Southern Route Bike and Barge
During this boat and bike tour you will visit Historic towns and picturesque villages. A rural environment abounding with water, dunes and beaches: those are the typical ingredients of the Southern boat and bike tour. And let’s not forget the eighteen breathtaking mills in Kinderdijk.
This varied trip guarantees a striking introduction to the green and cultural heart of Holland.
On one day you will be roaming the centre of Haarlem, Leiden or 16th Century Delft, the next day you will cycle along the reedy borders of the Lek or Amstel river. In the historic towns there is time for visiting a museum (Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Van Gogh), shopping, or relaxation in an outdoor cafe. You will visit the beach and the dunes near The Hague by bike, just like many Dutch people.
You will sail through the world’s largest seaport Rotterdam very appropriately by boat. Absolutely overwhelming are the eighteen mills in Kinderdijk driven by the wind and built around 1750. In 1997 they were put on the World Heritage List of the UNESCO.
- Delf, the Hague and Leiden
- Haarlem and Gouda
The route from day to day +km
- Sat Amsterdam, embarkation at 2 PM, sailing to Spaarndam and cycling to Haarlem, 15 km
Haarlem - through the dunes - Leiden, 40 km
Leiden - Delft, 40 km
Delft, possible visit to The Hague/Rotterdam by public transport
Delft, sailing to Kinderdijk and cycling to Gouda, 40 km
Gouda - Uithoorn, 45 km
Uithoorn - Amsterdam, 35 km
Amsterdam, debarkation before 10 AM near Central Station
1 km= 0,62 miles
All distances are approximate. The above planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.
An optional canal tour by boat through Amsterdam will make this tour complete.
Day to day schedule
Day 1 Saturday: Amsterdam, boarding at 2.00 pm; Sailing to Spaarndam and cycling to Haarlem, 15 km
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. The first part of the tour you will sail to Spaarndam – known as the village of Hansje Brinker – and from here we make an easy ride into the beautiful city of Haarlem.
Back on board, after the bike ride, the programme for the next day and the rest of the week will be explained to you at dinner time.
Day 2 Sunday: Haarlem – through the dune area – Leiden 38/48 km
Today starts with a short tour on bike through the centre of Haarlem, to have a better look at some of the city's typical almshouses. Upon departure from Haarlem you may cycle to the 'Cruquiusgemaal' (Cruquius Pumping Station): one of the three steam-powered pumping stations that drained the Haarlemmer Lake between 1849 and 1852. Now a museum, it gives you an excellent idea of the Dutch 'battle against the water'.In summer you now cycle through the dunes to the beach.
Day 3 Monday: Leiden – Delft, 49 km
You leave the city in a southerly direction and cycle along the Vliet canal. In Voorschoten you turn westwards towards the coastline. At 'Wassenaarse Slag' you can take a break on the beach.
The Wassenaarse Slag is an entrance to the beach near the Dutch town of Wassenaar. The coastline is over 8 km. long. The beaches can be reached through the Meijendelse Slag on the southern end and the Wassenaarse Slag in the northern direction (or through Katwijk aan Zee, the Zuidduinen and then the beach).
The route to Delft takes you along the water once again. The old centre is well worth a visit. This is a well-conserved medieval city with canals, a magnificent town hall and a royal tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk.
Day 4 Tuesday: Delft
Today you will have the day to your free disposal. You can stay in Delft and discover the old centre, visit The Hague by public transport or go to Rotterdam by bike.
Delft is a beautiful town to wander round; learn more about the famous dutch painter Vermeer at the Vermeer Centre or visit the Nieuwe Kerk. When the weather is clear the view from the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is spectacular; a large part of the Southern Tour can be seen from here!
The city of The Hague has an international character with its wide avenues, parks and stately mansions. Possible visits are Peace Palace (housing the International Court of Justice), the 'Binnenhof' with the 13th-century 'Ridderzaal' (Knights' Hall), seat of the Dutch Government and Parliament. Every third Tuesday of September the Queen's Speech is delivered in the Ridderzaal. The Mauritshuis, a former palace, now a famous museum with paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt and Rubens. 'Panorama Mesdag', the largest panoramic, circular painting in the world, depicting 19th-century Scheveningen. Of the many royal palaces in The Hague only a few are still operational. You may see the Noordeinde Palace, where our Queen works and the Huis ten Bosch Palace, where she lives.
This bustling city has many architectural highlights, some interesting museums and is the main port of Holland. Skyscrapers stand in the scaffolds or rise steadily towards the stars. On the Maas River, Erasmus Bridge is the gateway to the Kop van Zuid district. The modern architecture on what is known as ‘Manhattan on the Maas’ is unmistakeable. Here you can find the New Orleans and the Maastoren, the highest residential tower and the highest office building in the Netherlands. Elsewhere in Rotterdam, such as in the Lloydkwartier and on the Wijnhaven Island, the look of the city is changing on a daily basis, thanks to such striking building projects. No wonder Rotterdam is internationally renowned as a city of architecture. But the city also offers some interesting museums such as the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, where you can find Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Dali and Dutch Design. Or maybe you would like to make a tour through the port and see how container ships are being loaded.
Day 5 Wednesday: Delft – sailing to Rotterdam/Kinderdijk – cycling to Gouda, 44/52 km
The first part of today's route will be sailed through the centre of Rotterdam, thus giving you the best view of the modern architecture of this port. You’re cycling day starts in Kinderdijk and then take you through the Alblasserwaard, situated in between rivers and showing you wide scenery of water and meadows. The many inundations and the slowly sinking surface made water management essential in this fenland. Canals and ditches were dug and windmills were constructed; of the latter nineteen remain today. Their job has nearly totally been taken over by electric pumping stations. After a visit to one of the mills you will continue on bike.
The long route goes via the 'storks' village' of Groot-Ammers you cross the river Lek and enter Schoonhoven renowned for its silver industry.
Day 6 Thursday: Gouda – Uithoorn, 40 km
From Gouda you will continue your tour over country roads, banks and channels through the Green Heart and polders to Uithoorn. Gouda is known for its cheese. Who thinks of Gouda, not only thinks of cheese, pipes, ‘stroopwafels’ (treacle-waffle) and pottery, but also of stained-glass windows, a fairy-like town hall and atmospheric canals. Gouda is beautiful Old-Dutch city with a mostly intact city centre. As on most days, after dinner you will take a walk through the city.
Day 7 Friday: Uithoorn – Amsterdam, 40 km
Today you will cycle inth a polder and along the river Waver and Amstel. Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin as a dam of the river Amstel
Almost without noticing you enter Amsterdam, following the Amstel River. The extensive network of bicycle paths ensures a relatively easy way back into the city, showing you some remarkable sites in the centre. Then it is time to say goodbye to your bike. Before the fare-well dinner you may want to go for a walk in town. At night there you may want to take a canal trip or go on a city walk through the centre of the city.
Day 8 Saturday:Amsterdam, End of the trip after breakfast.
- All nights on board
- Breakfast and dinner on board
- Lunch packages when on the road
- Coffee and tea on board
- Tour guide
- Road book, 1x per cabin
- Ferry fares on the route
- Reservation costs E 20,- per party
- Bicycle rent
- Bicycle insurance (optional) E 15,- per bicycle
- Bicycle insurance Electric bike (optional) E 40,- per bicycle
- Entrance fees to museums; approx. E 15 per tour
- Travel risk insurance / cancellation insurance (optional)
- 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 cannot sit by themselves; a car seat/baby seat not included)
- Set of bike maps: € 28,50 (to be ordered and paid in advance; cannot be purchased on board)
Dutch Barge Cruises reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.
The program is subject to change without notice.
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.