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Rhine & Ijssel 8 Day Bike and Barge Tour (Level 2)

  • 8days
  • Netherlands

Single bed room:
Twin bed room:
Double bed room:
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Bike & Barge Tours Europe

Guided Bike and Barge Holiday along meandering rivers

It is almost impossible to overestimate the significance of the Dutch rivers, which formed the Netherlands. Rivers are the lifelines and essential for our prosperity.

You cycle through the Rhine valley, along its very beautiful tributary the IJssel and across the so-called border lakes. During the whole tour you travel through wood and moorland sections of the Achterhoek, Veluwe and Gooi nature reserves; this area is very suitable for cycling tours and also loved by the Dutch cyclists. This region has a rich history. Arnhem, for example, is well-known for its role during WWII , Operation Market Garden. You also visit various Hanseatic towns which flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries, due to the fact that the IJssel was then one of the most important trade routes in Europe. The route then leads you to the so-called border lakes of the IJssel lake which lie between the “old” land of many beautiful harbour towns and new Flevoland (once the bottom of the IJssel lake) which was reclaimed in 1932. In this area you visit some picturesque fishing harbours. Not to be missed: Spakenburg, where women still wear traditional costumes.

Tour Character: Level 2

Suitable for people of all ages. On some days you will be cycling through a windy area or (depending on the tour) may encounter short slopes with differences in heights up to 75 m. or (gently rolling terrain); with distances to 60 kilometers per day. You spend about 5 hours on your bicycle.

Your Accomodation:

This barge is a former shuttle barge which was converted into a luxury motor passenger ship in the winter of 1994-95. It has a cozy salon. In the evenings, a drink can be consumed in the cozy and elegant bar. Outside there is a sun deck/a deck for the bicycles. The crew consists of a skipper, a cook and a sailor/hostess. There is limited WiFi on board.

    Cabin Plan

    • 5 twin cabins (beds can be placed together)
    • 4 bunk bed cabins

    All cabins are provided with: private bathroom, central heating, 220 voltage, soap, windows/portholes that open. Hair dryers are available on board. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

    Included in the Tour: 

    • All nights on board, (Sat-Sat 8 days/7 nights), cabin in the booked category
    • Full board (7x breakfast, 6 x self-made picnic lunch for bike tours, 7x three course dinner)
    • Use of bed linen and 2 towels (change of towels possible)
    • Coffee and tea on board
    • Tour guide, cycles with the group
    • Min. 3 city walks with the tour guide
    • Free WiFi is limited available in lounge and on deck, for more than 100 MB there is a surcharge
    • Road book, 1x per cabin
    • Ferry fares on the route
    • Bike insurance

    Not included:

    • Bicycle rent (optional)
    • Entrance fees to museums; approx.  € 30,-
    • Personal insurance/Cancellation insurance (optional)
    • Other drinks on board (cash payment on board)

    If you would like to rent a Bike (110 EUR) or E-bike (220 EUR), please email [email protected] when booking


    • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; lactose free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 75, – per week.
    • This tour operates Saturday to Saturday

    Arrival/ Departure:

    • Boarding is between 1 PM and 2 PM. You are expected on your barge on Saturday at the latest at 2PM. 
    • The mooring place of the barge in Amsterdam is harbour 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 € 6,- 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 € 60,-. 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,-.
    • 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 in 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.

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    • Day 1

      Saturday: Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede

      Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board latest at 2 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. If possible there will be a first short after diner bike ride. On the arrival day it is possible to load your luggage on board from noon onwards.

    • Day 2

      Sunday: Wijk bij Duurstede – Arnhem, 40 km

      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. In the National Park you can find, the Kröller-Müller Museum, the largest private Van Gogh collection in the world. This visit involves however 25 km more cycling and is optional. The guide will ride the shorter route excluding the museum and can provide a route description. In Oosterbeek you can visit the memorials and cemeteries of the Battle of Arnhem (Operation Market Garden) in WW2. Later 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: Arnhem - Deventer, 45 km

      Today we first sail to the small town of Doesburg. From there the cycle tour takes you along the Hanseatic Town Route along the IJssel to Bronkhorst, which has the distinction of being recognised as the smallest town in the Netherlands. At Bronkhorst we leave the IJssel river and ride inland via Vorden passing country houses, castles and rural estates. The destination today is the very agreeable town of Zutphen. During dinner the barge will sail to Deventer where you have the option of a guided walking tour in the evening.

    • Day 4

      Tuesday: Deventer – Kampen, 50 km

      This morning you will enjoy a short bicycle ride along the IJssel riverbank before boarding a ferry at Wijhe to cross the river to the wooded areas around Heerde. Here you ride through the famous “coulissenlandschap” of the east Veluwe. A combination of woods, moorlands and centuries old small scale agricultural lands. In the afternoon you will reach the 800-year-old town of Hattem which has a rich history that is still clearly visible today. 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 – Harderwijk, 45 km

      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. You will ride on your bike from Kampen to Harderwijk through a typical Dutch landscape. At first you cycle along Veluwe lake where swimming, boating, surfing and fishing are favourite summertime activities. Around lunchtime you will be in the lovely market town of Elburg. The last part of the route will take you through the large woods of the Veluwe, with its undulating landscape a remainder of the Ice Age. The Veluwe is the largest connected nature reserve of the Netherlands, totally consisting of sandy soil. The night will be spent in Harderwijk’s old fishing harbour.

    • Day 6

      Thursday: Harderwijk – Spakenburg, 45 km

      Today the ride will be a combination of flat, coastal landscape and woods and moorland around Ermelo and Putten. At Strand Nulde you can go for a nice swim, weather permitting. In the afternoon the trip continues along the Eem River, a small river flowing into the Eem Lake.. In spite of the enormous density of population of the province of Utrecht, you can still find green countryside here. On the road along the IJselmeer dike you might have the opportunity to visit the old steam pumping station Arkemheem. Following the dike you enter Spakenburg from the west. Spakenburg has always been a fishermen's port and now forms a kind of twin village with Bunschoten. Many wonderful wooden fishing boats are moored here and you may come across villagers in their traditional dress.

    • Day 7

      Friday: Spakenburg - Amsterdam, 35 km

      During breakfast we sail to Huizen. From Huizen you will cycle to the beautiful fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden. In Muiden you can visit the famous Muiderslot that guarded the entrance to Amsterdam in times gone by. From Muiden you will cycle along quiet roads to your final destination, the big city of Amsterdam. The late 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 tour

      End of the tour after breakfast, before 10 AM. If you have an early flight, ask the the tour leader to arrange a taxi to the Airport.

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    Tours marked with are special prices.

    Start End Max. No. Guests Accommodation Price p.p.
    May 16 2024 May 23 2024 18 Single rooms 1,425€
    Double rooms 1,299€
    May 23 2024 May 30 2024 18 Single rooms 1,425€
    Double rooms 1,299€
    May 30 2024 Jun 06 2024 18 Single rooms 1,425€
    Double rooms 1,299€
    Jun 06 2024 Jun 13 2024 18 Single rooms 1,425€
    Double rooms 1,299€
    Jun 13 2024 Jun 20 2024 18 Single rooms 1,425€
    Double rooms 1,299€
    Jun 20 2024 Jun 27 2024 18 Single rooms 1,425€
    Double rooms 1,299€
    Aug 29 2024 Sep 05 2024 18 Single rooms 1,425€
    Double rooms 1,299€
    Sep 05 2024 Sep 12 2024 18 Single rooms 1,570€
    Double rooms 1,425€
    Sep 12 2024 Sep 19 2024 18 Single rooms 1,570€
    Double rooms 1,425€
    Sep 19 2024 Sep 26 2024 18 Single rooms 1,570€
    Double rooms 1,425€
    Sep 26 2024 Oct 03 2024 18 Single rooms 1,425€
    Double rooms 1,299€

    Car rental in Netherlands

    If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.

    Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote

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