In April and May all of Holland is blooming and this tour shows you some lovely old Dutch towns like Dordrecht and Gouda, famous for its delicious cheese! Crossing the border to Belgium takes you to the Belgian pearls of Antwerp, Ghent and on top of that, Bruges! Highlight of this tulip-themed bike and boat tour is a visit to the world-famous Keukenhof, which will be ablaze with colors. In fact, all of Holland and Belgium will be bursting with spring.
Clair de Lune and Tijdgeest: £843$1,698€983NOK9339kr8620$1,121
Single supplement: £192$387€224NOK2128kr1964$255
Superior twin: £1239$2,496€1445NOK13728kr12672$1,647Standard twin: £1059$2,133€1235NOK11733kr10830$1,408Bunk bed for twin use: £909$1,831€1060NOK10070kr9295$1,208Bunk bed for single use: £1059$2,133€1235NOK11733kr10830$1,408
Single supplement: On request
Feniks: Superior twin: £1256$2,530€1465NOK13918kr12847$1,670Standard twin: £1071$2,159€1250NOK11875kr10962$1,425Bunk bed for twin use: £913$1,840€1065NOK10118kr9339$1,214Bunk bed for single use: £1341$2,703€1565NOK14868kr13724$1,784
Electric bike rental: Clair de Lune or Tijdgeest (price includes mandatory bike protection): £147$297€172NOK1634kr1508$196Feniks:£39$78€45NOK428kr395$51Merlijn: Electric or tandem (rate is per day): £21$43€25NOK238kr219$29
Fly into and out of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) or fly to Amsterdam and out of Brussels Zaventem Airport (BRU).
You will have just a short train ride from Amsterdam airport (Schiphol) to Amsterdam central, where you board the boat usually between 12 and 4 PM depending on the boat. From Bruges, train to Amsterdam airport takes approx. 3¼ hr and costs approximately ± €48. The train station in Bruges is named "Brugge". The train station at Amsterdam Schiphol airport is named "Schiphol". The train station in Amsterdam city center is named "Amsterdam Centraal". If you are flying out of Brussels, train travel from Bruges to Brussels is about 1 1/2 hour. There is a train station in the lower level of the airport.
Please check local conditions before travel. A very good website to research regional weather is weatherbase.com. The climate in Holland is considered maritime, greatly affected by the sea. Belgium as well is influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, with cool summers and moderate winters.
Extra time in Amsterdam before the tour.
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.
Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc.
*Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.
This is an easy, guided bike and boat tour. The cycling routes follow mainly flat bike paths and country lanes with little traffic. Occasionally heavier traffic is encountered when entering or exiting larger towns or cities. Daily cycling distances range from approximately 16 to 25 miles (25 to 40 km). A tour guide cycles with the group but it’s also possible to cycle on your own.
*All distances are approximate. The 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: Arrival in Amsterdam, cruising to Harlem Day 2: Haarlem - Keukenhof - Leiden, 25 mi. (40 km) Day 3: Leiden - Gouda - Dordrecht, 21 mi. (35 km) Day 4: Dordrecht - Willemstad - Tholen - Antwerp, 27 mi. (45 km) Day 5: Antwerp - Baasrode, 21 mi. (35 km) Day 6: Baasrode - Merelbeke - Ghent, 27 mi. (45 km) Day 7: Ghent - Bruges, 24 mi. (40 km) Day 8: Departure from Bruges
Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam, cruising to Harlem The Merlijn, your sailing hotel, awaits you in Amsterdam. Embarkation is between 1:00 PM and 1:30 PM. The barge departs at 2 PM to cruise to Haarlem. It is necessary to leave on time because of the operating hours of the bridges. The crew will welcome you on board and while you enjoy a welcome drink, you will be informed about the barge and the daily tours. The barge stays overnight in Haarlem.
Day 2: Haarlem - Keukenhof - Leiden, 25 mi. (40 km) During breakfast, the Merlin will take you a little further on to Cruquius, where your bike tour will start. Today you will visit the Keukenhof, the beautiful flower exhibition. After this visit, you will bike to Leiden, where the Merlijn awaits you. Dinner on board and overnight stay in Leiden.
Day 3: Leiden - Gouda - Dordrecht, 21 mi. (35 km) You will enjoy a sailing breakfast while you cruise to the starting point of the bike tour at Boskoop. Your route leads through one of the most beautiful parts of Holland, the Green Heart of Holland. You will cycle through Gouda, with its candles and stroopwafels and to Kinderdijk, world famous for its windmills. You will encounter an impressive row of large windmills, built to drain the Alblasserwaard. You can visit one of the mills. From Alblasserdam, you will embark the ferry and you will sail to Dordrecht, where the Merlijn will await you. Dordrecht is one of the oldest towns of Holland, where you will enjoy a walking tour through this charming old city before you will go out dining at your own expense in one of the many restaurants. The Merlijn will stay overnight in Dordrecht.
Day 4: Dordrecht - Willemstad - Tholen - Antwerp, 27 mi. (45 km) During breakfast the boat cruises to Willemstad, where your bike tour to Tholen starts. Tholen was once an island in the middle of the large Zeeland streams, where many people were fisherman by trade. Today, Tholen is connected to the mainland in various ways, but it is still a picturesque village with many relics of an eventful past. Today's bike tour ends here and the barge takes you into the Willemdok of Antwerp. Antwerp is not only known as the diamond city, but also as the native city of the painter Rubens. In the Rubens House, you can admire his work. In the heart of the city, you will see the Cathedral of Our Lady and beautiful townhouses from a rich past are situated around the Market Square.
Day 5: Antwerp - Baasrode, 21 mi. (35 km) After breakfast, you will have more time to explore the city of Antwerp. At around 9 AM you will board a tram that brings you into the heart of Antwerp.You may want to visit the Rubens House if you did not get an opportunity earlier or a diamond factory. You can also go shopping in the lively center. After your visit, board the Merlijn and have lunch on board while cruising to Rupelmonde. Here, your bike tour for today begins. The tour follows the river Schelde further upstream via Temse to Baasrode.
Day 6: Baasrode - Merelbeke - Ghent, 27 mi. (45 km) After breakfast, bike along the river Zeeschelde. Our first stop will be in Dendermonde, a nice country town on the Dender estuary. The route follows this beautiful but capricious tidal river, Schelde, upstream to Ghent, a lively university city. This city has a rich past with origins in Roman Times and is located at the place where the rivers, Leie and Schelde converge. This favorable situation brought a great deal of prosperity over the years, which had its peak late 13th, early 14th century. The textile industry brought great wealth. In the city center, many old patrician houses have been preserved. In the Clothmakers’ Hall (1425) textile merchants used to meet. The major church is St. Baafs’ Cathedral, built in various ages and in various styles. In the cathedral, you can admire a number of medieval paintings, including, ‘Adoration of the Lamb’ by Jan van Eyck.
Day 7: Ghent - Bruges, 24 mi. (40 km) During breakfast, the barge cruises to Aalter, where your last biking tour begins and leads through the pleasant countryside of Western Flanders to Bruges. Bruges, also called the Venice of the North, maybe is the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old center, which dates from the Middle Ages, is almost completely intact. At the time, Bruges was a metropolis, the center of trade and art. Bruges is also great for shopping. In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour through this city. You may even want to include a ride through the canals. Farewell dinner on the Merlijn and your last overnight stay on board.
Day 8: Departure from Bruges. Disembarkation after breakfast, approximately 9 AM.
Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam, sailing to Oude Wetering, 6 mi. (10 km) Day 2: Oude Wetering - Gouda, 25 mi. (40 km) Day 3: Gouda - Willemstad, 25 mi. (40 km) Day 4: Kreekrak locks - Antwerp, 27 mi. (45 km) Day 5: Antwerp - Dendermonde, 31 mi. (50 km) Day 6: Dendermonde - Ghent, 22 mi. (35 km) Day 7: Train to Bruges, return by train to Ghent Day 8: Transfer by bus to Amsterdam Airport
Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam, sailing to Oude Wetering, 6 mi. (10 km) Embarkation and check-in aboard the hotel barge. In the afternoon the barge crosses the Amsterdam center and heads for the village of Oude Wetering. In the evening there’s a short test ride on the bike.
Day 2:Oude Wetering - Gouda, 25 mi. (40 km) You enjoy an easy bike ride right through some real Dutch meadowlands and end your trip in the cheese town, Gouda. Free time in Gouda after dinner.
Day 3: Gouda - Willemstad, 25 mi. (40 km) The day starts with a nice sailing trip. By bike, you visit the world famous windmills of Kinderdijk and the old Dutch town of Dordrecht. You embark the barge in the afternoon and sail to the beautiful walled town of Willemstad.
Day 4: Kreekrak locks - Antwerp, 27 mi. (45 km) Today the barge sails right across the impressive waterways of Zeeland. At the Kreekrak locks, you'll get on your bike to head for the lively town of Antwerp in Belgium. AIn the evening your guide invites you for a short city walk and you will have some free time to explore this lively port town.
Day 5: Antwerp - Dendermonde, 31 mi. (50 km) You cycle out of Antwerp for a ride through the pretty Flemish countryside alongside the river Schelde. You spend the night in the provincial town of Dendermonde.
Day 6: Dendermonde - Ghent, 22 mi. (35 km) The river Schelde is a tidal river and thus the barge may have to wait for the high tide to continue. Therefore you disembark and cycle directly to the old city of Ghent. The tour leader will invite you for a walk across the wonderful town center.
Day 7: Train to Bruges, return by train to Ghent By train, you go to Bruges and your tour leader will make you acquainted with this unique town. You are free to discover Bruges until mid-afternoon when you then return to Ghent by train. In the months of April and May, a ride through the center of Bruges in a horse-drawn carriage is planned.
Day 8: Transfer by bus to Amsterdam Airport
Important note for passengers aboard the Clair de Lune and the Tijdgeest: Due to restrictions by Belgian naval authorities, passengers are no longer allowed to remain on board while the barge motors the Belgian waterways. Noncycling participants will be required to take a taxi or public transportation at their own expense. The tour leader will provide details on board.
Day 1: Amsterdam - Oude Wetering Day 2: Oude Wetering - Gouda Day 3: Gouda - Dordrecht Day 4: Dordrecht - Zierikzee Day 5: Zierikzee - Middelburg Day 6: Middelburg - Gent Day 7: Gent - Bruges Day 8: Bruges
Daily distances average 45 km.
Day 1: Amsterdam Individual arrival on board the Feniks. Cycling route leads to Oude Wetering.
Day 2: Oude Wetering - Gouda Today you will bike through the bulb fields and visit the Keukenhof, with literally millions of flowering bulbs. You enjoy an easy bike ride right through some real Dutch meadowlands and end your trip in the cheese town, Gouda. Free time in Gouda after dinner.
Day 3: Gouda - Dordrecht Today you will enjoy cycling in the green heart of Holland, following scenic country roads along a winding waterway.
Day 4: Dordrecht - Zierikzee Today you will enter Zeeland, a province of the Netherlands marked by light, wind, water, and space. It is made up of islands so bridges and ferries will be carrying you across the waters as you drift down towards Belgium. Picture-book towns with ancient houses and cobbled streets line the banks. Traverse a patchwork landscape of vast polders, idyllic countryside, rolling dunes, and golden sand flats.
Day 5: Zierikzee - Middelburg A stroll down the narrow streets of Zierikzee is an absolute delight. Quaint old houses take you back in time to the town's glory days when ships set sail to sell salt, wool, fish, grain, and red dye as far afield as the Baltic and the Mediterranean. Your route continues to the charming village of Veere. From 1541, everything that was exported to Holland from Scotland (mainly wool) came ashore in, and was distributed from, Veere. This contract brought the town not only prosperity but also a very lively Scottish expat community that stayed for 300 years. Walk in their footsteps as you take a tour of the sights. Cruising further south, you will discover the nostalgic splendor of the city of Middelburg, the capital of Zeeland. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was one of the most important centers of trade in the Netherlands. With a strong headwind, this trip can be very strenuous. In that case, you may prefer to do the first part of today's route on board the Quo Vadis, and start cycling at Zandkreek. The Quo Vadis will moor in Middelburg, founded in the 12th century as an abbey. The city was the second most important center for the Dutch East India Company, active in Africa colonizing the southern coasts and slave trading on the western coasts
Day 6: Middelburg - Gent Today we cross the waterway Westerschelde, which is the main estuary connecting the port of Antwerp with the sea and moor in Gent. A thriving and quaint medieval town
Day 7: Gent - Bruges Today you bike from one medieval city to another on quiet roads in the typical small scale fields patter of Flanders with farmhouses and little villages. Docking in "Venice of the North", Bruges.
Day 8: Departure Your tour officially ends after breakfast.
Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges - 8 day Boats + Barges
Clair de LuneFranceStandard Class BoatIn May 2014, Marco Pouw and his wife Astrid assumed ownership of the ship Clair de Lune. Originally built in 1936 as a freight ship in Belgium, like many of the vessels now used for biking and boating, this vessel was renovated and equipped for a new bike and boat adventure in and around Paris, launching in the spring of 2015.
Marco has years of experience as a skipper on freighters in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany and approaches his new venture with great enthusiasm.
MerlijnGermany, NetherlandsDeluxe Class BoatThe Merlijn has 12 luxurious cabins with two comfortable airbeds that can be pushed together or separated, a desk, a wardrobe closet, a hairdryer, and a safe. The lounge is comfortably furnished in a modern style with a restaurant area and lounge near the bar. You can enjoy fresh air, water, and nature in all weather on the sun deck. The entire ship is climate controlled and you can adjust the temperature in your own cabin.
TijdgeestBelgium, NetherlandsStandard Class BoatBuilt 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.
FeniksBelgium, Netherlands, FranceStandard Class BoatOriginally, 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.
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