Cycling holiday Rhine & IJssel

Rhine & IJssel tour

Cycling along meandering rivers

Starting at € 999,-
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  • 8 Days Thursday to Thursday
  • 48 km average per day
  • Arrival Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • Departure Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • Castles and estates
  • Deventer and Kampen, Hanseatic cities
  • Natural beauty of the Rhine valley
  • Spakenburg old fishing village
  • Guided Tour
  • Group Tour
  • Bike & Barge
  • Cycling 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.

Cycling 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. And besides: how beautiful they are, our rivers!

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.

Daily Program

  • Day 1 Amsterdam - Wijk bij Duurstede

    Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board no later than 1:30 PM. The barge will leave Amsterdam at 2 PM. You 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 Wijk bij Duurstede – Doesburg, 47 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 20 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 of Arnhem and later on woodlands and heather fields into the lovely hanseatic town of Doesburg where we spend the night.

  • Day 3 Doesburg - Deventer, 45 km

    From our mooring place in Doesburg 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 agreable 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 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 wich 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 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 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 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 Amsterdam, end of tour

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

Cycling in Holland

Cycling in a cycle country

Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of the country. 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.

Boarding in Amsterdam
NP Hoge Veluwe
NP Hoge Veluwe
Pumping station on steamengine
Amsterdam, Magere brug
IJssel river at sunset
John Frost bridge Arnhem
Harderwijk city museum

What else do you need to know?

Prices per person in 2024

! Note: in 2024, the tour starts on Thursday! 

Reservation costs € 25,- per booking
Contribution Dutch Guarantee Fund € 5,- per person (Insolvency Protection)

Anna Antal 

09 May - 20 June, 29 August, 26 September
Twin cabin € 1.299,- 
Bunk bed cabin € 1.100,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 1.425,-

05 - 19 September
Twin cabin € 1.425,- 
Bunk bed cabin € 1.200,-
Bunk bed cabin single use € 1.570,-


30 May
Twin cabin € 1.299,-
Single use € 1.660,- 
Triple cabin € 1.215,-

Extra options :
Rental touring bike per week (bike insurance incl.)  € 110,- 
E-bike per week (bike insurance incl.) € 220,- (from 155cm/ 5'1'')
Special diet (gluten free, lactose free, vegan) € 75,- per diet (to be specified when booking)


  • All nights on board, 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 towels
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tourguide, cycles with the group
  • Min. 3 city walks with the tourguide
  • Free WiFi (limited available in lounge and on deck)
  • Road book, 1x per cabin
  • GPS-tracks (on request)
  • Ferry fares on the route

Not included

  • Reservation costs 
  • Contribution Dutch Guarantee Fund (Insolvency Protection)
  • Bicycle rent (optional)
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx.  € 30,-
  • Other drinks on board 
  • Personal insurance

Special details

  • This tour is operated by Cycletours
  • Please take good notice of our Terms & Conditions.
  • Due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances, the route/program may be changed without notice.
  • We do not allow private e-bikes on board (due to safetly regulations)
  • 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.
  • 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.


Boarding is between 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM. The barge leaves dock at 2 PM. 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 11:30 AM onwards.

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,-.


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 € 275,- 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 after breakfast. Debarkation is before 10 AM. You will spend the night from Wednesday to Thursday 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?

Most cabins are 2-person cabins (twin or double beds), but some barges also have single and triple cabins. All cabins have central heating and a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 220 voltage. Some barges have airconditioning. 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 tourguide 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 tourguide 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 no later than 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 € 75,- 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.


  • Do you accommodate for special diets

    Yes, this must be notified when booking, but no later than 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.
    On some trips, in case of a gluten-free diet; lactose-free diet or vegan meals, a surcharge of € 75,- per diet per week applies. This is stated per tour.

  • Do I have to wear a safety helmet

    We recommond to wear a bike helmet on all tours. On our own tours (barges Anna Antal; Liza Marleen; Wending; Sailing Home; Zwaan and Clair de Lune) we provide a safety helmet with all our own rental bikes.
    In some countries a helmet is mandatory. This is stated on the tour page.

  • What happens when it rains?

    Most of the participants then wear rainwear. When the weather is so bad that cycling becomes really impossible (but that is almost never the case!), you can stay on board or your guide can organize an alternative program with, for example, cultural excursions and city tours (at your own expense).

  • Which countries do the participants come from

    The main countries represented by our cycling guests are: United States and Canada. We also receive guests from United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand. 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 as 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.