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
4.7/5 (11 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." The east central mainland province, Gelderland is the least populated and the largest of the Dutch regions.

    Gelderland has several large national parks. The IJssel forks from the Rhine near Arnhem and the 125 km winding river valley offers the cyclist a fantastic area in which to cycle without the inconvenience of any difficult climbs.

    This Dutch bike tour visits various old Hanseatic towns that flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries, picturesque fishing harbors, and the new Flevoland, created as a result of land reclamation.

    During the whole tour you travel through wood and moorland sections of the Achterhoek, Veluwe, and Gooi nature reserves, very suitable for bike tours and a favorite of Dutch cyclists!

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

  • Gandalf

    Sept 22,
    2018

    Twin cabin below deck £ 769 $ 1,368 939 NOK 9234 kr 8523 $ 1,108
    Single cabin below deck £ 933 $ 1,659 1139 NOK 11200 kr 10339 $ 1,344
    *Triple cabin below deck £ 720 $ 1,281 879 NOK 8644 kr 7979 $ 1,037
    Sarah 
    Twin cabin below deck £ 810 $ 1,441 989 NOK 9725 kr 8977 $ 1,167
    Single cabin below deck £ 974 $ 1,732 1189 NOK 11692 kr 10792 $ 1,403
    *Triple cabin below deck £ 769 $ 1,368 939 NOK 9234 kr 8523 $ 1,108

    *2 triple cabins available per sailing.

    Lena Maria

    September 22

    All other departures
    Twin cabin below deck £ 769 $ 1,368 939 NOK 9234 kr 8523 $ 1,108 £ 810 $ 1,441 989 NOK 9725 kr 8977 $ 1,167
    Single cabin below deck £ 933 $ 1,659 1139 NOK 11200 kr 10339 $ 1,344 £ 974 $ 1,732 1189 NOK 11692 kr 10792 $ 1,403
     Anna AntalZwaan
    Twin cabin  £ 860 $ 1,530 1050 NOK 10325 kr 9531 $ 1,239 £ 946 $ 1,683 1155 NOK 11358 kr 10484 $ 1,363
    Bunk bed cabin £ 737 $ 1,310 899 NOK 8840 kr 8160 $ 1,061 n/a
    Single cabin  £ 919 $ 1,635 1122 NOK 11033 kr 10184 $ 1,324 £ 1344 $ 2,389 1640 NOK 16127 kr 14886 $ 1,935
    Triplen/a £ 922 $ 1,639 1125 NOK 11063 kr 10212 $ 1,328

     

    Merlijn: 
    Twin/double:  £ 1061 $ 1,887 1295 NOK 12734 kr 11755 $ 1,528 Single supplement on request

    Liza Marleen 
    Regular twin cabin £ 938 $ 1,668 1145 NOK 11259 kr 10393 $ 1,351
    Regular twin cabin/single use £ 1319 $ 2,345 1610 NOK 15832 kr 14614 $ 1,900
    Superior twin cabin £ 1020 $ 1,814 1245 NOK 12243 kr 11301 $ 1,469
    Superior twin cabin/triple use £ 865 $ 1,537 1055 NOK 10374 kr 9576 $ 1,245
    Zwaan 
    Twin cabin £ 1000 $ 1,777 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440
    Twin cabin/family style £ 1000 $ 1,777 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440
    Twin cabin/friend's style £ 1000 $ 1,777 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440
    Triple cabin/family £ 975 $ 1,734 1190 NOK 11702 kr 10802 $ 1,404
    Triple cabin/friend's style £ 975 $ 1,734 1190 NOK 11702 kr 10802 $ 1,404
    Single cabin/front £ 1418 $ 2,520 1730 NOK 17012 kr 15703 $ 2,041
    Anna AntalLow seasonHigh season
    Twin cabin/comfort £ 848 $ 1,508 1035 NOK 10178 kr 9395 $ 1,221 £ 934 $ 1,661 1140 NOK 11210 kr 10348 $ 1,345
    Bunk bed cabin/standard plus £ 729 $ 1,297 890 NOK 8752 kr 8078 $ 1,050 £ 803 $ 1,428 980 NOK 9637 kr 8895 $ 1,156

    Bunk bed cabin for single use

    £ 909 $ 1,616 1109 NOK 10905 kr 10066 $ 1,309 £ 1000 $ 1,777 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440
    Sailing Home 
    Twin cabin £ 1000 $ 1,777 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440
    Single cabin £ 1418 $ 2,520 1730 NOK 17012 kr 15703 $ 2,041
    De NassauEarly  seasonMid SeasonMain SeasonLate Season
    Twin cabin/lower deck £ 569 $ 1,011 694 NOK 6824 kr 6299 $ 819 £ 716 $ 1,273 874 NOK 8594 kr 7933 $ 1,031 £ 741 $ 1,317 904 NOK 8889 kr 8206 $ 1,067 £ 700 $ 1,244 854 NOK 8398 kr 7752 $ 1,008
    Superior twin cabin/lower deck £ 642 $ 1,142 784 NOK 7709 kr 7116 $ 925 £ 790 $ 1,404 964 NOK 9479 kr 8750 $ 1,138 £ 815 $ 1,448 994 NOK 9774 kr 9022 $ 1,173 £ 629 $ 1,119 768 NOK 7552 kr 6971 $ 906
    Triple cabin/ lower deck £ 552 $ 982 674 NOK 6628 kr 6118 $ 795 £ 700 $ 1,244 854 NOK 8398 kr 7752 $ 1,008 £ 724 $ 1,288 884 NOK 8693 kr 8024 $ 1,043 £ 683 $ 1,215 834 NOK 8201 kr 7570 $ 984
    Twin cabin/single use/lower deck £ 888 $ 1,579 1084 NOK 10659 kr 9839 $ 1,279 £ 1036 $ 1,841 1264 NOK 12429 kr 11473 $ 1,492 £ 1060 $ 1,885 1294 NOK 12724 kr 11746 $ 1,527 £ 1019 $ 1,812 1244 NOK 12233 kr 11292 $ 1,468
    Twin cabin/upper deck £ 675 $ 1,200 824 NOK 8103 kr 7479 $ 972 £ 823 $ 1,463 1004 NOK 9873 kr 9113 $ 1,185 £ 847 $ 1,506 1034 NOK 10168 kr 9386 $ 1,220 £ 806 $ 1,433 984 NOK 9676 kr 8932 $ 1,161
    Twin cabin/single use/upper deck £ 921 $ 1,637 1124 NOK 11053 kr 10202 $ 1,326 £ 1069 $ 1,900 1304 NOK 12823 kr 11836 $ 1,539 £ 1093 $ 1,943 1334 NOK 13118 kr 12109 $ 1,574 £ 1052 $ 1,871 1284 NOK 12626 kr 11655 $ 1,515

     

     

    extra options

    Aboard the Merlijn
    Electric bicycle rental (price is per day): £ 20 $ 36 25 NOK 246 kr 227 $ 30 Aboard the De Nassau:
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 82 $ 146 100 NOK 983 kr 908 $ 118 Fully guided option: £ 102 $ 182 125 NOK 1229 kr 1135 $ 148 Canal tour in Amsterdam: £ 10 $ 18 13 NOK 123 kr 113 $ 15 Aboard the Anna Antal, Zwaan, and Sailing Home:
    Elecric bike rental: £ 66 $ 117 80 NOK 787 kr 726 $ 94 Set of 3 bike maps for self-guided cycling: £ 23 $ 42 29 NOK 280 kr 259 $ 34 Child's 21 speed hybrid bike with helmet: £ 45 $ 80 55 NOK 541 kr 499 $ 65 Trailer bike for ages 5 - 9: £ 41 $ 73 50 NOK 492 kr 454 $ 59 Child seat with helmet: £ 12 $ 22 15 NOK 148 kr 136 $ 18 Aboard the Sarah, Gandalf, and Lena Maria
    Electric bicycle rental (limited number, please book well in advance):  £ 78 $ 138 95 NOK 934 kr 862 $ 112 Canal tour in Amsterdam: £ 10 $ 18 13 NOK 123 kr 113 $ 15 Helmets, to be requested at time of booking: £ 8 $ 15 10 NOK 98 kr 91 $ 12

    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 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. Using a train will cost you 3.80 Euros when travelling second class. Short taxi ride to mooring location.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions before your arrival. The average high/low temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit for the area are: June 66°/52°, September 64°/51°, and October 57°/46°


Tour Dates

Comfort boats:
Lena Maria: September 15, and September 22, 2018 
Gandalf: September 22, 2018

Comfort Plus boat:
Merlijn: May 19, 2019
Sailing Home: May 11, 2019
Liza Marleen: July 6, 2019
De Nassau:
Early season: May 4
Mid-season: May 11, May 18, May 25, August 31, September 7 and September 14 
Main season: All other departure dates, weekly from June 1 up to and incl. August 24 
Late season: September 21, September 28, and October 5
On the following dates, a fully guided option is offered: May 18, June 8, September 14, and 28. 

Comfort boat:
Zwaan: 
June 22, June 29, July 6, and July 13, 2019

Standard Plus boats:
Anna Antal:

High season: May 25, August 17, and August 24, 2019
Low season: August 10, 2019

 

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

  • Aboard the Merlijn
  • Accommodation for 6 nights on board in a double room, with private bathroom, climate control, safe, hairdryer
  • Breakfasts, packed lunches, and 4 x dinner
  • 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, and Anna Antal
  • Accommodation for 7 nights
  • 7 x breakfasts, 6 x packed lunches, and 7 x three course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide, provides tour information and daily guided cycling
  • 24-speed bicycle, incl. use of helmet (2019)
  • Free limited WiFi (in lounge and on deck. Surcharge if usage is more than 100 MB)
  • Road book
  • Ferry fares
  • Aboard the De Nassau
  • Accommodations for 7 nights
  • 7 x breakfasts, 6 x packed lunches, and 7 x three course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board till 4 p.m.
  • Welcome drink
  • Bed linen and towels
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Climate-controlled cabin
  • Daily 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)
  • Bike rental with pannier bag
  • GPS tracks
  • Wi-Fi
  • Aboard the Gandalf, Lena Maria, or Sarah
  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board
  • 7 x breakfasts, 6 x packed lunches, and 7 x three course dinners
  • Coffee and tea during breakfast and also between 3 pm and 4 pm
  • Tour leader ((Provides daily briefings of the bike tours, during the day, cycling the daily bike tour and individual travelers can reach him/her on his/her cell phone. Cyclists can opt to cycle with the leader, if they wish)
  • Route information and maps (one set per cabin)
  • 7 speed hybrid bicycle equipped with pannier bag
  • 1 x cleaning of cabin

What’s Not Included

  • Aboard the Merlijn
  • Drinks other than mentioned
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Two dinners
  • Gratuities
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance
  • Aboard the Zwaan, Sailing Home, Liza Marleen, and Anna Antal
  • Drinks
  • Entrance fee to museums (approx €30)
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance
  • Aboard the De Nassau
  • Coffee and tea on board after 4 p.m.
  • Drinks
  • Helmet rental
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Fees for ferries
  • Aboard the Gandalf, Lena Maria, or Sarah
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Helmets, reserve at time of booking, see pricing.
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance
  • Aboard the Zwaan, Sailing Home, and Anna Antal
  • Drinks other than mentioned
  • Entrance fees and excursions (approx. €30)
  • Gratuities
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length7–8 days
From899 Rates
Client Reviews

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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!

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Authentic Holland Map

Each boat has a slightly different itinerary and also vary in what is included and note included. All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons. 


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 afterwards 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 sailing to 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

Day 1: Embarkation in Amsterdam
Embarkation and check-in by 2 pm at the latest. The barge will leave Amsterdam to sail over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to Wijk bij Duurstede on the Rhine where you will spend your first night. If you arrive a bit early, you can leave your luggage on board. The mooring place of the barge in Amsterdam is Oosterdok (near the Science Center: ‘Nemo’, Oosterdok 2)

Day 2: Wijk bij Duursteed - sailing to Wageningen/Rhenen - Arnhem, 19 mi. (30 km)
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, 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.

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 recognised 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 barge will sail to Deventer where you have the option of a short guided walking tour in the evening.

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.

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 harbour 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 centre 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 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 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 | Zutphen – Deventer, 27 or 35 mi.  (44 or 56 km)
Day 4: Deventer – Zwolle| Zwolle – Kampen, 27 or 35 mi. (44 or 56 km)
Day 5: Kampen – Elburg – Harderwijk, 29 mi.  (48 km)
Day 6: Harderwijk – Spakenburg – Huizen, 28 0r 35 mi.  (45 or 56 km)
Day 7: Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam, 21 mi.  (35 km)
Day 8: Amsterdam

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. 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 | 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 – Zwolle| Zwolle – Kampen, 27 or 35 mi. (44 or 56 km)
This morning you will enjoy a short bicycle ride along the riverbank of the Ijssel, before boarding a ferry at Wijhe to cross the river to Hattem. This 800-year-old town has a rich history, which is still clearly visible today. If you feel like it, you can exercise your leg muscles during a longer bicycle trip across the east Veluwe area. The ship will be waiting close to Zwolle and sail to Kampen during dinner. 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
The last part of your tour is today, but we won’t let you leave with an empty stomach. So before disembarkation until 9.30 a.m., enjoy a nice breakfast first

Day 1: Arrival and embarkation in Amsterdam; cruise Wijk bij Duurstede
Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede - Wageningen/Rhenen. Cycling to Arnhem, 18 or 30 mi. (30 or 50 km)
Day 3:  Arnhem - Doesburg. Cycling to Zuthpen, 21 or 27 mi. (35 or 45 km) During dinner sailing to Deventer.
Day 4:  Deventer - Hattem, 30 or 36 mi. (50 or 60 km). Evening cruise to Kampen
Day 5:  Kampen - Elburg- Harderwijk, 24 or 36 mi. (40 or  60 km)
Day 6:  Harderwijk - Spakenburg, 18 or 33 mi. (30 or 55 km)
Day 7: Spakenburg - Huizen | Huizen - Naarden - Muiden - Amsterdam, 21 or 33 mi. (35 or 50 km)
Day 8:  Amsterdam, debarkation before 10 AM near Central Station.

*All distances are approximate and subject to change due to weather conditions or mooring requirements.

Day 1: Arrival and embarkation in Amsterdam; cruising to Wijk bij Duurstede.
Embarkation begins at  2 pm  in Amsterdam. You can bring your luggage on board at 11 am. You will find the barge docked in the Oosterdok (Nautisch Kwartier). At approximately 3 PM the boat motors from Amsterdam over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to Wijk bij Duurstede on the Rhine.

Day 2:  Wijk bij Duurstede - Wageningen/Rhenen. Cycling to Arnhem, 18 or 30 mi. (30 or 50 km)
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 woods and moorlands of Veluwe National Park. The 5400 hectare park is home to many plant and animal species and, importantly, the Kröller-Müller Museum, the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world (the museum is not included in the bike tour; you can visit the museum individually, bike tour then ca. 60 km/36 mi.). 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.

Day 3: Arnhem - Doesburg | Cycling to Zuthpen, 21 or 27 mi. (35 or 45 km) During dinner sailing to Deventer.
In the morning, the barge cruises to the small Hanseatic town of Doesburg. Then, via the Hanseatic Town Route, you cycle along the IJssel to the beautiful small town of Bronkhorst. A shorter variation is possible as well along the riverbank to Zutphen. The longer tour leads via Vorden, passing country houses, castles, and rural estates. During dinner, the ship sails to Deventer for an optional short guided walking tour in the evening.

Day 4:  Deventer - Hattem, 30 or 36 mi. (50 or 60 km). Evening cruise to Kampen
Enjoy a short cycling trip along the IJssel riverbank and then you board the ferry at Wijhe to cross to Hattem; a longer bicycle ride follows through east Veluwe. During dinner, the ship sails to Kampen where you have the option to participate in a guided walking tour. Spend the night in the largest Hanseatic town in the Netherlands.

Day 5: Kampen - Elburg- Harderwijk, 24 or 36 mi. (40 or  60 km)
In the morning the barge will sail to the IJssel estuary and across the so-calledborder lakes of the IJssel to the fishing harbour 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 favourite 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 harbour.

Day 6: Harderwijk - Bunschoten - Spakenburg, 18 or 33 mi. (30 or 55 km)
Today you have the option between a short Dutch cycle tour along the coast or a longer one through the woodlands. The night is spent in Spakenburg. Here, the women still go about their daily lives in traditional clothes. There are other aspects of life in Spakenburg which are still  traditional as well such as strict observance of Sunday as the day of the Lord. The people of Spakenburg go to church twice and on special religious holidays, even three times. All establishments are closed on Sundays, even the ice cream bar or cafes. 

Day 7:  Spakenburg - Huizen | Huizen - Naarden - Muiden - Amsterdam, 21 or 33 mi. (35 or 50 km)
After breakfast, you can choose to stay on the boat and cruise to Huizen or cycle to today's destination. The bike tour leads to the beautiful fortress town of Naarden and the Muiderslot, the famous castle in Muiden and then along quiet roads to Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are spent in Amsterdam.

Day 8: Departure from Amsterdam

*Italicized portions are undertaken by boat.
** Where two distances are given, two options are provided for your cycling day.

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Customer Feedback

  • Linda H. 2 months ago

    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. 3 months ago

    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 Merlijn.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Sandra B. 3 months ago

    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. 8 months ago

    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. 9 months ago

    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. 1 year ago

    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 2 years ago

    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 2 years ago

    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 2 years ago

    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 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 2 years ago

    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 2 years ago

    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

Gandalf Photo

Gandalf Netherlands, Belgium Comfort Class Boat The classic MS Gandalf is a comfort class passenger ship that can accommodate 20-22 guests. Almost everything on this barge is on one level, including the comfortable salon which has scenic panoramic windows.

Lena Maria Photo

Lena Maria Belgium, Netherlands Comfort Class Boat The barge the Lena Maria is a former freight ship rebuilt in 2004 into a luxury cruise barge. There is a lounge for relaxation with many windows to create an open atmosphere and allows for a nice view while motoring. There is an outside sundeck with chairs. Each cabin has two low single beds and can accomodate two people comfortably.

Merlijn Photo

Merlijn Germany, Netherlands Comfort Plus Class Boat The Merlijn has 12 luxurious cabins with two comfortable airbeds that can be pushed together or separated, a desk, a wardrobe closet, a hairdryer, and a safe. The lounge is comfortably furnished in a modern style with a restaurant area and lounge near the bar. You can enjoy fresh air, water, and nature in all weather on the sun deck. The entire ship is climate controlled and you can adjust the temperature in your own cabin.

Sarah Photo

Sarah Belgium, Netherlands Comfort Class Boat The Sarah is a very comfortable and spacious ship. After years of use as a cargo ship, the Sarah was transformed into a passenger boat in 2002. It is a very modern ship with tasteful accommodations, a spacious air conditioned lounge/restaurant, and large and inviting sun deck. The corridor is air conditioned as well.

Anna Antal Photo

Anna Antal Netherlands Standard Plus Class Boat The Anna Antal is a former shuttle barge converted into a motor passenger ship in the winter of 1994-95. In 2012, 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.

Zwaan Photo

Zwaan Belgium, Netherlands Comfort 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.

Sailing Home Photo

Sailing Home Netherlands, Belgium Comfort Plus 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.

De Nassau Photo

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

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