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’ll cycle through hectares of spring flowers and tulips, learn all about growing tulips in a tulip park, and, of course, you’ll visit the Keukenhof. The first part of your week will take you through the Dutch Waterland region with a characteristic and age-old Dutch landscape. On Tuesday you’ll 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 and reached the Netherlands at the end of the 16th century. In 1634 there was one single bulb that was so expensive it cost the same as an entire canal side house in Amsterdam. You’ll also visit the world-famous 32-hectare park Keukenhof, where you can admire wonderfully colorful fields with flowering bulbs in peace and quiet. Finally, you’ll return to Amsterdam where this tour ends.
- Seeing the fast-paced sale of tulips and other flowers at the massive Aalsmeer flower market
- Wandering through bright gardens of different tradition and style at the Keukenhoff
- Learning how icons of Holland are made – including cheese, chocolate, and clogs
- Cycling through flat, impressive polder landscapes
On Saturday afternoon you’re expected by 2 p.m. on your boat at its mooring, located across from Amsterdam Central Station. After storing your luggage and meeting your cycling companions, guide, captain, and crew, you can relax on board with a coffee, tea, or Heineken. The first part of the tour we’ll sail to Spaarndam – known as the village of Hansje Brinker – and from there we’ll make an easy ride into the beautiful city of Haarlem.
Today’s bike route will take us through the oldest tulip fields of Holland, including a visit to 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 background of 80 acres of traditional and modern gardening architecture. You can also admire hyacinths, narcissi, and many other colorful flowers. For more information about the Keukenhof you can check the following website: www.keukenhof.nl. After exploring the tulips, we’ll spend the night in Leiden.
Today we’ll bike from Leiden to Kudelstaart, a small town bordered by the Westeinderplassen. We’ll go right through the green heart of Holland, an area with small cycle paths, lakes, small rivers, and lots of cows and sheep.
In the early morning we’ll visit the auction in Aalsmeer. Every day, Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer sets the world price for flowers and plants by bringing supply and demand together using the auction clock. During this fascinating process large and small batches of flowers are sold within fractions of seconds. As visitors to Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer, we’ll walk over a specially designed gallery to enjoy the gorgeous flowers and experience the hustle and bustle of auction. The flowers and plants sold at the auctions are exported all over the world, a wonder of logistics. After this, we’ll have breakfast while sailing in the direction of Amsterdam. From the lock at the Nieuwe Meer we’ll cycle along the borders of the river Amstel into the city, then take the ferry to the Zaanse Schans, a unique hamlet where locals 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 we walk through the village we’ll see a clock museum, an old-fashioned grocery store, a house with period furniture, a clog maker’s workshop, and a cheese farm. Afterwards, we’ll move on to Wormerveer.
From Wormerveer we’ll 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. Today’s overnight stay will be in the cheese town Alkmaar, a lively historic city with a variety of shops. Just under 400 heritage sites, canals, and harbors dominate this beautiful townscape.
Today we’ll 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. There’s also time for us to visit one of the big water mills at the Rijp.
Purmerend is at the edge of an area called “Waterland” where roads and water lie next to each other on the same level. We’ll visit the nice villages of Zunderdorp and Ransdorp. The better cyclists can cycle the long route to Edam and Volendam and, time permitting, cross the lake Gouwzee to admire the traditional fisherman’s village Marken with its typical wooden houses. When we’ve returned to Amsterdam, we can look back over seven days of cycling and enjoying a rich variety of typical Dutch landscapes, traditional towns, and local culture.
Our tour concludes after breakfast, with departure before 10a.m.
Dates & Prices
Color Key :
|2018 Tour Dates|
|Mar 31–Apr 7||Sailing Home|
|Mar 31–Apr 7||Zwaan|
|Apr 7–14||Anna Antal|
|Apr 7–14||Sailing Home|
|Apr 14–21||Anna Antal|
|Apr 21–28||Anna Antal|
|Apr 28–May 5||Anna Antal|
|May 5–12||Liza Marleen|
The barge was lovely. Clean and nicely renovated. The food was awesome and definitely exceeded my expectations. Holland is wonderful place to bike due to both the scenery and bike-friendly roads. The leader was knowledgeable and helpful. This was a wonderful trip and I hope to do another bike and barge trip soon.
Totally enjoyed this tour. Pre-information received was excellent in preparing us for what to expect. Others on our tour booked through a different venue and didn’t receive that info and that could have hindered our trip except that Hugo, our tour guide, made accommodations for their level of biking. Experienced many different aspects of Holland including water management, interesting history of towns and land and the country’s commitment to social issues. Other staff were welcoming and friendly. This was a vacation that we will not forget!
26 people – The barge “Sailing Home” started cruising in 2001, specifically for Bike & Barge Tours in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. This beautiful passenger ship can accommodate 26 overnight passengers and 70 day passengers. The interior of the salon and bar is decorated in a modern Victorian style and offers a lot of comfort. The “Sailing Home” has two floors. On the top floor you will find the salon, a roomy lounge a cozy bar, and a sun deck. The four-man crew of the Sailing Home consists of the skipper, sailor, cook and hostess. Additional amenities include a private bathroom in each cabin, as well as central heating and air-conditioning. Daily cleaning of the cabins is also provided.
14 people – The Zwaan specializes in bike and barge tours in the Netherlands and Belgium. On board of the Zwaan you find a cosy dining room, a sun deck/a deck for the bicycles. All 7 cabins are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower and toilet, 220 voltage and central heating. Cabin layout:
2x Family-style room, 2/3 p with double bed + single bed
2x Friend’s-style room, 2/3 p with 3 single beds (one bunk)
2x Twin-style room, 2 p with two separate beds
1x Smaller cabin in front of the barge, 2 p with double bed
There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed. The Zwaan is known for the high quality of the meals and the friendly atmosphere on board. The crew consists of the captain, chef and hostess for 14/15 guests.
This barge is very special because of the smaller number of cabins. It makes for a cozy and intimate experience as you can get to know your guide and tour-mates better in the small group.
24 people – The Wending is a former freight barge that started a new life in the early nineties as a luxury passenger motor barge. In 2015 the barge was renovated. The Wending has a roomy and cozy salon, equipped with a complete music installation and TV. After a strenuous bike ride it is a great place to relax. The barge also has a small deck where you can sit in the sunshine.
The Wending has 10 double and 2 triple cabins. The twin beds are side by side. In the triple cabin one bed is placed over the other two. All cabins have a private bathroom and central heating with small windows which can be opened.
20 people – The Feniks was originally built in 1928 as a freighter on the Dutch, Belgium and French waters. In 1992 the Feniks was redesigned as a hotel passenger ship and put in service for several sailing holidays. On board you will find a comfortable and well lit saloon, where you can relax and have a good meal. Outside on the deck you will find various seats to take in the best views over the great landscapes. There is a sundeck to relax on; or you can sit under the awning which give you shelter from the sun. If the weather allows, the meals will be served outside on the deck.
All cabins have an individual bathroom with sink, shower and toilet. Cabins are equipped with central heating and 220 volt sockets. Washer and dryer available, as well as a hair dryer, shampoo, soap and everything else you need for a comfortable stay a board of the Feniks.
18 people – The Anna Antal is a former shuttle barge which was converted into a luxury motor passenger ship in the winter of 1994-95. In 2012 the saloon and cabins were renovated. The Anna Antal has a cozy salon/lounge, a sun deck, and a storage deck for the bicycles.
All cabins are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower and toilet, 220 voltage and central heating. There is limited storage space in the cabin, so we recommend one suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.
- 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, lock, water bottle, & bike insurance
- Admittance to the Keukenhof Gardens
- Tour guide (multilingual)
- Route information and road book
- Ferry fares on the route
- Reservation costs
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’re welcome to do so at a discount of $85 each. 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. In addition, you can rent children’s bikes, child seats, bike trailers, and tag-alongs.
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’s a bar on board with reasonably-priced beer, wine, and soft drinks. If you have special meal requirements, please mention this when booking. In the case of a gluten-free diet there is an additional charge of $60 per week.
- Drinks from bar on board or when cycling
- Admission fees to the various museums or places of interest
- Trip cancellation insurance
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 p.m.. 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.