Super Tulip Tour

Between April and mid-May we offer special tulip tours. The program of this Super Tulip Tour is totally dedicated to this beautiful flower. You will cycle through hectares of spring flowers and tulips, learn all about growing tulips in a tulip park and of course you visit the “Keukenhof”. The first part of the week the route takes you through the Dutch ‘Waterland’ region, a region with a characteristic and age-old Dutch landscape. On the Tuesday you pay a visit to the flower auction at Aalsmeer. Today Aalsmeer controls a market share of 44% for the turnover of bulbs and tulip flowers. The tulip originated in Turkey. The tulip bulb reached The Netherlands at the end of the 16th century. In 1634 there was one single bulb that was so expensive, a whole canal side house in Amsterdam had the same price. Of course you also will visit the world-famous, 32-hectares’ park The Keukenhof, where you can admire the wonderfully colorful fields with flowering bulbs in peace and quiet. Finally you will return to Amsterdam where this tour ends.

Daily Itinerary

Saturday: Amsterdam – Haarlem – 9 miles (15 km)
On Saturday afternoon you’re expected by 2:00 PM on your boat at it’s mooring located across from Amsterdam Central Station. After meeting your cycling companions, guide, captain and crew and storing your luggage in your cabin you can relax on board with a coffee, tea or Heineken. The first part of the tour you will sail to Spaarndam – known as the village of Hansje Brinker – and from here we make an easy ride into the beautiful city of Haarlem.

Sunday: Haarlem – Keukenhof – Leiden – 25 miles (40 km)
Today’s bike tour leads you through the oldest tulip fields of Holland, including a visit of the Keukenhof gardens. This is the most beautiful bulb park in the world. Keukenhof has an overwhelming blaze of colors; seven million flowering tulips in a magnificent 80-acres’ background of traditional and modern gardening architecture. You also can admire the various hyacinths, narcisses and many other colourful flowers. For more information about the Keukenhof you can check the following website: www.keukenhof.nl. You spend the night in Leiden.

Monday: Leiden – Kudelstart – 28 miles (45 km)
Today you bike from Leiden to Kudelstaart: a small town bordered by the Westeinderplassen. You will go right through the green heart of Holland, an area with small cycle paths, lakes, small rivers and lots of cows and sheep.

Tuesday: Flower auction – Amsterdam – Zaanse Schans – Wormerveer, – 28 miles (45 km)
In the early morning you can visit the auction in Aalsmeer. Every day „Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer‟ sets the world price for flowers and plants. This happens by bringing supply and demand together by means of the auction clock- a fascinating process during which large and small batches of flowers are sold within fractions of seconds. As a visitor to Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer, you will walk over a specially designed gallery. Enjoy the gorgeous flowers; experience the hustle and bustle of auction. The flowers and plants that are sold at the auctions are exported all over the world, a wonder of logistics. Afterwards you will have breakfast while sailing in the direction of Amsterdam. From the lock at the Nieuwe Meer you can cycle along the borders of the river Amstel into the city and after the ferry into the green again to the Zaanse Schans, a unique hamlet where people live and work, with original houses and windmills from the river Zaan area. The hamlet is dominated by operating windmills, the oldest built in 1673, for grinding mustard, spices, paint and oil and for sawing wood into planks. As you walk through the village you will see a clock museum, an old-fashioned grocery store, a house with period furniture, a clog maker and a cheese farm. Afterwards to Wormerveer.

Wednesday: Wormerveer – Alkmaar – 28 miles (45 km)
From Wormerveer you will cycle to and through the most beautiful dunes of the Netherlands and if weather permits, you may like to swim in the North Sea during your lunch break at the beach. Todays’ overnight stay is in cheese town Alkmaar, a lively historic city with many small and bigger shops. A little less than 400 heritage sites, canals and harbors dominate the townscape.

Thursday: Alkmaar – Purmerend – 28 miles (45 km)
Today time to cycle into the polder landscape of the Beemster and Purmer, part of a big green polder area. The Beemster Polder, dating from the early 17th century, is an exceptional example of reclaimed land in the Netherlands. It has preserved intact its well-ordered landscape of fields, roads, canals, dykes and settlements, laid out in accordance with classical and Renaissance planning principles. Also time to visit one of the big water mills at the Rijp.

Friday: Purmerend – Amsterdam – 12 or 22 miles (20 or 35 km)
Purmerend lies at the edge of an area called ‘ Waterland’ where roads and water are nearby on the same level. We visit the nice village of Zunderdorp and Ransdorp. The better cyclists can cycle the long route to Edam and Volendam and if time permits you can cross the lake Gouwzee to admire the traditional fisherman’s village Marken with its typical wooden houses. In Amsterdam you can look back over the week of cycling seven days with great variety of typical Dutch landscapes, towns, and culture.

Saturday: Tour concludes after breakfast. Departure before 10:00 AM

Getting There

The barge embarks from the Oosterdok (next to the science center “Nemo”), near the Central Railway Station in Amsterdam. Departure time on Saturday is at 2:00 PM. If you want you can bring your luggage in advance, from 12 Noon onwards. A map, detailed instructions, and the name of your boat will be provided after your final payment is received.

Meals

The cook prepares all meals: a substantial breakfast and a three-course dinner of very good quality. A packed lunch may be prepared after breakfast. Tea and coffee will be ready when you arrive on board in the afternoon. There is a bar on the boat with beer, wine and soft drinks at reasonable prices. If you have special meal requirements, we ask you to mention this when booking. In the case of a gluten-free diet there is an additional charge of $60 per week.

Prices and Dates

Check out our Tour Calendar under “Bike and Barge Tours”

Tour Length

8 days/7 nights

Included
      – 7 nights on board the ship (sheets, blankets and two towels)
      – 7 breakfasts, 6 packed lunches and 7 dinners
      – Coffee and tea on board
      – 24-speed bicycle, incl. helmet, pannier bags, bike insurance, lock & water bottle
      – Tour guide (multilingual)
      – Route information and road book
      – Ferry fares on the route
    – Reservation costs
Bicycles

A well maintained, comfortable 24-speed hybrid bicycle is available free of charge for each participant. Men and women’s models are available in sizes appropriate to your height. The bikes come with helmets, grip shifters, hand brakes, carrier bag, lock, repair kit, water bottle holders, water bottle, and bike insurance! If you prefer to bring your own bike you are welcome to do so at a discount of $85 per person. Electric bikes can be rented for this tour ($115.00 p.p.). We advise you only to rent an electric bike if you have first tried one at home. They are heavier than regular bikes and therefore can be difficult to maneuver.

Level of Difficulty

This tour is rated “easy” for its flat terrain and low mileage. All distances are approximate. The above planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.

Excluded

– Airfare
– Drinks from bar on board or when cycling
– Admission fees to the various museums or places of interest
– Trip cancellation insurance
– Private expenses

Weather

Holland is close to the North Sea and has a moderate sea climate. Average daytime temperatures in April range from 55-65F, in May it starts to get a little warmer. Rainfall is about 10 days per month.

Wifi

WiFi is available on a limited basis on board, only in the lounge and on deck. Up to 50 MB is free, for more than 50 MB there’s a surcharge.

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