From: $1,100 USD
5 Days / 4 Nights
Level of Difficulty: Easy
This wonderful bike and barge trip starts and ends in Amsterdam, taking you through the provinces of South and North Holland while spring flowers are in bloom. You will spend time in the historical cities of Haarlem, Leiden, Gouda and Alkmaar, and learn about the water management of these lowlands near the North Sea. You will also visit the famous Keukenhof gardens, known for their thousands of blooming tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and other bulb flowers. The world-famous Aalsmeer flower auction is also on the program, where an astonishing volume of beautiful flowers are traded daily and exported all over the world. You will visit the open-air museum of the Zaanse Schans with its windmills, cheese farm, and picturesque wooden houses. The beautiful, varied scenery and wonderful bikeways of this tour of Holland will surprise and delight you.
Green = Open | Yellow = Limited | Red = Full
Prices are per person in US$ – inclusive bike rental
|Departure||Barge||Twin||Twin Superior||Twin for Single use|
|March 30||Magnifique IV||$ 1.100||$ 1,340||$ 1,590|
|March 31||Magnifique III||$ 1,100||$ 1,340||$ 1,590||Book here|
|April 1||Princesse Royal||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770||Book here|
|April 3||Magnifique IV||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770||Book here|
|April 4||Magnifique III||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770||Book here|
|April 5||Magnifique II||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770||Book here|
|April 7||Magnifique IV||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
|April 8||Magnifique III||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770||Book here|
|April 9||Magnifique II||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
|April 11||Magnifique IV||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
|April 12||Magnifique III||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
|April 15||Magnifique IV||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
|April 16||Magnifique III||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
|April 19||Magnifique IV||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
|April 20||Magnifique III||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
|April 23||Magnifique IV||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
|April 24||Magnifique III||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
|April 28||Magnifique III||$ 1,220||$ 1,380||$ 1,770|
Day 1: Amsterdam – Zaandam – warmup ride
In the afternoon, between 1 and 2 p.m., we ask that you arrive on board your barge in Amsterdam, located near Central Station. Soon afterwards, we’ll start with a short dinner cruise to the charming city of Zaandam. In the Golden Age, Zaandam served as a large milling center, making it one of the oldest industrial centers in the Netherlands. Thousands of windmills powered saws that processed Scandinavian wood for the shipbuilding and paper industries. Zaandam is both historically and architecturally interesting, with a combination of traditional houses, windmills, and modern buildings. The barge moors in the center of the city, and upon arrival you will take your bike for a brief test ride. In the evening we’ll take a short walk through the center. At dinnertime, the program for the next day and the routine for the rest of the week will be explained.
Day 2: Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Haarlem – 14 or 21 miles (24 or 34 km)
A short bicycle ride will take us to the open-air museum Zaanse Schans that features beautiful windmills, an authentic traditional Dutch village, a cheese factory, and a clog maker’s workshop. We’ll then return by bicycle to the barge. In the afternoon you can choose between a boat trip of approximately 2.5 hours or a bicycle trip (about 14 miles) to the beautiful city of Haarlem. In Haarlem’s center you’ll find the famous St. Bavo Church, home to the organ Mozart played. You could also visit the Grote Markt, the Teylers museum, and the French Hals-museum. Our barge will be berthed in the centre of Haarlem for the night, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy a short city walk in the afternoon or in the evening.
Day 3: Haarlem – Keukenhof – Oude Wetering – 24 or 35 miles (39 or 57 km)
After breakfast we’ll ride to the Keukenhof garden, arguably the most famous flower park in the world, where you can admire hundreds of thousands of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and many other flowers in full bloom. In the Keukenhof (approximately €18), various gardens and styles can be found: the English Landscape Garden, the Historical Garden, the Natural Garden, the Japanese Natural Garden, the Formal Garden, and three special color gardens. Spread throughout the entire park are approximately eighty flower sculptures from well-known Dutch artists. There are also several other art objects, including the collection Surprising Tulips. After taking our time for a visit, we’ll get back on our bicycles at noon and head to Oude Wetering where our floating hotel will be waiting.
Day 4: Oude Wetering – Aalsmeer – Amsterdam – 16-34 miles (25-53 km)
This morning you’re in for a real treat – an early visit by bus (6.30 a.m.) to observe the biggest flower auction in the world at Aalsmeer (€7, not open in weekends and public holidays*). Early in the morning, millions of flowers are auctioned off and immediately sent out to all corners of the world. By 9 a.m. we’ll return to our barge in Oude Wetering where a late breakfast will be waiting for us before we make our way to Amsterdam by bicycle. During the afternoon and evening you’ll have the opportunity to either make a last beautiful cycling tour through the wetlands of Waterland or to discover this amazing city. Amsterdam began as a simple village at the mouth of the River Amstel but expanded rapidly with its famous rings of canals during its Golden Age. The palace on the Dam Square is sometimes called the 8th Wonder of the World because it’s built on 13,659 wooden piles. Amsterdam as we know it today is a cosmopolitan city with 40 museums, close to one million inhabitants, and a thriving economy. In the evening you’ll have the chance to take an optional canal tour of the city (approximately €10).
* The Aalsmeer flower auction is not open on weekends and on public holidays. For this reason, on April 2, 7, 8, 10, 15, 22, 23 and 27 there will NOT be a visit to the Aalsmeer auction.
Day 5: Tour Ends
Tour concludes after breakfast (9.30 a.m.)
A well maintained, comfortable 7 or 11-speed hybrid bicycle is available free of charge for each participant. These are well-suited for the flat Dutch terrain. Unisex models are available in sizes appropriate to your height (For the very large bikes they are men’s style). The bikes come with helmets, grip shifters, hand brakes, carrier bag, water bottle, and bike insurance! If you prefer to bring your own bike you’re welcome to do so at a discount of $95 per person. Electric bikes can be rented for this tour ($115 per person). We advise you only to rent an electric bike if you have first tried one at home. They’re heavier than regular bikes and therefore can be difficult to maneuver.
The cook prepares all meals: a substantial breakfast and a three-course dinner of very high quality. A packed lunch may be prepared after breakfast. Tea and coffee will be ready when you arrive on board in the afternoon. There’s a bar on board with reasonably-priced beer, wine, and soft drinks. If you have special meal requirements, we ask you to mention this when booking. In the case of a gluten-free or lactose-free diet there’s an additional charge of €50 per week. You’ll need to pay this in cash on board. If you want to drink a bottle of wine that you didn’t purchase from the ship’s bar, the barge will charge a corkage fee of €5 per bottle.
37 people – The premium ship Magnifique II has been constructed in 2016 and has set new standards for comfort. The Magnifique II is a very popular ship on several tours in The Netherlands and Belgium. The upper deck has a large, tastefully furnished and spacious salon with air conditioning, a restaurant area, a beautiful bar and a lounge area with cozy sitting area, a wide screen TV and large panoramic windows. The Magnifique II has a beautiful, partly covered teak wooden sun deck with chairs and tables on the
aft deck and a cycle storage on the front deck. On the top deck, the barge has a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and some deckchairs to relax while you enjoy the scenery when cruising.
40 people – The premium ship Magnifique III has been launched in 2018. The upper deck has a large, tastefully furnished salon with a restaurant area, a nice bar and a lounge area with cozy sitting corners, a wide screen TV and large panoramic windows. There are also two TV screens (a camera and a navigation system) to see the real-time movement and position of the barge. Large glass doors open to the beautiful partially roofed teak wood sundeck with chairs and tables on the aft deck. There is a cycle deck on the front deck. On the top deck, the barge has a whirlpool/Jacuzzi and some deckchairs to relax and enjoy the scenery while cruising.
36 people –The Magnifique IV is since 2020 the new sister of the Magnifique family. The Magnifique IV’s upper deck features a spacious and tastefully-decorated salon with air conditioning, a bar and lounge area. Here you will find large panoramic windows, a widescreen TV, and information screens displaying the barge’s real-time location. Wi-Fi is also available. The comfortable and inviting restaurant is separated from the kitchen by a glass wall, so you can see our talented chefs in action. Large glass doors open onto a beautiful partially-covered teak sundeck, furnished with tables and chairs. The front deck has space to accommodate bicycles, while the top deck boasts a hot tub and deckchairs, from which you can enjoy the scenery
35 people – The hull of the Princesse Royal was originally constructed as a seagoing sailing vessel: this explains the unique shape of the ship. But the vessel was then converted to become a passenger barge for inland waterways. The owner and skipper of this fine barge, sets high standards to atmosphere, personal service and comfort, with the aim to offer his guests an unforgettable stay on board, in line with the “premium” classification. The Princesse Royal has fifteen twin cabins and one single. On prior request, the beds in most twin cabins can be set together as a double bed. Each cabin has an en-suite bathroom with shower, toilet and wash basin. All cabins have an individually regulated air conditioning, ventilation system and central heating; the portholes in all cabins are fixed for safety reasons. Furthermore, each cabin has a flat screen (satellite) TV, a mini safe and a hair dryer.
It was great, loved the bike tours. The boat and staff were fabulous. The food was gourmet.
Cindy Johnson, April 2022