South of Holland boat and bike tour
Discover the Netherlands in a unique way on an 8-days-journey by bike and boat. Well-built cycle paths as well as wide and extensive waterways guarantees an unforgettable holiday.
Throughout the day you are cycling on your own through the beautiful landscapes in Rembrandt’s and Van Gogh’s country and in the late afternoon your “swimming hotel” MS NORMANDIE will be at your disposal. And if you don’t like to cycle every day, you can stay on board and enjoy the passing countryside. The Province of the Southern Netherlands: You are travelling through the green heart of the Netherlands. Hardly any province is more changing and many-faceted than the Southern Netherlands. Big cities as well as untouched nature are so close to each other.
The many waterways offer uncountable opportunities to discover the wonderful landscapes and culture historical highlights of the province “Zuid-Holland”. Experience such different cities like Dordrecht, Utrecht and Rotterdam, also known as the “Manhattan on the river Maas”. Beautiful landscape of Polderland, the famous windmill row of Kinderdijk and not to forget the major porcelain manufacture in Delft with its “Delfter Blue”.
- Trip length: 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Departure and arrival day: Saturday
- Length of cycle tours:
approx. 256 – 302 km
- Character of cycle tours: individual,
- Profile: Nearly all cycle tours can be
classified as being easy
- Languages on board: German/English
Travel documents: German/English
1st Day: Rotterdam - Embarkation
Individual arrival in Rotterdam. Embarkation from 4:00 pm. Rotterdam is a city with many faces: important port city, classy shopping city and hip artists’ city, but most importantly a city of architecture, and one of the most interesting cities in Europe.
2nd Day: Rotterdam – Dordrecht, Cycle tour approx 40 km
Keep cycling alongside the waterfront via Krimpen aan den IJssel to Kinderdijk, where you will find the most famous group of windmills of the Netherlands. Dating back to the 18th century, the 19 well- preserved mills were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Continue through the polder area of the Albwasserwaard to reach Dordrecht. Dordrecht is considered to be Holland`s oldest city. With about 1000 historic buildings that are housing restaurants, museums or theatres, the city`s rich history and the marvellous historic port area will enchant you.
3rd Day: Dordrecht – Gorinchem, Cycle tour approx. 46 - 53 km
After a short ferry ride, you reach the beautiful De Biesbosch National Park, where several rivers come together to form a fresh-water delta of no less than 8.000 hectares. You may enjoy a wonderful boat trip, offered here everywhere, before continuing your tour through the Rhine- Delta area and crossing over to Gorichem by water taxi. Do not miss out on the picturesque Old Town of this small but charming city.
4th Day: Gorinchem – Utrecht, Cycle tour approx. 47 km
Today an interesting and varied tour awaits you. From Gorinchem, cycle via Leerdam – famous for the Leerdammer cheese – into the fortified city of Vianen. Here you may stop for a short break in one of the numerous street cafes. Take the ferry boat to cross the Lek, and keep cycling to Vreeswijk with its narrow lanes. Continue to the little town of Nieuwegein – perhaps take a short side trip to Fort Jutphaas, hidden in a green oasis in Nieuwegein -before reaching Utrecht. Utrecht is considered the heart of Holland. The city was built around the cathedral. That is why it is almost impossible to lose your way in the car-free town with its picturesque canals
5th Day: Utrecht to Schoonhoven*, Cycle tour approx. 40 - 49 km
This morning, be sure to take some time to explore the beautiful town of Utrecht, before getting back on your bike. Cycle tour through the beautiful polder landscape via Oudewater, with its famous Witches` Weigh House, (none of the so-called witches ever weighed here was found to be too light of weight and thus none of them was sentenced) to Schoonhoven, the Silver City of the Netherlands, with its typical Dutch Old Town.
6th Day: Schoonhoven* – Rotterdam, Cycle tour approx. 43 km
From Schoonhoven, cycle leisurely to the city of Gouda, which is famous for its cheese. Your today’s destination is Rotterdam. Tip: you should experience the harbour of Rotterdam on an interesting harbour tour.
7th Day: Rotterdam, Day at leisure / Cycle tour from Rotterdam to Delft and back or from Rotterdam via Den Haag to Scheveningen and back, approx. 40 - 70 km
Two options for today’s cycling tour: First one will lead you to Delft (Tip: visit of the porcelain manufacture), second directly to the governmental seat Den Haag and to the North Sea coastal town and health resort Scheveningen and back. Alternatively, you can also go back to Rotterdam by train (rail and bike is not included, approx. € 16.- p. Pers, not in rush hour between 16:30 h and 18:00 h).
You do not fancy a bike ride? Rotterdam offers endless possibilities to design your day. Really one is spoilt for choice
8th Day: Departure from Rotterdam
After breakfast checkout until 9:00 am– have a safe journey home.
*Depending on the official authorities responsible for the distribution of moorings, Vianen can also be called as an alternative for Schoonhoven. Then itinerary on 5th day Utrecht – Vianen, cycle tour approx. 45 – 55 km and on the 6th day: Vianen – Gouda – Rotterdam, cycle tour approx. 59 km. Final decision approx. spring 2023.
- Seven nights in outside cabins with private facilities in the booked cabin category
- Program according to routing from/to Rotterdam
- All charges for harbours, bridges and locks
- Room cleaning every day, changing of towels and bed cloths as necessary
- Full board consisting of 7x breakfast, 6x lunch snack on board (non-cyclists) or lunch package for cycle tours,
6x coffee or tea in the afternoon, 7x 3-course-dinner
- Daily meeting for the cycle tours
- Printed instructions and detailed maps for daily individual bike tours (1 per cabin)
- GPS tracks
- Tour guide on board
- Journey to and from Rotterdam
- bike rentals
- entrance fees and excursions
- city maps
- ferry fees and fees for waterbus
- travel insurances
- parking fees
- drinks on board
Embarkation 4:00 pm. Disembarkation until 09:00 am
Minimum number of participants 60 guests (must have been reached within 21 days prior to departure)
To bring your own bike On request only – due to lack of space on sun deck
Excursions We offer a small excursion program, that can be booked directly on board at the cruise director only. You will get a brief description together with your travel documents. Depending on the number of participants some excursions could be carried out in 2 languages (German/ English).
Luggage We recommend: rainwear, bicycle helmet, sunhat and sneakers.
Schedule and program changes Basically, we reserve the right to make changes of routing and program. 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). Same applies to previously unknown administrative orders of lock or bridge repairs.
Travel documents EU-citizens (without special situations like dual citizenship, main residence abroad or a limited-validity passport) are required to have a valid passport or ID-card, not expiring within six (6) months of the return of your cruise. We kindly ask non-EU citizens, EU-nationals with multiple citizenship or anybody who has to respect special legal entry requirements for the country to visit, to inform about visa and entry documents at the competent embassy.
This trip is not suitable for guests with reduced mobility.
We recommend that you take out a travel health insurance with repatriation coverage as well as baggage, accident and travel cancellation insurances.