Sail & Bike along the coast of the IJsselmeer. Once a salty sea, now the largest sweetwater lake in all of Holland! Discover this unique part of the Netherlands aboard a magnificent and comfortably furnished sailing ship, and while riding excellent cycle paths and tracks. Sailing experience is not necessary. Just a desire to give it a go. Cycling can be done on your own or by joining a tour leader.
Your week of sailing and cycling starts in Amsterdam. The crew welcomes you on board at 2 P.M. Once all guests have checked in, the ship sails under motor to Volendam. From the port of this former fishing village, a short warm-up ride leads you through the rural nature reserve of Waterland with its many villages.
(Testride: 10 km / 6 mi.)
A very Dutch start of the day: you cycle to a nearby, family-run cheese and clog shop for a short demonstration of cheese and clog making, and of course a cheese tasting. Continue pedaling along the dikes to Purmerend, in the heart of a polder named De Beemster, 11½ feet (3.5 meters) below sea level. It was created more than 400 years ago, when the Dutch transformed an inland lake into pasture land. Divided into a tight geometric pattern of squares and quadrants, it is recognized by UNESCO as “a creative masterpiece”. Your next destination is Edam, a lovely town whose lanes and canals deserve a stroll. Edam is known worldwide for its cheese covered in red or yellow wax. This practical solution keeps the cheese fresh for a long time, so 17th century sailors could take it on their voyages or trade it for spices and other riches of the East. Via the main dike of the IJsselmeer you will return to the promenade of Volendam, where the ship is waiting for you. You will still have some time on your own to check out the souvenir shops. During diner the ship will take you to Hoorn. Let the historical city center lure you into a digestive walk.
(36 km / 22 mi. or 49 km / 31 mi.)
Through small rural hamlets and villages, today’s ride brings you to Enkhuizen. Pass by windmill De Krijgsman (The Warrior), the highest windmill in the province of North-Holland and one of a handful of old Dutch windmills still in use to produce flour commercially. The area is also known for its many greenhouses, where vegetables are grown. In the 17th century, Enkhuizen was one of the wealthiest cities in Holland, thanks to its harbour that shipped then-costly spices from Asia. Be astonished by the stately mansions, canals, churches and city walls that to this day reflect the city’s rich history and wealth.
(26 km / 17 mi. or 44 km / 27 mi.)
Weather permitting, we sail across the IJsselmeer to the port of Stavoren in Friesland (approx. 4 hours). On board, you can help the captain sail the ship if you wish. Or you can simply sit back on deck and enjoy the invigorating journey, while keeping watch for marine bird life. Upon arrival a bike tour is planned that first takes you to Hindeloopen, a picturesque and lively fishing village. From there you go to Workum, home to the Jopie Huisman Museum. This museum is dedicated to the work and life of the Frisian realist painter Jopie Huisman, whose work is very much loved by the Dutch.
(25 km / 15 mi. or 37 km / 23 mi.)
Following the dike along the IJsselmeer we arrive in Gaasterland, renowned for its sandy heights that are over 32.8 feet (10 meters) high. The name Gaasterland derives from gaasten, the Frisian word for these elliptically shaped heights. They were formed during the Ice Age, when boulder clay from Scandinavia was deposited on this terrain. Leaving the dike, you enter the Rijsterbos, a 300-year-old forest. Through this wooded area you ride to the town of Balk and along the tree-lined river Luts, that flows through the center of town. Shortly afterward, you’ll arrive at the fortress city of Sloten. With less than 800 inhabitants, it is one of the smallest cities in The Netherlands. Take the time to leisurely wander the narrow streets, to relax and to find a spot for a lunch on your own. The last stretch of today’s tour brings you to the fishing port of Lemmer, where the ship moors for the night. Dinner will be served on board. An after dinner stroll into town is definitely worth your while.
(40 km / 25 mi.)
In the morning we sail across the IJsselmeer to the port of Urk. On board, you can help the captain sail the ship if you wish. Or you can simply sit back on deck and enjoy the invigorating journey, while keeping watch for marine bird life. In Urk you may stroll through the narrow streets and alleys. The houses in this picturesque fishing village were built close to one another on elevated grounds to protect them against the water, and that is still visible today. In the afternoon a short optional bike ride is planned through the Northeast polder (Noordoostpolder).
(25 km / 15 mi.)
After breakfast you’ll disembark for your last half day of cycling. You’ll ride through the Oostvaardersplassen a nature reserve on new land, left to find its own balance like nature did in old times on old land. Sections of the ride wind through forested areas, while others give you panoramic views of expansive reed beds and marshes. This is a birdwatchers’ paradise. The ship picks you up in the small harbor of Oostvaardersdiep for the return voyage to Amsterdam. Celebrate this marvelous week around the Ijsselmeer while having a farewell dinner aboard the ship.
(20 km / 12 mi. or 28 km / 17 mi.)
Your tour ends today with a nice breakfast. Disembarkation afterwards until 9.30 AM.
Please note: All cycling distances stated above are approximate only. The tour operator and the captain of the ship reserve the right to change the routes and programme due to nautical, technical or other reasons including weather conditions.
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Wapen fan Fryslân
With its 55 metres of length, the Wapen fan Fryslân is the largest two-master schooner on the Dutch waterways. In 1965 the sailing ship was launched as a cargo ship, transporting all kinds of freight throughout the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. In 2003 the ship was completely transformed into a sailing passenger ship. On board of this marvellous ship you will immediately notice its warm and luxurious atmosphere. The Wapen fan Fryslân is owned and operated by Erik van Aken and is sailing the Frisian Sea Tour.
Description of the cabins:
On the lower deck, the Wapen fan Fryslân has twelve identical twin cabins (8,5 m² – 91 sq.ft.), each with two separate single beds which can be set together and a folding bed as a third bed which can be used if needed. In each cabin there is a bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. All cabins have ventilation, central heating and two portholes of which one can be opened. Furthermore, you will find a mini safe in each cabin.
Description of the ship:
On the lower deck the Wapen van Fryslân offers a large lounge/restaurant with TV, which is characterized by its luxurious appearance and flexible furnishing. From here you can reach the large wheelhouse with a cosy and stylish bar and seating area. The panoramic windows offer a perfect all around view of the water. Wi-Fi is available. The afterdeck has an outdoor cafe with draught beer tap and a Jacuzzi and on the middle deck there are various sitting areas and there is room to enjoy a lovely meal outdoors to watch the scenery while sailing.
Mare fan Fryslân
The sailing ship Mare fan Fryslân was built in 1960 as a freight ship. It was completely renovated in 2006 and since 2007 it has been used as a very comfortable, beautiful, almost extravagant, three-mast schooner on Dutch waters. The sail can be operated either by hand or electrically. The Mare fan Fryslân is owned by Joris and Rinske de Wit, who also own and operate the sailing vessel Leafde fan Fryslân. The Mare fan Fryslân sails the Frisian Sea Tour.
Description of the cabins:
On the lower deck there are fourteen comfortable cabins. Twelve twin cabins (9 m² – 97 sq.ft. ) with two single beds which can be set together, one junior suite (11 m² – 118 sq.ft.) with two single beds which can be set together and a small sitting area with flat screen TV and one single cabin (6 m² – 65 sq.ft.). In all the two-bed cabins a Pullman bed/fold-down bed can be arranged. Each cabin has an en-suite bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. All cabins have ventilation, central heating and portholes that can be opened. Furthermore, each cabin has a mini safe and a hairdryer.
Description of the ship:
On the lower deck, the Mare van Fryslân offers a cozy lounge/restaurant area with wooden paneling and air conditioning and a nice and warm atmosphere. From here you can reach the wheelhouse on the upper deck, fitted with a large seating area, a well-equipped bar, music & video equipment and TV. The large, panoramic windows offer a breathtaking view over the water. Wi-Fi is available. The wooden upper deck offers adequate seating, the steering unit, space for the bicycles, an outdoors bar with a draught beer tap and a grill, and even a Jacuzzi. When the weather is nice you can relax here or enjoy the scenery while sailing.
Total distance: approx. 187–202 km. The cycle routes are on sealed cycle paths, farm roads and along secondary roads with little traffic. There are no significant gradients.
Minimum number of participants:
18 individuals up to 4 weeks before departure
We would ask guests with food intolerances or allergies to inform us when booking. The chef will be happy to comply with your wishes. On some ships this may incur an extra charge, depending on your dietary requirements. There is no extra charge for vegetarian meals.
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.
* In the Netherlands bikers are not obligated by law to wear a bike helmet. Bike helmets are not available on board.
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
Unisex bikes with seven gears with Shimano transmission, with luggage rack and bag, hub dynamo, hand brakes (drum brakes) and freewheeling.
Rental E-Bikes have 3 support levels, 7 gears, range 60–65 km (36–39 miles).
Other bikes (children's bikes, tandems etc.) can only be rented on request and in exceptional cases.
You can also bring your own bicycles or e-bikes, but there is only a limited number of spaces for your own bikes available on board. For a small fee, you can book a parking space for a normal bike or a parking and charging station for an e-bike.
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.
For safety reasons, it is not possible to charge the batteries of your own electric bikes in the cabin. The crew will inform you on board where you can safely charge your batteries. The ship's crew and tour operator are not liable for any damage, loss or theft of their own bicycles or e-bikes.
Arrival by airplane or train: Airport: Amsterdam Schiphol. From here to Amsterdam’s main station (Amsterdam Centraal) a train leaves every 10 minutes (approx. 4.90 €).
Arrival by car: Parking in Amsterdam-Oosterdok underground car park near the station for approx. € 20 for 24 hours, but only for cars up to 2.1 metres high. You cannot reserve parking spaces.
Centralparking, secure parking can be reserved in advance for approx. 150.– € per week including pick-up service. A valet will bring your car from the vessel to the underground car park and back to the vessel on the day of your departure.