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Sail & Bike Tour 8-day Tulips of Holland (Mff)
Enjoy Holland in the springtime in an unforgettable way, exploring enchanting Dutch landscapes by wheels and water during our Tulip Sail and Bike tour. Smell the tulips when cycling through the countryside, feel freedom in the breeze while sailing across the Wadden Sea and Lake IJsselmeer, and enjoy comfort and camaraderie on a beautiful sailing ship.
On the lower deck, there are fourteen comfortable cabins. Twelve twin cabins (9 m² – 97 sq.ft. ) with two single beds which can be set together, one junior suite (11 m² – 118 sq.ft.) with two single beds which can be set together and a small sitting area with a flat-screen TV and one single cabin (6 m² – 65 sq.ft.). In all the two-bed cabins a Pullman bed/fold-down bed can be arranged. Each cabin has an en-suite bathroom with a shower, toilet and basin. All cabins have ventilation, central heating and portholes that can be opened. Furthermore, each cabin has a mini-safe and a hairdryer.
The cosy lounge/restaurant area on the lower deck with wooden panelling and air conditioning and a nice and warm atmosphere. From here you can reach the wheelhouse on the upper deck, fitted with a large seating area, a well-equipped bar, music & video equipment and TV. The large, panoramic windows offer a breathtaking view over the water. Wi-Fi is available. The wooden upper deck offers adequate seating, the steering unit, space for the bicycles, an outdoor bar with a draught beer tap and a grill, and even a Jacuzzi. When the weather is nice you can relax here or enjoy the scenery while sailing.
During this fascinating Sail and Bike tour, you will discover the best tulip areas that the Netherlands has to offer. Not only will you visit the famous Keukenhof gardens, known for its hundreds of thousands of blooming tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and other bulb flowers. You will also bike through less famous, but equally gorgeous areas where tulips bloom in the spring months. A visit to the Hortus Bulborum is also on the program, giving you the chance to ramble through this unique garden museum, dedicated to the preservation of rare and historic bulbs.
But it is not only about tulips; during your week-long Sail and Bike tour, you will spend plenty of time in the historical cities of Alkmaar and Enkhuizen — gems hidden from mass tourism. You will discover typical Dutch cultural highlights and cycle through pleasant, flat polders, the result of centuries of extensive land reclamation from the North Sea and the former Southern Sea (now IJsselmeer). The region you will cycle through has undergone such extensive impoldering, that you will soon realize the truth behind the proverb, “God created the earth, but the Dutch made Holland”.
Given the Dutch love for cycling, the region is crisscrossed with many quiet cycle tracks that stretch from one end of the region to the other. You will be amazed by the beauty and expanse of the North Sea beaches, the extremely bicycle-friendly island of Texel, the splendid flat landscapes, small dreamlike farm villages, and romantic, picturesque harbour towns. And all of this completed with the occasional fields full of beautiful flowers.
You will also sail across the large lake IJsselmeer to Enkhuizen and Hoorn. If you like, you may — instructed by the experienced crew — lend a hand during navigating and hoisting the sails. Sailing experience is not necessary. Of course you are also very welcome to just relax and enjoy the sailing and scenery.
Slow Tours offers a number of other Sail & Bike Tours in Europe
Amsterdam – Volendam
You are welcome to check-in onboard between 1pm and 2pm, where your crew will welcome you with coffee and tea. At 2.30pm the ship leaves the harbour. While the ship sails to Volendam, your tour leader will stoke your anticipation by telling you about the tour, the cycling and safety procedures. Upon arrival, you will have the option to take a little test ride. After enjoying a delicious dinner onboard, the tour leader will take you on a walk through Volendam, a small and picturesque fishing harbour on the shores of Lake IJsselmeer.
Volendam – Hoorn 28km | Hoorn – Enkhuizen
On this first cycling day, a tasty breakfast will be followed by a bike tour to Hoorn, the former Dutch East India Company town, which was in the 17th century, one of the world’s foremost harbours. Along the way, you will pass Edam, which is known for its famous Edam cheese, covered in red or yellow wax. While this adorable village is now renowned for cheese, it was once an industrious shipyard and port. That’s why, in the 17th century, the town’s specialty became one of the most popular cheeses in the world. Sailors took wheels of Edam on their voyages – the cheese doesn’t spoil easily and could be traded for spices and other riches of the East. Later in the afternoon, you will join the ship for an afternoon sail to Enkhuizen, an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. You can spend some time exploring here— “the herring city” boasts a beautiful old harbour and an old town full of history.
Enkhuizen – Oudeschild | Sailing day
Today your ship will set sail to the harbour of Oudeschild on the island Texel. You may lend a hand during navigation and hoisting the sails. Previous sailing experience is not at all necessary. Of course, you are also very welcome to just relax and enjoy the sailing and scenery as you progress along the IJsselmeer. While sailing you will enjoy an extensive lunch on board. In the afternoon, the ship will arrive in Oudeschild on the island of Texel, the largest of the Dutch Wadden Isles. No dinner will be served tonight, to enable you to explore the harbour. You can make yourself a picnic meal or try one of the nice restaurants of Oudeschild.
Oudeschild – Den Helder | Wadden island of Texel: round trip 43km or 48km
Today you can choose to cycle a shorter route or to take a longer tour around the island. You will cycle through delightful natural parks, and even on Texel, you will bike through fields of blooming flowers! The signposts of which lead you through picturesque villages and landscapes, and even to the Ecomare seal sanctuary. At the end of your cycling tour, you can enjoy a locally-brewed, well-deserved beer during a visit to the small brewery near Oudeschild. Late afternoon, the ship will take you back to the mainland, to the port of Den Helder.
Den Helder-St. Maartensvlotbrug | St. Maartensvlotbrug – Alkmaar 33km or 50km
The first part of your bike tour leads through the northern part of the province of North Holland. This piece of land wedged between the North Sea and the IJsselmeer boasts the world’s single biggest flowering bulb field. In one word: spectacular! But also closer to Alkmaar you will find the most beautiful tulip fields on your way to the North Sea. The sandy beach here is one of the most wonderful to walk along in the entire Netherlands, the perfect spot for feeling the wind in your hair or simply enjoying the view. Close by and certainly worth a visit is the artist’s village of Bergen. The ship will be waiting for you in the historical city centre of Alkmaar. This town is well known as a Dutch cheese city. As you wander through the streets, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of Alkmaar old town, with its well-preserved 17th-century buildings and narrow, winding canals.
Alkmaar –Zaandam 47km
In the morning, you will bike to Egmond and Limmen and here again you have the chance to bike through colourful tulip fields. Nearby, you will visit 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 special flowers are planted there. Next destination is Zaanse Schans, a unique hamlet where people live and work alongside original houses and windmills built next to the river Zaan. This tiny village is dominated by its operating windmills the oldest of which was built in 1673 and these were used for grinding mustard seeds, spices, and paint components, extracting plant 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. At the end of the afternoon you will find the ship in Zaandam.
Zaandam– Keukenhof – Amsterdam | Full day bus excursion
Today a beautiful bus ride leads you through the oldest tulip fields of Holland to the famous Keukenhof Gardens. You will have plenty of time to discover the most beautiful bulb park in the world -Keukenhof-the place where spring springs. It features an overwhelming blaze of colours: seven million flowering tulips in a magnificent 80-acre setting of traditional and modern gardening architecture. You also can admire various hyacinths, daffodils, and many other vibrant flowers. In the afternoon the bus will bring you back to Amsterdam to spend a restful night here in your floating hotel.
End of your tour: after breakfast, you can disembark until 9.30am
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote