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Netherlands

Netherlands: 8-day Tulip Tour

Springtime, flowers and cheese
Amsterdam Round tour.
From €1199 p.p.
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Netherlands: 8-day Tulip Tour

Highlights of this tour

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 […]

Tulips & the Green Heart of Holland

Historical cities of Amsterdam & Leiden

Flower market, Keukenhof, Zaanse Schans

Barges with max. 22 passengers

Guidance
  • Guided cycling: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Independent cycling: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Guided cycling
Difficulty
  • Level 1: easy tours, very flat terrain
  • Level 2: quite easy tours, mostly flat terrain
  • Level 3: requires a higher level of exertion, medium hilly terrain
  • Level 4: for experienced cyclists, hilly terrain with climbs
Difficulty level 1 Difficulty level 1
Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch.
8 days

About this tour

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.

Fully Guided
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).

Prepare yourself for this tour with our Travel Prep-tips

Preparation is half the fun, so why not start straight away?
See all tips

Day to day program

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.

Good to know
  • Cycling route distances in the travel program are approximate.
  • On some days you can choose between a longer and a shorter cycling route. Please note that on the shorter routes you may not be able to visit all the highlights mentioned.
  • If you prefer not to cycle on a particular day, you’re welcome to stay on board and relax while the ship cruises to the next landing place.
  • The tour itinerary and route are subject to possible changes due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons, or other unforeseen events.
  • On the arrival day, you can leave your luggage on board the ship from 11.00 am.
  • A detailed cycling map and a GPS app are available for guests who wish to cycle individually and at their own pace. The tour guide is always available via cell phone in case of questions, breakdowns or emergencies.

The bicycles of Boat Bike Tours

Always the best rental bikes

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.

Bicycle helmets
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.

Cyclists in a green landscape

Touring bikes

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.

E-bikes

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.

Taking your own bicycle

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.


Prices & availability

To view the availability of this tour and/or book online please click on the button below. A new screen will open.


Prices & information

On selected departures you will receive a 200 euro discount per person. Simply enter the discount code SPROLY when booking or give it to us when booking by phone. The discount is only valid for new bookings and cannot be combined with other discounts.

Pricing overview - 2024
Cabin type For March 30 April
Twin/Double cabin 2 pers. € 1199 € 1299 Twin cabin for single use (on request, max. 1) 1 pers. € 1798.5 € 1948.5 Triple cabin (on request, max. 2) 3 pers. € 1139 € 1239
Included in this tour
  • 8 days/7 nights
  • 7 x breakfast
  • Packed lunches
  • 6 x 3-course dinner
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Welcome drink
  • Use of bed linen and towels
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Daily briefings
  • Fully guided cycling tours
  • Some short walking tours
  • GPS tracks
  • Use of a helmet
  • Use of a waterproof pannier bag
  • Biodegradable water bottle
  • Fees for ferries
  • Entrance Keukenhof
  • Wi-Fi
  • Carbon offset payment to the non-profit organization Justdiggit
Excluded in this tour
  • 1 x dinner
  • Drinks
  • Bicycle rental or E-bike rental
  • Personal insurances
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Entrance fees and excursions (not mentioned under included)
  • Transfers to/from the docking place
  • Parking fees
  • SGR Insolvency protection
SGR Insolvency protection (mandatory consumer contribution SGR insolvency protection guarantee scheme: € 5 per person - will be specified separately on the booking confirmation)
Bicycles/E-Bikes

Allure

  • The bicycles on board are touring/trekking bikes of the brand Velo de Ville with 7 speed and handbrakes, a lock and pannier bag.
  • Tours in Holland: 
  • E-Bikes: The e-bike is a Velo de Ville CEB 200 with Nexus 7 gears, 4 support levels and hand breaks only (or a comparable brand/model). e-bikes available (on request, limited stock, pending availability). Other bikes (e.g. e-Bikes, children’s bikes, “tag-a-longs”, tandems, child trailer etc.) and child’s seats (rear) are available after prior request (at time of booking) and after confirmation.
  • Bicycle rent is optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles/e-bikes (limited number of parking places available). Guests can book a parking place for a normal bicycle or a parking and charge station for an e-bike for a small additional fee. For safety reasons it is no longer possible to charge the batteries of your own e-bikes in the cabin. The crew will inform you where on deck/ on board you can recharge your battery. However, the crew or tour operators are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of guests own bicycles or e-bikes.

 

Sarah

  • The bicycles on board are touring/trekking bikes of the brand Velo de Ville with 7 speed and handbrakes, a lock and pannier bag.
  • E-Bikes of the brand Velo de Ville CEB 200 with Nexus 7 gears, 4 support levels and hand breaks only (or a comparable brand/model). E-Bikes are only on request, limited number available, early bookings strongly recommended.
  • Bicycle rent is optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles/e-bikes (limited number of parking places available). Guests can book a parking place for a normal bicycle or a parking and charge station for an e-bike for a small additional fee. For safety reasons it is no longer possible to charge the batteries of your own e-bikes in the cabin. The crew will inform you where on deck/ on board you can recharge your battery. However, the crew or tour operators are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of guests own bicycles or e-bikes.
  • Prices of other bikes (e.g. children’s bikes, “slip streamers”/tag-a-long, tandem bicycles etc. and child’s saddles (rear) are on request.
Additional options & information - 2024

2024:

  • Rental bicycle: € 96 per week
  • Rental E-Bike with pannier bag: € 232 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle € 10/week
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike € 25/week
  • Please click on this link for more information
  • Parking own bicycle: € 10 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Parking own E-Bike: € 25.20 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Please click on this link for more information about the rental and own bicycles/E-bikes
  • Canal cruise AmsterdamTicket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam – special price for our guests: € 16 (at the ticket desk approx.: € 19). Please book your ticket in advance and you can collect it on board of your ship on the first day of the tour.
  • Parking in Amsterdam (valet parking): prices and pre-booking here.


Reviews

based on 22 reviews on
20 Apr 2023

chris harmon

Our guide Arnold was fabulous. He made sure we were safe on all the bike rides. There were several interesting stops on each day such as a Gouda farm cheese dairy farm and the world’s largest flower auction

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 21 Apr 2023

Hi Chris, It's great to hear that you had a fabulous experience with your guide Arnold on your bike rides. It sounds like he took good care of you and made sure you were safe throughout the journey. It's also wonderful to know that you enjoyed the interesting stops along the way, such as the Gouda farm cheese dairy farm and the world's largest flower auction. Thank you for sharing your positive feedback! Warm regards, Romy

20 Apr 2023

Betsy Elliott

Seeing the Netherlands via bike was a primo experience. Our guide skillfully navigated us from place to place while filling us in on Dutch history and culture. Our accommodations on the boat provided both a unique and very comfortable experience. The boat crew were wonderful and we all wished to take home the chef who kept us well fed. Dinner each night was absolutely delicious and beautifully presented. My family and I are already looking forward to booking another similar trip.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 20 Apr 2023

Thank you for sharing your experience with us! We're thrilled to hear that you had a great time on our Tulip Tour and enjoyed seeing the Netherlands by bike. It's great to know that your guide was knowledgeable and provided you with insights into Dutch history and culture. We're also glad to hear that you found the accommodations on the boat to be unique and comfortable, and that the crew were wonderful. We're delighted that you enjoyed the delicious and beautifully presented dinners, and that you are already looking forward to booking another similar trip. Thank you for choosing Boat Bike Tours and we can't wait to welcome you back! Warm regards, Romy

17 Apr 2023

John Thompson

We had a great boat and bike experience. The crew of the Sarah were very friendly and most careful to ensure that we had an enjoyable trip. The cycle guide were helpful, competent and knowledgeable.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 18 Apr 2023

HI John. Thank you for sharing your experience on the Boatbike Tulip Tour! It's great to hear that you had a great boat and bike experience, and that the crew of the Sarah were friendly and attentive. It's also good to know that the cycle guides were helpful, competent, and knowledgeable. This can make all the difference on a bike tour, as it helps to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable ride, while also learning about the local area and culture. Overall, it sounds like you had a wonderful trip and that the Boatbike Tulip Tour is a great option for those looking for a boat and bike experience. Thanks for sharing your experience! Warm regards, Romy

15 May 2022

Deborah D.

Excellent experience. Francien, the tour guide was the best!! She was extremely knowledgeable about Netherlands history and eagerly shared her expertise at perfectly timed stops —when our bums needed a break or when we were ready for a coffee. The entire trip was interesting and fun.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 25 May 2022

Hi Deborah, Thank you so much for your positive review. How nice to hear that you had such a great time on board of the Sarah. I look forward to welcoming you back on one of our trips in the future. Warm regards, Team Boat Bike Tours


Available ships for this tour

Boutique ship Allure Germany, Netherlands

Optional childrens’ bed

Openable windows in cabins

Reading corner

Covered sun deck

max. 20 passengers
10 cabins
3 tours available with this ship
Boutique ship Sarah Netherlands

Openable windows in cabins

Covered sundeck

Third bed available

Cozy lounge space

max. 22 passengers
10 cabins
4 tours available with this ship

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Netherlands: 8-day Tulip Tour

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