Windmills at the Zaanse Schans Open Air Museum, Zaandam, Holland. Photo via Flickr:kismihok

Cheese market in Alkmaar, Holland. Photo via Flickr:Manuel
4.9/5 (12 ratings)

Tulip Tour - 8 Day

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Biking and boating through the Tulips!

One of our most popular, this bike and boat tour in Holland during Tulip season, is bursting with colors and scents. When Spring dawns in Holland, millions of eager bulbs rise, stretch toward the sun, and blossom for the occasion. Acres upon endless acres of exquisite tulips transform ordinary fields into a colorful kaleidoscope! Having been grown in the Netherlands for more than 400 years, 1200 different varieties of these flowers are now harvested!

Highlights:

  • Keukenhof - the world's flower garden
  • Aalsmeer - the world's flower auction
  • Leiden - birthplace of Rembrandt
  • Haarlem - center of the Dutch flower-growing district
  • Gouda - CHEESE!
  • Windmills, tulips, and more

Did you know that during the 17th century in the Netherlands, Tulips became so highly-prized that prices were sent soaring and markets crashing. This was known as Tulip Mania. Today, though Wall Street is unaware, Tulip Mania prevails!

Come and be dazzled!

A full list of all of our bike and barge tours in Holland is here.

Tour Dates

2017 Dates:
On the Comfort Plus Boats:
Elodie: April 9 and May 7, 2017
Fleur: April 1, April 15, and April 29, 2017
Iris: April 29 and May 6, 2017 
Quo Vadis: April 1, April 8, April 15 and April 22, 2017

Where You’ll Stay

Aboard the Comfort Plus class boats, the Iris, the Fleur or the Quo Vadis

What’s Included

  • Quo Vadis
  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board
  • Breakfast, packed lunch or lunch on board, and dinner
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • 8 speed hybrid bicycle with bike bag
  • Route information
  • Tour guide
  • Admission to Keukenhof, Aalsmeer Flower Auction, cheese farm Zaanse Schans, Aalkmeer cheese market, Bulbarium Lisse, and evening canal cruise
  • Fleur and Iris
  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board
  • Breakfasts, 5 packed lunches, and 6 dinners
  • 1 lunch on board
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • 11 speed bicycle equipped with water bottle and panniers
  • Helmets
  • Tour guide (two tour guides for groups of 18 or more)
  • Entrance to Keukenhof
  • Route information
  • WiFi with limited data (more available for supplement)
  • Bicycle protection
  • Elodie
  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board
  • Breakfasts, 5 packed lunches, and 6 dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • 24 speed bicycle equipped with water bottle and panniers
  • Tour guide
  • Harbor dues and tourist tax
  • Ferry fees en route

What’s Not Included

  • Quo Vadis
  • Drinks other than mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Bike protection
  • Travel insurance
  • Fleur and Iris
  • Drinks other than mentioned
  • Entrance fees for museums, monuments, etc.
  • 1 x dinner
  • Gratuities
  • Travel insurance
  • Elodie
  • Drinks other than mentioned
  • Entrance fees for museums, monuments, etc.
  • 1 x dinner
  • Gratuities
  • Bicycle protection (mandatory)
  • Travel insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From1010 Rates
Client Reviews

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Skill Level

An easy, guided bike and boat tour with average daily distances between 15 and 34 miles (25 and 55 km).

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Tulip Tour - 8 Day Map

ABOARD THE FLEUR AND IRIS

Day 1: Amsterdam - Haarlem, 9 mi. (15 km)
Day 2: Haarlem - Keukenhof - Leiden, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 3: Leiden - Alphen by barge, cycle to Gouda, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Alphen - Kudelstaart (by boat),  22 mi. (35 km)
Day 5: Kudelstaart - Amsterdam - Zaanse Schans, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 6: Zaanse Schans - Alkmaar, 25 (40 km)
Day 7: Alkmaar - Amsterdam, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 8: Departure from Amsterdam 

Day 1: Amsterdam - Haarlem, 9 mi. (15 km)
Boarding begins at 1:00 pm. It is important to be on time as the boat leaves the harbor at 2:30 pm. During this first short sailing, you can enjoy coffee, tea or another beverage, while being introduced to the crew, the boat and the program ahead. Upon arrival in Haarlem, there is opportunity to test your bike and to have necessary adjustments made to ensure a comfortable ride throughout the week!

Day 2: Haarlem - Keukenhof - Leiden, 31. mi. (50 km)
Get ready to pedal through the oldest tulip fields of Holland, including a visit to the infamous Keukenhof gardens! This is the most beautiful flower garden in the world, an overwhelming blaze of colors as seven million flowering tulips rise up in a magnificent background of traditional and modern gardening architecture. It is here that Spring begins. Hyacinths, narcissus, and many other flowers dazzle as well. After being saturated with color and scent,  the cycling continues ending in the historic city of Leiden, who unabashedly boasts of its own beauty and charm. In the evening, there will be opportunity to experience this enchanting place for yourself, strolling along the canals and alleyways, viewing the historical buildings, and, like Rembrandt himself, be inspired by its beauty.

Day 3: Leiden - Alphen by barge, cycle to Gouda, 25 mi. (40 km)
The day begins with a sailing breakfast! Imagine enjoying your morning coffee as the stunning Dutch scenery passes by! The boat will moor in Alphen from where the cycling itinerary begins and leads through the ‘green heart’ of Holland. Near Zoeterwoude, you will visit the cheese farm to learn about the cheese-making process and of course, to sample the wares! Holland is not just famous for its Tulips as you will come to know! In the afternoon, you reach Gouda, famous for the Gouda cheese. If truth be told, Gouda ("How-da" as the locals say) is one of the most popular cheeses in the world, accounting for 50 to 60 percent of the world's cheese consumption, The market square here is lovely with its Gothic town hall and  Saint John Cathedral, famous the world over, whose stain glass windows flood the interior with a diffused light and impress with understated elegance. 

Day 4: Alphen - Kudelstaart, 22 mi. (35 km)
No cycling is planned during the morning hours, giving you the opportunity to explore Alphen. Perhaps you would like to shop a bit!

Day 5: Kudelstaart - Amsterdam - Zaanse Schans, 28 mi. (45 km)
Today begins early! First on the agenda, is to cycle  to the flower auction of Aalsmeer, the largest of Europe. Here huge quantities of flowers are trucked in and sold every day, after which they are distributed all over Europe.  Back on board, you will enjoy breakfast and then another cycling itinerary takes you through the ‘Amsterdamse Bos’, west of Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, a unique hamlet where people live and work, with original houses and windmills from the Zaan River area. The hamlet is dominated by fully operating windmills, the oldest built in 1673, for grinding mustard, spices, paint and oil and for sawing wood into planks. As you walk through the village you will see a clock museum, an old-fashioned grocery store, a house with period furniture, a clog maker, and a cheese farm and get a sense of early history in Holland.

Day 6: Zaanse Schans - Alkmaar, 25 mi. (40 km)
First on the agenda is the beautiful town of De Rijp. Centuries of history are still evident here in the  wooden facades, beautiful church, and town hall. From here, your ride continues across the Beemster Polder, an almost untouched open polder landscape, after which, you visit the former windmill complex of the Schermer Polder and the  Schermerhorn Windmill Museum. The it is off to Alkmaar, known as a Dutch cheese city. As you wander through the streets you'll be amazed by the beauty of Alkmaar's Old Town, with its well-preserved 17th century buildings and narrow, winding canals!

Day 7: Alkmaar - Amsterdam, 28 mi. (45 km)
Once again, this morning, you will enjoy your breakfast as the boat cruises the Dutch canals, followed by Hortus Bulborum, a unique garden museum dedicated to the preservation of rare and historic bulbs. More than 4,000 tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other flowers are planted here. As the cycling continues, you pedal through the unique Waterland back to Amsterdam. In the late afternoon or evening there is time for a canal tour through the famous canals of the city.

Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, your adventure officially ends! 

ABOARD THE QUO VADIS

Day 1: Amsterdam, embarkation
Day 2: Amsterdam - Kudelstaart, 23 mi. (37 km)
Day 3: Kudelstaart - Leiden,  34 mi. (55 km)
Day 4: Leiden - Keukenhof - Haarlem, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 5: Haarlem, Alkmaar, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 6: Alkmaar - Schagen - Alkmaar, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 7: Alkmaar - Amsterdam, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 8: Departure from Amsterdam
 

Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam
Embarkation begins at 3 p.m. The crew will welcome you aboard Quo Vadis with coffee and tea. Explore the Dutch capital on your own. All the major tourist highlights are within easy walking distance from the mooring location of the barge.

Day 2: Amsterdam - Kudelstaart, 23 mi. (37 km)
Leaving Amsterdam, you travel along the 'Amsterdam Forest', through Schiphol and Aalsmeer to Kudelstaart on "Westeinderplassen".

Day 3: Kudelstaart - Leiden, 34 mi. (55 km)
Today begins with an early ride to Aalsmeer so you have plenty of time to visit the largest flower auction in the world. From there you will pass through the beautiful Dutch landscape through the green heart of Holland in the direction of Leiden, the birthplace of Rembrandt. Along the way, visit a traditional Cheese farm. In the evening explore the old university city of Leiden.

Day 4: Leiden - Keukenhof - Haarlem, 25 mi. (40 km)
Today you will bike to Lisse and then on to the famous ‘Keukenhof' flower gardens. The Keukenhof displays 6 million tulips, narcissi, hyacinths, and other bulb flowers. In the afternoon, you bike through the blooming fields of flowers to Haarlem.

Day 5: Haarlem, Alkmaar, 31 mi. (50 km)
Leave from Haarlem and bike to Spaarndam with a detour to the monument of the legendary figure, Hans Brinker. The route continues to the historic city of Zaandam, before your visit to the open-air museum "Zaanse Schans". Here, you can expect an Old Dutch museum village. From there you bike to Alkmaar, known for its Dutch cheese.

Day 6: Alkmaar - Schagen - Alkmaar, 31 mi. (50 km)
In the early morning the boat cruises to Schagen. Today's bike tour begins here and you will cycle through the flower fields of Anna Pauwlonapolder. The return journey takes you along the coast and the ‘Schoorlse Duinen' and ends back in Alkmaar.

Day 7: Alkmaar - Amsterdam, 28 mi. (45 km)
After a visit to the cheese market in Alkmaar, cycle through polders with beautiful villages such as Beemster, de Rijp, Schermer (mills). The tour ends back in Amsterdam where you have more time to explore.

Day 8: Departure from Amsterdam
Tour ends after breakfast. Disembarkation by 10 a.m.

ABOARD THE ELODIE

Day 1: Amsterdam - Kudelstaart, 12 miles
Day 2: Kudelstaart - Gouda, 6/16/24 miles
Day 3: Gouda - Rotterdam - Delft, 17 miles
Day 4: Delft - The Hague - Leiden, 24 miles
Day 5: Leiden - Voorhout - Leiden, 8 miles
Day 6: Leiden - Haarlem, 13 miles
Day 7: Haarlem - Amsterdam, 5 miles 
Day 8: Departure from Amsterdam

You can view all of our bike and boat tours or look at our featured bike trips, specials, and news.

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Customer Feedback

  • J. Stowell 7 months ago

    This was an amazing trip. The scenery and flowers were absolutely stunning, the group was great, and we had wonderful food, thanks to our chef, Sander. Nico, our guide was fantastic. He is fun and knowledgable and took great care of us. I would love to take another of his tours! I loved the biking. It was pretty chilly and sometimes very windy, but always doable. The bike roads and scenery make the Netherlands a perfect place to bike.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • K Arehart 7 months ago

    We were very pleased with the Zwaantje and its ownership / crew, and Felix, our guide. We have already booked our next adventure on the Zwaantje for Sept 2017.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • T. Gaeng 7 months ago

    Boat, rooms, bikes, food, service, cleanliness, friendliness of crew (Captain, First Mate, Cook, Guide) - all excellent. It was was a fantastic trip !!!

    All entrance fees of the places we visited on the bike trips (Keukenhof, Flower Auction) were included and we also visited places that are not usually open for tourists (private cheese farm, retired tulip grower, ...). Some guests were not very experienced bikes (us included) but with e-bikes as options we managed to do all bike trips - although mostly flat we usually went at good clip and had frequently strong winds to battle. But the exercise only made the trip more fun and increased our appetite to look forward to the excellent 3-4 course dinners on the boat.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • J. Mumford 7 months ago

    About the only confusion was the gratuity. In your write up it stated 3 - 4%. On our room door it said 5 to 8%. Which was a combined amount. So it was a little confusing. We tipped the 8% maybe a little more. Not a problem for us, but some people budget for an exact amount. The trip was wonderful.

    Boat: Fleur

  • Susan B. 7 months ago

    Super trip. I was a inexperienced bicycler and the ebike made the journey very enjoyable.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • J Douglas 7 months ago

    The barge (Zwaantje) was exceptionally nice. It helps that the captain is also the owner. You could tell that he took pride in the vessel and kept it in great condition. We were lucky with the weather for this trip, as this time of year for the Tulip Tour can be cold and rainy, as some friends of ours found out, when they took a later week. The Tulip Tour is worth doing once, however since the weather during this time of the year is so unpredictable, we would not take the chance of a second time. Instead, we will be doing the September 2-week Paris to Brugge next year.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Mona White 1 year ago

    I left my heart in The Netherlands. The people are so great there.

    Boat: Fleur

  • Jan Bray 1 year ago

    The route was altered due to bridge construction, beyond the control of the staff. They handled it well, though. It was very fun and the group bonded well. I would suggest at the beginning, a short refresher on hand signals, road signs, etc would be good so that we all understand the traveling circumstances.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Sharon Bozman 1 year ago

    Had a wonderful time. The crew were amazing. Fred the guide was very attentive, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. Well organized with unique side trips. The food was great and the crew were all very friendly and helpful. What a beautiful country and lovely way to experience it. I will definitely recommend it to my friends.

    Boat: Fleur

  • Joyce Chizmadia 1 year ago

    We loved our trip to the Netherlands to bike through the tulips and have recommended this trips to lots of friends and family!

    Boat: Fleur

  • Beth Groundwater 1 year ago

    The staff of the Quo Vadis and our bike guide were absolutely wonderful.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Paula Bramble 1 year ago

    We enjoy the international feel of Tripsite and tell our friends about the pleasures of bike and barge.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Prosper Bellizia 3 years ago

    At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, this was a vacation that I still think about everyday, almost 2 months later. The only way to see this beautiful country is at ground level on a bike. And the only way to do it is with the crew of the Quo Vadis who made the trip so much fun.

    Did I say how much I loved this trip?!!

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Ralph and Erna Fluit 3 years ago

    We had an absolutely marvelous time.

    The crew was amazing,the food very delicious, they all went out of their way to make it a very memorable vacation.

    We truly appreciated all the extra things that Lia did for us, taking us on excursions in the town at night, even arranging a tour one night through the canals in one of the towns.

    We highly recommend a bike and barge tour and have done so already, we will definitely do it again and would love to be with the same crew.

    Thank you so much!

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Nick and Petra Voordenhout 3 years ago

    Just a note to say how much we enjoyed the 8 day tulip bike and barge. The captin Rendert, crew Valdi, chef Alf and guide Lia went beyond our expectations. The boat was clean and well kept and cozy. The meals amazing and Lia did her best to make it enjoyable for everyone regardless of ability. We would truly recommend this tour to anyone. We would like to do another tour with them in the future.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Simon Husband 3 years ago

    Just a brief note to tell you how much we enjoyed the Tulip Tour aboard the Quo Vadis.

    The Captain Rendert, the Second Mate Waldi, the Chef Alfe and Guide Lea were excellent. They worked hard to make everyone happy and made a good team. They really enjoy what they do and this showed in the attention and professionalism shown to all the guests.

    The itinerary was spot on for content and interest. Not a moment was left to chance as they made sure we enjoyed every aspect of the Dutch culture, countryside and the beauty of the tulip fields.

    Special mention to our Guide Lea for her excellent knowledge of all things Dutch, our Chef Alfe for his passion for food and ensuring our nutritional wellbeing and Waldi for going out of way to make sure that we did not want for anything practical on the boat.

    We look forward to doing more tours with TripSite.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Mary McLaughlin 4 years ago

    The April 14th, 2013 trip on the Elodie far exceeded my expectations. The dynamite crew provided excellent care and service. Meeting people from other countries, sharing stories, riding in the wind (and just a little bit of rain) and dining with each other for the week was a bonding experience. Ine, our guide, was patient and knowledgable, Vamme was a good captain who joined us on some of our city strolls and Sander was a chef extraordinaire ~ definitely the "King of Creme Brulle" ! My friend and I hope to take another Bike & Barge trip ~ and would arrange our trip around the Elodie. What wonderful memories!!!

    Boat: Fleur

  • Noreen Stackpole 4 years ago

    We just returned from the Tulip Tour on the Elodie. It was fantastic. Our guide, Ine, was great, even going the extra mile by offering city walks each evening. Sander, the chef, created outstanding gourmet dinners enhanced by his enthusiastic description and presentations. Our captain was great, pitching in as needed. The bikes were brand new and of excellent quality, and the biking was really fun - challenging at times with the wind, which added to the enjoyment. We got to tour a working windmill and a cheese producing farm and learned a lot about the Netherlands. No tulip fields this week but that was the only disappointment and it was overshadowed by all the positives. A fantastic trip!

    Boat: Fleur

  • Jane & Dale Honeycutt 4 years ago

    What a fabulous time! The crew on the Elodie could not have been better. Sanders, the chef, put out gourmet meals every night, with wonderful breakfast choices each morning. Our guide for the week, Miriah, took such good care of us, was always cheerful & helpful, and we really saw an amazing cross section of the Netherlands.The April 7th trip, this year, was cold, and unfortunately because of the very late spring there were very few tulips, but that didn't dim our enjoyment, and it was highly unusual. Some of the mileages shown are a little short. Day 2 was possible to do 34 miles & day 7 was 22 miles. All do-able even for someone who hasn't kept up on their cycling.

    Boat: Fleur

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Tulip Tour - 8 Day Boats + Barges

Elodie Photo

Elodie Netherlands, Belgium, France Comfort Plus Class Boat The Elodie was built in 1931 and has been completely refurnished into a luxury holiday ship. The ship has a saloon and sundeck and all of its cabins come with air-conditioning. The saloon of the Elodie is furnished in ship-style by using various types of wood in the finishing.

Fleur Photo

Fleur France, Netherlands Comfort Plus Class Boat The Fleur was first put into service in 2002. The owner, Jossie, had the beautifully-lined barge converted into a comfortable passenger ship, according to her own design. Her female touch is definitely recognizable by the tasteful interior and her sharp eye for detail. The whole barge radiates a homelike atmosphere.

Iris Photo

Iris France, Germany Comfort Plus Class Boat The Iris was put to sea in April 2005. She is a refitted freight barge that accommodates 24 overnight passengers. The interior of the Iris is fresh, tasteful and comfortable. The Iris can navigate on most rivers and canals in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. On the top deck you will the lounge, a roomy sitting area, a cozy bar and a sun deck. The whole barge has central heating and air-conditioning.

Quo Vadis Photo

Quo Vadis Belgium Comfort Plus Class Boat The beautiful MS Quo Vadis, put into service in April 2006, is comfortably furnished and so cozy you will feel right at home. It is equipped with 12 spacious cabins with private bath, two single beds that can be pushed together, and air conditioning (windows cannot be opened). Each cabin has a safe for valuables. The ship offers a gorgeous open salon with corner seats, a restaurant, a small bar, and a sundeck with umbrellas. With a guitar and piano right on board, you can enjoy regular live music during downtime.

PWPC