During this bike and boat tour in Northern Holland, beginning and ending in Amsterdam, you will discover the best of what the beautiful provinces of North Holland and Friesland offer. Explore flat “polder” landscapes, the North Sea coast, towering sand dunes, long sandy beaches, historic windmills, the island of Texel and the many picturesque harbor towns along the coast of IJsselmeer Lake. This is a tour not to be missed!
Each boat has a slightly different itinerary so please be sure to check corresponding itineraries to see what will be highlighted on each boat.
Typical fishing villages of Volendam and Enkhuizen
Isle of Texel with its thousands of sheep and magnificent nature reserve
Middle season: August 31, September 7, and September 14, 2019 Main season: All other departures, weekly from June 1 up to and incl. August 24, 2019 Late season: September 21, September 28, and October 5, 2019
Twin cabins for single-use and triple cabins are very limited.
Low season: June 27 and July 11, 2020 Standard season: June 13, 2020
Twin cabin/lower deck
Triple cabin/lower deck
Twin cabin/lower deck/single-use
Twin cabin/upper deck
Twin cabin/upper deck/single-use
Early season: March 28, 2020 Season A: April 4, April 11, and October 10, 2020 Season B: April 18 and October 3, 2020 Season C: April 25 and September 26, 2020 Season D: May 2, May 9, and September 19, 2020 Season E: May 16, May 23, May 30, and September 12, 2020 Season F: All other departure dates, weekly from June 6 up to and incl. September 5, 2020
Twin for single use
Low season: July 4, July 18, and August 1, 2020 Standard season: May 9, May 23, May 30, June 6, June 20, and August 15, 2020 High season: September 12, 2020
De Holland Electric bicycle rental: £89$198€105$158NOK989kr913$119Helmet rental: £8$19€10$15NOK94kr87$11Gluten-free and dairy-free meals, payable onboard: £42$94€50$75NOK471kr435$57On the Sailing Home, Zwaan, Wending, and Liza Marleen Electric bicycle rental: £68$151€80$121NOK753kr695$90Set of maps for self-guided option (advanced reservation required): £17$38€20$30NOK188kr174$23Gluten-free meals: £42$94€50$75NOK471kr435$57On the Merlijn Tandem or electric bicycle rental (rate is per day): € 25
Electric bicycle rental: £70$155€83$124NOK777kr717$93Gluten-free and vegan meals: £42$94€50$75NOK471kr435$57Set of maps for self-guided option (advanced reservation and payment required): £18$40€21$32NOK198kr183$24
*Children's discounts, child bikes, tagalongs, bike trailers, and child seats available.
De Holland Electric bicycle rental: £85$188€100$151NOK942kr869$113Helmet rental: £8$19€10$15NOK94kr87$11Gluten-free and dairy-free meals, payable onboard: £42$94€50$75NOK471kr435$57
Electric bicycle rental, per diem, payable onboard, advanced reservation required: £25$57€30$45NOK283kr261$34
*Please note: Pricing on the Sailing Home, Liza Marleen, Wending, and Zwaan is based on fuel costs as of July 2018. If the fuel cost increase 5%, additional fees may apply (even for reservations already booked).
If traveling solo, we can try to find a roommate of the same gender to avoid the increased charge for a single cabin.
Fly to Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (AMS).
There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. It takes about 16 minutes. The price for a train ticket Schiphol-Amsterdam Central is € 4,20 per person for a single journey. We will inform you of the exact docking location of your barge with your final travel information. Some boats moor within walking distance, and others will require a short taxi ride. If you prefer to travel by taxi from the airport to the barge, this takes about 30 minutes and costs about €45.
Please check local conditions before your arrival. The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. A good website to use to research regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more is weatherbase.com. Don’t forget your rain gear! Average high/low temp in °F for the region is approximately April, 53/40°, May, 61/46°, June, 66/52°, July, 69/55°, August, 70/55°, September, 64/51°, and October, 57/46°.
Please be aware that you will be part of an international group of people, but your tour guide and crew members will always speak English.
Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc.
*Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.
Discounted optional visits on board the De Holland:
Optional visits (entrance fees not included, but offered with discount or free of charge: * Open air museum Zaanse Schans * Visitors center windmill Schermerhorn * Beer brewery Oudeschild * Seal sanctuary Ecomare De Koog * Steam engine museum Medemblik * Open air museum Zuiderzeemuseum Enkhuizen and more
De Holland: Early season: March 28, 2020 Season A: April 4, April 11, and October 10, 2020 Season B: April 18 and October 3, 2020 Season C: April 25 and September 26, 2020 Season D: May 2, May 9, and September 19, 2020 Season E: May 16, May 23, May 30, and September 12, 2020 Season F: All other departure dates, weekly from June 6 up to and incl. September 5, 2020
Premium Class Boat
Liza Marleen: Low season: July 25 and August 8, 2020 Standard season: May 16 and August 29, 2020
Standard Class Boat
Zwaan: Low season: June 27 and July 11, 2020 Standard season: June 13, 2020
Wending: Low season: July 4, July 18, and August 1, 2020 Standard season: May 9, May 23, May 30, June 6, June 20, and August 15, 2020 High season: September 12, 2020
Easy, self-guided or guided tour with average daily distances of ± 30 miles on flat terrain and well-maintained asphalt roads with little traffic. On the De Holland, the onboard tour guide will give extensive descriptions of the day’s cycling route. Guests will bike using provided route descriptions and maps. The guide will also cycle the route but does not guide the group. The main role of the tour guide is to provide assistance if needed during the cycling itinerary. On all other boats, tours are fully guided, with the option to cycle self-guided. This tour is suitable for families with children. On all other boats, tours are fully guided with an option to purchase maps for self-guided.
Where You’ll Stay
Different class boats are available for this tour. See dates and pricing. Click here for detailed barge information.
Bed linens and 2 towels (change of towels is possible)
Daily light cleaning of cabin
Daily complimentary coffee and tea until 4 pm
Onboard tour leader (see below)
Roadbook (1 set per cabin)
Short city walks with the tour guide
Discounts on entrance fees and excursions as mentioned in the program
Live music on board
7-speed unisex city touring bike with 28-inch wheels, handbrakes, gel saddles, and frame lock. Accessories include one rear pannier, repair kit and pump.
†Use of WiFi in the lounge
Please note: tours on board De Holland are not fully guided bike tours but rather supported by a guide who ensures the safety of riders and takes care of mechanical issues. The guide is cycling the route and can be reached by cell phone for quick assistance
Accommodation for 7 nights in climate-controlled cabin
Daily cabin cleaning
7 breakfasts (buffets), 6 packed lunches, and 6 three-course dinners
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and water
Daily itinerary information
27-speed hybrid bike of the brand Sensa, a famed Dutch company. Bikes come equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, waterproof pannier, water bottle, towel, and universal helmet
Canal, bridge, and harbor fees
Visit to a cheese farm
†Important to note, due to steel construction of the ship, cruising locations, and other factors, Wifi signal speed and strength may not be what you are accustomed to and may not meet your expectations. If you are dependent on a constant, strong, fast, and reliable signal at all times, please consider a personal hot spot. See our FAQ page.
All distances are approximate. The itineraries are subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc. Each boat has a slightly different itinerary so be sure to check each boat's daily itinerary, as well as what is included and not included.
*Aboard these boats, it is possible to do the tour as self-guided with route descriptions. Please specify at the time of booking if you wish to do this. Maps are available for a small, additional fee. Ask us for details.
Day 1: Boarding in Amsterdam at 3 pm; optional cycling, 9 mi. (15 km) Day 2: Amsterdam - Volendam, 29 mi. (46 km) Day 3: Horn - Enkhuizen, 19 mi. (30 km) Day 4:Enkhuizen - Medemblik, sailing to Texel, 22 mi. (34 km) Day 5: Texel, roundtrip, 25/30/41 mi. (40/48/62 km) Day 6: Texel - sail to Den Helder and cycle to Alkmaar, 36 mi. (58 km) Day 7: Alkmaar – Zaanse Schans - Amsterdam, 34 mi. (55 km) Day 8: Departure
*All distances are approximate. The above-planned itinerary is subject to change, even on very short notice, due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, docking location changes, lock repairs, etc.
Day 1: Boarding in Amsterdam at 4 pm; optional cycling, 9 mi. (20 km) Boarding begins at 3 pm. Please be prompt and plan on having completed your embarkation by 4 pm. You can bring your luggage on board at noon but cabins will not be ready for check-in. (In 2020, boarding will begin at 1 pm). When you arrive onboard the boat, you can put your baggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper, crew, and of course your fellow passengers. The bicycles are distributed and straight from the moorings of the boat, you can have a short bike trip through quiet parts of town. If time permits, you can also bike outside the city.
Amsterdam first saw the light of day as a simple village at the mouth of the Amstel River but expanded rapidly with its famous rings of canals in the Golden Age (18th century). The palace on the Dam Square is sometimes called the 8th wonder of the world because it is built on 13,659 piles. Amsterdam, as we know it today, is famous for being able to cater to all tastes, including lovers of diamonds. In the evening, you dine on board. During the meal, the plans for the rest of the week are discussed.
Day 2: Amsterdam - Volendam, sailing to Hoorn, 29 mi. (46 km) Amsterdam will be very quiet as you begin to cycle. A ferry takes you to the Amsterdam Noord quarter and soon you will be cycling through the rural area of Waterland. In this soggy peatland, the houses and villages are barely above the level of the water. You will visit the former Isle of Marken. It was not until 1957 that this island was connected to the mainland by a dike and it has retained its own particular character. The inhabitants are the only ones allowed to use their cars, so Marken can only be visited on foot or by bike. The route continues to the historic village of Monnickendam, which received its municipal charter in 1355. Gouwzee dike to Volendam is next on the agenda. Originally Volendam was a small fishing community. Practically all its inhabitants used to wear their distinctive and picturesque traditional costumes. Volendam started as a settlement when Edam dug its new, shorter waterway to the Zuiderzee in the 14th century. The old harbor became superfluous, a new dike was built and soon farmers and fishermen settled down. In the second half of the 15th century, a new village came into being: Volendam. From Volendam, you sail in a northerly direction towards the city of Hoorn. Hoorn was a major trading town in the 17th century. From here ships sailed for the Dutch East Indies, (now Indonesia), America, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean. The most beautiful gable is in the former town hall; the Statenpoort which houses an interesting museum with paintings and exhibits concerning the V.O.C. The V.O.C. (United East Indies Dutch Trading Company) was a very powerful almost monopolistic trading company in the 17th century. During the evening walk, you will have the opportunity to get a good impression of this beautiful city with its rich past.
Day 3: Horn - Enkhuizen, 19 mi. (30 km) You continue on the dike with a wonderful view over the Markermeer on your right and West-Frisian villages on your left-hand side. The recently (1976) built dike from Enkhuizen to Lelystad (in the Noordoostpolder) appears on the horizon. This was meant to be a polder dike for a huge new polder: the Markerwaard. However, the plans were never executed. The environment and freshwater supply became more important. So today the dike is there, but no polder… The trip for today ends in Enkhuizen, a town which came into existence when two adjoining villages joined. You can end your day with a visit to the Zuiderzeemuseum. This museum showcases the history of everyday life around the Zuiderzee until the middle of the 20th century.
Day 4: Enkhuizen - Medemblik, sailing to Texel, 22 mi. (34 km) If you haven't visited the Zuiderzeemuseum yesterday you'll have some time for a visit this morning. This museum, which consists of an indoor and outdoor part, shows you the history of everyday life around the Zuiderzee until the middle of the 20th century. The cycling route begins over the dike of the IJsselmeer, but we leave it to ride through a nature reserve and then some of the characteristic villages of West Friesland. Medemblik comes into view, one of the old Zuiderzee harbors with an illustrious past and a castle dating from the 13th century. You take a break here, and if you wish, you can board the boat.
After Medemblik, the route goes through a polder, Wieringermeer, which was created at the same time as the famous Afsluitdijk in 1932. This created new land out of the old Zuiderzee and turned the inland sea (IJsselmeer) into the largest sweet water basin of The Netherlands.
The food crisis resulting from the 1st World War created a need for more agricultural land so, in 1927, work on the Wieringermeer commenced. The dikes and pumping stations were built in the open sea. The polder itself was reclaimed during a period of mass unemployment and most of the work for preparing the land for agricultural use was done by hand and horsepower.
Halfway over the polder, you can step onboard again or otherwise ride through a forest to the fishing town of Den Oever. Sail by boat over the Wadden Sea to the harbor of the island of Texel.
Day 5: Texel, roundtrip, 25/30/41 mi. (40/48/62 km) Today you could if you would like, you can visit the beach or take a bike ride on the island of Texel. There are numerous bicycle paths here. In the north, you have the nature reserve ‘de Slufter’, with an open connection to the sea.
The largest village on the island is Den Burg, which could easily be the prototype of the typical Dutch town with its circle of canals around an old church. You will find most of the shops on the island in this village. The local museum is a good representation of island life and is housed in a building dating from 1599. De Koog is the principal bathing resort and is only a stone's throw away from the widest beach on the island. As well as a nature center, which has a lot of information about the flora and fauna to be found on Texel, De Koog has a rescue center for seals.
Cocksdorp is entered through a tunnel of interlocking tree branches, which give it a unique character. If you cycle to the most extreme northerly tip of the island you may be able to see Vlieland, the next island making up the chain of Wadden islands. This part of the island is called the Slufter, a nature reserve open to the sea and the rhythm of the tides.
The villages of Den Doorn, Oosterend, and de Waal have escaped modern architectural influences and are now officially protected. In Den Hoorn, some of the old 'Commandeurs' dwellings have been preserved. These were the houses belonging to the captains of the whaling ships that sailed from Texel. The oldest church is situated in Oosterend. In clear weather, you can see the neighboring island Vlieland. Oudeschild, where the boat is moored, was the entrance port of the island until 1962.
Day 6: Texel - sail to Den Helder and cycle to Alkmaar, 36 mi. (58 km) The ship takes you back to the mainland, where you disembark in the city of Den Helder, the Dutch naval port, situated at the mouth of the Noord-Hollandskanaal or further south at the canal. Today you ride through the dunes (the dunes between Schoorl and Bergen have the highest dunes in The Netherlands) and over the Hondsbossche Zeewering (seawall) with its spectacular view over the North Sea. On your left, you will see the dunes, and on your right, the sweep of a 5 km long dike keeping the sea at bay. On your right where the dike is, were once dunes. However, in 1421, in what is known as the St Elizabeth's Floods, they were swept away along with the village of Hondsbossche. The dike replacing the dunes is called the Hondsbossche Sea Dike. If the weather allows you to cross to the island of Texel, you will head straight for Den Helder. Otherwise, you will take a leisurely tour around the land bounded by the dikes. This part of the country, known as the Kop van Noord Holland (head of North Holland), is well known for bulb growing with the town of Anna Paulowna at its center. The bulbs bloom in April and May.
The stage ends in Alkmaar, which boasts almost four hundred buildings on the monument list, and typical Old-Dutch canals and harbor. Alkmaar is often called the cheese town as the weighing and selling of cheese in the 'Waag' (weighing house) was a popular activity in the past.
Day 7: Alkmaar – Zaanse Schans - Amsterdam, 34 mi. (55 km) The last stage of the week takes you through the ‘droogmakerij’ land with the 17th-century towns of Schermerhorn, Graft and De Rijp. In Zaandam, you will visit the world-famous hamlet and open-air museum of Zaanse Schans. A unique place where people live and work, with original houses and windmills from the river Zaan area.
The last stretch of the trip takes you through ’t Twiske (the Twiske) Leisure Park. Since the beginning of the Christian era, the peat region around the Zaan had been used for cattle grazing. In the peatland, ditches were dug to help to drain the land. The dried peat was used as fuel. Once you are back at the barge in Amsterdam it is time to take leave of your bikes. In the afternoon there is still some time to go into town and after dinner, you may want to finish off your trip by going on a city walk or taking a trip on one of Amsterdam’s canal boats.
Day 8: Amsterdam - Day of departure Breakfast as usual, and departure around 10 AM.
Day 1: Embarkation: Amsterdam Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam - Zaanse Schans - Alkmaar, 27 mi. (44 km) Day 3: Dune tour, Alkmaar – Alkmaar, 20 or 25 mi. (33 or 40 km) | Alkmaar – Den Helder Day 4: Den Helder – Oudeschild* | North Sea island of Texel: round trip from/to Oudeschild (your choice 9 - 41 miles/15 - 65 km) | Texel – Den Oever Day 5:Den Oever – Stavoren | South-west Friesland round trip, 27 or 34 mi (43 or 55 km) Day 6: Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen, 19 or 31 mi (30 or 50 km) Day 7: Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam, 22 or 31 miles (35 or 50 km) Day 8: Disembarkation: Amsterdam
Parts in italics are covered by the ship. A knowledgeable and multilingual tour leader is available onboard. He/she will provide you with all necessary tour information during daily briefings. Y during daily briefings. You will cycle the tours independently, at your own pace, with the help of a detailed cycling map, GPS-tracks, and printed route notes. The tour leader will also be cycling the daily tours and can – for assistance – be reached on his/her mobile phone in cases of emergency or technical breakdown of the bicycle. During days when several bicycle options are possible, not all mentioned highlights can be visited during the shorter cycling options.
Day 1: Embarkation: Amsterdam Embarkation and check-in starts at 2 PM in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping or explore downtown Amsterdam, world-famous for its canals, its quirky ‘leaning’ buildings, museums, the Anne Frank House, the Waterlooplein Flea Market, the Dam Square in the historical center and heart of the city. An optional canal tour is a unique way to see the capital of Holland from another side. Be back on board by 5 pm as you will enjoy your welcome meeting, drink, followed by dinner and first briefing on board. First night on board in Amsterdam.
Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam - Zaanse Schans - Alkmaar, 27 mi. (44 km)* The first bike trip of this tour takes you via small villages through the beautiful flat and green polder landscape. You will cycle out of Amsterdam via a well-maintained cycling track. The first stop is the open-air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ with its beautiful windmills, traditional wooden houses, an old Dutch village, a cheese farm, and a traditional wooden clog maker. After exploring the museum, you will cycle through the "Land of Leeghwater", a green polder area between Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Hoorn. Leeghwater was a 17th Century scientist, who invented a revolutionary system to reclaim marshland from the sea by pumping out water with a system of windmills, smaller and larger canals. Stroll through the former whaling village De Rijp and pass by the windmills of Schermerhorn. Your ship De Holland will be waiting for you near the historical city center of Alkmaar.
*Alternative program 2020, see below: Due to works on the locks of Zaandam in 2020, on some departure dates day 2 and day 3 of the tour will be subject to some changes. On day 2 you will spend the night in Enkhuiz instead of Alkmaar and a transfer by bus will be included.
*Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar, 27 mi. (44 km) | Alkmaar – Enkhuizen The first cycling trip of this tour takes you via small villages through the beautiful flat and green polder landscape. The first stop is at the Zaanse Schans open-air museum (free entry) with its traditional Old Dutch wooden houses, windmills and the cheese- and clog factory. After this visit y After this visit, you will cycle through the “Land of Leeghwater" a green polder area between Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Hoorn. Stroll through the former whaler’s village, De Rijp and pass by the windmills of Schermerhorn. A local guide will take you on a guided walking tour through the historic city center of Alkmaar. At the end of the afternoon, a bus will bring you back to “De Holland” in Enkhuizen. Enkhuizen is a beautiful 17th-century city at the banks of the IJsselmeer with a rich cultural and maritime tradition.
Day 3:Dune tour, Alkmaar – Alkmaar, 20 or 25 mi. (33 or 40 km) | Alkmaar – Den Helder* Today you can discover the beautiful North Holland Dune Reserve. This is a 5.300-hectare forest and dune area with unique landscapes. In these dunes, the drinking water for almost the whole province of North Holland is gained. After a visit to the beach and artists village Bergen, you will return to Alkmaar where you can visit the wonderful city center. In the afternoon, the De Holland will sail over the North Holland Canal to the navy harbor of Den Helder.
*Alternative program 2020, see below: Due to works on the locks of Zaandam in 2020, on some departure dates, Day 2 and Day 3 of the tour will be subject to some changes.
Day 3: Dune tour: Alkmaar – Den Helder, 31 mi. (50 km) After breakfast, a bus will bring you back to Alkmaar from where the bike tour starts. Today you can discover the beautiful North-Holland Dune reserve. This is a 5.300 hectare large forest and dune area with its unique landscapes. In these sand dunes, the drinking water for almost the whole province of North-Holland is obtained. The sandy beach here is one of the most wonderful to walk along in the entire Netherlands, the perfect spot for feeling the wind in your hair or simply enjoying the view. Close by and worth a visit is the artist’s village of Bergen. Then you will bike on through the dunes to the navy harbor of Den Helder.
Day 4: Den Helder – Oudeschild*| North Sea island of Texel: round trip from/to Oudeschild (your choice 9-41 miles/15-65 km)** | Texel – Den Oever During breakfast the Angela Esmee will cross the Marsdiep, a deep tide-race between Den Helder and Texel Island to the harbor of Oudeschild.** You will quickly understand why the island of Texel is a favorite destination for many tourists as you cycle around this enchanting Dutch island. Charming villages, beautiful beaches, and areas of natural importance are crisscrossed by a network of cycling tracks, making all areas of the island easily accessible. Swim at one of the wide sandy beaches, visit the seal sanctuary “Ecomare” and/or cycle the beautiful “Thijsse-route” (with signposting, approx. 25 miles) through picturesque villages and landscapes. At the end of your cycling tour, you can enjoy a locally brewed beer during a visit to the small brewery in the harbor of Oudeschild. In the evening the boat will return to Den Oever on the mainland. The highlight of the evening will be a night of live music on board.
** In case of unfavorable weather conditions, the captain may decide to sail to Texel on Monday evening or not at all. In the latter case you can reach Texel by ferry (price approx. € 5 pp, not incl.).
Day 5: Den Oever – Stavoren | South-west Friesland, round trip from/to Stavoren, 27 or 34 miles (43 or 55 km) The vessel will cross the large inland lake IJsselmeer to sail to Stavoren in the Province of Friesland. You can opt for a shorter or longer cycling tour: discover the nature area of Gaasterland or explore a part of the wide lake district, that Friesland is well-known for. You can also combine both options. Night in Stavoren, one of the famous 11 cities of Friesland.
Day 6: Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen, 19 or 31 miles (30 or 50 km) Sail to Medemblik during breakfast. Take the short pedaling from Medemblik along the IJsselmeer (former “Zuiderzee”) coast directly to Enkhuizen, where you can spend the afternoon. Enkhuizen is an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. The “herring city” boasts a beautiful old harbor, a historic old town center and the very interesting “Zuiderzeemuseum“. If you prefer a longer cycling tour, ride from Medemblik to the former Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn, in the 17th century one of the world’s leading harbors and name giver of Cape Horn. Enjoy your lunch break and make a short stroll of the old city. Continue by bike through some picturesque rural villages to Enkhuizen. In the evening you enjoy a short city walking tour.
Day 7 (Fri): Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam (Approx. 35 or 50 km/22 or 31 mi.) During breakfast, the ship will sail to Volendam. Your final day of cycling will lead you through the beautiful area of ‘Waterland’ with its hundreds of small lakes and tiny canals, where you will have the opportunity to visit a cheese farm. Recommended (extra miles) is a detour to the former island of Marken, to continue through the water shaped region of Waterland back to the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy everything Amsterdam has to offer. If you didn’t go for a canal tour on the first day, you will have the opportunity to do so today.
Day 8: Amsterdam After breakfast, disembarkation, and end of the tour.
Day 1: Amsterdam - Zaanse Schans Day 2: Zaanse Schans - Alkmaar Day 3: Alkmaar - Den Helder Day 4: Den Helder - Texel Day 5: Texel - Wadden Sea - Stavoren Day 6: Stavoren - Lemmer - Urk Day 7: Urk - Lelystad - Amsterdam Day 8: Amsterdam
Average daily distances are 35 - 55 km.
Day 1: Amsterdam - Zaanse Schans Check-in begins at 3:30. You can drop your luggage off beginning at 10 am but please note that the cabins will not be ready for check-in. The Merlijn sets sail at 4:30 pm for Zaanstad for mooring overnight. Once you board, as you enjoy a complimentary beverage, you will be introduced to the crew, and be informed about the tour, the ship and safety. Dinner will be during the cruise. In the evening there is a city walk through the picturesque scenery of de Zaanse Schans.
Day 2: Zaanse Schans - Alkmaar After breakfast, you will have more time to stroll through the very interesting area of Zaanse Schans, best known for its collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses. In its 18th and 19th century heyday, the Zaan region was an important industrial area dotted by hundreds of windmills. Here you will get a sense of ancient Dutch history. The cycling route leads from here to Alkmaar, through an attractive Dutch landscape. After dinner, you can take part in an evening stroll through this pretty city.
Day 3: Alkmaar - Den Helder Today you will cycle through a part of the Netherlands that is ‘Dutch nature at its purest’. Meadows, canals, lovely farms and houses, and more, showcasing rural Holland. Your tour ends in Den Helder, the most northern part of the province of North Holland.
Day 4: Den Helder - Texel While you enjoy your breakfast, the Merlijn navigates to the isle of Texel, sailing very close to open sea. If you look very carefully, you may see England. After arrival in Texel, you will have the opportunity to cycle this island, featuring dunes, beaches and of course, great bike paths. You will have the chance to visit a cheese farm today or tomorrow and if you want to take a break from cycling you will definitely enjoy the nature and the sea. Dinner is on your own this evening and you will enjoy experiencing local cuisine.
Day 5: Texel - Wadden Sea - Stavoren You will be able to cycle more this morning on this beautiful island. Early afternoon, the Merlijn will sail across the Wadden Sea to Stavoren, providing you a stunning view of the shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands. It has great biological diversity and is an important area for both breeding and migrating birds. You may even spot some seals. Early evening we will arrive in Stavoren. Enjoy your stroll through this ancient harbor city!
Day 6: Stavoren - Lemmer - Urk Your bike tour starts in Stavoren and takes you through the charming landscape of the province of Friesland, with lots of small canals and lakes, to Lemmer. Here you will board the Merlijn to sail to Urk, once an island and still a very traditional fishery village. There is a lighthouse, a fishing museum and the old part of the town is very authentic and you will enjoy a walk through it.
Day 7: Urk - Lelystad - Amsterdam Early in the morning, the boat will navigate from Urk to Lelystad, along the coast of Holland's new land, the youngest province of Flevoland. Once this was the ‘Zuiderzee’, an open sea. Flevoland was reclaimed in the sixties and has become the 12th province of the Netherlands. After some cycling, you board the Merlijn again, for a three-hour cruise to Amsterdam. Farewell dinner on board and last overnight stay.
Day 8: Amsterdam Breakfast, check out and departure.
Extend your stay in Holland, go on a ride through the canals, or visit the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh museum.
De HollandNetherlandsDeluxe Class BoatThe former Angela Esmee, renamed now to De Holland, and was completely renovated in winter 2017/2018. The De Holland has 34 well equipped staterooms for a maximum of 71 passengers.
Liza MarleenPremium Class BoatThe Liza Marleen is a luxury motor passenger barge that was completely refurbished in 1998. This robust barge is ideally suited for trips on the wider waterways. It has a beautiful salon area and spacious deck.
Sailing HomeNetherlands, BelgiumPremium Class BoatBuilt in 2001, the Sailing Home was designed specifically to provide a more attractive hotel ship during your carefree vacation. It was built to meet the latest wishes and ideas with respect to comfort and service. The experience of a lifetime: cycling through the most beautiful spots within the Netherlands while residing on a very comfortable, newly built and well-furnished ship.
WendingNetherlandsStandard Class BoatThe Wending is a former freight barge that was converted into a luxury passenger motor barge in the early nineties and completely redecorated in 2002. The barge has a spacious salon equipped with a television and music installation. It is a great place to relax after a strenuous day of cycling.
ZwaanBelgium, NetherlandsStandard Class BoatOnce a cargo boat, the Zwaan (Swan) was completely renovated and converted into a comfortable passenger barge. On board you will find seven comfortable cabins allowing a total capacity of 16 passengers.
MerlijnGermany, NetherlandsDeluxe Class Boat"The Divine Miss M" as we lovingly call the Merlijn is a diva, for sure. What can we say? Is it the luxurious cabins with most comfortable beds you have ever slept in? Is it the lovely dining area with the large windows and skylight that let the air, light, and sun pour in? Or perhaps it is the sun deck, where you can relax with newfound friends, sharing good wine and good conversation. We think you will find it is the entire divine package! Step onboard and discover for yourself!
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Tulip Tour - 4 DayNetherlands4.4/5 (18 ratings)On the Comfort Class boats: Flora: April 6, April …When the sun rises during Spring in the Netherlands, millions of eager bulbs also rise for the occasion. Acres upon endless acres of the most brilliantly …
Super Tulip TourNetherlands4.9/5 (9 ratings)2020 Zwaan Standard season: March 28, April 4, and …Tulips by bike and boat! This Super Tulip Tour is totally dedicated to the beautiful tulip. You will bike Holland through acres of spring flowers and tulips, …
Friesland 11-City TourNetherlands5/5 (1 rating)Daily from April 1 to September 23, 2019 Largely a region for dairy farming, Friesland is also known for its impressive network of canals, rivers, and lakes that allow for an endless variety of water …
Holland Southern Tulip TourNetherlands4.9/5 (16 ratings)2020 Premium class boats: Sailing Home: Standard …This Southern Tulip bike and boat tour leads through some of Holland's most popular cities but also through fields of beautiful Tulips! One highlight, among …
Tulip Tour - 5 dayNetherlands4.7/5 (31 ratings)2020 Deluxe class boats: Magnifique II: Thursday, …This five day Holland bike and boat tour in peak Tulip season goes through some of the most beautiful areas of the "Garden of Amsterdam." The tulips blooming …
Bruges to AmsterdamBelgium, Netherlands4.8/5 (175 ratings)2019 Deluxe Class Boats Magnifique Saturdays, …A bike and barge tour beginning in Bruges and ending in Amsterdam showcases the best of both Belgium and Holland. The motto in Bruges is ‘feel the past under …
Drenthe - Holland’s VeniceNetherlands4/5 (1 rating)Daily from April 1 to September 30, 2018 This tour starts in Giethoorn, one of the most beautiful villages to be found in the Netherlands. Because of its many islands, creeks, and bridges, it is also …