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Home   Tours   Amsterdam to Cologne

Amsterdam to Cologne

Cycling along the majestic Rhine

Schiphol Airport

  • Start
  • Finish

Frankfurt Airport

Cruising on a barge and cycling through a colorful countryside is the perfect recipe for a successful holiday. Biking and active during the day, the boat accompanies you along the river to welcome you at the day’s goal as your swimming hotel. And if you do not want to cycle you can enjoy the tour on board, admiring the passing scenery!

First you will bike through the flat, peaceful countryside of Holland, with the famous windmills along the way. You bike along the winding river Vecht with its impressive mansions on its banks and you visit a real Dutch cheese farm, where cheese is still produced according to traditional method. You will enjoy the gorgeous river scenery of the rivers IJssel and Rhine, first in the Netherlands and later in Germany. We follow the Rhine valley upstream, first wide and flat along farmland and meadows, later through industrial areas where we learn about the important history of the river. We also visit the charming old city of Düsseldorf  and the tour ends in Cologne with her magnificent cathedral. Apart from the beautiful landscape, you will see  cultural highlights, art treasures, and you can enjoy regional culinary specialities.

  • Type of tour Guided
  • Level 1
  • Duration 8 days
  • Distance 45 km
  • Traditional Dutch cheese farm
  • Utrecht, with her beautiful cathedral
  • National Park de Hoge Veluwe
  • The fairy tale castle of Doornenburg

Daily Program

1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1

Saturday: Amsterdam, arrival at 2 PM

Saturday: Amsterdam, arrival at 2 PM

Arrival in Amsterdam. Free time to explore the city and visit one of the famous museums like the Rijksmuseum, the van Gogh museum or the ‘Stedelijk museum’ of modern art. Welcome drink and crew introduction. In the evening there will be time enough for a canal trip and city walk through the center of Amsterdam.

Day 2

Sunday: sailing to Breukelen and cycling to Wijk bij Duurstede

Sunday: sailing to Breukelen and cycling to Wijk bij Duurstede

Breakfast during sailing. The bike tour starts in Breukelen. Breukelen is known in New York as Brooklyn. You bike along the meandering river Vecht.  On the way we visit a real Dutch cheese farm, where cheese is still produced according to traditional method. We continue to Utrecht, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands with her beautiful  cathedral. Today’s tour ends in Wijk bij Duurstede also an old settlement at the river Lek.

Day 3

Monday: Wijk bij Duurstede – Arnhem

Monday: Wijk bij Duurstede – Arnhem

Breakfast during sailing to the city of Wageningen. Today you bike along the river Nederrijn and you can enjoy great river landscape. Later you bike through National Park de Hoge Veluwe with its abundant scenic beauty.  Your bike tour ends today in Arnhem, famous for her role in the second World War.

Day 4

Tuesday: Sailing to Pannerden and cycling to Rees

Tuesday: Sailing to Pannerden and cycling to Rees

Breakfast during sailing. Biking starts from  Pannerden. Before we hit the German border we pass Doornenburg, with a wonderfully maintained medieval stronghold. This fairy tale castle was the scene for many a movie. From Doornenburg you take take the right bank of the Rhine and pass the border at Lobith, a village every schoolchild knows. At Tolkamer the Dutch used to impose tolls on incoming ships. On the way to our destination Rees you pass Emmerich, a bigger town with a lovely boulevard along the Rhine. You may also stop at Kalkar. This beautiful town is also known for the failure of the German Nuclear Energy program in the 70s. A completely finished nuclear processing plant has never been put into functioning due to massive protest and is recently re-opened as an attraction park! We all end in Rees, a town with impressive remains of fortification.

Day 5

Wednesday: Rees - Ruhrort

Wednesday: Rees  -  Ruhrort

We sail during breakfast and get off at Wesel.
Today we focus on the Ruhr area where Germany’s and probably Europe’s largest industries are housed. On a surface of  4.600 km2, very rich in coal, a vast landscape folds out of steel plants and textile industries, combined with chemical industrial plants. Cities like Essen, Duisburg, Oberhaussen and Dortmund are glued together through a maze of highways, railways and waterways. Once very prosperous and therefore a target in 1923 when Belgium and French troops tried to enforce WW-1 payments of Prussia. And a number 1 target in 1944-1945 for sure. Hard to imagine that you can cycle here, but you can! The German government put a lot of effort in re-developing the area after the closing down of many a factory. In the afternoon we visit the enormous landscape park of Duisburg-Nord, where we get to see huge former industrial plants and more detailed explanation and information about this area. It may not be always scenic, but it is an impressive landscape indeed and not to be missed when one visits the Rhine. We will find the ship in Ruhrort.

Day 6

Thursday: Ruhrort – Düsseldorf

Thursday: Ruhrort – Düsseldorf

Today we leave the Ruhr-area behind us and we head first for Krefeld. In the 18th century Krefeld grew thanks to the textile industry. Velvet, silk and brocade were sold to emperors and kings from all over the world. There is still the statue of a silk weaver. The weavers worked in small houses that simultaneously served as a factory and house. In Krefeld, one can still see some of these houses. Our destination is Düsseldorf. In the evening there is time to visit the Alstadt. You can try their famous local dark beer, Altbier. You will be amazed to what an international city this is, with almost a fifth of the population being foreigners

Day 7

Friday: Düsseldorf – Cologne

Friday: Düsseldorf – Cologne

Cycling direction Cologne you will stay close to the Rhine in order to be in Cologne not too late in the afternoon and having some time to look around.
Cologne is the oldest of the bigger German cities, founded by the Romans. It got its city rights already 50 years after Christ as a gift from the Roman empress Agrippa. Later Cologne became one the most important centers of the Holy Roman Empire. Landmark is of course the Cathedral right next to the railway station and the railway bridge over the Rhine. In 1248 they started with the construction of the cathedral and only finished it in 1880! The city was almost completely destroyed in the 1944-1945. The city hall however, dating from 1330, is beautifully restored.

Day 8

Saturday: Cologne, end of tour

Saturday: Cologne, end of tour

Departure after breakfast at 10 AM.

Travel Dates

Date Availability Departure Accomodation Category  
5/12/2018 - 5/19/2018 Available Amsterdam Sailing Home Comfort de Luxe Book now
5/26/2018 - 6/2/2018 Fully Booked Amsterdam Sailing Home Comfort de Luxe

Tour prices

Accommodation Room Price Children 0-2 years Children 3-11 years
Prices are per cabin
Sailing Home 2-berth cabin € 2220,- free of charge 30% reduction
Sailing Home cabin for single occupancy € 1595,- 0 0

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
Hybrid, 24-gears Hybrid, 24-gears Batavus Boulevard €80
Electric bike Electric bike Batavus Ventoux easy €160
Child’s bike, 21 gears Child’s bike, 21 gears Bike helmet included €55
Trailer bike, 3 gears Trailer bike, 3 gears For children between 5-9 years €50
Child seat Child seat with bike helmet €15
Bike helmet Bike helmet included for children €10
Cycletours bicycle insurance Cycletours bicycle insurance No own-risk €15
Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike No own-risk €40
Image Name Type Price per week
Hybrid, 24-gears Hybrid, 24-gears Batavus Boulevard €90
Electric bike Electric bike Batavus Ventoux easy €170
Child’s bike, 21 gears Child’s bike, 21 gears Bike helmet included €55
Trailer bike, 3 gears Trailer bike, 3 gears For children between 5-9 years €50
Child seat Child seat with bike helmet €15
Cycletours bicycle insurance Cycletours bicycle insurance No own-risk €15
Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike No own-risk €40


  • All nights on board
  • Breakfast and dinner on board
  • Lunch packages when on the road
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide, cycles with the group
  • Min. 3 city walks with tour guide
  • Free WiFi (in the Netherlands; up to 100 Mb is limited available in lounge and on deck)
  • Detailed route description, maps, info-pack
  • Harbour charges

Not included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Bicycle rent
  • Bicycle insurance (optional) € 15,- per bicycle
  • Bicycle insurance E-bike (optional) € 40,- per bicycle
  • Personal insurance / Cancellation insurance (optional)
  • Beverages on board, museums etc.

Special details

  • Please take good notice of our Terms & Conditions.
  • If you have special meal requirements (vegetarian meals, or if you are on a Lactose- or Gluten Free diet), we ask you to mention this when booking. In case of Gluten Free diet there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.
  • Cycletours Holidays reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.

Arrival info

You are expected on our barge on Saturday at the latest 2 PM.
You can recognise the barge by the banner with Cycletours written on it. The name of your barge is printed on the voucher, which you will receive separately. After arrival there’s coffee and tea on board. Other drinks are also available on cash payment. If you want you can bring your luggage in advance: from noon onwards.

The mooring place of the barge in Amsterdam is Oosterdok Zip-code 1011 VX (near the Science Center: ‘Nemo’, Oosterdok 2).

amsterdam map


The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS).
There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. It takes about 16 minutes. The price for a train ticket Schiphol-Amsterdam Central is € 4,20 per person for a single journey. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the airport to the barge in Amsterdam takes about 30 minutes. It costs about € 45,-.

The tour ends one week later in Cologne, so another possibility is to fly to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).  From this airport you can take the international train to Amsterdam Central Station. Travel time is about 4 hours and a one-way ticket (2nd class) costs about € 45,-.


The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is Amsterdam Central Station. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the station to the barge takes about 5 minutes: Costs about € 10,-.


If you arrive by car, we recommend you to arrive earlier to unload your luggage. You can find more information about parking possibilities at The nearest parking is Parking Oosterdok, (about € 150,- per week, it is not necessary to reserve in advance; 500m walking distance to the barge).

End of the tour

The tour ends one week later in Cologne on Saturday morning after breakfast before 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board. A taxi from the mooring place (Bayenstraße 28a, Köln) to the train station in Cologne (Köln Hauptbahnhof) takes about 5 minutes and costs about € 10,-. From the station you can take a direct train to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).  Travel time is about 1 hour.

Should you need to travel to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol you can take the international train from the station in Cologne (Köln Hauptbahnhof) to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Travel time is about 3 hours (changing trains once) and a one-way ticket (2nd class) costs about € 35,-.

Our barge, your hotel

Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedalling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck. Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury.

What are the cabins like?

Most cabins are 2-person cabins, but some barges also have cabins for 3 persons (2 low beds+upper bed). There are four categories: Standard Plus (cabins with private shower/toilet; bunk beds), Comfort (cabins as StandardPlus but with twin beds), ComfortPlus (cabins as Comfort, small ship) and Comfort DeLuxe (a very comfortable and tastefully furnished 5-star ship; cabins have twin beds and air-conditioning).

In all categories the cabins have central heating and a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 22o voltage. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

The team, hospitality comes first

The captain/skipper, the chef and your tour guide all welcome you warmly. They are prepared specifically for these trips and will provide good and safe passage, good meals, and a friendly, pleasant atmosphere. They will, of course, also give you a great deal of interesting information during and after the cycling and sailing. The skipper is responsible for the smooth running of things on board; the cook is in charge of the catering. A tour leader accompanies you during the bike ride and can assist in case of breakdowns. He/She will be your guide to point out the things of interest along the way and is multi-lingual (Dutch/English, some speak German and/or French).

The meals

Your chef is used to cook delicious meals for hungry cyclists. Besides an extensive breakfast, you will also be offered a packed lunch for on the road. It consists of different types of bread and sandwich fillings, juice, a snack and a piece of fruit. Lunch package needs to be prepared by yourself after breakfast. Dinner is different every day. There is a first course, main course and dessert The meals on board are included in the price, as are coffee and tea. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be obtained at a reasonable charge. When you return on board after the day’s cycling, a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit will be waiting for you. 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 Gluten Free diet there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.

You and the group,new friends from around the world!

One of the most attractive aspects of the Bike & Barge holidays is that you encounter an international company on board, including people from e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, and Spain. It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, men and women, singles and couples and also families with children (during the school holidays). Most groups are made up of 12 to 30 people.

The most beautiful cycling routes

Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of the country. The average daily distance is around 45 kilometers. Most participants prefer riding in a group with the cycling guide, but you can also ride individually. A road book is included (1x per cabin). Bike maps can be purchased when booking and will be handed over to you on board.

Book this tour

Frequently asked questions

  • What biking level are the Bike & Barge tours in the Netherlands?

    For everyone
    The lightest cycling holiday, suited for everyone and people of all ages. On virtually flat terrain, with distances up to 50 kilometers. You spend about 4 hours on your bicycle.


    For each of our holidays you should at least have the basic skills of cycling. Also an average physical condition is required.

    For more information see Cycling and Safety under ‘ Travel information’.

  • Can I bring along my own bicycle?

    Yes, you may. On most tours this has no bearing on the total cost of the trip, however, please mention this at time of booking. Sometimes an additional charge may be requested for the bicycle when transferring from one place to another.

  • Does a guide accompany us?

    On our guided tours a tour guide will accompany the group during their cycling route.

    When mentioned ‘self-guided’, the tours are on an individual basis and no guides are provided. We will provide you with a thoroughly detailed and comprehensive description of the routes, enabling you to follow the route correctly without problems. Furthermore, these route descriptions are frequently accompanied with information on the main tourist attractions that you will come across.

  • How large is the group on board?

    The size of the group depends on the barge scheduled on the tour. The capacity of the barges varies between 12 and 26 participants.

  • What are the cabins like?

    The Standard Plus category has bunk beds.
    The Comfort category is similar to Standard Plus, except there are low beds in the cabins.
    The ComfortPlus category is similar to Comfort, but the maximum capacity is 14 people (instead of 20/24 people).
    The Comfort DeLuxe category gives you about 9 square meters in the cabins, very well furnished with low beds and a comfortable equipped bathroom.

    In all categories the cabins have private shower/toilet and a porthole or window.
    There is room for a moderately sized suitcase per person.

  • What happens if it rains?

    Most people wear rainwear and get on their bicycle. If the weather makes cycling absolutely impossible (this doesn’t happen very often!) the guide will arrange an alternative programme which might include a longer visit to one of the towns along the way or cultural excursions.

More questions

Price starting from € 1110,- * * There are no extra's included in this price


Sailing Home
Sailing Home

About  the barge Sailing Home

The barge "Sailing Home" started cruising in 2001. Build by Cycletours for Bike & Barge Tours in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. This beautiful passenger ship can accommodate 26 overnight passengers and 70 day passengers. The interior of the salon and bar is decorated in a modern Victorian style and offers a lot of comfort. The "Sailing Home" has two floors. On the top floor you will find the salon, a roomy lounge a cosy bar and a sun deck. The four-man crew consists of the skipper, sailor, cook and hostess.

Cabin Plan

13 spacious and comfortable guest cabins for two (low beds) and each cabin has a private bathroom. All cabins have central heating and air-conditioning. Daily cleaning of the cabins

  • Offical name Sailing Home
  • Length 45 m
  • Width 6.5 m
  • Capacity 26 persons
  • Electricity 220 Volts

Amsterdam to Cologne

Amsterdam to Cologne


What others think of this tour

Fantastic trip: great cycling pace through interesting places and countryside; fabulous food on board and excellent cabins, great crew and guide made this trip great fun. I would highly recommend this trip.
Marion - 26/09/2017

Excellent barge, great crew, overall the trip was very positive.
Womack - 16/05/2015

trip was wonderful - meals and accomodation were top quality - very enjoyable cycling - just the right pace
Gordon - 16/05/2015

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