We, Ewa (23 years) and Sandra (20 years), are currently doing an internship at Boat Bike Tours. Of course part of the experience is doing a tour ourselves! We were lucky enough to take part in one of Boat Bike Tour’s most popular routes, Hansa Highlights. It was a trip we’ll never forget!
We began the tour in the port of Amsterdam. There we were warmly welcomed by the ship manager and our tour guide, Wilma, when we boarded the ship De Nassau. After checking in, we went to our cabins, which were a positive surprise! Bright, spacious and with a beautiful view of the water. We had some time before dinner, so we relaxed on the sunny deck of the ship. After the crew had introduced themselves, we enjoyed our first 3-course menu in the small town of Wijk bij Duurstede. Despite the rain we did not miss the chance to visit the town – it was worth it!
The next day we went off on our bikes right after breakfast. A total distance of 44 km led us from Wageningen to Arnhem. On our route we cycled through many small villages, forests and above all picturesque heath fields. A real must see! When we arrived at the boat, we relaxed with coffee and tea before we started to explore Arnhem a little. We enjoyed the lively area, where there was a lot to see. After dinner we were able to relax on the deck of the ship and chat to the other passengers. The atmosphere was very relaxed and we always had a lot of fun with the other guests and the friendly crew members.
Monday morning we continued in our floating hotel to Doesburg. From there we cycled the route to Deventer. On this route we crossed Bronkhorst, the smallest town in Holland. Although this route also led through many green landscapes, there was still a lot to discover. The variety between small towns and wonderful nature made our bicycle tours very exciting. After another successful trip we reached our ship De Nassau and after a short rest we were served some delicious drinks! The city tour rounded off the evening and offered us interesting insights into the history of Deventer.
While our breakfast was served on board the next morning, we continued by boat to Wijhe. From there we cycled to the next big town, Kampen. We enjoyed the ambience of the impressive city of Zwolle with a cup of coffee. This route is our absolute favorite, because it shows so many different facets of the country and you even have the possibility to swim a lap in a refreshing lake. After the successful bike tour we explored Kampen before we finished the evening with the other passengers. Due to the length of the route (56km) we had expected a lot of sore muscles, but cycling became easier every day and we felt really comfortable on our bikes.
For this reason we decided to take the long route on the fifth day. It turned out to be the right decision, because this tour ran directly along a river. Our bikes took us through the beautiful city of Elburg to the impressive fishing port of Harderwijk. Also on this tour we had the chance to take a cooling swim in the lake. After our 3-course dinner we set out to explore the harbor and the center of Harderwijk. It is definitely worth visiting this town and tasting the tasty fish.
On Thursday we had the opportunity to spend a sunny day on the deck of the ship and regain our strength on the way to Huizen. While sailing we were able to get some nice insights and experience what a day on the ship is like. Thanks to the entertaining conversations with the other passengers on board and the pleasant service of the crew, we were able to enjoy the day to the full. In the early afternoon we arrived in Huizen, where we could welcome the other guests who were on their bicycles. They also told us about their exciting bike trip and the ever-changing landscapes. Whether on deck or on the bike, there is always something to see!
On the penultimate day we had to go back to the point where we started – Amsterdam! We sat down on our bikes for the last time and soaked up all the sights that came our way. There was a lot of nature and peaceful little villages to see before we left for the cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam in the afternoon. Since we arrived relatively early at the meeting point (faster than the ship), we had the opportunity to explore the city. In contrast to the previous days there was a lot going on in Amsterdam, but seeing the city was definitely one of the highlights of our tour. We had until the next morning to do an extensive sightseeing tour, which we took full advantage of. We relaxed the last evening on the ship and exchanged our experiences with the other passengers. Thus an exciting and thrilling time came to an end.
After breakfast on the last morning of our trip we had the opportunity to thank the crew and say goodbye to the other passengers. A week on a ship is a very strong bonding experience. In any case, we are very grateful that we were able to take part in this wonderful journey. After we’ve had a rest we’ll be ready to get to work on our internships!