Bike through the Green Heart of Holland
Historical cities Amsterdam & Rotterdam
Kinderdijk’s windmills & Zaanse Schans
Ships with max. 112 passengers
It doesn’t get any better than the Southern Tour of Holland on board your home away from home, ships De Amsterdam or De Holland. Not only will you get the chance to visit a number of famous Dutch cities, but you will also uncover another side of Holland as you cycle through the countryside – the country’s “Green Heart”.
It is here that you will see a landscape of water, meadows, grazing cows, windmills and picturesque farms… it is a landscape that is impossible to feel or look any more Dutch. In short the Southern Tour is the perfect tour for anyone wanting to see as much of “typical” central Holland as is possible in one week. What you will come away with at the end of the tour is a greater appreciation of why this part of the Netherlands attracts so many visitors from all corners of the globe every year. As well as being able to discover the natural beauty of Holland’s Green Heart you will visit:
Other attractions over the course of the tour include the cheese city of Gouda, the windmills at Kinderdijk (Unesco World Heritage Site), the silver city of Schoonhoven, the dunes and beaches of the North Sea coastline and the open air museum “Zaanse Schans”.
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.
You cycle independently
During this trip there is an expert and experienced tour leader on board. He or she will discuss the next day’s cycling routes on a daily basis and provide you with tips and information about the route. You will cycle the tours independently and at your own pace using a detailed cycling map, GPS directions via the free Ride With GPS app and printed route descriptions (available on board). The tour leader will also cycle the routes, so they will be riding nearby and can be reached by phone in case of emergencies, problems or questions.
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 between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping, to explore downtown Amsterdam, to make a canal cruise or to visit a museum. At 5 p.m. welcome drink and safety instructions. Dinner and first briefing on board. First night on board in Amsterdam.
Day 2: Amsterdam – Breukelen | Breukelen – Utrecht (20 km/12 mi. or 39 km/23.4 mi.) | Utrecht – Rotterdam
Your first cycling tour starts in Breukelen. You’ll tour along the beautiful and winding river Vecht with its enchanting background of imposing castles, country houses and quaint tearooms. You will follow the Vecht into the center of Utrecht where you will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful historical city center: the Dom Cathedral with its tower, the canals, special shops and nice cafes. In the afternoon you will continue by ship from Utrecht to Rotterdam.
Day 3: Rotterdam – Schiedam – Delft – Rotterdam (48 km/28.8 mi.)
Today you will cycle via the “jenever city” of Schiedam and through the Delfland area to Delft, famous, of course, for its blue pottery. Visit the beautiful city centre with its small canals, picturesque streets, bridges and alleys. For many of our guests a visit to the Delftware factory is one of the highlights of their tour. Afterwards, you will cycle back to Rotterdam, where you can enjoy a short city walk in the evening.
Day 4: Rotterdam – Alblasserdam with the “waterbus” | Kinderdijk – (Gouda) – Schoonhoven* (30 km/19 mi. or 58 km/36 mi.)
Today you can cycle the first part or the “waterbus” will take you and your bicycle to Alblasserdam. After just a few minutes of cycling you will reach Kinderdijk (UNESCO cultural heritage, with its impressive row of 19 large windmills). You then have the choice between a longer cycling tour with a visit to the beautiful cheese city of Gouda and a short cycling tour through the Alblasserwaard. Both tours end in the “silver city” of Schoonhoven, where you can visit a silversmith.
*On some departures, the night in Schoonhoven on day 4 is not possible. The ship will dock in the cheese city of Gouda instead. All cycling highlights will remain in the program.
Day 5: Schoonhoven – Oudewater – Utrecht (36 km/21.6 mi. or 44 km/26.4 mi.) | Utrecht – Haarlem
Today you will cycle from Schoonhoven through the beautiful “Green Heart” of Holland along small villages and quiet roads to Utrecht. On your way you can visit a traditional cheese farm and in Oudewater you can visit the Witches Weigh House. In the late afternoon the ship will sail from Utrecht to Haarlem.
Day 6: Haarlem – North Sea coast – Haarlem (40 km/25 mi. or 50 km/31 mi.) | Haarlem – Zaandam
Today you can choose from 2 cycling tours. Both tours takes you through the beautiful Kennemer dunes, a national park where you can spot several bird species, Scottish Highland cows and Shetland ponies. After a visit to the seaside resorts Bloemendaal and Zandvoort you cycle through the forests and the center of Haarlem back to the ship. The longer cycling tour leads to the largest steam engine of the world, the Cruquius pumping station and back to Haarlem. During dinner your ship will cruise to Zaandam.
* Departures dates between March 27 and incl. May 1:
From Haarlem you have the opportunity to visit the world famous Tulip exhibition park “Keukenhof” in Lisse (by bicycle or public transport; transfers/tickets/entrance fee not included).
Day 7: Zaandam – Amsterdam (32 km/19.2 mi. or 53 km/31.8 mi.)
From Zaandam your final day of cycling will take you to the open air museum the Zaanse Schans (free entry), with its beautiful windmills, an Old Dutch village with traditional wooden houses, a cheese farm and a traditional wooden clog maker. After exploring the museum you cycle through the recreational area “Twiske” back to Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy everything Amsterdam has to offer. If you didn’t go for a canal tour on the first day, you will have the opportunity to do so today.
Day 8: Amsterdam
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.
The rental bikes on our ships are unisex bicycles with a low bar and a comfortable upright sitting position. These are stable and dependable bikes, good for miles in the saddle. Decide which kind of bike you want to rent and simply fill in your preference with your reservation. We’ll make sure you get the right bike for you. On most of our tours, the bike rental cost is not included in the tour’s price.
Every Boat Bike Tour rental bike is well equipped. The bikes consist of a lightweight aluminum frame and have highly-responsive handbrakes, at least seven speeds, an adjustable gel seat, normal flat pedals (no clips), an easy-to-use lock attached to the frame, and special puncture-resistant tires. All told, this is a light, stable and reliable bike, very suitable for touring long distances pleasantly.
Our e-bikes also have at least seven speeds and handbrakes. The motor runs on a 400Wh battery and offers three levels of power-assistance. The e-bikes include comfortable gel seats that can be adjusted for height, have a lock attached to the frame, and sport anti-puncture tires. Note that some of the ships have their own bikes on board. They may look a bit different, but qualitatively they are equal to Boat Bike Tours’s e-bikes.
The use of bicycle helmets is not required in the Netherlands, but for safety’s sake they are suggested. If you wish to rent one, you can do so during the booking process. If you book a premium tour and rent a bike or e-bike, then the helmet and a “limit of liability for damage or loss” for your bike or e-bike is included in the rental price.
Other rental items
Other items such as children’s bikes, tandems, family tandems (child & adult), tag-along, trailers to carry toddlers and child seats are available on request.
Taking your own bike or e-bike?
The fee for parking your own bicycle is €10 per week. For an e-bike the fee is €25 to cover parking and charging the battery. For safety reasons it is not always possible to charge your e-bike batteries in your cabin. The crew will tell you where you can charge the battery on board the ship. Neither the crew nor Boat Bike tours is responsible in any way for any damage, loss or theft of a guest’s own bike or e-bike or its accessories. Note: not all the ships are suitable or have enough room for extra bikes, so make sure you check with us well ahead of travel.
Our bicycles have a lightweight aluminum frame and are furnished with highly-responsive handbrakes, at least seven speeds and a gel seat whose height can be adjusted. Attached to the frame is an easy-to-use lock and the wheels carry puncture-resistant tires.
Our e-bikes also have highly-responsive handbrakes and a minimum of seven speeds. The motor runs on a 400Wh battery and offers three levels of power-assistance. The e-bikes include comfortable gel seats that can be adjusted for height, have a lock attached to the frame and special anti-puncture tires.
It is possible to take your own bike or e-bike with you, as long as it doesn’t have mirrors or other elements that stick out. There’s only limited space available on board for guests’ bikes. You can reserve a place for your bike for a small fee. Boat Bike tours is not responsible for damage to your bike or for theft.
To view the availability of this tour and/or book online please click on the button below. A new screen will open.
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.
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