Back to overview

Holland Tulip tour

'The West route’

April 19 - 25 / 2025

Departure date: 19 april 2025
Average biking distance per day 35 to 55 km / Level: Easy


Bike, Barge and Cruise through the Green heart of Holland, with its diverse landscapes and cityscapes. The starting point is Amsterdam, from where we’ll head to a small Dutch town for your first night onboard. We then call on the silver town of Schoonhoven, the windmills at Kinderdijk, Gouda, the cheese and candle city, Leiden, famed for painter Rembrandt, and the floral attraction ‘the Keukenhof’, as well as Haarlem, which is Holland’s oldest city, and home to the striking St. Bavo cathedral, ending our journey at the characteristic ‘Zaanse Schans’ with its open-air museum and numerous windmills.

Holland Tulip tour | 'The West route’
Departure port: Amsterdam Destination: Amsterdam Travel time: 7 days Countries: Netherlands Average biking distance per day: 35 to 55 km / Level: Easy
Bike, Barge and Cruise through the Green heart of Holland, with its diverse landscapes and cityscapes. Entrance to the floral attraction ‘the Keukenhof’ included.
€ 2.195,- p.p.
No more cabins available

Day-to-day itinerary

Holland Tulip tour

Day 1: Amsterdam - Weesp

Check in: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM, Merlijn will set sail for Weesp where there is an overnight stay. We’ll present you with a welcome drink and introduce the crew. We will also provide information on the tour, the ship, and offer you a safety briefing. Dinner will be served during the cruise, and in the evening there will be time for an after dinner stroll through town.       


Day 2: Weesp – Vreeswijk – Schoonhoven. Bike tour: 45-50 km or short tour 30-35 km

A sailing breakfast is served while we cruise to Vreeswijk, where your bike tour to the charming silver town of Schoonhoven will start. Today’s tour takes you through one of the most picturesque parts of Holland.


Day 3: Schoonhoven – Kinderdijk - Gouda. Bike tour: 50-55 km or short tour 30-35 km

This morning, the Merlijn will sail along the river Lek, while you enjoy beautiful Dutch scenery cycling from Schoonhoven to Kinderdijk. Here, an impressive row of large windmills will become visible, which were built to drain the Alblasserwaard polder. There is an opportunity to visit one of the mills. After your visit, you will cycle on to the city of Gouda, through a genuine Dutch backdrop of polder landscapes. Along the way you’ll visit a cheese farm. Gouda is famous for its cheeses, candles and ‘stroopwafels’ (syrup waffles). Dinner is served on board, and we stay in Gouda overnight.


Day 4: Gouda – Leiden. Bike tour: 35-40 km

In the morning there’s more time to explore the city of Gouda and you can enjoy an included tour at the ‘St. Jan’ cathedral. After your visit today’s bike tour starts, and takes you through the Green Heart of Holland. Leaving Gouda, we will pass Boskoop, famous for its nurseries (horticulture), particularly woody plant and perennial nurseries, of which some 774 are situated on long stretches of land, divided by narrow canals. You will pass villages and small cities such as Alphen aan den Rijn. We end the day in Leiden. When exploring Leiden, you will notice its rich history, which is still very evident.

Leiden is where Rembrandt was born and developed his painting skills. Its identity is largely determined by the first university in Holland (1575), which has developed into a world-famous centre of science, while its many students contribute to the lively and convivial atmosphere in the city. After dinner you will have time to stroll through the charming centre of this city.


Day 5: Leiden - Keukenhof – Haarlem. Bike tour: 20-25 km

While you enjoy your breakfast, the Merlijn will sail the ‘Kager Plassen’, a beautiful series of lakes. Your bike tour will start at the next stop, which is near the Flower Exhibition Keukenhof. It is estimated that nearly 7 million flower bulbs are planted here annually to cover an area of roughly 80 acres. This makes Keukenhof, easily, the largest flower garden in the world. At this stop, you will get to admire all these beautiful tulips and other flowers that are cultivated in Holland.

After your visit, you will bike to the city of Haarlem, taking in some breathtaking Dutch scenery and of course, more flowers! At night, take a stroll at some point through the historical city of Haarlem, and perhaps rounding off the day by drinking the famous local “Jopen” beer in one of the many bars or in the “Jopen Church”.


Day 6: Haarlem – Zaanse Schans - Amsterdam. Bike tour: 40-45 km

Today’s bike tour will be from Haarlem to Amsterdam, along the Zaanse Schans, famous for its open-air museum and windmills and green wooden houses typical for this area. Your tour ends in the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam. A farewell dinner on board will follow.


Day 7: Amsterdam

Breakfast, check-out and departure. Extend your stay in Holland and reserve some time to explore the city. You might want to go on a ride along the canals, visit the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, or Amsterdam Hermitage.

Included in your tour:

  • 6 nights onboard Merlijn
  • Individual climate control and private bathroom with shower, sink and toilet in all cabins
  • Supply of bedding, towels, facial tissues, hand soap, shampoo, sewing kit, vanity kit, bathrobe & slippers
  • Full service of staff, daily cleaning of the cabins, manned bar (no self-service)
  • Porterage of luggage upon arrival and departure
  • Daily loading and unloading of your bicycle to and from the ship
  • Use of lightweight state-of-the-art bicycle
  • Use of a waterproof bike bag, universal sized helmet, towel and a personal water bottle
  • Tour guide (we offer an experienced guide who know the routes like the back of his/her hand)
  • Brochures of the area available on board
  • Harbour, lock and canal fees


Included culinary care:

  • Welcome drink with bubbles
  • All day unlimited coffee, tea, hot chocolate and potable ice water (self-service)
  • Extensive breakfast buffet daily with at least; 2 warm dishes, freshly baked croissants or similar pastries, various types of bread, toaster, yoghurt, cereals, fresh fruit and various beverages.
  • Packed lunch prepared by the staff in a special lunch bag with at least a lavish sandwich, snack and drink.
  • 7 day tours include 5 three-course dinners
  • 8 day tours include 6 three-course dinners
  • 9 day tours include 7 three-course dinners
  • 11 day tours include 8 three-course dinners
  • Dinners are based on ‘plate service’, meals are served in the dining area.
  • Meals are perceived by our guests as “luxurious” or even “gourmet style”.


Included beverages during bar opening hours:

  • Several sodas served from a small bottle
  • Wide variety of wines (also non-alcoholic wine)
  • Beer on tap and various beers from the bottle (also non-alcoholic beer)


Included excursions:

  • Ferry costs on the bicycle route
  • Visit to cheese farm
  • Entrance to St. Jan Cathedral
  • Entrance to Keukenhof


Not included in your tour:

  • 1 dinner
  • Excursions, entrance fees and guided tours other than mentioned
  • Beverages other than those mentioned (such as spirits and cocktails)
  • City maps, bike maps, etc. (we have a lot available however we can’t guarantee every destination)
  • Inbound and outbound journeys, such as flights, trains, bus or other type of transfers
  • Insurances
  • Gratuities (cash only)
  • Electronic payments of your onboard expenses (cash only)


For your comfort, we rent out electric bikes at € 30,- each per day, reservations in advance are advisable.


The Cancellation policy also applies to pre-booked and reserved use of e-bike or any other extra requested services.

The general terms and conditions of Merlijn de magie van water B.V. apply to all bookings, offers and agreements. Please find them on our website under ‘Terms & Conditions’.

Merlijn complies the General Data Protection Regulation to protect your privacy. Please find them on our website under ‘Privacy statement’.

We reserve the right to modify schedule and/or program. If (part of) the route is not navigable due to weather conditions and/or other nautical reasons and/or is closed off due to circumstances and/or for safety reasons, the operator and/or the captain has the right to change the schedule. This includes changing the location of departure and/or arrival and temporarily suspending departure. Nautical and/or meteorological reasons are understood to mean, among others, weather conditions, the tide, obstruction of waterways/shipping lanes, and the condition of the ship. Closed off due to circumstances and/or safety reasons are understood to mean, among others, terrorism, diseases, natural disasters. Changes in schedule and/or program do not give the customer the right on free cancellation.

Back to overview
No more cabins available

07 october 2017

We did the Koblenz to Merzig trip at the end of Sept 2017. It was a 60th bday celebration and we had a blast. The crew was exceptional. The bikes are great...much better than I expected. The mornings were chilly and sun in the afternoon. You will help arrange any post travel needs you have for a taxi, train, etc. Bed and food fantastic. Thank you for making our celebration so special!
Cindy Kreutz and friends, USA