Holland: Boat & Bike Holiday in The Heart of Holland (7 Nights)
  • Boat & Bike Heart of Holland - Westeinder Plassen Lake
  • Boat & Bike Heart of Holland - Cyclists Wasser Muehle
  • Boat & Bike Heart of Holland - Leiden
  • Boat & Bike Heart of Holland - Haarlem Spaarne

Boat & Bike Holiday in the Heart of the Netherlands

Guided or Self-Guided Rides

8 Days / 7 Nights (6 Days Cycling)

Distance: 125 to 162 miles / 200 to 260 km

Level: Easy

Touring, Electric, Tandem & Kids Bikes, Trailer-Bikes & Seats Available,

Departures most Saturdays from 2 May to 26 September

Full Board from €939 pp

A Boat & Bike Tour of the Heart of Holland

On this fabulous bike & boat holiday you will discover the “Green Heart” of Holland, a region of world famous sites, natural attractions and beautiful scenery. You will visit historical cities such as Amsterdam, Haarlem, Rotterdam, Leiden and Gouda, and be able to immerse yourself in the very heart of this fascinating part of the Netherlands.

If you are a lover of fine art, you will particularly enjoy the visits to Leiden, Haarlem and Delft, where artists such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Vermeer lived and worked. However, this holiday is not just about big cities and Dutch history, you will also visit the picturesque villages and beautiful scenery of the “green lung” districts of central and South Holland. By the end of this tour you will come away with a new-found appreciation for bike and barge cruising, and for everything Dutch!

Cruising aboard the MS Flora or MS Lena Maria, the experienced, knowledgeable and friendly crew will show you the charm of this part of Holland in their own special way. The boats dock overnight in and around the 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 in the evening.

This bike & boat tour of the “Green heart” of Holland is rated as “Easy”. The bike tours are optional and range in distance from 23 to 66 km, with longer and shorter options on most days. The routes are nearly all paved and are designed to ensure you spend most of the time away from traffic. This is a great tour for cyclists of all levels, including beginners and children with a reasonable level of fitness.

We offer a choice of unguided rides on the MS Flora and guided rides on MS Lena Maria. There is always the option of taking a rest and spending the day on board the boat or sightseeing.

Holidays include accommodation and all meals for seven days, a comprehensive information pack, cycle route instructions and information (MS Flora), guided rides (MS Lena Maria) and emergency support. We can also provide hire bikes, including touring bikes, electric bikes, tandems, kids bikes, trailer bikes and seats.

Itinerary

Boat & Bike - Green Heart of Holland, Map of Route

Map of the Route
(click to enlarge)

Given the variety of routes that may be selected, all daily distances are approximate. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety. This cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal from the tour.

Day 1 (Saturday): Welcome Aboard in Amsterdam.

Dinner.

Embarkation commences at 2.00 pm, in the center of Amsterdam. After unpacking your luggage, you should take the opportunity to explore this famous city. Treat yourself to a canal tour, visit one or more museums, or simply do some shopping.

MS Lena Maria/Guided: At 3.00 pm there will be a welcome meeting, after which your rental bikes (if booked) will be distributed and your tour leader will invite you to a short test-ride. Upon your return your first dinner on board will be served.

MS Flora/Self-Guided: At 5.30 pm there will be a welcome meeting, after which dinner is served. Rental bikes (if booked) will also be distributed at this time.

Day 2 (Sunday): Sail from Amsterdam to Zaandam & Cycle Zaandam - Zaanse Schans - Haarlem (Approx 25-35 miles / 40-55 km).

Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner.

In the morning, you will sail to Zaandam and have the chance to visit the lovely open-air museum “Zaanse Schans”, 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, cheese and (of course!) clog making.

From Zaandam, you will cycle to Haarlem, where celebrated 16th-century portraitist and genre painter, Frans Hals, lived and worked. In the evening you can stroll through the Grote Markt (market square) and the lovely city centre.

Today’s cycling tour can also be extended to visit the sea locks of IJmuiden and the Kennemer Dunes. During this longer tour, you can visit some of the forts of the Defense Line of Amsterdam, which are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 3 (Monday): Cycle Tour Haarlem - North Sea Coast - Leiden (Approx 27-32 miles / 42-50 km).

Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner.

After breakfast, you will cycle through the dunes along the North Sea coast, via the resorts of Noordwijk and Katwijk aan Zee, to the vibrant university city of Leiden, the birthplace of celebrated artist Rembrandt van Rijn.

Leiden’s picturesque old city center is crisscrossed with canals lined by beautiful 17th-century buildings. It very definitely a “must see” of this tour!

The longer cycling tour leads you from Haarlem to Leiden via Cruquius, where you can visit the steam engine museum, and Hillegom, with its famous flower nurseries.

Day 4 (Tuesday): Cycle from Leiden to Delft (Approx 22-26 miles / 35-41 km).

Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner.

Today 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 will take you to Delft via the seaside resort of Scheveningen, then on to The Hague, where you can visit the Binnenhof (Parliament) and the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis).

Day 5 (Wednesday): Sail from Delft, via Rotterdam to Kinderdijk & Cycle from Kinderdijk, via Schoonhoven to Gouda (from 15 to 42 miles / 23 to 66 km).

Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner.

This morning, you will sail from Delft 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 take you and your bike over the river to Alblasserdam, in 30-40 minutes.

From Alblasserdam, you cycle just a few miles to Kinderdijk, which is world famous for an impressive row of 19 large windmills. These windmills have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing and are another highlight of this tour. (You will have the opportunity to visit one, so don’t forget to bring your camera!)

From Kinderdijk, you can cycle directly to the “cheese city” of Gouda, your destination for the day. If you prefer, you can take a longer route, via the “silver city” of Schoonhoven.

Day 6 (Thursday): Cycle from Gouda to Kudelstaart (Approx 28-35 miles / 45-55 km).

Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner.

The highlight of today’s cycling tour is the naturally idyllic beauty of the landscape of South Holland. Your destination for the day is the village of Kudelstaart. Along the way you will cycle along numerous small canals and past picture-perfect farms and small villages.

In the evening, savour the beautiful view, whilst enjoying a glass of wine during or after dinner at the the banks of the Westeinder Plassen (“West End Lakes”).

Day 7 (Friday): Cycle from Kudelstaart Aalsmeer to Amsterdam (Approx 19-23 miles / 30-37 km).

Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner.

Your last day of cycling on this fabulous boat & bike tour of the “Green Heart” of Holland will lead you back to the wonderful city of Amsterdam.

If you are an early bird, you can visit the largest trade centre for plants and flowers in the world, at Aalsmeer (not included). The market is a hive of activity. You will probably never before have seen so many flowers in one place!

After a late breakfast, you can either stay on board the boat as it cruises through Amsterdam to its mooring place in the city centre, or you can cycle into the city through the city park “Amsterdamse Bos” or along the Amstel river.

Once you reach Amsterdam, you should take the opportunity 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 Dutch capital.

Day 8 (Saturday): Departure.

Breakfast.

By 9.30 am, after breakfast, it is time to disembark.

There are direct flights and trains from Amsterdam to many cities. However, what’s the rush?  Why not take time to explore this beautiful, historic and lively city before you leave?  We can easily arrange an extension for as long as you like.

Dates & Prices

This boat & bike tour of the “Green Heart” of Holland departs most Saturdays, from 2 May to 26 September 2020. Prices only differ between guided tours on MS Lena Maria and unguided tours on MS Flora.

Departures in 2020 are schedules as follows:

MS Lena Maria / Guided Cycling Tours

May: 16, 23.

June: 13, 20, 27.

July: 4.

September: 12 & 19.

MS Flora / Unguided Cycling Tours

May: 2, 9, 16, 30.

June: 20, 27.

July: 4, 11, 18, 25.

August: 1 & 15.

Price (per Person), Full Board.

MS Flora (Unguided Tours)
MS Lena Maria
(Guided Tours)
Triple Cabin
(Child Only)
Twin Cabin
Twin Cabin/
Single Use
Twin Cabin
Twin Cabin/
Single Use
€839
€939
€1408.50
€959
€1438.50
Bike & Equipment Hire
Hybrid Bike (6 Days)
€80
Electric Bike (6 Days)
€180
Tandem, Child's Bike, Trailer-Bike or Seat (6 Days)
On Request
Helmet (6 Days)
€10
Bike Insurance (Hybrid/Electric)
€10/€25
Amsterdam Canal Cruise
€13

Payment may be made by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), or by transfer to our Spanish or UK bank.

We do not charge a handling fee if you pay by credit card. 

Services Included.

The bike & boat tours onboard the MS Flora and MS Lena Maria both include:
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in outside cabins with shower & toilet.
  • Cleaning of cabins. (Daily MS Flora / Once MS Lena Maria.)
  • Change of linen & towels, if required.
  • Full board: Breakfast buffet (x 7), small lunch onboard or lunch package for bike tours (x 6), afternoon coffee and tea (x 6), dinner (x 7).
  • Welcome drink.
  • All harbour, lock and bridge fees.
  • Daily briefing on bike tours.
  • Printed instructions and detailed maps for bike tours (1 per cabin).
  • Tour guidance on board.
  • Wifi in public areas.
In addition, the bike & boat tours onboard the MS Lena Maria also include:
  • Guided bike tours.
  • Fees for ferries.

Extra Services.

The following services are not included in the price of this boat & bike tour:
  • Drinks and tips on board.
  • Bike & helmet hire. (Bikes, electric bikes, tandems, kids bikes, trailer-bikes & bike seats available.)
  • Travel to and from Amsterdam, including flights and airport transfers.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Tickets for concerts and attractions.
  • Fees for ferries. (MS Flora only. Approx €5 pp.)

Boats

MS Flora
(Self-Guided Cycling Tours)

The Flora is a small, cozy and comfortable passenger barge, which has been sailing the Green Heart of Holland tour for several years. The ship was renovated in 2007, and is now owned by Berthus van den Berg and Jonne Muller.

  • Length: 40 m (131 ft).
  • Width: 6 m (20 ft).
  • Crew: 2.
  • Cabins: 10.
  • Passengers: 20 (max).

The lounge, which also serves as the bar and dining area, is traditionally furnished and provides an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. Wifi is available in public areas. On nice evenings, or while cruising, you can enjoy the scenery from the sundeck.

The Flora has ten twin cabins (8 m² – 86 sq.ft.), with two separate single beds. In two of the cabins a bunk bed for children up to age 12 (weighing no more than 40 kg) is available on request. Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and basin. The cabins have central heating and small windows which can be opened .

Each cabin is equipped with a mini safe. Hairdryers are available on request.

The interior of the ship is a non-smoking zone. Smoking is only allowed on the sun deck.

MS Flora is not suitable for guests with reduced mobility.

MS Flora - Gallery.

MS Lena Maria
(Guided Cycling Tours)

The Lena Maria started her second life as a passenger barge in 2006. The ship was built by Hans de Lange, who had previously built and operated similar vessels. The Lena Maria is a very comfortable ship, ideal for bike and barge tours.

On the upper deck of the Lena Maria you will find the cozy lounge with the bar and dining area. The barge also has a beautiful sundeck, where you can have a drink and enjoy the scenery. Wifi is available in public areas.

The Lena Maria has twelve spacious twin cabins (10,5 m² – 113 sq.ft.), with two separate beds. Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and basin. Windows can be opened and the cabins have ventilation and central heating. Each cabin is equipped with a hair dryer.

The interior of the ship is a non-smoking zone. Smoking is only allowed on the sun deck.

MS Lena Maria is not suitable for guests with reduced mobility.

MS Lena Maria - Gallery.

Travel

Getting to & from Amsterdam

This boat & bike tour in the heart of Holland starts and finishes in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Schiphol airport is one of the busiest in Europe, with direct connections to many European cities. There are also direct train connections between Amsterdam and many European cities.

If travelling by car, there are a number of parking options in Amsterdam, including Parking Oosterdok  [click here], which costs  €24 per day and Valet Parking Service [click here], which costs approximately €150 per week.

We would be very happy to arrange your flights and / or transfers.  Please ask for details.

Bikes

Hire Bikes

Standard hire bikes are Trek X300 models, with unisex frames, 28-inch wheels, 24-speed Shimano gears, hand-operated brakes, height adjustable gel saddles and a frame lock.

On request, we can also also supply traditional men’s models (with a crossbar) for anyone over 1.9m tall, as well as tandems, children’s bikes, trailer-bikes and child seats.

E-bikes are usually Trek TM2+ unisex models. They are equipped with with 9 gears, 3 assistance levels and hand-operated brakes.

All hire bikes are fitted with a pannier bag, for the carriage of spare clothing, food, etc.

We offer an optional insurance to cover the hire bikes for loss or damage.

Please see “Dates & Prices” for charges.

Personal Bikes

There is no charge if you wish to bring your own bike or E-bike. However, there is limited space for bike storage onboard, so please let us know if you intend to bring your own. Neither the ship owner, crew, nor tour operator can be held responsible for any damage to, loss or theft of your own bike or accessories.

Helmets

Helmets are not compulsory for anyone in Holland. However, we recommend that everyone brings and wears one. We have a limited range of sizes available for hire, by prior arrangement.

More Info

Minimum Participation.

Departure of all of these tours is guaranteed. There is no minimum number of participants.

Difficulty Level.

This boat & bike tour in the “Green heart” of Holland is an easy tour that should be achievable by even novice cyclists with a reasonable level of fitness. The routes are easy to follow and are generally very flat, smooth and traffic-free. There is usually the option of shortening or skipping legs by returning early to the boat and there is always the option of taking a rest day.

The mileages given are approximate and are based on the suggested routes.

These trips are not suitable for guests with reduced mobility.

Weather.

The weather in Holland can be very changeable. In July and August it is often warm, mild and sunny, but rain is a distinct possibility. Please check the weather forecasts and be prepared. It will almost always be necessary to bring a waterproof jacket and trousers. All items carried on the bike should be wrapped in plastic to avoid soaking. A sun hat and sunscreen are also often essential.