This 14 days wonderful bike and boat tour will lead you mainly along the Rhine and its siderivers, important in European history as well as today; from the mouth of the Old Rhine in the Katwijk flatlands to the inlet of the Moselle at Koblenz. Enjoy the variety in landscape and culture in different regions of the Netherlands and Germany. See the pastures of Holland and historical Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden and Delft. Ride on the panoramic dikes along the Dutch Rhine and through ondulating wooded lands near Arnhem. Visit the flat countryside of populateted German lower Rhine area with Cologne, Düsseldorf and Bonn. Tour along legendary castles on the hills of the Middle Rhine with cosy Königswinter and Koblenz. See yourself between the sloping vineyards along the Moselle, in picturesque Andernach and Cochem. Exept for historical innercities all the cycling can be done on bikelanes or quiet countryroads.
• 14 days / 13 nights on board, 2-Persons cabin with private shower and toilet, air conditioning and central heating
• Full board (13 x breakfast, 12 x packed lunch, 12 x 3-course dinner
• Welcome meeting and toast
• Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water on board
• Daily cabin cleaning
• WIFI on board
• 8-speed hybrid bicycle, including a bike bag and a lock
• A universal sized bike helmet
• Complimentary water bottle
• Tourleader for the bike tours
• Daily cycling meeting
• GPS tracks
• All ferry fares en route
• Admission tickets for the Peace Museum Bridge at Remagen and Airborn Museum Arnhem
• Visit of a windmill (Kinderdijk)
• Ticket for Cable Car crossing the Rhine to discover the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress area.
• Entrance Reichsburg Cochem
What’s not included
• Local transportation and airfare
• 1 x dinner in Cologne
• Other entrance fees than mentioned
• Drinks other than mentioned
• Private excursions
• Bicycle protection
2019 Juni 22: Amsterdam to Cochem
Price: € 2195, - per person
Single cabin: on request
Supplement e-bike: 180 euro (to reserve in advance, limited available)
Amsterdam - Cochem (D) short ca. 465km, long 610km.
Day 1. Arrival in Amsterdam, option for 3 km/ 2miles.
Your cycling adventure starts in Amsterdam, famous for its 4 centuries old canal district, museums, street artists and performers on the squares, a notorious red light district, and more. Try to arrive early so you have time to visit the historical centre, World Heritage site, to admire the elegant tree lined canals, tall narrow townhouses and warehouses.
We hope you can arrive at 3 in the afternoon, to check in, meet the crew and try out the bikes. Also with night lighting, on a walk or boatride, the historic innercity has a special atmosphere.
Day 2. Amsterdam – Zaanstad – Haarlem: 58 or 47 km, 36 or 29 miles.
Our cycling day begins with a ferry to Amsterdam North. From here we start biking through the Ilperveld, a unique waterlandpark. We stop at the Zaanse Schans, a hamlet designed to show how people lived and worked in the past, dominated by windmills fully operating for different processings (one dating 1673) and original houses from the region; an example of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. Both routes continue through the traditional ‘polder’ lands and villages with green wooden houses. We visit tiny Spaarndam build around the lock, with the statue of the boy that prevented a flooding. For the longer tour there is an extra ride through the wildlands behind the seadunes. We will find the Quo Vadis on the Spaarne, in the historical centre of Haarlem, with the lively and monumental Grote Markt, little palaces of bankers, and charming courtyards.
Day 3. Haarlem – Cruquius – Leiden: 39 km/ 24 miles.
After a short ride and a little ferry we visit the Cruquius, a gothic revival steam mill that once drained the Haarlemmermeer. We can see it in operation, and there is a display of models which explain how the Dutch managed to keep their feet dry during the last millenium. Then we pas several estates, with stately countryhouses between little woods, followed by the fields of the flowerfarms. The Quo Vadis will be near the gate to the historic centre of Leiden, lively with the oldest Dutch university, a hidden castle, and memories of Rembrandt van Rijn and the Pilgrimfathers. Leyten means ‘at the waters’, founded around 800 AD at the confluence of the Old Rhine, the Vliet and the Mare. For a long time it was the most important textile center and second in size after Amsterdam.
Day 4. Leiden – Delft: via Katwijk 57/ 37, via The Hague 45/ 29, direct 32 km/ 20miles.
Longer distances riders will follow the course of the Oude Rijn, through former fishing towns Katwijk and Scheveningen, through the dunes and beachy coasts, along remains of the Atlantikwall, the 1900 miles long coastal fortifications built by the Nazi Third Reich, and via the sandmotor which keeps the dunes on level. The shorter tour leads through the luxurious Wassenaar villa quarters and governement center The Hague, with the International Court of Justice, the Panorama, the Royal art collection, huge parks and fancy shopping streets. The Quo Vadis lays at the edge of charming Delft, with a beautifully preserved historic center, famous for painter Vermeer and headquarter of Dutch liberator William of Orange. An even shorter distance through meadows and suburban parks, gives more time for Delft instead of The Hague.
Day 5. Delft – Rotterdam – Schoonhoven, 40 or 47 km, 25 or 29 miles.
After a visit to the famous Delft Blue ceramics, the Quo Vadis brings us to Rotterdam for a short impression of our main harbor, the Dutch Manhattan with a skyline typified bij the Erasmus bridge. If there is time we might visit the stunning markethall, the Rotterdam version of the Sixtine Chapel; or despite the bombings of WWII, old Delfshaven (harbour of Delft) from where the Pilgrimfathers left, and the late 19th century Veerhaven.
A fast ferry will take us to the Alblasserwaard, a fenland between the big rivers. The many inundations and the slowly sinking surface made water management essential in this fenland. Canals and ditches were dug and windmills were constructed, in Kinderdijk remain 19 mills in impressive rows. Via an inland bikeroad we reach a cheesefarm to visit.
From there both routes continue through the fenland, you'll enjoy the lovely scenery of water and meadow birds. Short runs via the mills of Groot Ammers and Nieuwpoort, a charming tiny town around a dam; and long via the beautiful villages of Ottloland and Goudriaan. The Quo Vadis is in the harbour of silvertown Schoonhoven, with a leaning tower and a weighthouse build over a canal.
Day 6. Schoonhoven – Culemborg – Wijk bij Duurstede: 52 or 32 km, 33 or 20 miles.
Long starts in Schoonhoven and has a long seperate biketrack along characteristic old farms and between village gardens, passing the Dutch geographic centre. After the ferry they follow the high dike with panorama’s over the river and floodplains, passing little historic markettowns Vianen and Culemborg, the curious Hagestein weir and charming village Beusichem with a ferry to take.
Short starts later in Vianen, has from there the same but one ferry extra to visit the cosy old locksettlement Vreeswijk and see some fortresses of the New Dutch Waterline. The Quo Vadis is moored in Wijk bij Duurstede, a charming little town that deserves a walk with a hidden ruined castle and a gate under a windmill; Ruysdael painted a second one, now lost.
Day 7. Wijk bij Duurstede – Rhenen – Arnhem: 29, 38 or 56 km; 18, 24 or 35 miles.
A sailing breakfast brings to Rhenen, little town with impressive tower, for cycling along the slopes of the morains causing the big curve in the Rhine near Arnhem. First the 2 shorter routes follow lower roads between floodplains and hills to meet Wageningen, our smallest university town where the peace of WWII was signed. It has a lively marketplace, a huge sculpture collection and a nice arboretum on a terrace overlooking the river. Also Doorwerth castle is beautiful located, oldest parts from 13th century; on the courtyard is a thick trunked Robinia tree, the oldest of the country. Oosterbeek, once the centre of our first open air landscape painters, has a little 10th century church; used as a hospital during the 1944 Arnhem battle.
The longer route goes in Oosterbeek slowly climbing inland to have a nice undulating ride along slight sloping woods and parks, and visit the Dutch heritage museum; a nice collection of different traditional buildingtypes from all over the country. And the longest route sets of at Rhenen, directly inland through the forest of the Hoge Veluwe and can visit the Kröller Müller museum; with one of the best collections of early modern and recent Dutch art like some fine Van Goghs and a sculpture park, an Art Deco palace and an original presentation of natural history. We find the Quo Vadis downtown Arnhem, at the banks of the Rhine close at the little Airbornemuseum near the John Frostbridge. Because of the bombings this province capital has a mix of historical buildings and nice architecture of the 60-ties.
Day 8. Arnhem – Emmerich – Rees – Ruhrort: 44 or 54 km, 28 or 34 miles.
Today we cycle the last part in the Netherlands via quiet dikes at the left Rhinebank, and after castle Doornenburg we take a ferry direction German border. There we can visit Kleve with legendary castle Schwanenburg and a baroque park that inspired Berlin Tiergarten. The short track leads further via Germans longest suspension bridge to Emmerich, where the Quo Vadis is waiting.
Long continues, passing revival gothic Moyland castle, to Kalkar historic center with 7 beautiful altarpieces in the church; and is known for a theme park in a former nuclear power plant outside at the Rhinebank. On board at Rees we will have a sailing dinner on the Quo Vadis, arriving late in Ruhrort; opposite to Duisburg at the mouth of river Ruhr.
Kort met NRW routenplaner 44km, 15u? Lang 54km, 16.30u?
Day 9. Ruhrort – Düsseldorf: 42 or 52 km, 26 or 33 miles
We start in the Ruhrharbour; the port for the dense populated Ruhr area that was infamous for its polluting coalmines and steelfactories, and were closed during the last 20 years. Since then heritage is restored, museums were opened and green parks created. We can see some of these changes in nearby Duisburg.
The long route continues to Moers, friendly town with Arts & Crafts architecture and a model workers settlement; and meets the short one in Linn, tiny historic town with a castle build from 13th to 17th century, and a luxurious 18th century ‘hunting lodge’; both can be visited. After this we take a ferry to visit charming Kaiserswerth, with the impressive millennium old ruins of legendary Barbarossa castle.
We find the Quo Vadis just before the center of Düsseldorf, capital of the state Nordrhein-Westfalen and one of the main German centers of visual arts. Besides museums and academies there are wealthy shopping streets with fine modern architecture and a cosy ‘Altstadt’ with many venues.
Day 10. Düsseldorf – Zons – Cologne: 40km/ 25 miles or 30km/ 19 miles.
This morning we have a sailing breakfast, getting off near fortress Zons with its picturesque streets. We still are in the industrial zone, which gives good cycable roads through green zones between chemical plants, little villages and suburbs. The longer route leads via the ferry to the other Rhinebank and passes along Monheim with a little Altstadt and estate Marienburg, Wiesdorf with a Bayer workers settlement and Japanese garden, charming historical village of Flittard, and approaching Cologne via the Hohenzollern bridge, at its most impressive side.
Those who want to be earlier in Cologne remain on the left bank, and have a foretaste with the picturesque located romanesque church of Rheinkassel. Cologne, founded in Roman times and once a seat of a mighty bishopric, had great damage in WWII; in spite of that it still has the spectacular gothic cathedral, 12 beautiful romanesque churches, several other historical monuments and a lively cosy citycenter with a big choice of restaurants for our dinner out.
Day 11. Cologne – Königswinter: 48 km/ 30 miles
The route first crosses a bridge to the greene eastbanks, passing farmers fields, silent villages and castle Lülsdorf; to take a ferry to Bonn, capital of former West Germany. This medium size historic town has a lively centre, a green university campus, and south of it a recent museum- and congresquarter with attractive architecture. The route continues further south along the Rhine with villa settlements and parks, and a ferry for Köningswinter at the Seven Mountains, where we find some nice halftimbered houses and the Quo Vadis near the ferry. We have arrived in the Middle Rhine area, famous for its castles on high rocks.
Day 12. Königswinter – Andernach – Koblenz: 38 km/ 24 miles
Today we can see 14 castles, mostly on the river flanking hilltops. This concentration is in a wider region and was needed in continuous conflicts between medival feudal rulers, leaving most of them ruined. The attractive landscape and the presence of mineral sources made tourism came up in the 19th century, in a romantic mood several castles were restored or rebuild. We also see more halftimbered houses, popular till beginning 19th century, as Rhineland came under Prussian rule and forest wood was no longer available.
The route follows the river with several historic smaller towns. Rolandseck, a old cast iron railwaystation got extended with a striking modern wing up the hill, for the Arpmuseum with interesting art and wide panoramas. They also placed 14 recent sculptures on each kilometer of the continuing road towards Remagen. This town, dominated by a pilgrimage church high up, and remains of a bridge that was in WWII the only possible Rhine crossing for the allies; shown a museum in the bridgehead. Further are nice little towns like Sinzig and Namedy with halftimbered streets and European highest geyser with 60 meters.
The Quo Vadis is waiting in charming Andernach not far from the historic crane, in town is a beautiful romanesque church and a half ruined castle in a park. We shouldn’t leave too late, it is still a while for Koblenz; where we shouldn’t miss a afternoon funicular ride high above the river, which gives spectacular views. This lively rebuild historic town at the confluence with the Moselle has cosy squares, plenty cafés, a castlegarden and the Deutsches Eck monument at the promenade; most effectful during an evening walk.
Day 13. Koblenz – Winningen – Cochem: 41 km/ 26 miles, 50km/ 31 miles included a good walk or 62 km/ 39 miles.
Today we have a nice ride on the banks of the Moselle along sloping winefields and hilltop castles; passing charming halftimbered villages and small historic towns, picturesque decorated with vines and geraniums. You shouldn’t miss the charming Kobern townsquare, the garden of Schloss Liebich, the vast Von der Leyen castle extended over the road, the Hatzenpfort ferrytower or the fine romanesque church of Karden. At Klotten one could take a ferry to have a more quiet approach to Cochem.
A highlight is the wellknown and fairylike authentic Burg Eltz in the beautiful Elzbach valley. To visit this we have a little rising but attractive detour inland, and 2½ km/ 1½ mile wooded not to easy footpath. Or you leave the Rhine rather soon at Niederfell along silent roads inland for a slowly climbing route up to 250 meters with on a plateau Munstermaifeld, a quiet bigger historic village with an impressive medieval church, and of course Burg Eltz; returning at the Rhine not far from Klotten. Cochem, where we find the Quo Vadis again, is a charming small historic town with lively streets and terraces; and a nice castle high up. When you arrive about 3.30 pm. you can find a shuttle to bring you up for a visit.
Day 14. Departure from Cochem, after breakfast, around 9 it is time to say goodbye.
9766 VK Eelderwolde
T+31 6555 70 911
Groningen berth opposite Oosterkade No. 14
Phone on board: +31 624 755 688
Spacious double cabins
meters long ship
build as cargo
re-build as passenger ship