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Exterior view of the MS Gandalf

The Green Heart of Holland, MS Gandalf

Vibrant cities and vast landscapes

8 Days / 7 Nights
Exterior view of the MS Gandalf

Travel through the "Green Heart" of Holland and discover tulip bouquets, cheese platters, and clogs alongside sandy North Sea beaches, picturesque heath landscapes, and tranquil lakes. Explore beautiful and diverse cities such as Amsterdam, Gouda, The Hague, Rotterdam, and the university city of Leiden, where each stop invites you to explore.


Your hotel goes where you go on this vacation—yes, you heard that correctly! You'll be spending your nights aboard the MS Gandalf, starting with embarkation on your arrival day in Amsterdam. On the tour's first day, delve into Dutch culture and history, perhaps with a visit to the open-air museum near Zaandam. Cycling from Haarlem to the North Sea coast, you'll spend the night in Leiden, a city adorned with picturesque canals.

Explore a porcelain factory near Delft and extend your journey a few extra kilometers to The Hague. Day 5 promises several highlights, including the dynamic city of Rotterdam and the breathtaking windmills of Kinderdijk. Departing from Gouda, the route winds through stunning natural landscapes to the Westend Lakes, where you'll rejoin your floating hotel. The concluding leg returns you to Amsterdam—wrap up your holiday with a canal boat excursion or a bike ride along the fortress belt.

  • Traditional Dutch food at the Zaanse Schans: The open-air museum provides a glimpse into traditional Dutch life, featuring windmills, historic houses, and workshops. Visitors can witness craft demonstrations, observe traditional cheese making, and enjoy the scenic landscape along the Zaan. Be sure to allocate ample time to explore and indulge in local delicacies.
  • Gaze out to sea along the North Sea coast: Endless sandy beaches, charming coastal towns, and picturesque dune landscapes instantly evoke a sense of relaxation. Along the way, you'll encounter historic fishing villages where you can indulge in fresh seafood during a stopover.
  • Watching the big ships in Rotterdam: Explore the impressive harbor area of the modern city, discover architectural highlights like the Kubuswoningen and the Markthal, and immerse yourself in the vibrant art and culture scene. Take a harbor cruise for a fascinating glimpse into the maritime world.

This vacation blends bike stages and boat travel, with the MS Gandalf serving as your accommodation throughout the journey. The inviting ship offers opportunities for relaxation in the saloon and on the sun deck. The attentive crew is available around the clock to assist guests and offers comprehensive full-board service. Suitable for all skill levels, this eight-day holiday explores Holland's well-maintained cycle paths.

The combination of cycling and boating in Holland and Belgium is simply perfect—idyllic routes, culturally rich cities, and warm hospitality all provide excellent reasons to explore these countries.

Itinerary at a glance

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 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).

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.

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.

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. Dinner tonight (not included) will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).

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.

If you are keen for an early start to the day you can visit the largest trade center 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.

End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.

Route information


Prices & Dates

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour

Inlcuded Services

  • Fully guided cycling tours according to itierary from/to Amsterdam
  • 7 nights in outside cabins in the booked cabin category
  • 1 welcome drink
  • Full meals (7x breakfast, 6x paked lunch for cyclists, 6x coffe and tea on board, 6x 3-course-dinner) 
  • On board tour guide incl. daily tour briefing 
  • Daily cabin cleaning, change of bed linen and towels as needed
  • 1 route book per cabin 
  • All harbour, lock and bridge fees
  • Wifi
  • GPS-data


  • Bring your own bike €10,-/electric bike €25,- (on request only, limited) 
  • Rental bike insurance for rental bike €10,-/week, for electric bike €25,-/week. limitation of risk and liability in the event of damage to or loss of the bicycle you have rented 
  • Helmet €10,-/week, reservation necessary and o be paid for in advance

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Amsterdam train station is close to the pier
  • Oosterdok car park: secure car park at the train station, reservation on your own possible

Things to note

  • No minimum number of participants
  • Further important information according to the package travel law and additional information about your bike and boat trip can be found here!
  • This tour is a partner tour.

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Christine Pölzleitner

"I look forward to making your vacation dreams come true."

Christine Pölzleitner
Travel Specialist
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