Tulip Time Cycling Cruise

Netherlands, Belgium, & Germany


 You’re Invited to join Santana for

Tulip Time in Holland & Belgium

Keukenhof Castle Gardens

Our 2019 Amsterdam PreTour will visit the world’s most famous blossom festival. From late March through April over seven million artfully-planted tulips bloom in the gardens surrounding Keukenhof Castle. With thousands of colorful varieties on display, the 80-acre showcase is kaleidoscopic. Jan and I have visited Keukenhof’s festival twice. We’ve also toured the Netherlands by bicycle, and know the combination of gentle terrain and Tulip Time make Holland an ideal destination for early-season cycling. 

Keukenhof Castle

What we didn’t realize until recently is that Holland is the perfect place to replace a string of hotels with a luxurious river cruise ship. How so? Holland not only has sizable rivers and estuaries, these natural waterways are connected by canals that are three times wider than the barge canals found in other parts of Europe. Additionally, the ship-width canals in Holland and Belgium are designed to be navigated at night. While an old-school hotel or barge tour allows cyclists to ride through a quarter of Holland (a country that’s twice as large as Massachusetts), a ship that travels up to 100 miles while you sleep allows participants of Santana’s unprecedented Tulip Time Cycling Cruise to experience a superior selection of rides and sights in Holland, Belgium and a prime corner of Germany. 

Keukenhof Castle Gardens

On most days our chartered ship will move through the night to find a perfect place to start a morning ride. After we are off, it will move ahead 25-35 miles to where docks and waits to serve lunch. Ninety minutes later it will move 15-25 additional miles to a late afternoon tie up in a town that merits your pre-dinner exploration. The shortest morning and afternoon routes parallel the river or canal. Longer options loop inland. On days like this you can ride in the morning, the afternoon, both, of not at all. Once everyone is aboard for dinner, the ship unties and moves to our next day’s ride. Compared to an inn-to-inn tour, you’ll visit additional regions while gaining an hour a day by not having repack and change hotels. The cruise ship’s balcony staterooms are not only fresher and quieter than most hotel rooms, on this bicycle tour you’ll sleep better by not having to adjust to new mattress, pillow and thermostat each night.

Keukenhof Castle Gardens

On any day you don’t feel like riding, an inland cruise comes with fascinating scenery. While aboard you can nap, read, use the wifi, catch some rays on the sundeck, or enjoy a massage or spa treatment. Another morning or afternoon option is to hop aboard Sergio’s picture-window coach to reach and enjoy the mid-ride attractions without pedaling. Meals? The ship’s panoramic dining room accommodates all, and serves three gourmet-quality meals per day, each with enough choices to please everyone.

Provisional Itinerary

Canals in Amsterdam

From our embark at the center of Amsterdam (300 yards from the city’s main rail station), our designed-for-cycling itinerary meanders southwest through the delightful Dutch villages of Kinderdijk, Middleburg and Willemstad, where the floating market is a great place to sample cheese or pastries.

Zaanse Schaans, the tulip fields near Amsterdam

If you haven’t visited the Netherlands during it’s showcase season, you need to return. The combination of windmills and tulips is mesmerizing. The gentle terrain is especially well suited for spring cycling.

Kinderdijk

As we ride south through the fields in Kinderdijk, we’ll explore the region famous for exporting Tulips during their full bloom. After today’s ride and tonight’s dinner you’ll wake up tomorrow in Belgium.

De Biesbosch National Park

Our morning routes skirt De Biesbosch National Park and wildlife refuge to reach the medieval town of Willemstad, where we’ll pedal past preserved fortifications to enter the bicycle-scaled village.

Bruges

A UNESCO Heritage City, Bruges is best preserved medieval city in all of Europe. Pictures can’t even come close to the love you’ll develop for this charming city.

Belgian Brews

Beer connoisseurs revere the depth and diversity of brews from Belgium. This tour includes a famous brewhouse, or two!

Bruges

Dotted with gourmet restaurants, historical sites, breweries, and chocolatiers you’ll fall in love with something new about this city every time you turn a corner. Bruges is where medieval Flanders rocks to the modern beat of a youthful Flemish lifestyle.

Antwerp

After cruising up the Scheldt, our ship ties up near the center of Antwerp. At the center of the world’s diamond trade, Antwerp has a multi-faceted array of Baroque architecture.

A famous hinge-point of history where one of the opening acts of World War One saw a young Winston Churchill employing ferries and double-decker buses to deliver a brigade of British Marines to reinforce beleaguered Belgian defenders. Although his flamboyant move was criticized at the time, historians realize his bold strategy delayed the German advance, and may have saved Paris.

Belgian Waffles

As readily available as water, Belgian Street Waffles are a great way to carb up during a long day of cycling.

Castle Marnix de Sainte Aldegonde (Bornem Castle)

Bornem has a beautiful castle nestled along the Scheld River and features beautiful fairy-tale architecture (that was not designed for real fortification).

Ghent

Ghent is the ancient university town where the renaissance continues to this day. An “Open City” that escaped destruction during both World Wars. The architecturally magnificent capital of Flemish lifestyle surrounds Belgium’s largest car-free walking district.

Belgian Chocolates

Don’t care for beer? Belgium also reigns supreme in chocolate. Our tour will visit a few of the best chocolatiers in Belgium (and will pass by dozens of others).

Ghent

Ghent has the largest designated cyclist area in Europe, with nearly 250 miles of cycle paths. It also boasts Belgium’s first cycle street, where cars are considered “guests” and must stay behind the cyclists.

Sidewalk Cafes in Ghent

Sidewalk cafes? Of course! No cycling tour of Europe would be complete without them!

Mid-Ride Snacks
Maastricht

From Ghent our itinerary traces the Albert Canal, a popular cycling route where our ship’s progress will be delayed by locks. Overnight, the ship reaches Maastricht, a delightful Dutch city at southeast corner of the Netherlands.

Maastricht

Are there hills in Holland? Yes, and on today’s three-nations ride we’ll ascend 450 feet through hills bordering Belgium to reach the German town of Aachen, where Emperor Charlemagne’s still-standing Cathedral became the coronation site for five centuries of Germanic Kings.

Another beautiful day of cycling

Our daily routes will wind through beautiful lush countryside with smooth paved roads and a nice flat landscape, a perfect way to start your cycling season.

Aachen’s Town Hall

Germany? Yes, our double-A ride from Maastricht loops through Aachen.

Aachen’s medieval city gate

Aachen was the coronation city of Emperor Charlemagne.

Limburg

Our seventh day of cycling traces the Meuse River back towards Amsterdam, where you’ll wake up on the final morning of this 8-day voyage.

If you care to arrive two or three days early, our bargain-priced pre-tour package will meet your flight at AMS airport and ease you through jetlag while visiting Amsterdam’s outlying attractions. After the conclusion of our 8-day cycling cruise, many will remain in Amsterdam for an extra day or two of self-guided visits to some of Europe’s most interesting museums. 

Amsterdam

Amadeus Silver II

Year Built 2015
 Length 443 ft
 Speed 13.5 knots
 Guests 168
 Crew  46
 Suites  12 (284 sqft)
 Staterooms  72 (188 sqft)
Mozart/Strauss Stateroom
Mozart/Strauss Stateroom

Lueftner Cruises’ latest river ship design has created a luxurious ship with larger staterooms and beautiful amenities.The Mozart & Strauss Deck staterooms have drop down panoramic windows, which are wider and cleaner than a French Balcony. You’ll both be able to lean out to share beautiful views up and down the river.

Mozart Suite
Haydn Stateroom

All staterooms are 188 square feet, and suites are over 50% larger (284 square feet!) and include a true walk-out balcony. The Haydn Deck Staterooms have a tall and wide fixed window. With the same floor-plan and amenities as upper deck staterooms, you can’t tell which deck you’re on with the curtains closed.

Resort Style Bathrooms
Stateroom FloorPlan
Suite FloorPlan
Exquisite Dining

Morning and Mid-Day dining includes bountiful buffets created by our 5-star chef. Each evening your waiter will present a new five course menu—listing an array of choices for you to select from. Is Beer & wine included with dinner? Of course!

Panorama Lounge
Amadeus Club

The forward Panorama Lounge/Bar has 270-degree views and seating for all our guests. The Amadeus Club is a more intimate venue at the rear of the ship. Both the Lounge & Club are great places to relax, catch up on emails, post a few photos on Social Media, or read a nice book.

Spa
Fitness Center

Jan and I recently visited the Amadeus Silver II remarked on the luxury and comfort of this newer ship. It is the perfect place to dine, sleep, and relax between rides.

If you want to see more of the ship,
here’s a 360 degree virtual tour —

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the cruise dates?

April 26 to May 3, 2019. A 8-Day/7-Night Cycling Cruise

What's the cost?

Due to the current strength of the dollar our first-in per-person pricing for this 9-day cycling cruise starts at $2,999 per-person. Booking early is easy and RISK FREE. Our reservations page shows pricing of available staterooms.

What about tipping?

Jan and I don’t accept tips. A comprehensive “cruise extras” fee of $350 per person includes a long list of off-ship activities, admissions, interpretive guides, sight fees, and ride support (gps route files, morning shuttles to give casual riders a head start, and an SOS van driven by a pro mechanic). Note that this is less than the average cruise passenger pays for week of “deluxe excursions.” Shipboard gratuities of $135 per person includes wash & fold laundry and valet bike handling.

What's the next step?

To lock-in availability and the lowest pricing on a RISK-FREE basis, reserve your space through our PayPal portal. PayPal’s secure website is open 24 hours per day, accepts all major credit cards, and automatically adjusts for remaining stateroom availability. Reserving your spot is RISK-FREE and has many advantages. In each category the prime location staterooms will be assigned in the same order as the time stamp of your booking. Second, early-in pricing is limited to the first half of the rooms in each category. Most important, a near-immediate sell-out of this event is anticipated.

What do you mean by RISK-FREE?

When you use your credit card and book through PayPal, we’ll give you 14 risk-free days to think it over and clear your schedule. If you change your mind, send an email to Matt@SantanaAdventures.com within two weeks to cancel the PayPal transaction and obtain a full refund.

What if we change our minds after 14-days?

Because full-boat charters are binding, non-cancelable contracts, Jan and I will only enter into this charter based on your confirmed-through-PayPal commitment. In effect, we undertake a huge risk by guaranteeing full payment on your behalf. After entering into this obligation, we cannot afford for you to back out—for any reason. This is no different than the clear written policy that existed for all except one of Santana’s prior chartered-ship cruises (this charter will be our 44th!). Here it is in writing:

Santana’s acceptance of your registration and non-refundable deposit for this event is subsequent to your agreement to pay the remaining balance in full. While Santana allows limited refunds on rallies and tours, Santana’s cruises are non-cancelable and non-transferable. When the possibility of paying yet not attending is unacceptable, Jan and I recommend Travel Guard trip insurance. For the past 20 years hundreds of our clients have relied on Travel Guard coverage without complaint. An informative application will be mailed with your invoice; and further information is available online.

Have you ever relaxed your refund policy?

Jan and I have willingly resold a number of fully prepaid staterooms for a fee of $500 per person—which was waived when a vacating couple found someone to take their place. When there has been more than one pending resell request, those who paid-in-full earliest had their space resold next. Using this non-guaranteed method (which is grossly inferior to trip insurance) Jan and I have cheerfully refunded over $300,000 in otherwise non-refundable and non-transferable cruise fares.

Are all staterooms the same?

No. Lueftner Cruises’ latest river ship design has created a luxurious ship with larger staterooms and beautiful amenities.The Mozart & Strauss Deck staterooms have drop down panoramic windows, which are wider and cleaner than a French Balcony. You’ll both be able to lean out to share beautiful views up and down the river.

All staterooms are 188 square feet, and suites are over 50% larger (284 square feet!) and include a true walk-out balcony. The Haydn Deck Staterooms have a tall and wide fixed window. With the same floor-plan and amenities as upper deck staterooms, you can’t tell which deck you’re on with the curtains closed.

How are staterooms assigned?

In any sub-category all rooms are identical. Using the PayPal timestamp, those who reserve earliest get the conveniently located staterooms closest to the front of the ship. If friends desire a pair of adjacent staterooms the timestamp of the first reservation determines the location of both rooms. In short, out of fairness to all our guests, we will not take requests for specific room numbers. Those who book early obtain prime positioning.

Are rental bikes available?

Yes. If you own a nice bike that fits, however, bringing it is probably cheaper and easier than you imagine—we’ll send full instructions. Santana rents great tandems. If you want to rent a single bike, you’ll order online through an independent supplier who provides a great selection, competitive pricing and English-language webpages. In order to obtain our referral, all of Santana’s past vendors have provided free delivery and pick up.

How many miles each day?

In addition to our zero-mile option of cruising, every day has multiple cycling routes. Anyone who can ride 35 flat miles will be able to enjoy all eight days of cycling. If you prefer hills or want to ride up to 80 miles a day, we’ve got you covered. At each morning’s breakfast you’ll get a map charting the day’s cycling routes and recommended stops. During a brief route talk you’ll hear about each route’s grades and difficulty. Santana’s vets have learned to love and rely on their handlebar-mounted gps unit. Costing as little as $200, these touch-screen marvels prevent the age-old problem of getting lost or riding unplanned miles. Santana supplies free electronic mapping and route files. Simply select the route and follow the highlighted map.

What’s the difference between a SAG-wagon and Santana’s SOS/treasure vans?

Most tour companies use SAG-wagons that haul luggage and “sweep” the route between overnight stops. The drivers refill water-bottles, fix flat tires, and retrieve riders who can’t cover the distance between widely spaced hotels. The problem, of course, is that the roving vans tend to be annoying until you actually need one. At that point you might wait two or more hours for one to show up. Although SAG drivers can fix a flat, they don’t have the tools or know-how to handle serious mechanical problems. Instead, they drive you to a bike shop (which explains why SAG-wagons disappear for hours at a time). This tour’s SOS van is driven by a professional bike mechanic who brings tools and spares. When you phone him with the coordinates from your GPS, he’ll arrive in a flash to get you back in the saddle. Because Santana expects participants to fill their own bottles, fix their own flats, and choose a ride they can finish, our SOS drivers are underworked, and have time to retrieve your shopping treasures.

What if we have more questions?

The easiest way to get any further info is by contacting Matt, who is happy to answer your questions.

Matt’s E-mail address Matt@SantanaAdventures.com
Matt’s Phone Number +1 (949) 677-7896
If you get his voicemail, please leave your name and phone number. He’ll return calls ASAP.

Tulip Time Cycling Cruise

Stateroom Reservations

April 26 to May 3, 2019

Full Cancellation policy appears below. Your deposit signifies an acceptance of those terms.

Stateroom Category
2019 Tulip Time Fares*
Availability
Mozart Suite
$5699
Holland 2020
Mozart Stateroom
$4699
Holland 2020
Strauss Stateroom
$4499
Holland 2020
Strauss-Aft Stateroom
$4299
Holland 2020
Haydn Stateroom
$4099
Holland 2020
Haydn-Aft Stateroom
$3999
Holland 2020
Wait-List
$10
Holland 2020
** Pricing Includes First-In Discount of $1000 per-stateroom
* Fares are Per-Person & Double-Occupancy
* Fares are set at time of purchase, and are otherwise subject to change based on availability.
* Please note that the number of rooms in each category is limited and unchangeable.

Please Note:
Stateroom Prices are per person, double occupancy
Deposits listed below are per stateroom, up to two participants

Stateroom Selection
Bedding Preference
Contact Phone Number
Our comprehensive “cruise extras” fee of $350 per person covers a long list of off-ship activities, port-fees, admissions, and guides.
Crew Gratuities of $135 per person will be collected at the event.
Your initial deposit is refundable for 14 days. Unless you cancel in writing within that 14 day period, the following Scary Cancellation Policy applies to Santana’s chartered cruise events:
Because cruise ship charters are binding, non-cancelable contracts, Jan and I will only enter into this charter based on your confirmed-with-a-deposit commitment. In effect, we undertake a huge risk by guaranteeing full payment on your behalf. After entering into this obligation, we cannot afford for you to back out, for any reason. This is the same policy that existed on all of Santana’s cruises for the past 9 years.
Santana’s acceptance of your registration and non-refundable deposit for this event is subsequent to your agreement to pay the remaining balance in full. While Santana allows limited refunds on Rallies and Tours, Santana’s Cruises are non-cancelable, non-transferable, and non-refundable. When the possibility of paying yet not attending is unacceptable, Jan and I recommend Travel Guard Trip Insurance. For the past 20 years hundreds of our clients have relied on Travel Guard coverage without a single complaint. An informative application is available upon request; and further information is available online.