $ 1,253 £ 1037 $ 2,298 1220 $ 1838 NOK 11488 kr 10605 $ 1,379

     

     

    De NassauMid SeasonLate Season
    Twin cabin/lower deck £ 743 $ 1,646 874 $ 1317 NOK 8230 kr 7597 $ 988 £ 726 $ 1,608 854 $ 1287 NOK 8042 kr 7423 $ 965
    Superior twin cabin/lower deck £ 819 $ 1,816 964 $ 1452 NOK 9078 kr 8379 $ 1,089 £ 802 $ 1,778 944 $ 1422 NOK 8889 kr 8206 $ 1,067
    Triple cabin/ lower deck £ 726 $ 1,608 854 $ 1287 NOK 8042 kr 7423 $ 965 £ 709 $ 1,571 834 $ 1257 NOK 7854 kr 7249 $ 942
    Twin cabin/single use/lower deck £ 1074 $ 2,381 1264 $ 1904 NOK 11903 kr 10987 $ 1,428 £ 1057 $ 2,343 1244 $ 1874 NOK 11714 kr 10813 $ 1,406
    Twin cabin/upper deck £ 853 $ 1,891 1004 $ 1513 NOK 9454 kr 8727 $ 1,135 £ 836 $ 1,853 984 $ 1483 NOK 9266 kr 8553 $ 1,112
    Twin cabin/single use/upper deck £ 1108 $ 2,456 1304 $ 1965 NOK 12279 kr 11335 $ 1,474 £ 1091 $ 2,418 1284 $ 1935 NOK 12091 kr 11161 $ 1,451


    De Nassau Seasons:
    Mid-season: August 31, and September 7 
    Late season: September 21, September 28, and October 5
    On the following dates, a fully guided option is offered: September 14, and 28. 

    Sailing HomeStandard season
    Twin cabin £ 1085 $ 2,406 1278 $ 1925 NOK 12030 kr 11104 $ 1,444
    Single cabin £ 1539 $ 3,412 1812 $ 2729 NOK 17058 kr 15746 $ 2,047

     

    De NassauSeason ASeason BSeason CSeason DSeason E
    Twin cabin/lower deck £ 679 $ 1,505 799 $ 1204 NOK 7524 kr 6945 $ 903 £ 721 $ 1,599 849 $ 1279 NOK 7995 kr 7380 $ 959 £ 764 $ 1,693 899 $ 1354 NOK 8466 kr 7814 $ 1,016 £ 798 $ 1,768 939 $ 1415 NOK 8842 kr 8162 $ 1,061 £ 832 $ 1,844 979 $ 1475 NOK 9219 kr 8510 $ 1,106
    Superior twin cabin/lower deck £ 764 $ 1,693 899 $ 1354 NOK 8466 kr 7814 $ 1,016 £ 806 $ 1,787 949 $ 1430 NOK 8936 kr 8249 $ 1,072 £ 849 $ 1,881 999 $ 1505 NOK 9407 kr 8684 $ 1,129 £ 883 $ 1,957 1039 $ 1565 NOK 9784 kr 9031 $ 1,174 £ 917 $ 2,032 1079 $ 1626 NOK 10161 kr 9379 $ 1,219
    Triple cabin/ lower deck £ 662 $ 1,467 779 $ 1174 NOK 7336 kr 6771 $ 880 £ 704 $ 1,561 829 $ 1249 NOK 7806 kr 7206 $ 937 £ 747 $ 1,655 879 $ 1324 NOK 8277 kr 7641 $ 993 £ 781 $ 1,731 919 $ 1385 NOK 8654 kr 7988 $ 1,038 £ 815 $ 1,806 959 $ 1445 NOK 9031 kr 8336 $ 1,084
    Twin cabin/single use/lower deck £ 976 $ 2,164 1149 $ 1731 NOK 10820 kr 9987 $ 1,298 £ 1019 $ 2,258 1199 $ 1806 NOK 11291 kr 10422 $ 1,355 £ 1061 $ 2,352 1249 $ 1882 NOK 11761 kr 10857 $ 1,411 £ 1095 $ 2,428 1289 $ 1942 NOK 12138 kr 11204 $ 1,457 £ 1129 $ 2,503 1329 $ 2002 NOK 12515 kr 11552 $ 1,502
    Twin cabin/upper deck £ 764 $ 1,693 899 $ 1354 NOK 8466 kr 7814 $ 1,016 £ 806 $ 1,787 949 $ 1430 NOK 8936 kr 8249 $ 1,072 £ 849 $ 1,881 999 $ 1505 NOK 9407 kr 8684 $ 1,129 £ 883 $ 1,957 1039 $ 1565 NOK 9784 kr 9031 $ 1,174 £ 917 $ 2,032 1079 $ 1626 NOK 10161 kr 9379 $ 1,219
    Triple cabin/upper deck £ 747 $ 1,655 879 $ 1324 NOK 8277 kr 7641 $ 993 £ 789 $ 1,750 929 $ 1400 NOK 8748 kr 8075 $ 1,050 £ 832 $ 1,844 979 $ 1475 NOK 9219 kr 8510 $ 1,106 £ 866 $ 1,919 1019 $ 1535 NOK 9596 kr 8857 $ 1,151 £ 900 $ 1,994 1059 $ 1596 NOK 9972 kr 9205 $ 1,197

     

    ZwaanLow season
    Luxury double  £ 1319 $ 2,925 1553 $ 2340 NOK 14624 kr 13499 $ 1,755
    Twin  £ 1184 $ 2,623 1393 $ 2099 NOK 13117 kr 12108 $ 1,574
    Triple  £ 1150 $ 2,548 1353 $ 2039 NOK 12741 kr 11761 $ 1,529
    Small double/front of boat £ 1030 $ 2,283 1212 $ 1826 NOK 11413 kr 10535 $ 1,370
    Small double for single use/front of boat £ 1494 $ 3,311 1758 $ 2649 NOK 16555 kr 15281 $ 1,987

     

    WendingHigh season
    Twin cabin £ 1073 $ 2,378 1263 $ 1902 NOK 11889 kr 10974 $ 1,427
    Single cabin £ 1247 $ 2,764 1468 $ 2211 NOK 13819 kr 12756 $ 1,658
    Triple cabin £ 1090 $ 2,415 1283 $ 1932 NOK 12077 kr 11148 $ 1,449

     

    GandalfApril 25May - July
    Twin cabin £ 849 $ 1,881 999 $ 1505 NOK 9407 kr 8684 $ 1,129 £ 934 $ 2,070 1099 $ 1656 NOK 10349 kr 9553 $ 1,242
    Triple cabin £ 815 $ 1,806 959 $ 1445 NOK 9031 kr 8336 $ 1,084 £ 900 $ 1,994 1059 $ 1596 NOK 9972 kr 9205 $ 1,197
    Twin cabin/single use £ 1231 $ 2,728 1449 $ 2182 NOK 13640 kr 12591 $ 1,637 £ 1358 $ 3,011 1599 $ 2408 NOK 15053 kr 13895 $ 1,806

     

    extra options

     De Nassau:
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113 Fully guided option: £ 106 $ 235 125 $ 188 NOK 1177 kr 1087 $ 141 Canal tour in Amsterdam: £ 11 $ 24 13 $ 19 NOK 118 kr 109 $ 14 Anna Antal
    Electric bike rental: £ 68 $ 151 80 $ 121 NOK 753 kr 695 $ 90 Set of 3 bike maps for self-guided cycling: £ 24 $ 54 29 $ 43 NOK 268 kr 248 $ 32 Child's 21-speed hybrid bike with helmet: £ 47 $ 104 55 $ 83 NOK 518 kr 478 $ 62 Trailer bike for ages 5 - 9: £ 42 $ 94 50 $ 75 NOK 471 kr 435 $ 57 Child seat with helmet: £ 13 $ 28 15 $ 23 NOK 141 kr 130 $ 17

    Sailing Home, Zwaan, and Wending:
    Children's discounts available
    Children's bikes, trailer bike, child seat, and trailers are available
    Electric bike: £ 70 $ 155 83 $ 124 NOK 777 kr 717 $ 93 Gluten-free/Celiac/vegan diet: £ 42 $ 94 50 $ 75 NOK 471 kr 435 $ 57

    De Nassau and Gandalf:
    Electric bike: £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113 Helmet: £ 8 $ 19 10 $ 15 NOK 94 kr 87 $ 11


     

    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 International Airport (Amsterdam Schiphol)

    Local Travel

    Trains to Amsterdam Central leave from platforms 1, 2, or 3 which are all on the floor below the airport terminal. Tickets can be purchased either at the ticket desk on the arrivals level or at the yellow machines using Euro coins or credit/debit cards (pin required!) The direct trains to the Amsterdam train station run every 10 to 15 minutes between 6:00 AM and 12:30 AM and the trip takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Short taxi ride to mooring location, or depending on the boat, embarkation point may be within walking distance. We will provide detailed docking/mooring information in your final travel information.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before your arrival. The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. A good website to use to research regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more is weatherbase.com. Don’t forget your rain gear! Average high/low temp in °F for the region is approximately April, 53/40°, May, 61/46°, June, 66/52°, July, 69/55°, August, 70/55°, September, 64/51°, and October, 57/46°.

    Recommended

    On board the De Nassau, you can purchase a discounted ticket for a one hour canal cruise through Amsterdam. Please request this in advance and you will collect this on board the ship on your first day of the tour.

    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.

    *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.


Tour Dates

Deluxe 

De Nassau:

Mid-season: August 31, and September 7 
Late season: September 21, September 28, and October 
On the following dates, a fully guided option is offered: September 14, and 28. 

Standard
Anna Antal:
High season: August 24, 2019
 

Deluxe

De Nassau:
Season A: April 18, 2020
Season B: September 26, 2020
Season C: May 9 and September 19, 2020
Season D: May 16, May 23 and May 30, 2020
Season E: All other departure dates, weekly from June 13 up to and incl. September 5, 2020 (excl. June 20 and July 4)

Premium

Sailing Home:
Standard season: May 23, 2020
 

Standard

Zwaan:
Low season: July 18 and July 25, 2020
Wending:
High season: September 5, 2020
Gandalf: April 25, May 2, May 9, May 16, June 6, June 13, June 20, June 27, and July 4, 2020
 

 

 

Skill Level

This is an easy guided or semi-guided bike and boat tour on flat terrain along the network of cycling routes (fietsroutenetwerken) that makes Holland a cycling paradise! This cycling infrastructure consists of 30,000 km of cycle routes, cycle bridges, cycle tunnels, cycle ferries, and special signposting. Always keep in mind that you are sharing the road, either with other cyclists or at times with motor vehicles. A good command of your bicycle at all times is a requirement.

Where You’ll Stay

There are several boats of different categories that do this tour, each with it own unique itinerary. Be sure to check out the boat page, what is inlcuded, and not included and pricing specific to your tour date.

What’s Included

Merlijn

  • Accommodation for 6 nights on board in a double room, with private bathroom, climate control, safe, hairdryer
  • Breakfasts, packed lunches, and 4 dinners
  • Daily room cleaning
  • Supply of bedding, towels, facial tissues, soap
  • Unlimited coffee, tea, and hot chocolate during the trip on board and potable ice water throughout the meals
  • Harbor fees
  • 24-speed bicycle, incl. use of helmet, towel, bike bag, and a personal water bottle
  • Tour guide

Aboard the Zwaan, Sailing Home, Liza Marleen, Wending, and Anna Antal

  • Accommodation for 7 nights
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches, and 7 three-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide provides tour information and daily guided cycling
  • 24-speed hybrid touring bicycle, including helmet, pannier bags, lock, repair kit, and water bottle
  • Free limited WiFi (in the lounge and on deck. Surcharge if usage is more than 100 MB)
  • Road book
  • Ferry fares
  • GPS tracks on request

De Nassau

  • Accommodations for 7 nights
  • Climate-controlled cabin
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches, and 7 three-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board till 4 p.m.
  • Welcome drink
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Daily tour briefings
  • Semi-guided cycling tours (independent cycling, tour leader is available for questions and/or emergencies)
  • Some short walking tours
  • Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)
  • 7-speed unisex hybrid city touring bike rental (Velo de Ville C100 or Gazelle-Chamonix) with handbrakes, repair kit with pump, and pannier bag
  • GPS tracks
  • Wi-Fi

Gandalf

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches, and 7 three-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea
  • Welcome drink
  • Weekly cabin cleaning
  • Daily tour briefings
  • 7 speed unisex city touring bike (Gazelle Chamonix or Velo de Ville C100) with handbrakes, gel saddles, frame lock, and pannier
  • Cycling guide
  • Some short city walks
  • Fees for ferries
  • GPS tracks

What’s Not Included

Aboard the Merlijn

Aboard the Zwaan, Sailing Home, Liza Marleen, Wending, and Anna Antal

Aboard the De Nassau

  • Coffee and tea on board after 4 p.m.
  • Drinks
  • Helmet rental (available with supplement. See pricing.)
  • Electric bike (available with supplement. 7 speed Velo de Ville CEB 200 with crank Bosch motor, with 4 support levels. See pricing.)
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Fees for ferries
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance

Gandalf

  • Drinks
  • Helmet rental (available with supplement. See pricing.)
  • Electric bike (available with supplement. 7 speed Velo de Ville CEB 200 with crank Bosch motor, with 4 support levels. See pricing.)
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length7–8 days
From874 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Authentic Holland Map

Each boat has a slightly different itinerary and also vary in what is included and not included. All distances are approximate. The  planned 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
Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede - Amerongen - Arnhem
Day 3: Arnhem - Deventer
Day 4: Deventer - Hattem - Kampen
Day 5: Kampen - Roggebotsluis - Harderwijk - Spakenburg
Day 6: Spakenburg - Amsterdam
Day 7: Departure from Amsterdam


Day 1: Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede
Check-in aboard the Merlijn begins at 4 PM. The boat will be docked at the Veemkade in Amsterdam which is approximately a 25-minute walk from the Central Station. Public transportation stops nearby. At 5 PM the barge starts cruising to Wijk bij Duurstede and arrives at approximately 8 PM. During the cruise, a welcome drink is offered while you receive information about the ship and the tour. Dinner is also served. After docking, you can stroll through the very charming city of Wijk bij Duurstede (Neighbourhood of Duurstede translated). Duurstede is the name of the nearby castle/ruin, where the bishop of Utrecht used to live. Wijk bij Duurstede is located at the place where Dorestad used to be, an important trade settlement that was pillaged around 850 by the Vikings. This city has the only drive-through windmill in the world. 

Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede - Amerongen - Arnhem
Enjoy a sailing breakfast while the boat takes you to Amerongen, where the bike-fitting and your first bike tour will start. You will bike through the Betuwe, situated between the Waal and Rhine/Lek rivers, surrounding the Linge stream, and famous for its fruit production. The tour ends in Arnhem, the capital of the province Gelderland. Tonight you will enjoy your dinner at your own expense in one of the many restaurants in Arnhem and before or after dinner you will have time to stroll a little more through the city center. Your tour guide will show you around the city and recommend restaurants for dinner.

Day 3: Arnhem - Deventer
While you enjoy your breakfast the boat cruises the beautiful river IJssel downstream to take you to Doesburg. This is one of the seven Hanseatic cities on the river IJssel. Here your bike tour starts along the sparkling river, described by many as the most beautiful river of the Netherlands. This week you will visit the medieval cities of Kampen, Hattem, Deventer, Zutphen, and Doesburg, all of which are beautiful gems. The river landscape is beautiful and from the dikes, you will have a marvelous view. Overnight is in Deventer. After dinner, you will visit this medieval city on a city walk with your guide.

Day 4: Deventer - Hattem - Kampen
After breakfast, your bike tour starts and the ride will be from Deventer to Hattem. Another very charming Hanseatic city. After your visit, you will board the Merlijn and together we sail to the city of Kampen, where we will stay overnight. A city stroll will be offered through this ancient city, and afterward you will have dinner at your own expense in one of the many restaurants in Kampen.

Day 5: Kampen - Roggebotsluis - Harderwijk - Spakenburg
Enjoy breakfast while the barge cruises to Roggebotsluis, where your bike tour starts. Across the water, you will see the eastern part of Flevoland, one of the new Dutch provinces. Your bike tour takes you to the Veluwe, and you will visit Elburg, a charming fishermen’s village. The Veluwe features many different landscapes including woodland, heath, some small lakes, and Europe's largest sand drifts. Your tour ends in Harderwijk, another charming medieval city, on the Veluwemeer (Veluwe lake). Here you will board the Merlijn while it takes you to Spakenburg, situated south on the IJsselmeer. It is one of the few places left in the Netherlands where some women still wear local traditional clothes.

Day 6: Spakenburg - Amsterdam
Your last biking day begins in Spakenburg following breakfast. You will bike along the Gooimeer (Gooi lake) and through the beautiful Gooi, with its impressive houses. The Merlijn awaits you in Amsterdam. After dinner, your guide will take you on a walking tour through Amsterdam.

Day 7: Departure from Amsterdam
Disembarkation at 9 am, after breakfast.

Day 1: Embarkation in Amsterdam
Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede - Wageningen | Rhenen – Arnhem, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 3: Arnhem - Doesburg | Doesburg – Vorden – Zutphen. During dinner sailing from Zutphen to Deventer
Day 4: Deventer – Hattem – Zwolle.  Zwolle to Kampen, 30 mi. (48 km)
Day 5: Kampen - Elburg - Elspeet - Harderwijk, 27 mi. (44 km)
Day 6: Harderwijk – Bunschoten – Spakenburg, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 7: Spakenburg - Huizen; Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam

Parts in italic undertaken on board.

Day 1: Embarkation in Amsterdam
Embarkation and check-in between 1 and  2 pm. Please be on time as the barge will leave Amsterdam at 2:15 pm to sail over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to Wijk bij Duurstede on the Rhine. If you arrive a bit early, you can leave your luggage on board beginning at noon. The mooring place of the barge in Amsterdam is Oosterdok (near the Science Center: ‘Nemo’, Oosterdok 2)

Day 2: Wijk bij Duursteed - Wageningen | Rhenen - Arnhem, 19 mi. (30 km)
2019:
While you are enjoying breakfast, the barge will sail to Wageningen where, following the distribution of bicycles, you are finally off and cycling through the picturesque river valley of the Rhine. Along the way, you will visit the protected nature reserve “De Blauwe Kamer” (the Blue Chamber), followed by the woods and moorlands of Veluwe National Park. The 5400-hectare park is home to many plant and animal species and, most importantly, the Kröller-Müller Museum, the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world (visiting this museum is about 20 km more cycling).  Late in the day, you pedal through the suburbs and past lovely parks such as Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal to Arnhem, where you spend the night close to the city center.
2020:
While you are enjoying breakfast, the barge will sail to Wageningen where, following the distribution of bicycles, you are finally off and cycling through the picturesque river valley of the Rhine. In Oosterbeek,  you can visit the Airborne Museum. You ride through suburbs through lovely parks such as Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal to Arnhem, where you spend the night close to the center
Arnhem is the capital of the province of Gelderland. In September of 1944, the center of the town was heavily damaged by the efforts of the Allies to conquer the bridge over the Rhine(Operation “Market Garden”). The plan failed. (The battle of Arnhem has been filmed in "A bridge too far"). Following the war, the city center was reconstructed to reflect its past patterns and design as closely as possible. Arnhem is generally known as the “Park City of the Netherlands” in large part due to its centuries-old city parks, which extend well into the town. Sonsbeek Park is the most important park of the city. It is located against the city’s dam walls and offers a multitude of breathtaking views with far-reaching vistas of the Rhine river on the one hand and hidden, intimate corners on the other. It contains waterfalls, a deer camp, a belvedere, and the watermill, “Arnhem”

Day 3: Arnhem - Doesburg – Vorden – Zutphen. Zutphen to Deventer, 28 mi. (45 km)
Today’s cycle tour takes you along the Hanseatic Town Route to the small village of Doesburg and along the IJssel to Bronkhorst, which has the distinction of being recognized as the smallest town in Holland. Guests will have two choices today – a shorter tour along the riverbank to Zutphen; or a longer bicycle trip via Vorden passing country houses, castles, and rural estates. During dinner the ship sails to Deventer. This city is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. It is therefore not surprising that the oldest stone house can be found in ‘Deventer (in the Sandrasteeg). Deventer is a prominent ‘Hanseatic Town'. In the Middle Ages, merchants from all over Europe came here to participate in the annual fairs.

Day 4: Deventer – Hattem – Zwolle | Zwolle to Kampen, 30 mi. (48 km)
This morning you will enjoy a short bicycle ride along the IJssel riverbank before boarding a ferry at Wijhe to cross the river to Hattem. The 800-year-old town of Hattem has a rich history that is still clearly visible today. Guests have the opportunity if they want, to stretch their legs with a longer bicycle trip through east Veluwe. During dinner, the ship will sail to Kampen where you have the opportunity to go on an optional guided walking tour in the largest Hanseatic town in the Netherlands has been declared a protected townscape. Kampen retained three of its original city gates from the Middle Ages: the Broederpoort, Cellebroederspoort and the Koornmarktpoort.

Day 5: Kampen - Elburg - Elspeet - Harderwijk, cycle around Harderwijk, 27 mi. (44 km)
In the morning the barge will sail to the IJssel estuary and across the so-called border lakes of the IJssel to the fishing harbor of Harderwijk. In the 1500s Harderwijk boasted the largest fish market in the Zuiderzee region and is still a fascinating old city to explore. From Harderwijk you will cycle along Veluwe lake where swimming, boating, surfing, and fishing are favorite summertime activities. The longest cycle trip on the tour also takes in the woods and moorland at Elspeet. The night will be spent in Harderwijk’s lovely old fishing harbor.

Day 6: Harderwijk – Bunschoten – Spakenburg, 31 mi. (50 km)
Today guests have two cycling choices: a short pedal along the coast (30 km)/19 miles) or a combination of the coast route and a longer alternative that also takes in adjacent woodlands. The night will be spent in Spakenburg, a village well-known for its traditional costumes.

Day 7: Spakenburg - Huizen; Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam, 36 mi. (57 km)
Once again guests have a choice this morning. After breakfast you can cycle to Huizen or, if you prefer to take things easier (45 km/ 28 miles), you can enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the barge. From Huizen you will cycle to the beautiful fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden, famous for its historic castle. From Muiden you will cycle along quiet roads to your final destination, the world famous city of Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are spent in Amsterdam. While you are there take the opportunity to visit Anne Frank’s home, the Rembrandt House Museum, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Dam Square, the very center and heart of the city or maybe you could go on a canal tour (not included).

Day 8: Departure
End of tour.

A knowledgeable and multilingual tour leader is available on board. He/she will provide you with all necessary tour information during daily briefings. You will cycle the tours independently, at your own pace, with the help of a detailed cycling map, GPS-tracks (to be downloaded before your arrival) and printed route notes (available on board). The tour leader will also be cycling the daily tours and can – for assistance – be reached on his/her mobile phone in cases of emergency or technical breakdown of the bicycle. During days when several bicycle options are possible, not all mentioned highlights can be visited during the shorter cycling options. On some dates, in 2019, there is limited availability to book a guided option. See dates.

Day 1: Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Wijk bij Duurstede
Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen | Wageningen – Arnhem, 21 or 28 mi. (35 or 44 km)
Day 3: Arnhem – Doesburg | Doesburg – Zutphen - Deventer,  27 or 35 mi.  (44 or 56 km)
Day 4: Deventer – Wijhe | Wijhe - Kampen, 25 or 35 mi. (40 or 56 km)
Day 5: Kampen – Elburg – Harderwijk, 29 mi.  (48 km)
Day 6: Harderwijk – Spakenburg – Huizen, 28 or 35 mi.  (45 or 56 km)
Day 7: Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam, 21 mi.  (35 km)
Day 8: Amsterdam

Parts in italics undertaken on board.

Day 1: Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Wijk bij Duurstede:
Embarkation and check-in in Amsterdam. The crew welcomes you on board between 1 and 2 p.m. It is possible to leave your luggage on board at 11 am but the cabins will not be ready for check-in. At approximately 2 p.m. De Nassau sails from Amsterdam on the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to Wijk bij Duurstede, a town on the Rhine River. Here, you will spend your first night aboard the ship.

Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen | Wageningen – Arnhem, 21 or 28 mi. (35 or 44 km)
While you are enjoying breakfast, the ship sails to Wageningen. From this town, your first cycling tour of the week takes you through the lovely valley of the Lower Rhine river, and then on through the Veluwe, a large area of woods and heathlands. At the end of the day, you pedal to Arnhem, via suburbs and past the lovely parks named Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal. Close to the center of this former Hanseatic city, the Nassau docks for the night. During World War II, Arnhem was the battle scene of Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation in history. It ended in a failure, as the inability to capture a bridge over the Rhine River resulted in the destruction of the British 1st Airborne Division.

Day 3: Arnhem – Doesburg | Doesburg – Zutphen - Deventer,  27 or 35 mi.  (44 or 56 km)
We leave Arnhem on the Nassau, and then today’s cycling tour starts in the small town of Doesburg. There are two cycling options to get you to Zutphen and Deventer. The shorter option goes along the Ijssel River to Bronkhorst, a seeming hamlet that's proud to be the smallest town in Holland. From Bronkhorst you continue to Zutphen along the riverbank. The longer trip goes via Vorden, where you will be passing country houses, castles, and rural estates. Both options end in Deventer, a city known for its delicious spicy gingerbread. In the evening, your tour leader offers a short guided walking tour of the city. Make sure to join!

Day 4: Deventer – Wijhe | Wijhe - Kampen, 25 or 25 mi. (40 or 56 km)
During breakfast, the De Nassau will take you to Wijhe, where your bicycle ride begins. In the morning you will enjoy a nice bicycle ride to Hattem. You can choose a short option along the banks of the river, or opt for a long ride across the east Veluwe area. Hattem has a rich history, which is still clearly visible today. Leaving Hattem, it is only a short ride to the city of Zwolle, one of the most beautiful Hanseatic cities. From Zwolle, you continue to Kampen. In the evening, an optional guided walking tour takes you to some of the most interesting sights in this largest Hanseatic town in the Netherlands.

Day 5: Kampen – Elburg – Harderwijk, 29 mi.  (48 km)
From Kampen, our cycling tour leads along the Border Lakes to the fishing harbor of Elburg. Here, swimming, boating, surfing, and fishing are favorite summertime activities. From Elburg the cycling tour continues through the woods and moorlands of the Veluwe to lovely Harderwijk, where the night will be spent in its old fishing harbor. In the 1500s Harderwijk boasted the largest fish market in the Zuiderzee region. Today, it is still a lovely old city very much worth exploring.

Day 6: Harderwijk – Spakenburg – Huizen, 28 0r 35 mi.  (45 or 56 km)
Again, you have two routes to choose from. A shorter bike ride along the coast of the Border Lakes, or a combination of the coast route and a longer alternative that runs through adjacent woodlands. In the afternoon you will pass Spakenburg, a fishing village well-known for its traditional costumes that are worn to this day. Docking destination for today is Huizen.

Day 7: Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam, 21 mi.  (35 km)
Huizen is the starting point for a ride to the beautiful fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden. The latter is famous for its historic castle on the waterfront. From Muiden you will cycle along quiet roads to your final destination, the world famous city of Amsterdam. You have the afternoon and evening to spend in the Dutch capital any way you like. Seize the chance to do a canal tour, to visit Anne Frank’s home or any of a number of world-renowned museums around the Museumplein. Or just enjoy looking at everyday life in this bustling city.

Day 8: Amsterdam
Disembarkation in Amsterdam will take place after breakfast till 09:30 a.m. Please check your cabin for personal items. Before you leave, do not forget to hand over your cabin key to the crew. If you wish you can leave your luggage on board until noon. (please ask the crew).

Day 1: Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Wijk bij Duurstede
Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen | Wageningen – Arnhem, 21 or 28 mi. (35 or 44 km)
Day 3: Arnhem – Doesburg | Doesburg – Zutphen - Deventer,  16 or 26 mi. .  (26 or 42 km)
Day 4: Deventer – Hattam  | Hattem - Kampen, 23 or 29 mi. (36 or 48 km)
Day 5: Kampen – Elburg – Harderwijk, 29 mi.  (48 km)
Day 6: Harderwijk – Bunschoten - Spakenburg, 21 or 34 mi. (35 or 55 km)
Day 7: SpakenburgHuizen |Huizen Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam, 21 mi.  (35 km)
Day 8: Amsterdam

During days when several bicycle options are possible, not all mentioned highlights can be visited during the shorter cycling options.

Looking for more? View all of our featured bike and boat tours or our full list of bicycle tours.

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Tour Reviews

  • Jeanne G. 2 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    We really enjoyed the rural countryside for our biking tour. We would bike past horses, cows, swans and goats and stop in very quaint towns. I rented a regular bike because I thought the Netherlands was very flat, there was more incline and distance than I was prepared for. I was able to borrow another guest e-bike a few days and in retrospect I should have rented one. But it also made me realize I can go to other countries that are more of a challenge, I would just rent an e-bike. We also brought our own helmets, but the ones they had on the boat looked fine. My husband brought his cycle computer which was a good idea to see our distance etc. We really enjoyed the biking tour!

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Mary T. 2 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    The whole barge experience with fellow bikers was awesome. There were only 23 of us and we all connected. The dining was exceptional. Our guide lacked knowledge of the tour and did not provide enough cultural experience.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Linda H. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    Really enjoyed the bike/barge tour on the Gandalf. The food & scenery were great. Enjoyed cycling into the forest & small towns. On the down side, be prepared for some wind. If new to cycling I would recommend getting the electric assist bicycle. The terrain is mostly flat but there are some hills which can be challenging with head on wind. Our guide, Fred, was very knowledgeable & friendly. He took good care of everyone.

    Boat: Gandalf

  • Theresa G. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    We were a family of 6 adults (aged 22-62) who did our first bike/barge trip and we are so fortunate that we booked the Merlijn and did the Amsterdam trip. It couldn't have been a better trip. Everything was perfect from the accommodations to the food to the bike ride itself. Most of all though it was the crew on the Merlijn that made it so fun for all of us. Henk & Jantien are so friendly and accommodating and their staff, Gisbert (sp) who led the daily bike tours & Jaqui & Clara who do a little of everything were all so kind and awesome with everything they did. The bikes are very new and ride great. The E-bikes are a whole lot of FUN. If you feel too guilty about using an E-bike you can turn it off and pedal like a regular bike. Jantien even went out of her way to get a birthday cake for our daughter-in-law. Henk leads an excellent Karaoke night which should not be missed. It was truly a great family vacation had by all. Thank you crew of Read more… Merlijn.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Sandra B. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    This was my third time on this particular barge the Merlijn. I love everything about the experience and will for sure do it again

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Patricia C. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    I loved everything about my barge/bike trip from Bruges to Amsterdam. Wonderful staff members were very professional and accommodating making all of the guests feel special. The food rose above my expectations. The quality and presentation were superb. I have already booked another bike/barge trip for 2018!!

    Boat: Gandalf

  • Michael C. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The route for the Authentic Holland Tour was very attractive and went through some very attractive Hanseatic villages. Our guide Meindirt made every day a pleasant experience. For people looking for a fun and relaxing bicycle trip in the Netherlands, this one will not disappointment you. Enjoy!

    Boat: Gandalf

  • John H. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Having been on several of these bike/barge tours, this was a different area culturally than trips south of Amsterdam. Interesting history of the area. Our guide was excellent and made the trip.

    Boat: Gandalf

  • G. Dunsmuir 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    I would recommend this trip but only if a group of friends were going or if there was some way to know the mix of language of fellow travellers. I was the only person who did not speak the German language. I felt very isolated. A number of German people did try to speak English but it was hard work for them and they were on holidays. One English sailor on board as staff was very kind and attentive. The cook made wonderful gluten free dishes for me!! The guide did an excellent job of switching back and forth from German to English. The cycling and countryside was very pleasant. Sometimes the stops were a bit long but perhaps that was because I couldn't chat around with other travellers.

    Boat: Gandalf

  • L. Fesyk 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    It would have been nice to have a group photo at the end. It seemed a little confused at the end. Also, with other trips I have been on the guide circulates an email list and anyone who wants to join it can. That way it is easy to connect with other participants to exchange photos etc. Other than that it was a great trip. I'd definitely like to do another one! I think the Gandalf is the best boat in the fleet (or so I hear from others).

    Boat: Gandalf

  • L. Roussinos 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    This is a great route and the cycling areas are excellent in so many ways. Scenic paths through forests, parks, graphic small towns and with well defined directions given daily by the guide. The barge cabins were quite adequate in size and even though the bathroom was small it served the purpose for the week long trip. Having porthole windows that we were able to open was great in order to bring in fresh air. The disappointment was that the barge was not very clean overall (dust and cobwebs), there was very little deck space to enjoy the views during cruising and having two large dogs on board did not help matters.
    The food quantity was good but hardly any quality in it. Four out of seven meals were rice oriented, little meat substance and overall not comparable to other similar meals on other barge and bike trips we have taken and the first time we have ever had "fish" lasagna!
    Breakfasts were by far the best meals and there was always plenty to go around and to Read more… prepare for your take away lunch. The crew were friendly and welcoming. I would most definitely recommend this trip if done on a better ship. The trip gets 5 out of 5 stars, the ship hardly 3 out of five.

    Boat: Gandalf

  • K. de Geest 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The trip was nothing short of Fantastic! The towns we went through on the Hanseatic Route were so charming. Captain Hans on the Gandalf was so generous to me...he knows what he did! ;-) I will specifically seek out trips on the Gandalf. Fred the guide was superb...ensuring everyone got the biking experience they wanted and just a lovely guy all around!! This was my first Bike & Barge but it won't be my last...I've got friends lined up wanting to join me on my next trip...they didn't know such trips exist, but they do now!!

    Boat: Gandalf

  • Kris 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    This was such an amazing trip on the Gandalf with Captain Hans and Fred the guide. The description does not do this trip justice. You go through such varied terrain like forests, along the water and the towns were sooo charming! I've been to Holland many times and yet I saw such a beautiful side of Holland that blew me away!

    Boat: Gandalf

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Authentic Holland Boats + Barges

Anna Antal Photo

Anna Antal Netherlands Standard Class Boat The Anna Antal is a former shuttle barge converted into a motor passenger ship in the winter of 1994-95. In 2013, the salon and cabins were renovated. The sailing area of the Anna Antal includes all Dutch, German and Belgian waterways in so far as a ship of this size can sail. She also sails on the Waddenzee, IJsselmeer and Zeeland. The Anna Antal is built according to the rules of Maritime laws and holds a valid certificate for the Rhine.

De Nassau Photo

De Nassau Netherlands Deluxe Class Boat Deluxe class boats are very nicely furnished 5-star ships featuring large cabins with low beds, private bathrooms, a large dining area, separate saloon, and more.

Liza Marleen Photo

Liza Marleen Premium Class Boat The Liza Marleen is a luxury motor passenger barge that was completely refurbished in 1998. This robust barge is ideally suited for trips on the wider waterways. It has a beautiful salon area and spacious deck.

Merlijn Photo

Merlijn Germany, Netherlands Deluxe Class Boat "The Divine Miss M" as we lovingly call the Merlijn is a diva, for sure. What can we say? Is it the luxurious cabins with most comfortable beds you have ever slept in? Is it the lovely dining area with the large windows and skylight that let the air, light, and sun pour in? Or perhaps it is the sun deck, where you can relax with newfound friends, sharing good wine and good conversation. We think you will find it is the entire divine package! Step onboard and discover for yourself!

Sailing Home Photo

Sailing Home Netherlands, Belgium Premium Class Boat Built in 2001, the Sailing Home was designed specifically to provide a more attractive hotel ship during your carefree vacation. It was built to meet the latest wishes and ideas with respect to comfort and service. The experience of a lifetime: cycling through the most beautiful spots within the Netherlands while residing on a very comfortable, newly built and well-furnished ship.

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.

Gandalf Photo

Gandalf Netherlands, Belgium Standard Class Boat The classic MS Gandalf is a comfort class passenger ship that can accommodate 20 guests. Almost everything on this barge is on one level, including the comfortable salon which has scenic panoramic windows.

Wending Photo

Wending Netherlands Standard Class Boat The Wending is a former freight barge that was converted into a luxury passenger motor barge in the early nineties and completely redecorated in 2002. The barge has a spacious salon equipped with a television and music installation. It is a great place to relax after a strenuous day of cycling.

PWPC