Harbor in Hoorn, North Holland, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:b k

Lighthouse on Texel - one of the Frisian Islands on the Wadden Sea. Photo via Flickr:Jurgen Knops
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North Holland Tour

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Holland below sea level, a Dutch bike and boat tour through Northern Holland

  • 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.

    Highlights:

    • Typical fishing villages of Volendam and Enkhuizen
    • Isle of Texel with its thousands of sheep and magnificent nature reserve
    • Alkmaar, the capital of cheese
    • Land of Leeghwater, Purmer, and the Beemster
    • AMSTERDAM!

    Be sure to check out all of our bike and boat tours in Holland.

  • Liza MarleenLow Standard
    Twin cabin £ 944 $ 2,093 1112 $ 1675 NOK 10467 kr 9662 $ 1,256 £ 1051 $ 2,331 1238 $ 1865 NOK 11653 kr 10757 $ 1,398
    Twin/single-use £ 1336 $ 2,962 1573 $ 2369 NOK 14808 kr 13669 $ 1,777 £ 1476 $ 3,272 1738 $ 2618 NOK 16361 kr 15103 $ 1,963
    Superior cabin (15 m²) for twin use £ 1075 $ 2,383 1266 $ 1907 NOK 11917 kr 11000 $ 1,430 £ 1141 $ 2,528 1343 $ 2023 NOK 12642 kr 11669 $ 1,517
    Superior cabin (15 m²) for triple use £ 859 $ 1,905 1012 $ 1524 NOK 9525 kr 8792 $ 1,143 £ 954 $ 2,114 1123 $ 1691 NOK 10570 kr 9757 $ 1,268


    Standard season: August 29, 2020

    ZwaanStandard season
    Luxury double cabin £ 1319 $ 2,924 1553 $ 2339 NOK 14619 kr 13495 $ 1,754
    Twin cabin £ 1183 $ 2,623 1393 $ 2098 NOK 13113 kr 12104 $ 1,574
    Triple cabin £ 1149 $ 2,547 1353 $ 2038 NOK 12736 kr 11756 $ 1,528
    Small double/front of boat £ 1029 $ 2,282 1212 $ 1825 NOK 11408 kr 10531 $ 1,369
    Small cabin/single-use/front of boat £ 1493 $ 3,310 1758 $ 2648 NOK 16550 kr 15277 $ 1,986

    Low season: June 27 and July 11, 2020 
    Standard season: June 13, 2020

    De HollandSeason ASeason BSeason CSeason DSeason ESeason FEarly season
    Twin cabin/lower deck £ 679 $ 1,505 799 $ 1204 NOK 7524 kr 6945 $ 903 £ 721 $ 1,599 849 $ 1279 NOK 7995 kr 7380 $ 959 £ 764 $ 1,693 899 $ 1354 NOK 8466 kr 7814 $ 1,016 £ 806 $ 1,787 949 $ 1430 NOK 8936 kr 8249 $ 1,072 £ 840 $ 1,863 989 $ 1490 NOK 9313 kr 8597 $ 1,118 £ 874 $ 1,938 1029 $ 1550 NOK 9690 kr 8944 $ 1,163 £ 594 $ 1,316 699 $ 1053 NOK 6582 kr 6076 $ 790
    Triple cabin/lower deck £ 662 $ 1,467 779 $ 1174 NOK 7336 kr 6771 $ 880 £ 704 $ 1,561 829 $ 1249 NOK 7806 kr 7206 $ 937 £ 747 $ 1,655 879 $ 1324 NOK 8277 kr 7641 $ 993 £ 789 $ 1,750 929 $ 1400 NOK 8748 kr 8075 $ 1,050 £ 823 $ 1,825 969 $ 1460 NOK 9125 kr 8423 $ 1,095 £ 857 $ 1,900 1009 $ 1520 NOK 9501 kr 8771 $ 1,140 £ 577 $ 1,279 679 $ 1023 NOK 6394 kr 5902 $ 767
    Twin cabin/lower deck/single-use £ 976 $ 2,164 1149 $ 1731 NOK 10820 kr 9987 $ 1,298 £ 1019 $ 2,258 1199 $ 1806 NOK 11291 kr 10422 $ 1,355 £ 1061 $ 2,352 1249 $ 1882 NOK 11761 kr 10857 $ 1,411 £ 1104 $ 2,446 1299 $ 1957 NOK 12232 kr 11291 $ 1,468 £ 1138 $ 2,522 1339 $ 2017 NOK 12609 kr 11639 $ 1,513 £ 1172 $ 2,597 1379 $ 2078 NOK 12986 kr 11987 $ 1,558 £ 891 $ 1,976 1049 $ 1580 NOK 9878 kr 9118 $ 1,185
    Twin cabin/upper deck £ 849 $ 1,881 999 $ 1505 NOK 9407 kr 8684 $ 1,129 £ 891 $ 1,976 1049 $ 1580 NOK 9878 kr 9118 $ 1,185 £ 934 $ 2,070 1099 $ 1656 NOK 10349 kr 9553 $ 1,242 £ 976 $ 2,164 1149 $ 1731 NOK 10820 kr 9987 $ 1,298 £ 1010 $ 2,239 1189 $ 1791 NOK 11196 kr 10335 $ 1,344 £ 1044 $ 2,315 1229 $ 1852 NOK 11573 kr 10683 $ 1,389 £ 764 $ 1,693 899 $ 1354 NOK 8466 kr 7814 $ 1,016
    Twin cabin/upper deck/single-use £ 1146 $ 2,541 1349 $ 2032 NOK 12703 kr 11726 $ 1,524 £ 1189 $ 2,635 1399 $ 2108 NOK 13174 kr 12161 $ 1,581 £ 1231 $ 2,729 1449 $ 2183 NOK 13645 kr 12595 $ 1,637 £ 1274 $ 2,823 1499 $ 2258 NOK 14116 kr 13030 $ 1,694 £ 1308 $ 2,898 1539 $ 2319 NOK 14492 kr 13377 $ 1,739 £ 1342 $ 2,974 1579 $ 2379 NOK 14869 kr 13725 $ 1,784 £ 1061 $ 2,352 1249 $ 1882 NOK 11761 kr 10857 $ 1,411
    Suite/upper deck £ 976 $ 2,164 1149 $ 1731 NOK 10820 kr 9987 $ 1,298 £ 1019 $ 2,258 1199 $ 1806 NOK 11291 kr 10422 $ 1,355 £ 1061 $ 2,352 1249 $ 1882 NOK 11761 kr 10857 $ 1,411 £ 1104 $ 2,446 1299 $ 1957 NOK 12232 kr 11291 $ 1,468 £ 1138 $ 2,522 1339 $ 2017 NOK 12609 kr 11639 $ 1,513 £ 1172 $ 2,597 1379 $ 2078 NOK 12986 kr 11987 $ 1,558 £ 891 $ 1,976 1049 $ 1580 NOK 9878 kr 9118 $ 1,185

    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

    WendingLowStandardHigh
    Twin  £ 894 $ 1,982 1053 $ 1586 NOK 9911 kr 9149 $ 1,189 £ 983 $ 2,180 1158 $ 1744 NOK 10900 kr 10061 $ 1,308 £ 1073 $ 2,378 1263 $ 1902 NOK 11889 kr 10974 $ 1,427
    Twin for single use £ 1029 $ 2,282 1212 $ 1825 NOK 11408 kr 10531 $ 1,369 £ 1145 $ 2,538 1348 $ 2030 NOK 12689 kr 11713 $ 1,523 £ 1247 $ 2,764 1468 $ 2211 NOK 13819 kr 12756 $ 1,658
    Triple £ 907 $ 2,010 1068 $ 1608 NOK 10052 kr 9279 $ 1,206 £ 1000 $ 2,218 1178 $ 1774 NOK 11088 kr 10235 $ 1,331 £ 1064 $ 2,359 1253 $ 1887 NOK 11794 kr 10887 $ 1,415

    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

    Merlijn
    Twin/double: £ 1389 $ 3,079 1635 $ 2463 NOK 15396 kr 14212 $ 1,848 Twin cabin for single use very limited. Please ask.

     

    extra options

    Zwaan, Wending, and Liza Marleen

    Electric bicycle rental: £ 70 $ 155 83 $ 124 NOK 777 kr 717 $ 93 Gluten-free and vegan meals: £ 42 $ 94 50 $ 75 NOK 471 kr 435 $ 57 Set of maps for self-guided option (advanced reservation and payment required): £ 18 $ 40 21 $ 32 NOK 198 kr 183 $ 24 *Children's discounts, child bikes, tagalongs, bike trailers, and child seats available.

    De Holland
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 85 $ 188 100 $ 151 NOK 942 kr 869 $ 113 Helmet rental: £ 8 $ 19 10 $ 15 NOK 94 kr 87 $ 11 Gluten-free and dairy-free meals, payable onboard: £ 42 $ 94 50 $ 75 NOK 471 kr 435 $ 57

    Merlijn

    Electric bicycle rental, per diem, payable onboard, advanced reservation required: £ 25 $ 57 30 $ 45 NOK 283 kr 261 $ 34

     

    please note

    *Please note:  Pricing on the Liza Marleen, Wending, and Zwaan is based on fuel costs as of July 2019. If the fuel cost increases 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.

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Fly to Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (AMS).

    Local Travel

    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.

    Climate

    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°.

    Recommended

    For those who want to spend some time in Amsterdam either before or after your tour:
    Amsterdam City Card
    Museum Card

    Remarks

    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.

    Documents

    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


Tour Dates

Deluxe Class Boat

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

Please note that the first ten departures from the 28th of March up to and including the 30th of May have a slightly different itinerary than the other departures. Please see below in Day to Day details for more information.

Comfort Class Boat

Zwaan:
Low season: June 27 and July 11, 2020 
Standard season: June 13, 2020

Liza Marleen: 
Low season: July 25 and August 8, 2020
Standard season: August 29, 2020

Standard Class Boat

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

Deluxe Class Boat

Merlijn:
May 8, May 15 and May 22, 2021

Skill Level

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.

What’s Included

  • Accommodation for 7 nights
  • Breakfast buffets, packed lunches, 3-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea
  • Cycling tour guide
  • Minimum of 3 city walks with the tour guide
  • 24-speed hybrid bicycle equipped with hand brakes, panniers, lock, water bottle and repair kit
  • Helmet
  • Road book (1 per cabin)
  • Ferry fares en route
  • †Free limited WiFi in lounge and on deck (for more than 100 MB, there will be surcharge
  • GPS tracks on request
  • Accommodation for 7 nights
  • Breakfast buffets, packed lunches, 3-course dinners
  • Bed linens and 2 towels (change of towels is possible)
  • Daily light cleaning of cabin
  • Daily complimentary coffee and tea until 4 pm
  • Welcome drink
  • 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
  • GPS tracks
  • 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
  • Tour guide
  • 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
  • †Wifi
  • †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.
  • What’s Not Included

    • Arrival transfers
    • Museum/excursion entrance fees not mentioned as included
    • Beverages other than those mentioned as included
    • Electric bike rental. Available for supplement. See pricing.
    • Maps for self-guided option. Available with supplement. See pricing.
    • Gratuities
    • Bicycle Protection
    • Travel Insurance
    • Arrival transfers
    • Museum/excursion entrance fees not mentioned as included
    • Beverages other than those mentioned as included
    • Electric bike rental. Available for supplement. See pricing
    • Helmets, available on request with supplement, reserve at time of booking. See pricing.
    • Ferry fares
    • Optional excursions, see travel section
    • Gratuities
    • Bicycle Protection
    • Travel Insurance
    TourBike+Boat
    TypeBoth
    SkillEasy
    Length8 days
    From679 Rates
    Tour Reviews

    Share This Tour

    Tour Boats

    Day-To-Day Itinerary

    North Holland Tour Map

    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 on board 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 fresh water 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. This was at once time all dunes. However, in 1421, in what is known as the St Elizabeth's Floods, the dunes 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.

    Please note that the first ten departures from the 28th of March up to and including the 30th of May have a slightly different itinerary than the other departures. The itinerary will be as follows:

    Day 1: Embarkation: Amsterdam
    Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam - Zaanse Schans - Alkmaar, 27 mi. (44 km) | Alkmaar - Enkhuizen by bus transfer
    Day 3: Enkhuizen - Alkmaar by bus transfer | Alkmaar – Den Helder, 24 or 31 mi. (38 or 55 km)
    Day 4Den 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 7Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam, 22 or 31 miles (35 or 50 km)
    Day 8: Disembarkation: Amsterdam

    Day 1: Embarkation: Amsterdam
    Embarkation and check-in start 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) | Alkmaar - Enkhuizen by bus transfer
    During breakfast, your ship will sail to Zaandam. 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 you will cycle through the “Land of Leeghwater”, a green rural polder area between Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Hoorn. Stroll through the former whaler’s village De Rijp and pass by the windmills of Schermerhorn. Your cycling tour ends in the historical center of Alkmaar. All bicycles will be parked and stored safely and monitored in Alkmaar. At the end of the afternoon, a coach will bring you back to “De Holland” in Enkhuizen, a beautiful 17th-century town at the banks of the lake IJsselmeer with a rich cultural and maritime tradition.

    Day 3: Enkhuizen - Alkmaar by bus transfer | Alkmaar – Den Helder, 24 or 31 mi. (38 or 55 km)
    After breakfast, a coach will bring you back to Alkmaar, where today’s bike tour starts. Today you can discover the beautiful coastal area of North-Holland: approx. 70 km (45 miles) long strip with forest, heathland and sand dunes and of course the wide sandy beaches of the North Sea. On the route — and certainly worth a visit — is the artist’s village of Bergen. Then you will bike all the way through the dunes and along the coast and beaches northward, to the navy harbor of Den Helder. There is a 17 km (10.5 mi.) shorter option if you do not cycle to Den Helder, but to Schagen instead, and take the train (limited capacity for bicycles - approx. 30 min. - train tickets approx. € 13.00 not included) to Den Helder. After dinner visit and guided tour (incl.) of the light ship museum in Den Helder. Night on board in 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 givers 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.

    All other departures:

    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 4Den 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 from/to Stavoren, 27 or 34 mi (43 or 55 km)
    Day 6: Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen, 19 or 31 mi (30 or 50 km)
    Day 7Enkhuizen – 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.  

    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.

    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.

    If you’re looking for a different flavor, check out our full list of bike and boat tours or view all our featured bicycle tours, specials, and news.

    Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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    Tour Reviews

    • LEONIDAS ROUSSINOS 1 month ago     Verified Reviewer

      We have completed many boat and bike tours all through TripSite who have always done an outstanding job to make sure the customers get their information on time. Carla and her team do a great job.
      The North Holland tour is the least desirable tour to choose for a number of reasons.
      The De Holland boat is the least agreeable thing to ever float on a river, a box with no charm at all. On the other hand the cabins inside even though they are small, they are clean and the bathrooms are fitted nicely and roomy. It also has a decent deck from where to enjoy the view when in port or sailing.
      The administration of this company are not doing themselves any favours. They have cut down the crew to the level that they are unable to properly serve their customers. The persons working as crew on this boat are killing themselves to provide the best service possible without much success most of the time. Just not enough people to do the jobs. Furthermore if you plan to charge for WiFi Read more… service you are simply daft by asking for the 10 euros for the week. Just up the trip price and tell everyone WiFi is FREE. What a a bargain! Nickel and dimeing your customers is a poor way of doing business. Also changing the itinerary in order to save fuel is a disservice to your customers. The excuse that the boat is not able to dock at Ouderchild on Texel is rubbish as they have been doing it before and cycling through the harbour there, we saw no difference to facilities or space than all the other docking places we did dock at. So boat wise and management wise this trip is poor.
      However, the guide person was outstanding. She knew everything about the area and the routes and she was soooooo patient she was great! The day (Day 3) of cycling the dunes east of Alkmaar can easily be deleted. There is little to see and of very little interest to almost all the riders we spoke with. It is far more interesting to cycle in Alkmaar city and explore the city museums and other historical venues than riding the dusty windy dunes. The most interesting cities visited are Alkmaar, Enkhuisen and Volendam.
      The food on board was adequate but nothing special or even Dutch. Not a single Dutch meal or treat was offered during the week. Then the issue with the coffee and cake time upon return after a day of cycling. Are they nuts or what? One day coffee time is 4 to 5 pm. The next day 3:30 to 4:30 and the next day different again. Get real and set the time 3:30 to 5:00 and get on with life. No need to confuse things and have people expect a cup of coffee and then find out that the time was earlier today. Really?
      Asking for ice in the water was like asking for gold plated silverware. One napkin per person like napkins are a euro each. Are you kidding? Put a napkin holder on each table like every where else. What is this 1910 world paper shortage or are you pretending to be the world leader in paper napkin savings??
      The bikes were of top quality and well maintained. The crew that was looking after the bikes were there when you needed them and helped everyone to make sure the bikes were set up properly and safe for them. First Class service.
      What is great about these trips? The people you meet and the fun things that happen during the tour. The fun places you meet strangers and have lunch with, the help you may get or give on the way to a destination and memories that stay behind. I am afraid to say this trip was short on great memories, but some nevertheless. Perhaps another boat and this trip could have been a better one.

    • Helen W. 3 months ago     Verified Reviewer

      Scenery was great, bring a camel back if you like to drink water while riding, most bikes did not have a cage for the water bottle, instead you kept it in the pannier. Our guide, Eduaro, did not seem to know where we could stop to take a break or use a bathroom, he said everythng was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, this was a problem for the women in the group, it was hot and we needed to keep hydrated.
      The captain, chef and assistant Vera were wonderful and did all they could to make us comfortable.

      Boat: Liza Marleen

    • Maryann B. 10 months ago     Verified Reviewer

      This was a wonderful trip, highly recommended to both cyclists and non-cyclists! The staff went out of their way to make sure all the guests were well looked after.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Susan O. 11 months ago     Verified Reviewer

      The De Holland is a lovely barge with a proficient staff and nice upper level staterooms. The food was above average and the after-ride beer is a great value. The North Holland area is very rural with small towns but mostly agricultural routes. Easy navigating because The Netherlands has an extensive network of bikeways and understandable wayfinding. The history of diking, watermills and pumping is fascinating and would be good to know about as you ride through this area. Our trip was in the beginning of October and we had beautiful weather although it can be windy along some portions of the ride.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Paul Alper 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

      On the Liza Marleen there were 6 of us from our family ranging in age from 82 to less than 2 years of age. The staff on the ship was superb, especially the cook who was particularly considerate regarding the granddaughters who roamed the dining area. She was quite creative with her menus and happy to socialize with the participants. Moreover, because it was my daughter's birthday (birthdays are Big Deals in the Netherlands) on the last night of the trip, the cook ignored my request for one cupcake with a candle and instead presented gorgeous cakes for the entire ship. Her English assistant was equally kind; the skipper turned out to be a first-class guitar player and had the entire ship singing along.

      It was a wonderful and successful excursion and I am very grateful to the staff on board the Liza Marleen for everything they did to accommodate us and make it a memorable 50th wedding anniversary.

      Boat: Liza Marleen

    • Stephen T. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

      The North Holland barge and bike is a fantastic experience and a great opportunity for a family to share a unique adventure together. The scenery is spectacular, the villages immaculate, the people friendly, the barge comfortable, the food good, the bikes new and the staff accommodating. To improve the experience, breakfast could be better and the lunch selections more varied. Early risers generally helped themselves to all of the pastries before others cold enjoy them. Seating could be unassigned so that more people could meet and enjoy different parts of the dining room. Otherwise they have this trip wired.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Marion B. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Most Memorable Part: How well everything was organized for each day - even when weather was challenging (very rainy), being able to re-accommodate the trip itinerary in such short notice.

      Boat: Wending

    • Jill L. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      A number of things stand out. First, the size of the room (which was shown as 4 single beds but ended up being a tiny room with two bunkbeds where we could not all stand in the room). Second, the fact that after active days covering 50 Kms or more there was no water provided (a bottle of water was provided at breakfast only) and no food available in the hours before dinner. Third, all meals had to be taken at the same assigned table reducing any opportunity to mingle with other guests. Fourth, on an active holiday with healthy active people, the meals did not include any colorful vegetables. The staff were mostly lovely and the rides were picturesque, but the overall experience was not positive.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Alene G. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      This was our first time at a bike & barge trip and it was a great adventure! Staff was amazing and the other guests all gelled - we all worked together to have a fun experience. Getting to see various areas in Northern Holland up close was amazing. Be prepared for weather changes! Layer and bring clothes for rain! But most of all be prepared for a great vacation!

      Boat: Wending

    • D. Dray 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      We have been on seven self-guided bike trips (two of them with boats) and this was truly one of the best! The accommodations on our Prague ship, the MS Florentina were nicer (larger lounges, expansive deck, etc) than the Angela Esmee to be frank, but the Angela's superb crew, the charming towns as ports of call, and along the route, and our tour leader, Margaret, more than made up for it. I highly recommend this tour!

      Boat: De Holland

    • Cathy G. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      I already have recommended this trip to several people. By far this trip was the best trip I have ever been on. Thank you.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Kim E. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Complete day from start to finish! Staff were super friendly and efficient! Breathtaking views of countryside and timeless villages! Supper dining was plentiful, varied and delicious! Basic rooms were always tidy and clean. Wow...what an incredible adventure.

      Boat: De Holland

    • J. Post 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      The wifi on the barge needs to be upgraded. It was inadequate and inconsistent.This is really the only criticism I have - the rest was great. But it is important to travelers these days.

      Boat: Liza Marleen

      • Jehiel 3 years ago     Staff

        Hi J. Post,
        I'm sorry you found the onboard wifi inadequate. We often tell our guests that onboard wifi is not guaranteed and that signals can be weak from time to time. It is because of this we recommend looking into Portable Wifi for travel found on our FAQ page.

    • K. Jevons 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      It was a great bicycle trip. Beautiful countryside, bike paths were excellent and the guide "Hugo" was exceptional. Barge was perfect. We were able to see the real Holland, not the typical tourist city Holland. Communication and arrangement of the tour with Tripsite was very good. Thanks.

      Boat: Sailing Home

    • C. Abernethy 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      The small tour group was perfect for my 12 year old son and I. The biking was awesome - we both loved cycling through the farms and along the canals. Although it was rainy and windy for majority of the time - we still enjoyed it very much. The food was fantastic!!

      Boat: Wending

    • J. Caffrey 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      We have been on 4 barge based bike trips plus 3 hotel based bike trips, all in Europe and this was the best. There are simply not enough superlatives to use to praise this trip. From the guide to the cook to the quality of the bikes and the barge we add the wonderful route and great scenery.

      Boat: Wending

    • L. Scrutton 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      I would have liked was some variety in the lunch fruit. Apples every day but one ...... got a bit boring. I would also have liked to have a condiment (mustard or mayonnaise) to add to the meat/cheese sandwiches as they were a bit dry. All in all, a great trip! Too bad the weather wasn't a bit better, but nothing could be done about that.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Margaret Terrett 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      I would recommend the trip with reservations. The food on the boat was not special but ok. While our leader was competent I did not find him helpful at times and other times I found him condescending. The route descriptions were well done but we had to argue to have one for each rider even though it clearly stated we would each a have one. I would have like much more about the places we were visiting included on the daily route descriptions. Carrying a visitor guide is not easy on a bike. The bikes were not in good shape for our trip. The mechanic tried to do his best but they were not a "freewheeling" experience. On mine the gears did not work, others had similar issues. When the holiday depends on a good cycling experience then the bike becomes a priority.
      I cannot recommend the experience whole heartily except for the amazing landscape of northern Netherlands. That part I really enjoyed. Also I enjoyed being part of a group. I would not recommend a person Read more… or couple try the trip because no effort was made to mix the people. I was part of a big group and so I always had people to cycle with.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Sue Cousineau 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      1. Food was mediocre - not great...lots of canned or frozen vegetables. Meat was consistently over cooked and dry. There was lots of choices for breakfast and we especially liked the variety to make our lunches. Had to pay for hot water, tea & coffee after 4:00 pm was a ridiculous and cheap policy which angered many.
      2. Room service - towels were not replenished each day as expected until the guide told us to put them in the shower to indicate we wanted towels refreshed each day. This was a problem of no signage to indicate this practice and that the guide forgot to tell us until day 4 when someone complained.
      3. Maps and route descriptions - we always marvel at the signage for cycling in the Netherlands. Our country should adopt this method. But we were only given one map/booklet per room. Again, a very cheap practice as all travelers are paying cyclists and each want their own maps. Can't guarantee that those who room together actually cycle together. Read more… This again angered many in our group all of whom are avid cyclists who have traveled extensively by bike in Europe.
      4. Route - Wonderful! Northern Netherlands is so beautiful, the route selected was varied and very picturesque, and towns we visited were charming.
      5. Staff - Every staff person, but one, was extremely polite, helpful and courteous, from the kitchen staff, the captain, servers, and bike support fellas. The one exception was our guide who was rigid, rude, impatient and grumpy. He warmed up as the week progressed but his welcoming manner was less than desirable. He didn't seem to like to deal with women or English clients, as we saw that he got along very well with the German clients. It could have been a factor of language and fatigue due the fact that it was the end of the season.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Paul Hough 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      The nickel and diming on the boat was annoying - i.e., free coffee until 4 pm but nobody gets back before then; coffee and tea not included with dinner (extra cost); bottled water sold at the same price as a beer (one token worth 2.5 Euros). Our guide, Marcel, was clearly out of sorts and was not someone I would recommend - rude, disinterested, unhelpful, condescending, and refused to answer questions. I trust that other guides are much better.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Diane Thomson 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      The bikes did show some wear but the two mechanics on our barge were wonderful in making repairs overnight. The maps were on the whole very good but each person on the trip should be given their own set of maps and the accompanied daily itinerary descriptions.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Carolyn Dunbar 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      This was a nice trip which I chose after research. I learned that I prefer smaller groups.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Thomas Reid 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Marcel is a great guide/tour leader.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Susan Monaghan 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      There was some disconnect in passing along information. For example the barge had to leave earlier than 6:30 but info was not passed on. Fortunately my friends and I arrived and boarded the sister ship and got the info that the Angela Esmee was instructed to leave the port due to some Dutch holiday celebration. Good thing we took the initiative. There was no one waiting on the dock to give us this info.
      Info about running a tab for drinks was false. We had to purchase tokens from a machine to use at bar. Bikes were somewhat rickety, having seen their 2nd season (according to a mechanic I talked to). Mine and some others made a grinding noise the entire time. The mechanic tried to fix it, but eventually I just tolerated it. I heard one mech say the bikes had a couple more trips this season. Good luck to the next owner.
      Food was very good and the staff were very friendly. I would recommend a Bike and Barge trip to friends, but we ran into another group on a similar Read more… tour riding green bikes...they LOVED their bikes. We couldn't come close to saying that about ours. The green bike tour paid similar costs.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Marnie Terrett 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      I found the conditions of the bikes quite poor. They were obviously wearing out after a season of use. The food was adequate but not spectacular. The information about how to get clean towels was given 5 days into the trip.
      The routes were well described but I would have liked further information about the towns we were passing through and where we were staying the night. Our group happened upon a cemetery with Canadian war dead but it was just luck. That type of information should be included I the route description of the day. Despite the things mentioned I did enjoy the trip and would recommend it to others.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Fair Rapsey 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      I had a lot of trouble with the bike seat. That created pain/discomfort for the whole week. We saw other barges participants en route with much better bikes than we had. Ours were quite old and clunky but they worked OK when you got used to them. The bike mechanics were great. The seven gears were adequate for the terrain.

      We should each have our own maps and route descriptions, not just one per cabin. You don't necessarily cycle with your cabin mate and sometimes people get separated from cycling partners during the day.

      Our guide Marcel appeared to have a very arrogant attitude towards guests, particularly those who asked for clarification of various things. He was rude to me when I asked a question about the availability of public washrooms along the way - and what was customary in Holland. He snapped "So you think Dutch people don't go to the toilet?" He seemed to make a lot more effort as the week went on and was quite knowledgeable about a Read more… variety of things. He got off to a bad start with quite a few people however.

      Re Food: The food was good and varied. We had a lot of salads/vegetables (generally overcooked) which I appreciated. Tea, coffee and water should be available for free all the time, not just till 4. A euro for hot water and a tea bag is chintzy.

      I enjoyed the trip and the route. The route was quite varied in a lot of ways and very beautiful. Luckily the weather was reasonably cooperative and our group had a great time. The barge is a fun experience, and I would recommend it and consider another trip for myself as well.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Bob Rodney 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Marcel was a very good guide-Johnan helped keep our bikes in very good order.

      Boat: De Holland

    • Buford and Gina 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      The tour was excellent. We’d have no reservations about booking another tour comparable to this, or recommending the trip to others—in fact, we already have. We enjoyed every minute.

      We were somewhat anxious about how the trip would work out: would we find the boat ok?; would we be able to get everything on-board ok?; would we have a good time? The trip worked like clockwork—everything worked exactly as it should!

      Our accommodations on-board the Angela Esmee were quite comfortable. The rooms were small, as we expected. However, they were very comfortable. Additionally, we spent very little time in our cabin. Most of our time was spent either on the bikes, walking in the great port villages, on the top deck, or in the dining salon, enjoying the company of the others on the tour or the wonderful staff. Food on-board the ship was very good, and quite filling. Just right to get us off to a good start, or to replenish us after a great Read more… day of riding.

      The staff was most accommodating. We really bonded with Arie, the tour leader. He proved to be very helpful, and knowledgeable. However, beyond that, he was personable! He is very well schooled, and has a great sense of humor. He was someone we enjoyed spending time with on our vacation. In addition to Arie, the Captain and ship’s crew (Matthew, and Peter), the hotel manager (Yvonne), cook, and the wait staff and cabin cleaning crew were all very personable, and willing to help with anything we needed.

      The cycling was fantastic. The tour routes were obviously well thought out—they led us through picturesque small villages, and natural terrain. Traffic was negligible throughout the routes. Additionally, all of our many stops resulted in very positive, enjoyable conversations and interactions with everyone we encountered. At one stop, we were offered tea, coffee, and great conversation when we stopped into a local hardware store along our route between Enkhouzen and Hoorn. We also encountered the Wervershoof bakery owner’s wife, a fantastic lady, at one of our many bakery stops. There’s a reason Dutch Apple Pie is famous, though in Wervershoof, it’s the cookies that steal the show.

      Thank you for helping us arrange rental of the Hase Pinos! They were quite enjoyable for the trip. TomTom rentals(info@tomtomtandem.nl) really went out of their way to help us get the bikes adjusted and to ensure we were comfortable on the bikes. They were with us for approximately two hours before departure to ensure everything was just right. In addition, Tom left us with a tool kit with anything we may have needed during the tour—fortunately, we didn’t need anything, the bikes performed flawlessly. I would suggest that you offer these Hase Pino Tandems as a routine option. There may be others who desire such a bike—especially cases where one rider is significantly stronger than another, or for cases where one rider may have a physical limitation that wouldn’t allow them to participate on their own. The advantages of the Pino are that two riders will stay together with their heads so close that they can carry on conversations. Plus, both have a beautiful view of the route ahead. My wife actually rode with her i-phone/camera dangling from a wrist strap—ready to snap photos at a moment’s notice, which she did quite often. During our tour, we encountered one other Hase Pino. It appeared the rider in the front may have been blind. Nevertheless, on this bike they could still participate in the ride.

      We did have one minor annoyance. I’d like to emphasize “minor.” The Wi-Fi service on-board the ship only worked sporadically. We had wanted to use this service to maintain a blog, and keep friend and family at home appraised of the trip. Unfortunately, the service wasn’t reliable enough to enable us to do this. Nevertheless, in the grand scheme of things, we consider this a minor annoyance against what was otherwise a FANTASTIC trip.

      We plan on doing a similar vacation again. When we do, you can bet that we’ll return to Tripsite for your outstanding support.

      Thank you!

      Buford and Gina

      Boat: De Holland

    • Beth Davidson 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      I loved the Northern Tour aboard the Elodie. It is a nice small boat with a wonderful crew and fantastic bikes. I hope to do it again some day.

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    North Holland Tour Boats + Barges

    De Holland Photo

    De Holland Netherlands Deluxe Class Boat The 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 Marleen Photo

    Liza Marleen Comfort Class Boat The 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.

    Wending Photo

    Wending Netherlands Standard Class Boat The 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.

    Zwaan Photo

    Zwaan Belgium, Netherlands Comfort Class Boat Once 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.

    Merlijn Photo

    Merlijn Germany, Netherlands Deluxe 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!

    PWPC