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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 Fully-guided
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 | Lena Maria | 2021: Gandalf

During this eight day/seven night, tour on board of the charming barge Lena Maria/Gandalf you will discover the ‘Green Heart’ of Holland by bike, 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 heart of this fascinating and very Dutch part of Holland.

Also, if you are an art lover, you will enjoy the visits to 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 part and South-Holland province. One thing is certain: by the end of the tour you will not only go home 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 Lena Maria/Gandalf 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 an introduction to the tour will take place at 3 p.m. After that your rental bicycles will be distributed and your tour leader will invite you to a short test-ride. Upon your return your first dinner on board will be served.

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 barge, 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 barge 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 barge 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 barge 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 daily cycling tours will be accompanied by a knowledgeable and multi-lingual tour leader.
  • During the days when 2 bicycle options are possible, the tour leader will make a choice for the longer or the shorter option together with the group.
  • Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bike option.
  • You can also choose to 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.
  • 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 a.m.

Prices & information

Invite a friend to join you for just half the price. Simply enter the discount code LAST25 when booking.
This offer is valid for all departures in 2020.
The discount is only valid for new bookings and cannot be combined with other discount offers.

Our special offer is valid until September 15th 2020.

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 - 2021
Cabin type For June 12 - Sept. 11 Sept. 18
Twin cabin lower deck 2 pers. € 949 € 899 Triple cabin lower deck (max. 2) 3 pers. € 909 € 859 Twin for single use (max. 1) 1 pers. € 1423.50 € 1348.50
Pricing overview - 2020
Cabin type For May - Sept. 19 Sept. 26
Twin cabin 2 pers. € 959 € 859 Twin cabin for single use (max. 2) 1 pers. € 1438.50 € 1288.50
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

1 x cleaning of the cabin during the tour

Daily briefings by the tour leader

Fully guided cycling tours

Fees for ferries

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

GPS tracks

Use of a waterproof pannier bag

Wi-Fi

SGR guarantee scheme applicable

Tour operators are obliged by applicable Dutch and European law to secure customer received funds and payments in the event of their own insolvency or bankruptcy (in accordance with Section 513a of the Dutch Civil Code (Burgerlijk Wetboek) and EU Directive 2015/2302).

Boat Bike Tours (Chamber of Commerce register number 3714 7084) is a participant of SGR (Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden) and is registered under number 3.734. This registration can be checked on www.sgr.nl.

The participating tour operators are subject to the guarantee protection of the SGR insolvency guarantee system that is required by law in the Netherlands. Under SGR’s warranty, the prepaid travel sums will be reimbursed to the end user if the tour operator is financially unable to meet its contractual obligations. If the agreement includes transportation and the destination has already been reached, the return trip will be arranged.

Extended warranty policy during the Corona COVID-19 crisis:
“Corona Voucher” with SGR protection

 In the context of the exceptional circumstances resulting from the Corona COVID-19 crisis, all registered participants in SGR may issue so-called “Corona Vouchers” if the organizing tour operator is unable to carry out a tour due to official measures and other serious circumstances of force majeure, and therefore have to cancel the trip.

This means that a Corona voucher offered to the customer by Boat Bike Tours is accepted under the protection of the SGR guarantee system, and – for this reason – all payments and deposits made by a customer are and remain secured.

On March 16, 2020, the Board of Directors of the SGR adopted the following resolution:

  1. As of March 16, 2020, SGR will consider vouchers from tour operators participating in SGR as covered by SGR within the meaning of Article 3 of the SGR Guarantee System, subject to points 2 through 7 of this Decision.
  2. This cover only applies if the voucher fulfills the model voucher stipulated by SGR, and only for vouchers issued in the event of a cancellation of trips in connection with the inability to carry out the trip in connection with the occurrence of unavoidable and exceptional circumstances as a result of the Corona COVID-19 Virus and provided that the value of the voucher is clearly filled out and the voucher contains the name “Corona voucher”.
  3. The value of the voucher cannot be higher than the payment already made for the trip, which had to be canceled due to the Corona COVID-19 virus and for which the SGR guarantee originally applied.
  4. The voucher must contain an express validity period of a maximum of one (1) year after the date of issue.
  5. The voucher must state that the SGR guarantee system applies.
  6. This decision must be communicated on the SGR Website with a clear explanation of the particularities, timing and enforcement of Article 3 (10) (g) of the guarantee system for other vouchers and traveler checks.
  7. This decision regarding the right to issue of a special Corona voucher with a guarantee from SGR is temporary and expires on June 1, 2020, subject to the possibility for the Executive Board to extend this period after approval by the Supervisory Board.

This decision was approved by the SGR Board of Directors and is dated March 16, 2020.

Note: The above translations about SGR are not official SGR translations. SGR only communicates in Dutch and English. The Dutch text on the SGR guarantee system is generally binding.

Excluded in this tour

Drinks

Bicycle rental or E-bike rental

Helmet rental

Personal insurances

Gratuities (at your discretion)

Entrance fees and excursions

Transfers to/from the docking place

Parking fees

Additional options & information - 2021

2021:

  • Rental bicycle: € 85 per week
  • Rental E-Bike: € 185 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.
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle €10/week
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike €25/week
  • Please click on this link for more information
  • Parking own bicycle: € 10 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Parking + charge station own E-Bike: € 25 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Please click on this link for more information about the rental and own bicycles/E-bikes
  • Canal cruise Amsterdam: Ticket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam – special price for our guests: € 14 (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.
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.
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle €10/week
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike €25/week
  • Please click on this link for more information
  • 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 – Guided Rated 9.3 out of 10 based on 8 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

Daphne Ball

thoroughly enjoyed the trip. good company good crew and lots to see

Read all reviews on Trustpilot

Available ships for this tour

Ship Lena Maria Netherlands
max. 24 passengers
12 cabins
3 tours available with this ship
Ship Gandalf Belgium, Netherlands
max. 20 passengers
10 cabins
2 tours available with this ship

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Netherlands: Green Heart of Holland – Guided

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