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This wonderful bike and barge trip, that starts and ends in Amsterdam, takes you through the provinces of South- and North-Holland while spring flowers are in bloom.
You will spend time in the historical cities of Haarlem, Leiden, Gouda, and Alkmaar and learn about the water management of these lowlands at the North Sea. You will also visit the famous Keukenhof gardens, known by the hundreds of thousands of blooming tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and other bulb flowers. The world-famous Aalsmeer flower auction is on the program, where an astonishing volume of beautiful flowers are being traded daily and exported all over the world.
One night the barge mooring is at the open air museum 'the Zaanse Schans' with its windmills, cheese farm, and picturesque wooden houses. You will be surprised the beautiful, varied scenery and the wonderful cycling paths of Holland.
*Note: although this is a guided tour, you may choose to ride independently with the help of a map (available on board) and GPS tracks. In case you prefer to rest one day, you may stay on board while the ship cruises to the next town.
- Historic cities like Haarlem, Leiden, Gouda and Alkmaar
- Keukenhof gardens
- Aalsmeer flower auction
- Zaanse Schans open-air museum
Learn more about guided tours.
Day 1: Amsterdam – Spaarndam – Haarlem (3 miles/6 km or 8 miles/14 km)
You are welcome to check in between 1:00-2:00pm. The crew will welcome you with coffee and tea. At 2:30 pm the barge leaves the harbor. While the barge sails to Haarlem, your tour leader will tell you about the tour, the cycling and safety.
From Spaarndam you have the option to do a little test ride. After dinner on board, the tour leader will take you on a town walk through the beautiful city center of Haarlem.
Day 2: Haarlem – Keukenhof – Leiden (23 miles/38 km)
Today's trip leads you through the oldest tulip fields of Holland, including a visit to the Keukenhof gardens. This is the most beautiful bulb park in the world. Keukenhof is the place where the spring breaks. An overwhelming blaze of colors; seven million flowering tulips in a magnificent 80-acres’ background of traditional and modern gardening architecture. You also can admire the various hyacinths, daffodils, and many other colorful flowers.
In the afternoon you cycle to the city of Leiden. Dinner on board and after that, you can join the walk through town.
Day 3: Leiden – Zoeterwoude – Gouda (19 miles/31 km or 24 miles/40 km)
Breakfast while sailing out of Leiden. Your cycling tour starts just outside Leiden and leads through the "green heart" of Holland. Near Zoeterwoude, you will visit a cheese farm where you will learn about the cheese-making process and you will have the opportunity to taste the results.
In the afternoon you reach Gouda, famous for the Gouda cheese. Gouda has an attractive compact center with her pretty market square and Gothic town hall. The main church of Gouda, devoted to Saint John, is world famous for its stained glass windows. After dinner you can join the walk through town.
Day 4: Gouda – Alphen a/d Rijn – Kudelstaart (12 miles/20 km or 27 miles/44 km)
We stay in Gouda this morning. You have the opportunity to do some shopping and to visit the market square with its cheese weigh house or you can visit the St. Johns church. We leave by barge around noon and have a light lunch on board.
From Alphen aan den Rijn you cycle through the "green heart" of South Holland via river Drecht and Amstel-Drecht channel to Kudelstaart.
Day 5: Kudelstaart – Flower auction – Aalsmeer – Amsterdam – Zaanse Schans – Purmerend (5 miles/9 km + 14 miles/23 km or 18 miles/30 km)
At 6:30am you can drink an early cup of coffee. After that you 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. After your visit you return on board (around 9:00am) for a late breakfast while the barge sails to Amsterdam. You will enjoy a nice cruise, right through the city.
Today's cycling tour takes you from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, a unique hamlet where people live and work, with original houses and windmills from the river Zaan area. The hamlet is dominated by 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. At the end of the afternoon, you cycle to Purmerend where you will spend the night.
Day 6: Purmerend – Spijkerboor – Alkmaar (18 miles/29 km or 24 miles/40 km)
This morning you cycle to the 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.
Your cycling tour continues to Egmond at the North Sea. The tour goes through the dunes to Alkmaar. This town is 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. Dinner in town at your own account.
Day 7: Alkmaar – Amsterdam (22 miles/37 km or 33 miles/54 km)
After breakfast your cycling tour leads you to the former windmill complex of the Schermer Polder. Here we visit the Schermerhorn Windmill Museum. Your next stop is the beautiful town of De Rijp. Centuries of history are still evident here in De Rijp's wooden facades, beautiful church, lock and town hall. From here, your ride continues 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: Amsterdam
Disembarkation after breakfast by 9:30am.
We reserve the right to change the program based on nautical, technical, or meteorological reasons. During days when two bicycle options are possible, the tour leader will make a choice to guide the longer or the shorter option after consultation of the group. Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bike option.
Mar 30; Apr 6*, 13*, 20*, 27*, 2024. (*indicates fully booked)
Low season: Mar 30, 2024 - Apr 05, 2024
High season: Apr 06, 2024 - May 04, 2024
Per person, double occupancy Low season High season Main deck, twin cabin €1199 €1299 Single use cabin, Main deck (1 person/1 cabin) Main deck, twin cabin €1799 €1949
€200 off per person aboard the Sarah, March 30th departure.
*triple cabin may be available on request, please inquire for additional information.
Canal cruise in Amsterdam (1 hr) €18
Standard touring bike, 21-speed €96 Electrically assisted bike (limited number, only on request) €245
- 7 nights accommodation
- 7 x breakfast, packed lunches, 6 x 3-course dinner
- Fully guided cycling tours
- GPS tracks
- Coffee and tea on board
- Welcome drink
- Use of bed linen and towels; daily cleaning of the cabin
- Daily briefings
- Some short walking tours
- Fees for ferries
- Entrance Keukenhof
Special dietary requests may be accommodated; you must include your request at the time of booking. For gluten-free or dairy-free diets, a €50 supplement will be collected on board at arrival.
Bikes available to be rented (in advance at the time of booking) include:
- Standard touring bikes, 7-speed (Velo de Ville brand)
- Electrically assisted bikes (limited number, upon request) (Velo de Ville brand)*
*More about electrically-assisted bikes >
Equipment included with bike rental:
- Pannier bag
You can bring your own bicycles (at no extra cost). However, the crew or tour operator are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles.
The bikes will have flat pedals. At this time, it is not possible to change the pedals.
At this time, it is not possible to change the saddle. We recommend a universal padded saddle cover which can be pulled taught around the provided saddle.
Helmets rentals are included in the cost of the bike rentals (please reserve in advance). For hygeine purposes, we recommend that you bring your own, or purchase one when you arrive at your destination. In the Netherlands, cyclists are not obligated by law to wear a bike helmet, but we strongly recommend everyone to wear a helmet.
Bike protection can be purchased at the time of booking. You can read more about that HERE.
Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.
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