Green Heart of Holland

On this 8 day/7 night tour aboard the charming barge, MS Jelmar, you cycle individually and at your own pace whilst discovering Holland's 'green heart', which is a region steeped in history, natural attractions, world famous cities and beautiful scenery. Along the way you can visit historical cities including Amsterdam, Haarlem, Rotterdam, Leiden and Gouda. 

To the online version


Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is from 2 PM in the centre of Amsterdam (at the NEMO Museum, Oosterdok). After unpacking your luggage in your cabin you will still have plenty of time to explore this famous city. Treat yourself to a canal tour, visit one or more museums or simply do some shopping. An introduction to the tour will take place at 5.30 PM, during which the crew will be presented and your first dinner on board will be served; your rental bicycles will also be distributed at this time.

After a short cruise on board the MS Jelmar, 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 centre and the Grote Markt (market square). If
preferred, today’s bike tour can also be extended with a visit to the sea locks of IJmuiden and the Kennemer Dunes. During this bike tour you can see/visit some forts of the Defence Line of Amsterdam.

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 centre is crisscrossed with canals lined by beautiful 17th-century buildings and is very definitely a must to see. The short bike 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 and where you will have the opportunity to visit a porcelain studio. Another major attraction in the beautiful city centre of Delft is the royal crypt of the House of Orange. The longer bike tour brings you to The Hague, where you can visit the Binnenhof and the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis) or the Scheveningen seaside resort or any one of many other attractions and further to Leiden.

This morning you will sail from Delft on the MS Jelmar through the remarkable international port of Rotterdam. Here you have to hop on the "Waterbus", a fast ferry that will bring you and your bike to Kinderdijk, a village famous for an impressive row of 19 large windmills. All 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.

The highlight of today’s cycle tour is the naturally idyllic beauty of the South
Holland landscape. Your destination for the day is the village of Kudelstaart where the MS Jelmar 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 savour 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 centre 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 breakfast you can either stay on board the MS Jelmar 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. Today you also have the opportunity to visit/see some forts of the Defence Line of Amsterdam. Once you reach Amsterdam take the opportunity during the afternoon and evening to go for a canal cruise, discover Anne Frank’s home, the Rem-brandt House Museum, the Royal.

Disembarkation and bid the crew farewell after breakfast until 9 AM: End of your trip.

Tour character

This tour involves easy cycle rides without any large hills. The relatively short distances that you cycle each day on this tour also mean that it is suitable for novice cyclists. 

Services and infos

  • Tour according to itinerary in the booked category
  • Full board (7x breakfast, 6x packed lunch/picnic on bike tours, 7x three course dinner)
  • Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible)
  • Cabin's cleaned once a week
  • Welcome drink and speech on the first evening
  • Daily briefing for the bike tours
  • Printed instructions and detailed maps for cycling tours, 1 set per cabin
  • Use of Wi-Fi in the lounge of the ship
  • Daily complimentary coffee and tea.

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Amsterdam train station is close to the pier
  • Oosterdok car park: secure car park at the train station, about €20/day, reservation on your own possible
  • Car park /Valet Parking Services: Drop off your car at the pier upon arrival, car will be back at the pier on day of departure. This costs €150 per week (application form in the travel documents)

Number of participants

  • Minimum of 12 people


  • Program and details are subject to changes due to nautical and meteorological reasons (this is no reason for a free cancellation).
  • Dietary requirements: (i.e.: lactose free, glutenfree) are possible on request for an extra charge. Must be booked at least 14 days prior to departure.


Contact & booking

Do you still have questions about the tour? We are happy to help and look forward to your inquiry.