During this Bike and Barge cycling holiday in the Netherlands and Germany we will follow the river Rhine from Amsterdam to Koblenz.
In the Netherlands, you will cycle along the winding river Vecht with its impressive castles form the 17th century along the riverbanks. You can enjoy lovely Dutch river country during bike trips and bikers will ride through the “Hoge Veluwe” National Park with its abundant scenic beauty. In Germany we will spend the night in Remagen and visit Bonn, where we will visit the beautiful city center and in Cologne, where visiting its extraordinary cathedral is a must. Koblenz is an interesting and lively city, where the Rhine and the Mosel converge. This bike and barge holiday is centered around the Rhine Cycle Route. Following this route you will see and feel the rich history of this majestic river form the Romans to the Industrial Revolution and from the WWII to the German reunification.
- Day 1: Saturday: Amsterdam, embarking between 1 PM and 2 PM. Sailing
- to Nigtevecht-cycling to Breukelen-sailing to Wijk bij Duurstede,
- 17 km
- Day 2: Sunday: Wijk bij Duurstede, sailing to Wageningen
- and cycling to Arnhem, 50 km.
- Day 3: Monday: Arnhem, sailing to Pannerden and cycling to Rees, 40 km.
- Day 4: Tuesday: Rees, sailing to Wesel and cycling to Ruhrort 40 km.
- Day 5: Wednesday: Ruhrort - Düsseldorf, 42 km
- Day 6: Thursday: Düsseldorf, sailing to Zons and cycling to Cologne
- Rheinau Sport, 30 km
- Day 7: Friday: Cologne – Remagen, 45 km Day 8: Saturday: Remagen – Koblenz,45 km
- Day 9 Sunday: Departure after breakfast, before 10 AM
1 km= 0,62 miles
Note that the tour from Koblenz to Amsterdam starts on Sunday October 20, 2019
Note that the tour from Koblenz to Amsterdam starts on Sunday October 20, 2019 in revers order
Day 1 Saturday: Amsterdam, embarkation between 1 PM and 2 PM. Sailing to Nigtevecht- cycling to Breukelen (17 km) – sailing to Wijk bij Duurstede
When you arrive on board the ship you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper and crew, and of course your fellow passengers.
You sail to Nigtevecht for your first cycle tour: cycling along the Vecht River towards Breukelen. Brooklyn in New York is named after this charming little town. This placid river is lined with hand-some 17th century villas, each with its own waterfront gazebo, some with thatched roofs, others resembling classical stone temples. These villas were built by the wealthy Amsterdam merchants of the day.
At Breukelen you go on board and sail to Wijk bij Duurstede.
You spend the night in Wijk bij Duurstede on the river that, up to that point, is called the Rhine, but downstream the name changes to Lek. During the early Middle Ages, this town was a prestigious trading centre. The marauding expeditions of the Norsemen put an end to their flourishing period however. The old city centre is picturesque with its marketplace surrounded by trees, the town hall dating back to 1662 and the Main Church dating back to the 15th Century. The gothic tower has never been finished, though. On the other side of town you will find the hidden ruins of Duurstede Castle, consisting of the (restored) Burgundy Tower and the Donjon (= bell tower) dating back to the 12th Century. In the 15th Century Bishop David of Burgundy lived in the castle.
The programme for the next day and the rest of the week will be explained to you at dinner time.
Day 2 Sunday: Wijk bij Duurstede, sailing to Wageningen and cycling to Arnhem, 50 km
Breakfast during sailing to the city of Wageningen. Today you bike along the river Nederrijn and you can enjoy great river landscape. Later you bike through National Park de Hoge Veluwe with its abundant scenic beauty. Your bike tour ends today in Arnhem, famous for her role in the Second World War.
Day 3 Monday: Arnhem, sailing to Pannerden and cycling to Rees, 40 km.
Biking starts from Pannerden. Before we hit the German border we pass Doornenburg, with a wonderfully maintained medieval stronghold. This fairy tale castle was the scene for many a movie. From Doornenburg you take take the right bank of the Rhine and pass the border at Lobith, a village every schoolchild knows. At Tolkamer the Dutch used to impose tolls on incoming ships. On the way to our destination Rees you pass Emmerich, a bigger town with a lovely boulevard along the Rhine. You may also stop at Kalkar. This beautiful town is also known for the failure of the German Nuclear Energy program in the 70s. A completely finished nuclear processing plant has never been put into functioning due to massive protest and is recently re-opened as an attraction park! We all end in Rees, a town with impressive remains of fortification.
Day 4 Tuesday: Rees, sailing to Wesel; cycling to Ruhrort 40 km
We sail during breakfast and get off at Wesel. Today we focus on the Ruhr area where Germany’s and probably Europe’s largest industries are housed. On a surface of 4.600 km2, very rich in coal, a vast landscape folds out of steel plants and textile industries, combined with chemical industrial plants. Cities like Essen, Duisburg, Oberhausen and Dortmund are glued together through a maze of highways, railways and waterways. Once very prosperous and therefore a target in 1923 when Belgium and French troops tried to enforce WW-1 payments of Prussia. And a number 1 target in 1944-1945 for sure. Hard to imagine that you can cycle here, but you can! The German government put a lot of effort in re-developing the area after the closing down of many a factory. In the afternoon we visit the enormous landscape park of Duisburg-Nord, where we get to see huge former industrial plants and more detailed explanation and information about this area. It may not be always scenic, but it is an impressive landscape indeed and not to be missed when one visits the Rhine. We will find the ship in Ruhrort.
Day 5 Wednesday: Ruhrort - Düsseldorf, 42 km
Today we leave the Ruhr-area behind us and we head first for Krefeld. In the 18th century Krefeld grew thanks to the textile industry. Velvet, silk and brocade were sold to emperors and kings from all over the world. There is still the statue of a silk weaver. The weavers worked in small houses that simultaneously served as a factory and house. In Krefeld, one can still see some of these houses. Our destination is Düsseldorf. In the evening there is time to visit the Altstadt. You can try their famous local dark beer, Altbier. You will be amazed at what an international city this is, with almost a fifth of the population being foreigners.
Day 6 Thursday: Düsseldorf, sailing to Zons and cycling to Cologne 30 km
Cycling direction Cologne you will stay close to the Rhine in order to be in Cologne not too late in the afternoon and having some time to look around. Cologne is the oldest of the bigger German cities, founded by the Romans. It got its city rights already 50 years after Christ as a gift from the Roman empress Agrippa. Later Cologne became one the most important centers of the Holy Roman Empire. Landmark is of course the Cathedral right next to the railway station and the railway bridge over the Rhine. In 1248 they started with the construction of the cathedral and only finished it in 1880! The city was almost completely destroyed in the 1944-1945. The city hall however, dating from 1330, is beautifully restored.
Day 7 Friday: Cologne to Remagen 45 km
Today you cycle further along the Rhine to the former capital of West-Germany and birthplace of Beethoven Bonn. From Bonn you keep following the river and former border of the Roman Empire to mooring place Remagen. Remagen was once a Celtic settlement and after that a Roman fort. Remagen became world famous in the 2nd World War, thanks to the struggle for the “Bridge of Remagen” and the 60’s film of the same name. In March 1945 the Allies crossed the Rhine on the Ludendorff Bridge after the failure in Arnhem in September 1944. Today the Peace Museum is housed in the surviving piers. In the city centre you will find a pedestrian area with stylish shops, interesting cafes and traditional, cozy pubs. Narrow streets with ancient Roman names will take you from the old town to the Rhine promenade
Day 8 Saturday Remagen to Koblenz, 45 km
During the final stage of you bike & barge cycling holiday you will realize for the last time the rich history of this majestic river. We visit the Andernach, once a Roman settlement. It is still a wonderful town with many historical sites. Shortly after Andernach we arrive in Koblenz. Its name comes from the Latin Confluentes, meaning the merging of two rivers (Rhine and Moselle). The statue of Emperor Wilhelm of Prussia on the merging point is impressive landmark. Koblenz is a city cozily rebuilt after the Second World War damages.
Day 9: Sunday: Koblenz
End of the tour after breakfast, before 10 AM
- All nights on board (incl. bedding, towels, soap)
- Breakfast and dinner on board
- Lunch packages when on the road
- Coffee and tea on board
- Tour guide, cycles with the group
- Min. 3 city walks with tour guide
- Free WiFi (limited available in lounge and on deck)
- Road book, 1x per cabin
- Ferry fares on the route
- GPS-tracks (on request)
- Bicycle rent (see below)
- Bicycle insurance hybrid bike (optional) € 15,- per bicycle
- Bicycle insurance E-bike (optional) € 40,- per bicycle
- Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 15,- per tour
- Personal insurance
- Bike rental incl. bike helmet: € 90,- (Hybrid bike with 24 gears, pannier bags, lock, water bottle)
- E-bike rental: € 170,- (with 21 gears)
- Child’s bike: € 55,- (incl. helmet; with 21 gears; for children from approx. 9 years and older)
- Bike seat: € 15,- (incl. helmet; suitable for children from approx. 11 months until 5 years; max. weight 25 kg)
- Trailer bike: € 50,- (incl. helmet ; bike attached to adult’s bike; suitable for children from approx. 5 until 9 years; max. weight 35 kg)
- Bike trailer: € 85,- (suitable for babies who can not sit by themselves; a car seat/baby seat not included)
If you have special meal requirements (vegetarian meals, or if you are on a diet), we ask you to mention this when booking. In case of Gluten free diet there is an additional charge of € 50,- per week.
Dutch Barge Cruises reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.