Meet the Chef: Bas on the Magnifique II

First course was the most divine zucchini soup I’ve ever tasted; second was perfectly seared salmon and fennel with a mustard cream sauce; and dessert was homemade chocolate cake garnished with strawberries and a passionfruit coulis. After our first delicious dinner, I found a new appreciation for one of the most important ingredients on a cycling cruise: the chef! The next day I sought out Bas van Os, chef aboard the Magnifique II on our Tulip Premium Tour, to learn a bit about his background, how he plans the menu,…


Divine delights: Why discovering the landscapes of France is a great idea

Do you ever have an insatiable yearning to be in a particular country? For many of us Francophiles around the world, that country is la belle France. Why, I hear you ask? Maybe it’s because of the warm summer evenings with their aroma of lavender and pine trees. Or perhaps it’s the incomparably beautiful landscapes, the atmospheric historical cities, or the good wine… Or maybe it’s just the dangerously good pastry shops that keep calling us back. There are so many great reasons for a holiday in France that it’s…


From freighter to luxury passenger ship: The Magnifique IV’s magical makeover

The activities in the shipyard certainly don’t look like a vacation: a massive boat hull is being busily welded, drilled and painted. The shipbuilders are hard at work. But next year, thanks to their efforts, you’ll be able to relax on the sun deck, enjoying a coffee as you watch the passing countryside. We’re in the Frisian town of Franeker where the Magnifique IV, the fourth ship in our popular Magnifique fleet, is being built. But there’s still plenty to do before we can welcome the first guests on board.…


Behind the scenes with Jossie on the Sail & Bike Tulip Tour

When Jossie imagines a map of Europe, she doesn’t think in terms of roads, she sees waterways instead. Jossie is a sailor with all her heart and soul. For more than 20 years she navigated Europe’s rivers, large and small, for tour operators. More recently, however, she swapped the steering wheel for the desk chair: Jossie is now responsible for developing our new boat bike tours. From time to time, you can still find her back on the water, as Jossie joins our cycling cruises to learn how guests experience…


Postcard from the Zaanse Schans: windmills, shipbuilding and more

Beatrice Clarke is an Australian writer based in Amsterdam. In March 2019, she took a cycling cruise for the first time and experienced a delightful new side to life in the lowlands. Despite having lived in Amsterdam for 10 years, there are some aspects of Dutch life that I have never truly experienced. Windmills are one of them. So it was a pleasant surprise when I joined the Tulip Tour Premium, to discover that the first destination would be the iconic historic Zaanse Schans neighborhood north of Zaandam. Life on…


A pocket guide to sailing tours in the Netherlands

At Boat Bike Tours we offer full-service boat and bike tours in 14 countries across Europe. Our sail and bike tours offer an even more unique experience: combining cycling with the adventure of traveling by sailing ship. There’s something beautiful and timeless about a sailing ship with sails unfurled: harnessing the power of the wind, as humans have done for millennia, to move across water. You might already be aware of our cycling cruise format, but did you know you can find a further sense of adventure on our sail…


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…