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
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. If possible there will be a first short after diner bike ride. 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. Cycling from Wageningen – Arnhem 40KM
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. In the National Park you can find, the Kröller-Müller Museum, the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world. This visit involves however 25 km more cycling and is optional. The guide will ride the shorter route excluding the museum and can provide a route description. In Oosterbeek you can visit the memorials and cemeteries of the Battle of Arnhem (Operation Market Garden) in WW2. 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 we first sail to the small town of Doesburg. From there the cycle tour takes you along the Hanseatic Town Route along the IJssel to Bronkhorst, which has the distinction of being recognised as the smallest town in the Netherlands. At Bronkhorst we leave the IJssel river and ride inland via Vorden passing country houses, castles and rural estates. The destination today is the very agreable town of Zutphen. During dinner the barge will sail to Deventer where you have the option of a guided walking tour in the evening.
Day 4 Tuesday: Deventer – Hattem – Zwolle. During dinner sailing from Zwolle to Kampen 50KM
This morning you will enjoy a short bicycle ride along the IJssel riverbank before boarding a ferry at Wijhe to cross the river to the wooded areas around Heerde. Here you ride through the famous “coulissenlandschap” of the east Veluwe. A combination of woods, moorlands and centuries old small scale agricultural lands. In the afternoon you will reach the 800-year-old town of Hattem wich has a rich history that is still clearly visible today. 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 – Harderwijk 44KM
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. You will ride on your bike from Kampen to Harderwijk through a typical Dutch landscape. At first you cycle along Veluwe lake where swimming, boating, surfing and fishing are favourite summertime activities. Around lunchtime you will be in the lovely market town of Elburg. On the road to Harderwijk we can also take in the woods and moorlands near Nunspeet. The night will be spent in Harderwijk’s old fishing harbour.
Day 6 Thursday: Harderwijk – Spakenburg 45KM
Today the ride will be a combination of flat, coastal landscape and woods and moorland around Ermelo and Putten. At Strand Nulde you can go for a nice swim, weather permitting. On the road along the IJselmeer dike you might have the oportunity to visit the old steam pumping station Arkemheem. The night will be spent in Spakenburg, a village well-known for its traditional costumes.
Day 7 Friday: Spakenburg - Huizen; Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam 35KM
During breakfast we sail to Huizen. From Huizen you will cycle to the beautiful fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden. In Muiden you can visit the famous Muiderslot that guarded the entrance to Amsterdam in times gone by. From Muiden you will cycle along quiet roads to your final destination, the big city of Amsterdam. The late 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 tour after breakfast. Debarkation before 10 AM
End of the tour after breakfast, before 10 AM.
- 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) € 30,- 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 (vegetarian meals, or if you are on a diet), we ask you to mention this when booking. In case of Glutenfree 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.