Bike rest at windmill in Rotterdam, South Holland, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:Luca Bolatti Guzzo
Bike and boating the Kinderdijk, South Holland, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:Luca Casartelli

Cathedral in Cologne, Germany. Photo via Flickr:Anja Pietsch

Rotterdam to Cologne or Cologne to Rotterdam

Germany, Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Bike and boat Holland and Germany through the Lower Rhine Region

  • The Lower Rhine Region has not only one of the most beautiful cycle route networks in Europe but also one of the largest. On this bike and boat tour through the Netherlands and Germany, you will bike this marvelous landscape that leads through river landscapes, meadows, and fields. You'll explore labyrinths of rivers on the Rhine delta in the Netherlands, quaint little towns, and vibrant major cities. At the end of each cycling day, you will return to the boat, your home away from home.


    • Kinderdijk, the famous windmills in the Netherlands
    • Dordrecht
    • Düsseldorf
    • National park of De Biesbosch

    Be sure to check out all of our bike and barge tours in the Netherlands.

  • 2020


    Twin cabin, main deck: £ 887 $ 1,966 1044 $ 1573 NOK 9831 kr 9075 $ 1,180 Twin cabin, upper deck: £ 1014 $ 2,249 1194 $ 1799 NOK 11244 kr 10379 $ 1,349 Twin cabin, upper deck, astern: £ 972 $ 2,155 1144 $ 1724 NOK 10773 kr 9944 $ 1,293 Single cabin, upper deck: £ 1184 $ 2,625 1394 $ 2100 NOK 13127 kr 12117 $ 1,575 Twin bed cabin, single-use: £ 1133 $ 2,512 1334 $ 2010 NOK 12562 kr 11596 $ 1,507


    extra options


    Electric bicycle rental: £ 76 $ 170 90 $ 136 NOK 848 kr 782 $ 102 Special dietary requests may be subject to an additional fee

    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

    For this tour, you may want to consider flying into one airport and out of another.
    Tour starts Rotterdam
    The closest international airport to Rotterdam is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) located 63 km from Rotterdam
    Tour starts Cologne
    The closest and also most convenient international airport to Cologne is Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) located 199 km from Cologne.
    If you prefer, and do not mind longer train travel time, you can fly into and out of one airport. From Cologne to Amsterdam Airport and reverse is a 3 hour plus trip on an intercity express with one transfer. You can then overnight in Amsterdam and enjoy the sites!

    Local Travel

    Tour starts Rotterdam
    Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has a train station on the lower level, directly below the airport. It only takes a couple of minutes to walk from Arrivals to Schiphol Plaza, where you can take the stairs, escalator or lift down to the platforms. To Rotterdam, depending on time of departure, there are direct trains that take only 26 minutes or trains that do entail one or two transfers in just over an hour.
    Tour starts Cologne
    The Frankfurt Airport(Flughafen) station is the largest airport train station in Germany and currently has multiple terminals connected by corridors. From the Fernbahnhof, adjacent to Terminal 1, you can access a direct train to Cologne with travel time approx 1 hr.
    At the end of your the on board tour director will answer any questions you may have regarding onward train travel.


    Please check local conditions before your arrival. The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean and Cologne, as well has a mild continental climate. The greater part of Germany lies in the cool/temperate climatic zone in which humid westerly winds predominate. A good website to use to research average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and other weather-related facts is


    It is recommended to bring soft luggage as storage space in cabins is limited. Don’t forget to bring your rain gear and your own well fitted helmet.


    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.


    Time and distance of cycling routes and the ship‘s time in port permitting, an optional excursion program may be organized. Excursions can only be booked and paid (in cash) aboard the ship. 

Tour Dates


Premium Class


Rotterdam to Cologne:
May 23 and August 15, 2020

Cologne to Rotterdam:
June 27 and September 19, 2020


Where You’ll Stay

On board the Premium class ship, the Olympia.

What’s Included

  • Accommodations for 7 nights
  • Welcome drink
  • 7-gear unisex bicycle with hand and back pedal brake or freewheel hubs (Limited number available. Must be reserved in advance)
  • Bicycle protection
  • Breakfasts, packed lunches during cycle tours or lunch snack, coffee and tea in the afternoon, three-course dinners
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Change of bedding and towels when required
  • Passenger and port fees
  • Daily briefing on board for the respective cycle tour
  • Tour guide on board
  • Maps and information material (one set per cabin)

What’s Not Included

  • Individual arrival and departure to and from the docking location
  • Cycling guide
  • Ferry fees
  • Any applicable entrance fees and excursions
  • Drinks on board
  • Tips for crew
  • Travel Insurance
TypeSelf Guided
Length8 days
From1044 Rates
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Skill Level

This is an easy self guided bike and boat tour that leads along the Rhine dikes on excellent paved or asphalted cycle paths. This tour, due to the lack of gradients, is suitable for the occasional biker who nonetheless is saddle ready.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Rotterdam to Cologne or Cologne to Rotterdam Map

Rotterdam to Cologne

Day 1: Arrival in Rotterdam
Day 2: Rotterdam – Dordrecht, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 3: Dordrecht – Gorinchem, 23 mi. (37 km)
Day 4: Gorinchem – Wijk bij Duurstede by bike, 31 mi. (50 km) | Wijk bij Duurstede - Rhenen by boat
Day 5: Rhenen – Arnhem by bike, 19 mi. (30 km) | Arnhem - Emmerich by boat
Day 6: Emmerich – Xanten by bike,  31 mi. (50 km) | Xanten -Düsseldorf by boat
Day 7: Düsseldorf – Cologne, 34 mi. (55 km)
Day 8: Cologne

All distances are approximate.

Day 1: Arrival in Rotterdam
Embarkation in Rotterdam is from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Enjoy your first evening on board or have a stroll through the city of Rotterdam with Europe’s largest port.

Day 2: Rotterdam – Dordrecht, 25 mi. (40 km)
Cycle first along the Maas River until you reach the Kinderdijk, boasting the best-known windmills in the Netherlands. The 19 windmills, which date back to the 18th century, are beautifully preserved and are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue the cycle tour and after a short while, you reach today’s destination- Dordrecht. The oldest city in the Holland area lies on an island bordered by large rivers and is characterized by numerous historic buildings, city ports, and a fantastic atmosphere.

Day 3: Dordrecht – Gorinchem, 19 mi. (30 km)
For today’s cycle trip, leave behind the lively cities and dive into the quietness of nature: pass through the national park of De Biesbosch, an adventurous labyrinth composed of rivers with crystal clear water and small islands. It is one of the few tidal freshwater zones in the world.

Day 4: Gorinchem – Wijk bij Duurstede by bike, 31 mi. (50 km) | Wijk bij Duurstede - Rhenen by boat
Leave the fortified city of Gorinchem and enjoy a bike ride through unspoiled nature. Follow the River Linge, a tributary of the Rhine, and by reaching today’s destination Wijk bij Duurstede you arrive at the edge of the „Utrechtse Heuvelrug“(eng.: Utrecht Hill Ridge), a tree-covered ridge of low sands created during the last glacial period. In the evening, the boat will navigate to Rhenen.

Day 5: Rhenen – Arnhem by bike, 19 mi. (30 km) | Arnhem - Emmerich by boat
Today you will cycle along the Lower Rhine past the foreshore of the dike and reach Arnheim. A detour to the city center becomes a trip to bygone times with narrow lanes and picturesque buildings.

Day 6: Emmerich – Xanten by bike,  31 mi. (50 km) | Xanten -Düsseldorf by boat
From Emmerich, you cycle past the nature reserve of the Reeser Schanz to the Roman city of Xanten. The Archaeological Park is always worth a visit. Explore how the Romans lived and settled 2000 years ago.

Day 7: Düsseldorf – Cologne, 34 mi. (55 km)
Your last cycle tour will lead along the well-developed adventure trail "Rheinschiene“, a particularly attractive section where historic Old Towns and idyllic nature are interspersed with industrial heritage. The towns located directly on the Rhine, often boasting well preserved medieval town walls and towers, are well worth a detour. Eventually, you will reach the Cathedral city of Cologne where the vivid riverbank of the Rhine invites for a stay. Enjoy a cozy evening on board or have a Kölsch, the typical beer from Cologne, in one of the numerous pubs.

Day 8: Saturday, Cologne
Disembarkation after breakfast by 9:00 am.

Cologne to Rotterdam

Day 1: Arrival in Cologne, embarkation between 3 and 5 pm
Day 2: Cologne - Düsseldorf, Cycle Tour, 34 mi. (55 km)
Day 3: Düsseldorf - Xanten by boat/Xanten - Emmerich by bike, 19 mi. (30 km), Emmerich - Arnhem by boat
Day 4: Arnhem - Rhenen, 19 mi. (30 km); Rhenen - Wijk bij Duurstede by boat
Day 5: Wijk bij Duurstede - Gorinchem, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 6: Gorinchem - Dordrecht, 23 mi. (37 km)
Day 7: Dordrecht - Rotterdam, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 8: Disembarkation by 9 am

Please note that the above itinerary is subject to changes based on weather or last minute docking locations!

Please note as well that this ship is not recommended for persons with reduced mobility.

Want to see more? View all of our featured bike and boat tours, or our full list of bicycle tours.

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

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    Rotterdam to Cologne or Cologne to Rotterdam Boats + Barges

    Olympia Photo

    Olympia Netherlands Premium Class Boat On this comfort plus vessel, you will enjoy wonderful amenities while biking in Holland, a cycling paradise!