Rhine & IJssel boat and bike tour
It is almost impossible to overestimate the significance of the Dutch rivers, which formed the Netherlands. Rivers are the lifelines and essential for our prosperity. And besides: how beautiful they are, our rivers!
You cycle through the Rhine valley, along its very beautiful tributary the IJssel and across the so-called border lakes. During the whole tour you travel through wood and moorland sections of the Achterhoek, Veluwe and Gooi nature reserves; this area is very suitable for cycling tours and also loved by the Dutch cyclists.
This region has a rich history. Arnhem, for example, is well-known for its role during WWII , Operation Market Garden. You also visit various Hanseatic towns which flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries, due to the fact that the IJssel was then one of the most important trade routes in Europe. The route then leads you to the so-called border lakes of the IJssel lake which lie between the “old” land of many beautiful harbour towns and new Flevoland (once the bottom of the IJssel lake) which was reclaimed in 1932. In this area you visit some picturesque fishing harbours. Not to be missed: Spakenburg
- Day 1 Saturday: Amsterdam, boarding between 1 PM and 2 PM
- Day 2 Sunday: Wijk bij Duurstede sailing to Wageningen/Rhenen. Cycling from Wageningen/Rhenen – Arnhem 30KM
- Day 3 Monday: from Arnhem - Doesburg ; Doesburg – Vorden – Zutphen. During dinner sailing from Zutphen to Deventer 45KM
- Day 4 Tuesday: Deventer – Hattem – Zwolle. During dinner sailing from Zwolle to Kampen 48KM
- Day 5 Wednesday: Kampen – Elburg – Elspeet – Harderwijk 44KM
- Day 6 Thursday: Harderwijk – Bunschoten – Spakenburg 50KM
- Day 7 Friday: Spakenburg - Huizen; Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam 57KM
- Day 8 Saturday: Amsterdam: end of the tour after breakfast. Debarkation before 10 AM
Day 1 Saturday: Amsterdam, boarding between 1 PM and 2 PM
Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board- is the latest at 2 PM in Amsterdam. The barge will leave Amsterdam to sail over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to Wijk bij Duurstede on the Rhine where you will spend your first night.
On the arrival day it is possible to load your luggage on board from noon onwards.
Day 2 Sunday: Wijk bij Duurstede sailing to Wageningen/Rhenen. Cycling from Wageningen/Rhenen – Arnhem 30KM
While you are enjoying breakfast, the barge will sail to Wageningen where, following the distribution of bicycles, you are finally off and cycling through the picturesque river valley of the Rhine. Along the way you will visit the protected nature reserve “De Blauwe Kamer” (the Blue Chamber), followed by the woods and moorlands of Veluwe National Park. The 5400 hectare park is home to many plant and animal species and, importantly, the Kröller-Müller Museum, the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world (visiting this museum is about 20 km more cycling). Later in the day you pedal through the suburbs and past lovely parks such as Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal to Arnhem, where you spend the night close to the city centre.
Day 3 Monday: from Arnhem - Doesburg ; Doesburg – Vorden – Zutphen. During dinner sailing from Zutphen to Deventer 45KM
Today’s cycle tour takes you along the Hanseatic Town Route to the small village of Doesburg and along the IJssel to Bronkhorst, which has the distinction of being recognised as the smallest town in Holland. Guests will have two choices today – a shorter tour along the riverbank to Zutphen; or a longer bicycle trip via Vorden passing country houses, castles and rural estates. During dinner the barge will sail to Deventer where you have the option of a short guided walking tour in the evening.
Day 4 Tuesday: Deventer – Hattem – Zwolle. During dinner sailing from Zwolle to Kampen 48KM
This morning you will enjoy a short bicycle ride along the IJssel riverbank before boarding a ferry at Wijhe to cross the river to Hattem. The 800-year-old town of Hattem has a rich history that is still clearly visible today. Guests have the opportunity, if they want, to stretch their legs with a longer bicycle trip through east Veluwe. During dinner the ship will sail to Kampen where you have the opportunity to go on an optional guided walking tour in the largest Hanseatic town in the Netherlands.
Day 5 Wednesday: Kampen – Elburg – Elspeet – Harderwijk 44KM
In the morning the barge will sail to the IJssel estuary and across the so-called border lakes of the IJssel to the fishing harbour of Harderwijk. In the 1500s Harderwijk boasted the largest fish market in the Zuiderzee region and is still a fascinating old city to explore. From Harderwijk you will cycle along Veluwe lake where swimming, boating, surfing and fishing are favourite summertime activities. The longest cycle trip on the tour also takes in the woods and moorland at Elspeet. The night will be spent in Harderwijk’s lovely old fishing harbour.
Day 6 Thursday: Harderwijk – Bunschoten – Spakenburg 50KM
Today guests have two cycling choices: a short pedal along the coast (3o km)/19 miles) or a combination of the coast route and a longer alternative that also takes in adjacent woodlands. The night will be spent in Spakenburg, a village well-known for its traditional costumes.
Day 7 Friday: Spakenburg - Huizen; Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam 57KM
Once again guests have a choice to make this morning. After breakfast you can cycle to Huizen or, if you prefer to take things easier (45 km/ 28 miles), you can enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the barge. From Huizen you will cycle to the beautiful fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden, famous for its historic castle. From Muiden you will cycle along quiet roads to your final destination, the world famous city of Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are spent in Amsterdam. While you are there take the opportunity to visit Anne Frank’s home, the Rembrandt House Museum, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Dam Square, the very centre and heart of the city or maybe you could go on a canal tour (not included).
Day 8 Saturday: Amsterdam,end of the trip after breakfast before 10.00 AM.
After breakfast you go ashore and conclude the tour.
- All nights on board, (Sat-Sat 8 days/7 nights), cabin in the booked category
- Full board (7x breakfast, 6 x self-maid picnic lunch for bike tours, 7x three course dinner)
- Use of bed linen and 2 towels (change of towels possible)
- Coffee and tea on board
- Tour guide, cycles with the group
- Min. 3 city walks with the tour guide
- Free WiFi is limited available in lounge and on deck, for more than 100 MB there is a surcharge
- Road book, 1x per cabin
- Ferry fares on the route
- 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. € 30,- per tour
- Personal insurance
- If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
- The program is subject to change without notice.
Dutch Barge Cruises reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.