Boat and Bike Tulip tour
Between April and mid-May we offer this special boat and bike tulip tour. The program is quite similar to the Southern Tour Relax, but in springtime this tour will be centered around the Tulip theme and you visit of course the Keukenhof.
The tulip originated in Turkey. The tulip bulb reached The Netherlands at the end of the 16th century. The flower and bulb were thought to be so special that a lively trade arose quite quickly. In 1634 there was one single bulb that was so expensive, a whole canalside house in Amsterdam could be bought with the money worth it. In 1637 the government took the speculation in hand and the bulbs dropped in price drastically. The bulb and flower became "normal". These days Aalsmeer controls a market share of 44% of the turnover of bulbs and tulip flowers. The route leads through vast fields of tulips. You will of course also visit the world-famous, 32-hectares’ park The Keukenhof, where you can admire the wonderful colorful fields with flowering bulbs in peace and quiet.
From Leiden it is simple to take the bus and spend a wonderful day at the Keukenhof. At the end of the day you'll catch the bus back to Leiden. The bus admission costs are included in the tour price. Between Leiden and Haarlem you will cycle through the bulb fields.
- Historic town centres
The route from day to day +km
- Sat; Amsterdam, embarkation at 2 PM near Central Station. At 3 PM sailing to Ouderkerk a/d Amstel,cycling to Uithoorn, 15 km
- Sun; Uithoorn - Gouda, 45 km
- Mon; Gouda - Delft, 40 km
- Tue; Delft – via Katwijk – Leiden, 36/48 km
- Wed: Leiden, visit Keukenhof with public transport
- Thu: Leiden – Haarlem via bulb fields, 37 km
- Frei: Haarlem – Amsterdam, 40 km
- Sat: Amsterdam, debarkation before 10 AM near Central Station
1 km = 0.62 miles
Level 1 For everyone
The lightest cycling holiday, suited for everyone and people of all ages. On virtually flat terrain, with distances up to 50 kilometers. You spend about 4 hours on your bicycle.
This tour is available on barge Anna Antal (April 7th) barge Wending (April 14th) barge Sailing home (April 14th)
Day to day schedule
Day 1 Saturday: Amsterdam, boarding at 2 PM, sailing to Ouderkerk a/d Amstel and cycling to Uithoorn, 15 km.
When you arrive on board the ship, you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper and crew and of course your fellow passengers. You will leave Amsterdam cruising on the river Amstel to Ouderkerk a/d Amstel. From Ouderkerk you will cycle your first kilometres through the polder Ronde Hoep to Uithoorn. During dinner aboard the ship, the program for next day and the global planning of the week are discussed.
Day 2 Sunday: Uithoorn – Gouda, 45 km.
From Uithoorn you will continue your tour over country roads, along river banks and channels through the Green Heart to the city known for its cheese: Gouda. Who thinks of Gouda, not only thinks of cheese, pipes, 'stroopwafels' (treacle-waffle) and pottery, but also of beautifull stained glass windows, a fairy-like town hall and atmospheric canals. Gouda is a beautiful Old Dutch city with a mostly intact city centre. As on most days, after dinner you can take a walk through the city.
Day 3 Monday: Gouda – Alblasserdam, ferry to Rotterdam and sailing to Delft, 40 km.
From Gouda you cycle past scenic polders via Kinderdijk to Rotterdam. Kinderdijk has the largest group of windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills at Kinderdijk were still actively used until 1950. These days, a large pumping station is responsible for controlling the water level in the polder. After visiting the windmills of Kinderdijk you take the ferrey to Rotterdam. In Rotterdam you embark and from there the ship takes you to Delft. Delft, the town famous for its pottery, the 'Delft blue'. The Prinsenhof Museum is housed in the former St Agatha's monastery. In 1572 William of Orange chose the convent as one of his residences. It was from here that he led the revolt against the Spanish tyranny of Holland. He was murdered on the steps of the Prinsenhof on July 10, 1584, by Balthazar Gerards, a Spanish sympathiser. Two bullet holes in the wall of the stairs bear witness to this event.
Day 4 Tuesday: Delft - (Katwijk) - Leiden, 36/48 km.
From Delft we cycle in the direction of The Hague, through 'het Haagse Bosch', a large park, and past the former Royal Palace 'Huis ten Bosch'. The long tour leads you over tranquil cycle paths through the dunes to Wassenaarse Slag. Here you can see the remains of the Atlantikwall. Five bunkers are connected by nearly 3,000-feet-long brick tunnels. Now the underground network serves as a bat reserve. The route continues through the dunes, to Katwijk aan Zee, an old fishing village. The old inhabitants of Katwijk still speak their own dialect, 'Kattuks'. Following the course of the Oude Rijn (Old Rhine) river we cycle to Leiden. Leiden boasts 14 museums, including the Rijksmuseum. The ship is moored near the Zijlpoort, a gate that once formed part of the city walls. The shorter route leads you inland after 'Huis den Bosch' and brings you along 'Vlietlanden' a 130 ha big recreational lake to Leiden.
Day 5 Wednesday: Leiden - visit to Keukenhof by public transport.
Today you visit the Keukenhof gardens, the most beautiful spring park in the world. The Keukenhof is the place where the spring breaks. In the Keukenhof various gardens and gardening styles can be found: the English Landscape Garden, the Historical Garden, the Natural Garden, the Japanese Natural Garden, the Formal Garden and three special colours gardens. Spread throughout the entire park there are approximately eighty sculptures from well-known Dutch artists as well as several other art objects, such as the collection 'Surprising Tulips'.
Day 6 Thursday: Leiden – via the flower bulb fields - Haarlem, 37 km.
From Leiden you cycle through wonderful flower beds in the direction of Haarlem. In the period of March to May the bulb fields are blooming, starting with daffodils and followed by hyacinths, tulips and lilies. Once in the city of Haarlem you make a short tour through the city to see some typical 'hofjes' (almshouses), old houses around a central courtyard, now usually housing elderly people. These 'hofjes ' are definitely worth a visit. Haarlem, which rendered its name to Harlem, New York, is a lively city with good shopping possibilities. The ship is berthed in the city centre, with a view of St Bavo's Church and with easy access to the Grote Markt with its many outdoor cafes.
Day 7 Friday: Haarlem – Amsterdam, 40 km.
From Haarlem you sail to Spaarndam, a picturesque village on the edge of Haarlem, in the direction of Amsterdam. Spaarndam’s name comes from the dam built in the Spaarne River to limit the danger of flooding from the sea. Here you can find the statue of Hansje Brinker on the IJdijk. Hansje is a character from an American novel, which saved the country from flooding by putting his finger in the dike. The Buitenhuizen ferry takes you across the North Sea Canal and from there you cycle to the Zaanse Schans. The Zaanse Schans, with its traditional weatherboard houses, warehouses and windmills may give you the feeling of stepping back into the 17th or 18th century. Yet this is no open air museum, but a lively neighborhood where people live and work. Among other things a cheese farm, a clog maker and an old bakery can be visited here.
Day 8 Saturday: Amsterdam, end of the tour after breakfast
- All nights on board
- Breakfast and dinner on board
- Lunch packages when on the road
- Coffee and tea on board
- Tour guide, cycles with the group
- Min. 3 city walks with tour guide
- Road book, 1x per cabin
- Entrance Keukenhof, incl. public transport
- Ferry fares on the route
- GPS-tracks (on request)
- Free WiFi (in the Netherlands; up to 100 Mb is limited available in lounge and on deck)
- Bicycle rent (Hybrid bike with 24 gears, pannier bags, lock, water bottle)
- Bicycle insurance (optional) E 15,- per bicycle
- Bicycle insurance E-bike (optional) E 40,- per bicycle
- Entrance fees to museums; approx. E 15 per tour
- Travel risk insurance / cancellation insurance (optional)
Dutch Barge Cruises reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.
The program is subject to change without notice.
Extra options: Bike maps E 19,- (to be ordered and paid in advance; cannot be purchased on board)
If you have special meal requirements (vegetarian meals, or if you are on a diet), we ask you to mention this when booking. In case of Gluten free diet there is an additional charge of € 50,- per week.