A Tulip field in Holland

Enjoying the view on a bike path in Holland

Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges

Belgium, Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Come see the beautiful spring flowers of this famous cycling route!

In April and May all of Holland is blooming. Therefore this is the perfect time to see the famous bulb fields showing the colorful tulips and hyacinths. Furthermore, this tour shows you some lovely old Dutch towns like Dordrecht and Gouda, famous for it's delicious cheese! Crossing the border to Belgium takes you to the Belgian pearls of Antwerp, Ghent and on top of that, Bruges!

Want to see more bike and barge tours in Holland?

Tour Dates

On Comfort Plus boats:
Merlijn: April 18, 2015
Quo Vadis: May 2, 2015

On the Standard Plus boats:
Tijdgeest: April 11 and May 16, 2015
Holland: May 2, 2015

2016 Dates:
On Comfort Plus boat:
Merlijn: April 23 & May 7, 2016

2017 Dates
On Comfort Plus boat:
Merlijn: April 15, 2017

Skill Level

Easy, guided bike & boat tour. Bicycle routes follow mainly flat bike paths & country lanes with little traffic. Occasionally heavier traffic is encountered when entering the bigger cities. Daily cycling distances range from approximately 16 to 25 miles (25 to 40 km). Guide bikes with the group but it’s also possible to cycle on your own.

Where You’ll Stay

Click barge information for further details about the classes of boats.

What’s Included

  • On the Quo Vadis
  • Accommodations for 8 days/7 nights on board
  • All meals (breakfasts, packed lunches, or lunch on board, and 3 course dinners)
  • Tour guide
  • 7 speed hybrid bicycle with pannier
  • Information booklet and map
  • Entrance fee to the Keukenhof
  • On the Merlijn
  • Welcome drink
  • Accommodations for 8 days/7 nights on board
  • All meals breakfast, packed lunches and three course dinners (excluding one dinner)
  • Entrance fee to the Keukenhof
  • 24-gear tour bike, incl. water bottle, universal sized helmet and bike bag
  • Tour guide
  • Unlimited coffee, tea and hot chocolate during the trip on board and potable ice water through out the meals
  • Harbor fees
  • On the Tijdgeest and Holland:
  • All meals breakfast, packed lunches and three course dinners
  • Hybrid bike rental with pannier
  • Bicycle protection
  • Entrance fee to the Kinderdijk
  • Information booklet and map
  • Several city walks
  • Horse and carriage ride in Bruges
  • Train ride to and from Bruges
  • Bus transfer from Ghent to Amsterdam Airport

What’s Not Included

  • Drinks on board
  • Entrance fees other than those mentioned in tour description
  • Trip insurance
  • On the Merlijn:
  • Biking maps (for sale on board)
  • 1 dinner
Length8–10 days
From804 Rates
Print Tour

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges Map

Aboard the Merlijn

Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam, cruising to Harlem
Day 2: Haarlem - Lisse - Keuhenhof - Leiden, 18 mi. (30 km)
Day 3: Leiden - Gouda - Dordrecht, 21 mi. (35 km)
Day 4: Dordrecht - Willemstad - Tholen - Antwerp, 27 mi. (45 km)
Day 5: Antwerp - Baasrode, 21 mi. (35 km)
Day 6: Baasrode - Merelbeke - Ghent, 27 mi. (45 km)
Day 7: Ghent - Bruges, 24 mi. (40 km)
Day 8: Departure from Bruges

Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam, cruising to Harlem
The Merlijn, your sailing hotel, awaits you in Amsterdam. Embarkation is between 1 and 1:30 PM. The barge departs at 2PM to Haarlem. It is necessary to leave on time because of the operating hours of the bridges. The crew will welcome you on board and while you enjoy a welcome drink, you will be informed about the barge and the daily tours. The barge stays overnight in the neighborhood of Cruqius, just past Haarlem.

Day 2: Haarlem - Lisse - Keuhenhof - Leiden, 18 mi. (30 km)
During breakfast, the Merlin will take you a little closer to the Keukenhof and docks at Lisse. Here, your first bike tour will begin to the Keukenhof. After this visit you will cycle to Leiden.

Day 3: Leiden - Gouda - Dordrecht, 21 mi. (35 km)
Enjoy breakfast while the boat cruises to the starting point of the bike tour at Gouda. You will begin by biking through one of the most beautiful parts of Holland, the"Green Heart of Holland " en route to the Kinderdijk, world famous for its impressive row of large windmills. They were built to drain the Alblasserwaard. You have the opportunity to take a tour inside one of the mills. From here, board the Merlijn and cruise to Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns of Holland, where you will enjoy a walking tour through this charming old city

Day 4: Dordrecht - Willemstad - Tholen - Antwerp, 27 mi. (45 km)
During breakfast the boat cruises to Willemstad, where your bike tour to Tholen starts. Tholen was once an island in the middle of the large Zeeland streams, where many people were fisherman by trade. Today, Tholen is connected to the mainland in various ways, but it is still a picturesque village with many relics of an eventful past. Today's bike tour ends here and the barge takes you into the Willemdok of Antwerp. Antwerp is not only known as diamond city, but also as native city of the painter Rubens. In the Rubens House, you can admire his work. In the heart of the city you will see the Cathedral of Our Lady and beautiful town houses from a rich past are situated around the Market Square. Tonight you will enjoy your dinner on your own in one of the many local restaurants in Antwerp.

Day 5: Antwerp - Baasrode, 21 mi. (35 km)
After breakfast you will have more time to explore the city of Antwerp. At around 9 AM you will board a tram that brings you into the heart of Antwerp. You may want to visit the Rubens House if you did not get an opportunity earlier, or a diamond factory. You can also go shopping in the lively center. After your visit, board the Merlijn and have lunch on board while cruising to Rupelmonde. Here, your bike tour for today begins. The tour follows the river Schelde further upstream via Temse to Baasrode.

Day 6: Baasrode - Merelbeke - Ghent, 27 mi. (45 km)
After breakfast, bike along the river Zeeschelde. Our first stop will be in Dendermonde, a nice country town on the Dender estuary. The route follows this beautiful but capricious tidal river, Schelde, upstream to Ghent, a lively university city. This city has a rich past with origins in Roman Times, and is located at the place where the rivers, Leie and Schelde converge. This favorable situation brought a great deal of prosperity over the years, which had its peak late 13th, early 14th century. The textile industry brought great wealth. In the city center many old patrician houses have been preserved. In the Clothmakers’ Hall (1425) textile merchants used to meet. The major church is St. Baafs’ Cathedral, built in various ages and in various styles. In the cathedral you can admire a number of medieval paintings, including, ‘Adoration of the Lamb’ by Jan van Eyck. 

Day 7: Ghent - Bruges, 24 mi. (40 km)
During breakfast, the barge cruises to Aalter, where your last biking tour begins and leads through the pleasant countryside of Western Flanders to Bruges. Bruges, also called the Venice of the North, maybe is the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old center, which dates from the Middle Ages, is almost completely in tact. At the time, Bruges was a metropolis, the center of trade and art. Bruges is also great for shopping. In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour through this city. You may even want to include a ride through the canals. Farewell dinner on the Merlijn and your last overnight stay on board.

Day 8: Departure from Bruges

Aboard the Quo Vadis

Day 1: Amsterdam - Haarlem
Day 2: Haarlem - Oude Wetering - Gouda, 26 mi. 
Day 3: Gouda - Willemstad - Zierikzee, 25 mi. 
Day 4: Zierikzee - Veere - Middleburg, 26 mi. 
Day 5: Middleburg - Vlissingen (Flushing) - Terneuzen - Gent, 28 mi. 
Day 6: Gent to Bruges, 27 mi. 
Day 7: Around Bruges and the North Sea
Day 8: Departure from Bruges

Day 1: Amsterdam – Haarlem, 16 mi. 
The barge departs Amsterdam for Spaarndam by 1 pm. From there start trip to the oldest lock of Europe, and the famous statue of Hansje Brinker. From there, along the river Spaarne to Cruquius. There you will have a guided tour through the oldest and largest steam machine in the world.

Day 2: Haarlem - Oude Wetering – Gouda, 26 mi. 
Begin biking after breakfast along beautiful polders with tulips and hyacinths. The first stop will be at the Keukenhof. After visiting those famous Flower Gardens, continue on to Oude Wetering, where the ship is waiting. The day ends in the famous Cheese town Gouda.

Day 3: Gouda – Willemstad – Zierikzee, 25 mi. 
Your day begins early with a sailing breakfast from Gouda along the industrial area of Rotterdam to the old fortress town Willemstad. From there you'll bike mostly below sea-level to the delta of the great rivers. There used to be many open connections with the sea, but after the big flood disaster of 1953, dramatic water works were carried out in the framework of the 'Delta plan' (Delta Works). As a result most tidal inlets are now closed off from the sea by dams. Take a closer look at the interior and exterior of the storm surge barrier. You will find yourself surrounded by concrete that is to last for 200 years, by huge steel doors of 15 foot wide, with tidal waves storming and raging underneath. This is something not to be missed! A beautiful tour on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland comes next. Your destination for today is the well-preserved town of Zierikzee.

Day 4: Zierikzee - Veere - Middelburg, 26 mi. 
Today the barge sails to Middelburg. For the long route, you take off towards the western part of the island, Schouwen. At Westenschouwen, the crossing of the Oosterscheldedam begins. Although all the islands of the provinces Zuid Holland and Zeeland are now connected, and should therefore literally no longer be named as such, they have all retained their own character. With a strong headwind this trip can be very strenuous. In that case you may prefer to do the first part of today's route on board the ship and start cycling at Zandkreek. Quiet country roads take you into Middelburg. 

Day 5: Middelburg – Vlissingen (Flushing) – Terneuzen – Gent, visit Gent by night, 28 mi. 
Today you'll cycle to Vlissingen (Flushing), an important port at the mouth of the Westerschelde. Here, take the ferry to Breskens in Zeeuws Vlaanderen (Zeeland's Flanders), which takes about twenty minutes. Belgium is now getting close. While cycling through the spacious land with scattered villages, winding dike roads and remains of many old creeks you may not even notice that you are crossing the Dutch-Belgian border. The city of Ghent is proud of its rich past, but is much more than just a museum town. This lively city with its numerous squares and cozy pubs is an excellent mixture of medieval edifices, stylish shopping streets, splendid mansions, and working-class quarters from the beginning of the 20th century. The city also contains many busy squares where people eat out till the wee hours on a sultry summer night.

Day 6: Gent – Bruges, 27 mi. 
Today begin cycling from Gent through the Belgium polders, partly along the Gent-Oostende canal. From Lovendegem, just outside the city you'll bike through the beautiful countryside of Western Flanders to Bruges, the Venice of the North. This town is one the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old center, which dates from the Middle Ages, is almost completely intact. Bruges was, in old times, a metropolis and center of commerce and art. Its historic center and numerous canals is now listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Day 7: Tour around Bruges to the North Sea, 30 mi. 
The last bike tour takes you to a quiet canal from Napoleon. Cycle through an attractive polder landscape with nice small farm houses to the North Sea coast. A long sandy beach, numerous cafés, and the attractive dune landscape of Knokke/Heist, provide enough variety during your lunch break. 

Day 8 Bruges
End of the tour after breakfast and disembarkation by 10:00 AM

Aboard the Tijdgeest and Holland

Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam, sail to Oude Wetering
Day 2: Oude Wetering - Gouda, 15 mi. (25 km)
Day 3: Gouda - Willemstad, 24 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Sail to Antwerp 
Day 5: Antwerp - Dendermonde, 21 mi. (35 km)
Day 6: Dendermonde - Ghent, 18 mi. (30 km)
Day 7: Ghent - Bruges (by train). Return to Ghent.
Day 8: Departure from Ghent

*All distances are approximate.

Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam
Check- in on board. In the afternoon, the barge crosses Amsterdam and heads for the village of Oude Wetering.

Day 2: Oude Wetering - Gouda, 15 mi. (25 km)
Early in the morning you will cycle Holland through the reclaimed land of the Haarlemmermeer to flower park, the Keukenhof. After seeing all the blooming tulips and daffodils you will return to the barge and set sail for cheese town Gouda. Upon arrival in Gouda you will have the opportunity to explore the town in the late afternoon and also following dinner on board.

Day 3: Gouda - Willemstad, 24 mi. (40 km)
Today, a visit to the world famous windmills of Kinderdijk is on the agenda. Here, you will be able to tour the inside of one of the windmills. Following your visit to the Kinderdijk is a cycle tour through Dordrecht and through the natural reserve Biesbosch, to Moerdijk. The night will be spent in the walled town of Willemstad, a real Dutch beauty!

Day 4: Rest day, sail to Antwerp
Today the barge will take you across the impressive waterways of Zeeland to the lively town of Antwerp in Belgium. After arrival in Antwerp, will be free time to explore this port town.

Day 5: Antwerp - Dendermonde, 21 mi. (35 km) 
The day begins with a sailing trip to the outskirts of Antwerp. Here the cycling tour for the day will begin and cross the riverland of the river Schelde. In the charming provincial town of Dendermonde, you'll spend the night aboard the barge.

Day 6: Dendermonde - Ghent, 18 mi. (30 km)
Today, the barge will sail further on the tidal river Schelde all the way to Ghent and your cycling tour will continue across the flat, Flemish countryside. In the old city of Ghent, you will join the tour leader for a walk across the wonderful town center.

Day 7: Rest day, Bruges
Today, a train will take you into Bruges. A horse and carriage ride and a short, guided walk past the many historic monuments in the center of Bruges is planned for the morning. In the afternoon, you will return by train to Ghent.

Day 8: Departure
Check out and transfer by bus to the Amsterdam airport.

Please note: 2017 itineraries are subject to change. 

Looking for more?  Check out our full list of bike and boat tours or view all our featured bike trips, specials, and news.

Questions? Contact Us or Call 800-951-4384

Customer Feedback

  • James Dowie 10 months ago

    the captain was wonderful and the nice part was he had his two daughters on for a few days and they were lovely. They also had there small dog who was great. Missed the dog when he went with the girls. The guide Lia was excellent and very helpful at all times. They rearranged the direction of the tour to cope with the wind and to go to the Keukenhof on a day when it was not so busy. The Keukenhof Gardens were at its peak the day we went. We will never forget that day. There were many highlights the cheese farm, the floralies were flowers are sold world wide, and so many other things like a barge tour at night in one town. I could go on for pages.

    Waldy the helper was always there with a smile and never did he let me carry a bag. The cabins were neat and clean. Alf the cook who did the food was sensational every day . Alf and I had a birthday on the same day (April 21st) and they had a party for us. It was my 82nd birthday one I will never forget. All the other guests were great and we mixed so well. We bonded the first day even though we were from many different backgrounds. The e-bike you arranged allowed me to keep up with everybody. It was always ready and charged up each morning. I had a minor tumble in Amsterdam landed on my head and the helmets provided did the job. Guess I have a hard head too. Only damage is a sore thumb. When it hurts from time to time it brings back fantastic memories of our wonderful trip a very positive feeling. My wife and I really hope life will let us take another bike and barge trip in Europe.

    I really can not thank you all enough for the wonderful happiness you provide.

  • Mary & Bill Perkins 2 years ago

    The tour was packed with history, beauty & a real feel of how the people live there lives - thanks to Lia our guide. Food, decor & Jantien's hospitality aboard the Merlijn was second to none. The crew went out of there way to make this truly a memorable cycling vacation.

    Thank you!

Biked This Tour? Post Your Feedback

Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges Boats + Barges

Holland Photo

Holland Belgium, Netherlands, Germany Standard Plus Class Boat

Merlijn Photo

Merlijn Germany, Netherlands Comfort Plus Class Boat

Quo Vadis Photo

Quo Vadis Belgium Comfort Plus Class Boat

Tijdgeest Photo

Tijdgeest Belgium, Netherlands Standard Plus Class Boat