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

Biking along Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. Photo courtesy of the Netherlands Board of Tourism
4.3/5 (21 ratings)

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. It is without doubt, a tour not to be missed!

    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.

  • De Holland (prices valid as per January 1, 2018)
    Middle season: May 5, May 12, May 19, May 26, and September 8, 2018
    Main season: weekly from June 2 up to and incl. August 25, 2018
    Late season: September 15, 2018

    CabinMiddleMain Late
    Twin cabin/lower £ 720 $ 1,297 879 NOK 8644 kr 7979 $ 1,037 £ 753 $ 1,356 919 NOK 9037 kr 8342 $ 1,084 £ 704 $ 1,267 859 NOK 8447 kr 7797 $ 1,014
    Superior twin/lower £ 778 $ 1,400 949 NOK 9332 kr 8614 $ 1,120 £ 810 $ 1,459 989 NOK 9725 kr 8977 $ 1,167 £ 761 $ 1,370 929 NOK 9135 kr 8432 $ 1,096
    Triple cabin/lower £ 704 $ 1,267 859 NOK 8447 kr 7797 $ 1,014 £ 737 $ 1,326 899 NOK 8840 kr 8160 $ 1,061 £ 688 $ 1,238 839 NOK 8250 kr 7616 $ 990
    Twin cabin/lower/single use £ 958 $ 1,724 1169 NOK 11495 kr 10611 $ 1,379 £ 991 $ 1,783 1209 NOK 11889 kr 10974 $ 1,427 £ 942 $ 1,695 1149 NOK 11299 kr 10429 $ 1,356
    Superior twin/upper £ 884 $ 1,592 1079 NOK 10610 kr 9794 $ 1,273 £ 917 $ 1,651 1119 NOK 11004 kr 10157 $ 1,320 £ 868 $ 1,562 1059 NOK 10414 kr 9612 $ 1,250
    Superior twin /upper/single use £ 1064 $ 1,916 1299 NOK 12774 kr 11791 $ 1,533 £ 1097 $ 1,975 1339 NOK 13167 kr 12154 $ 1,580 £ 1048 $ 1,887 1279 NOK 12577 kr 11609 $ 1,509
    Suite/upper deck £ 966 $ 1,739 1179 NOK 11594 kr 10702 $ 1,391 £ 999 $ 1,798 1219 NOK 11987 kr 11065 $ 1,438 £ 950 $ 1,710 1159 NOK 11397 kr 10520 $ 1,368
    Suite/upper deck/triple £ 950 $ 1,710 1159 NOK 11397 kr 10520 $ 1,368 £ 983 $ 1,769 1199 NOK 11790 kr 10883 $ 1,415 £ 933 $ 1,680 1139 NOK 11200 kr 10339 $ 1,344

    Additional Dates: 

    CabinOctober 6 Sep 29Sep 22
    Twin cabin/lower £ 524 $ 943 639 NOK 6284 kr 5800 $ 754 £ 565 $ 1,016 689 NOK 6775 kr 6254 $ 813 £ 606 $ 1,090 739 NOK 7267 kr 6708 $ 872
    Superior twin/lower £ 581 $ 1,046 709 NOK 6972 kr 6436 $ 837 £ 622 $ 1,120 759 NOK 7464 kr 6889 $ 896 £ 663 $ 1,193 809 NOK 7955 kr 7343 $ 955
    Single/lower £ 769 $ 1,384 938 NOK 9224 kr 8514 $ 1,107 £ 810 $ 1,457 988 NOK 9715 kr 8968 $ 1,166 £ 851 $ 1,531 1038 NOK 10207 kr 9422 $ 1,225
    Superior twin /upper £ 688 $ 1,238 839 NOK 8250 kr 7616 $ 990 £ 728 $ 1,311 889 NOK 8742 kr 8069 $ 1,049 £ 769 $ 1,385 939 NOK 9234 kr 8523 $ 1,108
    Single superior/upper £ 933 $ 1,679 1138 NOK 11190 kr 10330 $ 1,343 £ 974 $ 1,752 1188 NOK 11682 kr 10783 $ 1,402 £ 1014 $ 1,826 1238 NOK 12174 kr 11237 $ 1,461
    Suite/upper deck/triple £ 769 $ 1,385 939 NOK 9234 kr 8523 $ 1,108 £ 810 $ 1,459 989 NOK 9725 kr 8977 $ 1,167 £ 851 $ 1,533 1039 NOK 10217 kr 9431 $ 1,226

    Twin cabins for single use and triple cabins are limited and only on request.

    Anna Antal
    Two bed bunk bed cabin: £ 737 $ 1,326 899 NOK 8840 kr 8160 $ 1,061 Two bed bunk bed cabin for single use: £ 946 $ 1,704 1155 NOK 11358 kr 10484 $ 1,363 Two bed cabin with low beds: £ 860 $ 1,549 1050 NOK 10325 kr 9531 $ 1,239

    Liza Marleen
    Double cabin: £ 930 $ 1,674 1135 NOK 11161 kr 10302 $ 1,339 Double bed (extra large cabin): £ 1012 $ 1,822 1235 NOK 12144 kr 11210 $ 1,457 Triple Cabin:   £ 856 $ 1,541 1045 NOK 10276 kr 9485 $ 1,233 Two bed cabin for single use: £ 1311 $ 2,360 1600 NOK 15733 kr 14523 $ 1,888

    Wending
    Double cabin: £ 860 $ 1,549 1050 NOK 10325 kr 9531 $ 1,239 Triple cabin: £ 815 $ 1,468 995 NOK 9784 kr 9032 $ 1,174 Two bed cabin for single use: £ 1028 $ 1,851 1255 NOK 12341 kr 11392 $ 1,481

    June 2 discount: £ 66 $ 118 80 NOK 787 kr 726 $ 94

    Zwaan
    Twin or Double cabin: £ 946 $ 1,704 1155 NOK 11358 kr 10484 $ 1,363 Triple cabin: £ 922 $ 1,659 1125 NOK 11063 kr 10212 $ 1,328 Two bed cabin for single use: £ 1344 $ 2,419 1640 NOK 16127 kr 14886 $ 1,935

    De Holland Super saverMiddleMain Late
    Twin cabin/lower £ 577 $ 1,038 704 NOK 6923 kr 6390 $ 831 £ 733 $ 1,319 894 NOK 8791 kr 8115 $ 1,055 £ 765 $ 1,378 934 NOK 9184 kr 8478 $ 1,102 £ 716 $ 1,289 874 NOK 8594 kr 7933 $ 1,031
    Superior twin/lower £ 626 $ 1,127 764 NOK 7513 kr 6935 $ 902 £ 782 $ 1,407 954 NOK 9381 kr 8659 $ 1,126 £ 815 $ 1,466 994 NOK 9774 kr 9022 $ 1,173 £ 765 $ 1,378 934 NOK 9184 kr 8478 $ 1,102
    Triple cabin/lower £ 561 $ 1,009 684 NOK 6726 kr 6209 $ 807 £ 716 $ 1,289 874 NOK 8594 kr 7933 $ 1,031 £ 749 $ 1,348 914 NOK 8988 kr 8296 $ 1,079 £ 700 $ 1,260 854 NOK 8398 kr 7752 $ 1,008
    Twin cabin/lower/single use £ 872 $ 1,569 1064 NOK 10463 kr 9658 $ 1,256 £ 1028 $ 1,850 1254 NOK 12331 kr 11382 $ 1,480 £ 1060 $ 1,909 1294 NOK 12724 kr 11746 $ 1,527 £ 1011 $ 1,820 1234 NOK 12134 kr 11201 $ 1,456
    Superior twin/upper £ 741 $ 1,333 904 NOK 8889 kr 8206 $ 1,067 £ 896 $ 1,614 1094 NOK 10758 kr 9930 $ 1,291 £ 929 $ 1,673 1134 NOK 11151 kr 10293 $ 1,338 £ 880 $ 1,584 1074 NOK 10561 kr 9749 $ 1,267
    Superior twin /upper/single use £ 987 $ 1,776 1204 NOK 11839 kr 10929 $ 1,421 £ 1142 $ 2,056 1394 NOK 13708 kr 12653 $ 1,645 £ 1175 $ 2,115 1434 NOK 14101 kr 13016 $ 1,692 £ 1126 $ 2,027 1374 NOK 13511 kr 12472 $ 1,621
    Suite/upper deck £ 823 $ 1,481 1004 NOK 9873 kr 9113 $ 1,185 £ 978 $ 1,761 1194 NOK 11741 kr 10838 $ 1,409 £ 1011 $ 1,820 1234 NOK 12134 kr 11201 $ 1,456 £ 962 $ 1,732 1174 NOK 11544 kr 10656 $ 1,385
    Suite/upper deck/triple £ 798 $ 1,437 974 NOK 9578 kr 8841 $ 1,149 £ 954 $ 1,717 1164 NOK 11446 kr 10566 $ 1,374 £ 987 $ 1,776 1204 NOK 11839 kr 10929 $ 1,421 £ 937 $ 1,687 1144 NOK 11249 kr 10384 $ 1,350

    Twin cabins for single us and triple cabins are very limited.

    Sailing HomeLowStandard
    Twin cabin £ 909 $ 1,636 1109 NOK 10905 kr 10066 $ 1,309 £ 1000 $ 1,800 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440
    Twin/single use £ 1287 $ 2,316 1570 NOK 15438 kr 14251 $ 1,853 £ 1418 $ 2,552 1730 NOK 17012 kr 15703 $ 2,041
    Liza MarleenLow Standard
    Twin cabin £ 893 $ 1,608 1090 NOK 10718 kr 9894 $ 1,286 £ 983 $ 1,770 1200 NOK 11800 kr 10892 $ 1,416
    Twin/single use £ 1258 $ 2,264 1535 NOK 15094 kr 13933 $ 1,811 £ 1385 $ 2,493 1690 NOK 16618 kr 15340 $ 1,994
    Superior cabin (15 m²) for twin use £ 975 $ 1,755 1190 NOK 11702 kr 10802 $ 1,404 £ 1065 $ 1,918 1300 NOK 12783 kr 11800 $ 1,534
    Superior cabin (15 m²) for triple use £ 824 $ 1,482 1005 NOK 9883 kr 9122 $ 1,186 £ 905 $ 1,630 1105 NOK 10866 kr 10030 $ 1,304
    ZwaanLow Standard
    Twin £ 1000 $ 1,800 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440 £ 1000 $ 1,800 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440
    Friends or family style cabin for twin use £ 1000 $ 1,800 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440 £ 1000 $ 1,800 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440
    Friends or family style cabin for triple use £ 975 $ 1,755 1190 NOK 11702 kr 10802 $ 1,404 £ 975 $ 1,755 1190 NOK 11702 kr 10802 $ 1,404
    Single use cabin (front of barge) £ 1418 $ 2,552 1730 NOK 17012 kr 15703 $ 2,041 £ 1418 $ 2,552 1730 NOK 17012 kr 15703 $ 2,041
    WendingLowStandard
    Twin  £ 848 $ 1,527 1035 NOK 10178 kr 9395 $ 1,221 £ 1000 $ 1,800 1220 NOK 11997 kr 11074 $ 1,440
    Twin for single use £ 987 $ 1,777 1205 NOK 11849 kr 10938 $ 1,422 £ 1086 $ 1,954 1325 NOK 13029 kr 12027 $ 1,564
    Triple £ 803 $ 1,446 980 NOK 9637 kr 8895 $ 1,156 £ 889 $ 1,600 1085 NOK 10669 kr 9848 $ 1,280

     

    extra options

    On the De Holland
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 78 $ 140 95 NOK 934 kr 862 $ 112 Tandem rental is available!
    Helmet rental: £ 8 $ 15 10 NOK 98 kr 91 $ 12 Canal tour in Amsterdam, payable on board: £ 10 $ 18 13 NOK 123 kr 113 $ 15 Gluten free and dairy free meals, payable on board: £ 41 $ 74 50 NOK 492 kr 454 $ 59

    On the Anna Antal, Liza Marleen, Wending, and Zwaan

    Electric bicycle rental: £ 66 $ 118 80 NOK 787 kr 726 $ 94 Helmet rental (advanced reservation required): £ 8 $ 15 10 NOK 98 kr 91 $ 12 Bike maps for self-guided option (advanced reservation required): £ 16 $ 30 20 NOK 197 kr 182 $ 24 Amsterdam City Card: Ask us
    Museum Card: Ask us
    Extra night in Amsterdam: Call for pricing
    Discounts available for children. Ask us for details!

    On the De Holland
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 86 $ 155 105 NOK 1033 kr 953 $ 124 Helmet rental: £ 8 $ 15 10 NOK 98 kr 91 $ 12 Gluten free and dairy free meals, payable on board: £ 41 $ 74 50 NOK 492 kr 454 $ 59 On the Sailing Home, Zwaan, Wending, and Liza Marleen
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 66 $ 118 80 NOK 787 kr 726 $ 94 Set of maps for self guided option (advanced reservation required): £ 16 $ 28 19 NOK 187 kr 172 $ 22 Gluten free meals: £ 41 $ 74 50 NOK 492 kr 454 $ 59

     

    please note

    *Please note:  Pricing on the Anna Antal, Liza Marleen, Wending, and Zwaan is based on fuel costs as of July 2017. 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.

    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.

    Local Travel

    Arrival in Amsterdam, short train ride to Amsterdam center where you can board the boat at approximately 4 PM.

    Climate

    Check local weather conditions prior to departure. Always bring full rain gear. Average high temp in °F is approx. 53 (Apr), 61 (May), 66 (Jun), 69 (Jul), 70 (Aug), and 64 (Sep).

    Recommended

    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.Optional excursions on the Angela Esmee, fees not included but offered at a discount: open-air museum Zaanse Schans, visitor center windmill Schermerhorn, brewery Oudeschild (Texel), seal sanctuary Ecomare (Texel), steam engine museum (Medemblik), open-air Zuiderzeemuseum (Enkhuizen), cheese farm, and more


Tour Dates


On the Comort Plus Boat:
De Holland:
Middle season: May 5, May 12, May 19, May 26, and September 8, 2018
Main season: weekly from June 2 up to and incl. August 25, 2018
Late season: September 16, 2018
Additional dates available: September 22, September 29, and October 6, 2018
Liza Marleen: May 26, June 9, June 23, July 7, July 28, August 4, August 25, and September 8, 2018
On the Comfort boats:
Wending: May 19, June 2*, June 16, June 30, July 21, August 4, August 18, September 1, September 15, and September 29, 2018
On the Standard Plus boat:
*Now being offered at a discounted price. Valid for reservations on or after May 7, 2018
Anna Antal: August 18, 2018

On the Comort Plus Boat:
De Holland:
Super saver: April 6, April 13, and April 20, 2019
Middle season: April 27, May 4, May 11, May 18, May 25, 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
Sailing Home:
Low season: August 3, 2019
Standard season: August 24 and August 31, 2019
Liza Marleen:
Low season: July 6 and July 27, 2019
Standard season: May 18, 2019
On the Comfort boats:
Zwaan:
Standard season: May 25, June 1, June 8 and June 15, 2019
Wending:
Low season: July 20 and August 10, 2019
Standard season: May 11, June 22 and August 17, 2019
 

 

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 on board tour guide will give extensive descriptions of the day’s cycling route. Guests will bike using provided route descriptions & maps. The guide will also cycle the route but does not guide a group. The main role of the tour guide is to provide assistance if needed during the cycling itinerary. This is a somewhat lighter and easier rural tour than the other Bike & Boat Holland tours, thus more appropriate for 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

  • Liza Marleen, Sailing Home, Wending, Zwaan, and Anna Antal
  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board ship
  • Breakfast buffets, packed lunches, 3-course dinners
  • Bed linens and 2 towels (change of towels is possible)
  • Coffee and tea
  • Cycling tour guide
  • Minimum of 3 city walks with the tour guide
  • 24-speed hybrid bicycle
  • Helmet (2019)
  • 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 (2019)
  • De Holland
  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board ship
  • 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 on first night
  • On board tour leader (see below)
  • Road book (1 set per cabin)
  • Minimum of 2 city walks with the tour guide
  • Discounts on entrance fees and excursions as mentioned in program
  • 1 x live music on board
  • 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

What’s Not Included

  • Arrival transfers
  • Museum entrance fees
  • Beverages (incl. alcohol) (available on board)
  • Aboard the Anna Antal, Liza Marleen, Wending: maps for self-guided option (please see pricing)
  • Helmets: De Holland, available on request, reserve at time of booking. See pricing.
  • Helmets: Anna Antal, Liza Marleen, Wending, available on request, reserve at time of booking. See pricing. (2018)
  • Ferry fares en route on De Holland
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance

Extra Stay

Ask us for details if you desire to book an extra night in Amsterdam.

TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy
Length8 days
From689 Rates
Client 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 day to day 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 4 pm; optional cycling, 12 mi. (20 km)
Day 2: Amsterdam - Volendam, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 3: Volendam - Enkhuizen 36 mi. (58 km), or disembark in Hoorn 15 mi. (25 km)
Day 4: Enkhuizen - Medemblik, sailing to Texel, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 5: Texel, roundtrip, 25/31/41 mi. (40/50/66 km)
Day 6: Texel - sail to Den Helder/ Zand/St. Maartensvlotbrug and cyle to Alkmaar, 23/26/38/44 mi. (37/41/60/70 km)
Day 7: Alkmaar - Amsterdam 28 mi. (45 km), or disembark in Zaandam, 16 mi. (25 km)
Day 8: Departure

*All distances are approximate. The above-planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.

Day 1: Boarding in Amsterdam at 4 pm; optional cycling, 12 mi. (20 km)
Boarding begins at 4 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, 26 mi. (42 km)
Leaving Amsterdam, a ferry brings you to a peaceful part of the city in the north, and quite soon you are cycling through the rural ‘Waterland’ region (in the province of Holland), after which you visit the former island of Marken. Marken was a real island until 1957, which left it with its own special character. As the island flooded several times during the Zuiderzee period, the old houses were built on poles above the ground, putting them about 2.5 meters above street level.

Marken is strictly for pedestrian visitors as cars are prohibited on the island except for those belonging to the population itself. You cycle to Monnickendam, which enjoyed a flourishing wealthy period in the past, as you can see from the many old gables, plaques, churches and towers.

You continue on biking over the dike of the Gouwzee to Volendam, today’s destination. Volendam was originally a small fishing village and was founded by the survivors of a capsized Spanish fleet.

Day 3: Volendam - Enkhuizen 36 mi. (58 km), or disembark in Hoorn 15 mi. (25 km)
If you choose to ride the entire route, you first visit Edam, well-known for its cheese. Here you can taste the atmosphere of a well-preserved authentic Dutch town, although the hustle and bustle of the old times is missing. After Edam, the tour passes through vast grasslands; the stop in Hoorn is a little longer. Those travelers who preferred to sail on the boat to Hoorn start cycling here. For all tour members, this is the opportunity to gain an impression of this beautiful town with its rich history.

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.

You cross the dike, with its beautiful view over the Markermeer on one side and West Frisian villages on the other. Today the route finishes in Enkhuizen. This town grew together from two closely neighboring villages. Enkhuizen has a number of interesting museums; depending on your time of arrival and their opening hours, you can visit them.

Day 4: Enkhuizen - Medemblik, 22 mi. (35 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 horse power.

Halfway over the polder you can step on board 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, 25/31/41 mi. (40/50/66 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/ Zand/St. Maartensvlotbrug and cycle to Alkmaar, 23/26/38/44 mi. (37/41/60/70 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 – Amsterdam 28 mi (45 km), or disembark in Zaandam, 15 mi. (25 km)
Today you can cycle the whole route from Alkmaar to Amsterdam or stay on board until reaching Zaandam. Alkmaar's famous Friday cheese market starts at 10:00 am. After leaving Alkmaar the stage takes you through the 'droogmakerij' land with the 17th-century towns of Schermerhorn, Graft and De Rijp. The last stretch of the trip takes you through ’t Twiske (the Twiske) Leisure Park. The peat region around the Zaan had been used for cattle grazing. In the peatland ditches were dug to help drain the land. The dried peat was used as fuel. Once you are back at the barge in Amsterdam you will hand over 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 - 25 mi. (33 - 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 | Stavoren South-west Friesland round trip, 26-33 miles (43-55 km)**
Day 6: Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen, 19-31 miles (30-50 km)**
Day 7Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam, 22-31 miles (35-50 km)**
Day 8: Disembarkation: Amsterdam

 Parts in italics are covered by ship

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. A optional canal tour is a unique way to see the capital of Holland from another side. Welcome meeting, drink, 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 whaler's 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 - 25 mi. (33 - 40 km) | Alkmaar – Den Helder
Today you can discover the beautiful North Holland Dune reserve. This is a 5.300 hectare large 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 returne 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 yua 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.

Day 5: Den Oever – Stavoren | Stavoren South-west Friesland round trip, 26-33 miles (43-55 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, 19-31 miles (30-50 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, an historical 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. 35-50 km/22-31 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.

**Both possibilities are offered, guests are free to choose

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

Share This Tour


Customer Feedback

Read reviews for all bike tours

  • Marion B. 5 months ago

    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. 9 months ago

    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. 9 months ago

    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 11 months ago

    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. 2 years ago

    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. 2 years ago

    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 2 years ago

    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 2 years ago

      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 2 years ago

    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 2 years ago

    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 2 years ago

    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 2 years ago

    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 3 years ago

    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 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 3 years ago

    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. 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 3 years ago

    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 3 years ago

    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 3 years ago

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

    Boat: De Holland

  • Thomas Reid 3 years ago

    Marcel is a great guide/tour leader.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Susan Monaghan 3 years ago

    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 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 3 years ago

    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 3 years ago

    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 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 3 years ago

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

    Boat: De Holland

  • Buford and Gina 5 years ago

    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 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 5 years ago

    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.

Biked This Tour? Post Your Feedback

North Holland Tour Boats + Barges

Anna Antal Photo

Anna Antal Netherlands Standard Plus Class Boat The Anna Antal is a former shuttle barge converted into a motor passenger ship in the winter of 1994-95. In 2012, the salon and cabins were renovated. The sailing area of the Anna Antal includes all Dutch, German and Belgian waterways in so far as a ship of this size can sail. She also sails on the Waddenzee, IJsselmeer and Zeeland. The Anna Antal is built according to the rules of Maritime laws and holds a valid certificate for the Rhine.

De Holland Photo

De Holland Netherlands Comfort Plus Class Boat The former Angela Esmee, renamed now to De Holland, is being completely renovated and will be ready to sail in 2018. The De Holland has 34 well equipped staterooms for a maximum of 68 - 72 passengers.

Liza Marleen Photo

Liza Marleen Comfort Plus 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 Comfort 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.

PWPC