Bikes over the canal bridge in Amsterdam, North Holland, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:vgm8383

Tulips made Holland famous. Photo via Flickr:Luke Price
4.9/5 (16 ratings)

Tulip Tour - 7 day

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

A bike and boat tour during peak Tulip season!

  • The tulip has come to be a respected and treasured symbol in Holland and this seven-day bike and boat tour lets you experience them in all of their glory! The flower exhibition in Keukenhof will bring you up close and personal with these majestic flowers (and others!), and in Baskoop, you will cycle passed hundreds of horticulture nurseries. The tulips are only a fraction of what can be seen on this tour, though.

    Other highlights:

    • Kinderdijk, the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands
    • Gouda, city of cheese and candles
    • Haarlem, the oldest town in Holland
    • St. Bavo Cathedral
    • Lively university town of Leiden

    Be sure to check out all of our Bike and Barge tours in Holland.

  • 2020

    April 4, April 11, and April 18, 2020: £ 1270 $ 2,816 1495 $ 2252 NOK 14078 kr 12995 $ 1,689

    Single bookings limited and on request 

    2021

    April 3 and April 10, 2021: £ 1347 $ 2,985 1585 $ 2388 NOK 14925 kr 13777 $ 1,791 Single bookings on request

    extra options

    2020 and 2021: Electric bike rental (rate is per day): £ 25 $ 57 30 $ 45 NOK 283 kr 261 $ 34

    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 International Airport, also known as Amsterdam Schiphol 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

    Electric bicycles are available for €30 per day, payable on board. Advanced reservation required. Helmets are available free of charge. Please note: tulip season in Holland extends from the end of March to the middle of May but peak blooming time is dependent on temperatures and the weather.

    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.


Where You’ll Stay

You will be accommodated on the lovely Deluxe class boat, the Merlijn

What’s Included

  • Accommodations for 6 nights
  • Climate-controlled cabin
  • Welcome drink
  • Tour presentation
  • 6 breakfast buffets, 5 packed lunches, and 5 three-course dinners
  • Coffee, tea, water, and hot chocolate
  • Tour guide
  • 27-speed hybrid bike of the brand Sensa, a famed Dutch company. Bikes come equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, waterproof pannier, water bottle, towel, and universal helmet
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Entrance fee to the Keukenhof
  • Harbor fees
  • †Wifi
  • †Important to note, due to steel construction of the ship, cruising locations, and other factors, Wifi signal speed and strength may not be what you are accustomed to and may not meet your expectations. If you are dependent on a constant, strong, fast, and reliable signal at all times, please consider a personal hot spot. See our FAQ page.
  • What’s Not Included

    • One dinner
    • Drinks other than those mentioned as included
    • Entrance fees other than Keukenhof
    • Organized city tours
    • City maps
    • Bike maps
    • Gratuities
    • Bicycle Protection
    • Travel Insurance

    Extra Stay

    Always recommended in Amsterdam.

    TourBike+Boat
    TypeGuided
    SkillEasy
    Length7 days
    From1495 Rates
    Tour Reviews

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    Tour Dates

    April 4, April 11, April 18, 2020

    April 3 and April 10, 2021

     

    Skill Level

    This tour is an easy, guided tour in Dutch cycling paradise!

    Tour Boats

    Day-To-Day Itinerary

    Tulip Tour - 7 day Map

    Day 1: Amsterdam - Utrecht
    Day 2: Utrecht - Vianen - Schoonhoven 15 or 30 mi. (25 or 48 km, depending on weather conditions)
    Day 3: Schoonhoven - Kinderdijk - Gouda, 33 mi. (53 km)
    Day 4: Gouda - Leiden, 25 mi. (40 km)
    Day 5: Leiden - Lisse - Keukenhof - Haarlem, 14 mi. (23 km)
    Day 6: Haarlem - Amsterdam, 26 mi. (42 km)
    Day 7: Amsterdam (departure)

    *Average daily distances are between 35 to 55 km. All distances are approximate. The itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, including but not limited to weather, last-minute mooring changes, and restructuring of locks or bridges.

    Day 1: Amsterdam - Utrecht
    The Merlijn will be docked in Amsterdam within walking distance of the Central Train Station. (15 minutes).  Check-in begins at 3:30 pm though you can bring your luggage on board by 10 am. Please be prompt as the Merlin sets sail at 4:30 pm. After a welcome drink, there will be an informational presentation. By 4:30 pm, the ship will begin its journey to Utrecht; dinner will be enjoyed along the way. Utrecht features many ancient buildings and structures dating back to the early Middle Ages. It has been the religious center of the Netherlands since the 8th century and is home to the tallest church tower in the Netherlands: The Dom Tower. In the evening, you will be able to explore this breathtaking city.

    Day 2: Utrecht - Vianen - Schoonhoven, 15 or 30 mi. (25 or 48 km, depending on weather conditions)
    Today you cycle Holland through the prettiest part, by far. Breakfast will be served while cruising to Vianen, where the bike tour will start to the charming city of Schoonhoven. Schoonhoven is renowned for its silver, hence its nickname Zilverstad ("Silver City"). Silversmiths have been present here since the 17th century and the trade is still thriving today!

    Day 3: Schoonhoven - Kinderdijk - Gouda, 17 or 33 mi. (28 or 53 km)
    You will get to enjoy the gorgeous Dutch scenery while sailing on the river Lek and biking from Schoonhoven to Kinderdijk, home to an impressive 19 windmills, built around 1740, to drain the polder Alblasserwaard. They are a well-known tourist destination and have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. After your visit, you will cycle to the city of Gouda, through a real Dutch scenery of polders. Gouda is famous for ists cheeses, candles and "stroopwafels". Dinner on board and overnight stay in Gouda.

    Day 4: Gouda - Leiden, 25 mi. (40 km)
    Today's bike tour takes you through the Green Heart of Holland. Leaving Gouda, you will pass Baskoop, famous for its horticulture nurseries, particularly woody plant and perennial nurseries, of which some 774 are situated on long stretches of land divided by narrow canals. Passing small towns and villages such as Alphen on the Rhine, you will finally reach Leiden. Leiden is a lively city where history comes alive. Birthplace of painting legend Rembrandt, it is where he developed his skills and his workshop can still be visited today.  The University of Leiden contributes to the vibrant and convivial atmosphere and is quickly developing into a world-famous center of science. You will get a chance to stroll through this magnificent city after dinner.

    Day 5: Leiden - LIsse - Keukenhof - Haarlem, 14 mi. (23 km)
    While you enjoy breakfast, the Merlijn will cruise into Lisse, near Keukenhof. From Lisse, you will bike to the Keukenhof. It is estimated that nearly 7 million flower bulbs are planted here annually to cover an area of roughly 80 acres. This makes Keukenhof, easily, the largest flower garden in the world. At this stop, you will get to admire all these beautiful tulips and other flowers. On the ride to Haarlem, you will witness even more of Holland's beautiful countryside and of course, more flowers! While in Haarlem, it is a must to take a stroll through this historical city and maybe try the famous local beer: "Jopen". Dinner tonight is on your own in one of the many restaurants in Haarlem.

    Day 6: Haarlem - Amsterdam, 26 mi. (42 km)
    Today’s bike tour will be from Haarlem to Amsterdam, along the Zaanse Schans, famous for its windmills and green wooden houses typical for this area. The day ends in Amsterdam, one of the greatest small cities in the world! 

    Day 7: Amsterdam
    Farewell breakfast, check-out, and departure.  Think about extending your stay so that you can explore this amazing city. It has been said that whatever you are looking for, you can find it in Amsterdam. Art, culture, history, architecture....and more!

    Looking for more?  View all of our featured bike and barge tours, or view our full list of bike trips.

    Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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    Tour Reviews

    • Todd O. 5 months ago     Verified Reviewer

      Best part: Biking through the Dutch countryside and being exposed to the Dutch people and their wonderful culture, history, and way of life.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • James D. 5 months ago     Verified Reviewer

      Merlijn and her crew were outstanding hosts for our Tulip Tour. Our guide, Ilsa, was knowledgeable and full of energy and interesting information everywhere we toured.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Lynda A. 9 months ago     Verified Reviewer

      Wonderful guide and the owners of the barge were a delight

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Michael S. 9 months ago     Verified Reviewer

      Our guide and crew were the best! "The Merlijn Rocks!" Our group was so compatible...It was like traveling with family. The scenery and experiences were so beautiful and to be one with your natural surroundings while on a bike was an added bonus!

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Lynda A. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

      Most Memorable Part? Cycling in the warm spring weather seeing the fields of spring bulbs in bloom with windmills almost always in view.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Eileen S. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

      Exceeded my expectations. Best value for great experience.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Mary A. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

      Our boat, the Merlijn, and its crew were fabulous! A huge thank you to Jantien and Henk for an amazing weeklong experience! This is the way to see The Netherlands! We rode bikes from one port to another, exploring the countryside, meeting local families, enjoying the beautiful fields of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, purples, reds, yellows flowing across the land. Our hosts fed us 3 wonderful meals a day, and gave us opportunities to explore each city in the evenings with our knowledgeable and dedicated guide, Ferry. We stayed a few extra days to learn all about Amsterdam as well, which was definitely worth it. So much to see and learn about. Tripsite did a great job of organizing this trip, from efficient email contacts, timely billing reminders, and tips for preparing for a unique trip such as a Bike and Barge in Amsterdam. Absolutely we recommend Tripsite, and the Merlijn in particular!

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Carla Puntel 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      We did the Tour of Tulips of last day 8 April 2017. Our group was of 9 brazilians and the compliments were unanimous. The boat is amazing, very cozy and comfortable, the food delicious and the wonderful staff. Our guide, Lia, was extremely professional, attentive and available. The bike tour was really indescribable. We’ve been through wonderful places and we could learn a bit from Netherlands and its charms.
      I would like to especially thank Jantien and all the care and attention with which she dedicated to me, when I hurt my ankle.
      Thank you for everything Jantien! We hope to see you soon in another bike tour. Big hug !

    • N. Tucker 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      We had a blast on this trip! My first Bike and Barge through Tripsite. Our captains, Hank and Yantine, made us feel like part of the family. The boat was very clean and we loved the table designs at each sitting! Our guide, Francine, made us feel very welcome and really went out of her way to provide us friendly travel tips as we continued on our journey! Thanks for such an awesome time!

      Boat: Merlijn

    • J. Geall 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      We had a super time. My only suggestion is have a snack for post bike ride and pre dinner. We arrived starving so that would be great. Otherwise this was just an amazing way to see Europe.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • T. & C. Tucker 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      We had a total of six people who we traveled with. All had a positive option of he barge and the bikes. The owners, Hank and his wife gone over the top to make sure everyone had a good time and responded to any issues or problems. Our bike tour guide was outstanding and explained many of the sites. Great value.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • J. Ruetz 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      The only comment I have is "I want to do another bike and barge trip."

      Boat: Merlijn

    • C. Wells 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      I had a wonderful time and will recommending the trip to others!

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Marilyn Mendelson 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Ode From An Enthusiastic Tripsite User

      I had never worked with Tripsite before.
      Their competent planning received a high score.
      All details were covered, everything was first rate.
      They delivered what they promised, now isn't THAT great?!!
      I'll remember this fab trip my whole life through.
      Listen up, fellow travelers, Tripsite's for you.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Melinda Johnson 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      I have booked a couple trips through tripsite.com and frequently recommend them to my friends. What separates Tripsite from the pack is their service, value and expertise. I am looking forward to working with them on my next adventure!

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Debby Repensky 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Loved the trip!!

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Liz and Bill Chudoba 5 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Highly recommend Trip Site for our bicycling vacations. We, family and friends booked the Tulip Tour - Amsterdam to Amsterdam. Had a fantastic time again on the MERLIJN. Knew one week was not enough, after our 1st tour in 2011 in Germany, we had to book the following week also - Amsterdam to Brugge. The highlight of course were all the flowers in the Keukenhof. This is a must see for all flower lovers. Trip Site employees in PA were very easy to work with and will book all our tours for us. In fact we will return to the MERLIJN on September 27 to October 4th 2014 for wine country.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Susan Cumming 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      This is a great way to travel in Europe. The flowers were beautiful at Keukenhof and the Merlijn provides wonderful accommodations! This was our second trip through Tripsite and we are going again.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • CONSUELO PAGANI VIEIRA MACHADO 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Amei o passeio!! Tudo foi maravilhoso, desde a recepção calorosa na chegada, o barco todo decorado de flores e tulipas, aconchegante, a turma que fez o passeio conosco, os jantares maravilhosos feitos pela chef de cozinha simpatissíssima (que é dona do barco), o guia Sietsen que é super 10, as paisagens maravilhosas que apreciávamos nas pedaladas - plantações de tulipas de todas as cores, cisnes nadando próximos de nós, patinhos e aves coloridas, almoço em frente aos moinhos, as lindas vilazinhas e as cidades bucólicas do interior da Holanda, tudo muito lindo, e mto bem organizado. À noite, ainda tinha a roda de viola que o colega Eric tocava divinamente! E todos nós cantando juntos! A turma toda calorosa, que parecia que nos conhecíamos há anos... só deu vontade de voltar. Ano que vem, quero fazer outro roteiro e já estou convidando as pessoas no Brasil. VALE A Read more… PENA, MARAVILHA, Parabéns pessoal da Tripsite, Daniella Pontes, muito atenciosa, que nos atende muito bem! Grande abraço a todos vocês! CONSUELO e JANUZA - BRASIL 2013. (Vitória - ES).

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Sharon Brunhuber 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      A group of us will be doing the Tulip Tour on the Merlijn. A couple of years ago we toured Germany on Merlijn. It was a top notch experience and we are looking forward to this years trip.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Rick Teitell 7 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      This was a fabulous tour (April 2012). The boat was spacious and clean, with very good food & amenities. The bikes provided were in excellent condition. The hosts & staff were friendly & accommodating. The daily bike trips were interesting & well organized- too many highlights to describe. A great way to see many parts of Holland, especially if you combine the bike tour with several days before and/or after in Amsterdam. The staff at Tripsite provided all necessary information.

      Boat: Merlijn

    • Jon Lafleur 8 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      The tour was one of my best travel experiences. The meals were so good that people asked for recipes. The days were varied, interesting and rewarding; the pacing comfortable. Highlights were seeing "The girl with the pearl earing" and visiting the Keukenhof gardens. We happened to hit a rainy week but still had fun.

      Boat: Merlijn

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    Tulip Tour - 7 day Boats + Barges

    Merlijn Photo

    Merlijn Germany, Netherlands Deluxe Class Boat "The Divine Miss M" as we lovingly call the Merlijn is a diva, for sure. What can we say? Is it the luxurious cabins with most comfortable beds you have ever slept in? Is it the lovely dining area with the large windows and skylight that let the air, light, and sun pour in? Or perhaps it is the sun deck, where you can relax with newfound friends, sharing good wine and good conversation. We think you will find it is the entire divine package! Step onboard and discover for yourself!

    PWPC