Bike along the Rhine & IJssel
Visit fascinating Hanseatic cities
Learn about the lovely reclaimed polderlands
Barges with max. 20 passengers
The Hansa Highlights Tour will take you through the central region of the Netherlands, a region shaped over millennia by the numerous rivers and streams that crisscross the area.
You will cycle through the Rhine valley and its very beautiful tributary the IJssel River, cross the so-called border lakes region of the Netherlands and will visit fascinating cities and villages such as Amsterdam, Arnhem, Deventer, Kampen, Harderwijk and Elburg, to name a few. Given the flat terrain along the 125 km IJssel valley, the tour is perfect for anyone who wants to leisurely cycle along the many winding trails in this diverse area.
The natural beauty of the region is sure to impress as will the Hanseatic towns of the region that flourished during the Middle Ages when the IJssel was one of the most important trade routes in Europe. Another attraction is the so-called border lakes, between the “old” land with many beautiful harbor towns and the “new” land of the Flevoland, which was once the bottom of the sea, before the land was reclaimed in the 1950s and 1960s. In this area you will leisurely cycle through a number of picturesque fishing harbors where life seemingly moves at a much slower pace. For many Dutch, this probably not so well-known area is one of their favorite cycling areas.
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.
Accompanied by a competent, professional and multilingual tour leader, you and the group will visit interesting sights and places on the daily cycling tours. During the bike tour, they will explain the local history and culture behind the things you encounter along the way. You can also choose to ride individually with the help of a map and route notes (available on board)
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 | Amsterdam – Wijk bij Duurstede
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is between 1 and 2 p.m. in Amsterdam. At approximately 2 p.m. the barge will leave Amsterdam to sail over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to Wijk bij Duurstede on the Rhine where you will spend your first night.
Day 2: Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen | Wageningen – Arnhem (35 km/21 mi. or 44 km/28 mi.)
While you are enjoying breakfast, the barge will sail to Wageningen where you are finally off and cycling through the picturesque river valley of the Rhine. Along the way you will cycle through the woods and moorlands of the Veluwe. At the end of the day you pedal through the suburbs and past lovely parks such as Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal to Arnhem, where you spend the night close to the city center. During the second world war Arnhem was the battle scene of Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation in history. The operation ended in a failure because of the inability to capture a bridge over the Rhine River resulting in the destruction of the British 1st Airborne Division.
Day 3: Arnhem – Doesburg | Doesburg – Zutphen (27 km/16 mi. or 44 km/27 mi.) | Zutphen – Deventer
Today’s cycling tour takes you along the Hanseatic Town Route to the small village of Doesburg and along the IJssel to Bronkhorst, which has the distinction of being recognised as the smallest town in Holland. Guests will have two choices today – a shorter tour along the riverbank to Zutphen; or a longer bicycle trip via Vorden passing country houses, castles and rural estates. During dinner the barge will sail to Deventer where you have the option of a short guided walking tour in the evening.
Day 4: Deventer – Hattem (35 km/21 mi. or 45 km/27 mi.) | Hattem – Kampen
This morning you will enjoy a short bicycle ride along the IJssel riverbank before boarding a ferry at Wijhe to cross the river to Hattem. The 800-year-old town of Hattem has a rich history that is still clearly visible today. Guests have the opportunity, if they want, to stretch their legs with a longer bicycle trip through east Veluwe. During dinner the ship will sail to Kampen where you have the opportunity to go on an optional guided walking tour in the largest Hanseatic town in the Netherlands.
Day 5: Kampen – Roggebotsluis | Roggebotsluis- Elburg – Harderwijk (48 km/29 mi.)
In the morning the barge will sail to the IJssel estuary and across the so-called border lakes. Today’s cycling tour starts at a lock, Roggebotsluis. From the lock you cycle along the border lakes to the fishing harbor of Elburg, where swimming, boating, surfing and fishing are favorite summertime activities. From Elburg the cycling tour goes to lovely Harderwijk through the woods and moorland at Elspeet. The night will be spent in Harderwijk’s old fishing harbor. In the 1500s Harderwijk boasted the largest fish market in the Zuiderzee region and it is still a fascinating old city to explore.
Day 6: Harderwijk – Bunschoten – Spakenburg (35 km/21 mi. or 59 km/36 mi.)
Today guests have two cycling choices: a short pedal along the coast or a combination of the coast route and a longer alternative that also takes in adjacent woodlands. The night will be spent in Spakenburg, a village well-known for its traditional costumes.
Day 7: Spakenburg – Huizen | Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam (35 km/21 mi. or 49 km/30 mi.)
During breakfast you can enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the barge. From Huizen you will cycle to the beautiful fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden, famous for its historic castle. From Muiden you will cycle along quiet roads to your final destination, the world famous city of Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are spent in Amsterdam. While you are there take the opportunity to visit Anne Frank’s home, the Rembrandt House Museum, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Dam Square, the very centre and heart of the city or maybe you could go on a canal tour.
Day 8: Amsterdam
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.
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.
Enjoyable Cycling Holiday Enjoyed the trip. The barge was well appointed and the cabin’s quite spacious. The food was very good, especially the international menus, and catered for all tastes. Although I found some of the longer trips taxing, I completed them all with relatively few aches and pains.
great choice. small group (15). excellent food. great crew. great guide.
Lena Maria is just fantastic. Klaas (our guide) is just the best!! Lars is an absolute Master Chef!! Cabins lovely and clean!! Thoroughly recommend!! E-bike make the bike riding so much more relaxing! !
We loved the boat Lena Maria and the crew (Conny, Robin, Lars, and Klaas). The food was outstanding. It was rated as easy (level 1) but turned out to be moderate. Changes had to be made because of low canal/water levels, and that was understandable – as a result, there was only 1 choice of route each day, and some…
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