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Bike & Barge Netherlands North Bike Tour

  • Iris underway
  • Amsterdam canal
  • Cyclists and windmill
  • Batavia Wharf Lelystad
  • Stroopwaffles
  • Arnhem sunset
  • Breakfast buffet on the Iris
  • Lounge area on Iris
  • Iris deck with passengers
  • Iris new cabin with 2 beds
  • New cabin with double bed
  • Barge Iris layout
DURATION
8 Day(s)
DAILY BIKING
16 to 32 miles
TRIP DIFFICULTY
1-Easier
STARTING FROM
$3595
SINGLES ADD FROM
$1,200

Trip Overview

Explore the northern & central region of the Netherlands — by bike & barge. Unpack once in your floating hotel and enjoy a week of splendid cycling, scenery and culture. With a max of only 24 guests, the lovely passenger barge Iris provides delicious meals and warm hospitality. You cruise through a region famous for its tasty cheeses, flat cycling and picturesque landscapes. Start in Amsterdam (with an optional pre-tour to enjoy this city). Then get an insider look at history-rich fishing villages and seaports in and around the IJsselmeer — the former Zuiderzee (Southern Sea).

Cycle through the valley of the Rhine and its beautiful tributary, the IJssel River. Cross the “border lakes” region of the Netherlands … and visit fascinating towns such as Arnhem, Deventer, and Kampen. Pass through lands that were once at the bottom of the sea — then visit the port city of Hoorn and Volendam, a colorful former fishing village. Finally, you return to Amsterdam for your final night onboard the barge.

This tour is fully supported with a van and two multi-lingual leaders. You can opt for shorter or longer rides most days. Or skip a day of cycling and relax on the barge instead. Eat breakfast and most dinners on board with a packed picnic lunch.

Learn more about our 3-day Amsterdam Pre-Trip Bike Tour

Itinerary

From start to finish, check out the route.

DAY 1 - Arrival Day: on the barge Iris
Meet in Amsterdam | Iris
Arrive at the barge, your floating hotel, by 5 p.m. on Day 1. (Luggage can be left onboard after 1:30 p.m.) After introductions of your crew and leaders and a brief orientation around 5:45 p.m., enjoy your first dinner on board.
DAY 2 - Castles, Country Houses & Tea Rooms
Distance: 25 miles | Terrain: Easier | Iris
A morning departure takes you out of Amsterdam, and through the locks to the Amsterdam Rijn Kanaal (channel). Your cycling starts in Nigtevecht. Spin along the beautiful and winding river Vecht with its enchanting background of imposing castles, country houses and quaint tearooms. Follow the Vecht into the center of Utrecht where you have the opportunity to explore the beautiful historical city center … the Dom Cathedral with its tower, the canals, special shops and cafes. In the afternoon, you continue by ship to Wijk bij Duurstede.
DAY 3 - National Park & Impressionist Museum
Distance: 21 or 28 miles | Terrain: Easier | Iris
While you are enjoying breakfast, the barge cruises to Wageningen. Then you bike through woods and moorlands toward Hoge Veluwe National Park. There you visit the Kroeller Mueller Museum — a private collection of outstanding Impressionist art, famous for the large collection of Van Gogh paintings!

At the end of the day, pedal through the suburbs and past lovely parks such as Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal to Arnhem, where you spend the night close to the city center. During the Second World War, Arnhem was the scene of Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne battle in history. The operation ended in a failure because of the inability to capture a bridge over the Rhine River resulting in the destruction of the British 1st Airborne Division. Our ship docks close to that bridge.
DAY 4 - Castles, Rural Estates & Walking Tour of Deventer
Distance: 16 or 27 miles | Terrain: Easier | Iris
Today’s cycling 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 the smallest town in Holland. (The Hanseatic League was a unique collaboration in the Middle Ages designed to protect trade across several cities in northern Europe.) Guests 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 sails to Deventer where you enjoy an optional short, guided walking tour in the evening.
DAY 5 - Bike, Ferry & Walking Tour of Kampen
Distance: 21 or 27 miles | Terrain: Easier | Iris
This morning you bike 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. You have the opportunity to stretch your legs with a longer bicycle trip through east Veluwe hills. During dinner, the ship sails to Kampen where you may go on a walking tour in the largest Hanseatic town in the Netherlands.
DAY 6 - History, Strolls & Souvenirs
Cruising and Walking Day | Terrain: Easier | Iris
Today you leave the Ijssel and enter the Ijsselmeer. You traverse the bottom of the former Zuiderzee. This “polder” area is the latest reclaimed land addition to the Netherlands. Its main town is Lelystad, where you visit the Batavia wharf. There, you can see examples of wooden boatbuilding skills and the nautical life from as far back as the 1600s. From Lelystad, you leave at about 3 p.m. to cruise for a few hours to the world-renowned village of Hoorn, a prosperous port city.
DAY 7 - Cheese, Mansions & History
Distance: 32 miles | Terrain: Easier | Iris
Today, a tasty breakfast is followed by biking out of Hoorn, the former Dutch East India Company town, which was — in the 17th century — one of the world’s foremost harbors. Along the way, you pass Edam … which is known for its famous Edam cheese, covered in red or yellow wax. This adorable village was once an industrious shipyard and port. That’s why, in the 17th century, Edam cheese became one of the most popular cheeses in the world. Sailors took wheels of Edam on their voyages — it doesn’t spoil easily and could be traded for spices and other riches of the East. Later in the afternoon you see a series of windmills and then bike to the barge docked in Amsterdam.
DAY 8 - Departure Day
Final Day: No biking
After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to the ship! It’s only a short stroll to the Centraal railway station in Amsterdam. Or take a taxi to the airport for departures.

Map

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

Start End Cost Availability
Jun 15, 2023 Jun 22, 2023 $3595.00 Available! Reserve Reserve
Jun 22, 2023 Jun 29, 2023 $3595.00 Available! Reserve Reserve

What’s Included

7 nights’ lodging on the barge (2 bunks per cabin), 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches, 5 dinners, 1 glass of wine or beer with each included dinner, coffee & tea, daily cabin cleaning, snacks, ferries and water bus during the tour. We also include detailed maps and itineraries, experienced guides, full van support — plus use of a bike and helmet. For up to 6 e-bikes per departure at no extra fee. NOT included: Airfare and tips for crew & leaders, optional extra museums.

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

Start: Jun 15, 2023
End: Jun 22, 2023
Cost: $3595.00
Availability: Available!
Reserve
Start: Jun 22, 2023
End: Jun 29, 2023
Cost: $3595.00
Availability: Available!
Reserve

What’s Included

7 nights’ lodging on the barge (2 bunks per cabin), 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches, 5 dinners, 1 glass of wine or beer with each included dinner, coffee & tea, daily cabin cleaning, snacks, ferries and water bus during the tour. We also include detailed maps and itineraries, experienced guides, full van support — plus use of a bike and helmet. For up to 6 e-bikes per departure at no extra fee. NOT included: Airfare and tips for crew & leaders, optional extra museums.

Inns

Where you stay along the way.

Passenger barge Iris
The Iris is fully outfitted with 12 cabins with 2 bunks each. Each cabin has its own shower, toilet and sink and also includes central heat, air conditioning and a hair dryer. The Iris is ideal for bike and barge tours in the Netherlands. Her lounge and restaurant area have also been recently designed. An onboard chef provides delicious meals and can adapt them for certain dietary needs.

Gallery

Images from this tour. Click each to see it larger.

Iris underway Amsterdam canal Cyclists and windmill Batavia Wharf Lelystad Stroopwaffles Arnhem sunset Breakfast buffet on the Iris Lounge area on Iris Iris deck with passengers Iris new cabin with 2 beds New cabin with double bed Barge Iris layout