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Let’s be honest: we all expected spring to go a little differently.

Due to the new coronavirus and the resulting lockdowns across the world, everyone’s plans, not to mention our entire lives, have been turned upside-down. We’re now facing unprecedented circumstances – and it also applies to travel.

Unprecedented situation

The virus has caused aircraft to be grounded, borders to close, and entire nations to stay at home. Many spring trips have been cancelled and what will happen to summer vacations is anyone’s guess. All over the world, restaurants, tour operators, hotels and stores are facing incredible challenges. The situation is not easy and our thoughts are with the ill, and those who are working for the health and well-being of us all.

At Boat Bike Tours we are also confronted with many uncertainties. Nevertheless, we’re here for you and are doing everything we can to take care of your concerns, to keep you informed about the current situation, and to prepare for better times when its safe for us all to travel again.

Travel in your mind

Here in the Netherlands we also need to stay home for a long period. For the time being we can only go exploring in our minds. But even now, let us not give up our courage and our love of travel.

While homebound there are still so many ways to connect with our beautiful big wide world: we can read books that transport us to other places, watch movies set in distant lands, or cook dishes from around the world. And thanks to the internet we can explore many places virtually, which is great inspiration for future journeys.

Even though most museums and sights are currently closed, many have opened their virtual ‘doors’. Since we can’t take you to the real venues right now, we’ve compiled some of the most beautiful virtual tours of places you would normally visit on our trips. Are you ready to go exploring?

Tour the Rijksmuseum

Rembrandt’s The Night Watch and many more Golden Age masterpieces can be found at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam’s most famous museum. 8,000 artworks tell 800 years of Dutch history across 80 galleries. Stroll the magnificent Gallery of Honour, with 360º views and audio guides, in the Rijksmuseum’s new online platform Masterpieces Up Close. Or browse the museum’s masterpieces on Google’s Online Exhibits, where you can study pictures in minute detail, accompanied by fascinating insights.

Keukenhof’s dazzling tulips

The season opening of Keukenhof Tulip Park is usually a major event, with more than a million visitors flocking to the famous garden’s unique greenery each spring. But this year is different: Keukenhof’s millions of tulips are blooming in the brightest of colors, but unfortunately with no audience! It’s a pity for all that floral beauty to go unseen, so Keukenhof is now regularly posting YouTube video updates so you can tour the park virtually to glimpse the most beautiful spots as they bloom.

Around the Louvre and back

The legendary Louvre in Paris is one of the world’s largest and most-visited museums. This virtual tour takes you from the famous glass pyramid in Cour Napoléon, through 10 of the museum’s most impressive galleries and spaces, all with 360º views.

Paris behind the scenes

Virtual tours can offer a completely new perspective. Ever climbed the roof of Palais Garnier to look out across the streets of Paris? Or gone backstage at the Opéra National de Paris? Exactly! Google Arts & Culture has many high-quality virtual tours and guides of Paris, which offer wonderful insights into the history of the City of Light.

Face-to-face with Van Gogh

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is home to the world’s largest collection of works by legendary artist Vincent van Gogh, including more than 200 paintings as well as hundreds of drawings and letters. Thanks to the museum’s digital collaborations with Google and other platforms, you can stroll the galleries and enjoy highlights such as The Potato Eaters, Almond Blossom, Sunflowers and Wheat Field with Crows right in your living room. No queuing required!

Time travel on the IJsselmeer

Go back centuries with a virtual visit to the Zuiderzee Museum in North Holland. Explore this beautifully preserved Dutch fishing village using Google Street View to glimpse a forgotten era; a time of sailing ships, fishermen, and perilous storm surges. Once on the wild open sea, the village now looks out over peaceful IJsselmeer, after the Zuiderzee was closed to form an inland bay in 1932.

We hope that you enjoyed our virtual excursions. Stay safe, stay at home, and take good care of yourself!

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