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Netherlands

Netherlands: Green Heart of Holland

History and Holland's Green Heart
Amsterdam Round tour.
From €899 p.p.

Highlights of this tour

Bike through the Green Heart of Holland

Historical cities Amsterdam & Leiden

Rijksmuseum & Delft porcelain studio

Barges with max. 24 passengers

Guidance
  • Guided cycling: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Independent cycling: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Independent cycling
Difficulty
  • Level 1: easy tours, very flat terrain
  • Level 2: quite easy tours, mostly flat terrain
  • Level 3: requires a higher level of exertion, medium hilly terrain
  • Level 4: for experienced cyclists, hilly terrain with climbs
Difficulty level 1 Difficulty level 1
Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 8 days

During this eight day, seven night tour on board the charming barge Flora you can cycle individually and at your own pace as you discover the ‘Green Heart’ of Holland, a region steeped in history, natural attractions, world famous cities and beautiful scenery.

Along the way you will visit historical cities such as Amsterdam, Haarlem, Rotterdam, Leiden and Gouda. You will discover many culturally historic attractions and, more importantly, you will be able to immerse yourself in the very heart of this fascinating and very Dutch part of Holland.

Also, if you are an art lover, you will enjoy the visits in Leiden, Haarlem and Delft where painters such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Vermeer lived and worked. But far from just being about big cities and Dutch history, this tour is also about the picturesque villages and beautiful scenery of the ‘green lung’ districts of central and South Holland. One thing is certain: by the end of the tour you will not only come away with a new-found appreciation for bike and barge cruising, but for everything that is Dutch.

A bonus during this tour is the fact that the Flora docks in and around the city center of the various cities and villages visited at the end of each day’s cycling, giving you the opportunity to visit and explore at your leisure at night.

The ship – Your sailing hotel
In between cycling excursions, you cruise along with the ship, which travels to a new destination every day. You dine, sleep and eat breakfast on board. You’ll receive a packed lunch every day, and you can usually choose between a longer or shorter bike ride. It’s also possible to spend a day on board if you like. There are rental bikes on board, but you can also bring your own if you mention it when booking.

Day to day program

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Day 1: Amsterdam

Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from 2 p.m. in the center of Amsterdam. After unpacking your luggage in your cabin, you will still have plenty of time to explore this famous city. Treat yourself to a canal tour, visit one or more museums or simply do some shopping. An introduction to the tour will take place at 5.30 p.m. during which the crew will be presented and your first dinner on board will be served; your rental bicycles will also be distributed at this time.

Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Haarlem (40 km/24 mi. or 55 km/34 mi.)

After a short cruise on board the Flora, you are finally off and cycling today after first visiting the lovely open-air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ in Zaandam where an authentic 18th and 19th century Dutch village has been reconstructed. In the museum you will learn about iconic Dutch traditions such as windmills and cheese and clog making. You will then cycle to Haarlem where celebrated portraitist and genre painter Frans Hals lived and worked in the 16th century. In the evening you can stroll through the lovely city center and the Grote Markt (market square). If preferred, today’s cycling tour can also be extended with a visit to the sea locks of IJmuiden and the Kennemer Dunes. During this cycling tour you can visit some forts of the Defense Line of Amsterdam (UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Day 3: Haarlem – North Sea coast – Leiden (42 km/25 mi. or 50 km/34 mi.)

After enjoying breakfast with your newfound cycling friends, you will pedal today along the North Sea coast through seaside dunes via the resorts of Noordwijk and Katwijk aan Zee to the vibrant university city of Leiden, the birthplace of celebrated artist Rembrandt van Rijn. The city’s picturesque old city center is crisscrossed with canals lined by beautiful 17th-century buildings and is very definitely a must to see. The longer cycling tour leads you from Haarlem to Cruquius (steam engine museum) and Hillegom (several flower nurseries) to Leiden.

Day 4: Leiden – Delft (35 km/22 mi. or 41 km/34 mi.)

From Leiden you will cycle to Delft, famous for its Blue porcelain (Delftware), where you will have the opportunity to visit a porcelain studio. Another major attraction in the beautiful city center of Delft is the royal crypt of the House of Orange. The longer cycling tour brings you to The Hague, where you can visit the Binnenhof (Parliament) and the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis) and then continues to end in Delft.

Day 5: Delft – Rotterdam – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Gouda (several options from 23 km/15 mi. to  66 km/41 mi.)

This morning you will sail from Delft on the Flora through the remarkable international port of Rotterdam.  From here you can start cycling or you can hop on the “Waterbus”, a fast ferry that will bring you and your bicycle over the river in 30-40 minutes to Alblasserdam. From there you cycle just a few miles to Kinderdijk, world famous for an impressive row of 19 large windmills. These 19 windmills have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing and are a definite highlight – you will have the opportunity to visit one so don’t forget to bring your camera! From Kinderdijk you will cycle directly to the cheese city of Gouda, or if you prefer, on a longer tour via the silver city of Schoonhoven to Gouda, your destination for the day.

Day 6: Gouda – Kudelstaart (45 km/28 mi or 55 km/34 mi)

The highlight of today’s cycling tour is the naturally idyllic beauty of the South Holland landscape. Your destination for the day is the village of Kudelstaart where the Flora will be waiting for you. Along the way you will cycle along numerous small canals and past picture-perfect farms and small villages. At the mooring place on the banks of the Westeinder Plassen (‘West End’ lakes) there is a beautiful view to savor while enjoying a wine during or after dinner.

Day 7: Kudelstaart – Amsterdam (20 km/13.8 mi.)

During a sailing breakfast the Flora will take you in the direction of Amsterdam to the city park ‘Amsterdamse Bos’. From here you can either stay on board the Flora as it cruises through the City of Amsterdam to its mooring place or you can cycle into the city through the city park ‘Amsterdamse Bos’ and along the Amstel river. Once you reach Amsterdam take the opportunity during the afternoon and evening to go for a canal cruise, discover Anne Frank’s House, the Rembrandt House Museum, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam and Dam Square, the very center and heart of the city.

Day 8: Amsterdam

End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.

Good to know
  • Cycling route distances in the travel program are approximate.
  • On some days you can choose between a longer and a shorter cycling route. Please note that on the shorter routes you may not be able to visit all the highlights mentioned.
  • If you prefer not to cycle on a particular day, you’re welcome to stay on board and relax while the ship cruises to the next landing place.
  • The tour itinerary and route are subject to possible changes due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons, or other unforeseen events.
  • On the arrival day, you can leave your luggage on board the ship from 11.00 am.
  • Detailed cycling maps, route tips and a GPS app are available for guests who wish to cycle individually and at their own pace. The tour guide is always available via cell phone in case of questions, breakdowns or emergencies.

Prices & information

Prices & availability

Below you see an overview of the available (blue) dates; the yellow dot means that this date has 2 or less cabins available, orange is ‘on request’ and red means that on this date there aren’t any cabins available. Then click on the preferred date. After this, choose your ship (some tours have only one ship, and therefore there is no choice), the number of cabins in the required (and available) category, any desired additional products, and ‘local costs’ (such as special dietary needs, which you usually pay for onboard). On the right side, you’ll find the ‘Booking Summary.’ After completing your preferences and necessary information click ‘Book now’ to finalize your booking.

  • Available
  • 2 or less available
  • On request
  • Not available
Departure date -

Choose preferred ship

Please select your cabin(s)

Pricing overview - 2022
Cabin type For May 14 All other dates
Twin/double cabin 2 pers. € 899 € 939 Twin/double cabin for single use (max. 1) 1 pers. € 1348.50 € 1408.50 Triple cabin (3rd bed only for child) (max. 2) 3 pers. € 799 € 839
Included in this tour
  • 8 days/7 nights
  • 7 x breakfast
  • Packed lunches
  • 7 x 3-course dinner
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Welcome drink
  • Use of bed linen and towels
  • Daily cleaning of the cabins
  • Daily briefings by the crew
  • Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)
  • GPS tracks
  • Use of a waterproof pannier bag
  • Wi-Fi
  • SGR Insolvency protection
  • Carbon offset payment to the non-profit organization Justdiggit
Excluded in this tour
  • Drinks
  • Bicycle rental or E-bike rental
  • Helmet rental
  • Personal insurances
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Fees for ferries / waterbus
  • Transfers to/from the docking place
  • Parking fees
Additional options & information - 2022

2022:

  • Rental bicycle: € 85 per week
  • Rental E-Bike: € 185 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • You can find a description of the bicycles when you click on ship.
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle € 10/week
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike € 25/week
  • Parking own bicycle: € 10 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Parking own E-Bike: € 25 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Please click on this link for more information about the rental and own bicycles/E-bikes
  • Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
  • Canal cruise Amsterdam: Ticket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam – special price for our guests: € 15 (at the ticket desk approx.: € 18). Please book your ticket in advance and you can collect it on board of your ship on the first day of the tour.
  • Parking in Amsterdam (valet parking): prices and pre-booking here.
Travel during corona time

On our tours we make sure that you can travel safely! We follow all possible safety measures on board by observing hygiene rules, equipping staff with face masks and with extra cleaning and sufficient ventilation. All guests, crew and tour leaders complete a health declaration in advance, and during the trip we take care that everyone stays healthy!
For more information and the latest updates click here.



Reviews

Rated 8.8 out of 10 based on 5 reviews
5 stars

David Leppla

Enjoyed everything about the trip. Berthus and Ann Marie were such lovely people that they made every bit of the journey a joy.

5 stars

Liz and Paul Egan

I am an artist and wanted a special trip for my husband and I now that we are retired. I wanted to see a lot of the great Dutch art and also have time to capture scenes by painting along the way. My husband and I traveled on the boat Flora on the Green Heart of Holland Tour. It was…

3 stars

Alan B

We did the unguided Green Heart of Holland tour. The countryside was gorgeous, the Dutch we spoke to were delightful but I do have some concerns. Bike Notes: First day the route took us right into the middle of a marathon with 15,000 people. It was horrific! It is an annual event so this should NEVER have occurred. Created a…

Reply from Boat Bike Tours Dear Alan, Thank your for your review. Good to hear you enjoyed the countryside and the locals you met during the day. Pity to hear the tour briefings on this non-guided tour were not to your satisfaction. We will do our best to improve the written descriptions. And you are absolutely right about the marathon. We could have and should have known and given you a good alternative route. We will make sure this will not happen in the future. About the cabins on the ship: they should not be described as luxury, because they are not. On our website we use the following description for the Jelmar: “The Jelmar is a small, cozy and comfortable passenger barge”. Team Boat Bike Tours.
4 stars

Hans Linschoten

Wir waren auf dem Jelmar vom 15.-22. September im Grünen Herz der Niederlanden unterwegs. Sehr empfehlenswert, wenn man ein Bilderbuchholland abseits der Touristenpfade erleben möchte. Ein kleines Schiff, so richtig familiär. Das Abendessen ist einfach. Am letzten Abend (Toast Hawai, Teigwaren mit einer Ricott-Spinatsauce, Poffertjes) war es wohl sehr ein Lowcostessen mit starkem “Refillcharakter”.Dort kamen wir uns mehr abgefertigt dann…

Read all reviews on Trustpilot

Available ships for this tour

Ship Flora Germany, Netherlands

Openable windows

Free coffee and tea 24/7

Storage space under the beds

Third bed available

max. 20 passengers
10 cabins
3 tours available with this ship

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Netherlands: Green Heart of Holland

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