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Home   Tours   Rhine & IJssel tour

Rhine & IJssel tour

Hanseatic towns, rivers Rhine and IJssel


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During this fascinating bike and barge you will be given the opportunity to immerse yourself in the medieval Hanseatic period of Dutch history. On a daily basis you will cycle through the central region of Holland and will have the opportunity to discover the region’s fascinating history, beautiful river landscapes, diverse natural areas, numerous historical cities and picturesque harbour towns.

 Numerous rivers and streams, the Rhine valley and diverse natural areas.This area of modern-day Holland thrived during the Middle Ages under the auspices of the Hanseatic League, a commercial and defensive confederation created to protect the economic interests of cities and countries throughout the Baltic region. Explore this area – one of the most loved amongst Dutch cyclists –by bike and barge.


  • Type of tour Guided
  • Level 2
  • Duration 8 days
  • Distance 35 km
  • Several nature reserves
  • Kampen, Hanseatic town
  • Beautiful woodlands
  • Spakenburg

Daily Program

1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1

Saturday: Embarkation in Amsterdam between 2 PM and 3 PM.

Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is between 2 PM and 3 PM in Amsterdam. At approximately 3 PM 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.

On the arrival day it is possible to load your luggage on board from 11 AM

Day 2

Sunday: Wijk bij Duurstede sailing to Wageningen/Rhenen. Cycling from Wageningen/Rhenen – Arnhem**


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 and, importantly, the Kröller-Müller Museum, the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world. Late 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


Today’s cycle tour 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 recognised as the smallest town in Holland. Guests will 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 will sail to Deventer where you have the option of a short guided walking tour in the evening.

Day 4

Tuesday: Deventer – Hattem – Zwolle**. During dinner sailing from Zwolle to Kampen


This morning you will enjoy a short bicycle 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. Guests have the opportunity, if they want, to stretch their legs with a longer bicycle trip through east Veluwe. 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 – Elspeet – Harderwijk**


In the morning 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. From Harderwijk you will cycle along Veluwe lake where swimming, boating, surfing and fishing are favourite summertime activities. The longest cycle trip on the tour also takes in the woods and moorland at Elspeet. The night will be spent in Harderwijk’s lovely old fishing harbour.

Day 6

Thursday: Harderwijk – Bunschoten – Spakenburg**


Today guests have two cycling choices: a short pedal along the coast or a combination of the coast route and a longer alternative that also takes in adjacent woodlands. The night will be spent in Spakenburg, a village well-known for its traditional costumes.

Day 7

Friday: Spakenburg - Huizen; Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam**


Once again guests have a choice to make this morning. After breakfast you can cycle to Huizen or, if you prefer to take things easier, you can enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the barge. From Huizen you will cycle to the beautiful fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden, famous for its historic castle. From Muiden you will cycle along quiet roads to your final destination, the world famous city of Amsterdam. The 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

After breakfast you go ashore and conclude the tour.

Travel Dates

Date Availability Departure Accomodation Category  
5/6/2017 - 5/13/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Gandalf
5/6/2017 - 5/13/2017 Limited Amsterdam Sarah Comfort Book now
5/13/2017 - 5/20/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Gandalf
5/13/2017 - 5/20/2017 Available Amsterdam Anna Antal Standard Plus/Comfort Book now
5/20/2017 - 5/27/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Gandalf
5/27/2017 - 6/3/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Gandalf
5/27/2017 - 6/3/2017 Available Amsterdam Sarah Book now
6/3/2017 - 6/10/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Gandalf
6/3/2017 - 6/10/2017 Available Amsterdam Sarah Book now
6/17/2017 - 6/24/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Gandalf
6/24/2017 - 7/1/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Gandalf
7/1/2017 - 7/8/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Gandalf
7/8/2017 - 7/15/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Gandalf
7/8/2017 - 7/15/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Sarah
8/26/2017 - 9/2/2017 Limited Amsterdam Sarah Book now
9/2/2017 - 9/9/2017 Limited Amsterdam Sarah Book now
9/9/2017 - 9/16/2017 Limited Amsterdam Sarah Book now
9/16/2017 - 9/23/2017 Limited Amsterdam Sarah Book now
9/23/2017 - 9/30/2017 Limited Amsterdam Gandalf Book now

Tour prices

Accommodation Room Price Children 0-2 years Children 3-11 years
Gandalf 2-berth cabin low beds on May 6, May 13 and Sept. 23 € 1658,- 0 0
Gandalf 2-berth cabin low beds from May 20 to departure of July 8 (incl.) € 1758,- 0 0
Gandalf cabin for single use on May 6, May 13 and Sept. 23 € 1029,- 0 0
Gandalf cabin for single use from May 20 to departure of July 8 (incl.) € 1079,- 0 0
Sarah 2-berth cabin low beds from May 27 to Sept. 9 (incl.) € 1758,-
Sarah 2-berth cabin low beds on May 6 and Sept. 16 € 1658,-
Sarah cabin for single use from May 27 to departure of Sept. 9 (incl.) € 1079,-
Sarah cabin for single use on May 6 and Sept. 16 € 1029,-
Anna Antal 2-berth cabin low beds € 1658,-
Anna Antal 2-berth cabin bunk bed € 1550,-
Anna Antal cabin for single use € 1029,-

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
Electric bicycle (limited number available) €165
7-speed Bike Unisex €69


  • All nights on board in cabin in the booked category
  • Full board: 7x breakfast, 6 x lunch packages when on the road, 7x three course dinner on board
  • Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels on request); once a week cleaning of the cabin
  • Coffee and tea on board during breakfast and between 3 PM and 4 PM
  • Welcoming drink and -speech on the first evening
  • Tour leader (multilingual) with daily briefings of the bike tours, during the day the tour leader is cycling the daily bike tour and individual travellers can reach him/her on his/her cell phone; daily fully guided bike tours
  • Printed instructions and detailed maps for daily bike tours, 1 set per cabin

Not included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Transfers to/from docking place in Amsterdam
  • Bicycle rent (optional)
  • Fees for ferries
  • Other transfers
  • Entrance fees & excursions
  • Drinks on board
  • Personal insurances
  • Dietary requirements on request / surcharges may be calculated

Special details

  • This tour will be operated by our local partner.
  • On some days both possibilities are being offered, sailing or cycling: the guest can choose.  See ** at ‘ Daily program’
  • All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
  • Program + details barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
  • Bicycle insurance is not available for this tour.
  • Please take good notice of our booking conditions.
  • Minimum number of participants: 12 (to be reached the latest 22 days prior to the date of departure).


Arrival info

You are expected on the barge Gandalf, Sarah or Anna Antal on Saturday between 2PM and 3PM. 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 11 AM onwards.

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


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 nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is Amsterdam Central Station. Walking distance to the barge 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 € 80,- per week, it is not necessary to reserve in advance; 500m walking distance to the barge).

Our barge, your hotel

Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedaling 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 Standard Plus but with twin beds), Comfort Plus (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 220 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. Vegetarian meals are always available, in all other cases we will check the possibilities for your selected trip. In some cases an additional charge may apply; this mainly applies to lactose or gluten-free meals.

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.

Cycling in Holland

Holland is a cycling country: 16 million inhabitants all with bikes. The number of cyclists necessitates a cycling infrastructure: cycle paths (30,000 km), cycle routes (long and short distance), cycle bridges, cycle tunnels, cycle ferries and special signposts for cyclists. Cycling is part of normal life in the Netherlands; parents bring their children to school by bike, people go to work by bike, factory workers, doctors, even the prime minister!
Cyclists, of course, have to observe traffic rules and regulations. The most important rule is to remember that you are not alone on your bike and that you are sharing the road with your group and other road users. Your guide on board will tell you all you need to know about the traffic rules and regulations.

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.

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Frequently asked questions

More questions

Price starting from € 775,- * * There are no extra's included in this price



About the barge

The Sarah, with her length of 45 meters and width of 6.6 meters, is a comfortable and cozy passenger barge. During the conversion of the barge from cargo vessel to passenger barge, the owners of the Sarah decided to choose quality instead of quantity. The Sarah is spaciously built for a small group of passengers of max. 20-22 passengers and offers an attractive, “feels-like-to-be-at-home” atmosphere. The barge has 10 twin cabins (10 sq.meters / 108 sq.ft.), a light and cozy lounge and a large sun deck with seating and space to store bicycles. This makes the Sarah a perfect barge for cycling cruises.

Cabin plan

All cabins have  shower/toilet, central heating.
10 x 2-berth cabins with low beds

  • Offical name Sarah
  • Length 45 m
  • Width 6.6 m
  • Capacity 20 persons
  • Electricity 220 Volts

About the barge

The Gandalf has been sailing in Holland, and Belgium  for many years. The experience crew offers you an exceptional vacation aboard!

All cabins have  shower/toilet, central heating, windows can be opened. The salon is a large room for common use and is your restaurant area as well. On the two sun decks are sitting areas with tables + chairs and storage room for the bikes. Equipped with a double-roof of solar panels, it runs for a great part on green energy! This is not only environment- friendly, but also comfortable for guests: since the ship hardly needs to use a generator to produce electricity, the nights are still and quiet on board.

Cabin plan

10x 2-berth cabins with low beds

  • Offical name Gandalf
  • Length 45 m
  • Width 6.2 m
  • Capacity 22 persons
  • Electricity 220 Volts
Anna Antal
Anna Antal

About the barge

The Anna Antal is a former shuttle barge which was converted into a luxury motor passenger ship in the winter of 1994-95. In 2012 the saloon and cabins were renovated.

The Anna Antal has a cosy salon, a sun deck/a deck for the bicycles. All cabins are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower and toilet, 220 voltage and central heating. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

Cabin Plan

9 cabins, each with their own shower, washbasin, toilet and central heating.

5 x 2-berth cabins with low beds (Comfort) and 4 x 2-berth cabins with bunk beds (StandardPlus).

  • Offical name Anna Antal
  • Length 38 m
  • Width 6.1 m
  • Capacity 18 persons
  • Electricity 220 Volts

Rhine & IJsel tour

Rhine & IJsel tour


What others think of this tour

Het zeer attente, doch discrete optreden van Fred + andere bemanning deed me zeer goed, daar ik wegens omstandigheden voor het eerst alleen (moest/ of wilde) reizen.
Mia Nastes-Nees - 05/09/2015

good support
great introduction to a new country
candsbailey - 30/05/2015

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