Tulips at the Keukenhof, Lisse, South Holland, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:gnuckx

Amsterdam at dusk, North Holland, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:Elyktra
4.2/5 (10 ratings)

Tulip Tour - 4 Day

Netherlands Bike + Barge 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 (only applies to certain itineraries) 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 bike and barge tours in the Netherlands is here.

  • Jelmar:  £ 489 $ 761 505 NOK 5134 kr 4739 $ 616

    Single supplement: £ 145 $ 226 150 NOK 1525 kr 1408 $ 183

    Gandalf: £ 503 $ 783 520 NOK 5287 kr 4880 $ 634 Single supplement: £ 312 $ 485 322 NOK 3274 kr 3022 $ 393

    Tijdgeest: £ 460 $ 715 475 NOK 4829 kr 4458 $ 580

    Single supplement: £ 145 $ 226 150 NOK 1525 kr 1408 $ 183

    extra options

    Electric bikes, Jelmar or Tijdgeest: available on request

    Children's discount available!

    please note

    Rates are 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 at Amsterdam airport; short train ride to Amsterdam center where the ship is moored.


    Check local weather conditions prior to departure. Be sure to bring a full rain suit. Average high temp in °F for April is 53, and May is 61.


    We highly recommend arriving a day early into Amsterdam. That way, in case your flight is delayed or cancelled, you won’t miss the first day (and half of the second day) of the tour.


    Please be aware that you are part of an international group of people, but your tour guide and crew members will always speak English. Please note: tulip season in Holland extends from the end of March to the middle of May but is dependent on temperatures and the weather. Going early or late in the season may affect what is in bloom.

Tour Dates

On the Comfort Class boats: 
Jelmar: April 3, April 7, April 10, April 14, April 17, April 21, April 24, May 5 and May 8, 2018
Gandalf: April 14, 2017

On the Standard Plus boats: 
Tijdgeest: April 7, April 10, April 14, April 17, April 21, April 24, April 28, May 1, May 12, 2018

Where You’ll Stay

Comfort class boats, the Jelmar and Gandalf, or the Standard Plus class boat the Tijdgeest

What’s Included

  • On the Jelmar or Tijdgeest
  • 3 nights' accommodations on board ship
  • Hybrid bicycle equipped with pannier
  • Breakfasts, packed lunches, + 3-course dinners
  • Coffee & tea on board
  • Tour guide
  • Entrance to Aalsmeer flower auction
  • Entrance to a cheese farm & windmill
  • Excursion to the flower park, Keukenhof
  • Bicycle protection
  • Gandalf
  • 3 nights' accommodations on board ship
  • Hybrid bicycle equipped with pannier
  • Breakfasts, packed lunches, + 3-course dinners
  • Coffee & tea on board
  • Tour guide
  • Excursion to the flower park, Keukenhof
  • Bicycle protection

What’s Not Included

  • Individual arrival to the boat
  • Beverages (incl. alcohol), but are available on board
  • Other museum entrance fees
  • Gratuities
  • Trip insurance
Length4 days
From475 Rates
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Skill Level

Easy, guided bike and boat tour over flat, asphalted bicycle paths and roads with light traffic.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Tulip Tour - 4 Day Map

On the Jelmar or Tijdgeest:

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

Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam. Cruise to Spaarndam; by bike Spaarndam - Haarlem, 6 mi. (10 km)
After the embarkation in Amsterdam at 12:30, you’ll be sailing to Spaarndam (beginning 1:30PM), the picturesque village of Hans Brinker. From here there is a short cycling trip to Haarlem. In the evening you your tour leader takes for a nice city walk through the old centre.

Day 2: Haarlem - Lisse (Keukenhof) - Leiden, 9 mi. (15 km)
Today you sail to Lisse here you disembark and cycle to the famous flower garden ‘Keukenhof’ for a visit. Here you see about 6 million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other flowers. After your visit, the cycle tour crosses the blossoming bulb fields and ends in Leiden.

Day 3: Leiden - Uithoorn, 19 mi. (30 km)
In the morning you will make a walkingtour through Leiden, the birthplace of Rembrandt.
Later you will cycle through the fine Dutch landscapes in the so-called Green Heart of Holland to Kudelstaart. During this cycle trip you will visit a traditional cheese farm and a miller will tell you about the history and working of his windmill.

Day 4: Uithoorn - Aalsmeer - Amsterdam, 9 mi. (15 km), Departure
You rise early, because you visit the world’s biggest flower auction in Aalsmeer. Before leaving the barge you have to clear your cabin. After the visit you get back on board and sail back to Amsterdam. Disembarkation and end of tour around 12 noon.

*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

On the Gandalf:

Day 1: Amsterdam – Haarlem, 9 mi. (15 km) 
Day 2: Haarlem – Leiden, 25 mi. (40 km) 
Day 3: Leiden – Amsterdam, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Amsterdam 

Day 1: Amsterdam – Haarlem, 9 mi. (15 km) 
Meeting point at 1PM Amsterdam, at the dock of the Gandalf. A welcome lunch and departure by boat to Haarlem before 2 PM. Presentation of the tour during navigation. Bike tour of the city and its surroundings. Dinner at 6:30PM.

Day 2: Haarlem – Leiden, 25 mi. (40 km) 
9 AM departure on bike. Endless expanses of colorful flowers fields all the way from Haarlem to Lisse. Visit the Keukenhof. Lunch with a stop at a cafe. We continue by bike to Leiden. Dinner at 6:30PM. Night visit to the city.

Day 3: Leiden – Amsterdam, 25 mi. (40 km)
During breakfast we sail to Kudelstaart. From there by bike to Amsterdam. Visit to a farm for the production of cheese. We enter the city along the Amstel River. Dinner at 6:30PM and visit to Amsterdam by night.

Day 4: Amsterdam 


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 23, 2016 until May 21, 2017
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.

Looking for more?  View all of our featured bike and boat tours, or our full list of bicycle tours.

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

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Customer Feedback

  • Jo-Anne W. 8 months ago

    What an Experience! Our Barge, the Jelmar, was spacious with a nice private bathroom. Albert-Jon was a great Captain and our meals were outstanding! We certainly were never hungry and the menus were very unique and delicious. The bikes were great and pretty comfy. Petra our guide was terrific. We not only enjoyed our Biking with her, but she also took us on evening walking tours of the little villages we were docked in. Being local, she was able to indulge us in a lot of the history of the areas. The Tulip fields, and beautiful architecture were delightful and of course the Keukenhof was AMAZING! Loved the little stops along the way for ice cream or coffee. Learning of the Working Windmills and speaking with overseers was so interesting. The little Cheese farm we visited was terrific. They even vacuumed our cheese for us to bring home. The Aalsmeer Flower auction was like a beautiful ballet and the millions of flowers the backdrop to the workers performances. I have already forwarded the trip information to several co-workers and friends. Truly a MUST DO.

    Boat: Jelmar

  • Leslie B. 8 months ago

    The most memorable part was the biking and the touring of various cities in the evening. I was interested in seeing if I could physically do the biking and found it was no problem at all.

    Boat: Jelmar

  • William L. 8 months ago

    My wife not getting adequate vegetarian food on two occasions. Left a bad impression.

  • Andi 8 months ago

    Although the weather was rather rough in April, the tulip fields were lovely. Our guide was sweet and attentive, but her lack of experience in working with large, diverse groups created some difficult situations. With more experience, she will be super. Two bikes needed basic repairs within the first twenty minutes of biking, indicating that they had not been checked prior to our group's arrival. The captain of the Jelmar was skillful in managing the barge, but his people skills are still developing. Enough said.
    Jelmar April 2017

    Boat: Jelmar

  • Schalk C. 9 months ago

    The most memorable aspects of the trip were cycling, Keukenhof tulpis, and Alsmeer flower market.

  • Nitin Raj S. 9 months ago

    The best part was the flower Gardens and flower fields.

    Boat: Jelmar

  • Betsy Cannon 2 years ago

    I recommend this trip all the time, and several people have taken it on my recommendation. We really liked the 'down home' feeling of the boat. Our guide was fantastic and we still talk about the tulip fields. The flower market was unbelievable--a highlight!

  • Henry DeVries 2 years ago

    Wonderful way to get a taste of the country, pace was ok. Nice to meet people from all over the world. Some situations which were dangerous, the guide was somewhat oblivious to them since he was always at the front and didn't really pay attention to the group the way he should have.

  • Fiorindo Sinibaldi 2 years ago

    Holland is beautiful. The bike route goes through too many urban areas and not enough countryside. The groups are too large. Our group had 28 people and only 1 guide. It was impossible for him to keep an eye on all the people. As an example, it would take 3 or 4 light changes for the group to all cross a main road. Sometimes the group would be spread out as much as 1 kilometer. My wife fell off her bike and broke her hand because the group was always speeding up and slowing down. One day we even lost a rider for a while. The tour guide seemed very informative, but did not explain much, and seemed cold most of the time. That is my honest opinion. Thank you.

    Boat: Tijdgeest

  • Sandra Falconer 2 years ago

    Wonderful trip. Only a little disappointed in that our guide was very knowledgeable about biking, but didn't appear to be as knowledgeable about the geography or culture of the area as I would have liked.

  • Beth 3 years ago

    Took the Jelmar out of Amsterdam and spent 4 days cruising and biking with our guide Fred. Our captain was sure of himself (reference the other comment above) but that is what I look for in a boat captain. Captains must know what they are doing when they traverse the locks, etc. The other folks on the trip were super chilled out and positive throughout. We lucked out and had perfect weather and biking conditions. Highly recommended and the tulips were at their peak!!!!

  • Rachel Beyerle 4 years ago

    I just wanted to say a belated thanks to the staff for your assistance with the Gandalf trip earlier in the month. Everything was great and well-organized with the boat, the tour, and we had a fun group of travelers.

    Thank you!

    Boat: Gandalf

  • Jessamyn Ressler-Maerlender 6 years ago

    We took this trip and loved every minute. The pace was relaxed and the flat terrain was easy and beautiful. And, as a pleasant surprise, the food was excellent (we really enjoyed having home cooked meals--a real treat on vacation) and the company was a great group of international people who were easy and fun to be with.

  • Ted Barto 6 years ago

    Our 4 day trip aboard the Jelmar may have been the best 4 days of a wonderful 3 week European trip. Loved the other guests, had a really great female guide, the biking and sites were terrific - just a lot of fun. I think the only complaint from the guests centered upon the boat captain - quite infatuated with himself and a bit much, but, we only had brief daily contact with him. We have already recommended this experience to others - just wonderful. Happy New Year - Ted

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Tulip Tour - 4 Day Boats + Barges

Jelmar Photo

Jelmar Netherlands Comfort Class Boat The Jelmar, recently renovated during the winter of 2006/2007, has 10 twin cabins with level beds, washbasin and shower/toilet, and 1 twin cabin with a bunk bed. The well upgraded ship is ready to receive new guests while sailing in the Netherlands.

Tijdgeest Photo

Tijdgeest Belgium, Netherlands Standard Plus Class Boat Built in the year 1897, the Tijdgeest was one of the first passenger barges on the river Rhine in Germany. More than 100 years later, in 1998, the ship was completely renovated and rebuild into a hotel ship. On the lower deck you’ll find the cabins, all with private facilities. A number of cabins have twin beds, while others use bunk beds. On the upper deck you'll find a very spacious living/dining room with panoramic view. An on-board computer is available for you to use.

Gandalf Photo

Gandalf Netherlands, Belgium Comfort Class Boat The classic MS Gandalf is a comfort class passenger ship that can accommodate 20-22 guests. Almost everything on this barge is on one level, including the comfortable salon which has scenic panoramic windows.