Voyage of Discovery – Utrecht

While the Netherlands is known for being bike-friendly, Utrecht takes this to the extreme. The medieval core of this city was a historic intersection of the Netherlands’ Protestant north and Catholic south, it’s simply crammed with Golden Age townhouses arrayed around its stately main canals — the Oudegracht and Nieuwegracht — and it’s best explored on bikes. Cyclists flow in effortless streams along narrow, cobbled streets which follow wharves created the best part of a millennium ago (when no-one thought of planning for cars). Back when the Rhine River flowed…


The perks of a floating hotel: Why Paula loved the Hansa Highlights Tour

Paula Baas works in the sales department at Boat Bike Tours. Last summer she swapped her role behind the scenes for a spot on the Hansa Highlights Tour, an 8-day cycling cruise exploring historic Dutch towns and cities. Here she shares some of her favorite memories. Hello Paula, I heard you took the Hansa highlights tour last summer. What do you remember the most? Well, I loved that every night we stayed in a different city, and that you could go for a walking tour in the evenings. And even…


3 Good reasons for a holiday on the Patria

If you come back from your bike ride through the picturesque river valley, you will be greeted from afar in bright blue: the Patria. On board the chefs will be preparing a multi-course dinner for you. Before dinner is ready, you will have time to enjoy a freshly brewed coffee or a refreshing drink on deck in the sun, viewing the countryside. Doesn’t this sound like a holiday? There are many good reasons to travel with Patria: 1. Familiar atmosphere Cosines and conviviality are very important on the Patria. The…


Exploring the Netherlands beyond windmills, flowers, and cheese

At Boat Bike Tours we run unique multi-day cycling cruises that take you to see the best the Netherlands has to offer, from iconic institutions to the authentic details of Dutch life and culture. It’s easy to see what attracts so many people to this small, flat country in northern Europe: visitors are drawn in droves to glimpse the tulips, the gouda, and those wonderful windmills. But if these iconic emblems are all that you see when you visit Holland, then you’re missing out on the Netherlands’ beating heart. There…


A brief guide to tulip season and Dutch flower fields

At Boat Bike Tours we run unique multi-day cycling cruises that immerse you in authentic Dutch life and culture, including spectacular bike rides through tulip fields. Every spring, tourist season in the Netherlands kicks off as soon as the flower fields burst into colour. And for many, it’s the best time to visit the country. But before you head to the Netherlands to see the tulips in bloom, here are some handy tips to help you prepare for your trip. When’s the best time to visit? Flowers bloom in the…


7 great springtime destinations in the Netherlands

At Boat Bike Tours we run unique multi-day cycling cruises that take you to see the best of Holland, including hidden corners of the Netherlands, for an authentic taste of Dutch life and culture. The Netherlands has some world-famous attractions. Everyone knows about Amsterdam, the glorious flower fields and the remarkable Kinderdijk windmills — even the Zaanse Schans isn’t a hidden gem anymore (it’s more of a well-known treasure by now). But the Netherlands has much more for you to see and experience this spring! Here are seven of our favorite…


For Valentine’s Day: Three of our most romantic tours

At Boat Bike Tours we run multi-day cycling cruises that take you by boat and bike through some of Europe’s most spectacular (and romantic) landscapes. It’s that time of year again, mid-February, when many people’s thoughts turn to the art of the romantic gesture. There are so many ways to express your appreciation for the one you love. For some, a romantic gesture means candlelit dinners, a bouquet or a surprise gift; for others it may be just a simple kiss, hug, or “I love you”. For those who like…


Bike touring with GPS: Everything you need to know

At Boat Bike Tours we offer full-service boat and bike tours in 14 countries across Europe. GPS is a great feature that we offer on many of our tours. Bike touring, or cycling trips, are an increasingly popular holiday format with so many benefits: you can escape the busy city, breathe fresh air, enjoy an adventure with friends and admire the beautiful surroundings. What is a GPS? An invaluable tool for bike touring is a GPS (Global Positioning System), which uses satellites to determine your location. GPS was initially used…


What’s the difference between a barge and a ship?

Many Boat Bike Tours newcomers ask: “What is the difference between a barge and a ship?”. To which we reply: “There’s a short answer and a long one — you’d best fetch a cup of tea!” Simply said, ‘ship’ is a generic term for any watercraft of considerable size that is used for the transportation of people or goods. Meanwhile, a ‘barge’ is a long, flat-bottomed vessel traditionally used to transport goods (and now, also people) through inland waterways. So, technically a barge is a ship, but the key difference…


Holland reunions: A private charter with family feeling

Harry and Sandy Johnson’s eighth bike and barge trip was destined to be a special one, joining their similarly boat and bike-loving friends who had chartered the Sarah, along with their respective adult children and partners, and other close friends and relatives. Their wish for the week: giving their children a shared experience of the wonderful cycling in Holland. Laughter and hugs “As the crew on the Sarah would attest, the collegiality aboard the ship was immediate and set the tone for the week,” recalls Harry. With a party that…