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Home   Tours   Southern Tour

Southern Tour

The green and cultural heart of the Netherlands

Schiphol Airport

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Schiphol Airport

Historic towns, picturesque villages, a rural environment abounding with water, dunes and beaches: those are the typical ingredients of the Southern 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 café. 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. An optional canal tour by boat through Amsterdam will make this route complete.

  • Type of tour Guided
  • Level 1
  • Duration 8 days
  • Distance 40 km
  • Cities of Haarlem, Leiden, Delft
  • Residence The Hague
  • Windmills of Kinderdijk
  • Gouda, cheese city
  • Dunes and beaches

Daily Program

1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1

Saturday: Amsterdam, boarding at 2 PM; Sailing to Spaarndam and cycling to Haarlem


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

Sunday: Haarlem – through the dune area – Leiden

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

Monday: Leiden – Delft

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

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 and /or Rotterdam by public transport.
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 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 King works and the Huis ten Bosch Palace, where he lives.

Rotterdam 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

Wednesday: Delft – sailing to Rotterdam/Kinderdijk – cycling to Gouda

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. The tour ends today in Gouda. 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.

Day 6

Thursday: Gouda – Uithoorn

Thursday: Gouda – Uithoorn

From Gouda you will continue your tour over country roads, banks and channels through the Green Heart and polders to Uithoorn. The name De Uithoorn (or also De Uythoorn) was used at the end of the Middle Ages for the location of the lower courts of the deanery of Saint John. The village was formed around its courthouse. People depended on agriculture and animal husbandry. Agriculture became increasingly more difficult due to the steady soil subsidence. From circa 1600 on, peat extraction became important and resulted in the formation of large ponds, which in turn would be made into polders later on. Circa 1885, several fortifications were built around Uithoorn as part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a 135 km long ring of fortifications around Amsterdam. As on most days, after dinner you will take a walk through this town.

Day 7

Friday: Uithoorn – Amsterdam

Friday: Uithoorn – Amsterdam

Today you will cycle 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.

Saturday: Amsterdam, end of the trip after breakfast.

Travel Dates

Date Availability Departure Accomodation Category  
5/13/2017 - 5/20/2017 Available Amsterdam Wending Comfort Book now
5/20/2017 - 5/27/2017 Available Amsterdam Anna Antal Standard Plus/Comfort Book now
5/27/2017 - 6/3/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Anna Antal Standard Plus/Comfort
5/27/2017 - 6/3/2017 Available Amsterdam Wending Comfort Book now
6/3/2017 - 6/10/2017 Available Amsterdam Liza Marleen Comfort Plus Book now
6/10/2017 - 6/17/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Wending Comfort
6/17/2017 - 6/24/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Wending Comfort
6/24/2017 - 7/1/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Zwaan Comfort Plus
7/1/2017 - 7/8/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Zwaan Comfort Plus
7/8/2017 - 7/15/2017 Available Amsterdam Sailing Home Comfort de Luxe Book now
7/8/2017 - 7/15/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Zwaan Comfort Plus
7/15/2017 - 7/22/2017 Available Amsterdam Sailing Home Comfort de Luxe Book now
7/22/2017 - 7/29/2017 Available Amsterdam Anna Antal Standard Plus/Comfort Book now
7/29/2017 - 8/5/2017 Available Amsterdam Wending Comfort Book now
8/5/2017 - 8/12/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Zwaan Standard Plus/Comfort
8/12/2017 - 8/19/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Wending Comfort
8/26/2017 - 9/2/2017 Available Amsterdam Wending Comfort Book now
9/16/2017 - 9/23/2017 Fully Booked Amsterdam Wending Comfort
9/23/2017 - 9/30/2017 Available Amsterdam Wending Comfort Book now
9/30/2017 - 10/7/2017 Available Amsterdam Wending Comfort Book now
10/7/2017 - 10/14/2017 Available Amsterdam Wending Comfort Book now

Tour prices

Accommodation Room Price Children 0-2 years Children 3-11 years
Anna Antal 2-berth cabin bunk bed € 1550,- free of charge 30% reduction
Anna Antal 2-berth cabin low beds € 1850,- free of charge 30% reduction
Anna Antal 2-berth cabin bunk bed for single use € 1025,- free of charge 30% reduction
Liza Marleen 2-berth cabin € 1960,- free of charge 30% reduction
Liza Marleen 2-berth cabin Superior (12m²) € 2080,- free of charge 30% reduction
Liza Marleen 3-berth cabin € 2760,- free of charge 30% reduction
Liza Marleen 2-berth cabin for single use € 1125,- free of charge 30% reduction
Wending 2-berth cabin € 1850,- free of charge 30% reduction
Wending 2-berth cabin for single use € 1125,- free of charge 30% reduction
Wending 3-berth cabin € 2610,- free of charge 30% reduction
Zwaan 2-berth cabin € 2050,- free of charge 30% reduction
Zwaan 2-berth cabin for single use € 1495,- free of charge 30% reduction
Zwaan 3-berth cabin € 2985,- free of charge 30% reduction
Sailing Home 2-berth cabin € 2100,- free of charge 30% reduction
Sailing Home 2 berth cabin for single use € 1495,- free of charge 30% reduction

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
Hybrid, 24-gears Hybrid, 24-gears Batavus Galibier €75
Electric bike Electric bike Batavus Ventoux easy €290
Child’s bike, 21 gears Child’s bike, 21 gears Bike helmet included €50
Trailer bike, 3 gears Trailer bike, 3 gears for children between 5 - 9 years €50
Child seats Child seats 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
Set of 3 bike maps Set of 3 bike maps Falk, scale 1:50,000 (1 inch = 0.8 miles) €28.50


  • All nights on board, (Sat.-Sat. 8 days / 7 nights), cabin in the booked category;
  • Full board (7 x breakfast, 6 x self-made picnic lunch for bike tours, 7 x three course dinner)
  • Use of bed linen and 2 towels (change of towels possible)
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide
  • Min. 3 city walks with the tourguide
  • Free WiFi is limited availabe in lounge and on deck, for more than 50 MB there is a surcharge
  • Road book, 1x per cabin
  • Ferry fares on the route

Not included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Bicycle rent
  • Bicycle insurance (optional) € 15,- per bicycle
  • Bicycle insurance electric bike (optional) € 40,- per bicycle
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 15 per tour
  • Travel risk insurance / cancellation insurance (optional)

Special details

Please take good notice of our booking conditions.

If you have special meal requirements (vegetarian meals, or if you are on a Lactose- or Glutenfree diet), we ask you to mention this when booking.
In case of Glutenfree diet there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.

Cycletours Holidays 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.

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 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 www.iamsterdam.com.
The nearest parking is Parking Oosterdok, www.parkingcentrumoosterdok.nl/english (about € 80,- 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 on Saturday morning after breakfast before 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board in Amsterdam.
After the tour ends you can take the train back to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. Should you have an early flight, no problem.  You may leave as early as you need to.

Our ship, 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 Glutenfree 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.

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.

Book this tour

Frequently asked questions

  • Can you choose your own itinerary without a guide?

    Cyclists can choose a longer route than the group takes. The guide will gladly advise you on the choice of an alternative route.

  • Can you rejoin the barge before the end of a stage?

    No, the ship doesn’t take the same route that the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.

  • Do you have to wear a safety helmet in Holland?

    No, but it is of course sensible to wear one. We provide a safety helmet with a child seat, slipstreamer (tag-along) or child’s bicycle. Helmets for adults are not included with the trip package. You can rent them (€ 10,- per week) or bring your own.

  • How long are the daily cycling stages?

    The average daily distance on our Bike & Barge tours in Holland is 50 kilometers (32 miles).  But don’t forget that Dutch countryside is very flat and the stages, taken at a leisurely pace, take seven to eight hours including a number of breaks and visits.
    The time spent on your bicycle is about 4 hours per day.

  • What is the average daily temperature during my holiday in the Netherlands?


    For the current weather forecast visit www.worldweather.org/037/c00143.htm
    The average daily temperatures per month are listed below:

    April: 13°C / 55.5°F
    May: 19°C / 66°F
    June: 21°C / 70°F
    July: 23°C / 73.5°F
    August: 23°C / 73.5°F
    September: 20°C / 68°F
    October: 15°C / 59°F

    The rain is spread pretty evenly over the year, so there is not much point in trying to avoid the Dutch drizzle.

More questions

Price starting from € 755,- * * There are no extra's included in this price



About the barge Wending

The “Wending” is a former freight barge that started a new life in the early nineties as a luxury passenger motor barge. Since then the “Wending” is a familiar fixture on several routes in the Netherlands and Belgium. Mooring place of the Wending is Amsterdam. In 2015 renovated barge sails exclusively for Cycletours Holidays.The“Wending” has a roomy and cosy saloon, equipped with a complete music installation and TV. After a strenuous bike ride it is a great place to relax.

Cabin plan

10 double and 2 triple cabins, the beds in the cabins are side by side. In the triple cabin one bed is placed over the other two.All cabins with private bathroom and central heating

  • Offical name Wending
  • Length 41.5 m
  • Width 6.3 m
  • Capacity 26 persons
  • Electricity 220 Volts
Liza Marleen
Liza Marleen

About the barge

The “Liza Marleen” is a luxury motor passenger barge, built in 1997-98 on the completely dismantled shell of a seafaring freight logger. This barge is ideally suited for trips on the wider waterways, like the Dutch Waddenzee, the IJsselmeer and the Zeeland Streams, but it can also be found cruising on the smaller inland waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium. The tastefully decorated lounge is equipped with an audio installation, television and video. In the evenings it is possible to come together in the spacious sitting area. Winter of 2015 on 2016 The Liza Marleen is converted to a more luxurious barge.

Cabin plan Liza Marleen

8 cabins have two low beds, which can be placed together. Two cabins are so spacious, that they can expand with 2 lower beds or a third bed and a cot. All cabins have a private bathroom with sink, shower and toilet, heating and air conditioning.

  • Offical name Liza Marleen
  • Length 38 m
  • Width 6.6 m
  • Capacity 20 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
Sailing Home
Sailing Home

About  the barge

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 of the Sailing Home 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

Southern Tour

Southern Tour


What others think of this tour

Barge is well appointed excellent food
tour guide superburb
all staff helpfull
- 18/06/2016

The Cycle tour was excellent and very
professionally done
Mr. Prophet - 18/06/2016

Excellent way to see Holland
Excellent service and guide
Mrs. Hildering - 18/06/2016

Brilliant Crew
Wonderful Holiday!
Mr. Smith - 03/09/2016

This has been an enjoyable holiday. I had fun and felt at home and safe and will recommend to my friends.
Margreet Vos - 12/09/2015

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