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", 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?

  • Merlijn: 
    Twin/double:  £ 1110 $ 2,237 1295 NOK 12303 kr 11356 $ 1,476 Single supplement on request

     

    Liza Marleen 
    Regular twin cabin £ 981 $ 1,978 1145 NOK 10878 kr 10041 $ 1,305
    Regular twin cabin/single use £ 1380 $ 2,781 1610 NOK 15295 kr 14118 $ 1,835
    Superior twin cabin £ 1067 $ 2,150 1245 NOK 11828 kr 10918 $ 1,419
    Superior twin cabin/triple use £ 904 $ 1,822 1055 NOK 10023 kr 9252 $ 1,203
    Zwaan 
    Twin cabin £ 1046 $ 2,107 1220 NOK 11590 kr 10698 $ 1,391
    Twin cabin/family style £ 1046 $ 2,107 1220 NOK 11590 kr 10698 $ 1,391
    Twin cabin/friend's style £ 1046 $ 2,107 1220 NOK 11590 kr 10698 $ 1,391
    Triple cabin/family £ 1020 $ 2,055 1190 NOK 11305 kr 10435 $ 1,357
    Triple cabin/friend's style £ 1020 $ 2,055 1190 NOK 11305 kr 10435 $ 1,357
    Single cabin/front £ 1483 $ 2,988 1730 NOK 16435 kr 15171 $ 1,972
    Anna AntalLow seasonHigh season
    Twin cabin/comfort £ 887 $ 1,788 1035 NOK 9833 kr 9076 $ 1,180 £ 977 $ 1,969 1140 NOK 10830 kr 9997 $ 1,300
    Bunk bed cabin/standard plus £ 763 $ 1,537 890 NOK 8455 kr 7805 $ 1,015 £ 840 $ 1,693 980 NOK 9310 kr 8594 $ 1,117

    Bunk bed cabin for single use

    £ 951 $ 1,916 1109 NOK 10536 kr 9725 $ 1,264 £ 1046 $ 2,107 1220 NOK 11590 kr 10698 $ 1,391
    Sailing Home 
    Twin cabin £ 1046 $ 2,107 1220 NOK 11590 kr 10698 $ 1,391
    Single cabin £ 1483 $ 2,988 1730 NOK 16435 kr 15171 $ 1,972
    De NassauEarly  seasonMid SeasonMain SeasonLate Season
    Twin cabin/lower deck £ 595 $ 1,199 694 NOK 6593 kr 6086 $ 791 £ 749 $ 1,510 874 NOK 8303 kr 7664 $ 996 £ 775 $ 1,561 904 NOK 8588 kr 7927 $ 1,031 £ 732 $ 1,475 854 NOK 8113 kr 7489 $ 974
    Superior twin cabin/lower deck £ 672 $ 1,354 784 NOK 7448 kr 6875 $ 894 £ 826 $ 1,665 964 NOK 9158 kr 8454 $ 1,099 £ 852 $ 1,717 994 NOK 9443 kr 8717 $ 1,133 £ 809 $ 1,631 944 NOK 8968 kr 8278 $ 1,076
    Triple cabin/ lower deck £ 578 $ 1,164 674 NOK 6403 kr 5910 $ 768 £ 732 $ 1,475 854 NOK 8113 kr 7489 $ 974 £ 758 $ 1,527 884 NOK 8398 kr 7752 $ 1,008 £ 715 $ 1,441 834 NOK 7923 kr 7314 $ 951
    Twin cabin/single use/lower deck £ 929 $ 1,872 1084 NOK 10298 kr 9506 $ 1,236 £ 1083 $ 2,183 1264 NOK 12008 kr 11084 $ 1,441 £ 1109 $ 2,235 1294 NOK 12293 kr 11347 $ 1,475 £ 1066 $ 2,149 1244 NOK 11818 kr 10909 $ 1,418
    Twin cabin/upper deck £ 706 $ 1,423 824 NOK 7828 kr 7226 $ 939 £ 861 $ 1,734 1004 NOK 9538 kr 8804 $ 1,145 £ 886 $ 1,786 1034 NOK 9823 kr 9067 $ 1,179 £ 843 $ 1,700 984 NOK 9348 kr 8629 $ 1,122
    Twin cabin/single use/upper deck £ 963 $ 1,941 1124 NOK 10678 kr 9857 $ 1,281 £ 1118 $ 2,252 1304 NOK 12388 kr 11435 $ 1,487 £ 1143 $ 2,304 1334 NOK 12673 kr 11698 $ 1,521 £ 1101 $ 2,218 1284 NOK 12198 kr 11260 $ 1,464

    De Nassau Seasons:
    Early season: May 4
    Mid-season: May 18, August 31, and September 7 
    Main season: All other departure dates, weekly from June 1 up to and incl. August 24 (excluding June 22 and August 3)
    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. 

    Sailing HomeStandard season
    Twin cabin £ 1095 $ 2,207 1278 NOK 12136 kr 11203 $ 1,456
    Single cabin £ 1553 $ 3,129 1812 NOK 17209 kr 15885 $ 2,065

     

    De NassauSeason ASeason BSeason CSeason DSeason E
    Twin cabin/lower deck £ 685 $ 1,380 799 NOK 7591 kr 7007 $ 911 £ 728 $ 1,466 849 NOK 8066 kr 7445 $ 968 £ 771 $ 1,553 899 NOK 8541 kr 7884 $ 1,025 £ 805 $ 1,622 939 NOK 8921 kr 8234 $ 1,070 £ 839 $ 1,691 979 NOK 9301 kr 8585 $ 1,116
    Superior twin cabin/lower deck £ 771 $ 1,553 899 NOK 8541 kr 7884 $ 1,025 £ 813 $ 1,639 949 NOK 9016 kr 8322 $ 1,082 £ 856 $ 1,726 999 NOK 9491 kr 8760 $ 1,139 £ 891 $ 1,795 1039 NOK 9871 kr 9111 $ 1,184 £ 925 $ 1,864 1079 NOK 10251 kr 9462 $ 1,230
    Triple cabin/ lower deck £ 668 $ 1,346 779 NOK 7401 kr 6831 $ 888 £ 711 $ 1,432 829 NOK 7876 kr 7270 $ 945 £ 753 $ 1,518 879 NOK 8351 kr 7708 $ 1,002 £ 788 $ 1,587 919 NOK 8731 kr 8059 $ 1,048 £ 822 $ 1,656 959 NOK 9111 kr 8410 $ 1,093
    Twin cabin/single use/lower deck £ 985 $ 1,985 1149 NOK 10916 kr 10076 $ 1,310 £ 1028 $ 2,071 1199 NOK 11391 kr 10514 $ 1,367 £ 1071 $ 2,157 1249 NOK 11866 kr 10953 $ 1,424 £ 1105 $ 2,226 1289 NOK 12246 kr 11304 $ 1,469 £ 1139 $ 2,296 1329 NOK 12626 kr 11654 $ 1,515
    Twin cabin/upper deck £ 771 $ 1,553 899 NOK 8541 kr 7884 $ 1,025 £ 813 $ 1,639 949 NOK 9016 kr 8322 $ 1,082 £ 856 $ 1,726 999 NOK 9491 kr 8760 $ 1,139 £ 891 $ 1,795 1039 NOK 9871 kr 9111 $ 1,184 £ 925 $ 1,864 1079 NOK 10251 kr 9462 $ 1,230
    Triple cabin/upper deck £ 753 $ 1,518 879 NOK 8351 kr 7708 $ 1,002 £ 796 $ 1,605 929 NOK 8826 kr 8147 $ 1,059 £ 839 $ 1,691 979 NOK 9301 kr 8585 $ 1,116 £ 873 $ 1,760 1019 NOK 9681 kr 8936 $ 1,162 £ 908 $ 1,829 1059 NOK 10061 kr 9287 $ 1,207

     

    ZwaanLow season
    Luxury double  £ 1331 $ 2,682 1553 NOK 14754 kr 13619 $ 1,770
    Twin  £ 1194 $ 2,406 1393 NOK 13234 kr 12216 $ 1,588
    Triple  £ 1160 $ 2,337 1353 NOK 12854 kr 11865 $ 1,542
    Small double/front of boat £ 1039 $ 2,093 1212 NOK 11514 kr 10628 $ 1,382
    Small double for single use/front of boat £ 1507 $ 3,037 1758 NOK 16701 kr 15416 $ 2,004

     

    WendingHigh season
    Twin cabin £ 1082 $ 2,181 1263 NOK 11994 kr 11071 $ 1,439
    Single cabin £ 1258 $ 2,535 1468 NOK 13941 kr 12869 $ 1,673
    Triple cabin £ 1099 $ 2,215 1283 NOK 12184 kr 11247 $ 1,462

     

    GandalfApril 25May - July
    Twin cabin £ 856 $ 1,726 999 NOK 9491 kr 8760 $ 1,139 £ 942 $ 1,898 1099 NOK 10441 kr 9637 $ 1,253
    Triple cabin £ 822 $ 1,656 959 NOK 9111 kr 8410 $ 1,093 £ 908 $ 1,829 1059 NOK 10061 kr 9287 $ 1,207
    Twin cabin/single use £ 1242 $ 2,502 1449 NOK 13761 kr 12702 $ 1,651 £ 1370 $ 2,761 1599 NOK 15186 kr 14018 $ 1,822

     

    extra options

    Aboard the Merlijn
    Electric bicycle rental (price is per day): £ 21 $ 43 25 NOK 238 kr 219 $ 29 Aboard the De Nassau:
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 86 $ 173 100 NOK 950 kr 877 $ 114 Fully guided option: £ 107 $ 216 125 NOK 1188 kr 1096 $ 143 Canal tour in Amsterdam: £ 11 $ 22 13 NOK 119 kr 110 $ 14 Aboard the Anna Antal, Zwaan, and Sailing Home:
    Electric bike rental: £ 69 $ 138 80 NOK 760 kr 702 $ 91 Set of 3 bike maps for self-guided cycling: £ 24 $ 49 29 NOK 271 kr 250 $ 32 Child's 21-speed hybrid bike with helmet: £ 47 $ 95 55 NOK 523 kr 482 $ 63 Trailer bike for ages 5 - 9: £ 43 $ 86 50 NOK 475 kr 438 $ 57 Child seat with helmet: £ 13 $ 26 15 NOK 143 kr 132 $ 17

    Sailing Home, Zwaan, and Wending:
    Children's discounts available
    Children's bikes, trailer bike, child seat, and trailers are available
    Electric bike: £ 71 $ 143 83 NOK 784 kr 723 $ 94 Gluten-free/Celiac/vegan diet: £ 43 $ 86 50 NOK 475 kr 438 $ 57

    De Nassau and Gandalf:
    Electric bike: £ 86 $ 173 100 NOK 950 kr 877 $ 114 Helmet: £ 9 $ 17 10 NOK 95 kr 88 $ 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

Comfort Plus boats:
Merlijn: May 19, 2019
Sailing Home: May 11, 2019
Liza Marleen: July 6, 2019
De Nassau:
Early season: May 4*
Mid-season: May 18*, August 31, and September 7 
Main season: All other departure dates, weekly from June 1 up to and incl. August 24 (excl. June 22 and August 3)
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. 

*Last minute boat change for May 4 and May 18 departures. The De Nassau will be replaced by the Rotterdam.

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

Standard Plus boat:
Anna Antal:
High season: May 25, August 17, and August 24, 2019
Low season: August 10, 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 4, 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
From694 Rates
Client 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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Customer Feedback

  • Linda H. 10 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. 11 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 Read more… Merlijn.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Sandra B. 11 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. 1 year 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. 1 year 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. 2 years 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 Read more… 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 3 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 3 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

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 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.

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 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.

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.

PWPC