Highlights of this tour

Tulips & the Green Heart of Holland

Historical cities of Amsterdam & Leiden

Flower market, Keukenhof, Zaanse Schans

Barges with max. 20 passengers

Guidance
  • Fully-guided: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Semi-guided: Daily briefing by the tour leader, independent cycling but tour leader available ICE.
  • Independent: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Fully-guided
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

Bike and Barge The Netherlands: 8-day Holland Tulip Tour | Allure & Sarah

Each year, Holland undergoes a magical transformation as the country wakes up from the grey of winter and, in a vibrant explosion of every imaginable colour comes back to life. Experience this special time of year in the most memorable way by booking an 8-day and 7-night bike and barge trip that winds through the provinces of South and North Holland against the backdrop of spring in full bloom.

Though visiting botanical wonders such as the Keukenhof gardens, with its thousands of blooming daffodils, hyacinths and tulips, and the world-famous Aalsmeer flower auction, are highlights of the trip, you will also spend time in the historic cities of Leiden, Haarlem, Gouda and Alkmaar, taking in a wealth of cultural attractions.

To round the trip off, the barge will also moor near the “Zaanse Schens”, an open-air museum that celebrates every aspect of Dutch culture from windmills to cheese farms and classic, wooden houses.

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 (Sat): Amsterdam – Spaarndam | Spaarndam – Haarlem (6 km/3 mi. or 14 km/8 mi.)

Your whirlwind tour kicks off with check-in and welcome coffees and teas served by the crew between 1pm and 2pm. We set sail for Haarlem at 2:30pm while your tour leader takes you through a cycling and safety briefing. At Spaarndam you’ll have the option to take a test ride with your new bicycle, followed by dinner on board and a stroll under the stars through Haarlem’s beautiful city centre.

Day 2 (Sun): Haarlem – Keukenhof – Leiden (38 km/23 mi.)

On day two of the tour you’ll not only cycle through Holland’s oldest tulip fields, but you’ll also visit the world’s most beautiful bulb park, Keukenhof gardens, fondly known as the place where spring breaks in Holland. There are no less than seven million flowering tulips here, not to mention endless fields of daffodils and hyacinths. It’s on to Leiden after that for dinner on board followed by a moonlit meander through the town.

Day 3 (Mon): Leiden – Zoeterwoude | Zoeterwoude – Gouda (31 km/19 mi. or 40 km/24 mi.)

Enjoy a delicious breakfast as we sail out of Leiden to a spot just outside where we’ll begin cycling through the “green heart” of Holland towards a quaint cheese farm near Zoeterwoude where you’ll learn about the cheese-making process and have an opportunity to sample the finished product. Having whet your appetite it’s on to Gouda, the birthplace of Gouda cheese, with its impressive, Gothic town hall and pretty market square. Once again, you’ll have an opportunity to explore the town after dinner.

Day 4 (Tue): Gouda – Alphen a/d Rijn | Alphen a/d Rijn – Kudelstaart (27 km/16 mi. or 44 km/27 mi.)

It’s a leisurely start to day four – explore more of Gouda at your own pace, visiting iconic spots such as St Johns church and the fully operational Red Lion windmill where you can buy stone-ground wheat, rye and oat flour. Our barge leaves at noon, just in time for a light lunch onboard as we head to Alphen ann den Rijn to continue our tour through Holland’s “green heart” to Kudelstaart.

Day 5 (Wed): Kudelstaart – Flower auction | Aalsmeer – Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Zaanse Schans (32 km/19 mi. or 41 km/25 mi.)

It’s an early 6:30am start on day five and for good reason – this is the day when we visit the flower auction of Aalsmeer, the largest in the world. Flowers from this auction are distributed all over Europe and the hustle and bustle of this busy marketplace makes for an invigorating start to the day!

We return onboard for a late breakfast at 9am as we sail on to Amsterdam to begin the day’s cycling. This time we’re striking out for Zaanse Schans, a wonderful hamlet that still has original windmills and houses from hundreds of years ago. Windmills from as long ago as 1673 play a dominant role in this hamlet, as does the clock museum, clog-maker and cheese farm.

Day 6 (Thu): Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar (29 km/18 mi. or 40 km/24 mi.)

From Zaanse Schans you’ll hop on your bicycle and cycle through to the Hortus Bulborum, a one-of-a-kind garden museum in which rare and historic bulbs are preserved. From there you’ll cycle to Egmond at the Northsea where you’ll breathe in the fresh sea air as you cycle through the dunes toward Alkmaar. Here you’ll explore Alkmaar’s Old Town with its buildings originally built in the 17th century surrounded by quaint, winding canals. Dinner will be in town at your own account.

Day 7 (Fri): Alkmaar – Amsterdam (37 km/22 mi. or 51 km/31 mi.)

After breakfast you’ll hop back on your bike to cycle to the old windmill complex of the Schermer Polder for a visit to the Schermerhorn Windmill Museum. You’ll then begin to loop back to Amsterdam via the beautiful town of De Rijp with its wooden facades and charming church, lock and town hall. You’ll arrive back in Amsterdam during late afternoon / early evening – the perfect time to squeeze in a canal tour as the sun sets on your memorable bike and barge tour of Holland.

Day 8 (Sat): Amsterdam

Fond farewells as the tour ends and we disembark after breakfast until 9:30am.

Good to know

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.

  • The tours will be accompanied by one knowledgeable and multi-lingual tour leader. During days when two bicycle options are possible, the tour leader will make a choice to guide the longer or the shorter option after consultation of the group.
  • Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bike option.
  • You can also choose to ride individually with the help of a map (available on board). GPS tracks will be sent to you 4 weeks before the start date of the tour.
  • In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.
  • On the arrival day is it possible to bring your luggage on board from 11 a.m.

 


Prices & information

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

Fees for ferries

Entrance Keukenhof

Wi-Fi

Excluded in this tour

1 x dinner (Alkmaar)

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



Reviews

Netherlands: 8-day Tulip Tour Rated 10 out of 10 based on 6 reviews
5 stars

Mark and Wendy Thomas

The Bike & Barge trip was as good as advertised and better. The barge (Fleur) was comfortable and clean, all amenities worked well crew and staff competent, welcoming and accommodating to our needs. Food was FIVE Star in quality and presentation. Guides were knowledgeable and friendly, with each day interesting and well planned.

5 stars

hbh

great crew and leaders. we think we couldn’t have had a better bunch of professionals to deal with. everything was done to make our journey as smooth as possible. Loved it all

5 stars

Norm and Maryann Gravelle

We had a very enjoyable tour, the bicycling was very fun and the daily tours interesting and the guide took the group for walks each evening that were very informative.

5 stars

A J Clark

Our experience was fabulous. I just have one recommendation. To put hand sanitizer stations at the top of each stairwell, as you enter the door from outside and before entering the dining room. There can never be enough hand washing on a boat!

Read all reviews on Trustpilot

Available ships for this tour

Ship Allure Holland, Germany, Netherlands
max. 20 passengers
10 cabins
4 tours available with this ship
Ship Sarah Holland, Netherlands
max. 22 passengers
10 cabins
2 tours available with this ship

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Netherlands: 8-day Tulip Tour

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