Bike and barge Netherlands: Hansa Highlights

8 days / 7 nights | Ship: DE Nassau | Guided bike tours

This tour leads you through a region that’s one of the most beloved among Dutch cyclists. Come and explore it yourself, by bike and barge. Every day while cycling, you’ll get to know more of its numerous historical cities, beautiful river landscapes and diverse natural areas. Every evening, you’ll return to your floating hotel barge named the Nassau, docked in a picturesque harbor along the route. The Nassau has room for up to sixty guests. You’ll cycle at your own pace, while your well trained tour leader is only a phone call away for your questions, problems or emergencies. *

Cycle along an important trading route The area you’ll be traversing was shaped over millennia by numerous rivers and streams. It thrived during the Middle Ages, when the rivers Rhine and IJssel were among the most important trade routes in Europe. Many of the cities along their banks were members of the Hanseatic League. This confederation protected the economic interests of its members in large parts of the Netherlands, Germany and Northern Europe. The affluence of those years is visible everywhere in abundant civil and religious architecture.

Through the natural beauty of the Rhine Valley Your tour starts in the delightful city of Amsterdam. From there, you’ll sail and cycle to many larger and smaller Hanseatic towns like Arnhem, Deventer, Zutphen, Kampen, Harderwijk and Elburg. The natural beauty of the Rhine valley and its enchanting tributary, the IJssel, will duly impress you. Another attraction along the way are the so-called Bordering Lakes. These are situated between the “old” mainland with many beautiful harbor towns, and the “new” reclaimed land of the province of Flevoland, that was once the bottom of the sea. The flat terrain in the 125 km long IJssel valley makes this a perfect tour for those who love to cycle leisurely along many winding trails
in a diverse area.

* The Hanseatic Tour is a semi-guided tour. You’ll get a daily briefifing by the tour leader, but you cycle on your own. On certain dates it is an option to book the tour as fully-guided.


Day 1 (Sat): Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Wijk bij Duurstede

Embarkation and check-in in Amsterdam. The crew welcomes you on board between 1 and 2 p.m. At approximately 2 p.m. De Nassau sails from Amsterdam on the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to Wijk bij Duurstede, a town on the Rhine River. Here, you will spend your first night aboard the ship.

Day 2 (Sun): Wijk bij Duurstede – Wageningen | Wageningen – Arnhem (Cycling 35 km / 21 miles or 44 km / 28 miles)

While you are enjoying breakfast, the ship sails to Wageningen. From this town, your first cycling tour of the week takes you through the lovely valley of the Lower Rhine river, and then on through the Veluwe, a large area of woods and heathlands. At the end of the day you pedal to Arnhem, via suburbs and past the lovely parks named Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal. Close to the center of this former Hanseatic city, the Nassau docks for the night. During World War II, Arnhem was the battle scene of Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation in history. It ended in a failure, as the inability to capture a bridge over the Rhine River resulted in the destruction of the British 1st Airborne Division.

Day 3 (Mon): Arnhem – Doesburg | Doesburg – Zutphen – Deventer (Cycling 45 km / 27 miles or 55 km / 35 miles)

We leave Arnhem on the De Nassau, and then today’s cycling tour starts in the small town of Doesburg. There are two cycling options to get you to Zutphen and Deventer. Both options first go to Bronkhorst, a seeming hamlet that’s proud to be the smallest
town in Holland. From Bronkhorst, the shorter option takes you by ferry to the western bank of the IJssel river, whereas the longer option stays on the eastern bank. Both options lead you through the countryside to Zutphen. The tour ends in Deventer, a city known for its delicious spicy gingerbread. In the evening, your tour leader offers a short guided walking tour of the city. Make sure to join!

Day 4 (Tue): Deventer – Wijhe | Wijhe – Kampen (Cycling 40 km / 25 miles or 56 km / 35 miles)

During breakfast the De Nassau will take you to Wijhe, where your bicycle ride begins. In the morning you will enjoy a nice bicycle ride to Hattem. You can choose a short option along the banks of the river, or opt for a longer ride across the east Veluwe
area. Hattem has a rich history, which is still clearly visible today. Leaving Hattem, it is only a short ride to the city of Zwolle, one of the most beautiful Hanseatic cities. From Zwolle you continue to Kampen. In the evening, an optional guided walking tour takes
you to some of the most interesting sights in this largest Hanseatic town in the Netherlands.

Day 5 (Wed): Kampen – Elburg – Harderwijk (Cycling 48 km / 29 miles)

From Kampen, our cycling tour leads along the Border Lakes to the fishing harbor of Elburg. Here, swimming, boating, surfing and fishing are favorite summertime activities. From Elburg the cycling tour continues through the woods and moorlands of the Veluwe to lovely Harderwijk, where the night will be spent in its old fishing harbor. In the 1500s Harderwijk boasted the largest fish market in the Zuiderzee region. Today, it is still a lovely old city very much worth exploring.

Day 6 (Thu): Harderwijk – Spakenburg – Huizen (Cycling 45 km/28 miles or 56 km / 35 miles) 

Again, you have two routes to choose from. A shorter bike ride along the coast of the Border Lakes, or a combination of the coast route and a longer alternative that runs through adjacent woodlands. In the afternoon you will pass Spakenburg, a fishing village well-known for its traditional costumes that are worn to this day. Docking destination for today is Huizen.

Day 7 (Fri): Huizen – Naarden – Muiden – Amsterdam (Cycling 35 km / 21 miles)

Huizen is the starting point for a ride to the beautiful fortress towns of Naarden and Muiden. The latter is famous for its historic castle on the waterfront. From Muiden you will cycle along quiet roads to your final destination, the world famous city of Amsterdam. You have the afternoon and evening to spend in the Dutch capital any way you like. Seize the chance to do a canal tour, to visit Anne Frank’s home or any of a number of world renowned museums around the Museumplein. Or just enjoy looking at everyday life in this bustling city.

 Day 8 (Sat): Amsterdam

The last part of your tour is today, but we won’t let you leave with an empty stomach. So before disembarkation until 9.30 a.m., enjoy a nice breakfast first

Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only.