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One of the things we’re most proud of here at Boat Bike Tours is the number of repeat guests we have. Jim, 76, has enjoyed six of them!

“You never know what’s around that next turn,” he says, as he describes his latest experience on the Historic Hanseatic Cities tour – Hansa tour, for short. “We’re biking through woody areas, hilly areas, parts of the Netherlands none of us knew existed. It was a real surprise!”

Kit Parks, of Active Travel Adventures, interviewed Jim for her podcast and wrote about the tour in her podcast notes, which you can read below. Have a listen to the podcast too – since she’s also done a Boat Bike tour with us, you can hear the enthusiasm from both of them as they talk about it!

See the Hansa tour


Take a Boat and Bike tour of the famous Hansa region of Holland!

“You start and end your 8-day tour in historic Amsterdam. Then you bike south and east of Amsterdam through forests and fields on the extensive Dutch cycling network. You’ll cycle along the Rhine and IJssel rivers, will bike through Hanseatic cities like Deventer and Kampen. You’ll also learn about the reclaimed polderlands for which Holland is so famous. Each night you stay in your comfy boat cabin so you only need to unpack once! Tasty and hearty breakfasts and dinners are included, plus you can pack a lunch if you’d rather picnic than visit a cafe. You are given detailed instructions, a map and GPS for the day’s route and there is always a guide a call or text away if you need any assistance on your self-guided tour. Holland’s extensive cycling network is a breeze to figure out, so you’re unlikely to get lost.

You’ll have plenty of time to explore and visit the sights along the way. The route is pretty much flat, so it is doable for most biker levels. Many days you can choose a shorter or longer bike ride, depending on how you feel and the weather. And if you don’t feel like biking at all, you can simply enjoy a scenic boat ride to the next destination! This European biking tour is great for partners with different biking abilities and interests! You can even rent an E-bike to save your energy for exploration!

The Netherlands are basically flat, so it is easy to do this biking tour! Plus, you can usually choose a shorter or longer biking route, depending on how you feel and the weather each day. Your only ‘hills’ are the bridges you cross. BBT ranks it a one out of five for difficulty.

Plus, you can opt for an E-bike, which makes the route super easy! This way you know that you’ll have plenty of energy to do exploring along the way and at the night’s village. You can bring your own bike if you prefer, or let Boat Bike Tours set you up. I recommend bringing your own helmet (not required in the Netherlands) and a gel seat cover for added comfort.

What Do You See on the Hansa Holland Boat Bike Tour

This eight day tour gives you a wonderful overview of Holland’s Hansa Region!

Some highlights include:

  • Your tour starts in Amsterdam – be sure to come a few days early to explore this fascinating city!
  • You cycle along the Rhine river and IJssel tributary
  • Visit Hanseatic cities like Deventer & Kampen
  • Learn about the reclaimed polderlands
  • Cycle through Bucolic countryside and forests

The area you’ll be traversing was shaped over millennia by numerous rivers and streams. It thrived during the Middle Ages, when the rivers Rhine and IJssel were among the most important trade routes in Europe. Many of the cities along their banks were members of the Hanseatic League. This confederation protected the economic interests of its members in large parts of the Netherlands, Germany and Northern Europe. The affluence of those years is visible everywhere in abundant civil and religious architecture.

What’s Included on my Hansa Boat and Bike Tour

Taking a boat and bike tour is super easy and affordable: you sleep on the ship each night, so your lodging is included, which means you only have to unpack once!

  • Your breakfast and dinner is included, plus you can pack a lunch during breakfast, so your meals are included as well!
  • Crew tips, some admission fees, alcohol and incidentals are not included with your tour. Plus you need to get to and from Amsterdam.


Who Can Bike the Hansa Holland Tour

This is a great tour for couples, friends, as well as solo riders. The ship has up to 71 passengers, so even if you travel alone, you are sure to make new friends to bike with, if you choose.

Because you have so much flexibility in planning your activities each day, this can be a great multi-generational trip: anyone who doesn’t want to, or can’t ride, can enjoy a pleasant and scenic boat ride. Since you are biking independently (with access to your guide if you need him or her), you can bike at your own pace. You have all day to meet up with the boat, so you can take a leisurely ride!

Holland is FLAT, so this is an easy adventure!

Is the Hansa Holland Bike Tour Hard to Navigate

The Dutch have done an outstanding job of providing a network of SAFE bike routes intersecting the country. Many locals use their bikes as their main transportation (and bike in their everyday attire as opposed to ‘bike wear’).

The bike network in the Netherlands is well signed and easy to navigate.

Plus, Boat Bike Tours will provide you with detailed instructions, a map and GPS on which route to take. You’ll also have the guide’s phone number in case you have any issues. Be sure to download the What’sApp app and add your guide’s contact info. Then just find a coffee shop with wifi to reach out and you won’t need a SIM card!

You have plenty of time to explore the sights and to relax in a cafe!”

The podcast

We offer listeners 50 euros off ANY of our boat and bike tours in 2023 with an exclusive Promo Code. Just listen!

Which Hanseatic Tour suits you best?

Would you like to experience the Hanseatic Tour yourself? Discover our trips along the historic Hanseatic route! We offer this tour in two different versions. If you choose the “Hansa Highlights” tour, you’ll stay overnight on a modern and comfortable cruise ship. You’ll ride the bike routes independently, at your own pace. Would you prefer to ride the bike routes in a group and with a tour leader? Then the “Historic Hanseatic Cities – Guided” tour is your best bet. Like the Hansa Highlights tour, you’ll travel on a smaller ship, but you’ll cycle with the group each day, if you’d like. Still not sure how to decide? We’re here to help!

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