Family Special - Tales & Castles

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Visiting: Holland

Boat & Bike

7 nights from £518 to £845pp
Guiding Guided i
Level Easy i
Standard Standard i
Code NL019
Good For Families, Riverside Routes
Distance 71mi/115km
Runs Jun - Aug
Departs Saturday
Fly to Amsterdam
Return from Amsterdam


What to expect

Experience Holland as a family, with this tour that’s ideal for children aged 7-11 years. Holland’s flat polderlands make the cycling easy and sleeping on a barge adds an extra adventure. When you stop off in riverside towns and authentic villages, take the opportunity to try traditional Dutch pursuits – playing golf using a wooden shoe is always a favourite. There’s also plenty of history en route, with fortified towns, medieval castles and a string of nineteen 18th century windmills.

Foodies can taste the local cheese in the town of Gouda and wildlife fans can look forward to the bird park. A rest day half way through means you can take your pick of family activities – the swimming pool, fairytale theme park and sand dunes are all popular choices. Packed with museums and tempting places to eat, the capital city of Amsterdam is an exciting place to start and finish – a guided city walk on the last day gives you a chance to fully appreciate its enchanting streets and canals.

  • A fairytale theme park, wild birds and Dutch golf
  • Pancakes in Amsterdam and cheese in Gouda
  • Sand dunes, forests, fields and peaceful rivers
  • Family-friendly bike rides on Holland’s flat terrain

The Trip



  • Day 1 (Sat): Amsterdam - Vianen 6 miles (10 km)

    Join your boat around 12:30pm and sail at 1.30pm from Amsterdam to Vianen, where you will stay overnight. Stretch your legs and try out your bike with a a short ride.

  • Day 2 (Sun): Vianen - Gorinchem 13 miles (20 km)

    Cycle alongside a winding canal to the waterside town of Gorinchem.

  • Day 3 (Mon): Gorinchem - Heusden 13 miles (20 km)

    Visit the small market in Gorinchem before crossing the river by ferry to visit Loevestein Castle, a prison in the middle ages from where a Dutchman escaped in a bookcase. Cycle to the picturesque fortified town of Heusden, which dates back to the 13th century.

  • Day 4 (Tue): Free Day

    Take your pick of family activities, choosing the fairytale park of de Efteling, a morning of swimming or a day on the sand dunes at Drunen. Take a self-guided cycle ride back to meet the barge in Waalwijk or Drongelen.

  • Day 5 (Wed): Waalwijk/Drongelen - Gouda 13 miles (20 km)

    Cruise to the famous 19 windmills of Kinderdijk, which were built in the 18th century to drain the polders here. Cycle through the Krimpenerwaard polderland, which sits two metres below sea level, to reach the cheese town of Gouda.

  • Day 6 (Thu): Gouda - Alphen aan de Rijn 12 miles (20 km)

    Ride to a cheese farm and try a game of Dutch Farmers' golf, using a wooden shoe as a club. Explore the riverside town of Alphen aan de Rijn in the afternoon or visit Avifauna bird park, which harbours more than 3000 birds (entry price not included).

  • Day 7 (Fri): Alphen aan de Rijn - Amsterdam 16 miles (25 km)

    Step ashore at the town of Kudelstaart and cycle alongside the River Amstel all the way to Amsterdam. Spend the afternoon exploring the city’s enchanting streets and world-class museums. After dinner, enjoy a short city walk with your guide or take a trip on the canals.

  • Day 8 (Sat): Depart from Amsterdam

    Check out after breakfast and make your way home or continue your holiday in Amsterdam.

    Please note: The captain reserves the right to alter the itinerary due to changes in weather and other conditions.


    All daily cycle distances are approximate and the guide may adjust the route to reflect the ability and age of the group. 


Basic Class Barge

Several barges are used for this tour, the name of the barge used will be advised at the time of booking. The barges offer similar standards and facilities, please see below an example of a basic class barge.


The "Amsterdam" is one of the barges used during this specially designed family holiday tour. The barge offers 16 cabins with 2 bunk beds and 1 cabin with 4 bunk beds. There are shared shower and toilet facilities. On the upper deck there is a spacious saloon where meals are served and a separate room with an "honesty" bar. You help yourself to wine, beer or soft drinks and record what you have taken so that you can pay at the end of the week.

  • Amsterdam Barge

Dates & Prices

Please click on a departure date for price options at a glance - please contact us for 2020 prices

Price includes

  • 7 nights accommodation on board a basic class barge with bunk beds
  • Board basis: Full board including breakfast, packed lunch and two-course dinner
  • English speaking tour guide on board and on bike
  • Hybrid bike with 7 gears and pannier
  • Maps and route information
  • Visit to Castle Loevestein
  • Farmers' golf
  • City walk in Amsterdam

Price excludes

  • Flights and transfers
  • Cycle helmets
  • Drinks aboard the barge
  • ​​Special diets - except vegetarian, diabetic & low-sodium 

Child prices applicable up to 11 years - please enquire for family prices with children aged 12 plus

Which boat?

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  • Fully Booked

Bike Hire

Bike hire included

Hybrid bike with 7 gears and pannier included. Child bikes, child tag-alongs and child bike seats also included.

Tandems and child trailers available at a supplement on request - please enquire

E-bike hire - on request (Hybrid bike included in tour price)


Board upgrade

​Special diets - except vegetarian, diabetic & low-sodium

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

How much space will I have in my cabin?

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

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.

What is the average temperature on this tour?






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 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. 

Customer reviews

What other customers have said

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Date *
out of 5

Despite a few niggles, we really enjoyed the holiday and would definitely consider another cycling holiday with Freedom Treks.

Helen Price, UK, September 2018
out of 5

We had a fantastic week on the Amsterdam with a lovely group of people. Even my partner who hates guided tours really enjoyed himself and my son loved it. It was a perfect mix of exercise in beautiful surroundings, lots of child friendly stops where the kids could play and good and plentiful food at the end of the day.

Cathy Balch, UK, August 2018

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