Windmills aplenty in Kinderdijk, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:John Morgan

Tulips at the famous Keukenhof, Lisse, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:Michela Simoncini
4.9/5 (16 ratings)

Holland Southern Tulip Tour

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Cycle some of Holland’s most beautiful cities during the Tulip Season!

  • This Southern Tulip bike and boat tour leads through some of Holland's most popular cities but also through fields of beautiful Tulips! One highlight, among many, will be the Keukenhof gardens, the most beautiful flower garden in the world!

    Your bike and boat adventure begins and ends in Amsterdam and includes the prestigious towns of Gouda, Delft, Leiden, and Haarlem.

    Highlights will include:

    • Keukenhof
    • Tulips and other wonders
    • Historic town centers
    • Biking on one of the world's greatest cycling networks

    This tour truly allows you to sample the best of Holland: quaint villages, lively metropolises, tulips, canals, and biking!

    To browse all of our bike boat tours in the Netherlands, follow the link!

  • 2020
    Sailing Home: 
    Standard season: March 28, April 4, and May 2, 2020
    High season: April 11, April 18, and April 25, 2020
    Liza Marleen: 
    Standard Season: May 2, 2020
    High season: April 11, April 18, and April 25, 2020
    Wending
    Standard season: April 4 and May 2, 2020
    High season: April 11, April 18, and April 25, 2020
    Anna Antal:
    April 11, 2020

    Sailing Home

     Standard seasonHigh season
    Twin cabin £ 1111 $ 2,383 1308 $ 1970 NOK 12312 kr 11365 $ 1,477 £ 1209 $ 2,593 1423 $ 2143 NOK 13395 kr 12365 $ 1,607
    Twin cabin/single use £ 1565 $ 3,356 1842 $ 2775 NOK 17341 kr 16007 $ 2,081 £ 1706 $ 3,659 2008 $ 3025 NOK 18904 kr 17450 $ 2,268

    Liza Marleen

     Standard seasonHigh season
    Twin cabin £ 1077 $ 2,310 1268 $ 1910 NOK 11936 kr 11018 $ 1,432 £ 1209 $ 2,593 1423 $ 2143 NOK 13395 kr 12365 $ 1,607
    Twin cabin/single use £ 1502 $ 3,221 1768 $ 2663 NOK 16644 kr 15364 $ 1,997 £ 1638 $ 3,513 1928 $ 2904 NOK 18151 kr 16754 $ 2,178
    Superior cabin (15 m2 ) £ 1166 $ 2,501 1373 $ 2068 NOK 12924 kr 11930 $ 1,551 £ 1260 $ 2,702 1483 $ 2234 NOK 13960 kr 12886 $ 1,675
    Superior cabin for triple use £ 979 $ 2,101 1153 $ 1736 NOK 10853 kr 10018 $ 1,302 £ 1064 $ 2,283 1253 $ 1887 NOK 11794 kr 10887 $ 1,415

    Wending

     Standard seasonHigh season
    Twin cabin £ 1009 $ 2,164 1188 $ 1789 NOK 11182 kr 10322 $ 1,342 £ 1098 $ 2,356 1293 $ 1947 NOK 12171 kr 11235 $ 1,461
    Twin cabin/single use £ 1170 $ 2,511 1378 $ 2075 NOK 12971 kr 11974 $ 1,557 £ 1272 $ 2,729 1498 $ 2256 NOK 14101 kr 13017 $ 1,692
    Triple cabin £ 949 $ 2,037 1118 $ 1684 NOK 10523 kr 9714 $ 1,263 £ 1034 $ 2,219 1218 $ 1834 NOK 11465 kr 10583 $ 1,376

    Anna Antal

     April 11
    Twin cabin £ 1098 $ 2,356 1293 $ 1947 NOK 12171 kr 11235 $ 1,461
    Bunk bed cabin £ 944 $ 2,026 1112 $ 1675 NOK 10467 kr 9662 $ 1,256
    Single cabin £ 1170 $ 2,511 1378 $ 2075 NOK 12971 kr 11974 $ 1,557

     

    extra options

    2020

    Electric bicycle rental (including helmet): £ 70 $ 150 83 $ 124 NOK 777 kr 717 $ 93 Set of bike maps for self-guided option (advanced reservation required, cannot be purchased on board): £ 18 $ 38 21 $ 32 NOK 198 kr 183 $ 24 Children's bike, trailers, bike seats, and discounts available for this tour
    Gluten-free diets: £ 42 $ 91 50 $ 75 NOK 471 kr 435 $ 57

     

    please note

    Please note:  Pricing is based on fuel costs as of May 2019. If the fuel cost increase 5%, additional fees may apply  (even for reservations already booked).

    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

    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. The barge will be moored at the Oosterdock. Walking distance to the barge is about 10 to 15 minutes. A taxi from the airport to the barge in Amsterdam takes about 30 minutes and costs approximately € 45. If you wish to take a train from the central train station to the barge it will only take about 5 minutes and will cost approximately €10.

    Climate

    Please check local conditions prior to arrival. Holland is near or below sea level and experiences a Maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean with relatively mild winters and summers that are not too hot. Holland has the perfect climate and soil for the Tulips. Average high/low temp in °F for Amsterdam in April is 53°/41º and May 61°/46º. Don’t forget your rain gear!

    Remarks

    Please be aware that you will be part of an international group of people, but your tour guide and crew members will always speak English. Tulip season in Holland extends from the end of March to middle of May but is totally 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. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *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.


Tour Dates

2020

Premium class boats:
Sailing Home: 
Standard season: March 28, April 4, and May 2, 2020
High season: April 11, April 18, and April 25, 2020
Liza Marleen: 
Standard Season: May 2, 2020
High season: April 18, April 25, 2020
Standard class boats: 
Wending: 
Standard season: April 4 and May 2, 2020
High season: April 11, April 18, and April 25, 2020
Anna Antal: April 11, 2020
 

Where You’ll Stay

For this tour different class boats are used on different dates. Please see dates and pricing.

What’s Included

  • Accommodation for 7 nights on board
  • 7 breakfast buffets, 6 packed lunches, 7 three-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide
  • Minimum of 3 city walks with the tour guide
  • 24-speed hybrid touring bike with helmet
  • Route information
  • Ferry fares en route
  • Road book (one per cabin)
  • Entrance fee to the Keukenhof, including the fee for public transportation
  • Free limited WiFi (up to 100 MB) in the lounge and on deck. Surcharge for more megabytes
  • GPS tracks on request

What’s Not Included

  • Electric bike (available with supplement, see pricing)
  • Museum entrance fees, approximately €15 per tour
  • Beverages (incl. alcohol), available on board
  • Maps for self-guided option (see pricing)
  • Surcharge for gluten-free diets
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From1112 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Skill Level

Easy, guided tour with variable cycling distances per day in and around interesting cities and towns.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Holland Southern Tulip Tour Map

Day 1: Amsterdam, sailing to Oude Wetering, cycling around Oude Wetering,  9 mi. (15 km)
Day 2: Uithoorn - Gouda, 28 miles (45 km)
Day 3: Gouda - Kinderdijk- ferry to Rotterdam - sailing to Delft, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 4: Delft - via Katwijk - Leiden, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 5: Leiden, visit to Keukenhof by public transportation
Day 6: Leiden - via flower bulb fields to Haarlem, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 7: Haarlem - Amsterdam, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 8: Amsterdam, disembark at 10 am

*All distances are approximate. This itinerary is subject to change, even on very short notice,  due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, docking location changes, lock repairs,  etc.

Day 1: Amsterdam, sailing to Oude Wetering, cycling around Oude Wetering,  9 mi. (15 km)
Embarkation on Saturday between 1 pm and 2 pm.  The barge needs to leave the mooring place in Amsterdam at 2:15 PM. It is very important you are on time. The barge can’t wait due the opening hours of bridges and/or locks. You can begin to board at 1 pm but can bring your luggage on board at noon. Do note that the crew will be busy preparing for you so you will not be able to check in to your cabin until 1 pm. The barges will be moored at the Oosterdok near the Nemo Science Museum.

During dinner on board, the weekly program is discussed. After dinner, you will have a short bike tour around Oude Wetering.

Day 2: Oude Wetering - Gouda, 28 mi. (45 km)
From Oude Wetering you will continue your tour over country roads, along river banks and channels through the Green Heart to the city known for its cheese: Gouda. Who thinks of Gouda, not only thinks of cheese, pipes, ‘stroopwafels’ (treacle-waffle) and pottery, but also of beautiful stained glass windows, a fairy-like town hall and atmospheric canals. Gouda is a beautiful Old Dutch city with a mostly intact city center. As on most days, after dinner, you can take a walk through the city.

Day 3: Gouda - Kinderdijk, sailing to Delft, 25 mi. (40 km)
From Gouda, you cycle past scenic polders via Kinderdijk to Rotterdam. Kinderdijk has the largest group of windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills at Kinderdijk were still actively used until 1950. These days, a large pumping station is responsible for controlling the water level in the polder.

From Kinderdijk you take the ferry to Rotterdam where the barge is waiting for you to take you to Delft, famous for its pottery, the ‘Delft blue’. The Prinsenhof Museum is housed in the former St. Agatha’s monastery. In 1572 William of Orange chose the convent as one of his residences. It was from here that he led the revolt against the Spanish tyranny of Holland. He was murdered on the steps of the Prinsenhof on July 10, 1584, by Balthazar Gerards, a Spanish sympathizer. Two bullet holes in the wall of the stairs bear witness to this event.

Day 4: Delft - via Katwijk - Leiden, 25 mi. (40 km)
From Delft, you will cycle Holland in the direction of The Hague, through the Haagse Bosch, a large park, and past the Royal Huis ten Bosch Palace. A tranquil cycle path through the dunes leads you to Wassenaarse Slag. Here, some remains of the Atlantikwall can still be seen. The Atlantic Wall was an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by the German Third Reich in 1942 until 1944 during World War II along the western coast of Europe to defend against an anticipated Allied invasion of the mainland from Great Britain. Five bunkers are connected by nearly 3,000-foot long brick tunnels. Now, this underground network serves as a bat reserve! It was nearly 1,700 miles long. This defense line, which was never completed, not only consisted of bunkers but also of canons and mine fields. At some places, the bunkers are still there, such as in Zandvoort, Scheveningen, Oostende (Belgium), and Normandy (France).
Continuing on through the dunes, to Katwijk aan Zee, an old fishing village (the inhabitants still speak their own dialect called Kattuks), you will follow the course of the Oude Rijn (Old Rhine) ending in Leiden. Leiden originated around 800 AD as a marketplace at the confluence of the Old and New Rhine rivers, the Vliet river and the Mare (‘Leyten’ means ‘at the waters’). For a long time, it was the second city after Amsterdam. It was the center of the textile industry in Medieval times. A well-known episode from the history of Leiden is the siege of 1574 by the Spanish. These were finally driven away after dikes had been broken through and a Watergeuzen (see Rotterdam) fleet had come to help. Leiden is the birthplace of Rembrandt (van Rijn!). It boasts 14 museums, including the Rijksmuseum for Anthropology with many priceless foreign objects, the Municipal Museum (Lakenhal, 1640) including works by Dou, Steen, Rembrandt, and Van Goyen, the Rijksmuseum of Antiquities with Egyptian antiquities. The Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Garden), a 400-year-old garden with innumerable exotic plants and trees, is certainly worth seeing. In the center of town, you can go shopping or enjoy sitting on an outdoor terrace on the water’s edge.

Day 5: Leiden, visit to Keukenhof by public transportation
Today you visit the Keukenhof gardens, the most beautiful spring park in the world. The Keukenhof is the place where the spring breaks. In the Keukenhof various gardens and gardening styles can be found: the English Landscape Garden, the Historical Garden, the Natural Garden, the Japanese Natural Garden, the Formal Garden and three special colors gardens. Spread throughout the entire park there are approximately eighty sculptures from well-known Dutch artists as well as several other art objects, such as the collection 'Surprising Tulips'. 

Day 6: Leiden - via flower bulb fields to Haarlem, 25 miles (40 km)
From Leiden, you cycle through wonderful flower beds in the direction of Haarlem. In the period of March to May the bulb fields are blooming, starting with daffodils and followed by hyacinths, tulips, and lilies. Once in the city of Haarlem, you make a short tour through the city to see some typical  'hofjes' (almshouses), old houses around a central courtyard, now usually housing elderly people. These 'hofjes ' are definitely worth a visit. Haarlem, which rendered its name to Harlem, New York, is a lively city with good shopping possibilities. The ship is berthed in the city center, with a view of St. Bavo's Church and with easy access to the Grote Markt with its many outdoor cafés.

Day 7: Haarlem - Amsterdam, 25 mi. (40 km)
From Haarlem, you sail to Spaarndam, a picturesque village on the edge of Haarlem, in the direction of Amsterdam. Spaarndam’s name comes from the dam built in the Spaarne river to limit the danger of flooding from the sea. Here you can find the statue of Hansje Brinker on the IJdijk. Hansje is a character from an American novel, who saved the country from flooding by putting his finger in the dike. The Buitenhuizen ferry takes you across the North Sea Canal and from there you cycle to the Zaanse Schans. The Zaanse Schans, with its traditional weatherboard houses, warehouses and windmills may give you the feeling of stepping back into the 17th or 18th century. Yet this is no open-air museum, but a lively neighborhood where people live and work. Among other things, a cheese farm, a clog maker and an old bakery can be visited here.

Day 8: Individual departure from Amsterdam

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Tour Reviews

  • Barbara A. 1 month ago     Verified Reviewer

    This trip was fabulous! The biking in the countryside was beautiful! I especially enjoyed seeing the bounding hares, swans, sheep, flowers and lovely homes. The tulip, daffodil and hyacinth fields were spectacular and an experience I will never forget. The traditional Dutch dinners were delicious and the stories about the food were entertaining and fun. I did find the city biking frightening at times with the crowds. One tip is be prepared for this and stay near the guide in the heavy traffic areas. I thoroughly enjoyed the sites especially the factory in Delft, Harlem, biking through the Sand Dunes and Keukenhof gardens. A lovely country with so much to experience.
    I think this trip is an incredible value for the price. I can’t wait to take another bike and barge trip.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Kathleen P. 7 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    Oh, to see the Netherlands by bicycle. No better way. This was my first biking vacation and it won't be my last.

    Boat: Wending

  • Ruth M. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    I loved being part of the Southern Holland Tulip Tour! The biking was wonderful, the scenery was unparalleled, and the Sailing Home was comfortable and well appointed. Staff was uniformly pleasant and accommodating. I enjoyed bonding with the other riders in the group , mostly from the Central and Western US and Canada. Our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining, however I feel that keeping our large group of 26 riders together on the rides was a challenge, and he would have benefited from the use of "corners" to make sure that all the riders were clear on the turns. Also, we were each given a booklet with the daily ride routes, but it would have been helpful to go over the next days map each evening so that we could visualize the lay of the land.
    Great trip all around and I am hoping to join another in the future!

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Curtiss M. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    We came to see the tulips and that was definitely accomplished. Albeit a bit late for most of the major fields, but Keukenhof was spectacular. Cycling through the polders and quiet countryside was also very enjoyable.
    On the negative side, the last days cycling into Amsterdam and departure from the boat was a bit rushed.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Angela T. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    Loved the comfortable accommodations on the barge.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Brenna B. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    All of it was memorable, especially Keukenhof Gardens at the height of bloom season. Loved the Netherlands.

    Boat: Wending

  • Patty M. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The Wending is a great barge with a wonderful crew! We had superior food every day. Our guide was very smart, kind, helpful, and patient. I would do this trip again in a heartbeat.

  • Darle S. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The biking and scenery was amazing. The collective group, including staff, became family. The best was the fields in bloom with tulips and such. Wow!

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Penelope H. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    This trip was absolutely wonderful. Even with a day or two of challenging weather.....with the right clothes it didn't matter. We were surrounded by such beauty every day and the people of the Netherlands are top notch.....you really couldn't find people that are sweeter and friendlier anywhere. Five Star Plus!!!

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Ruth K. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Awesome experience...I just would liked for the guide to pedal slower so that I could enjoy my surroundings more.

    Boat: Wending

  • S. Breaugh 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Overall I really enjoyed our trip. However, our guide Piet left a lot to be desired. He got us from the boat and back each day but that was about it. We had very few stops during the day for water breaks or photos. He did not provide any "tour guide" type of information like history or pointing anything out of interest, or even a clear idea of the details of the following day. While we got to all the towns on the itinerary, everything was pretty much closed after dinner so we couldn't do any sightseeing in towns on our own. The guide on our sister ship "Liza Marleen" did much more with her group.

    On the plus side, the barge Sailing Home was excellent and the crew was great - very friendly and helpful. Our chef Markus was amazing.

    I had an electric bike and I loved it. It made the trip much easier and enjoyable. Highly recommend it for inexperienced bikers.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • B. Dewey-Kirschman 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The tour was wonderful! We had clear weather the entire week and a great group of people to ride with. The "Sailing Home" really was comfort plus, with an attentive and helpful staff.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • P. Cass 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Everything exceeded our expectations. Crew made us feel like family, food was excellent and tour was perfect including the weather and the tulips.

    Boat: Liza Marleen

  • S. Eitnier 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Great trip.

    Boat: Wending

  • M. Dries 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Although we had a week of rain and cool temperatures, the attitude and spirit of all on the boat was upbeat and lively. We biked in all kinds of conditions and still had a great time. Our guide was informative and accommodating. The scenery was beautiful from one location to the other and the food on the barge was top notch and delicious. I thoroughly enjoy the whole trip from start to finish.

    Boat: Wending

  • C. Sheeran 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Loved it all! Wonderful staff, wonderful route, wonderful fellow passengers, wonderful guide! We could not have asked for anything more except less wind as we rode through the windmill area into a very strong headwind! Hardest day's riding we've ever done! But hey, this is Holland renowned for "wind"mills!! Keukenhof was amazing, everyone should visit this place once in their lifetime!

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Jill Crair 7 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Here it is almost 3 months following our trip and I'm just getting around to writing how wonderful everything was. It exceeded our expectations (which were high to begin with). To refresh your memory,we were the Nisky Riders.Our focus of the trip were the flower fields in the Netherlands and they were spectacular. We were on the Zwaan's maiden voyage for 2012 and loved the entire experience of being on the barge. The crew were very endearing, food was delicious (Dorus, the cook, had us hooked on the first dinner). We were accommodated beautifully. I have a gluten allergy and they took great care of me.

     A group of friends is currently on the Brugge to Amsterdam ride and LOVING it.

     We are exploring your site for our 2013 ride,  we would like to plan something for late spring or early summer. So I will be in touch in the near future.

    It all started with you and our experience with you sealed the deal. You added a personal quality that is much Read more… appreciated.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • Maureen Kulak 8 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    My husband and I took this trip in the Fall. We are seniors and would recommend this trip. This is the third trip we have made with this organization and they do a wonderful job. Company, food, service was great!

    Boat: Liza Marleen

  • Linda Hilliard 8 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    My husband and I had talked for several years about taking this tour but didn't go until April 9th, 2011, on the Zwaan, with Ilya and Maria. This was the first tour of the season - we were afraid that the flowers would not be out - surprise! We saw jonquils, hyacinths, tulips and more. Had we been later the hyacinths and jonquils would have been gone. Hennie told us that it varies from year to year, so we were so fortunate.

    The weather was great except for one windy and chilly day. Our tour guide, Albert, adapted the ride to the level of the riders yet still taking us to the important places and showing us the best of the countryside. Our hosts could not have been more hospitable, making all of the participants feel more welcome than just paying customers. We even had a last-minute gourmet chef! And we got to help welcome the new dog on board - all the guests were dog lovers and were delighted to meet him. We recommend this trip to anyone who likes an active Read more… vacation in a beautiful setting with good food and company with similar interests.

    L. Hilliard

    Boat: Liza Marleen

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Holland Southern Tulip Tour Boats + Barges

Liza Marleen Photo

Liza Marleen Premium Class Boat The Liza Marleen is a luxury motor passenger barge that was completely refurbished in 1998. This robust barge is ideally suited for trips on the wider waterways. It has a beautiful salon area and spacious deck.

Wending Photo

Wending Netherlands Standard Class Boat The Wending is a former freight barge that was converted into a luxury passenger motor barge in the early nineties and completely redecorated in 2002. The barge has a spacious salon equipped with a television and music installation. It is a great place to relax after a strenuous day of cycling.

Sailing Home Photo

Sailing Home Netherlands, Belgium Premium Class Boat Built in 2001, the Sailing Home was designed specifically to provide a more attractive hotel ship during your carefree vacation. It was built to meet the latest wishes and ideas with respect to comfort and service. The experience of a lifetime: cycling through the most beautiful spots within the Netherlands while residing on a very comfortable, newly built and well-furnished ship.

Zwaan Photo

Zwaan Belgium, Netherlands Standard Class Boat Once a cargo boat, the Zwaan (Swan) was completely renovated and converted into a comfortable passenger barge. On board you will find seven comfortable cabins allowing a total capacity of 16 passengers.

PWPC