What to expect
Watch central Holland reveal itself as you cycle and cruise through its Green Heart to villages, farms and famous cities. Amsterdam is your start and finish point, with its tilting buildings and incredible museums. The ride into medieval Utrecht is a highlight on day two, and you’ll love the cobbled streets and grand churches in Haarlem. Staying aboard your boat, you can choose between longer and shorter cycles, meeting the boat each day to sail onto the next city.
With lush landscapes of waterways, meadows and UNESCO listed windmills, this is Holland at its best. Along the way, you can taste cheese in Gouda, try Dutch gin in Schiedam, and buy famous blue and white pottery in Delft. At Zaanse Schans museum you’ll walk through history before riding back to Amsterdam past beaches, parks and grazing cows.
At a glance
- Famous cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Haarlem
- Peaceful waterways, green meadows and UNESCO windmills
- Gentle cycle paths and quiet roads, plus several sections by boat
- Gouda cheese, Delft chinaware, Dutch gin and local silverwork
Day 1 (Sat):
Arrive in Amsterdam
Step aboard the De Holland from 2pm onwards, then make the most of your time in Amsterdam. Visit Anne Frank’s House, the Van Gogh Museum or Rijksmuseum before having dinner and a welcome meeting on board. Overnight in Amsterdam.
Please note that for 2020 departures guests onboard the De Nassau will follow a different itinerary to the De Holland, sailing to Haarlem in the late afternoon on day 1. Then the itinerary will follow this order: days 6, 7, 2, 3, 4, 5 , 8. So you will visit Haarlem and Zaandam first before continuing with the rest of the tour.
Day 2 (Sun):
Amsterdam – Breukelen – Utrecht - Rotterdam
16 or 25 miles (25 or 40 km)
Cruise to Breukelen during breakfast and set off on a riverside cycle beside the winding River Vecht. Ride past castles, country houses and tearooms en route to the medieval town of Utrecht. Visit the old centre and the Gothic Dom Church with its 112-metre-tall bell tower. Cruise to Rotterdam in the afternoon.
Day 3 (Mon):
Rotterdam - Schiedam - Delft - Rotterdam
17 or 31 miles (28 or 50 km)
Cycle to the ‘jenever city’ (Dutch gin city) of Schiedam, home to the world’s largest windmills. Continue to Delft and explore the beautiful city centre with its canals, bridges and alleyways and visit the famous Royal Delft factories. Cycle back to Rotterdam where you can enjoy a short city walk.
Day 4 (Tue):
Rotterdam – Alblasserdam with the waterbus – Kinderdijk – Gouda - Schoonhoven
19 or 36 miles (30 or 58 km)
Take a 10-minute trip on the ‘waterbus’ ferry to Alblasserdam. Cycle to Kinderdijk and visit one of its 19 impressive UNESCO windmills, which date back to the 18th century. For the afternoon, choose a longer bike tour to the cheese city of Gouda, or a shorter cycle through the Alblasserwaard polders. Both routes end in the ‘Silver City’ of Schoonhoven, where you can visit a silversmith.
Day 5 (Wed):
Schoonhoven – Oudewater - Utrecht - Haarlem
28 miles (45km)
Ride through the ‘Green Heart’ of Holland from Schoonhoven along quiet roads and through small villages. Stop in the town of Oudewater to visit a traditional Gouda farm and the 16th-century Witches’ Weigh House, where women suspected of witchcraft were weighed to see if they were light enough to walk on water. Continue to Utrecht to meet the boat. Sail to the town of Haarlem with its cobblestone streets, cosy cafes and grand palaces where you’ll spend the night.
Day 6 (Thu):
Haarlem – North Sea Coast – Haarlem - Zaandam
25 or 31 miles (40 or 50 km)
Choose a longer or shorter bike tour. Both tours cycle through the beautiful Kennemer Dunes National Park where you can spot Scottish Highland cows and Shetland ponies. Visit the seaside resorts of Bloemendaal and Zandvoort before cycling through forests inland to Haarlem. The longer tour visits the largest steam engine of the world at the Cruquius pumping station. During dinner sail to Zaandam in the evening.
Day 7 (Fri):
Zaandam - Zaanse Schans - Amsterdam
19 or 28 miles (30 or 45 km)
Ride from Zaandam to the open-air museum of Zaanse Schans. Here, you’ll experience windmills, wooden houses, an old Dutch village, a cheese farm and a wooden clog maker. Cycle past beaches and green spaces in the recreational area of Twiske to reach Amsterdam. The afternoon in Amsterdam is yours – there’s enough time for a canal tour if you wish (reduced priced tickets available on board).
Day 8 (Sat):
Depart from Amsterdam
Enjoy a final breakfast on board, then disembark for the end of the tour.
Please Note: The captain reserves the right to alter the itinerary due to changes in weather and other conditions.
The superior and spacious river cruiser " De Amsterdam" is 95m long and 11m wide and offers 56 cabins for up to 112 passengers. All cabins come with air-conditioning, safe, hairdryer, private shower and wc and a large picture window that can be partially opened. The lower deck has 10 twin and 20 superior twin cabins whilst the upper deck has 18 superior twin cabins and 8 spacious French balcony suites with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors instead of a window. The French balcony suites have a twin beds pushed together but can be set up as two single beds on request. The lounge and bar with large panoramic windows is located on the upper deck whilst the restaurant is on the lower deck. Wi-Fi is available with additional data packages available. The large, partially roofed sun deck offers plenty of space for chairs and sun loungers and a separate area for bike storage.
The De Nassau sleeps up to 60 guests in en-suite air-conditioned cabins. The lower deck has 14 twin cabins (one can be made into a triple bunk cabin) and 8 superior twin cabins. All of the lower deck cabins have a small window that opened. The upper deck has 10 twin cabins and 2 double cabins, four of the cabins can be made into triple bunk cabins. All upper deck cabins have a window that can be opened.
It has a large saloon, restaurant and bar area with panoramic windows on the upper deck. There is a partially covered sun deck where you can relax in a sun lounger and enjoy the scenery. The cabins, restaurant and the saloon in the front of the ship have been completely refurbished in 2018.
Dates & Prices
Please choose your boat, then click on a departure date for price options at a glance - 2020 departures on sale
- 7 nights accommodation aboard the De Amsterdam or De Nassau boats
- Board basis: Full board including, breakfast, packed lunch on 6 cycling days and 3 course dinner
- Services of an English speaking on-board with daily briefings of the bike tours
- Maps and route information (1 set per cabin) - GPS tracks available
- Welcome meeting and drink
- Local contact number for assistance
- Daily cabin cleaning
- Daily coffee and tea until 4pm
- A city walk with tour leader (Rotterdam)
- Music night onboard
- Discounts on entrance fees and excursions
- Free Wi-Fi on board
- Flights and transfers
- Bike hire
- Cycle helmets
- Entrance fees & excursions
- Ferry fees during cycle rides
- Drinks & tips on board
- Special dietary requests - see below
- Transfers to/from the docking in Amsterdam
Guided cycle tours available
- 2019: May 4 & 25, June 15, August 31 & September 14
- 2020: May 2 & 23, June 13, August 29 & September 12
- Maximum 20 people
*2020 itinerary has a different order depending which boat you choose
Bike Hire & Extras
Bikes come with a pannier, a small repair kit, and lock all included at no extra cost.
How to Get 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.
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
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.
What is the average temperature on this tour?
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.
Will I be cycling with other people?
Although there is no organised group, self-guided guests regularly find they come across their fellow passengers along the route during the day and may even get together to form their own cycling groups.
What does my on-board Tour Leader do?
Your on-board Tour Leader provides daily briefings ahead of the next day's ride. These are always beneficial, including information on the local area, main sights, and tips on good places to stop en route.
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.
What other customers have said
Been on this tour? Add your review!
Excellent tour. Loved every day.Joan Miller, Canada, July 2019
Our first experience of a boat and cycling holiday and one we hope to repeat. The standard of accommodation exceeded expectation and the standard of service on the De Amsterdam boat was exceptional - friendly and very efficient. The tour is well thought out and the route relatively easy to follow and undemanding. It offers the chance to visit some beautiful historic towns - Amsterdam, Utrecht, Delft, Gouda and Haarlem.Lois Davies, UK, June 2019