Kinderdijk windmill row Holland

Gouda City Hall Holland
4.7/5 (3 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 other wordly Dutch light in many works of art.

    In 2019, with only one departure, the Merlijn will offer a slightly different itinerary so please take a look at the itinerary and start planning!

    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.

  • Merlijn:
    Twin/double: £ 1280 $ 2,579 1480 NOK 14183 kr 13092 $ 1,702 Single cabin: only on request and cannot be guaranteed
     

    FloraHigh seasonLow season
    Twin bed £ 808 $ 1,627 934 NOK 8951 kr 8262 $ 1,074 £ 730 $ 1,471 844 NOK 8088 kr 7466 $ 971
    Twin for single use (one per departure) £ 1093 $ 2,202 1264 NOK 12113 kr 11182 $ 1,454 £ 989 $ 1,993 1144 NOK 10963 kr 10120 $ 1,316
    Triple (one bunk bed)* £ 730 $ 1,471 844 NOK 8088 kr 7466 $ 971 £ 652 $ 1,314 754 NOK 7226 kr 6670 $ 867

    *Third bed in triple cabin is a bunk bed (70 x 180 cm) and only suitable for a child with max weight of 40 kg
    High Season:
    May 18, May 25, June 29, July 6, July 27, August 17, August 31, and September 14, 2019
    Low Season:
    September 21 and September 28, 2019

    Lena MariaHigh seasonLow season
    Twin bed £ 851 $ 1,715 984 NOK 9430 kr 8705 $ 1,132 £ 773 $ 1,558 894 NOK 8568 kr 7908 $ 1,028
    Twin for single use (one per departure) £ 1136 $ 2,290 1314 NOK 12593 kr 11624 $ 1,511 £ 1032 $ 2,080 1194 NOK 11443 kr 10562 $ 1,373

    High Season:
    May 11, June 15, June 22, August 31, September 7, and September 14, 2019
    Low Season:
    September 21, 2019

    Flora

    Cabin typeHigh seasonLow season
    Twin bed £ 808 $ 1,627 934 NOK 8951 kr 8262 $ 1,074 £ 730 $ 1,471 844 NOK 8088 kr 7466 $ 971
    Twin for single use (one per departure) £ 1093 $ 2,202 1264 NOK 12113 kr 11182 $ 1,454 £ 989 $ 1,993 1144 NOK 10963 kr 10120 $ 1,316
    Triple (one bunk bed)* £ 730 $ 1,471 844 NOK 8088 kr 7466 $ 971 £ 652 $ 1,314 754 NOK 7226 kr 6670 $ 867
    Lena MariaMay - Sept.  19Sept. 26
    Twin bed £ 916 $ 1,845 1059 NOK 10149 kr 9368 $ 1,218 £ 829 $ 1,671 959 NOK 9190 kr 8483 $ 1,103
    Twin for single use (one per departure) £ 1330 $ 2,681 1539 NOK 14744 kr 13610 $ 1,769 £ 1201 $ 2,419 1389 NOK 13306 kr 12283 $ 1,597
    FloraAll dates
    Twin bed £ 898 $ 1,810 1039 NOK 9957 kr 9191 $ 1,195
    Twin for single use (one per departure) £ 1304 $ 2,628 1509 NOK 14456 kr 13344 $ 1,735
    Triple (one bunk bed)* £ 812 $ 1,636 939 NOK 8999 kr 8307 $ 1,080

    *Suitable only for a child

     

    extra options

    Merlijn:
    Electric bicycle rental, per day: £ 22 $ 44 25 NOK 240 kr 221 $ 29 Flora and Lena Maria:
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 86 $ 174 100 NOK 958 kr 885 $ 115 Bike helmet rental, MUST be reserved in advance: £ 9 $ 17 10 NOK 96 kr 88 $ 12 Canal tour, Amsterdam:  £ 11 $ 22 13 NOK 120 kr 111 $ 14 (reserve and pay in advance and ticket will be waiting on board)

    Flora and Lena Maria:
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 86 $ 174 100 NOK 958 kr 885 $ 115 Bike helmet rental, MUST be reserved in advance: £ 9 $ 17 10 NOK 96 kr 88 $ 12 Canal tour, Amsterdam:  £ 11 $ 23 13 NOK 125 kr 115 $ 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.
    Merlijn:Train from airport to ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch). Travel time is anywhere from just over an hour to an hour and a half with 0 or 1 transfers depending on departure time and type of train. Exact mooring location pending.

    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 traveller's responsibility to insure 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.


Tour Dates

Merlijn: May 11, 2019

Flora
High Season: May 18, May 25, June 29, July 6, July 27, August 17, August 31, and September 14, 2019
Low Season: September 21 and September 28, 2019

Lena Maria 
High Season: May 11, June 15, June 22, August 31, September 7, and September 14, 2019
Low Season: September 21, 2019

Lena Maria (guided): May 16, May 23, June 6, June 13, July 4, 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 Merlijn and 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.)

Merlijn

  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board
  • 7 x breakfasts, 6 x packed lunch, 6 x three course dinner
  • Welcome drink
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate & water on board
  • 27 speed hybrid bicycle with towel, pannier, helmet, lock, and water bottle
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Route information
  • Cycling Guide
  • Boat tour in Den Bosch
  • Entrance and audio tour to St. Jans Church in Gouda
  • Entrance to Zaanse Schans
  • WiFi on board

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 supplement. See pricing.)
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance

Merlijn

TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From844 Rates
Client Reviews

Share This Tour

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.


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 itinerary.

Day 1: Arrival and embarkation in Amsterdam
Embarkation/check-in begins at 2 p.m and lasts until 5 pm.  You can leave your luggage on board from 11 am and can then set out to explore the city center, located within walking distance. This is a great opportunity to go on a canal cruise. An introduction takes place at 5:30 and the first dinner on board is served; the rental bicycles are also handed out 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 crew.

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

 


Day 1: Den Bosch
Day 2: Den Bosch - Woudrichem
Day 3: Woudrichem - Dordrecht
Day 4: Dordrecht to Alblasserdam | Alblasserdam - Kinderdijk - Gouda
Day 5: Gouda - Leiden
Day 6: Leiden - Haarlem
Day 7: Haarlem - Zaanse Schans - Amsterdam
Day 8: Amsterdam

Parts in italics undertaken on board.

Day 1: Den Bosch
Check in on board the Merlijn at 4 pm. Den Bosch, also know as 's-Hertogenbosch, is a wonderful city full of historic buildings and medieval architecture, great shops and welcoming cafés and restaurants. In the evening, after dinner on board, you will enjoy a boat tour of the centuries-old canal system.

Day 2: Den Bosch - Woudrichem
Woudrichem is a charming medieval city surrounded by water and green

Day 3: Woudrichem - Dordrecht
Today your cycling itinerary includes cycling through Biesbosch National Park,  one of the largest national parks of the Netherlands and one of the last extensive areas of freshwater tidal wetlands in Northwestern Europe.  Dinner on board and overnight in Dordrecht, the oldest city in Holland, actually situated on an island, bordered by five different rivers. Today it remains a very important seaport and is known for its shipbuilding.

Day 4: Dordrecht to Alblasserdam | Alblasserdam - Kinderdijk - Gouda
During breakfast, enjoy a morning sailing to Alblasserdam, followed by a bike tour to Kinderdijk and Gouda. Kinderdijk is a must see with its 19 windmills, designated a Unesco World Heritage site. Most of the current mills were built in 1738 and 1740, and form two stairways of 8 mills each to pump water to a higher level every time it reaches the next mill in line, a testament to the Dutch's ingenuity in battling the sea. Gouda, of course, is famous for its cheese! Dinner on board and overnight in Gouda.

Day 5: Gouda - Leiden
After your visit to the city of Gouda, you will cycle to Leiden deep into the Groene Hart, the Green Heart of Holland. Crisscrossed with canals and lovely 17th century architecture, and a town center rivaled by none, Leiden is known for  its university, the oldest in the country, and for being the birthplace of Rembrandt.  Did you know it was here that the pilgrims raised the money to lease the Mayflower! Dinner on board and overnight her.

Day 6: Leiden  - Haarlem
Enjoy the view from your bicycle - the scenery from Leiden to Haarlem is picturesque, authentic Holland.  You will overnight in Haarlem, a lovely contrast to your rural cycling. Haarlem is cobbled streets and winding canals. It is the Grote Markt and the Grote Kerk.

Day 7: Haarlem - Zaanse Schans - Amsterdam
From Haarlem, the route leads to the Zaanse Schans, an open air "living museum". An  18th and 19th century Dutch village was reconstructed, displaying the traditional architecture of the area (green wooden houses) and has several functioning windmills and craftsmen's workshops, which are open to visitors. The day's final destination is Amsterdam.

Day 8: Amsterdam
End of tour

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

Share This Tour


Customer Feedback

  • Yun S. 1 year ago

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

    Boat: Flora (formerly Jelmar)

  • Bruce N. 1 year ago

    Most Memorable Part: Biking the rural/countryside of Holland

    Boat: Flora (formerly Jelmar)

  • Shirley 2 years ago

    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 Read more… were never cleaned; the captain tended to be curt; the maps were not always accurate.

Biked This Tour? Post Your Feedback

Read reviews for all bike tours

Heart of Holland Boats + Barges

Flora (formerly Jelmar) Photo

Flora (formerly Jelmar) Netherlands Standard Plus Class Boat The Flora, recently renovated during the winter of 2006/2007, has 10 twin cabins with level beds, washbasin, and shower/toilet. The well upgraded ship is ready to receive new guests while sailing in the Netherlands.

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.

Lena Maria Photo

Lena Maria Belgium, Netherlands Comfort 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