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

Tulips at the famous Keukenhof, Lisse, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:Michela Simoncini
4.9/5 (14 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!

  • 2019  

    Sailing Home

     Standard seasonHigh season
    Twin cabin £ 1024 $ 1,821 1250 NOK 12292 kr 11346 $ 1,475 £ 1114 $ 1,981 1360 NOK 13373 kr 12345 $ 1,605
    Twin cabin/single use £ 1442 $ 2,564 1760 NOK 17307 kr 15975 $ 2,077 £ 1573 $ 2,797 1920 NOK 18880 kr 17428 $ 2,266

    Liza Marleen

     Standard seasonHigh season
    Twin cabin £ 1008 $ 1,792 1230 NOK 12095 kr 11165 $ 1,451 £ 1097 $ 1,951 1339 NOK 13167 kr 12154 $ 1,580
    Twin cabin/single use £ 1409 $ 2,506 1720 NOK 16913 kr 15612 $ 2,030 £ 1536 $ 2,731 1875 NOK 18438 kr 17019 $ 2,213
    Superior cabin (15 m2 ) £ 1090 $ 1,938 1330 NOK 13078 kr 12072 $ 1,569 £ 1179 $ 2,096 1439 NOK 14150 kr 13062 $ 1,698
    Superior cabin for triple use £ 930 $ 1,653 1135 NOK 11161 kr 10302 $ 1,339 £ 1012 $ 1,799 1235 NOK 12144 kr 11210 $ 1,457

    Wending

     Standard seasonHigh season
    Twin cabin £ 959 $ 1,704 1170 NOK 11505 kr 10620 $ 1,381 £ 1045 $ 1,857 1275 NOK 12538 kr 11573 $ 1,505
    Twin cabin/single use £ 1110 $ 1,974 1355 NOK 13324 kr 12299 $ 1,599 £ 1209 $ 2,149 1475 NOK 14504 kr 13388 $ 1,741
    Triple cabin £ 914 $ 1,624 1115 NOK 10964 kr 10121 $ 1,316 £ 991 $ 1,761 1209 NOK 11889 kr 10974 $ 1,427

    extra options

    2019

    Electric bicycle rental (inlcuding helmet): £ 66 $ 117 80 NOK 787 kr 726 $ 94 Set of bike maps for self guided option (advanced reservaton required, cannot be purchased on board: £ 16 $ 28 19 NOK 187 kr 172 $ 22 Childrens bike, trailers, bike seats, and discounts available for this tour
    Gluten free diets: £ 41 $ 73 50 NOK 492 kr 454 $ 59

    Discounts available for children. Ask us for details.

    please note

    Please note:  Pricing is based on fuel costs as of March 2018. If the fuel cost increase 5%, additional fees may apply  (even for reservations already booked).

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Fly to Amsterdam.

    Local Travel

    Arrival in Amsterdam, short train ride to Amsterdam Central Train Station. Boat is where you board near the Nemo Science Museum, 1.2 km from train station.

    Climate

    Check local weather conditions prior to departure. Always bring full rain gear. The average high/low temperature in °F is approx. 48/37 for March, 53/40 April, 61/46 May, 66/52 June, 69/55 July, 70/55 August, and 64/51 September.

    Remarks

    Please be aware that you will be part of an international group of people, but your tour guide and crew members will always speak English.


Tour Dates

2019

On the Comfort Plus class boat:
Sailing Home: 
Standard season: March 30, April 6, and May 4, 2019
High season: April 13, April 20, and April 27, 2019
Liza Marleen: 
Standard Season: April 6 and May 4, 2019
High season: April 27, 2019
On the Comfort class boats: 
Wending
Standard season: April 6 and May 4, 2019
High season: April 13, April 20, and April 27, 2019

Where You’ll Stay

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

What’s Included

  • Accommodation for 7 nights on board
  • 7 breakfast buffets, 6 packed lunches, 7 three course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide
  • Minimum of 3 city walks with the tour guide
  • 24-speed hybrid bicycle
  • In 2019, helmet is included with bike rental
  • Route information
  • Ferry fares en route
  • Road book (one per cabin)
  • Entrance fee to the Keukenhof, including the fee for public transportation
  • Free limited WiFi (up to 100 MB) in lounge and on deck. Surcharge for more megabytes.

What’s Not Included

  • Helmet rental (must be reserved in advance. In 2019 this will be included with bike rental)
  • Museum entrance fees, approximately €15 per tour
  • Beverages (incl. alcohol), available on board
  • Maps for self-guided option (see pricing)
  • Surcharge for gluten free diets
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From1135 Rates
Client Reviews

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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 Uithoorn, cycling around Uithoorn,  9 mi. (15 km)
Day 2: Uithoorn - Gouda, 28 miles (45 km)
Day 3: Gouda - Kinderdijk- ferry to Rotterdam - sailing to 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, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 7: Haarlem - Amsterdam, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 8: Amsterdam, disembark at 10 am

*All distances are approximate. Itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstance, including but not limited to weather, last minute mooring changes, and restructuring of locks or bridges.

Day 1: Amsterdam, sailing to Uithoorn, cycling around Uithoorn
Embarkation on Saturday between 1 pm and 2 pm.  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. You can begin to board at 1 pm but can bring your luggage on board at noon. Due note that the crew will be busy preparing for you so you will not be able to check in to your cabin until 1 pm. The barges will be moored at the Oosterdok near the Nemo Sciens Museum.

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 - Kinderdijk, 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.

From Kinderdijk you take the ferry to Rotterdam where the barge is waiting for you to take 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, 25 miles (40 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

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Customer Feedback

  • Ruth M. 4 months ago

    I loved being part of the Southern Holland Tulip Tour! The biking was wonderful, the scenery was unparalleled, and the Sailing Home was comfortable and well appointed. Staff was uniformly pleasant and accommodating. I enjoyed bonding with the other riders in the group , mostly from the Central and Western US and Canada. Our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining, however I feel that keeping our large group of 26 riders together on the rides was a challenge, and he would have benefited from the use of "corners" to make sure that all the riders were clear on the turns. Also, we were each given a booklet with the daily ride routes, but it would have been helpful to go over the next days map each evening so that we could visualize the lay of the land.
    Great trip all around and I am hoping to join another in the future!

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Curtiss M. 4 months ago

    We came to see the tulips and that was definitely accomplished. Albeit a bit late for most of the major fields, but Keukenhof was spectacular. Cycling through the polders and quiet countryside was also very enjoyable.
    On the negative side, the last days cycling into Amsterdam and departure from the boat was a bit rushed.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Angela T. 4 months ago

    Loved the comfortable accommodations on the barge.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Brenna B. 9 months ago

    All of it was memorable, especially Keukenhof Gardens at the height of bloom season. Loved the Netherlands.

    Boat: Wending

  • Patty M. 11 months ago

    The Wending is a great barge with a wonderful crew! We had superior food every day. Our guide was very smart, kind, helpful, and patient. I would do this trip again in a heartbeat.

  • Darle S. 1 year ago

    The biking and scenery was amazing. The collective group, including staff, became family. The best was the fields in bloom with tulips and such. Wow!

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Penelope H. 1 year ago

    This trip was absolutely wonderful. Even with a day or two of challenging weather.....with the right clothes it didn't matter. We were surrounded by such beauty every day and the people of the Netherlands are top notch.....you really couldn't find people that are sweeter and friendlier anywhere. Five Star Plus!!!

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Ruth K. 1 year ago

    Awesome experience...I just would liked for the guide to pedal slower so that I could enjoy my surroundings more.

    Boat: Wending

  • S. Breaugh 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago

    Great trip.

    Boat: Wending

  • M. Dries 2 years 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 2 years 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 6 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 7 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 7 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

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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 Plus 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.

Feniks Photo

Feniks Belgium, Netherlands, France Standard Plus Class Boat Originally, the Feniks was built in 1928 as a freighter on the Dutch, Belgium and French inland waters. In 1992, the Feniks was converted to a hotel passenger ship and put in service for various sailing holidays. Since then, she has undergone several renovations to keep up-to-date with all modern facilities.

Zwaan Photo

Zwaan Belgium, Netherlands Comfort Class Boat Once a cargo boat, the Zwaan (Swan) was completely renovated and converted into a comfortable passenger barge. On board you will find seven comfortable cabins allowing a total capacity of 16 passengers.

PWPC