Volendam in North Holland, the Netherlands. Flickr:Juan Enrique Gilardi

Tulips at the Keukenhof near Lisse, South Holland, the Netherlands. Flickr:Andrianoaurelioaraujo

Bike and Sail the Tulips

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Bike and sail Northern Holland

  • We offer many Bike and Boat Tulip Tours, but this tour, a Bike and Sail experience was just too unique to pass up. We believe that our barge, boat, and sailing experiences are never just about the bike. For this tour, it is not just about the Tulips either, though biking through a myriad of exploding spring colors is a highlight!

    You will spend plenty of time in the historical cities of Alkmaar and Enkhuizen, gems hidden from mass tourism. You will discover typical Dutch cultural highlights and cycle through pleasant, flat polders, the result of centuries of extensive land reclamation from the North Sea and the former Southern Sea (now IJsselmeer). This region has undergone such extensive impoldering that you will soon realize the truth behind the proverb, “God created the earth, but the Dutch made Holland”.

    If you want a tour that is not your typical bike and boat experience, we invite you on board for a tour as unique as you are.

    Highlights:

    • Incredible Dutch cycling infrastructure
    • The province of North Holland, rich in agriculture
    • Beauty and expanse of the North Sea beaches
    • Island of Texel and its bike-friendly environment
    • Quaint villages
    • Romantic, picturesque harbor towns
    • Lake IJsselmeer
    • Full-day bus excursion to the famous Keukenhof gardens
    • Authentic sailing experience

    If this Tulip Tour is not quite your thing, we have other Tulip Tours. If you cannot travel in the Spring, we have many bike and boat tours in Holland throughout the year!

  • Twin cabin (available on all ships): £ 1002 $ 2,220 1179 $ 1776 NOK 11102 kr 10248 $ 1,332 Small twin cabin (only available on the Leafde): £ 820 $ 1,817 965 $ 1454 NOK 9087 kr 8388 $ 1,090 Junior Suite (only available on the Leafde and Mare): £ 1163 $ 2,578 1369 $ 2063 NOK 12891 kr 11900 $ 1,547 Single cabin (only available on the Leafde and Mare): £ 1278 $ 2,833 1504 $ 2266 NOK 14163 kr 13073 $ 1,700 Twin cabin for single use: £ 1448 $ 3,209 1704 $ 2567 NOK 16046 kr 14812 $ 1,926 Triple cabin (on request): £ 917 $ 2,032 1079 $ 1626 NOK 10161 kr 9379 $ 1,219

    extra options

    Electric bike: £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113   (Gazelle Orange C330 HMB Electric bikes with 4 levels of support,  step-less hub gears, front suspension, Selle Royal saddles, integral lock, and pannier bag)
    Helmet rental: £ 8 $ 19 10 $ 15 NOK 94 kr 87 $ 11

    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 Schiphol International Airport (AMS)

    Local Travel

    From AMS airport, it is just a short train ride to Amsterdam Central Train Station, close to the center where the ship is moored. There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. It takes about 16 minutes. The price for a train ticket Schiphol-Amsterdam Central is € 4,20 per person for a single journey. Sometimes the mooring location is within walking distance or only a short taxi ride away. In your final travel information, we will also provide details regarding public transportation if necessary.

    Climate

    The Dutch have a saying "April doet wat hij wil". It means that April does whatever it wishes to do. Keep this in mind as you pack for your cycling holiday. Though cooler in April, the sun does shine on average 177 hours. Average high temperature is 55° F (12.8° C) and average low is 38° F (3.3° C). April is normally the driest month of the year but that does not mean it does not rain. Average rainfall is 1.8 inches (47 mm). Rain showers are common and frequent but not long. Plan to dress in layers!

    Remarks

    Due to the nature of a Bike and Sail tour, there is always a bit of adventure thrown into the mix. The planned daily sailing routes partially depend on the strength and direction of the winds. The skipper decides day by day the best route and discusses the options with everyone.. The crew does whatever it can to run the program according to plan and to offer you a fascinating, varied, and active week, in which nature and culture play a major part. It is, however, possible that departure times and the time spent on the water – and even the order of the program itself – may have to be adjusted. So, enjoy the ride and let yourself be led by the elements! Whenever possible, various passages will be undertaken fully rigged. Anyone who would like to help the crew sail and steer the boat is welcome to do so. Sailing experience is not necessary.

    TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

    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


Skill Level

This tour is an easy, guided, authentic sailing and biking experience. Your average daily distance will be approximately 25 miles. Holland is the ultimate cycling country. The entire country is crisscrossed with multiple National Cycling Routes, as well as local routes. During the days when 2 distant options are possible, the group along with the tour leader will decide which route the entire group will cycle. Not all mentioned highlights will be visited during the short bike option. However, you can also choose to cycle self-guided with the help of a map and route notes (available onboard). GPS tracks will be sent to you approximately 4 weeks before the start date of the tour. If you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town.

Where You’ll Stay

You will enjoy unique accommodations on one of three authentic sailing vessels. The Leafde Fan Fryslân is a comfort class vessel and the Mare Fan Fryslân and Wapen Fan Fryslân are standard class vessels.

What’s Included

  • 8 days / 7 nights accommodation on an authentic sailing vessel
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Packed lunches
  • 1 three-course lunch
  • 6 three-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board until 4 p.m.
  • Welcome drink
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Daily briefings of the itinerary
  • Fully guided cycling tours
  • Some short walking tours
  • Full-day bus excursion including Keukenhof Gardens
  • Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)
  • GPS tracks
  • 7 speed Gazelle Espirit C7 city touring bicycle equipped with Selle Royal saddle, integral frame lock, and a pannier bag
  • Wi-Fi

What’s Not Included

  • All beverages other than those mentioned
  • Coffee and tea on board after 4 p.m.
  • Helmet rental
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Fees for ferries
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From965 Rates
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Tour Dates

2020

Saturday departures:

Leafde fan Fryslân: April 4, 11 and 18

Mare fan Fryslân: April 4, 11, 18 and 25

Wapen fan Fryslân: April 11, 18 and 25

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Bike and Sail the Tulips Map

All distances are approximate. This sailing itinerary is subject to change due to weather or other navigational circumstances. Please see Remarks for more details regarding this sailing experience.

Leafde fan Frylsân

Day 1: Amsterdam –Zaandam
Day 2: Zaandam– Alkmaar, (29 mi. / 47 km)
Day 3: Alkmaar – Den Helder, 21 or 31 mi. (33 or 50 km)
Day 4: Den Helder – Oudeschild | Wadden island of Texel: round trip from/to Oudeschild (several options from  9 mi. to 41 mi. / 15 to 65 km)
Day 5: Oudeschild – Enkhuizen | Sailing day
Day 6: Enkhuizen – Hoorn | Hoorn – Volendam, 20 mi. (28 km) 
Day 7: Volendam– Keukenhof – Amsterdam | Full day bus excursion
Day 8: Amsterdam

Day 1: Amsterdam –Zaandam
You are welcome to check-in between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. The crew will welcome you with coffee and tea. At 2.30 p.m., the ship leaves the harbor. While the ship sails to Zaandam, your tour leader will stoke your anticipation by telling you about the tour, the cycling, and safety procedures. In the late afternoon you will have the option to undergo a short test ride of your bike.  After enjoying a delicious dinner on board, the tour leader will take you on a guided town walk through the center of Zaandam.

Day 2: Zaandam– Alkmaar, 29 mi. (47 km)
In the morning you will bike to the Zaanse Schans, a unique hamlet where people live and work in the original houses and windmills built next to the river Zaan. This tiny village is dominated by its operating windmills, the oldest of which was built in 1673, used for grinding mustard seeds, spices, extracting plant 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. After this visit, your cycling tour continues to Limmen and Egmond-Binnen, and here, again you have the chance to bike through colorful tulip fields. Nearby, you will visit 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 special flowers are planted here. Your cycling tour continues to Egmond at the North Sea, once more passing through the tulip fields. Your ship will be waiting for you near the historical city center of Alkmaar. This town is well 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 3: Alkmaar – Den Helder, 21 or 31 mi. (33 or 50 km)
Today you can take a bike tour north of Alkmaar where you will find the most beautiful tulip fields on your way to the North Sea. The sandy beach here is one of the most wonderful to walk along in the entire Netherlands, the perfect spot for feeling the wind in your hair or simply enjoying the view. Close by — and certainly worth a visit — is the artist’s village of Bergen. Then you will bike on through the North-Holland Dune reserve to Den Helder: this piece of land, wedged between the North Sea and the IJsselmeer boasts the world’s single biggest flowering bulb field. In one word: spectacular!

Day 4: Den Helder – Oudeschild | Wadden island of Texel: round trip from/to Oudeschild (several options from  9 mi. to 41 mi. / 15 to 65 km)
During breakfast, the ship will sail to the island of Texel, the largest of the Dutch Wadden Isles. Today you can choose to cycle a shorter route or to take a longer tour around the island. You will cycle through delightful natural parks, and ]on Texel, you will bike through fields of blooming flowers! The signposts lead you through picturesque villages and landscapes, and to the Ecomare seal sanctuary. At the end of your cycling tour, you can enjoy a locally-brewed, well-deserved beer during a visit to the small brewery near Oudeschild.

Day 5: Oudeschild – Enkhuizen | Sailing day
Today your ship will set sail to Enkhuizen. You may lend a hand during navigation and hoisting the sails. Previous sailing experience is not at all necessary. Of course, you are also very welcome to just relax and enjoy the sailing and scenery as you progress along the IJsselmeer. While sailing you will enjoy an extensive lunch on board. In the afternoon, the ship will arrive in Enkhuizen, an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. You can spend some time exploring here.  “The herring city” boasts a beautiful old harbor and an old town full of history. No dinner will be served tonight, to enable you to explore the city. You can make yourself a picnic meal or try one of the nice restaurants in Enkhuizen.

Day 6: Enkhuizen – Hoorn | Hoorn – Volendam, 20 mi. (28 km) 
In the morning you will sail the Ijsselmeer to the former Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn, which was, in the 17th century, one of the world’s foremost harbors. Your afternoon ride leads to Volendam, a small and picturesque fishing harbor on the shores of Lake IJsselmeer. Along the way, you will pass Edam, which is known for its famous Edam cheese, covered in red or yellow wax. While this adorable village is now renowned for cheese, it was once an industrious shipyard and port. That’s why, in the 17th century, the town’s specialty became one of the most popular cheeses in the world. Sailors took wheels of Edam on their voyages – the cheese doesn’t spoil easily and could be traded for spices and other riches of the East.

Day 7: Volendam– Keukenhof – Amsterdam | Full day bus excursion
Today a beautiful bus ride leads you through the oldest tulip fields of Holland to the famous Keukenhof Gardens. You will have plenty of time to discover the most beautiful bulb park in the world. Keukenhof is the place where spring springs. It features an overwhelming blaze of colors: seven million flowering tulips in a magnificent 80-acre setting of traditional and modern gardening architecture. You also can admire various hyacinths, daffodils, and many other vibrant flowers. In the afternoon the bus will bring you back to Amsterdam to spend a restful night here in your floating hotel.

Day 8: Amsterdam
End of your tour, after breakfast, you can disembark until 9.30 a.m.
 

Mare and Wapen fan Fryslân

Day 1: Amsterdam – Volendam
Day 2: Volendam – Hoorn, 20 mi. (28 km) | Hoorn – Enkhuizen
Day 3: Enkhuizen – Oudeschild | Sailing day
Day 4: Oudeschild – Den Helder | Wadden island of Texel: several options from 9 mi. to 41 mi. (15 km to 65 km) 
Day 5: Den Helder-St. Maartensvlotbrug | St. Maartensvlotbrug – Alkmaar, 21 mi. or 31 mi. (33 or 50 km) 
Day 6: Alkmaar –Zaandam, 29 mi. (47 km) 
Day 7: Zaandam– Keukenhof – Amsterdam | Full day bus excursion
Day 8: Amsterdam

Day 1: Amsterdam – Volendam
You are welcome to check-in onboard between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., where your crew will welcome you with coffee and tea. At 2.30 p.m., the ship leaves the harbor. While the ship sails to Volendam, your tour leader will stoke your anticipation by telling you about the tour, the cycling, and safety procedures. Upon arrival, you will have the option to take a short test ride. After enjoying a delicious dinner on board, the tour leader will take you on a walk through Volendam, a small and picturesque fishing harbor on the shores of Lake IJsselmeer.

Day 2: Volendam – Hoorn, 20 mi. (28 km) | Hoorn – Enkhuizen
On this first cycling day, a tasty breakfast will be followed by a bike tour to Hoorn, the former Dutch East India Company town, which was, in the 17th century, one of the world’s foremost harbors. Along the way, you will pass Edam, which is known for its famous Edam cheese, covered in red or yellow wax. While this adorable village is now renowned for cheese, it was once an industrious shipyard and port. That’s why, in the 17th century, the town’s specialty became one of the most popular cheeses in the world. Sailors took wheels of Edam on their voyages – the cheese doesn’t spoil easily and could be traded for spices and other riches of the East. Later in the afternoon, you will join the ship for an afternoon sail to Enkhuizen, an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. You can spend some time exploring here. “The herring city” boasts a beautiful old harbor and an old town full of history.

Day 3: Enkhuizen – Oudeschild | Sailing day
Today your ship will set sail to the harbor of Oudeschild on the island Texel. You may lend a hand during navigation and hoisting the sails. Previous sailing experience is not at all necessary. Of course, you are also very welcome to just relax and enjoy the sailing and scenery as you progress along the IJsselmeer. While sailing you will enjoy an extensive lunch on board. In the afternoon, the ship will arrive in Oudeschild on the island of Texel, the largest of the Dutch Wadden Isles. No dinner will be served tonight, to enable you to explore the harbor. You can make yourself a picnic meal or try one of the nice restaurants in Oudeschild.

Day 4: Oudeschild – Den Helder | Wadden island of Texel: several options from 9 mi. to 41 mi. (15 km to 65 km) 
Today you can choose to cycle a shorter route or to take a longer tour around the island. You will cycle through delightful natural parks, and  on Texel you will bike through fields of blooming flowers! The signposts of which lead you through picturesque villages and landscapes, and even to the Ecomare seal sanctuary. At the end of your cycling tour, you can enjoy a locally-brewed, well-deserved beer during a visit to the small brewery near Oudeschild. Late afternoon, the ship will take you back to the mainland, to the port of Den Helder.

Day 5: Den Helder-St. Maartensvlotbrug | St. Maartensvlotbrug – Alkmaar, 21 mi. or 31 mi. (33 or 50 km) 
The first part of your bike tour leads through the northern part of the province of North Holland. This piece of land wedged between the North Sea and the IJsselmeer boasts the world’s single biggest flowering bulb field. In one word: spectacular! But also closer to Alkmaar you will find the most beautiful tulip fields on your way to the North Sea. The sandy beach here is one of the most wonderful to walk along in the entire Netherlands, the perfect spot for feeling the wind in your hair or simply enjoying the view. Close by — and certainly worth a visit — is the artist’s village of Bergen. The ship will be waiting for you in the historical city center of Alkmaar. This town is well 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 6: Alkmaar –Zaandam, 29 mi. (47 km) 
In the morning, you will bike to Egmond and Limmen and here, again you have the chance to bike through colorful tulip fields. Nearby, you will visit 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 special flowers are planted here. Next destination is Zaanse Schans, a unique hamlet where people live and work alongside original houses and windmills built next to the river Zaan. This tiny village is dominated by its operating windmills — the oldest of which was built in 1673 — and these were used for grinding mustard seeds, spices, extracting plant 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 will find the ship in Zaandam.

Day 7: Zaandam– Keukenhof – Amsterdam | Full day bus excursion
Today a beautiful bus ride leads you through the oldest tulip fields of Holland to the famous Keukenhof Gardens. You will have plenty of time to discover the most beautiful bulb park in the world. Keukenhof is the place where spring springs. It features an overwhelming blaze of colors: seven million flowering tulips in a magnificent 80-acre setting of traditional and modern gardening architecture. You also can admire various hyacinths, daffodils, and many other vibrant flowers. In the afternoon the bus will bring you back to Amsterdam to spend a restful night here in your floating hotel.

Day 8: Amsterdam
End of your tour: after breakfast, you can disembark until 9.30 a.m.

If you're looking for a different flavor, check out our full list of bike and boat tours or view all our featured bike trips, specials, and news.

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    Bike and Sail the Tulips Boats + Barges

    Leafde Fan Fryslân Photo

    Leafde Fan Fryslân Netherlands Comfort Class Boat The Leafde Fan Fryslân is an imposing, three-masted barquentine, managed by its owner/operators, Joris and Rinske de Wit, who bring years of maritime experience. The ship has 13 well-appointed cabins, ten twin cabins, 1 smaller twin cabin, 1 junior suite, and 1 single cabin.

    Mare Fan Fryslan Photo

    Mare Fan Fryslan Netherlands Standard Class Boat The Mare Fan Fryslan was built in 1960 as a freight ship and was then completely renovated in 2006 to be used as a beautiful, extravagant, three-masted schooner. On the lower deck there is an air conditioned saloon also used as a restaurant. Next to the saloon is the wheelhouse fitted with bar, music, video equipment and TV. This room offers large, panoramic window which offers a breathtaking view over the water. On the lower deck there are 12 comfortable cabins (floor area of about 10 m2, 2 floor-level single beds 90 x 200 cm), 1 junior suite with a small corner sitting area and a flat screen TV (about 12 m2) as well as a 1-bed cabin with bunk beds (floor area of about 7 m2).

    Wapen Fan Fryslân Photo

    Wapen Fan Fryslân Netherlands Standard Class Boat In 1965, the sailing ship was launched as a freight ship and then in 2003 it was completely transformed into a sailing passenger ship. On board, you will immediately notice its warm and luxurious atmosphere. On deck there is a the large pilothouse with a cozy and stylish bar and seating area. The panorama windows offer a perfect all around view of the water. The afterdeck has an outdoor cafe with draught beer taps and a Jacuzzi, and on the middle deck with plenty of seating allowing you to enjoy a lovely meal outdoors The sundeck offers plenty of seating including comfortable deckchairs.

    PWPC