Netherlands Bike + Boat Tours
Tulips and more tulips!
When the sun rises during Spring in the Netherlands, millions of eager bulbs also rise for the occasion. Acres upon endless acres of the most brilliantly exquisite tulips transform dozens of ordinary fields into a colorful kaleidoscope of hues. Having been grown in the Netherlands for more than 400 years, 1200 different varieties of these flowers are now harvested, along with a healthy bushel of daffodils and hyacinths, just to name a few. Those familiar with the tulip are also likely familiar with the term “tulip mania”. April and May are the tulips’ blossoming months, and now there is a 4-day spring cycling tour that revolves around their peak season. This tulip bike tour will visit the ever-popular Keukenhof (a park filled with hundreds of different tulips) as well as the world’s largest flower auction in Aalsmeer. Additional highlights include a visit to a Dutch cheese farm and of course there are the famous Dutch windmills that decorate the expansive Dutch sky. Along the way, you’ll also make a stop in Leiden (the quaint University town & famous birthplace of Rembrandt) as well as Haarlem. Considered Amsterdam’s “little sister city”, Haarlem is adorn with some great examples of late Gothic architecture, such as the famous St. Bavo Church, on whose organ Mozart, Handel and Liszt all played.
A comprehensive list of all of our Netherlands bike tours can be found here.
On the Comfort Class boats:
Jelmar: April 12, 15, May 10 and 13, 2014
Lena Maria: April 12, 15, 19, 22, May 3, and 6, 2014
On the Standard Plus boat:
Tijdgeest: April 1, 5, 8, 26, 29, May 3, 6, 2014
Where You’ll Stay
- 3 nights’ accommodations on board ship
- Breakfasts, packed lunches, + 3-course dinners
- Coffee & tea on board
- Tour guide
- Hybrid bicycle equipped with pannier bags
- Bicycle insurance
- Entrance to the Keukenhof
- Entrance to Aalsmeer flower auction
- Entrance to a cheese farm & windmill
- Several city walks
- Route information
- Bicycle protection
What’s Not Included
- Beverages (incl. alcohol) available on board
- Other museum entrance fees
|Tour||Bike + Boat|
Easy, guided bike and boat tour over flat, asphalted bicycle paths and roads with light traffic.
Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam. Cruise to Spaarndam; by bike Spaarndam – Haarlem, 6 mi. (10 km)
Day 2: Haarlem – Lisse (Keukenhof) – Leiden, 9 mi. (15 km)
Day 3: Leiden – Uithoorn, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 4: Uithoorn – Aalsmeer – Amsterdam, 9 mi. (15 km), Departure.
*All distances are approximate. The above planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.
SAT/TUE: Amsterdam - Spaarndam - Haarlem, 6 miles (10 km)
Boarding time for the tour is 1:00 pm with the ship setting sail at 1:30 pm. After boarding the ship in Amsterdam, you will sail to Spaarndam, the picturesque village of Hans Brinker. From here, a short cycling trip to the center of Haarlem is planned. In the evening, your tour guide will take you for a nice city walk through the old center.
SUN/WED: Haarlem - Lisse - Leiden, 9 miles (15 km)
Today, begins with a sail to Lisse for a visit to the famous flower garden ‘Keukenhof’. Here, your eyes will feast on about 6 million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and many, many other exquisite flowers. After, you will cycle Holland across the blossoming bulb fields to finally end up in the old university town of Leiden. In the morning is an opportunity to learn much more about this birthplace of Rembrandt during a guided walking tour.
MON/THU: Leiden - Uithoorn/Kudelstaart, 19 miles (30 km)
Today your Holland bike tour will start by crossing the fine Dutch landscapes in the so-called Green Heart of Holland to Kudelstaart. During this cycle trip is a visit a traditional cheese farm, where a miller will tell us about the history and working of his mill.
TUE/FRI: Uithoorn - Aalsmeer - Amsterdam, 9 miles (15 km)
Today will start early, so there will be plenty of time for visiting the day's main attraction, namely the world’s largest flower auction in Aalsmeer. After the ride back to the barge, the boat will sail back to Amsterdam and disembark at approx. 12:30 PM.
TIME FOR TULIPS*
Holland truly is the land of bulbs, tulips and many other flowers. Every year, The Keukenhof has a huge horticultural exhibition. In addition, Aalsmeer is the location for the world’s biggest Flower Auction Halls (and you will visit them!). Holland: the country where the magic blooms!
Every month of the year Holland surprises its visitors; the earliest bulbs have barely shown their faces, before pastel-hued fruit trees burst into bloom around mid-April. Hundreds of glorious gardens create a colorful atmosphere all over the country.
Imagine... a day of complete enjoyment in a park filled with colorful tulips, daffodils and hyacinths in harmony with ancient trees, ponds and fountains. The perfect place to find a splendid spring sensation!
Keukenhof offers 80 acres in size for wonderful walks, with miles of paths leading to a variety of unusual gardens, including the Japanese Garden, the Nature Garden and the Historical Garden, a sources of inspiatiofor your own garden.
In 1830, the German landscape architect, Zocher, inspired by English landscapes, drafted the basic design for Keukenhof's park. In 1949, a group of prominent bulb growers and exporters came up with the idea to establish an outdoor display for the bulb-growing industry.
Each spring Keukenhof bursts with new energy and there are no less than 7 million bulbs about to bloom in different colors and scents. From the very first day of the opening it is possible to admire different, magnificent indoor flower exhibitions in four pavilions.
But Keukenhof offers more than just flowers... throughout the park, works of art by Dutch artists, both famous and less so, are on display, as well as exhibitions of paintings and photographs.
Opening hours are daily from March 21, 2013 until May 20, 2013
The park will be open daily from 8 AM to 7:30 PM (ticket office closes at 6:00 PM).
To learn more about the Keukenhof, please visit the Keukenhof web site. Click on the British flag for the English version.
* Time for Tulips and The Keukenhof information above is courtesy of the Netherlands Board of Tourism.