Best of Holland - Boat & Bike

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Visiting: Holland

Boat & Bike

7 nights from £1236 to £1930pp
Guiding Self-Guided, Guided i
Level Easy i
Standard Superior i
Code NL038
Good For Luxury, Riverside Routes
Distance 114mi/183km !
Runs Apr, May, Jul, Aug
Departs Wed, Sat !
Fly to Amsterdam
Return from Amsterdam


What to expect

Starting and finishing in the historic capital city of Amsterdam, this tour takes in the very best that Holland has to offer, whilst staying aboard your choice of luxurious barges. Enjoy glorious cycling through polders and along canalside paths to charming fishing harbours and authentic Dutch villages.

The highlights of this tour include the open-air museum of Zaanse Schans, the unique wetlands of Waterland and the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Kinderdijk, with its famous windmills. Visit the 13th Century city of Dordrecht, cycle through the 'Green Heart' of Holland and taste cheese in Gouda.

You have the option of three premium barges to stay aboard, all of which provide comfortable cabins, a stylish lounge (with well-stocked bar) and a sundeck to relax on. The cyling terrain is flat and with two cycle guides you have the luxury of choosing between shorter or longer daily guided rides.

Read Saul and Catherine's trip report from their time cycling on this tour.

  • Amsterdam’s world famous museums, the UNESCO windmills at Kinderdijk and the famous cheese city of Gouda
  • Choice of three barges, the premium Magnifique, Magnifique II and brand new Magnifique III
  • Flat cycling terrain across the Dutch landscape, with a choice of longer or shorter daily rides

The Trip



  • Day 1: Amsterdam – Zaandam (Short trial ride)

    Make your way to the centre of Amsterdam and check in at 2pm. Just before dinner your barge will leave on a short dinner cruise to Zaandam, where you will be given a chance to test your bikes on a short ride.  

  • Day 2: Zaandam – Zaanse Schans– Waterland – Volendam 21 – 29 miles (33 – 46 km)

    Ride from Zaandam for a short visit to the windmills, old Dutch village and wooden clog maker at the open-air museum of Zaanse Schans. Cycle onwards through small villages in the beautiful wetlands of Waterland (2 cycling options – shorter and longer) to Volendam, a picturesque fishing harbor on the shores of the Lake IJsselmeer.

  • Day 3: Volendam – Marken (ferry) – Waterland – Muiden – Weesp 22 – 28 miles (35 – 45 km)

    Take a ferry (half an hour) to the traditional village of Marken, then continue along the coast to Ijburg which is a modern part of Amsterdam. You will then ride to the historical town of Muiden where you can see the stunning 14th Century Muiderslot castle. At about 4pm your boat will leave Weesp for the fortified town of Vianen, with its Roman church.

  • Day 4: Vianen – Schoonhoven – Alblasserdam– Dordrecht (waterbus ferry) 14 – 30 miles (22 – 48 km)

    Either start cycling from Vianen or if you want an easier day, continue to sail on your barge and start from Schoonhoven to the 13th century town of Alblasserdam. From here you will take a ferry to Dordrecht which is one of the oldest Dutch cities and sits on three major rivers. After dinner enjoy a short city walk.

  • Day 5: Dordrecht – Alblasserdam (waterbus ferry) – Kinderdijk – Gouda 19 miles (30 km)

    Take a waterbus to Alblasserdam where you will cycle to see the famous UNESCO World Heritage site at Kinderdijk, with its collection of 19 beautiful windmills. Take this opportunity to take some memorable photographs then continue to Gouda, the cheese capital of Holland. You will have lots of time to enjoy this beautiful city and in the evening you are free to explore the historic market square and choose your own restaurant (not included).

  • Day 6: Gouda – Leiden – Oude Wetering 25 – 34 miles (40 – 54 km)

    Cycle through the scenic ‘Green Heart’ of Holland, taking in the beautiful panoramic views as you ride beside canals and lakes. If you decide to cycle the (optional) longer ride today, you can visit Leiden, the birtplace of 17th century painter Rembrandt. Your destination for the day is the small village of Oude Wetering.

  • Day 7: Oude Wetering – Ouderkerk aan de Amstel – Amsterdam 15 – 27 miles (23 – 43 km)

    Cycle along the Amstel River, passing through Ouderkerk aan de Amstel to Amsterdam. Today you have the opportunity to visit a cheese and clog farm where you can taste some delicious local cheeses. The optional shorter ride starts on the outskirts of Amsterdam through the forest of Amsterdamse Bos and the beautiful Vondelpark with its charming ponds and open-air theatre. In the evening take an enjoyable boat tour through the canals of old Amsterdam.  

  • Day 8: Depart from Amsterdam

    After breakfast, check out before 9 am.

    Please note that if there are at least 18 guests then you can opt for either a daily longer or shorter ride as there will be two bike guides. 


MS Magnifique

The premium class MS Magnifique is a 63 meters long barge which sails under a Dutch flag and can accommodate up to 30 guests. She was last renovated in 2013 and has 16 tastefully furnished cabins: 11 twin cabins (11m2), 4 premium twins (14m2) with small sitting area & 1 single cabin (8m2). All cabins have fixed portholes, shower and toilet, individually regulated air conditioning, hairdryer and a flat screen satellite TV. An extra bed is available on request in two twin cabins and two premium twin cabins.

On the upper deck, there is a spacious, elegant salon with restaurant, bar and lounge with panoramic large windows. The front deck features two partly covered teak wooden sun decks with chairs and tables & cycle storage, while the aft deck has a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and a barbecue.

  • MS Magnifique

  • MS Magnifique

  • Jacuzzi

  • Bar

  • Dinner on Deck

  • Junior Suite

  • Junior Suite

  • Twin Cabin

  • Twin Cabin

  • Bathroom

MS Magnifique II

The MAGNIFIQUE II is a 63 meter long premium barge that can accommodate up to 34 guests and sails under Dutch flag and management. The lower deck has 13 cabins: 11 twin cabins (11 M²), 1 single cabin (8 M²) and one larger premium twin cabin. The upper deck has 4 beautiful suites with large panoramic windows (14 M²). The cabins on the lower deck have two portholes (all portholes are fixed for safety reasons), with the upper deck suites having a 2 meter wide window (one window can be opened). All cabins have en-suite shower + toilet, air conditioning, flat screen satellite TV and if requested, an extra bed is available in some twin cabins (above one of the other beds).

On the upper deck there are a tastefully furnished salon with restaurant, bar, lounge, large windows, Wi-Fi (limited use of data) and a partly covered teak wooden sun deck with chairs and tables and on the aft deck and a cycle shed.

  • Exterior

  • Upper deck suite

  • Saloon

  • Twin Cabin

  • Upper deck suite

  • Saloon

MS Magnifique III

The premium Magnifique III was a new addition for 2018 and can accomodate up to 40 guests. The lower deck has 15 twin cabins (11M²) and 1 single cabin. The upper deck has 5 suites (14M²) with a small sitting area and a large window that opens partially.

The saloon has a combined restaurant, bar and lounge area with large windows to enjoy the view. Large doors open onto the partially covered sundeck.  The top deck has a whirlpool/jacuzzi and deckchairs for you to relax.

  • Restaurant

  • Lounge

  • Bar

  • Twin Cabin

  • Upper deck suite

  • Exterior

  • Deck plan

MS Magnifique IV - New 2020

On the back of the huge sucess of the Magnifique, Magnifique II, Magnifique III we are pleased to annouce that the Magnifique IV will be ready to sail for 2020! This premium barge can accommodate up to 36 guests. The upper deck has 10 beautiful suites (approx. 14M²) with double beds, a small seating area and French balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors. The lower deck cabins (approx. 12M²) have twin beds and fixed portholes. All cabins have en-suite shower and toilet, air conditioning, flat screen satellite TV, small safe and hairdryer. If requested, an extra bed is available in some lower deck twin cabins above one of the other beds.

The saloon has a bar and lounge area with large windows to enjoy the view. Large doors open onto the partially covered sundeck and the top deck has a hot tub and deckchairs for you to relax. The dining room is on the lower deck and has a glass wall to the kitchen.

  • Lounge - Artist's impression

  • Restaurant - Artist's impression

  • Lounge - Artist's impression

  • Suite - Artist's impression 

  • Deckplan

Dates & Prices

Please choose your boat, then click on a departure date for price options at a glance - 2020 departures 

Price includes

  • 7 nights accommodation: on the ship and cabin of your choice
  • Board basis: Full board including, 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches and 6 three course dinners (dinner in Gouda is not included) 
  • Services of two English speaking guides on-board and on bike with daily briefings*
  • Maps and route information (1 set per cabin) - GPS tracks available
  • Welcome meeting and drink on the first evening
  • Free tea and coffee
  • Some short city tours 
  • Daily cabin cleaning 
  • ​Local contact number for assistance
  • For 2020 departures: Feey fees, mill at Zaanse Schans, Dutch cheese farm, St. Johns church in Gouda, 'This is Holland' experience

Price excludes

  • Flights and transfers
  • Bike hire
  • One dinner in Gouda
  • Entrance fees & excursions 
  • Drinks & tips on board
  • ​Special dietary requests - see below
  • Transfers to/from the docking in Amsterdam
  • Cost of ferries (included for 2020 departures)

* If there are fewer than 18 guests on board there will only be one guide. 

2020 itinerary may be subject to change. 

Which boat?

Month Selector

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  • Tour Start Date
  • Fully Booked

Bike Hire & Extras

Bike hire

Bikes come with a gel-saddle, pannier, water bottle, helmet, a small repair kit and built in lock at no extra cost.


uni bike
Bike hire - 2019 departures
E-bike hire - 2019 departures
Hybrid bike
Bike hire - 2020 departures
E-bike hire - 2020 departures


Board upgrade

Gluten or lactose free diet

How to Get There

Getting there

Fly to Amsterdam Aiport Schiphol

Take the train (NS) to Amsterdam Central Station and then take a taxi to your barge.

Alternatively, take the Eurostar to Amsterdam or ferry from Harwich, UK to Hook of Holland.

Getting back

Take the train (NS) from Amsterdam Central Station to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Fly from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Alternatively, take the Eurostar from Amsterdam or ferry from Hook of Holland to Harwich, UK.

News, Reviews & FAQs


Simply click on a question to reveal the answers

What is the average temperature on this tour?






Will the itinerary ever change?

For Boat & Bike tours the boat will generally keep to the advertised itinerary, however the captain may have to adapt the itinerary due to the river or sea conditions.

How much space will I have in my cabin?

There is limited space in the cabins, so pack light and take a soft suitcase.

Can I stay on the boat during the day and not cycle?

Yes, you can relax on the boat or explore when you arrive at each destination instead of cycling. 

Can the boat cater for special dietary requirements?

Please advise us of any special requirements at time of booking and we will notify the boat operator in advance. Understandably, kitchen galley space is limited and it may not be possible to provide specialist products (eg. Gluten free). We suggest you bring a few items with you and, in some cases, these can be provided at a supplement. 

Can I book by myself?

Absolutely! Boat & Bike tours are very sociable and a good choice for single travellers wishing to mix with other guests and share your common interest of cycling.

Best of Holland featured

Trip Report: Best of Holland Boat & Barge Tour

23rd August 2018 On my tenth Freedom Treks tour, I cycled the Best of Holland tour, which certainly lived up to its name! Starting & finishing in Amsterdam, this seven-night Boat & Bike tour takes in beautiful polder landscapes and interesting towns along the way. READ POST

Customer reviews

What other customers have said

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out of 5

An unforgettable experience!

Vicky Bodmer, Switzerland, July 2019
out of 5

We loved our trip, and felt it was very good value for money. The guides and the itineraries were wonderful. The accommodations and food on the Magnifique were fine, and the staff were extremely attentive. The accommodations and food are not super high end, but considering the price of the trip we feel they were very good. Cycling was a wonderful way to see Holland, but it is not the most challenging cycling so it might not be the best trip for people who are looking to have long and challenging rides.

Brian McCloskey, USA, August 2018

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