Cycling holiday Amsterdam to Cologne

Amsterdam to Cologne

Cycling along the majestic Rhine

Starting at € 1.159,-
Book now
Summary
  • 8 Days Saturday to Saturday
  • 45 km average per day
  • Arrival Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • Departure Cologne Frankfurt Airport
Highlights
  • Amsterdam Canals
  • Arnhem a bridge too far
  • Düsseldorf and Cologne
  • Surprising region of the Ruhr
Characteristics
  • Guided Tour
  • Group Tour
  • Bike & Barge
  • Bikelevel 1

    The lightest cycling holiday, covering largely flat terrain, suitable for everyone and people of all ages; with distances to 45 kilometers. You spend about 4 hours on your bicycle.

Cycling along the majestic Rhine

Cruising on a barge and cycling through a colorful countryside is the perfect recipe for a successful holiday. Biking and active during the day, the boat accompanies you along the river to welcome you at the day’s goal as your swimming hotel. And if you do not want to cycle you can enjoy the tour on board, admiring the passing scenery!

First you will bike through the flat, peaceful countryside of Holland, with the famous windmills along the way. You bike along the winding river Vecht with its impressive mansions on its banks and you visit a real Dutch cheese farm, where cheese is still produced according to traditional method. You will enjoy the gorgeous river scenery of the rivers IJssel and Rhine, first in the Netherlands and later in Germany. We follow the Rhine valley upstream, first wide and flat along farmland and meadows, later through industrial areas where we learn about the important history of the river. We also visit the charming old city of Düsseldorf  and the tour ends in Cologne with her magnificent cathedral. Apart from the beautiful landscape, you will see  cultural highlights, art treasures, and you can enjoy regional culinary specialities.

Daily Program

  • Day 1 Saturday: Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede

    Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board- is the latest at 2 PM in Amsterdam. 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, 50 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, roundtrip Oosterbeek

    In Oosterbeek you can visit the memorials and cemeteries of the Battle of Arnhem (Operation Market Garden) in WW2 Arnhem is the capital of the province of Gelderland. In September of 1944, the center of the town was heavily damaged by the efforts of the Allies to conquer the Rhine bridge (Operation “Market Garden”). The plan backfired. (The battle of Arnhem has been filmed in "A bridge too far"). Following the war, the city centre was reconstructed to reflect its past patterns and design as closely as possible. Arnhem is generally known as the “Park City of the Netherlands” in large part due to its centuries old city parks, which extend well into the city centre. Sonsbeek Park is the most important parc of the city. It is located against the city’s dam walls and offers a multitude of breathtaking views with far-reaching vistas of the Rhine river on the one hand and hidden, intimate corners on the other. It contains waterfalls, a deer camp, a belvedere and the watermill, “Arnhem”. In the afternoon you can visit the Dutch Open Air Museum.

  • Day 4 Tuesday: Arnhem - Rees, 40 km

    Breakfast during sailing. Biking starts from  Pannerden. Before we hit the German border we pass Doornenburg, with a wonderfully maintained medieval stronghold. This fairy tale castle was the scene for many a movie. From Doornenburg you take take the right bank of the Rhine and pass the border at Lobith, a village every schoolchild knows. At Tolkamer the Dutch used to impose tolls on incoming ships. On the way to our destination Rees you pass Emmerich, a bigger town with a lovely boulevard along the Rhine. You may also stop at Kalkar. This beautiful town is also known for the failure of the German Nuclear Energy program in the 70s. A completely finished nuclear processing plant has never been put into functioning due to massive protest,  nowadays it's an attraction park! We all end in Rees, a town with impressive remains of fortification.

  • Day 5 Wednesday: Rees - Ruhrort, 40 km

    We sail during breakfast and get off at Wesel. Today we focus on the Ruhr area where Germany’s and probably Europe’s largest industries are housed. On a surface of  4.600 km2, very rich in coal, a vast landscape made out of steel plants and textile industries, combined with chemical industrial plants unfolds. Cities like Essen, Duisburg, Oberhausen and Dortmund are glued together through a maze of highways, railways and waterways. Once very prosperous and therefore a target in 1923 when Belgian and French troops tried to enforce WW-1 payments of Germany. And a number 1 target in 1944-1945 for sure. Hard to imagine that you can cycle here, but you can! The German government put a lot of effort in re-developing the area after the closing down of many  factories. In the afternoon we visit the enormous landscape park of Duisburg-Nord, where we get to see huge former industrial plants and more detailed explanation and information about this area. It may not be always scenic, but it is an impressive landscape indeed and not to be missed when one visits the Rhine. We will find the barge in Ruhrort.

  • Day 6 Thursday: Ruhrort - Düsseldorf, 42 km

    Today we leave the Ruhr-area behind us and we head first for Krefeld. In the 18th century Krefeld grew thanks to the textile industry. Velvet, silk and brocade were sold to emperors and kings from all over the world. There is still the statue of a silk weaver. The weavers worked in small houses that simultaneously served as a factory and house. In Krefeld, one can still see some of these houses. Our destination is Düsseldorf. In the evening there is time to visit the Alstadt. You can try their famous local dark beer, Altbier. You will be amazed to what an international city this is, with almost a fifth of the population being foreigners

  • Day 7 Friday: Düsseldorf - Cologne, 30 km

    Cycling direction Cologne you will stay close to the Rhine in order to be in Cologne not too late in the afternoon and having some time to look around. Cologne is the oldest of the bigger German cities, founded by the Romans. It got its city rights already 50 years after Christ as a gift from the Roman empress Agrippa. Later Cologne became one the most important centers of the Holy Roman Empire. Landmark is of course the Cathedral right next to the railway station and the railway bridge over the Rhine. In 1248 they started with the construction of the cathedral and only finished it in 1880! The city was almost completely destroyed in the 1944-1945. The city hall however, dating from 1330, is beautifully restored.

  • Day 8 Saturday: Cologne, end of tour

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

Cycling in Holland and Germany

Cycling in cycle countries

Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of both countries. 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). Gps-tracks can be provided by e-mail.

Amsterdam
National Park Hoge Veluwe
Windmill in Germany!
Bike parking
Bikepath and cows
Arnhem John Frost bridge
Sailing Home
In the border region
Doornenburg castle
Industrial heritage at Duisburg
Dusseldorf
Disembarking along the Rhine
On the road
Cologne

What else do you need to know?

Prices per person 2021

Sailing Home
26 June - 07 August

Twin cabin € 1.159,-
Single use € 1.659,-

01 May - 19 June / 14 August - 29 August / 25 September - 03 October
Twin cabin € 1.285,-
Single use € 1.840,-

04 September - 19 September
Twin cabin € 1.405,-
Single use € 2.010,-

Not included
Rental bike per week € 95,-
E-bike per week € 180,-

Insurance for rental bike € 20,-
Insurance for e-bike € 40,-

Reservation costs € 20,- per booking.

Included

  • 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, cycles with the group
  • Min. 3 city walks with the tourguide
  • Free WiFi is limited available in lounge and on deck
  • 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
  • Cancellation insurance (optional)

Special details

  • Please take good notice of Terms & Conditions.
  • 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; vegan meals 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.

Info

Boarding is between 3 PM and 4 PM. You are expected on our barge on Saturday at the latest at 4 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).

Airport

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 € 4,30 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,-.

Train

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,-.

Car

If you arrive by car, we recommend you to arrive earlier to unload your luggage. You can find more information about parking possibilities at I amsterdam. The nearest parking is Parking Centrum Oosterdok, (about € 150,- 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 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.

Our barge, 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.
Free WiFi is (limited) available in lounge and on deck.

What are the cabins like?

On board the Sailing Home all cabins are twin cabins. Cabins for single use are limited available. The cabins have airconditioning; central heating; a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 220 voltage. In the bathroom you find soap, shampoo, shower gel and a hairdryer. 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 suffer from food allergies or food intolerance (such as lactose- or gluten- intolerance/-allergy) or if you have special meal requirements (vegetarian; pescetarian; vegan meals; gluten free meals etc.), 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 and special food requirements cannot always be met in all details.
In case of vegan meals, gluten free or lactose diet, there is an additional charge. This charge is € 50,- per diet/ per person/per week when you  order the diet when booking and € 100,- per diet/ per person/per week when ordering on spot.

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 and United Kingdom. It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, solo travelers, couples and also families with children (during the school holidays). Most groups are made up of 12 to 26 people.

Cycling in Holland

Holland is a cycling country: 17 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.

F.A.Q.

  • Do you accommodate for special diets

    Yes, this must be notified when booking, but at least 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 or vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50,- per week. On some tours there also is an additional charge of  € 50, – for lactose-free meals.

  • Do I have to wear a safety helmet in the Netherlands

    No, but it is of course sensible to wear one. We provide a safety helmet with our rental bikes, child seat, tag-along and child’s bicycle.

  • What happens if it rains

    Most people wear rainwear and get on their bicycle. If the weather makes cycling absolutely impossible (this doesn’t happen very often!) the guide will arrange an alternative programme which might include a longer visit to one of the towns along the way or cultural excursions.

  • Which countries do the participants come from

    The main countries represented by our cycling guests are: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and France. However we regularly welcome South Africans and Japanese guests.The common language on board is English.

  • Can I rejoin the barge before the end of a stage

    No, the barge 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.