Kinderdijk windmill row Holland

Gouda City Hall Holland
4.8/5 (5 ratings)

Heart of Holland

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Biking and boating historical cities in Holland through the green heart of Central and Southern Holland

  • On this bike and boat tour in Holland, you will discover the "Groene Hart" or Green Heart of the country, a sparsely populated rural area surrounded by cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

    This is the heart of the Holland of old: peat meadows, grazing cattle, windmills, typical villages, and lots of water.

    It is also the stuff of the Dutch masters who captured this polder landscape bathed in that infamous otherworldly Dutch light in many works of art.

    Contrast the old and the new on this lovely bike and boat tour in Holland!

    Highlights:

    • Biking through the Green Heart
    • Historical Amsterdam
    • Rijksmuseum and Delft porcelain studio
    • Small boat atmosphere
    • Gouda, the Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, and Leiden
    • Cycling the North Sea Coast.

    Looking for something different? Here is a complete list of bike and barge tours in the Netherlands.

  • 2020

    Lena MariaMay - Sept.  19Sept. 26
    Twin bed £ 900 $ 1,994 1059 $ 1596 NOK 9972 kr 9205 $ 1,197 £ 815 $ 1,806 959 $ 1445 NOK 9031 kr 8336 $ 1,084
    Twin for single use (one per departure) £ 1307 $ 2,898 1539 $ 2318 NOK 14488 kr 13373 $ 1,739 £ 1180 $ 2,615 1389 $ 2092 NOK 13075 kr 12069 $ 1,569

     

    FloraAll dates
    Twin bed £ 883 $ 1,957 1039 $ 1565 NOK 9784 kr 9031 $ 1,174
    Twin for single use (one per departure) £ 1282 $ 2,841 1509 $ 2273 NOK 14205 kr 13112 $ 1,705
    Triple (one bunk bed)* £ 798 $ 1,768 939 $ 1415 NOK 8842 kr 8162 $ 1,061

    *Suitable only for a child

    extra options

    2020

    Flora and Lena Maria:
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113 Bike helmet rental, MUST be reserved in advance: £ 8 $ 19 10 $ 15 NOK 94 kr 87 $ 11 Canal tour, Amsterdam:  £ 11 $ 24 13 $ 20 NOK 122 kr 113 $ 15 (reserve and pay in advance and ticket will be waiting on board)

    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 also known as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS).

    Local Travel

    Flora and Lena Maria: 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. Short taxi ride to mooring location, or depending on 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°.

    Remarks

    Lena Maria and Flora: a discounted ticket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam is offered. Please book this at time of reservation. You can collect it on board of your ship on the 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. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *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.

    *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

2020

Lena Maria (guided): May 16, May 23, June 6, June 13, June 20, June 27, July 4, September 5, September 12, September 19, and September 26, 2020

Flora (self-guided): May 16, May 30, June 13, June 20, June 27, July 4, July 25, August 1, August 8, and August 15, 2020

Skill Level

This is an easy, self guided (on the Flora) or guided (on the Lena Maria) bike and boat tour with average daily distances between 10 and 34 miles (15 and 55 km). The majority of the time you will cycle on dedicated bike paths or county roads, but there are times when entering or exiting towns/cities that you will share the road! On most days there will be a choice between two cycling options: a shorter/longer or quicker/slower tour (this depends on the day-to-day program). Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bike option. GPS tracks are available for the Lena Maria and the Flora. A link will be provided in final tour information.

What’s Included

Flora

  • Accommodation for 7 nights on board
  • 7 breakfasts, packed lunches, 7 three-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Welcome drink
  • Once weekly cabin cleaning
  • Welcome drink
  • Daily tour briefings
  • Detailed maps and route descriptions, one set per cabin
  • 7-speed hybrid city touring bike (Velo de Ville C100 or Gazelle Chamonix) with unisex frame, handbrakes, gel saddles, integral frame lock, pannier bag, repair kit with pump
  • GPS tracks
  • Wifi (you may pay a small fee. Do note that due to steel construction of ship, the signal strength and download speed will not be what you are accustomed to.)

Lena Maria

  • Accommodation for 7 nights on board
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 packed lunches, 7 three-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Welcome drink
  • Once weekly cabin cleaning
  • Tour guide
  • Daily tour briefings
  • 7-speed hybrid city touring bike (Velo de Ville C100 or Gazelle Chamonix) with unisex frame, handbrakes, gel saddles, integral frame lock, pannier bag, repair kit with pump
  • Detailed maps and route descriptions, one set per cabin
  • GPS tracks
  • Wifi (you may pay a small fee. Do note that due to steel construction of ship, the signal strength and download speed will not be what you are accustomed to.)

What’s Not Included

Flora and Lena Maria

  • Individual arrival and departure from the boat
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Fees for ferries/water bus
  • Drinks on board
  • Gratuities
  • Electric bike ( Velo de Ville CEB 200 with Nexus 7 gears and crank Bosch motor (400 WH) offering 4 support levels). Available with supplement. See pricing.
  • Helmets (available with a supplement. See pricing.)
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From844 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Heart of 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.

Flora and Lena Maria


Day 1: Arrival and embarkation in Amsterdam
Day 2Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam - Zaanse Schans – Haarlem, 24 or 34 mi. (40 or 55 km)
Day 3: Haarlem – North Sea coast – Leiden, 25 or 34 mi. (42 or 55 km)
Day 4: Leiden – Delft, 22 or 34 mi. (35 or 41 km)
Day 5: Delft – Rotterdam – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk (Schoonhoven) – Gouda, several options from 15 to 41 mi. (23 to 66 km)
Day 6: Gouda - Kudelstaart, 28 or 34 miles (45 or 55 km)
Day 7: Kudelstaart – Aalsmeer – Amsterdam or Kudelstaart to Amsterdam, 19 or 23 miles (approx. 30 or 37 km)
Day 8: End of the tour; disembarkation in Amsterdam

Parts in italics undertaken on board. Shorter routes may not feature all highlights in the itinerary.

Day 1: Arrival and embarkation in Amsterdam
Lena Maria: Embarkation/check-in begins at 2 p.m. You can leave your luggage on board from 11 am and can then set out to explore the city center, located within walking distance.  A tour introduction takes place at 3 pm, followed by distribution of the bicycles and a short test ride with your tour leader. Dinner is served onboard this evening.
Flora: Embarkation and check-in begin at 2 pm. After unpacking your luggage in your cabin, you will still have plenty of time to explore this famous city.  Treat yourself to a canal tour, visit one or more museums or simply do some shopping. An introduction to the tour will take place at 5.30 p.m. during which the crew will be introduced and your first dinner on board will be served,  your rental bicycles will also be distributed at this time.

Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaanse Schans – Haarlem, 24 - 34 mi. (40 - 55 km)
You visit the lovely open-air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ after a short cruise to Zaandam. An old 18th and 19th-century Dutch village was reconstructed in the museum, where you can visit windmills, a cheese-maker, and a clog maker. You then cycle to Haarlem, where you are able to stroll through the lovely city center and the Grote Markt (market square) in the evening. If preferred, today’s bike tour can also be extended with a visit of the sea locks of IJmuiden and the Kennemer Dunes.

Day 3: Haarlem – North Sea coast – Leiden, 25 or 34 mi. (42 or 55 km)
You cycle along the North Sea Coast and through the dunes, via the seaside resorts Noordwijk and Katwijk aan Zee. The day ends in Leiden, one of the oldest university cities. Here you can follow in the footsteps of the famous painter, Rembrandt, through the beautiful old city center.

Day 4: Leiden – Delft, Several options for mileage from 15 (23 km) to 41 mi. (66 km)
From Leiden, you cycle to Delft, where a Delft Blue porcelain studio can be viewed and visited. The royal crypts of the House of Orange are also located in the beautiful center of Delft. From Delft, you can also visit The Hague. If you prefer not to cycle here, you can also take the or per train or tram. Highlights of today's route include the Binnenhof, the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis), and the Scheveningen seaside resort. 

Day 5: Delft – Rotterdam – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk (Schoonhoven) – Gouda, several options from 15 to 41 mi. (23 to 66 km)
You travel per boat through the remarkable international port of Rotterdam, from Delft to Kinderdijk. The Kinderdijk offers an impressive view of 19 windmills in a row. From here, you cycle a shorter distance directly to Gouda, known for its famous cheese. You can also choose to take the longer route via Schoonhoven, also known as the silver city.

Day 6: Gouda - Kudelstaart, 28 or 34 mi. (45 or 55 km)
You cycle to the small town of Kudelstaart, straight through the idyllic South Holland landscape with numerous little canals. At the mooring place on the banks of the Westeinder Plassen (“West End” Lakes), you can enjoy the beautiful view.

Day 7: Kudelstaart – Aalsmeer - Amsterdam, 19 or 23 miles (approx. 30 or 37 km)| or Kudelstaart - Amsterdam
Early in the morning, you can visit the large flower auction at Aalsmeer (entrance fee not included). After breakfast, you can choose to cruise through the City of Amsterdam to the mooring place or cycle into the city through the city park Amsterdamse Bos or along the Amstel river. Take some time to enjoy the attractions in the city center during the afternoon and evening.

Day 8: End of the tour; disembarkation in Amsterdam
Bid the crew farewell and disembark after breakfast by 9:30 am. 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, you may do so but please confirm with the crew.

*Please note that if you choose the shorter route, you may miss some of the mentioned highlights.

You can view all of our bike and barge tours in Europe or look at our featured bike trips, specials, and news. 

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Tour Reviews

  • Lorraine B. 4 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    Most Memorable Part: Cycling the Dutch countryside

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Elsie R. 5 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the “Heart of Holland” Bike and Barge Trip aboard the Lena Maria. I was a party of four ladies (3 Canadians and 1 USA) whose trip began on May 11. We had a fantastic trip.

    Our guide, Francien, was excellent! She did an excellent job of leading the biking events...stopping for breaks when needed and keeping us moving at a comfortable pace. The evening “Next Day” sessions gave us a good idea of what to expect the next day. The stops at the 17 windmills, the cheese factory, and the flower auction site added to the day’s plan. The two evening guided city walks gave us time to explore onfoot, too. Lastly, Francien kept close watch on her biking group while leading us through city traffic and country roads. The biking trip was an excellent way to see the countryside.

    The crew on the Lena Maria was excellent...the food was wonderful (great Chef!) and the hostess was very welcoming. The barge was a very Read more… welcome sight at the end of a day of biking:-)

    I am pleased to say that this 72-year old lady biked every day of the trip without needing an electric bike! In fact, I just might take another bike and barge trip. Many of my friends have expressed interest in joining our next adventure!

    Thanks again!

    Boat: Lena Maria

  • Yun S. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Best Parts: Easy booking process, online Q & A instant answers. Safe bike routes, great time on bikes!

    Boat: Flora

  • Bruce N. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Most Memorable Part: Biking the rural/countryside of Holland

    Boat: Flora

  • Shirley 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    We just completed this trip (may 13 - 20), and loved the experience. The rural scenery was so lovely - however if you are looking for more than peaceful pastures and canals for 6 days, then this might not be the trip for you. The first day of biking was into a strong wind for 55 km which made it very challenging. I would recommend an e-bike! The bikes were very heavy, the gears changed easily, the saddlebags and bike locks worked very well. Although we had maps, 2 GPS, a discussion of the route by the captain....we still got lost every time we went through a city. There were several times that the map showed a road number however that number was not found on the road signs. The food was served family style and was plentiful. The boat was small but suitable for the 19 passengers, the bathrooms were tiny but there was plenty of hot water for showers.
    Negatives - no ice for our water bottles; no fans or air conditioning for the couple of days that were extremely hot; our rooms were Read more… never cleaned; the captain tended to be curt; the maps were not always accurate.

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Heart of Holland Boats + Barges

Flora Photo

Flora Netherlands Standard Class Boat The Flora, renovated during the winter of 2006/2007, is a well upgraded ship that is ready to receive new guests while sailing in the Netherlands.

Lena Maria Photo

Lena Maria Belgium, Netherlands Standard Class Boat The barge Lena Maria is a former freight ship rebuilt in 2004 into a comfortable 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 accommodates two people comfortably.

PWPC