During this fascinating cycling cruise on board the ship De Holland you will discover the best of what the beautiful Provinces of North-Holland and Friesland offer. Explore flat “polder” landscapes – a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments – 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!
Nowhere else in the world will you find an area as fascinating as the Dutch Provinces of North Holland and Friesland, two areas rich in tradition. Over the course of your week, you will be able to discover typical Dutch culture and cycle through a flat “polder land”, extensively reclaimed over the centuries from the North Sea and the former Southern Sea (now IJsselmeer). What you will soon realize is the truth behind the proverb “God created the earth but the Dutch made Holland”, such has been the extent of land reclamation in the region you will be cycling through. Since the 17th century in an effort to save disappearing land from encroaching water, protective dikes have been built, low lying land has been pumped dry and tidal dams have been created in creeks to prevent flooding, with the result that today’s green flat polder landscape is full of agricultural enterprise.
Embarkation and check-in between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping, to explore downtown Amsterdam, to make a canal cruise or to visit a museum. At 5 p.m. welcome drink and safety instructions, dinner and first briefing on board. During dinner short cruise 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 polder area between Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Hoorn. Stroll through the former whaler’s village De Rijp and pass by the windmills of Schermerhorn. Your ship will be waiting for you near the historical city center of Alkmaar.
(44 km / 27mi.)
Today you can discover the beautiful North-Holland Dune reserve. This is a 5.300 hectare large forest- and dune area with its unique landscapes. In these 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 ship will sail over the North-Holland Canal to the navy harbor of Den Helder.
(33 km / 20 mi. or 40 km / 25 mi.)
After breakfast you’ll take a 20-minute ferry ride (ticket included) from Den Helder to the isle of Texel, where you can make beautiful cycling tours on the largest of the Dutch North Sea Isles. Ride through meadows, nature parks and dunes to small villages and have the opportunity for a stop and some bathing at the sandy North Sea beach, or visit the “Ecomare” seal sanctuary. In the late afternoon you will return by ferry to Den Helder. During dinner your ship will sail to Den Oever.
(Several options from 15 km / 9 mi. to 65 km / 41 mi.)
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 the small harbor of Stavoren, one of the famous traditional 11 cities of Friesland.
(43 km / 27 mi. or 55 km / 34 mi.)
The ship will cross the IJsselmeer again during breakfast. Take the short cycling trip from Medemblik along the IJsselmeer 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 historical old town centre 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. Enjoy your lunch break and make a short stroll in the old city centre. Continue by bicycle to Enkhuizen via some picturesque rural villages. In the evening you can join a short city walk.
(30 km / 19 mi. or 50 km / 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. Near Volendam you will have the opportunity to visit a cheese farm. Recommended (extra cycling miles) is a tour 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 cruise on the first day, you can do so today.
(35 km / 22 mi. or 50 km / 31 mi.)
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m..
|De Willemstad||Twin cabin Lower deck||Twin cabin Upper deck||Suite Upper deck||Twin Upper deck single use||Twin Main deck single use|
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De Willemstad is the youngest member of the “family”, which also includes De Amsterdam, De Holland and De Nassau. The comfortable ship was completely renovated and converted in 2017/2018. There are two tour leaders on board during the tours with this ship. The ship was used for cycling cruises for several years on the Danube river under its previous name Arlene II. Look forward to meeting nice people, riding beautiful bike tours and spending pleasant hours on board.
Description of the cabins:
All cabins are ‘outside cabins’ that are equipped with two single beds, TV, mini safe and individually controlled air conditioning. Each cabin has a bathroom with shower, toilet and hairdryer.
Upper deck: There are 8 suites (approx. 15 m² / 161 sq.ft) with a French balcony and opening floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door, two single beds, set together as a queen size bed and a small seating area. On the upper deck there are also 16 twin cabins (approx. 10 m² / 108 sq.ft) with two separate single beds.. The twin cabins on the upper deck have a panoramic window that can be opened.
Lower deck: There are 24 twin cabins with two separate single beds and a large window with an upper hinged window that can be opened for ventilation.
Description of the ship:
In the salon / bar with large panoramic windows on the upper deck, you can review the day’s experiences in a pleasant way while enjoying a beer or a glass of wine. Your physical well-being is taken care of in the tastefully furnished and air-conditioned restaurant on the lower deck. The spacious and partly covered sundeck offers space to let the landscape pass comfortably in a deck chair. The bicycles are stored on the rear part of the sun deck.
Vegetarian meals are possible at no surcharge. Other diets (like gluten free or for lactose intolerance) are possible at a fee. All diets and vegetarian meals must be booked and confirmed well in advance (only vegan meals are not possible).
Rental bicycle: € 85 per week
Rental E-Bike: € 185 per week (only on request, limited number available)
Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
Canal cruise Amsterdam: Ticket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam – special price for our guests: € 14 (at the ticket desk approx.: € 18). Please book your ticket in advance and you can collect it on board of your ship on the first day of the tour.
It's possible to purchase an optional limitation of liability for damage and loss of your rented bicycle or e-bike:
Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle € 10/tour
Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike € 25/tour
This package includes:
**: These arrangements solely apply to and are valid for bicycles and E-bikes that have been rented from Boat Bike Tours. For tours, for which Boat Bike Tours is not the organizing tour operator (but the intermediary), and another partner company is the organizing tour operator, other arrangements may apply.
Please note: For safety reasons, it is not allowed to use the rental (e-) bikes for self-arranged rides in Amsterdam: in these cases, the limitation of liability does not apply.
Almost all of the rental bicycles are traditional touring bicycles (women’s models) with 7 or 8 gears, hand brakes (some with pedal brake) and pannier bags. E-bikes feature a small electric engine and battery that assist and ease your pedaling, but they do not feature autonomous propulsion. It is like having a tailwind, so it is easier, but you still have to pedal.
Please note: all bicycles have normal pedals, no click pedals. So please wear ordinary sporting shoes. Changing pedals is not possible.
Prices for other rental bicycles, like children’s bikes, tandems, trailer bikes (slip streamers), children’s seats, and bike trailers are available on request. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles or E-bikes, please let us know so we can reserve a space on board for you.
Parking own bicycle: € 10 per week (only a limited number of parking places available)
Parking + charge station own E-Bike: € 25 per week (only a limited number of parking places available)
However, the crew or tour operator is in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles.
Parking in Amsterdam (valet parking): prices and pre-booking on request.
Embarking on a boat bike tour means leaving your worries behind. If you’re arriving for one of our tours by car then you can start your carefree experience immediately thanks to the CentralParking valet service.
With this parking service, you can drive directly to your ship’s departure dock. Arrange a drop-off time in advance and a CentralParking valet driver will be waiting to help you with your luggage. Your valet will then drive your car to a secure garage where it will be parked under 24/7 camera surveillance.
Set a pick-up time with CentralParking for your return and your car will be ready and waiting for you when the ship arrives, so you can set out on the road immediately.
...The kilometers were more than we had expected but we didn't have any issues. Holland has awesome bike trails!...
...Everything worked really well. The booking process was simple. The E-mail support was good. The information provided was really useful. The trip was brilliant. The boat staff were excellent and the Guides were attentive and informative. The Netherlands themselves are beautiful...
....Thank you for the wonderful holiday!. We really enjoyed every hour of it and I believe we are planning to come back. Thanks for your kind assistance and helpfulness in planning and fulfilling the plans!...
....We had a wonderful experience, and the tour was beyond our expectations. We have nothing to complain. My only suggestion is, if possible, change the towels at least once. I really don't care to use just one towel during a week. The problem is that is almost impossible have it dry, especially for us, Brazilians, that use to take more than a bath a day. But it's not a big problem, and you can be sure, we'll be back soon....