Casual Barge Biking Cruises in Holland and Belgium
The cruises listed below are for those passengers that are looking for a very laid back experience at an affordable price. These cruises are multi language. Your cabin consists of your own private toilet and shower, though you take care of cleaning your room. You are given clean linens during the cruise and you make your own bed. Lunch is a packed bag each day. There is no formal meals such as a Captain's Farewell dinner. No alcoholic beverages included in the rates.
These are a great value and great fun if the above features appeal to you. The 20 passenger Fleur, is a Dutch barge, practical and comfortable with a friendly appearance.
Tulips, cheese and Dutch history
This wonderful bike and barge trip that starts and ends in Amsterdam, takes you through the provinces of South- and North Holland while spring flowers are in bloom. You will spend time in the historical cities of Haarlem, Leiden, Gouda and Alkmaar and learn about the water management of these lowlands at the North Sea. You will also visit the famous Keukenhof gardens, known by the hundreds of thousands of blooming tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other bulb flowers. The world-famous Aalsmeer flower auction is on the program where an astonishing volume of beautiful flowers are being traded daily and exported all over the world the World. One night the barge mooring is at the open air museum ‘the Zaanse Schans’ with its windmills, cheese farm and picturesque wooden houses. You will be surprised by the beautiful, varied scenery and the wonderful bikeways of Holland.
Rate includes: 8 days, breakfast, lunch package, dinner (1 on own), bed linen, bike rental, tour guide.
Itinerary Fleur / Sarah / Allure: Amsterdam – Haarlem – Leiden – Gouda – Kudelstaart – Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar – Amsterdam
Day 1 (Sat): Amsterdam - Haarlem Biking: about 15 km.
Saturday afternoon the barge takes off to Nichtevecht. From there we make a short bike trip to Breukelen along the winding river Vecht. We visit a real Dutch cheese farm, where cheese is still produced according to traditional methods. By the end of the afternoon the barge takes us to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek.
Day 2 (Sun): Haarlem - Keukenhof - Leiden Biking: about 50 km.
Todays trip leads you through the oldest tulip fields of Holland, including a visit of the Keukenhof gardens. This is the most beautiful bulb park in the world. Keukenhof is the place where the spring breaks. An overwhelming blaze of colors; seven million flowering tulips in a magnificent 80-acres’ background of traditional and modern gardening architecture. You also can admire the various hyacinths, narcisses and many other colorful flowers.
In the afternoon you bike to the city of Leiden.
Day 3 (Mon): Leiden - Gouda Biking: about 40 km.
Your bike tour starts just outside Leiden and leads through the ‘green heart’ of Holland. Near Zoeterwoude, you will visit the cheese farm where you will learn about the cheese-making process and you will have the opportunity to taste the results. In the afternoon you reach Gouda, famous for the Gouda cheese.
Gouda has an attractive compact center with her pretty market square and Gothic town hall. The main church of Gouda, devoted to Saint John, is world famous for its stained glass windows.
Day 4 (Tue): Gouda - Kudelstaart Biking: about 35 km.
We stay in Gouda this morning. You have the opportunity to do some shopping and to visit the market square with its cheese weigh house or you can visit the St. Johns church.
We leave by barge around noon and have a light lunch on board. From Alphen aan den Rijn you bike through the ‘green heart’ of South Holland via river Drecht and Amstel-Drecht channel to Kudelstaart.
Day 5 (Wed): Kudelstaart - Amsterdam - Zaanse Schans Biking: about 45 km.
Today you go by bike to the flower auction of Aalsmeer, the largest of Europe. Here huge quantities of flowers are trucked in and sold every day, after which they are distributed all over Europe.
After your visit you return on board for a late breakfast while the barge sails to Amsterdam. You will enjoy a nice cruise, right through the city.
Todays bike tour takes you from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, a unique hamlet where people live and work, with original houses and windmills from the river Zaan area. The hamlet is dominated by operating windmills, the oldest built in 1673, for grinding mustard, spices, paint and oil and for sawing wood into planks. As you walk through the village you will see a clock museum, an old-fashioned grocery store, a house with period furniture, a clog maker and a cheese farm.
Day 6 (Thu): Zaanse Schans - Alkmaar Biking: about 40 km.
After breakfast your bike tour leads you to the beautiful town of De Rijp. Centuries of history are still evident here in De Rijp’s wooden facades, beautiful church, lock and town hall.
From here, your ride continues across the Beemster Polder, an almost untouched open polder landscape. Your next stop is at the former windmill complex of the Schermer Polder. Here we visit the Schermerhorn Windmill Museum. After that you bike to Alkmaar. The town is known as a Dutch cheese city. As you wander through the streets you’ll be amazed by the beauty of Alkmaar’s Old Town, with its well-preserved 17th century buildings and narrow, winding canals. DINNER IN TOWN ON YOUR OWN.
Day 7 (Fri): Alkmaar - Amsterdam Biking: about 45 km.
This morning you bike 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 are planted here.
After that your bike tours leads through the unique Waterland back to Amsterdam. In the late afternoon or evening there is time for a canal tour through the famous canals of the city.
Day 8 (Sat): Amsterdam
After breakfast the tour is ended.
|Iris in a Lock||Salon||Dining||Twin Cabin|
|Belgium||Bruges||Cycling along canal||Resting cyclist|
The Fleur is a refitted freight barge that accommodates 20 overnight passengers. The interior of the Fleur is fresh, tasteful and comfortable.
The Fleur can navigate on most rivers and canals in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
* 20 Passengers;10 twin bedded cabins
* 5 Crew members
* 2 Decks
* Central air conditioning / heating
Rate includes: 8 days, breakfast, lunch package, dinner, bed linen, bike rental, tour guide.
You can book this trip as a bike & barge trip or as a cruise. If you book a bike & barge trip, you can make a bike tour of 20 – 40 km per day, accompanied by an experienced guide. If you book a cruise, you sail with the barge and you use public transport, accompanied by another experienced guide.