Southern Holland Bike and Boat

This bike and boat cycling holiday around Southern Holland introduces you to a number of famous Dutch cities as well as leading you through the green heart of this cycling nation. If you are looking for a cycling holiday that showcases the best bits of Holland then this is a great choice.

Your river cruiser is waiting for you in the heart of Amsterdam so after checking in get out and see the sights of this unique capital city. We recommend taking a canal tour, a visit to the Anne Frank Museum and admiring the Dutch masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum.

Cycling through the idyllic polder landscape

For the next 7 days you will cruise the dutch waterways, disembarking each day for easy cycle rides on dedicated cycle paths to historic towns and cities. You’ll visit Haarlem, Utrecht, and Rotterdam as well as the pottery town of Delft and the cheese town of Gouda. You’ll also cycle through the iconic polder landscapes of green meadows, canals and windmills that are the very essence of Holland.

Another highlight of the trip is bound to be a visit to Kinderdijk to marvel at the 19 authentic working windmills. Here you can learn why windmills are so important to Dutch heritage and how they helped reclaim the land from the sea. A night in Schoonhoven (Silver City) allows you to peruse the skilled silversmith stores and a visit to a nearby cheese farm is an interesting and tasty experience.

The cycle path through the sand dunes on the North Sea coast is memorable and if it’s hot you may even be tempted in to the sea for a dip!

On this holiday the going is always flat and very easy. You can opt to rent a regular bike or an e-bike and both will come with a spacious pannier for the day’s necessities. Of course, because your floating hotel moves with you each day it’s also possible to skip the day’s cycling altogether and to stay on board for a leisurely cruise if you prefer.

Southern Holland Bike and Boat

This bike and boat cycling holiday around Southern Holland introduces you to a number of famous Dutch cities as well as leading you through the green heart of this cycling nation. If you are looking for a cycling holiday that showcases the best bits of Holland then this is a great choice.

Your river cruiser is waiting for you in the heart of Amsterdam so after checking in get out and see the sights of this unique capital city. We recommend taking a canal tour, a visit to the Anne Frank Museum and admiring the Dutch masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum.

Cycling through the idyllic polder landscape

For the next 7 days you will cruise the dutch waterways, disembarking each day for easy cycle rides on dedicated cycle paths to historic towns and cities. You’ll visit Haarlem, Utrecht, and Rotterdam as well as the pottery town of Delft and the cheese town of Gouda. You’ll also cycle through the iconic polder landscapes of green meadows, canals and windmills that are the very essence of Holland.

Another highlight of the trip is bound to be a visit to Kinderdijk to marvel at the 19 authentic working windmills. Here you can learn why windmills are so important to Dutch heritage and how they helped reclaim the land from the sea. A night in Schoonhoven (Silver City) allows you to peruse the skilled silversmith stores and a visit to a nearby cheese farm is an interesting and tasty experience.

The cycle path through the sand dunes on the North Sea coast is memorable and if it’s hot you may even be tempted in to the sea for a dip!

On this holiday the going is always flat and very easy. You can opt to rent a regular bike or an e-bike and both will come with a spacious pannier for the day’s necessities. Of course, because your floating hotel moves with you each day it’s also possible to skip the day’s cycling altogether and to stay on board for a leisurely cruise if you prefer.

Itinerary

The itinerary below showcases the route for the De Amsterdam. The De Nassau itinerary covers the same route and rides but in a slightly different order.

The captain reserves the right to make changes to the planned route due to changing wind, tide and weather conditions, and where required by organizational necessities.

Day 1 : Arrive Amsterdam

Upon arrival into Amsterdam make your way to your barge where boarding is between 2pm-4.30pm. Then at 5pm there is a welcome drink and safety briefing.

If you arrive early you can drop off your luggage and head back into the city to explore. Perhaps visit the superb Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh museum or Anne Frank’s house where she wrote her famous diaries during the Second World War. Stroll through some of Amsterdam’s wonderful gardens and parks and enjoy the views or for those who like to shop – you will not be disappointed as there is such a huge choice of shops for all budgets! Your welcome briefing will be during the dinner tonight and the first night is spent on-board in Amsterdam.

Day 2 : Amsterdam – Utrecht – Rotterdam
16 or 25 miles/25 or 40 kms

During breakfast the boat cruises to Breukelen where we start our first cycle ride. Enjoy a nice, easy cycle alongside the beautiful and winding Vecht River through pleasant countryside to Utrecht. A feature of this town is De Haar Castle which is well worth a visit. Here we have a break before re-boarding the boat for a short cruise to Rotterdam.

Day 3 : Rotterdam – Delft – Rotterdam
17 or 31 miles/28 or 50 kms

Today we cycle via Schiedam, best known for its gin distilleries and malt houses, to Delft, home of the famous Delft Blue earthenware that has been produced here since the 17th century. The town also boasts a beautiful city centre with small canals, pretty bridges and winding streets. We then return to Rotterdam for the evening. After dinner why not step ashore for a short city walk around the old town before retiring for the night?

Day 4 : Rotterdam – Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven
19 or 36 miles/30 or 58 kms

The day starts with a waterbus ride to the town of Alblasserdam where we disembark with the bikes for the short ride to Kinderdijk. This small village is quite unique as it’s home to 19 windmills dating back to the 1500s and the views are very impressive. Afterwards you can choose between a longer ride to the beautiful and historic ‘cheese city’ of Gouda or a shorter ride around the Alblasserwaard Polder which was one of the original land reclamation projects in Holland. Both routes conclude in Schoonhoven, known as ‘silver city’ due to the abundance of silvermiths. The boat remains moored in Schoonhoven overnight.

Day 5 : Schoonhoven – Oudewater – Utrecht – Haarlem
28 miles/45 kms

Today’s ride leads us through the ‘Green Heart’ of Holland. Meadows, mills, farms and dykes drift by on this easy and enjoyable route. Once in Oudewater we suggest a visit to the Witches Weigh House where centuries ago those suspected of being witches were weighed to see if they were light enough to fly on a broomstick! Nearby you can visit a cheese farm and perhaps purchase some locally produced Gouda. We then cycle on to Utrecht where we re-board the boat for an evening cruise to Haarlem.

Day 6 : Haarlem – Zaandam
25 or 31 miles/40 or 50 kms

Today you can choose between two tours which will both take you through the beautiful Kennemer dunes. Cycle through seaside resorts and through the forest back to Haarlem to board the ship. The longer route takes you to the largest steam engine in the world and pumping station before heading back to Haarlem. During dinner the boat will cruise along the waterways to Zaandam where we moor for the night.

Day 7 : Zaandam – Amsterdam
19 or 28 miles/30 or 45 kms

The final day’s ride leads us along cycle paths to the open-air museum of Zaanse Schans. Although they call this a museum it is in fact a small town with authentic and well-preserved architecture that will help you appreciate what the Netherlands was like in a bygone era. There are windmills, a wooden clog makers and yes, a cheese farm as well as some tiny museums. You can walk around freely, perhaps sampling some of the local food on offer. Afterwards you cycle through the ‘recreational’ area of Twiske to Amsterdam. This is an area that has a diverse landscape including forests, pastures and of course water and where the locals go to enjoy outdoor activities. Arrive back in Amsterdam for your last night on board. The boat is conveniently located for further exploration of the city.

Day 8 : Amsterdam - end of trip

After breakfast it’s time to disembark, by 9.30am, and head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 7 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are available for rent at the time of booking.

Smaller framed bikes for children, tag-a-longs and child seats are also available on request at time of booking.

Accommodation

De Nassau (superior)

The De Nassau underwent substantial refurbished in early 2019 with the salon and restaurant on the upper deck and the front ‘superior’ cabins on the lower deck being completely re-done.

On the lower deck there are 21 twin cabins and one single cabin. Of these, 12 are regular twin cabins, measuring 9m² / 97sq.ft, located at the back and middle of the deck, each with two single low beds (200x80cm / 78×31 inches). One cabin has the possibility for a third bunk bed (above one of the beds), while the single cabin (7.5m² / 80.7sq.ft.) has one low bed (200x80cm / 78×31 inches).

Also, at the front of the lower deck there are nine newly-renovated “superior” cabins (9.5–11.5 m² / 102–124sq.ft.). Two superior cabins feature a double bed (200x160cm / 78×62 inches), while the other seven feature two separate beds set together as a hotel-style bed (200×160 cm / 78×62 inches). If requested in advance, these hotel-style beds can be arranged as two separate single beds (200x80cm / 78×31 inches)

All of the lower deck cabins have a small window that can be opened.

On the upper deck there are 12 twin cabins measuring 9m² / 97sq.ft.). 10 of these cabins feature two single low beds (200x80cm / 78×31 inches), and two feature a double bed (200x140cm / 78×55 inches). Four of these upper deck cabins have the possibility for a third, collapsible bunk bed (above one of the beds). All upper deck cabins have a window that can be opened.

All 34 cabins feature individual climate control system, mini-safe, small wardrobe, hair dryer, 230V sockets and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and basin.

There is a large salon with large panoramic windows on the upper deck that combines the restaurant, bar and a lounge area. Wi-Fi is available. The partially covered sun deck, offers chairs and sun loungers where you can relax, have a drink and enjoy the scenery as it drifts by. Bicycles are stored on a separate section of the sun deck.

De Amsterdam (superior)

The De Amsterdam was refurbished in 2017 and has 56 well-appointed outside cabins with windows that can be partially opened.

The lower deck has 30 twin cabins (11 m²). The upper deck has 18 twin cabins (11 m²) and 8 upper deck double suites (15 m², can be twin on request). The suites are larger in size and have a mini bar and floor to ceiling sliding glass doors instead of a window.

All cabins have individual climate control system, digital TV, wardrobe, mini-safe, hair dryer, 230V and 115V sockets and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and basin.

The lower deck has a restaurant while the upper deck has a cosy lounge and bar with small dance floor and large panoramic windows.

Outside there is a partially covered sun deck with chairs and sun loungers to relax in the fresh air. Wi-Fi is available in the bar/lounge area. A limited amount of data is included (once used you are required to purchase additional data online).

Getting there

Fly to Amsterdam or take the Eurostar.

Research flights from the UK here.

Reviews