Bike and Barge Tour Holland
North-Holland Tour | De Holland
During this fascinating Northern Holland 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!
Historical towns and villages, rural countryside and beaches above Amsterdam – the “North-Holland tour”
Nowhere else in the world will you find an area as fascinating to explore as the Dutch Provinces of North Holland and Friesland, two areas rich in tradition, full of romantic fishing and harbor villages, picturesque lakes and expansive North Sea vistas. Over the course of your week on board your floating hotel, the ship De Holland, you will be able to discover typical Dutch culture in picturesque harbor towns and small villages while you cycle through a flat “polder land”, extensively reclaimed over the centuries from the North Sea. 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. Given the Dutch love of cycling, the region is crisscrossed with many quiet cycle tracks that stretch from one end of the region to the other. You will be amazed by the beauty of the North Sea beaches, the towering sand dunes – who said there were no hills in Holland! – the extremely bike friendly island of Texel, the beautiful flat landscapes, small dreamlike farm villages and picturesque harbor villages. During the second part of the tour you will cross the large lake IJsselmeer to Stavoren in the Province of Friesland. Other highlights during your week tour include the open air museum “Zaanse Schans”, the historic city center of Alkmaar and the old harbor cities of Medemblik, Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Volendam, the islands of Texel and Marken and – of course – Amsterdam with its beautiful canals.
All of the above and much, much more is in store for you when you set sail on board the ship De Holland for a week of discovery.
On two departure dates in 2018 (April 28 and September 1, 2018), the De Holland will be sailing on the Southern Tour of Holland. This gives you the opportunity to book the “Grand Tour of Holland” and travel 2 weeks on the same ship and in the same cabin. Depending on your travel dates in 2018 you have the choice of a week of North Holland followed by a week South Holland (2x) or first South Holland and then North Holland (2x).
TOUR DATES 2019 – “NORTH-HOLLAND TOUR” – DE HOLLAND:
Super saver season: departure date on April 6, 13 and April 20;
Mid-season: departure date on April 27, May 4, 11, 18 and 25; September 7 and 14;
Main season: all other departure dates, weekly from June 1 up to and incl. August 24;
Late season: departure date on September 21 and 28; October 5.
Tour Details the Netherlands: North-Holland Route | De Holland
Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Amsterdam
Embarkation and check-in from 2 pm in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping, to explore downtown Amsterdam, to make a canal cruise or to visit a museum Welcome drink, dinner and first briefing on board. First night on board in Amsterdam.
Day 2 (Sun): Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar (approx. 44 km/27 mi.*)
The first bike 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 De Holland will be waiting for you near the historical city center of Alkmaar.
Day 3 (Mon): Dune tour: Alkmaar – Alkmaar (approx. 33-40 km/20-25 mi.) | 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 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 De Holland will sail over the North-Holland Canal to the navy harbor of Den Helder.
Day 4 (Tue): Den Helder – Oudeschild | North Sea island of Texel: round trip from/to Oudeschild (your choice 15-65 km/9-41 mi.*) | Texel – Den Oever
During breakfast De Holland will sail to the isle of Texel, where you can make a tour on the largest of the Dutch Northsea Isles. You will cycle through beautiful natural parks and have the opportunity for a stop and some bathing at the beach. Suggestion: cycle the beautiful “Thijsse-route” (with signposting, approx. 25 miles) through picturesque villages and landscapes and visit the seal sanctuary “Ecomare” At the end of your cycling tour you can enjoy a locally brewed beer during a visit to the small brewery near Oudeschild. During dinner De Holland will return to the mainland and sail to Den Oever. The highlight of the evening will be a night of live music on board.
Day 5 (Wed): Den Oever – Stavoren | Stavoren South-west Friesland round trip (approx. 43-55 km/27-34 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.
Day 6 (Thu): Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen (approx. 30-50 km/19-31 mi.*)
De Holland will cross the IJsselmeer again during breakfast. Take the short bike 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, 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. Enjoy your lunch break and make a short stroll in the old city center. Continue by bike to Enkhuizen via some picturesque rural villages. In the evening you can join a short city walk.
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. 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.
Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Amsterdam
After breakfast: disembarkation and end of the tour.
Details: printed parts in italics will be covered by ship.
*: Both possibilities are offered – you can choose. All distances are approximate distances of recommended bike tours.
**: In case of unfavorable weather conditions, the captain may decide to sail to Texel on Monday evening or not at all: in the latter case you can reach Texel by ferry (price approx. 5€ not incl.).
Program and details barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
If you don’t feel like cycling for a day (or more) you are welcome to relax and stay on board while the ship is sailing. But please note: lunch will not be served on board. So you can enjoy your packed lunch. On the arrival (first) day it is possible to put your luggage on board from 9:30 am.
- Tour and accommodation on board 8 days/7 nights (Saturday-Saturday) from/to Amsterdam, cabin in the booked category;
- Full board (7x breakfast, 6x picnic lunch during bike tours, 7x three course dinner);
- Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible); daily light cleaning of the cabin;
- Welcoming drink and -speech on the first evening;
- Experienced and local Tour leader (multilingual incl. English) with daily briefings of the bike tours, some short city tours, during the day the tour leader is cycling the daily bike tour and can be reached on his/her cell phone;
- Printed instructions and detailed maps for the daily bike tours, 1 set per cabin;
- 2 Short city walks with the tour leader;
- Discounts on entrance fees and excursions as mentioned in the program, value up to €25 p.p.;
- 1x night live music on board;
- Use of Wi-Fi in the lounge of the ship;
- Daily complimentary coffee and tea till 4 PM.
- Transfers to/from the docking place Sumatrakade in Amsterdam;
- Rental bicycle or e-bike(optional);
- Rental bike helmet: € 10 per piece/week (optional)
- Other transfers;
- Parking fees;
- Entrance fees & excursions;
- Fees for ferries during cycling tours;
- Drinks on board;
- Personal insurances;
- Gratuities (at your discretion/optional);
- Dietary requirements on request/surcharges may be calculated (pre-booking is necessary).
Rental bicycle with 7 gears, hand brakes, pannier bag : €70 per week
Rental E-Bike (brand: Flyer or similar) with 3 support levels, 7-8 gears, range 60-65 km (36-39 miles), pannier bag: €165 per week (only on request, limited number available)
Rental bike helmet: € 10 per piece/week (optional)
Ticket canal tour Amsterdam, approx. 60 minutes – for our guests with discount: € 12,50 (at the ticket desk approx.: €16)
Parking Amsterdam (valet parking): rates and reservation on request
Visits (optional): open-air museum Zaanse Schans, visitor center windmill Schermerhorn, beer brewery Oudeschild (Texel), seal sanctuary Ecomare (Texel); steam engine museum (Medemblik), open-air Zuiderzeemuseum (Enkhuizen), cheese farm, and more (entrance fees not included, but for our guests with discount);