During this eight day/seven night, tour on board of the charming barge 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 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.
In collaboration with:
Boat Bike Tours.
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.
After a short cruise on board the Lena Maria, 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).
(40 km / 24 miles or 55 km / 34 miles)
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.
(42 km / 25 miles or 50 km / 34 miles)
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.
(35 km / 22 miles or 41 km / 34 miles)
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.
(several options from 23 km / 15 miles to 66 km / 41 miles)
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 Lena Maria 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.
(45 km /28 miles or 55 km / 34 miles)
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 Lena Maria 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.
(30 km / 19 miles or 37 km / 23 miles)
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.
|Gandalf||Twin Lower deck||Triple Lower deck||Twin for single use|
|Price per person €||Euro||Euro||Euro|
The Gandalf is a small and comfortable passenger barge. The ship, owned and operated by skipper Hans Petrus, sails under Dutch flag has been sailing in various areas in The Netherlands and Belgium for many years. The Gandalf is a very popular ship, ideal for bike and barge tours.
Description of the cabins:
The Gandalf has ten twin cabins (10 m² – 108 sq.ft.) with two separate beds. In two of the cabins a bunk bed as third bed is possible (on request). Each cabin has a recently renovated bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. Windows can be opened and the cabins have ventilation and central heating. A hair dryer is available on request.
Description of the ship:
On the upper deck of the Gandalf you will find the large and cozy lounge with the bar and dining area. Wi-Fi is available. The barge also has two large sundecks with storage room for the bicycles and sitting areas with tables and chairs, where you can have a drink. On nice evenings, or while cruising, you can enjoy the scenery from here. Furthermore, equipped with a double-roof of solar panels, the Gandalf 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.
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.
Vegetarian meals are possible at no surcharge. Other diets (like gluten free or for lactose intolerance) are possible at a fee. All diets and vegetarian meals must be booked and confirmed well in advance (only vegan meals are not possible).
On request, an additional bed is available in some twin cabins for children up to age 16 (as fold away bunk bed, above one of the other beds).
Rental bicycle with 7 or 8 gears: € 85 per week (optional)
Rental E-Bike: € 185 per week (only on request, limited number available)
Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
Ticket canal tour Amsterdam, ca. 60 minutes – for our guests: € 14,00 (at the ticket office approx. € 18)
It's possible to purchase an optional limitation of liability for damage and loss of your rented bicycle or e-bike:
Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle € 10/tour
Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike € 25/tour
This package includes:
**: These arrangements solely apply to and are valid for bicycles and E-bikes that have been rented from Boat Bike Tours. For tours, for which Boat Bike Tours is not the organizing tour operator (but the intermediary), and another partner company is the organizing tour operator, other arrangements may apply.
Please note: For safety reasons, it is not allowed to use the rental (e-) bikes for self-arranged rides in Amsterdam: in these cases, the limitation of liability does not apply.
Almost all of the rental bicycles are traditional touring bicycles (women’s models) with 7 or 8 gears, hand brakes (some with pedal brake) and pannier bags. E-bikes feature a small electric engine and battery that assist and ease your pedaling, but they do not feature autonomous propulsion. It is like having a tailwind, so it is easier, but you still have to pedal.
Please note: all bicycles have normal pedals, no click pedals. So please wear ordinary sporting shoes. Changing pedals is not possible.
Prices for other rental bicycles, like children’s bikes, tandems, trailer bikes (slip streamers), children’s seats, and bike trailers are available on request. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles or E-bikes, please let us know so we can reserve a space on board for you.
Parking own bicycle: € 10 per week (only a limited number of parking places available)
Parking + charge station own E-Bike: € 25 per week (only a limited number of parking places available)
However, the crew or tour operator is in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles.
Parking in Amsterdam (valet parking): prices and pre-booking on request.
Embarking on a boat bike tour means leaving your worries behind. If you’re arriving for one of our tours by car then you can start your carefree experience immediately thanks to the CentralParking valet service.
With this parking service, you can drive directly to your ship’s departure dock. Arrange a drop-off time in advance and a CentralParking valet driver will be waiting to help you with your luggage. Your valet will then drive your car to a secure garage where it will be parked under 24/7 camera surveillance.
Set a pick-up time with CentralParking for your return and your car will be ready and waiting for you when the ship arrives, so you can set out on the road immediately.