Tall Ship's Race in Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium. Photo via Flickr:Willy Verhulst

Biking through Bruges, West Flanders, Belgium. Photo via Flickr:nanpalmero
4.7/5 (23 ratings)

Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges

Belgium, Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Come see the beautiful spring flowers of this famous cycling route!

  • 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 it's 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.

    Want to see more bike and barge tours in Holland?

  • 2019 Prices

    Merlijn: £ 1182 $ 2,026 1480 NOK 14183 kr 13092 $ 1,702

    Single supplement: On request

    Clair de Lune and Tijdgeest: £ 785 $ 1,346 983 NOK 9420 kr 8696 $ 1,130

    Single supplement: £ 179 $ 307 224 NOK 2147 kr 1982 $ 258

    2020 Prices

    Merlijn: £ 1218 $ 2,088 1525 NOK 14615 kr 13490 $ 1,754

    extra options

    Tandem or electric bike rental on the Merlijn (rate is per day): £ 20 $ 34 25 NOK 240 kr 221 $ 29

    Electric bike rental on the Clair de Lune or Tijdgeest (price includes mandatory bike protection): £ 137 $ 235 172 NOK 1648 kr 1522 $ 198

    please note

    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

    Take a short train ride from Amsterdam Schiphol airport to Amsterdam Central, then short walk or taxi ride to the boat.


    Check local conditions prior to departure. Average high/low temperatures in °F for Bruges are: 51/44 for April and 58/49 for May.


    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.

Tour Dates

2019 Dates

On Comfort Plus boat:
Merlijn: April 20, 2019

On the Standard Plus boats: 
Clair de Lune: April 6, April 20, May 4, 2019
Tijdgeest: May 11, 2019

2020 Dates

On Comfort Plus boat:
Merlijn: April 25 and May 9, 2020

Skill Level

Easy, guided bike & boat tour. Bicycle routes follow mainly flat bike paths & country lanes with little traffic. Occasionally heavier traffic is encountered when entering the bigger cities. Daily cycling distances range from approximately 16 to 25 miles (25 to 40 km). Guide bikes with the group but it’s also possible to cycle on your own.

Where You’ll Stay

Click barge information for further details about the classes of boats.

What’s Included

  • On the Merlijn
  • Accommodations for 8 days/7 nights on board
  • Welcome drink
  • All meals: breakfast, packed lunches and three-course dinners (excluding two dinners)
  • Entrance fee to the Keukenhof
  • 24-gear tour bike, incl. water bottle, universal sized helmet and bike bag
  • Tour guide
  • Unlimited coffee, tea and hot chocolate during the trip on board and portable ice water during meals
  • Harbor fees
  • On the Clair de Lune or Tijdgeest
  • Accommodations for 8 days/7 nights
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch/packed lunch, 3 courses dinner)
  • Tour guide
  • Bicycle with gears and pannier
  • Bicycle protection
  • Several city walks
  • Information booklet + map
  • Entrance fee Windmill Kinderdijk
  • Train ride Ghent – Bruges – Ghent
  • Bus transfer Ghent – Amsterdam Airport
  • Horse and carriage ride

What’s Not Included

  • On the Merlijn
  • Excursions not mentioned
  • Drinks on board
  • Biking maps (for sale on board)
  • 2 x dinner
  • Bicycle protection
  • Travel Insurance
  • On the Clair de Lune and Tijdgeest
  • Travel Insurance
  • Excursions and entrance fees not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Drinks on board
Length8 days
From983 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges Map

*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.

On the Merlijn

Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam, cruising to Harlem
Day 2: Haarlem - Keuhenhof - 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

On the Clare de Lune or Tijdgeest

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, 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 - Keuhenhof - 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)
Sailing breakfast while we cruise to the starting point of the bike tour at Boskoop. You will start biking through one of the most beautiful parts of Holland – the so called Green Heart of Holland - and will visit the city of Gouda, with its candles and stroopwafels, afterwards you will reach Kinderdijk, world famous for its windmills. Here appears 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 town houses from a rich past are situated around the Market Square. Tonight you will enjoy your dinner on your own in one of the many local restaurants in Antwerp.

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 9AM.

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. On 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. 

Looking for more?  Check out our full list of bike and boat tours or view all our featured bike trips, specials, and news.

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Customer Feedback

  • John S. 5 months ago

    This was our first bike and barge trip. It is a great way to travel. There is time to see the area and not have to worry about finding lodging. The crew of the Merlijn was first rate. I will sign up for another trip with them. Jantien was like your mom welcoming you on your trip home.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Frederick S. 6 months ago

    Our trip aboard Quo Vadis exceeded our expectations; the food and crew were great. We ended riding more than the itinerary suggested (averaging about 35 miles per day), but we lucked out and head great weather the entire trip.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Derek G. 11 months ago

    The most memorable was the food on the barge, it was very high end. It just added to the rest of the great experience we had.

    Boat: Holland

  • Richard H. 11 months ago

    Most Memorable Part: Our fellow travelers and Jacko, the chef on the Quo Vadis.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

    • Julie Worger 6 months ago

      Hi Richard-
      We enjoy biking but have never considered a trip like this. You mentioned the things you enjoyed... what were the disappointments?
      Thanks for your help.

  • Susan C. 11 months ago

    We have been on five trips through Tripsite and each one is better than the last. This authentic Holland trip through Central and Northern Holland was great cycling and of course the Merlijn was wonderful.

  • Marty W. 1 year ago

    Marcos , captain and Kim, cook were at the helm of our trip with the Claire de Lune. They did an outstanding job; food excellent, conversation and safety of boat exceptional - we were taken care of very well. Paul, tour bike guide kept us all together on the back streets and roads, never lost and always got us back to the boat in time for relaxation time and dinner. He knew the area, well versed in the country's history and strong bicyclist and took good care of us. This trip is not for the faint at heart or easy bicycle afternoon riders. We road 30 miles almost every day - wind in our face and sometimes lucky with the wind at our backs. The riding was some back roads, some deltas and some cobble stone city riding along with traffic. Not rails to trails and no sag wagon. We saw beautiful country sides, the tulips were full aglow at the tulip fields and the windmill adventure was super. It was a good full week of adventure. The barge crew are to be commended for all that they did to make our week special.

    Boat: Clair de Lune

  • Sandy B. 1 year ago

    It was the best trip. The food was spectacular, our guide was spectacular. I loved the whole trip.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Rick H. 1 year ago

    The most memorable parts were Keukenhof gardens and fellow bikers. Disappointed that a week long "tulip tour" ended up being about 3 hours of tulip tour. Primarily focused on 1953 Delta Plan, interesting but spent too much time...days, on it. Enjoyed seeing Kinderdijk windmills. Would have been nice to see more small towns and tulip fields.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Patricia C. 1 year ago

    Three highlights of the trip: glorious sunshine on the palette of colour at the Keukenhof Gardens; exploring the fabulous 'secret' back alleys in the Kieuperspoort district of Middelburg; the helpful, friendly and confident nature of our Dutch hosts. Fantastic holiday!!!

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Julie H. 2 years ago

    The most memorable part was riding through the beautiful countryside.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Betsy A. 2 years ago

    The trip was fun but I don't think the description of the trip was accurate. The trip was about 85% bike riding and 15% site seeing. I would have liked more time to explore the cities we were riding through but most of the time it was too late or placed were closed. Not sure if I would do another tour like this. The riding was beautiful but I really expected more site seeing according to the trip description.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • A. Miller 2 years ago

    We loved the trip. Hank, Jantien, & staff were super as usual. The electric bike was a bit heavy. My(Anita) electric bike at home feels much lighter--it's smaller. Look forward to another trip on Merlijn & with Jantien & Hank. --Anita & Duncan

    Boat: Merlijn

  • L. Reisinger 2 years ago

    The staff of the Merlijn were delightful and very personable. Enjoyed them thoroughly.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • J. Klok 2 years ago

    Travel aboard the Merlijn is always a wonderful experience. Our guide, Felix, was excellent. This was our fourth trip and we will return for more.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • C. Martin 2 years ago

    I really enjoyed this trip. The barge was very spacious and the food was excellent. The staff were friendly and the atmosphere was very relaxing. The biking was just right and our bike guide was wonderful. Felix was knowledgeable and very helpful to all. I will certainly recommend this trip to others and can hardly wait to do another bike and barge trip.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • S. Carlson 2 years ago

    Some of the other people that came on the trip were not prepared to ride a bike 20-25 miles per day. They said that they had not ridden a bicycle since they were a youth. Consequently, this significantly held up the entire group. I would recommend emphasizing the importance of being in good riding condition for the bike/barge trips. Thank you.
    The staff of the Merlijn absolutely made the entire trip a pure delight! We would definitely sail with them again in the future!

    Boat: Merlijn

  • R. Modi 2 years ago

    The entire trip for all 13 of us was superb !!! From the quality of the boat, the skipper, the chef, the cycle route, the guide, the food on board, all excellen !! A must do!! The quality of the cycles were excellent ! Which made the experience memorable! I did get a chance to compare it with other boat and bicycle tours, ours was far superior, practically new bicycles.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • J. Shah 2 years ago

    Best time we ever had. It was like coming back to home after the day cycling. Staff was very friendly and felt at home. Food was good. Look forward to come again in future for sure. The E-bikes were too good and very good for us who are not regular cyclist.

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • L. Chandler 2 years ago

    I loved this trip. The Merlijn was well-above my expectations. Very clean and well setup. Everything on the boat was perfect. Now if only we had had better weather. :)

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Derek Gee 3 years ago

    Both my wife and I were very happy with the overall experience. The crew, barge, daily itinerary and especially the food were all top notch. It was more then we could reasonably expect. We would and have recommended the experience to others. We hope to return soon on another bike and barge trip.

  • Mary Barchiesi 3 years ago

    We loved our trip so much that I just chartered another boat for 36 people in Croatia for September 2016 with another company. Better working deal than tripsite. The boat owners were rigid and probably not as congenial as they could have been. It was their boat, not our trip. I organized a group of 12 and were not demanding at all. The tour guide was over the top just amazing!!!! All in all a wonderful experience!

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Elizabeth Yates 3 years ago

    Yes, I have recommended this trip to several people and will continue to do so. So many people have never heard of such a trip. One of my friends has already booked on our same barge (Merlijn) for next year! The staff, the rooms, the food and scenery were absolutely wonderful.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Linda Scotten 3 years ago

    Though not a 'delux' trip the staff and other passengers made it such a memorable trip! It might not suit everyone but we loved it!

  • James Dowie 4 years ago

    the captain was wonderful and the nice part was he had his two daughters on for a few days and they were lovely. They also had there small dog who was great. Missed the dog when he went with the girls. The guide Lia was excellent and very helpful at all times. They rearranged the direction of the tour to cope with the wind and to go to the Keukenhof on a day when it was not so busy. The Keukenhof Gardens were at its peak the day we went. We will never forget that day. There were many highlights the cheese farm, the floralies were flowers are sold world wide, and so many other things like a barge tour at night in one town. I could go on for pages.

    Waldy the helper was always there with a smile and never did he let me carry a bag. The cabins were neat and clean. Alf the cook who did the food was sensational every day . Alf and I had a birthday on the same day (April 21st) and they had a party for us. It was my 82nd birthday one I will never forget. All the other guests were great and we mixed so well. We bonded the first day even though we were from many different backgrounds. The e-bike you arranged allowed me to keep up with everybody. It was always ready and charged up each morning. I had a minor tumble in Amsterdam landed on my head and the helmets provided did the job. Guess I have a hard head too. Only damage is a sore thumb. When it hurts from time to time it brings back fantastic memories of our wonderful trip a very positive feeling. My wife and I really hope life will let us take another bike and barge trip in Europe.

    I really can not thank you all enough for the wonderful happiness you provide.

  • Mary & Bill Perkins 5 years ago

    The tour was packed with history, beauty & a real feel of how the people live there lives - thanks to Lia our guide. Food, decor & Jantien's hospitality aboard the Merlijn was second to none. The crew went out of there way to make this truly a memorable cycling vacation.

    Thank you!

    Boat: Merlijn

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Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Bruges Boats + Barges

Clair de Lune Photo

Clair de Lune France Standard Plus Class Boat In May 2014, Marco Pouw and his wife Astrid assumed ownership of the ship Clair de Lune. In the winter of 2014, the ship was renovated and made ready for a new bike and boat adventure in and around Paris, launching in the spring of 2015.Marco has great experience as a skipper on freighters in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and looks forward to this venture with great anticipation and enthusiasm.

Merlijn Photo

Merlijn Germany, Netherlands Comfort Plus Class Boat The 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.

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.