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The Netherlands Bike & Boat: Springtime in Holland, Aboard the Princesse Royal

Nobody does springtime in Holland quite like VBT. We’ve planned for you an itinerary of cycling past windmills and polder villages followed by relaxing on your group’s private Dutch barge. As your cozy ship floats along Holland’s network of canals, you’ll cycle easy paths past massive fields of blossoms, stopping to learn about the history of tulips, daffodils, and other bulbs at the unique garden museum Hortus Bulborum. Visit the family home of farmers in Gouda—and learn about the famous cheese-making traditions there. During this exceptional springtime bicycling vacation, your experienced VBT trip leaders and dedicated barge crew will open the doors to Holland’s most celebrated season.  

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.
  • Explore Holland’s “Green Heart,” a rural and peaceful nature zone.

Positive Impact

VBT is proud to support The Museum Molen with a donation on behalf of each guest on this tour. The Museum Molen aims to preserve and educate guests on the valuable cultural heritage of the Schermer mills and how they fuel the water system in the Netherlands. The museum’s mill functions as a flagship of the 49 mills in the Schermer province.

What to Expect

This tour is rated Easy, and both hybrids and E-bikes are offered. Riding is primarily on paved roads and paths with very few hills, although wind may increase the difficulty factor since there is often little or no shelter. Cyclists may stay on the barge on windy days if they wish, but they will miss out on some of the incredible scenery, which is best viewed while pedaling. Support vehicle assistance is not available on the bike path sections of the ride.

  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 25 miles|
  • Biking: 2 - 4 hours|
  • Group Size: 30
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Mar48º/37º

Apr53º/40º

Average
Precipitation:

Mar3.5 in

Apr1.5 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 Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike) 16

Step-Through Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

See More >
Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle 28

Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

See More >
Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle 28

Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

See More >

Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Support Vehicle

Luggage Transportation

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Fri, Mar 29 to Mon, Apr 8 - 2024

Show Itinerary:

Your vacation is about to begin! Spend your first night aloft and arrive ready 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. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

Following 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 1:30 p.m. for a 2:00 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 in Zaandam. You will disembark for a scenic warm-up loop through the Twiske nature reserve.

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

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon: Zaandam Warm-up Loop — 19 km (12 miles)

What to Expect:

The route takes you into the Twiske nature reserve, where you will ride alongside scenic, green peat bogs.

Cumulative Distance Range: 19 km (12 miles)

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 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 will 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. You 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 is 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)

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 destination, situated right on the beach, where you will enjoy lunch on your own in a café. 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, 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 — 29 km (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; 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 that will cross the North Sea Canal. If you’re still feeling energetic, there is an additional cycling loop through the dunes into the city of Haarlem, but you may opt for a van shuttle to the barge instead.

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

Included Meals: Breakfast

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 (32-hectare) park boasts more than 9 miles (14.4 km) of footpaths winding among more than 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 farther 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)

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, where 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 – 45 km (15 – 27 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast

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

Afterward, 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 Oude Wetering.

Enjoy dinner aboard our barge this evening.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Gouda to Alphen aan den Rijn — 30 km (19 miles)

Afternoon: Alphen aan den Rijn to Oude Wetering — 26 km (16 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 continue along the Old Rhine River to 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 cycling through lush meadows and lakes on a pretty route touching the villages of Langeraar, Rijnsaterwoude, Leimuiden, and the hamlet of Bilderdam. You finish the journey along canals heading to the Tolhuissluis Locks at the Amstel River confluence.

Cumulative Distance Range: 30 – 56 km (19 – 35 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, cycle to Aalsmeer, home to the world’s largest flower auction (closed on weekends). An astonishing volume of beautiful flowers are traded from more than 10 countries for export throughout the world. Visit the historical gardens.

From here you’ll cycle to Uithoorn. 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 the city.

Dine on the barge one last time this evening.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Barge to Aalsmeer to Uithoorn — 17 km (10 miles) | Uithoorn to Amsterdam — 24 km (15 miles) OR Via Abcoude Loop — 43 km (26 miles)

What to Expect:

After breakfast on the barge, begin cycling to Aalsmeer to visit the historical gardens. Afterwards, cycle to Uithoorn, then 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: 17 – 60 km (10 – 37 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Following an included breakfast, say goodbye to your barge crew and trip leaders, then take a short drive to your Amsterdam hotel. Once checked 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After an included breakfast this morning, complimentary transportation to the Amsterdam airport will be provided (an approximately 40- to 60- minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

The Netherlands Bike & Boat: Springtime in Holland, Aboard the Princesse Royal

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Sun, Mar 31 to Sun, Apr 7 - 2024

Show Itinerary:

You are responsible for making your way to our barge, arriving between 1:00 and 1:30 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 2:00 p.m., telephone barge Princesse Royal +31 6 183 076 33. The barge will be moored at Buiksloterweg* pier, which is located to the north of Amsterdam’s Centraal Station. Besides traveling by taxi, the barge is easily accessible by foot from Amsterdam Centraal Station by taking the free passenger ferry to Buiksloterweg.

*IMPORTANT: For the March 31, 2024, departure, the barge will be moored at Minervahaven. From the Amsterdam Centraal Station, you can take a taxi to the ship at Minervahavenweg. Taxis are located at the IJ-side (North-side) of the Centraal Station. We recommend TCA Taxis at phone +31 20 777 7777.

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 in Zaandam. You will disembark for a scenic warm-up loop through the Twiske nature reserve.

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

Today’s Ride Choices

Afternoon: Zaandam Warm-up Loop — 19 km (12 miles)

What to Expect:

The route takes you into the Twiske nature reserve, where you will ride alongside scenic, green peat bogs.

Cumulative Distance Range: 19 km (12 miles)

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 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 will 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. You 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 is 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)

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 destination, situated right on the beach, where you will enjoy lunch on your own in a café. 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, 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 — 29 km (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; 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 that will cross the North Sea Canal. If you’re still feeling energetic, there is an additional cycling loop through the dunes into the city of Haarlem, but you may opt for a van shuttle to the barge instead.

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

Included Meals: Breakfast

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 (32-hectare) park boasts more than 9 miles (14.4 km) of footpaths winding among more than 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 farther 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)

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, where 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 – 45 km (15 – 27 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast

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

Afterward, 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 Oude Wetering.

Enjoy dinner aboard our barge this evening.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Gouda to Alphen aan den Rijn — 30 km (19 miles)

Afternoon: Alphen aan den Rijn to Oude Wetering — 26 km (16 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 continue along the Old Rhine River to 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 cycling through lush meadows and lakes on a pretty route touching the villages of Langeraar, Rijnsaterwoude, Leimuiden, and the hamlet of Bilderdam. You finish the journey along canals heading to the Tolhuissluis Locks at the Amstel River confluence.

Cumulative Distance Range: 30 – 56 km (19 – 35 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, cycle to Aalsmeer, home to the world’s largest flower auction (closed on weekends). An astonishing volume of beautiful flowers are traded from more than 10 countries for export throughout the world. Visit the historical gardens.

From here you’ll cycle to Uithoorn. 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 the city.

Dine on the barge one last time this evening.

Today’s Ride Choices

Morning: Barge to Aalsmeer to Uithoorn — 17 km (10 miles) | Uithoorn to Amsterdam — 24 km (15 miles) OR Via Abcoude Loop — 43 km (26 miles)

What to Expect:

After breakfast on the barge, begin cycling to Aalsmeer to visit the historical gardens. Afterwards, cycle to Uithoorn, then 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: 17 – 60 km (10 – 37 miles)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

The Netherlands Bike & Boat: Springtime in Holland, Aboard the Princesse Royal

Download PDF Itinerary:

Air Package (PDF) Tour Only (PDF)

Accommodations (Please Note: Days are based on the Air Package Itinerary. Accommodations may vary depending on departure date. )

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2024

2024 Pre-Trip Extension - Den Haag

2 Nights From $345 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $245

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

Your vacation is about to begin! Spend your first night aloft and arrive ready 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 hotel in Den Haag. From your centrally located hotel, you are perfectly positioned to explore this charming city at your leisure.

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.

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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Boutique Hotel Corona

The Boutique Hotel Corona is a fine boutique property and the oldest 4-star hotel of the International City of Peace and Justice. Its elegant common rooms and guest rooms occupy three historic 17th-century buildings. High ceilings and grand chandeliers give the lobby an airy feel. Located in the center of Den Haag in a former forecourt of the Buitenhof (Dutch Parliament), it boasts an illustrious past. The Boutique Hotel Corona is only 650 feet (198 meters) from the Centrum tram stop. Free WiFi and air conditioning are available throughout the hotel.
Wifi
FREE WiFi Included
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Airplane

Air Package Only

2024

2024 Post-Trip Extension - Amsterdam

2 Nights From $445 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $345

  • 2 nights at the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre
  • 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

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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast this morning, transportation to the Amsterdam airport will be provided (an approximately 40- to 60-minute drive, depending on traffic) for your departing flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre

The Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre is a modern, 4-star hotel located on the edge of the River IJ, near the Oosterdok canal and the Amsterdam Central Station. Its spacious rooms provide stunning views of Amsterdam city and the harbor. This luxury property is also within walking distance of downtown and many of Amsterdam’s renowned attractions. Plus, free WiFi and air conditioning are available throughout the hotel.
Wifi
FREE WiFi Included
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Reviews
26 out of 28 (93%)
4.4 out of 5 stars.
Read More Reviews

The biking, scenery, planned visits, barge crew, provided meals, and guides were all amazing! There were a few issues that caused us to lower the rating to 4 stars: minor accommodation issues, wrong bike size, would have liked to have seen the guides on the routes more frequently (as we did on our first VBT trip).

RickAnn, Massachusetts

Holland in Springtime Bike & Boat: Aboard Magnifique

Absolutely fabulous trip! Trip guides were exceptional, they took great care of us, were super knowledgeable, and fun! The routes were well planned with varied scenery and interesting points along the way. The barge was great fun, comfortable, and the food was wonderful. The bikes were excellent and well maintained. We saw and learned so much, we would highly recommend this trip!

Phyll, Virginia

Holland in Springtime Bike & Boat: Aboard Magnifique

Dates & Prices

Departing Airport :

Departing airport

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Air Package

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

Cabin upgrades may be available. Contact us for more details.

Single Supplement: From $2,145

Currently Full

Fri, Mar 29 - Mon, Apr 8, 2024

Air included Air Included

From
$5,845

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Fri, Apr 5 - Mon, Apr 15, 2024

Air included Air Included

From
$5,845

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Fri, Apr 12 - Mon, Apr 22, 2024

Air included Air Included

From
$5,845

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Fri, Apr 19 - Mon, Apr 29, 2024

Air included Air Included

From
$5,845

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist

Select Year :

Tour Only

8 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Cabin upgrades may be available. Contact us for more details.

Single Supplement: From $1,895

Currently Full

Sun, Mar 31 - Sun, Apr 7, 2024

From
$4,845

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Sun, Apr 7 - Sun, Apr 14, 2024

From
$4,845

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Sun, Apr 14 - Sun, Apr 21, 2024

From
$4,845

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Sun, Apr 21 - Sun, Apr 28, 2024

From
$4,845

Per person, double occupancy

Join Waitlist

For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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