What to expect
Cycle at your own pace as you journey through the ‘Green Heart’ of Holland. Starting and finishing in Amsterdam, you’ll ride to historic cities and towns, passing farms, canals and coastal dunes. Staying aboard the Jelmar or Lena Maria, you’ll set off on relaxed daily cycle rides with the choice of longer or shorter routes. Each evening you’ll dock near fascinating towns and cities, where you can step ashore and explore on foot.
Along the way, you’ll discover cheese in Gouda, blue porcelain in Delft, and silversmiths in Schoonhoven. Art lovers can also look forward to Leiden and Haarlem, where famous Dutch artists like Rembrandt once lived. On day five, you’ll experience the 19 UNESCO windmills at Kinderdijk, which date back to the 18th century. During your last full day, you’ll have the option to visit the world’s largest flower market before cycling or cruising back to Amsterdam.
Guests can choose between a self-guided tour on the Jelmar or a guided tour on the Lena Maria.
At a glance
- Historic cities and traditional Dutch villages
- 19 UNESCO windmills of Kinderdijk
- Gouda Cheese and blue Delft pottery
- Easy cycling on flat terrain
Day 1 (Sat):
Arrive in Amsterdam
Meet the boat in central Amsterdam and step aboard from 2pm. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city’s canals, museums and shops. Attend a briefing at 5.30pm, receive your bikes, and enjoy dinner on board.
Day 2 (Sun):
Amsterdam - Zaandam - Zaanse Schans - Haarlem
24/34 miles (40/55 km)
Start with a short cruise, then cycle to Zaanse Schans open-air museum in Zaandam, with its reconstructed 18th-19th century village. Learn about traditional Dutch windmills, cheese and clog making. Pedal onwards to Haarlem, with an optional ride to the Ijmuiden sea locks and Kennemer Dunes. Stroll through Harlem’s centre and Grote Markt (market square) in the evening. You can also extend the cycling and visit the UNESCO Defence Line of Amsterdam forts.
Day 3 (Mon):
Haarlem - North Sea Coast - Leiden
25/34 miles (42/50 km)
After breakfast, cycle past dunes on the North Sea coast to the resorts of Noordwijk and Katwijk aan Zee. Continue to the university city of Leiden, Rembrandt’s birthplace. Discover canals and 17th-century buildings in the old city centre. For a longer tour, ride from Haarlem to Leiden via the Cruquius steam engine museum and Hillegom flower nurseries.
Day 4 (Tue):
Leiden - Delft
22/34 miles (35/41 km)
Pedal from Leiden to Delft, adding an optional detour to The Hague - a captivating world city with a modern skyline, royal buildings and historic streets. You could visit the Peace Palace, the political heart and city beach resort of Scheveningen. Continue to Delft, famous for its blue porcelain (option to visit the museum), royal crypt and beautiful city centre.
Day 5 (Wed):
Delft - Kinderdijk - Gouda
from 14 to 41 miles (from 23 to 66 km)
Sail through Rotterdam’s international port and cycle or take the fast waterbus to Kinderdijk. Step inside one of the village’s 19 incredible UNESCO windmills and experience how the Dutch once lived. Continue to the cheese city of Gouda, with its narrow streets and pretty market square. For a longer ride, detour via the silver city of Schoonhoven.
Day 6 (Thu):
Gouda - Kudelstaart
28/34 miles (45/55 km)
Ride through idyllic South Holland landscapes, passing canals, farms and traditional villages en route to Kudelstaart. Meet the boat in Kudelstaart village and enjoy dinner with a view of the Westeinder Plassen (West End Lakes).
Day 7 (Fri):
Kudelstaart - Aalsmeer - Amsterdam
19/23 miles (30/37 km)
Wake early for an optional visit to the world’s largest plant and flower market in Aalsmeer. After breakfast, either stay on board and cruise through Amsterdam, cycle through the Amsterdamse Bos park, or ride beside the Amstel River. Arrive in Amsterdam with time to see the numerous sights.
Day 8 (Sat):
Depart from Amsterdam
Disembark after breakfast (before 9.30 am) and say farewell to the crew. If you have time, it’s well worth staying an extra night to enjoy Amsterdam’s vibrant culture, or tick off top sights like Anne Frank’s House and the Van Gogh Museum.
Jelmar - Self-Guided
The comfort barge Jelmar offers 10 guest cabins, all with washbasin and shower/toilet and a window that can be opened. All cabins are twin-bedded, except for two that have a third, raised bed suitable for a child up to 12 years. Meals are taken in the lounge and dining area on the upper deck, which also has a small bar and sundeck for relaxing and sunbathing as you admire the views.
Guests on the Jelmar will have daily briefings by the crew with self-guided cycle rides.
Lena Maria - Guided
The comfortable Lena Maria barge has 12 spacious twin cabins with a washbasin, shower, toilet, hair dryer and a window that opens. The upper deck has a lounge with a bar and a dining area and you can relax on the sundeck with a drink as you take in the views.
Guests on the Lena Maria will have guided daily cycling with an English speaking tour leader.
Dates & Prices
Please choose your boat, then click on a departure date for price options at a glance
- 7 nights accommodation aboard the Jelmar (self-guided) or Lena Maria (guided)
- Board basis: Full board including, 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches and 7 three course dinners
- Services of an English speaking on-board guide with daily briefings and guided cycle rides for customers aboard the Lena Maria
- Daily briefings by the crew for customers aboard the Jelmar
- Ferry fees for customers aboard the Lena Maria
- Maps and route information (1 set per cabin) - GPS tracks available
- Welcome meeting and drink on the first evening
- Free tea and coffee
- Local contact number for assistance
- Flights and transfers
- Bike hire
- Entrance fees & excursions
- Drinks & tips on board
- Special dietary requests - see below
- Transfers to/from the docking in Amsterdam
- Cost of ferries for customers aboard the Jelmar
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
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 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.