Boat and Bike Holland
The Green Heart of Holland. During this eight day, seven night tour on board the charming barge Flora (formerly Jelmar) you can cycle individually and at your own pace as you discover for yourself the ‘Green Heart’ of Holland, a region steeped in history, natural attractions, world famous cities and beautiful scenery.
Along the way you will visit historical cities such as Amsterdam, Haarlem, Rotterdam, Leiden and Gouda, will uncover many culturally historic attractions and, importantly, will be able to immerse yourself in the very fabric of this fascinating and very Dutch part of Holland. Also, if you are an art aficionado, you will revel in being able to visit Leiden, Haarlem and Delft where painters of the calibre of Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Vermeer lived and worked. But far from just being about big cities and Dutch history, this tour is also about the picturesque villages and beautiful scenery of the ‘green lung’ districts of central and South Holland. One thing is certain: by the end of the tour you will not only come away with a new-found appreciation for bike and barge cruising, but everything Dutch.
The ‘Green Heart’ of Holland, a region steeped in history, natural attractions, world famous cities and beautiful scenery – Green Heart
During this tour, you cycle individually and at your own pace. The itinerary leads you through the wetlands of the ‘Green Heart’ of Holland: experience many highlights in this beautiful area. Visit historical cities such as Amsterdam, Haarlem, Rotterdam, Leiden and Gouda and enjoy cultural-historical attractions in the province of Zuid-Holland. Famous painters like Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Vermeer lived and worked in cities like Leiden, Haarlem and Delft. Enjoy the picturesque and in the lake district of central Holland. Enjoy a variety of bike tours and lovely cruising.
Experience many highlights in this beautiful area.
Experience the relaxed and familiar surroundings on board of the small barge Flora passenger barge, which caters for 20 guests at most, and allow yourself to be pampered with great service and delicious meals. Visit the lovely urban centers after your daily bike tours: the boat docks at nearly all locations in and around the city center. The skipper provides a daily briefing as well as useful tips and directions with regard to the bike tours.
Description of the cabins
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 upon request. Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and basin. The small windows in the cabins can be opened and the cabins have central heating. A hairdryer is available upon request.
Description of the ship
The lounge, nostalgically furnished, offers an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. In the lounge, you will find the bar and dining area. Wi-Fi is available. On nice evenings or while cruising, you can enjoy the scenery from the sundeck.
Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Amsterdam
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from 2 p.m. in the center of Amsterdam. After unpacking your luggage in your cabin, you will still have plenty of time to explore this famous city. Treat yourself to a canal tour, visit one or more museums or simply do some shopping. An introduction to the tour will take place at 5.30 p.m. during which the crew will be presented and your first dinner on board will be served; your rental bicycles will also be distributed at this time.
Day 2 (Sun): Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Haarlem (Approx. 35-55 km**/22-34 mi.**)
After a short cruise on board, you are finally off and cycling today after first visiting the lovely open-air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ in Zaandam 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 and cheese and clog making. You will then cycle to Haarlem where celebrated portraitist and genre painter Frans Hals lived and worked in the 16th century. In the evening you can stroll through the lovely city centre and the Grote Markt (market square). If preferred, today’s bike tour can also be extended with a visit to the sea locks of IJmuiden and the Kennemer Dunes.
Day 3 (Mon): Haarlem – North Sea coast – Leiden (Approx. 55 km/34 mi.)
After enjoying breakfast with your newfound cycling friends, you will pedal today along the North Sea coast through seaside dunes via the resorts of Noordwijk and Katwijk aan Zee to the vibrant university city of Leiden, the birthplace of celebrated artist Rembrandt van Rijn. The city’s picturesque old city centre is crisscrossed with canals lined by beautiful 17th-century buildings and is very definitely a must to see.
Day 4 (Tue): Leiden – Delft (Approx. 35 km/22 mi.)
From Leiden you will cycle to Delft, famous for its Blue porcelain and where you will have the opportunity to visit a porcelain studio. Another major attraction in the beautiful city centre of Delft is the royal crypt of the House of Orange. From Delft you will have the time to visit either The Hague by bicycle (or by train or tram), or, if preferred, the Binnenhof, the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis), the Scheveningen seaside resort or any one of many other attractions.
Day 5 (Wed): Delft – Rotterdam – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Gouda (Approx. 30-45** km/19-28 mi.**)
This morning you will sail from Delft through the remarkable international port of Rotterdam to Kinderdijk, a village famous for an impressive row of 19 large windmills. All 19 windmills have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing and are a definite highlight – you will have the opportunity to visit one so don’t forget to bring your camera! From Kinderdijk you will cycle directly to the cheese city of Gouda, or if you prefer, on a longer tour via the silver city of Schoonhoven to Gouda, your destination for the day.
Day 6 (Thu): Gouda – Kudelstaart (Approx. 55 km/34 mi.)
The highlight of today’s cycle tour is the naturally idyllic beauty of the South Holland landscape. Your destination for the day is the village of Kudelstaart where the Flora will be waiting for you. Along the way you will cycle along numerous small canals and past picture-perfect farms and small villages. At the mooring place on the banks of the Westeinder Plassen (‘West End’ Lakes) there is a beautiful view to savour while enjoying a wine during or after dinner.
Day 7 (Fri): Kudelstaart – Aalsmeer – Amsterdam (Approx. 15-40 km**/10-25 mi.**) | or Kudelstaart – Amsterdam
If you are keen for an early start to the day you can visit the largest trade centre for plants and flowers in the world at Aalsmeer (optional extra, not included). The market is a hive of activity; it is guaranteed that you will never have seen so many flowers in the one place. After breakfast you can either stay on board the Flora as it cruises through the City of Amsterdam to its mooring place or you can cycle into the city through the city park Amsterdamse Bos or along the Amstel River. Once you reach Amsterdam take the opportunity during the afternoon and evening to go for a canal cruise, discover Anne Frank’s home, the Rembrandt House Museum, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam and Dam Square, the very centre and heart of the city.
Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Amsterdam
Disembarkation and bid the crew farewell after breakfast until 9 AM: End of your trip.
Good to know
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.
- The Green heart of Holland is a non-guided tour.
You will ride individually with the help of a map and route notes (available on board). GPS tracks will be sent to you 4 weeks before the start date of the tour.
- Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bike option.
- In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
- On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 11 PM.