Stadhuis in Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium. Photo via Flickr:Fred Romero

Gorgeous tulips at the Keukenhof, Lisse, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:Hans Splinter
4.9/5 (9 ratings)

Tulip Tour - Bruges to Amsterdam - 8 day

Netherlands, Belgium Bike + Barge Tours

Bike Bruges and then see the beautiful spring flowers!

  • This cycling vacation takes you through the Belgian pearls of Antwerp, Ghent and on top of that, Bruges! In April and May all of Holland is blooming. Furthermore, this tour shows you some lovely old Dutch towns like Dordrecht and Gouda, famous for their delicious cheese! Highlight of this tulip themed bike and boat is a visit to the world famou Keukenhof!

    All of our other bike and barge tours in Belgium can be found here.

  • 2019 Prices

    Merlijn: £ 1269 $ 2,556 1480 $ 2250 NOK 14060 kr 12978 $ 1,687 Single supplement on request

    Clair de Lune and Tijdgeest: £ 843 $ 1,698 983 $ 1494 NOK 9339 kr 8620 $ 1,121 Single supplement: £ 192 $ 387 224 $ 340 NOK 2128 kr 1964 $ 255

    2020 Prices

    Merlijn:  £ 1307 $ 2,634 1525 $ 2318 NOK 14488 kr 13373 $ 1,739 Single supplement on request, limited availability.

    extra options

    2019 tandem or electric bike rental on the Merlijn (rate is per day): £ 21 $ 43 25 $ 38 NOK 238 kr 219 $ 29

    2020 tandem or electric bike rental on the Merlijn (rate is per day): £ 26 $ 52 30 $ 46 NOK 285 kr 263 $ 34

    Electric bike rental on the Clair de Lune (price includes mandatory bike protection): £ 147 $ 297 172 $ 261 NOK 1634 kr 1508 $ 196

    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

    Fly to Amsterdam or Brussels International Airports. Train from Amsterdam airport to Bruges, approx. 3¼ hr. at ± €40. Train from Brussels airport to Bruges, approx. 1.5 hr at ± €21.


    Check local weather conditions prior to departure. Average high/low temp in °F for Amsterdam: April 53/40º and May 61/46º.


    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 27, 2019

On the Standard Plus boats: 
Clair de Lune: April 13 and April 27, 2019
Tijdgeest: May 18, 2019

2020 Dates

On Comfort Plus boat:
Merlijn​: May 2 and May 16, 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 one dinner in Dordrecht)
  • **Entrance fee to the Keukenhof
  • 24-gear touring bike, incl. water bottle, universal sized helmet and bike bag
  • Tour guide
  • Unlimited coffee, tea and hot chocolate during the trip on board and ice water during meals
  • Harbor fees
  • On the Clair de Lune and Tijdgeest:
  • Accommodations for 8 days/7 nights on board
  • Breakfasts, packed lunches, and three-course dinners
  • 7 gear hybrid bicycle rental
  • Bicycle protection
  • Tour guide
  • Entrance fee to the Kinderdijk
  • Entrance fee to Keukenhof
  • Horse and carriage ride in Bruges
  • Train ride Ghent - Bruges - Dendermonde
  • Bus transfer from Amsterdam Airport to Ghent
  • **Please note, if the Keukenhof is not open for the MAY 16, 2020 departure, a tour of the Cruquius will instead be offered.

What’s Not Included

Extra Stay

We can always assist you with arranging extra days in Amsterdam or Bruges.

Length8 days
From983 Rates
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Day-To-Day Itinerary

Tulip Tour - Bruges to Amsterdam - 8 day Map

On the Merlijn 

Day 1: Arrival in Bruges, cruising to Ghent
Day 2: Ghent - Baasrode, 24 mi. (40 km)
Day 3: Baasrode - Antwerp, 15 to 33 mi. (25 to 55 km)
Day 4: Antwerp - Tholen - Willemstad - Dordrecht, 15 mi. (25 km)
Day 5: Dordrecht - Gouda - Leiden, 21 mi. (35 km)
Day 6: Leiden - Keukenhof - Haarlem, 18 mi. (30 km)
Day 7: Haarlem - Amsterdam, 18 mi. (30 km)
Day 8: Amsterdam

On the Clair de Lune or the Tijdgeest

Day 1: Arrival 
Day 2: Ghent - Bruges - Dendermonde, 9 mi. (15 km)
Day 3: Dendermonde - Antwerp, 30 mi. (50 km)
Day 4: Antwerp - Willemstad, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 5: Willemstad - Gouda, 24 mi. (40 km)
Day 6: Gouda - Oude Wetering, 15 mi. (25 km)
Day 7: Oude Wetering - Amsterdam, 18 mi. (30 km)  
Day 8: Departure

*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.

Day 1: Arrival in Bruges, cruising to Ghent
The Merlijn, your sailing hotel, awaits you in Bruges. Check-in begins at 1 PM. Bruges, also called the Venice of the North, is probably the most beautiful of all Flemish cities. Its old center, dating from the Middle Ages, is almost completely intact. At that time, Bruges was a metropolis, the center of trade and art.  Please be sure your arrival time in Bruges gives you enough time to explore this charming city.  The Merlijn will leave for Ghent at 2 PM. You are welcome to leave your luggage on board before 2 pm so that you can explore the city. The crew will welcome you onboard and while you enjoy a welcome drink you will be informed about the barge and daily tours. During the cruise to Ghent, you will enjoy your dinner. 

Day 2: Ghent - Baasrode, 24 mi. (40 km)
Following breakfast on board, you will have time to explore Ghent. This is a lively university city with a rich history. This city has a rich past originating 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. Bavo's 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. After your lunch break in Ghent your biking tour to Baasrode will begin. Cycle along the river Zeeschelde, and follow this beautiful but capricious tidal river downstream to our destination Baasrode, a small village on the Schelde river.

Day 3: Baasrode - Antwerp, 15 to 33 mi. (25 to 55 km)
Today's tour follows the river Schelde further downstream via Temse to Rupelmonde. There is a beautiful bike path along the river and the landscape around the Schelde is magnificent. In Rupelmonde, board the Merlijn and cruise to Antwerp. This 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 4: Antwerp - Tholen - Willemstad - Dordrecht, 15 mi. (25 km)
After breakfast, you will have more time to explore the city of Antwerp. Your bike begins in Tholen, across the Oesterdam in the river Oosterschelde. This dam connects Tholen with Zeeland Flanders. Tholen was once an island in the middle of the large Zeeland streams, where many people were fishermen 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. From Willemstad, the Merlijn cruises to Dordrecht, one of the oldest towns of Holland. After dinner, you may want to stroll through this historic city.  Tonight you will enjoy your dinner on your own in one of the many local restaurants.

Day 5: Dordrecht - Gouda - Leiden, 21 mi. (35 km)
Enjoy a walking tour through the charming old city of Dordrecht and later the barge cruises to the Kinderdijk. world famous for its impressive row of large windmills. They were built to drain the Alblasserwaard. You have the opportunity to take a tour inside one of the mills. From here, your cycling tour begins en route to Gouda, the city of cheeses and candles. Before cruising to Leiden you can stroll through the center of Gouda.

The barge takes you through one of the most beautiful parts of Holland, know as "the Green Heart of Holland". Leaving Gouda you pass Boskoop, famous for its horticulture, particularly woody plant, and perennial nurseries. Along the way, you pass small cities and villages such as Alphen aan den Rijn.

Finally, you reach Leiden. While exploring this city you will notice that its rich history still seems very much alive. This is where Rembrandt was born and developed his painting skills. Holland's first university is located here, dating back to 1575. It has since developed into a world-famous center of science and its many students contribute to the lively atmosphere of the city. After dinner, there is time to explore the charming center.

Day 6: Leiden - Keukenhof - Haarlem, 18 mi. (30 km)
While you enjoy your breakfast, the Merlijn takes you to Lisse, which is near the Keukenhof, a famous flower exhibition. Here you can admire all the beautiful tulips and other flowers that are cultivated in Holland. After your visit, cycle to the city of Haarlem, passing flower fields and great Dutch scenery. After dinner, take a stroll through the historical city of Haarlem and end your trip drinking the famous local “Jopen” beer in one of the many bars.

Day 7: Haarlem - Amsterdam, 18 mi. (30 km)
In the morning, explore the historical city of Haarlem a little more before your cycling tour starts. Its history goes back to the 10th century. Your tour ends in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. There is time to explore the city and you might want to include a ride through the canals. Later on, you may want to visit the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh museum. Enjoy a farewell dinner on board and city walk through the beautiful illuminated lively center of Amsterdam.

Day 8: Amsterdam
Breakfast, check out, and departure.

Day 1: Arrival 
Day 2: Ghent - Bruges - Dendermonde, 9 mi. (15 km)
Day 3: Dendermonde - Antwerp, 30 mi. (50 km)
Day 4: Antwerp - Willemstad, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 5: Willemstad - Gouda, 24 mi. (40 km)
Day 6: Gouda - Oude Wetering, 16 to 28 mi. (25 to 45 km)
Day 7: Oude Wetering - Amsterdam, 18 mi. (30 km)  
Day 8: Departure

*All distances are approximate.

Day 1: Arrival 
After your arrival to the Amsterdam airport, a bus will be waiting to transport you to Ghent where you will meet  the barge and begin your cycling vacation. In the evening, a short guided walk or bicycle tour in the beautiful center of Ghent is on the agenda.

Day 2: Ghent - Bruges - Dendermonde, 9 mi. (15 km)
In the morning, you will travel by train to Bruges. Upon your arrival, a horse carriage ride and a short guided walk past the many historic monuments in the center of Bruges is planned. The rest of the afternoon is yours to further explore the city and visit the many highlights. You return by train to Dendermonde and in the evening, your tour guide will take you for a walk across the town center.

Day 3: Dendermonde - Antwerp, 30 mi. (50 km)
This morning, the barge departs for Antwerp. Cyclists will hit the road and enjoy the flat Flemish countryside. In Antwerp, the tour guide will invite you on a short walk through the town. For the rest of the afternoon and the evening, you are free to explore Antwerp's lively town center.

Day 4: Antwerp - Willemstad, 28 mi. (45 km)
In the morning we will cycle from Antwerp over the Belgian-Dutch border to the large Kreekrak locks. From there a sailing trip over the wide waterways of Zeeland takes you to the beautiful walled town of Willemstad.

Day 5: Willemstad - Gouda, 24 mi. (40 km)
During the first stretch of today's route you will sail aboard your hotel ship. On bike you visit the beautiful old Dutch town of Dordrecht and the world famous windmills of Kinderdijk. The overnight stay is in the cheese town of Gouda, where you may wish to join your tour leader for a short city walk in the evening.

Day 6: Gouda - Oude Wetering, 28 or 15 mi. (45 or 25 km)
You enjoy an easy bike ride right through some real Dutch meadowlands and end your trip in a small village called Oude Wetering. At most departures in April and May this day a visit to Flowerpark Keukenhof is planned (see: exclusive), the cycling itinerary will be shorter. You may enjoy the quietness of the rural Dutch countryside before you arrive in busy Amsterdam tomorrow.

Day 7: Oude Wetering - Amsterdam, 28 mi. (45 km)
This morning, you cycle to Amsterdam following the Amstel river all the way to the port. After arrival, you will have free time to explore Amsterdam.
In the evening, there is a guided city walk and you may wish to take a boat ride on the famous Amsterdam canals.

Day 8: Departure
Check out and departure after breakfast.

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. 

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

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

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Tour Reviews

  • Shawn L. 22 hours ago

    The whole trip was great. The bikes were great 27 speed bikes with disc brakes, the guide showed us things you wouldn't find on your own, the barge was clean and comfortable. But the best thing was the food on the barge, especially the garlic butter. I could eat that with a spoon!

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Naomi G. 3 days ago

    Biking through Belgium and Holland. Great bike paths, lovely scenery, good companions made for a memorable journey.

    Boat: Clair de Lune

  • Sandra V. 1 year ago

    The Merlijn was definitely a "comfort plus" barge. Rooms and beds very comfortable; staff couldn't have been friendlier or more accommodating; Captain Henk was a genius at docking and piloting the barge; our guide Lea, was professional, knowledgeable, and fun; Jantien, the jack of all trades, did everything from ministering to ill or injured to cooking gourmet meals. This was my second trip on the Merlijn. We booked the entire barge. There were two fantastic upgrades from two years ago--new bikes and helmets and better internet. Obviously, I cannot say enough positive about this experience. Highly recommend it.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • Paul W. 2 years ago

    Have forwarded the link to your website to a number of our friends as we describe the fabulous experience on our tulip tour. Most memorable was being our timing in seeing the tulips in full bloom in the fields. But, every day was memorable!

    Boat: Clair de Lune

  • Joan R. 2 years ago

    We loved the getting to experience the Kinderdijk!!!

    Boat: Quo Vadis

  • Karen H. 2 years ago

    The guide and crew were amazing. Great home cooked meals with personal atmosphere.

    Boat: La Belle Fleur

  • S. Kraushaar 3 years ago

    Second time on the Merjlin. We would definitely book a third. Bike/Barge trips are so much fun!

    Boat: Merlijn

  • T. Hottentot 3 years ago

    It was a wonderful trip. The hostess is exceptional, the food fabulous, the guide very good and all the passengers were nice to be with.

    Boat: Merlijn

  • M. Carone 3 years ago

    Very good trip. All different levels of bike riders, but somehow it worked! I did not feel pressured to keep up. Our guide Ari was patient and stressed enjoyment of scenery etc. - yet we averaged 25 a 30 mi./day. Wonderful!

  • Betty Helpa 6 years ago

    What could be better than biking in Belgium and Holland? Returning each day to the Merlijn with Jantien and Hank as your host! We loved it so much that we know any trip with them would be another life memory. After returning home we booked our next trip within 3 days! This year we go with them to France & Germany. There is a reason their trips book so far in advance. Don't wait! Book now for next year! It will be better than any expectations you have! We can't wait for this year's tour!

    Boat: Merlijn

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Tulip Tour - Bruges to Amsterdam - 8 day Boats + Barges

Clair de Lune Photo

Clair de Lune France Standard Class Boat In 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.

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!

Tijdgeest Photo

Tijdgeest Belgium, Netherlands Standard 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.