Volendam, North Holland. Photo via Flickr:Jose A.
Tulips are everywhere in Holland! Photo via Flickr:Duncan Harris

Open Air Museum in Zaanse Schans, Zaandam. Photo via Wikimedia Commons:Niels Kim
4.4/5 (17 ratings)

Northern Tour

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

A Dutch cycle tour through Northern Holland

  • The peninsula making up the province of North Holland is the focus of this bike and boat tour which begins in Amsterdam with its abundant attractions. Amsterdam's prosperity really grew during the 1600's when it established itself as Europe's foremost trading center. Its vast history and culture continue to exude in the rich architecture and museums, such as the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.

    Leaving the bustling city center for the countryside, you will ride via Marken, where some of the old houses are built on poles, to the old fishing village of Volendam, where traditional Dutch costumes are still worn. Enkhuizen is a quiet little town with a picturesque harbor and scenic fishermen cottages. It has an interesting Outdoor Museum that offers a unique insight into the town’s rich past as a trading center.

    The island of Texel is a vacationer's dream with 80 km of foot- and bike-paths and white sandy beaches. It is Holland’s oldest island and often called the Pearl of the Wadden Islands due to its unspoiled landscape that includes rich foliage, thousands of birds and countless sheep. The largest village on the island is Den Burg, where a 15th-century church dominates.

    Next, you'll follow your appetite to the famous cheese town of Alkmaar, where cheese is still regularly weighed and sold in the Waag. Also of interest is the St. Lawrence Church of late-Gothic style that holds Holland's oldest church organ. From here, you will continue on to the Zaanse Schans in Zaandam. This large Open Air Museum authentically depicts Dutch life during the 17th and 18th centuries and includes windmills, a cheese mill, a paint mill and traditional timbered buildings, just to name a few. After a leisure visit, you’ll finish the tour back in Holland’s cosmopolitan capital of Amsterdam. (During Holland’s famous tulip months of April and May, you will cycle alongside endless acres of colorful bulb fields).

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

  • Angela Esmee

    CabinsSuper SaverMiddleMainLate
    Twin Cabin (lower) £ 612 $ 1,057 689 NOK 6431 kr 5936 $ 772 £ 781 $ 1,349 879 NOK 8204 kr 7573 $ 984 £ 817 $ 1,410 919 NOK 8577 kr 7918 $ 1,029 £ 764 $ 1,318 859 NOK 8017 kr 7401 $ 962
    Twin Cabin (upper) £ 728 $ 1,257 819 NOK 7644 kr 7056 $ 917 £ 897 $ 1,548 1009 NOK 9417 kr 8693 $ 1,130 £ 932 $ 1,609 1049 NOK 9791 kr 9038 $ 1,175 £ 879 $ 1,517 989 NOK 9231 kr 8521 $ 1,108
    Single Cabin (lower) £ 808 $ 1,395 909 NOK 8484 kr 7831 $ 1,018 £ 986 $ 1,701 1109 NOK 10351 kr 9554 $ 1,242 £ 1030 $ 1,778 1159 NOK 10817 kr 9985 $ 1,298 £ 959 $ 1,655 1079 NOK 10071 kr 9296 $ 1,208
    Single Cabin (upper) £ 924 $ 1,594 1039 NOK 9697 kr 8951 $ 1,164 £ 1101 $ 1,901 1239 NOK 11564 kr 10674 $ 1,388 £ 1146 $ 1,978 1289 NOK 12031 kr 11105 $ 1,444 £ 1075 $ 1,855 1209 NOK 11284 kr 10416 $ 1,354
    Triple Cabin (lower) £ 595 $ 1,026 669 NOK 6244 kr 5764 $ 749 £ 764 $ 1,318 859 NOK 8017 kr 7401 $ 962 £ 799 $ 1,379 899 NOK 8391 kr 7745 $ 1,007 £ 746 $ 1,287 839 NOK 7831 kr 7228 $ 940
    Triple Cabin (upper) £ 710 $ 1,226 799 NOK 7457 kr 6884 $ 895 £ 879 $ 1,517 989 NOK 9231 kr 8521 $ 1,108 £ 915 $ 1,579 1029 NOK 9604 kr 8865 $ 1,152 £ 861 $ 1,487 969 NOK 9044 kr 8348 $ 1,085
    Quad Cabin (lower) £ 586 $ 1,011 659 NOK 6151 kr 5678 $ 738 £ 746 $ 1,287 839 NOK 7831 kr 7228 $ 940 £ 781 $ 1,349 879 NOK 8204 kr 7573 $ 984 £ 728 $ 1,257 819 NOK 7644 kr 7056 $ 917
    Quad Cabin (upper) £ 701 $ 1,211 789 NOK 7364 kr 6798 $ 884 £ 861 $ 1,487 969 NOK 9044 kr 8348 $ 1,085 £ 897 $ 1,548 1009 NOK 9417 kr 8693 $ 1,130 £ 844 $ 1,456 949 NOK 8857 kr 8176 $ 1,063

    Liza Marleen

    Double cabin: £ 956 $ 1,649 1075 NOK 10033 kr 9262 $ 1,204

    Double bed (extra large cabin): £ 1009 $ 1,741 1135 NOK 10593 kr 9778 $ 1,271

    Triple Cabin:   £ 902 $ 1,557 1015 NOK 9473 kr 8745 $ 1,137

    Two bed cabin for single use: £ 1084 $ 1,872 1220 NOK 11387 kr 10511 $ 1,366


    Double cabin: £ 907 $ 1,565 1020 NOK 9520 kr 8788 $ 1,142

    Triple cabin: £ 858 $ 1,481 965 NOK 9007 kr 8314 $ 1,081

    Two bed cabin for single use: £ 1084 $ 1,872 1220 NOK 11387 kr 10511 $ 1,366


    Double cabin: £ 996 $ 1,718 1120 NOK 10453 kr 9649 $ 1,254

    Triple Cabin: £ 969 $ 1,672 1090 NOK 10173 kr 9391 $ 1,221

    Two bed cabin for single use:   £ 1436 $ 2,478 1615 NOK 15073 kr 13914 $ 1,809

    Anna Antal

    Two bed bunk bed cabin: £ 773 $ 1,335 870 NOK 8120 kr 7495 $ 974

    Two bed bunk bed cabin for single use: £ 996 $ 1,718 1120 NOK 10453 kr 9649 $ 1,254

    Two bed cabin with low beds: £ 907 $ 1,565 1020 NOK 9520 kr 8788 $ 1,142

    extra options

    On the Angela Esmee

    Electric bicycle rental: £ 84 $ 146 95 NOK 887 kr 818 $ 106 Tandem rental is available!
    Canal tour in Amsterdam, payable on board: £ 11 $ 18 12 NOK 112 kr 103 $ 13 Gluten free and dairy free meals, payable on board: £ 44 $ 77 50 NOK 467 kr 431 $ 56

    Helmets: available on request

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

    Electric bicycle rental: £ 58 $ 100 65 NOK 607 kr 560 $ 73 Helmet rental (advanced reservation required): £ 13 $ 23 15 NOK 140 kr 129 $ 17 Bike maps for self-guided option (advanced reservation required): £ 17 $ 29 19 NOK 177 kr 164 $ 21 Amsterdam City Card: Ask us
    Museum Card: Ask us
    Extra night in Amsterdam: Call for pricing
    Discounts available for children. Ask us for details!

    please note

    *Please note:  Pricing 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 based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

Tour Dates

2017 Dates:
On the Comfort Plus boat: 
Angela Esmee:
Super saver season: April 8, April 15 and April 22, 2017
Middle season: April 29, May 13, May 20, May 27, and September 9, 2017
Main season: June 3, June 17, June 24, July 1, July 15, July 22, July 29, August 12, August 19,  and August 26, 2017
Late season: September 16, 2017

On the Comfort boats:
Liza Marleen: June 17, June 24, July 1, July 8, July 29, 2017
Wending: May 13, May 20, May 27, June 3, July 22, August 5, August 19, and September 2, 2017
Zwaan: July 8, July 22, and July 29, 2017

On the Standard Plus boat, the Anna Antal: June 17, June 24, July 15, and August 19, 2017

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 Angela Esmee, 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

  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board ship
  • Breakfast buffets, packed lunches, 3-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea on board some vessels. Restrictions apply! Please ask.
  • Guide support aboard the Angela Esmee (see note below)*
  • Cycling tour guide (Liza Marleen, Wending, and Zwaan)
  • 7 to 24-speed hybrid bicycle
  • Route information
  • Ferry fares en route (Anna Antal, Liza Marleen, Wending, and Zwaan)
  • Road book (1 per cabin) aboard the Angela Esmee
  • Canal tour tickets (only valid for departures before July 1)
  • *Please note: these tours 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

  • Helmet rental
  • Museum entrance fees (approximately €15 per tour)
  • Beverages (incl. alcohol), available on board.
  • Aboard the Anna Antal, Liza Marleen, Wending, and the Zwaan: Maps for self-guided option (please see pricing)
  • Helmets aboard Angela Esmee - available on request, reserve at time of booking
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Bicycle protection
  • Trip insurance

Extra Stay

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

Length8 days
From689 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Northern Tour Map

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

*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.

  1. Boarding in Amsterdam at 4 pm; optional cycling, 12 mi. (20 km)
  2. Amsterdam - Volendam, 28 mi. (45 km)
  3. Volendam - Enkhuizen 36 mi. (58 km), or disembark in Hoorn 15 mi. (25 km)
  4. Enkhuizen - Medemblik, sailing to Texel, 22 mi. (35 km)
  5. Texel, roundtrip, 25/31/41 mi. (40/50/66 km)
  6. Texel - sail to Den Helder/ Zand/St. Maartensvlotbrug and cyle to Alkmaar, 23/26/38/44 mi. (37/41/60/70 km)
  7. Alkmaar - Amsterdam 28 mi. (45 km), or disembark in Zaandam, 16 mi. (25 km)
  8. Individual departure by 10 am.

*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.

On the Angela Esmee 2017: 
Day 1: Embarkation: Amsterdam
Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaanse Schans – Zaandam, 19-28 miles (30-45 km)**
Day 3: Zaandam – Alkmaar, 31 miles  (50 km) | Alkmaar – Den Helder
Day 4: Den Helder – Oudeschild | North Sea island of Texel: round trip from/to Oudeschild (your choice 9-41 miles/15-65 km)** | Texel – Den Oever
Day 5: Den Oever – Stavoren | Stavoren South-west Friesland round trip, 19-31 miles (30-50 km)**
Day 6: Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen, 19-31 miles (30-50 km)**
Day 7: Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam, 22-31 miles (35-50 km)**
Day 8: Disembarkation: Amsterdam

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

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

For a detailed, day to day itinerary for the Angela Esmee, please contact us!

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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Customer Feedback

  • Cathy G. 8 months 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: Angela Esmee

  • Kim E. 8 months 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: Angela Esmee

  • J. Post 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 11 months 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 1 year 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 1 year 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: Angela Esmee

  • Margaret Terrett 2 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: Angela Esmee

  • Sue Cousineau 2 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: Angela Esmee

  • Paul Hough 2 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: Angela Esmee

  • Diane Thomson 2 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: Angela Esmee

  • Carolyn Dunbar 2 years ago

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

    Boat: Angela Esmee

  • Thomas Reid 2 years ago

    Marcel is a great guide/tour leader.

    Boat: Angela Esmee

  • Susan Monaghan 2 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: Angela Esmee

  • Marnie Terrett 2 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: Angela Esmee

  • Fair Rapsey 2 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: Angela Esmee

  • Bob Rodney 2 years ago

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

    Boat: Angela Esmee

  • Buford and Gina 4 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: Angela Esmee

  • Beth Davidson 4 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.

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Northern Tour Boats + Barges

Angela Esmee Photo

Angela Esmee Netherlands Comfort Plus Class Boat The Angela Esmee can accommodate approximately 80 guests. On board this beautiful vessel are 41 cabins total with an en-suite bathroom which includes shower and toilet. In the salon, there is a separate bar and restaurant area. Also, in the front of the ship is a brand new lounge area featuring glass panoramic windows from floor to ceiling.

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.

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.