Kingsday Flowers Typical Holland North!

$1,499- includes Keukenhof ticket upon request!

April 27- May 4, 2019

Did you know that North Holland has the largest acreage of flower fields in the Netherlands! Come explore with us- old fishing villages, working windmills, winding dikes along the beautiful Dutch polders, impressive castles and amazing Island Texel. Our final days cycle south along the North Sea Dunes to the glorious city of Alkmaar — and a visit to the famous Cheese Market there. We finish our Bike and Barge vacation heading towards Amsterdam via the open air windmill village of Zaanse Schans. North Holland has all that is typical Dutch!

Trip Itinerary

Kingsday ride out of Amsterdam!

April 27 is King’s Day (Dutch: Koningsdag), the most famous day in the Netherlands to celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birthday.

Lucky you-- will be witness to its festivities today- joyful open air festivities, markets, parties on boats in the canals and lots more! Everything and everyone is decorated in orange- the country’s color in honor of the father of the Netherlands- William of Orange.

All auto and large boat transport is prohibited, so our ship stays in Amsterdam and folks can chose to enjoy Amsterdam festivities or do a cycle loop with Suzie and Roger to visit the beautiful Waterland region, a cheese farm and the lovely village of Monnikendam- having its own party for Kingsday.

Bike and Barge Holland Bicycle Tour

Cycling in the Waterland Region

Our first evening is spent in Amsterdam celebrating a Welcome Dinner with the ship crew and guests!

Hoorn

Sunday, our ship sails early to drop at the end of breakfast time enroute at the town of Volendam where we start our cycling.

It's just a short ride along the beautiful Isjelmeer dijk to the quaint town of Edam — named after the famous cheese and whose many canals are criss-crossed still by lovely 17th century houses.

Bike and Barge Holland Bicycle Tour

Enjoying dinner on the Sundeck

We leave the water and pedal inland to enjoy the beautiful vastness of the Beemster Polder — an area drained between 1608 and 1612, and the oldest large area reclaimed from the sea in the Netherlands.

Coming eastward once more we enter the town of Hoorn — on the banks of the Ijsselmeer.

We'll take time to explore this typical old Zuidersee town, now with a thriving marina, wonderful period buidings from the Golden Age of East Indies trading, and quaint winding streets.

This afternoon we enjoy an exciting town walk by local guide, Lidia Tacx.

Medemblik

Walled towns abound in the Netherlands

Historic walled towns abound in the Netherlands.

Skirting the dike overlooking the water we arrive in Enkhuizen. Originally a fortified town, Enkhuizen still bears witness to its former prosperity with finely decorated buidings from the Renaissance, a beautiful church and stone tower, and the 17th century houses and warehouses formerly belonging to the Dutch East India Company.

Here we will partake of the famous Zuiderzee Museum. Both an indoor and fascinating open-air museum, we will witness life as it was over a hundred years ago as we stroll through an authentic fishing village on the Ijsselmeer escorted by a museum guide.

From Enkhuizen we travel along the coast to Medemblik and explore the famous Castle Radboud and time permitting a wonderful open-air market with wonderful local items for sale.

Windmill Visit, Flower Festival and Fields

Working Windmill Bike and the Like Bike and Barge Holland

Group visit to the Onderneming Windmill

Holland Flower Fields Bike and the Like Bike and Barge Holland

Gazing at the blooming Anna Paulowna flowers

We head this morning for our personal tour of the restored Onderneming windmill in Hipolytueshof. Here we learn all about the mill and how it produces flour for the public to buy.

We skirt the impressive Amstel Lake to the 13,000 acres of flower production of the Anna Paulowna municipality. Here you will cycle the blooming fields and enjoy the town's celebration of Bloemendagen (Flower Days) where streets and bridges are decorated with blooms and 100s of amazing flower mozaics created by the neighbors of the village .

Please see the Anna Paulowna Facebook page for beautiful pictures!

It's just a short cycle to our port for 2 nights- Den Helder. Here we witness residence to the Dutch Royal Navy and fascinating Marine Museum where our cyclists can spend several interesting hours.

Visit to Texel

One of the many beaches on the beautiful island of Texel

One of the many beaches on the beautiful island of Texel.

After breakfast we head for the morning ferry to Texel.

It will take a full day to totally explore this unique island with its beaches, pictuesque fishing villages, and nature preserves.

Suzie and Roger hope to share some of their favorite secluded bike paths!

We'll return to Den Helder on the late evening ferry and enjoy a hearty dinner on board our barge.

Alkmaar

Thursday, we ride the dike of the North Sea to the beautiful dunes of North Holland. We will enjoy miles of gently rolling terrain along paved paths following sandy landscapes blossoming with Rosa Rugosa and beach grasses.

The views are incredible on the Dunes- as we take in both the sea to our east and vast polder landscapes producing acres of summer crops and flowers to our west.

Lively Alkmaar Cheese Market

Lively Alkmaar Cheese Market.

As we turn inland we'll partake of the beautiful old farmsteads of the Westfriese Omringdijk before heading east to the quaint Scharwoude village where we find the oldest floating vegetable market in an area once known as the Empire of a Thousand Islands.

A short hop from here, we'll pass three of the oldest windmills in Holland before heading into Alkmaar — the biggest town in North Holland known for its beautiful historic centre. Tonight you will have free to enjoy dinner on the town as every Thursday Alkmaar city center is alive with people, and shops and restaurants are open until 8 p.m.

To Amsterdam

After breakfast on Friday, we'll head into town to partake of Alkmaar's Friday cheese market. This exciting tradition with porters wearing white dress and straw hats is not to be missed.

Zaanse Schanse is known for its characteristic green wooden houses

Zaanse Schanse is known for its green wooden houses.

We'll depart town heading in the direction of the De Schermer polder windmills and the old center of De Rijp where Suzie treats you to a Dutch Pannekoek lunch.

A few miles later we enter the museum village of Zaanse Schanse — a delightful old hamlet with characteristic green wooden houses, charming gardens, tradesmen's workshops, and historic windmills all dating back to the seventeenth century.

After meandering the bike paths of Het Twisk nature reserve we meet the Het Ij ferry which carries us to Amsterdam.

We celebrate tonight at a special farewell dinner!

Good Bye to the Netherlands

Saturday morning we will have an early breakfast, say our goodbyes to our cycling friends and wonderful crew and disembark at 9 a.m. for home.

Trip Difficulty

The Netherlands terrain is mostly flat, but we can experience wind and rain which are weather factors that impact cycling experience and ability.

So, we recommend this trip for an athletic/active person or experienced recreational cyclist who can complete the daily miles under some adverse weather — if it should be present- and likes to average 10 mph on easy/flat terrain while enjoying a leisurely trip.

We will average 30 miles on most days and advocate a "stop and smell the roses" philosophy to cycling. Our group cycles together as a shared experience. You are always welcome to take a break from cycling and enjoy sailing from the sundeck of our barge — quite a delightful experience!

We do not use the assistance of a support vehicle on our Bike and Barge tours. Please also note that itinerary and mileage can change due to weather conditions or docking changes.

Additional Information

Our boat provides a comfortable base from which to explore.

The Sarah provides a comfy base from which to explore.

WELKOM onboard the Sarah! It's fun to host tours on this lovely vessel with roomy bedrooms featuring two lower beds and a private bath.

Our boat also features a spacious & comfortable dining area and salon for relaxing amd mingling. There is also a wonderful sundeck where we can enjoy afternoon snacks, socializing or quiet time while sailing.

More information including what to pack, pre-trip lodging in Amsterdam, traveling abroad, tips on airfare, and other important pre-trip details will be provided in our detailed WELCOME LETTER sent to you when we receive your registration for the trip.

Please visit the Trip Information page for more general trip information and registration. Also feel free to e-mail Suzie and Roger with any questions.

Francien, Suzie and Roger

Suzie, Roger and our Dutch friend, Francien

A comfortable bedroom on the Sarah

The Sarah features comfortable bedrooms

Some bedrooms have bunkbeds

All beds on floor level-2 triple rooms available.

A well-appointed bathroom on the Sarah

A well-appointed bathroom on the Sarah

Trip Photos