Windmills aplenty in Kinderdijk, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:John Morgan

Tulips at the famous Keukenhof, Lisse, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:Michela Simoncini
4.8/5 (6 ratings)

Holland Southern Tulip Tour

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Cycle some of Holland’s most beautiful cities during the Tulip Season!

This Southern Tulip bike and boat tour leads through some of Holland's most popular cities but also through fields of beautiful Tulips! One highlight, among many, will be the Keukenhof gardens, the most beautiful flower garden in the world!

Your bike and boat adventure begins and ends in Amsterdam and includes the prestigious towns of Gouda, Delft, Leiden, and Haarlem.

Gouda, city of cheese, is one of your first stops. Delft, of course, is famous for its Delftware (handsomely painted blue and white china) that was developed in the 1500's. This quaint little town was also the workplace of the great Dutch painter Vermeer. Rembrandt's city of birth, Leiden, will embrace you with its lively atmosphere and shop-filled narrow streets. Haarlem, is a lovely small town has a beautiful square on which the famous St. Bavokerk sits. This impressive Gothic Basilica contains the magnificent Christian Muller organ (1727) with 5,000 pipes on which Mozart, Handel and Liszt have all tested their skills. The city is also known for its monuments (it has over 1000!) and beautifully restored hofjes (courtyards).

Highlights will include:

  • Keukenhof
  • Tulips and other wonders
  • Historic town centers
  • Biking on one of the world's greatest cycling networks

This tour truly allows you to sample the best of Holland: quaint villages, lively metropolises, tulips, canals, and biking!

To browse all of our bike boat tours in Netherlands, follow the link!

Tour Dates

On the Comfort Plus class boat:
Sailing Home: April 15, 2017 

On the Comfort class boats: 
Wending: April 8, 2017
Liza Marleen: April 8, April 15, April 29, 2017

On the Standard Plus/Comfort class boat:
Anna Antal: May 6, 2017

Where You’ll Stay

For this tour different class boats are used on different dates. Please see dates and pricing.

What’s Included

  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board
  • 7 x breakfast buffets, 6 x packed lunches, 7 x 3-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide
  • 24-speed hybrid bicycle
  • Route information
  • Ferry fares en route
  • Road book (one per cabin)
  • Entrance fee to the Keukenhof

What’s Not Included

  • Helmet rental (must be reserved in advance)
  • Museum entrance fees, approximately €15 per tour
  • Beverages (incl. alcohol), available on board
  • Maps for self-guided option (see pricing)
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From1050 Rates
Client Reviews

Share This Tour

Skill Level

Easy, guided tour with variable cycling distances per day in and around interesting cities and towns.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Holland Southern Tulip Tour Map

Day 1: Amsterdam, sailing to Ouderkerk a/d Amstel, cycling Around Uithoorn
Day 2: Uithoorn - Gouda, 28 miles (45 km)
Day 3: Gouda - Alblasserdam - Rotterdam - Delft, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Delft - via Katwijk - Leiden, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 5: Leiden, visit to Keukenhof by public transportation
Day 6: Leiden - via flower bulb fields to Haarlem, 23 miles (37 km)
Day 7: Haarlem - Amsterdam, 25 miles (40 km)
Day 8: Amsterdam, disembark at 10 AM

*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.

Day 1: Amsterdam, sailing to Uithoorn, cycling Around Uithoorn
You are expected on board on Saturday by 2 PM at the latest. The barge needs to leave the mooring place in Amsterdam at 2:15 PM. It is very important you are on time. The barge can’t wait due the opening hours of bridges and/or locks.

During dinner on board, the weekly program is discussed. After dinner, you will have a short bike tour around Uithoorn.

Day 2: Uithoorn - Gouda, 28 mi. (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: Gouda - Alblasserdam, ferry to Rotterdam sailing to Delft, 25 mi. (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 ferry to Rotterdam. In Rotterdam you embark and from there the ship takes you to Delft, 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: Delft - via Katwijk - Leiden, 25 mi. (40 km)
From Delft, you will cycle Holland in the direction of The Hague, through the Haagse Bosch, a large park, and past the Royal Huis ten Bosch Palace. A tranquil cycle path through the dunes leads you to Wassenaarse Slag. Here, some remains of the Atlantikwall can still be seen. The Atlantic Wall was an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by the German Third Reich in 1942 until 1944 during World War II along the western coast of Europe to defend against an anticipated Allied invasion of the mainland from Great Britain. Five bunkers are connected by nearly 3,000-foot long brick tunnels. Now this underground network serves as a bat reserve! It was nearly 1,700 miles long. This defense line, which was never completed, not only consisted of bunkers, but also of canons and mine fields. At some places the bunkers are still there, such as in Zandvoort, Scheveningen, Oostende (Belgium) and Normandy (France).
Continuing on through the dunes, to Katwijk aan Zee, an old fishing village (the inhabitants still speak their own dialect called Kattuks), you will follow the course of the Oude Rijn (Old Rhine) ending in Leiden. Leiden originated around 800 AD as a marketplace at the confluence of the Old and New Rhine rivers, the Vliet river and the Mare (‘Leyten’ means ‘at the waters’). For a long time, it was the second city after Amsterdam. It was the center of the textile industry in Medieval times. A well-known episode from the history of Leiden is the siege of 1574 by the Spanish. These were finally driven away after dikes had been broken through and a Watergeuzen (see Rotterdam) fleet had come to help. Leiden is the birthplace of Rembrandt (van Rijn!). It boasts 14 museums, including the Rijksmuseum for Anthropology with many priceless foreign objects, the Municipal Museum (Lakenhal, 1640) including works by Dou, Steen, Rembrandt and Van Goyen, the Rijksmuseum of Antiquities with Egyptian antiquities. The Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Garden), a 400-year-old garden with innumerable exotic plants and trees, is certainly worth seeing. In the center of town, you can go shopping or enjoy sitting on an outdoor terrace on the water’s edge.

Day 5: Leiden, visit to Keukenhof by public transportation
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 colors 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: Leiden - via flower bulb fields to Haarlem, 23 miles (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 center, with a view of St. Bavo's Church and with easy access to the Grote Markt with its many outdoor cafés.

Day 7: Haarlem - Amsterdam, 25 mi. (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, who 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: Individual departure from Amsterdam

If you’re looking for a different flavor, check out our full list of bike and boat tours or view all our featured bicycle tours, specials, and news.

Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

Share This Tour


Customer Feedback

  • S. Breaugh 7 months ago

    Overall I really enjoyed our trip. However, our guide Piet left a lot to be desired. He got us from the boat and back each day but that was about it. We had very few stops during the day for water breaks or photos. He did not provide any "tour guide" type of information like history or pointing anything out of interest, or even a clear idea of the details of the following day. While we got to all the towns on the itinerary, everything was pretty much closed after dinner so we couldn't do any sightseeing in towns on our own. The guide on our sister ship "Liza Marleen" did much more with her group.

    On the plus side, the barge Sailing Home was excellent and the crew was great - very friendly and helpful. Our chef Markus was amazing.

    I had an electric bike and I loved it. It made the trip much easier and enjoyable. Highly recommend it for inexperienced bikers.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • B. Dewey-Kirschman 7 months ago

    The tour was wonderful! We had clear weather the entire week and a great group of people to ride with. The "Sailing Home" really was comfort plus, with an attentive and helpful staff.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • P. Cass 7 months ago

    Everything exceeded our expectations. Crew made us feel like family, food was excellent and tour was perfect including the weather and the tulips.

    Boat: Liza Marleen

  • S. Eitnier 7 months ago

    Great trip.

    Boat: Wending

  • M. Dries 7 months ago

    Although we had a week of rain and cool temperatures, the attitude and spirit of all on the boat was upbeat and lively. We biked in all kinds of conditions and still had a great time. Our guide was informative and accommodating. The scenery was beautiful from one location to the other and the food on the barge was top notch and delicious. I thoroughly enjoy the whole trip from start to finish.

    Boat: Wending

  • C. Sheeran 7 months ago

    Loved it all! Wonderful staff, wonderful route, wonderful fellow passengers, wonderful guide! We could not have asked for anything more except less wind as we rode through the windmill area into a very strong headwind! Hardest day's riding we've ever done! But hey, this is Holland renowned for "wind"mills!! Keukenhof was amazing, everyone should visit this place once in their lifetime!

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Jill Crair 4 years ago

    Here it is almost 3 months following our trip and I'm just getting around to writing how wonderful everything was. It exceeded our expectations (which were high to begin with). To refresh your memory,we were the Nisky Riders.Our focus of the trip were the flower fields in the Netherlands and they were spectacular. We were on the Zwaan's maiden voyage for 2012 and loved the entire experience of being on the barge. The crew were very endearing, food was delicious (Dorus, the cook, had us hooked on the first dinner). We were accommodated beautifully. I have a gluten allergy and they took great care of me.

     A group of friends is currently on the Brugge to Amsterdam ride and LOVING it.

     We are exploring your site for our 2013 ride,  we would like to plan something for late spring or early summer. So I will be in touch in the near future.

    It all started with you and our experience with you sealed the deal. You added a personal quality that is much appreciated.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Maureen Kulak 5 years ago

    My husband and I took this trip in the Fall. We are seniors and would recommend this trip. This is the third trip we have made with this organization and they do a wonderful job. Company, food, service was great!

    Boat: Liza Marleen

  • Linda Hilliard 5 years ago

    My husband and I had talked for several years about taking this tour but didn't go until April 9th, 2011, on the Zwaan, with Ilya and Maria. This was the first tour of the season - we were afraid that the flowers would not be out - surprise! We saw jonquils, hyacinths, tulips and more. Had we been later the hyacinths and jonquils would have been gone. Hennie told us that it varies from year to year, so we were so fortunate.

    The weather was great except for one windy and chilly day. Our tour guide, Albert, adapted the ride to the level of the riders yet still taking us to the important places and showing us the best of the countryside. Our hosts could not have been more hospitable, making all of the participants feel more welcome than just paying customers. We even had a last-minute gourmet chef! And we got to help welcome the new dog on board - all the guests were dog lovers and were delighted to meet him. We recommend this trip to anyone who likes an active vacation in a beautiful setting with good food and company with similar interests.

    L. Hilliard

    Boat: Liza Marleen

Biked This Tour? Post Your Feedback

Holland Southern Tulip Tour Boats + Barges

Anna Antal Photo

Anna Antal Netherlands Standard Plus Class Boat The Anna Antal is a former shuttle barge converted into a motor passenger ship in the winter of 1994-95. In 2012, the salon and cabins were renovated.The sailing area of the Anna Antal includes all Dutch, German and Belgian waterways in so far as a ship of this size can sail. She also sails on the Waddenzee, IJsselmeer and Zeeland. The Anna Antal is built according to the rules of Maritime laws and holds a valid certificate for the Rhine.

Liza Marleen Photo

Liza Marleen Comfort Class Boat The Liza Marleen is a luxury motor passenger barge that was completely refurbished in 1998. This robust barge is ideally suited for trips on the wider waterways. It has a beautiful salon area and spacious deck.

Wending Photo

Wending Netherlands Comfort Class Boat The Wending is a former freight barge that was converted into a luxury passenger motor barge in the early nineties and completely redecorated in 2002. The barge has a spacious salon equipped with a television and music installation. It is a great place to relax after a strenuous day of cycling.

Sailing Home Photo

Sailing Home Netherlands, Belgium Comfort Plus Class Boat Built in 2001, the Sailing Home was designed specifically to provide a more attractive hotel ship during your carefree vacation. It was built to meet the latest wishes and ideas with respect to comfort and service. The experience of a lifetime: cycling through the most beautiful spots within the Netherlands while residing on a very comfortable, newly built and well-furnished ship.

PWPC