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Highlights of this tour

Bike through the Green Heart of Holland

Historical cities Amsterdam & Leiden

Rijksmuseum & Delft porcelain studio

Barges with max. 24 passengers

Guidance
  • Fully-guided: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Semi-guided: Daily briefing by the tour leader, independent cycling but tour leader available ICE.
  • Independent: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Individual
Difficulty
  • Level 1: easy tours, very flat terrain
  • Level 2: quite easy tours, mostly flat terrain
  • Level 3: requires a higher level of exertion, medium hilly terrain
  • Level 4: for experienced cyclists, hilly terrain with climbs
Difficulty level 1 Difficulty level 1
Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 8 days

Bike and Barge The Netherlands: Green Heart of Holland | Flora

During this eight day, seven night tour on board the charming barge Flora you can cycle individually and at your own pace as you discover the ‘Green Heart’ of Holland, a region steeped in history, natural attractions, world famous cities and beautiful scenery.

Along the way you will visit historical cities such as Amsterdam, Haarlem, Rotterdam, Leiden and Gouda. You will discover many culturally historic attractions and, more importantly, you will be able to immerse yourself in the very heart of this fascinating and very Dutch part of Holland.

Also, if you are an art lover, you will enjoy the visits in Leiden, Haarlem and Delft where painters such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Vermeer lived and worked. But far from just being about big cities and Dutch history, this tour is also about the picturesque villages and beautiful scenery of the ‘green lung’ districts of central and South Holland. One thing is certain: by the end of the tour you will not only come away with a new-found appreciation for bike and barge cruising, but for everything that is Dutch.

A bonus during this tour is the fact that the Flora docks in and around the city center of the various cities and villages visited at the end of each day’s cycling, giving you the opportunity to visit and explore at your leisure at night.

Day to day program

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Day 1 (Sat): Amsterdam

Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from 2 p.m. in the center of Amsterdam. After unpacking your luggage in your cabin, you will still have plenty of time to explore this famous city. Treat yourself to a canal tour, visit one or more museums or simply do some shopping. An introduction to the tour will take place at 5.30 p.m. during which the crew will be presented and your first dinner on board will be served; your rental bicycles will also be distributed at this time.

Day 2 (Sun): Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Haarlem (40 km/24 mi. or 55 km/34 mi.)

After a short cruise on board the Flora, you are finally off and cycling today after first visiting the lovely open-air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ in Zaandam where an authentic 18th and 19th century Dutch village has been reconstructed. In the museum you will learn about iconic Dutch traditions such as windmills and cheese and clog making. You will then cycle to Haarlem where celebrated portraitist and genre painter Frans Hals lived and worked in the 16th century. In the evening you can stroll through the lovely city center and the Grote Markt (market square). If preferred, today’s cycling tour can also be extended with a visit to the sea locks of IJmuiden and the Kennemer Dunes. During this cycling tour you can visit some forts of the Defense Line of Amsterdam (UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Day 3 (Mon): Haarlem – North Sea coast – Leiden (42 km/25 mi. or 50 km/34 mi.)

After enjoying breakfast with your newfound cycling friends, you will pedal today along the North Sea coast through seaside dunes via the resorts of Noordwijk and Katwijk aan Zee to the vibrant university city of Leiden, the birthplace of celebrated artist Rembrandt van Rijn. The city’s picturesque old city center is crisscrossed with canals lined by beautiful 17th-century buildings and is very definitely a must to see. The longer cycling tour leads you from Haarlem to Cruquius (steam engine museum) and Hillegom (several flower nurseries) to Leiden.

Day 4 (Tue): Leiden – Delft (35 km/22 mi. or 41 km/34 mi.)

From Leiden you will cycle to Delft, famous for its Blue porcelain (Delftware), where you will have the opportunity to visit a porcelain studio. Another major attraction in the beautiful city center of Delft is the royal crypt of the House of Orange. The longer cycling tour brings you to seaside resort Scheveningen and to The Hague, where you can visit the Binnenhof (Parliament) and the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis) and then continues to end in Delft.

Day 5 (Wed): Delft – Rotterdam – Kinderdijk | Kinderdijk – Schoonhoven – Gouda (several options from 23 km/15 mi. to  66 km/41 mi.)

This morning you will sail from Delft on the Flora through the remarkable international port of Rotterdam.  From here you can start cycling or you can hop on the “Waterbus”, a fast ferry that will bring you and your bicycle over the river in 30-40 minutes to Alblasserdam. From there you cycle just a few miles to Kinderdijk, world famous for an impressive row of 19 large windmills. These 19 windmills have a UNESCO cultural heritage listing and are a definite highlight – you will have the opportunity to visit one so don’t forget to bring your camera! From Kinderdijk you will cycle directly to the cheese city of Gouda, or if you prefer, on a longer tour via the silver city of Schoonhoven to Gouda, your destination for the day.

Day 6 (Thu): Gouda – Kudelstaart (45 km/28 mi or 55 km/34 mi)

The highlight of today’s cycling tour is the naturally idyllic beauty of the South Holland landscape. Your destination for the day is the village of Kudelstaart where the Flora will be waiting for you. Along the way you will cycle along numerous small canals and past picture-perfect farms and small villages. At the mooring place on the banks of the Westeinder Plassen (‘West End’ lakes) there is a beautiful view to savor while enjoying a wine during or after dinner.

Day 7 (Fri): Kudelstaart – Aalsmeer – Amsterdam (30 km/19 mi. or 37 km/23 mi.)

If you are keen for an early start to the day you can visit the largest trade centre for plants and flowers in the world at Aalsmeer (optional extra, not included). The market is a hive of activity; it is guaranteed that you will never have seen so many flowers in the one place. After a late breakfast you can either stay on board the Flora as it cruises through the City of Amsterdam to its mooring place or you can cycle into the city through the city park ‘Amsterdamse Bos’ or along the Amstel river. Once you reach Amsterdam take the opportunity during the afternoon and evening to go for a canal cruise, discover Anne Frank’s House, the Rembrandt House Museum, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam and Dam Square, the very center and heart of the city.

Day 8 (Sat): Amsterdam

End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.

Good to know

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

  • The Green heart of Holland is a non-guided tour.

You will ride individually with the help of a map  and route notes (available on board). GPS tracks will be sent to you 4 weeks before the start date of the tour.

  • Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bike option.
  • In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
  • On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 11 PM.

Prices & information

Prices & availability

Below you see an overview of the available (blue) dates; the yellow dot means that this date has 2 or less cabins available, orange is ‘on request’ and red means that on this date there aren’t any cabins available. Then click on the preferred date. After this, choose your ship (some tours have only one ship, and therefore there is no choice), the number of cabins in the required (and available) category, any desired additional products, and ‘local costs’ (such as special dietary needs, which you usually pay for onboard). On the right side, you’ll find the ‘Booking Summary.’ After completing your preferences and necessary information click ‘Book now’ to finalize your booking.

  • Available
  • 2 or less available
  • On request
  • Not available
Departure date -

Choose preferred ship

Please select your cabin(s)

Pricing overview - 2020
Cabin type For all dates
Twin cabin 2 pers. €939 Twin cabin for single use (max. 1) 1 pers. €1408.50 Triple cabin (3rd bed only for child) (max. 2) 3 pers. €839
Included in this tour

8 days/7 nights

7 x breakfast

Packed lunches

7 x 3-course dinner

Coffee and tea on board

Welcome drink

Use of bed linen and towels

Daily cleaning of the cabins

Daily briefings by the crew

Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)

GPS tracks

Use of a waterproof pannier bag

Wi-Fi

Excluded in this tour

Drinks

Bicycle rental or E-bike rental

Helmet rental

Personal insurances

Gratuities (at your discretion)

Entrance fees and excursions

Fees for ferries / waterbus

Transfers to/from the docking place

Parking fees

Additional options & information 2020

2020:

  • Rental bicycle: € 80 per week
  • Rental E-Bike: € 180 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • You can find a description of the bicycles when you click on ship.
  • Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
  • Canal cruise Amsterdam: Ticket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam – special price for our guests: € 13 (at the ticket desk approx.: € 18). Please book your ticket in advance and you can collect it on board of your ship on the first day of the tour.
  • Parking in Amsterdam (valet parking): prices and pre-booking on request.


Reviews

Netherlands: Green Heart of Holland Rated 9.2 out of 10 based on 12 reviews
4 stars

Margaret Gleeson

Our tour on the Lena Maria was excellent. The chef Lars was excellent and we all looked forward to our meals each evening. The storage space in our cabins was very good. Our tour guide Thomas was very good although busy crossings at streets was often stressful having to bunch up and cross quickly. I realise we had a big…

5 stars

Phillip (Brett) Smith

This was a wonderful trip and incredible value. The boat was well appointed and our room exceeded our expectations. Our chef made amazing meals and our tour guide was world class. So nice to have the E bike option for my wife and the bikes were well-maintained and of good quality. We rode on our own at a different pace…

5 stars

Booth Palmer

We really appreciated having a guide on our tour – Thomas shared his local knowledge and eliminated any stress of not being able to find our way. The meals were amazing thanks to Lars. His fresh baked bread every morning made us look forward to our packed lunch and every dinner included plenty of beautifully prepared fresh vegetables to go…

5 stars

David Leppla

Enjoyed everything about the trip. Berthus and Ann Marie were such lovely people that they made every bit of the journey a joy.

Read all reviews on Trustpilot

Available ships for this tour

Ship Flora Holland, Netherlands
max. 20 passengers
10 cabins
1 tours available with this ship

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