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The Netherlands Bike & Boat: Springtime in Holland, Aboard the Lena Maria

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Fields of flowers, seascapes, and quaint villages sum up this colorful tour. You’ll even get the chance to view Holland’s iconic windmill and dike systems up close.

Guided Bike & Boat

    4.8 out of 5 stars.
    Activity Easy
    Easy
    E-Bikes Available
    E-Bikes Available
    Airplane
    Air Package Available
    People
    Guided Group Tour

    Starting From

    11-day Air Package

    $4,895

    8-day Bike Tour Only

    $3,895

    Per person, double occupancy

    The Netherlands Bike & Boat: Springtime in Holland, Aboard the Lena Maria

    A Holland tulip tour will excite all your senses. Traveling by bicycle, you’ll inhale the fragrance of a multitude of flowers and salty sea breezes, feast your eyes on the colorful blossoms, and listen to the calls of songbirds. You’ll even get the chance to view Holland’s iconic windmill and dike systems up close. Each exhilarating day is complemented by the leisurely pace of your private barge, as it drifts through scenic canals and into the heart of local life. It’s the perfect way to discover the sights, sounds and aromas of this captivating country.

    What to Expect

    This tour offers easy terrain on bike paths and roads through both urban and rural areas. You will encounter traffic, especially in urban areas. Some of the bike paths are unpaved and the terrain can lack shelter from the wind. Our VBT support shuttle is available every day at designated waypoints for those who need assistance.

    • Group Size: 24
    Activity Easy Easy
    Cycling
    Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
    Cyclists
    Vehicle Support Vehicle
    Support

    Tour Highlights

    • Learn how historic windmills work and how they are used to reclaim land called “polders”
    • View rare and historic flower bulbs at the flower garden museum, Hortus Bulborum
    • Explore the living catalogue of spring flowers at Keukenhof Gardens
    • Witness the action at world's largest flower auction in Aalsmeer
    • Explore Holland's "Green Heart", a rural and peaceful nature zone
    Show all Highlights

    Average High /
    Low Temperature (°F):

    Mar48º/37º

    Apr53º/40º

    May61º/46º

    Average
    Precipitation:

    Mar3.5 in

    Apr1.5 in

    May2.0 in

    Air Package

    Tour Only

    Roundtrip international airfare Check
    Airport car service for arrival and departure Check
    One night in Den Haag and one night in Amsterdam in conveniently located hotels with daily breakfast Check
    7 nights aboard a private canal barge Check Check
    15 meals: 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners Check Check

    Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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    Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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    Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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    Biking Packages Include:

    Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

    Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

    Vehicle Support

    Luggage Transfers

    Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

    Welcome Reception

    Facilitated Cultural Experiences

    Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

    Itinerary

    Sun, Mar 27 to Wed, Apr 6 - 2022

    Show Itinerary:

    All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

    A VBT representative will greet you at the Amsterdam airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Den Haag. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

    Accommodation: Hotel Corona

    After an included breakfast, make sure your luggage is packed and ready to be transported to the barge. At 11:30 a.m., meet a VBT representative in the hotel lobby and travel to the barge. Be sure to pack a bite for lunch as the next included meal is dinner.

    You will board the barge around 12:30 p.m. for a 1:00 p.m. departure. At the docks, meet the barge crew and your VBT trip leaders, who will welcome you aboard with light refreshments. Then, cruise out of Amsterdam, sailing along the Noordhollands—the waterway connecting Amsterdam to the North Sea—passing the recently built movie museum EYE.

    After a brief sail, the barge moors near Zaanse Schans, next to a working sawmill which is run purely on wind power. You will pedal along the canal on your warm-up ride, rejoining the barge at the mooring. Cycling past traditional green painted houses, warehouses, and windmills, you’re sure to feel as if you are pedaling through bygone centuries.This evening, gather on board with the group for a welcome dinner.

    What to Expect: The route provides a glimpse into Zaandam’s industrial heritage as it passes along local cocoa and peanut factories. Continue to a small neighborhood of traditional houses. This is a good opportunity to practice reading the signs of the Dutch Bike Network System.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 5km (3 miles)
    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Today, your barge continues along the River Zaan and the Knollendammer Canal to the town of Alkmaar, famed for its cheese trade. After breakfast, you will cycle past lakes and water management systems to the beautiful town of De Rijp. Once there, you’ll understand why the famous water engineer Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater referred to it as “the finest village in Holland.” Centuries of history are can still be seen in De Rijp’s wooden facades, as well as its beautiful church complete with stained glass windows dating back to 1655, lock, and town hall.

    From here, continue across the Beemster Polder, an almost untouched piece of low-lying land reclaimed from the water. In 1612, Dutch engineers, using a system of dikes and windmills, drained marshes and bogs, and converted the land into pasture. Today, the Beemster Polder is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nourished by sea water, the clay soil is nutrient and mineral-rich, with a distinctive slate blue color. Grass grown in this soil is especially lush and makes the milk produced by cows that graze here unusually sweet and creamy. The local Beemster cheeses are celebrated for their exceptional flavor.

    Your next stop is the former windmill complex of the Schermer Polder which includes the Schermerhorn Windmill Museum. The museum provides you with complete access, from top to bottom, allowing you to follow the fascinating mechanics of the mill in a unique setting. A short ride takes you to a local “care farm” where people with special needs are employed and you can enjoy a picnic lunch.

    Continue cycling along this delightfully flat land to Alkmaar. The town is known as a Dutch cheese city, but that is only a small part of its story. As you explore the streets this evening, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of Alkmaar’s Old Town, with its well-preserved 17th-century buildings and narrow, winding canals.

    Dinner will be served on our barge this evening.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Zaanse Schans to Lunch — 24 km (14 miles)
    Afternoon: Lunch to Alkmaar — 17 km (10 miles) | Additional Bergen Loop — 18 km (11 miles)

    What to Expect: After a guided visit to the Het Jonge Schaep sawmill, your route follows the Dutch windmill theme. We depart Zaanse Schans and ride along the Zaan River, stopping at Spijkerboor for the local ferry across the dike. From here, cycle to the pretty town of De Rijp. Soon, you will see many of the windmills for which the Netherlands are known. In Schermermolen, you can stop to learn about the inner workings of one of those windmills. From there, it’s a short jaunt to the “care farm” where you will enjoy your picnic lunch. If you wish, you can take the shuttle to Alkmaar, but those continuing to ride will enjoy scenic open countryside all the way to your destination.

    The extra-long option today includes a loop to picturesque Bergen before arriving at your barge in Alkmaar.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 24 – 59 km (14 – 35 miles)
    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    After an early breakfast you’ll 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 blossom throughout the museum’s five-plus acres of flowerbeds. Each spring, they burst forth in a dazzling array of fragrances and colors, as you’ll discover on a guided tour.

    From there, it’s a short ride to our lunch spot, a café situated right on the beach. Enjoy the sweeping views before continuing on bike paths through the sand dunes of the North Sea Coast to the town of Beverwijk. A local ferry will take you across the North Sea Canal which is a major shipping route. Back on land, you can choose to shuttle or cycle to Haarlem.

    Haarlem is a pretty city of cobblestone streets, historic buildings, canals, grand churches, cozy bars, top-notch restaurants, and antique shops. After coasting into town, you’ll enjoy a short walking tour through the historic city center with your trip leaders. You’ll dine on your own tonight at any of the local establishments before returning to the barge which is moored in Haarlem overnight.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Alkmaar to Lunch — 29km (18 miles)

    Afternoon: Lunch to IJmuiden ferry — 18 km (11 miles) | IJmuiden ferry to Haarlem — 16 km (10 miles)

    What to Expect: Today’s ride, the first of two days filled with flowers, passes through blossoming fields and sand dunes. The first bulbs emerge soon after leaving Alkmaar and you’ll have the opportunity to admire them in Limmen at Hortus Bulborum. In Castricum, we’ll all have lunch together at one of the town’s beachfront cafés with stunning North Sea views. You’ll burn off those calories by continuing the ride through sand dunes before boarding a ferry which will cross the North Sea Channel. If you’re still feeling energetic, there is an additional cycling loop through the dunes into the city of Haarlem but others may opt for a van shuttle to the barge.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 29 – 63 km (18 – 39 miles)

    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Today is another day with an early start, the better to catch the flowers opening in the early morning light. You’ll ride through gorgeous blooming bulb fields to Keukenhof, famed for its magnificent flower gardens. The 80-acre park boasts more than 9 miles (14.4 km) of footpaths winding among over seven million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and other flowers, designed to excite the senses in a truly beautiful setting.

    From there, you’ll cycle through more blossoming bulb fields on your way to Leiden, a vibrant town bisected by canals and filled with attractive guild houses. The birthplace of the Dutch master Rembrandt, Leiden is home to the Netherlands’ oldest university. The town also has a connection to Colonial American history. In the early 17th century, Protestants fleeing persecution elsewhere in the Low Countries, France, and England found a warmer welcome in Leiden. Notable among these Protestants was a group led by John Robinson, who would later sail to America aboard the Mayflower.

    This evening, enjoy dinner on board before joining your trip leaders for a short walk into Leiden where the barge will be moored overnight.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Haarlem to Keukenhof Gardens — 23 km (14 miles)
    Afternoon: Keukenhof Gardens to Leiden — 19 km (12 miles) | Additional Keukenhof Loop — 14 km (9 miles)

    What to Expect: Ride on country roads through flowering fields on your way to world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. After leaving Haarlem, your bike route touches the ancient Manpad at the foot of the dunes before moving further inland through an older flower-growing area. Midway to Leiden you have an included visit to Keukenhof Gardens. The ride continues through more fabulous Dutch flower fields, then passes through the narrow main street of Warmond village. After a ferry crossing, you’ll continue cycling a bike route along the Zijl River. In Leiden, you’ll join the barge at its mooring site. If you wish to add a longer loop option, you’ll spend less time in Keukenhof Gardens. Please advise your trip leaders if you are riding the extra loop and let them know when you return to the Keukenhof parking lot.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 23 – 56 km (14 – 35 miles)

    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    This morning, cruise out of Leiden and start your ride through verdant pastures and small farms, famous for cheese production. Near Zoeterwoude, you can stop to visit one such farm and meet the owners, Karin and Sjaak van Veen, and their animals. The farm has been in their family for more than 100 years. Here, you will learn about the cheese-making process — and enjoy the opportunity to taste the results.

    Continue through open polder landscapes to Hazerswoude-Dorp. The bike path out of town has an intimate feel as it passes through residential gardens, leading you all the way to Gouda.

    Gouda’s namesake cheese is among the Netherlands’ best-known exports. The town’s compact center is entirely ringed by canals and this evening you can stroll its spacious market square and see the grand Gothic town hall. The main church of Gouda, devoted to Saint John, is world famous for its stained-glass windows. Your early afternoon arrival gives you plenty of time to explore and find a local restaurant for dinner on your own.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Zoeterwoude to Boskoop optional Lunch — 25 km (15 miles)

    Afternoon: Boskoop to Gouda — 10 km (6 miles) | Gouda to Haastrecht Loop — 10 km (6 miles)

    What to Expect: You’ll enjoy breakfast on the barge along the Old Rhine River as you head to the start of today’s adventure. After a short ride, you’ll tour a cheese farm with the opportunity to taste their wares. The rest of your ride is through the region of Hazerswoude and Boskoop where plants and young trees are commercially grown. Your ride will end when you meet the barge in Gouda, an old cheese market city of international fame, and you’ll have plenty of free time to explore the area. If you want to continue cycling, you can add an extra loop that leaves directly from the barge to Haastrecht, an ancient little town with a famous bike shop (Slingerland).

    Cumulative Distance Range: 25 — 56 km (14 — 35 miles)

    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    Leave Gouda this morning and pedal alongside peat lakes and onto the banks of the narrow Rhine River to Alphen aan de Rijn where you will board the barge for lunch.

    Afterwards, you have the option to either cycle or cruise through a pretty stretch known as the “Groene Hart” (Green Heart)—a rural region of lush meadows, tranquil peat lakes, and abundant birdlife. If you are cycling, you will meet the barge at Tolhuissluis, then cruise along the River Amstel to the next overnight mooring point at Uithoorn.

    Enjoy dinner aboard our barge this evening.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Gouda to Alphen aan den Rijn — 26 km (16 miles)

    Afternoon: Alphen aan den Rijn to Tolhuissluis — 24 km (14 miles)

    What to Expect: The first part of the ride passes through Reeuwijkse Plassen, a lake area created by peat digging. After passing the town of Bodegraven, you will continue along the Old Rhine River for a barge lunch in the city of Alphen aan den Rijn. After lunch, feel free to relax and enjoy the afternoon on board your mobile home or continue on cycling through lush meadows and lakes on a pretty route touching the villages of Langeraar, Rijnsaterwoude, and Leimuiden and the hamlet of Bilderdam before finishing the journey along canals heading to the Tolhuissluis Locks at the Amstel River confluence.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 26 – 50 km (16 – 30 miles)
    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Rise early today and, after sipping your morning beverage of choice, shuttle to Aalsmeer, the world’s largest flower auction. The early start is worth the effort, as you’ll experience the frenetic energy inside the auction warehouse. Watch as crates of flowers are transported to the auction floor where traders bid against the clock. Marvel at the astonishing volume of beautiful flowers being traded daily from more than ten countries for export throughout the world. Watching the auction from a special gallery, you’ll be at the very heart of international flower trade.

    After the auction you’ll cycle to Uithoorn for brunch before continuing on your final day of cycling. Today’s riding options enable you to enjoy another day in the countryside, traveling along the Amstel River and through Amsterdam Forest. Rejoin the barge and cruise into Amsterdam, sampling local Dutch delicacies along the way. Your barge’s mooring couldn’t be more convenient: It’s right in the center of city.

    Dine on the barge one last time this evening.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Flower Auction to Uithoorn — 8 km (5 miles) | Uithoorn to Amsterdam — 24 km (14 miles) | Via Abcoude Loop — 43 km (26 miles)

    What to Expect: After the auction visit, cycle to Uithoorn for breakfast onboard your barge. Afterwards, cycle along the Amstel River before cutting across polder into Amsterdam Forest to meet the barge at Nieuwe Meersluis. From here the barge sails back to Amsterdam.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 8 – 43 km (5 – 31 miles)

    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    After an included breakfast, say goodbye to your barge crew and trip leaders, then take a short walk to your Amsterdam hotel. After checking in, you have free time for independent exploration. Please note that your room may not be ready at this time, in which case the hotel will store your luggage. Enjoy dinner on your own tonight. VBT provides you with city information that includes recommendations about what to see and do in Amsterdam.

    The Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District is a cash-free hotel, so any extras must be paid by credit or debit card.

    Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District

    Included Meals: Breakfast

    After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Amsterdam airport will be provided (an approximately 20 to 30 minutes drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

    Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District

    Included Meals: Breakfast

    The Netherlands Bike & Boat: Springtime in Holland, Aboard the Lena Maria

    Download PDF Itinerary:

    Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

    Tue, Mar 29 to Tue, Apr 5 - 2022

    Show Itinerary:

    You are responsible for making your way to our barge, arriving between 12:30 and 12:50 p.m. Please note that you cannot embark before this time, as the barge is being prepared for your arrival. If you are late, you must contact the barge as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements because we will set sail promptly at 1:00 p.m. The barge will be moored in Oosterdok, near the entrance to the NEMO museum, which is located behind Amsterdam’s Centraal Station. Please refer to the information listed in the tour handbook for your barge contact number.

    You will board the barge around 12:30 p.m. for a 1:00 p.m. departure. At the docks, meet the barge crew and your VBT trip leaders, who will welcome you aboard with light refreshments. Then, cruise out of Amsterdam, sailing along the Noordhollands—the waterway connecting Amsterdam to the North Sea—passing the recently built movie museum EYE.

    After a brief sail, the barge moors near Zaanse Schans, next to a working sawmill which is run purely on wind power. You will pedal along the canal on your warm-up ride, rejoining the barge at the mooring. Cycling past traditional green painted houses, warehouses, and windmills, you’re sure to feel as if you are pedaling through bygone centuries.

    This evening, gather on board with the group for a welcome dinner.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Afternoon: Zaandam Warm-up — 5 km (3 miles)

    What to Expect: The route provides a glimpse into Zaandam’s industrial heritage as it passes along local cocoa and peanut factories. Continue to a small neighborhood of traditional houses. This is a good opportunity to practice reading the signs of the Dutch Bike Network System.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 5 km (3 miles)

    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Dinner

    Today, your barge continues along the River Zaan and the Knollendammer Canal to the town of Alkmaar, famed for its cheese trade. After breakfast, you will cycle past lakes and water management systems to the beautiful town of De Rijp. Once there, you’ll understand why the famous water engineer Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater referred to it as “the finest village in Holland.” Centuries of history are can still be seen in De Rijp’s wooden facades, as well as its beautiful church complete with stained glass windows dating back to 1655, lock, and town hall.

    From here, continue across the Beemster Polder, an almost untouched piece of low-lying land reclaimed from the water. In 1612, Dutch engineers, using a system of dikes and windmills, drained marshes and bogs, and converted the land into pasture. Today, the Beemster Polder is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nourished by sea water, the clay soil is nutrient and mineral-rich, with a distinctive slate blue color. Grass grown in this soil is especially lush and makes the milk produced by cows that graze here unusually sweet and creamy. The local Beemster cheeses are celebrated for their exceptional flavor.

    Your next stop is the former windmill complex of the Schermer Polder which includes the Schermerhorn Windmill Museum. The museum provides you with complete access, from top to bottom, allowing you to follow the fascinating mechanics of the mill in a unique setting. A short ride takes you to a local “care farm” where people with special needs are employed and you can enjoy a picnic lunch.

    Continue cycling along this delightfully flat land to Alkmaar. The town is known as a Dutch cheese city, but that is only a small part of its story. As you explore the streets this evening, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of Alkmaar’s Old Town, with its well-preserved 17th-century buildings and narrow, winding canals.

    Dinner will be served on our barge this evening.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Zaanse Schans to Lunch — 24 km (14 miles)
    Afternoon: Lunch to Alkmaar — 17 km (10 miles) | Additional Bergen Loop — 18 km (11 miles)

    What to Expect: After a guided visit to the Het Jonge Schaep sawmill, your route follows the Dutch windmill theme. We depart Zaanse Schans and ride along the Zaan River, stopping at Spijkerboor for the local ferry across the dike. From here, cycle to the pretty town of De Rijp. Soon, you will see many of the windmills for which the Netherlands are known. In Schermermolen, you can stop to learn about the inner workings of one of those windmills. From there, it’s a short jaunt to the “care farm” where you will enjoy your picnic lunch. If you wish, you can take the shuttle to Alkmaar, but those continuing to ride will enjoy scenic open countryside all the way to your destination.

    The extra-long option today includes a loop to picturesque Bergen before arriving at your barge in Alkmaar.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 24 – 59 km (14 – 35 miles)
    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    After an early breakfast you’ll 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 blossom throughout the museum’s five-plus acres of flowerbeds. Each spring, they burst forth in a dazzling array of fragrances and colors, as you’ll discover on a guided tour.

    From there, it’s a short ride to our lunch spot, a café situated right on the beach. Enjoy the sweeping views before continuing on bike paths through the sand dunes of the North Sea Coast to the town of Beverwijk. A local ferry will take you across the North Sea Canal which is a major shipping route. Back on land, you can choose to shuttle or cycle to Haarlem.

    Haarlem is a pretty city of cobblestone streets, historic buildings, canals, grand churches, cozy bars, top-notch restaurants, and antique shops. After coasting into town, you’ll enjoy a short walking tour through the historic city center with your trip leaders. You’ll dine on your own tonight at any of the local establishments before returning to the barge which is moored in Haarlem overnight.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Alkmaar to Lunch — 29km (18 miles)

    Afternoon: Lunch to IJmuiden ferry — 18 km (11 miles) | IJmuiden ferry to Haarlem — 16 km (10 miles)

    What to Expect: Today’s ride, the first of two days filled with flowers, passes through blossoming fields and sand dunes. The first bulbs emerge soon after leaving Alkmaar and you’ll have the opportunity to admire them in Limmen at Hortus Bulborum. In Castricum, we’ll all have lunch together at one of the town’s beachfront cafés with stunning North Sea views. You’ll burn off those calories by continuing the ride through sand dunes before boarding a ferry which will cross the North Sea Channel. If you’re still feeling energetic, there is an additional cycling loop through the dunes into the city of Haarlem but others may opt for a van shuttle to the barge.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 29 – 63 km (18 – 39 miles)

    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Today is another day with an early start, the better to catch the flowers opening in the early morning light. You’ll ride through gorgeous blooming bulb fields to Keukenhof, famed for its magnificent flower gardens. The 80-acre park boasts more than 9 miles (14.4 km) of footpaths winding among over seven million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and other flowers, designed to excite the senses in a truly beautiful setting.

    From there, you’ll cycle through more blossoming bulb fields on your way to Leiden, a vibrant town bisected by canals and filled with attractive guild houses. The birthplace of the Dutch master Rembrandt, Leiden is home to the Netherlands’ oldest university. The town also has a connection to Colonial American history. In the early 17th century, Protestants fleeing persecution elsewhere in the Low Countries, France, and England found a warmer welcome in Leiden. Notable among these Protestants was a group led by John Robinson, who would later sail to America aboard the Mayflower.

    This evening, enjoy dinner on board before joining your trip leaders for a short walk into Leiden where the barge will be moored overnight.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Haarlem to Keukenhof Gardens — 23 km (14 miles)
    Afternoon: Keukenhof Gardens to Leiden — 19 km (12 miles) | Additional Keukenhof Loop — 14 km (9 miles)

    What to Expect: Ride on country roads through flowering fields on your way to world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. After leaving Haarlem, your bike route touches the ancient Manpad at the foot of the dunes before moving further inland through an older flower-growing area. Midway to Leiden you have an included visit to Keukenhof Gardens. The ride continues through more fabulous Dutch flower fields, then passes through the narrow main street of Warmond village. After a ferry crossing, you’ll continue cycling a bike route along the Zijl River. In Leiden, you’ll join the barge at its mooring site. If you wish to add a longer loop option, you’ll spend less time in Keukenhof Gardens. Please advise your trip leaders if you are riding the extra loop and let them know when you return to the Keukenhof parking lot.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 23 – 56 km (14 – 35 miles)

    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    This morning, cruise out of Leiden and start your ride through verdant pastures and small farms, famous for cheese production. Near Zoeterwoude, you can stop to visit one such farm and meet the owners, Karin and Sjaak van Veen, and their animals. The farm has been in their family for more than 100 years. Here, you will learn about the cheese-making process — and enjoy the opportunity to taste the results.

    Continue through open polder landscapes to Hazerswoude-Dorp. The bike path out of town has an intimate feel as it passes through residential gardens, leading you all the way to Gouda.

    Gouda’s namesake cheese is among the Netherlands’ best-known exports. The town’s compact center is entirely ringed by canals and this evening you can stroll its spacious market square and see the grand Gothic town hall. The main church of Gouda, devoted to Saint John, is world famous for its stained-glass windows. Your early afternoon arrival gives you plenty of time to explore and find a local restaurant for dinner on your own.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Zoeterwoude to Boskoop optional Lunch — 25 km (15 miles)

    Afternoon: Boskoop to Gouda — 10 km (6 miles) | Gouda to Haastrecht Loop — 10 km (6 miles)

    What to Expect: You’ll enjoy breakfast on the barge along the Old Rhine River as you head to the start of today’s adventure. After a short ride, you’ll tour a cheese farm with the opportunity to taste their wares. The rest of your ride is through the region of Hazerswoude and Boskoop where plants and young trees are commercially grown. Your ride will end when you meet the barge in Gouda, an old cheese market city of international fame, and you’ll have plenty of free time to explore the area. If you want to continue cycling, you can add an extra loop that leaves directly from the barge to Haastrecht, an ancient little town with a famous bike shop (Slingerland).

    Cumulative Distance Range: 25 — 56 km (14 — 35 miles)

    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    Leave Gouda this morning and pedal alongside peat lakes and onto the banks of the narrow Rhine River to Alphen aan de Rijn where you will board the barge for lunch.

    Afterwards, you have the option to either cycle or cruise through a pretty stretch known as the “Groene Hart” (Green Heart)—a rural region of lush meadows, tranquil peat lakes, and abundant birdlife. If you are cycling, you will meet the barge at Tolhuissluis, then cruise along the River Amstel to the next overnight mooring point at Uithoorn.

    Enjoy dinner aboard our barge this evening.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Gouda to Alphen aan den Rijn — 26 km (16 miles)

    Afternoon: Alphen aan den Rijn to Tolhuissluis — 24 km (14 miles)

    What to Expect: The first part of the ride passes through Reeuwijkse Plassen, a lake area created by peat digging. After passing the town of Bodegraven, you will continue along the Old Rhine River for a barge lunch in the city of Alphen aan den Rijn. After lunch, feel free to relax and enjoy the afternoon on board your mobile home or continue on cycling through lush meadows and lakes on a pretty route touching the villages of Langeraar, Rijnsaterwoude, and Leimuiden and the hamlet of Bilderdam before finishing the journey along canals heading to the Tolhuissluis Locks at the Amstel River confluence.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 26 – 50 km (16 – 30 miles)

    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Rise early today and, after sipping your morning beverage of choice, shuttle to Aalsmeer, the world’s largest flower auction. The early start is worth the effort, as you’ll experience the frenetic energy inside the auction warehouse. Watch as crates of flowers are transported to the auction floor where traders bid against the clock. Marvel at the astonishing volume of beautiful flowers being traded daily from more than ten countries for export throughout the world. Watching the auction from a special gallery, you’ll be at the very heart of international flower trade.

    After the auction you’ll cycle to Uithoorn for brunch before continuing on your final day of cycling. Today’s riding options enable you to enjoy another day in the countryside, traveling along the Amstel River and through Amsterdam Forest. Rejoin the barge and cruise into Amsterdam, sampling local Dutch delicacies along the way. Your barge’s mooring couldn’t be more convenient: It’s right in the center of city.

    Dine on the barge one last time this evening.

    Today’s Ride Choices:

    Morning: Flower Auction to Uithoorn — 8 km (5 miles) | Uithoorn to Amsterdam — 24 km (14 miles) | Via Abcoude Loop — 43 km (26 miles)

    What to Expect: After the auction visit, cycle to Uithoorn for breakfast onboard your barge. Afterwards, cycle along the Amstel River before cutting across polder into Amsterdam Forest to meet the barge at Nieuwe Meersluis. From here the barge sails back to Amsterdam.

    Cumulative Distance Range: 8 – 43 km (5 – 31 miles)

    Accommodation: Barge Lena Maria
    Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    After an included breakfast, say goodbye to your barge crew and trip leaders as your tour comes to a close. It is important that you leave the barge no later than 9:00 a.m. Please refer to the information listed in the tour handbook.

    Included Meals: Breakfast

    The Netherlands Bike & Boat: Springtime in Holland, Aboard the Lena Maria

    Download PDF Itinerary:

    Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

    Accommodations

    Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

    Airplane

    Air Package Only

    2022

    2022 Pre-Trip Extension - Den Haag

    2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
    Single Supplement: From $195

    • 2 nights at the Hotel Corona
    • Airport car service for arrival
    • Daily breakfast
    • City Information

    All you have to do is get to the airport. On our Air Packages, we’ll take care of the rest, handling all the logistics, so you can travel with peace of mind. Spend your first night aloft and arrive refreshed for an unforgettable trip.

    A VBT representative will greet you at the Amsterdam airport to start your adventure off right. A complimentary car service will whisk you to your centrally located hotel in Den Haag. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

    Accommodation: Hotel Corona

    After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

    Accommodation: Hotel Corona
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to explore on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

    Accommodation: Hotel Corona
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    Airplane

    Air Package Only

    2022

    2022 Post-Trip Extension - Amsterdam

    2 Nights From $495 per person, double occupancy
    Single Supplement: From $345

    • 2 nights at the Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District
    • Airport car service for departure
    • Daily breakfast
    • City information

    After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

    Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    After a delicious included breakfast at your hotel, you are free to continue exploring on your own, using our included city information packet to guide your discoveries.

    Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District
    Included Meals: Breakfast

    After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Amsterdam airport will be provided (an approximately 20 to 30 minutes drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

    Included Meals: Breakfast

    Reviews

    Guest Reviews 48 out of 50 (96%) of reviewers recommend this tour

    4.8 out of 5 stars.

    Dates & Prices

    Air Package

    11 days, includes round-trip international airfare , airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

    Single Supplement: From $1,845

    Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

    Tour Only

    8 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

    Single Supplement: From $1,545

    Sun, Mar 27 - Wed, Apr 6, 2022

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    $4,895

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    $3,895

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    $4,995

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    $3,895

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    Sun, Apr 10 - Wed, Apr 20, 2022

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    Tue, Apr 12 - Tue, Apr 19, 2022

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    Sun, Apr 17 - Wed, Apr 27, 2022

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    Tue, Apr 19 - Tue, Apr 26, 2022

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    Sun, Apr 24 - Wed, May 4, 2022

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    For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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