Tulips & the Green Heart of Holland
Historical cities of Amsterdam & Leiden
Flower market, Keukenhof, Zaanse Schans
Barges with max. 22 passengers
This wonderful bike and barge trip that starts and ends in Amsterdam, takes 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 at the North Sea. You will also visit the famous Keukenhof gardens, known by the hundreds of thousands of blooming tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other bulb flowers. The world-famous Aalsmeer flower auction is on the program where an astonishing volume of beautiful flowers are being traded daily and exported all over the world the World. You will visit the open air museum ‘the Zaanse Schans’ with its windmills, cheese farm and picturesque wooden houses. You will be surprised by the beautiful, varied scenery and the wonderful cycling paths of Holland.
The ship – Your sailing hotel
In between cycling excursions, you cruise along with the ship, which travels to a new destination every day. You dine, sleep and eat breakfast on board. You’ll receive a packed lunch every day, and you can usually choose between a longer or shorter bike ride. It’s also possible to spend a day on board if you like. There are rental bikes on board, but you can also bring your own if you mention it when booking.
Accompanied by a competent, professional and multilingual tour leader, you and the group will visit interesting sights and places on the daily cycling tours. During the bike tour, they will explain the local history and culture behind the things you encounter along the way. You can also choose to ride individually with the help of the Ride with GPS app and our BBT cycling map (available on board).
Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.
All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
Day 1: Amsterdam – Spaarndam | Spaarndam – Haarlem (6 km/3 mi. or 14 km/8 mi.)
You are welcome to check in between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. The crew will welcome you with coffee and tea. At 2.30 p.m. the barge leaves the harbor. While the barge sails to Haarlem, your tour leader will tell you about the tour, the cycling and safety. From Spaarndam you have the option to do a little test ride. After dinner on board, the tour leader will take you on a town walk through the beautiful city center of Haarlem.
Day 2: Haarlem – Keukenhof – Leiden (38 km/23 mi.)
Today’s trip 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 is the place where the spring breaks. 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, daffodils and many other colorful flowers. In the afternoon you cycle to the city of Leiden. Dinner on board and after that you can join the walk through town.
Day 3: Leiden – Gouda (37 km/22 mi. or 43 km/25.8 mi.)
After breakfast you will cycle out of Leiden. You will travel through the ‘green heart’ of Holland. Near Zoeterwoude, you will visit a cheese farm where you will learn about the cheese-making process and you will have the opportunity to taste the results. In the afternoon you reach Gouda, famous for the Gouda cheese. Gouda has an attractive compact center with her pretty market square and Gothic town hall. The main church of Gouda, devoted to Saint John, is world famous for its stained glass windows. After dinner you can join the walk through town.
Day 4: Gouda – Alphen a/d Rijn | Alphen a/d Rijn – Kudelstaart (20 km/12 mi. or 44 km/27 mi.)
We stay in Gouda this morning. You have the opportunity to do some shopping and to visit the market square with its cheese weigh house or you can visit the St. Johns church. We leave by barge around noon and have a light lunch on board. From Alphen aan den Rijn you cycle through the ‘green heart’ of South Holland via river Drecht and Amstel-Drecht channel to Kudelstaart.
Day 5: Kudelstaart – Flower auction (9 km/5 mi.) | Aalsmeer – Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Zaanse Schans – Purmerend (36 km/21mi.)
At 6.30 a.m. you can drink an early cup of coffee. After that you cycle to the flower auction of Aalsmeer, the largest of Europe. Here, huge quantities of flowers are trucked in and sold every day, after which they are distributed all over Europe. After your visit you return on board (around 9 a.m.) for a late breakfast while the barge sails to Amsterdam. You will enjoy a nice cruise, right through the city.
Today’s cycling tour takes you from Amsterdam to 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. At the end of the afternoon you will bike to Purmerend, where you will spend the night.
Day 6: Purmerend – Spijkerboor | Spijkerboor – Alkmaar (29 km/18 mi. or 39 km/24 mi.)
This morning you cycle to the Hortus Bulborum, a unique garden museum dedicated to the preservation of rare and historic bulbs. More than 4,000 tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other flowers are planted here. Your cycling tour continues to Egmond at the Northsea. The tour goes through the dunes to Alkmaar. This town is known as a Dutch cheese city. As you wander through the streets you’ll be amazed by the beauty of Alkmaar’s Old Town, with its well-preserved 17th century buildings and narrow, winding canals. Dinner in town at your own account.
Day 7: Alkmaar – Amsterdam (37 km/22 mi. or 54 km/33 mi.)
After breakfast your cycling tour leads you to the former windmill complex of the Schermer Polder. Here we visit the Schermerhorn Windmill Museum. Your next stop is the beautiful town of De Rijp. Centuries of history are still evident here in De Rijp’s wooden facades, beautiful church, lock and town hall. From here, your ride continues back to Amsterdam. In the late afternoon or evening there is time for a canal tour through the famous canals of the city.
Day 8: Amsterdam
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m.
The rental bikes on our ships are unisex bicycles with a low bar and a comfortable upright sitting position. These are stable and dependable bikes, good for miles in the saddle. Decide which kind of bike you want to rent and simply fill in your preference with your reservation. We’ll make sure you get the right bike for you. On most of our tours, the bike rental cost is not included in the tour’s price.
Every Boat Bike Tour rental bike is well equipped. The bikes consist of a lightweight aluminum frame and have highly-responsive handbrakes, at least seven speeds, an adjustable gel seat, normal flat pedals (no clips), an easy-to-use lock attached to the frame, and special puncture-resistant tires. All told, this is a light, stable and reliable bike, very suitable for touring long distances pleasantly.
Our e-bikes also have at least seven speeds and handbrakes. The motor runs on a 400Wh battery and offers three levels of power-assistance. The e-bikes include comfortable gel seats that can be adjusted for height, have a lock attached to the frame, and sport anti-puncture tires. Note that some of the ships have their own bikes on board. They may look a bit different, but qualitatively they are equal to Boat Bike Tours’s e-bikes.
The use of bicycle helmets is not required in the Netherlands, but for safety’s sake they are suggested. If you wish to rent one, you can do so during the booking process. If you book a premium tour and rent a bike or e-bike, then the helmet and a “limit of liability for damage or loss” for your bike or e-bike is included in the rental price.
Other rental items
Other items such as children’s bikes, tandems, family tandems (child & adult), tag-along, trailers to carry toddlers and child seats are available on request.
Taking your own bike or e-bike?
The fee for parking your own bicycle is €10 per week. For an e-bike the fee is €25 to cover parking and charging the battery. For safety reasons it is not always possible to charge your e-bike batteries in your cabin. The crew will tell you where you can charge the battery on board the ship. Neither the crew nor Boat Bike tours is responsible in any way for any damage, loss or theft of a guest’s own bike or e-bike or its accessories. Note: not all the ships are suitable or have enough room for extra bikes, so make sure you check with us well ahead of travel.
Our bicycles have a lightweight aluminum frame and are furnished with highly-responsive handbrakes, at least seven speeds and a gel seat whose height can be adjusted. Attached to the frame is an easy-to-use lock and the wheels carry puncture-resistant tires.
Our e-bikes also have highly-responsive handbrakes and a minimum of seven speeds. The motor runs on a 400Wh battery and offers three levels of power-assistance. The e-bikes include comfortable gel seats that can be adjusted for height, have a lock attached to the frame and special anti-puncture tires.
It is possible to take your own bike or e-bike with you, as long as it doesn’t have mirrors or other elements that stick out. There’s only limited space available on board for guests’ bikes. You can reserve a place for your bike for a small fee. Boat Bike tours is not responsible for damage to your bike or for theft.
To view the availability of this tour and/or book online please click on the button below. A new screen will open.
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Ship with max. 44 passengers
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