Bike and Barge Holland — Flowers, Golden Age towns and typical Dutch!

$1,499-Save $30 if register before July 1, 2018!

April 13-20, 2019

Catch the early blossoms before the crowds come. Enjoy the enchanting landscapes of Holland — where cycling is a way of life. We'll cycle the flower fields, visit a working windmill, see Delft pottery made, visit lovely Golden Age towns, and spend a day in cosmopolitan Rotterdam.

Trip Itinerary

Cycle safe out of Amsterdam! (25 miles)

Our trip starts Saturday at 12:30 when we board our barge/hotel, get our bikes fitted and sail out of Amsterdam the quieter way.

The boat docks and we start our cycling to the 1000 year old village- Sloten- that manages to keep its picturesque view. Here we enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful Rembrandt windmill and museum and a treat of coffee and apple cake.

Rembrandt Molen

Rembrandt Windmill

We arrive in the quiet village of Oude Wetering- just a skip away from bulb-fields and famous Keukenhof.

Visit to the Tulips and evening in Leiden (30ish miles)

We depart our boat quickly after breakfast so we can beat the crowds of the Keukenhof - the world's largest flower garden. On the way we follow the bulb fields of Abbenes and Lisse hoping to see early color.

Tulip Fields

Tulip Fields

We plan on several hours to browse the Keukenhof's magnificent acreage and enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds.

Passing the old town of Sassenheim and Warmond and fields bursting forth in colors of yellows, pinks and purples - we reach the city of Leiden.

Leiden is an unusually beautiful city, famous for being not only the birthplace of Rembrandt but where Clusius brought the first Dutch tulips into flower.

I can't believe how many things we were able to see in one short week! The Keukenhof was breathtaking ! We definitely will be back for another trip!!

~ Bill and Mary Scott, Illinois

Of significant importance is that Leiden is the home of the first university in Holland (1575), which has developed into a world-famous centre of science.

Hopefully arriving early, we are planning to park our bikes and enjoy a town walk with a local guide.

Delft-visit to working farm & Royal Delft! (30 miles)

We leave Leiden heading south for a visit to a 10-generation small family run organic dairy and cheesmaker. Here we'll take a tour and participate hands-on with a working farm and learn about the important dairy industry in the Netherlands.

Beautiful Oostport in Delft

Beautiful Oostport in Delft

We continue south through green nature areas and horse farms and following narrow canals until we reach the city of Delft.

Dating back to 1075, Delft is known as the birthplace of Golden Age artist Johannes Vermeer and the fine hand-crafting of Delftware porcelains.

Cyclists will visit the Royal Blue Delft Factory to see firsthand the artwork and production of fine porcelain in the world-famous Delft tradition.

After dinner, we will also enjoy a town walk of the picturesque city center with its romantic tree-lined canals and countless historic monuments.

Rotterdam- Market Day and side trip (25-30 miles)

A trip to the south of Netherlands is not complete without a visit to the city of Rotterdam! The port, known to be the largest in the world, is exciting to see in action.

And, since it's devastation in WWII Rotterdam has become a center for modern architecture and showcase of city urban development.


One of the old Rotterdam harbors

Of course there is also the impressive Old Harbor and Delfshaven- oasis of history and culture within the modern city and the point from which the Pilgrim Fathers left for America in 1620. And, being Tuesday, we can also partake of the city's exciting open-air market!

Today's cycling takes us along some beautiful long canals, through green areas of bike paths and into Rotterdam along the port views of the Maas River with an optional visit to the Jenever factory-where a popular Dutch liquor is made.

Gouda via Rotterdam and Kinderdijk (30 miles)

Today we board the high speed Water Bus at the Erasmus Bridge to Kinderdijk.

A Unesco Heritage Site, 19 sturdy mills were erected in early 1700 to drain the Alblasserwaard polder. Now known as historic Kinderdijk village — we experience a beautiful concentration of functioning windmills found nowhere else in the world.

Groene Hart

The Green Heart of Holland.

We head across the Lek River by ferry to Schoonhoven- founded in 1280 and called Silvertown because of its famous past in Silversmithing. We will take time to sightsee the beautiful town and enjoy our lunch on the town square.

Cycling north we'll travel through the Krimpenerwaard, a vast area of Holland's Green Heart polderlands separated by hundreds of canals and dotted with charming old villages. En route, we hope for a fascinating visit to the polder museum in Haastrecht village.

With over 300 preserved buildings, Gouda boasts a vibrant historic center including the 123-metre long St. Janskerk (St. Johns Church) with its world-famous stained-glass windows, the fabulous Gothic Town Hall and Waag (Weigh House).

We'll make a special visit to see the church, and of course enjoy traditional Stroop Waffles- the popular Dutch cookie which originated in Gouda hundreds of years ago.

Gouda and famous Cheese Market! (30 miles)

We will linger a bit this morning for the Thursday morning GOUDA CHEESE MARKET -a spectacular and historic scene with lively cheese trading and a market square full of assorted vendors showing their foods and trades.

We take leave of Gouda into the Goudse Hout- a recreational area surrounded by a huge lake that we cycle across like we're floating on the water while gazing upon a beautifully preserved grassland landscape.

Gouda Cheese Market

Gouda Cheese Market

We'll pedal into the famous Floraculture area of Boskoop, famous for its more than 700 woody plant and perennial nurseries which sweep along stretches of land, divided by lovely narrow canals.

As we enjoy more "photo ops" passing Dutch farmhouses and large lake areas we rest a bit in the quaint town of Rijpwetering- home of Joop Zoetemelk- 1980 Tour de France Winner. Just a few more miles and we arrive in Kudelstaart resting on the banks of a gorgeous lake- the Westeinder Plassen.

Visit to the Flower Auction and Panekoek Breakfast on the lake! (20-25 miles)

We enjoy an early breakfast and cycle a few miles so we can get first peak at the workings of the famous Flower Auction of Aalsmeer - largest in the world. We will witness the exciting process in which millions of flowers and plants are bought and sold to be shipped to countries all over the world.

We'll head for the beautiful Amsterdamse Bos (forest) at the southern edge of the city. Created in 1937 from unused wetlands, the Bos is now a favorite place for cycling and watersports. We'll stop at the wonderful Pannekoeken House, Meer Zicht ( Lake View), where Suzie and Roger will treat the group to a traditional Dutch pancake treat- not to miss!.

Meandering through the outskirts of the city center we avoid busy Amsterdam to reach our boat.

Our final evening is celebrated together with a special Farewell Dinner!

Good Bye to the Netherlands

Saturday morning we will have a farewell breakfast feast, say our goodbyes to cycling friends and the wonderful hospitality of our our captain and crew. We 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 cyclist who can complete the daily miles under some adverse weather - if it should be present- and likes to average 10-12 mph on easy/flat terrain while enjoying a leisurely trip.

We will average about 30 miles on most days with Suzie as ride leader and Roger as route "sweep" and mechanic. We advocate a "stop and smell the roses" philosophy to cycling and our group cycles together as a shared experience. Of course, you can always 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.


Amsterdam is serviced by Schiphol Airport, located just a few miles from the city center where our boats are located. There is both excellent public transportation and reasonably priced shuttle service available from the airport to the city.

As with all European trips, we advise our cyclists to arrive a few days early to acclimate to the time change, get acquainted with the new culture and sightsee beautiful Amsterdam.

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

Take a peek at one of our cyclists- Shari Bernhard's photos of her trip