What to expect
Delve into Holland’s Hanseatic history as you cycle and cruise along the Rhine and the river IJssel - one of Europe's key medieval trade routes. Experience riverine landscapes, ancient cities and scenic harbour towns that have thrived since the Middle Ages. Along the way, you'll pedal past castles, heathlands and Holland's smallest town, with the IJssel border lakes a highlight on day five. You will also visit Arnhem, riding through an area which played host to the WWII Battle in 1944.
A naturally beautiful area that's cherished by Dutch cyclists, you'll be riding on flat terrain and winding trails. Most evenings, you'll have the option to explore important Hanseatic cities, like Deventer and Kampen, on foot. Choose between longer and shorter distances each day, or take a day off to relax on deck and cruise to the next town. Your round-trip starts and finishes in Amsterdam, giving you time to enjoy the Dutch capital’s famous canals and museums.
On this self-guided tour, you'll benefit from the briefings provided by your onboard guide, who can also answer any questions that you may have. If you book a tour on 11 May, 1 June or 7 & 21 September, there is also the opportunity to ride with a cycle guide for a supplement.
At a glance
- Hanseatic cities with medieval houses, gates and towers
- Fortress towns, fishing harbours and peaceful villages
- Woods, moorlands and the beautiful Ijssel border lakes
- Flat and leisurely cycling, with longer and shorter options on most days
Day 1 (Sat):
Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede
In Amsterdam, your crew will welcome you aboard between 2pm and 3pm (if arriving earlier, drop your luggage off from 11am). Leave Amsterdam at around 3pm and sail over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to the riverside city of Wijk bij Duurstede.
Day 2 (Sun):
Wijk bij Duurstede - Arnhem
21/28 miles (35/44 km)
Sail to the historic town of Wageningen during breakfast, then cycle through the Rhine Valley. Pass through the woods and moorlands of Veluwe National Park. Continue through Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal parks to Arnhem, cycling within an area that saw the WWII Battle of Arnhem.
Day 3 (Mon):
Arnhem - Deventer
16/26 miles (26/42 km)
Ride along the Hanseatic Town Route along the Nassau to the village of Doesburg. Continue beside the IJssel to Bronkhorst, Holland's smallest town. Next, choose a shorter tour along the riverbank to Zutphen; or a longer ride via Vorden, passing country houses, castles and estates. Sail to Deventer during dinner, followed by an optional evening walking tour.
Day 4 (Tue):
Deventer - Kampen
30/36 miles (50/60 km)
Pedal beside the IJssel to Wijhe, then catch the ferry to the 800-year-old town of Hattem with its beautiful church and 17th-century town hall. Add an optional cycle ride through the heathlands of east Veluwe. Sail to Kampen during dinner, then join an optional walking tour of the Netherlands' largest Hanseatic town which is home to an array of impressive sights including gothic houses, a 14th century fish market and a medieval merchant ship.
Day 5 (Wed):
Kampen - Harderwijk
24/36 miles (40/60 km)
Sail to the IJssel estuary and scenic IJssel border lakes to reach the historic fishing harbour of Harderwijk. Cycle along Lake Veluwe, which is popular for summer watersports. Continue through woods and moorland at Elspeet. Spend the night in the old fishing town of Harderwijk, which has been involved in European trade since as far back as the 14th century and is home to plenty of pretty shopping streets.
Day 6 (Thu):
Harderwijk - Spakenburg
18/33 miles (30/55 km)
Choose between a short coastal ride, or a longer route that takes in the coast and nearby woodlands. Spend the night in Spakenburg village, which is famous for its traditional costumes.
Day 7 (Fri):
Spakenburg - Amsterdam
21/33 miles (35/50 km)
After breakfast, pedal to Huizen village or stay on the barge and enjoy the scenery. From Huizen, ride to the fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden, then continue along quiet roads to Amsterdam. Spend the rest of the day in Amsterdam, visiting famous sites such as Anne Frank’s house and the Rembrandt House Museum.
Day 8 (Sat):
Depart from Amsterdam
Step ashore after breakfast and make your way home, or stay longer in Amsterdam and enjoy the many museums, parks and galleries of this famous city.
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 click on a departure date for price options at a glance
- 7 nights accommodation: on the De Nassau and cabin of your choice
- Board basis: Full board including breakfast, packed lunches and three course dinners
- Services of an English speaking guide on-board only with daily briefings
- Maps and route information (1 set per cabin) - GPS tracks available on request
- Welcome meeting and drink on the first evening
- Free tea and coffee until 4 p.m.
- Some short city walking tours
- Daily cabin cleaning
- 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
- Ferry fees
Guided cycle tours available
- May 11, June 1 & September 7 & 21
- Maximum 20 people
Bike Hire & Extras
Bikes come with a pannier, a small repair kit, and lock all included at no extra cost.
On request only - limited availability
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 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.