5/5 (2)
7 nights | 31 miles/day
Guided from EUR € 1165
Rider Level: Recreational Electric bike tours Bike and boat tours
5/5 (2)

7 nights | 31 miles/day
Guided from EUR € 1165

Rider Level: Recreational Electric bike tours Bike and boat tours

Tap above to jump to different sections of this tour

  • Amsterdam and the Sea

    7 night guided bike and boat tour in Holland on Liza Marleen or Zwaan

    Not until the 17th Century large parts of the area north of Amsterdam were recovered from the sea and reclaimed through the use of hundreds of windmills. It’s here that you will find the typical Dutch landscape of polders, mills, harbors and tulips.

    The route on this bicycle tour in the Netherlands brings you over small dykes and country roads. Many of the windmills are still in working order. You can get a feel for the old Dutch atmosphere in Enkhuizen, Hoorn, Edam, and Volendam: traditional costumes, sailing ships and long johns on the clotheslines. On day 4 you’ll sail to Texel, an island with thousands of sheep and a magnificent nature reserve.

    Back on the mainland, the route brings you to Holland’s most beautiful dune area. These are also the only kilometers you will be cycling above sea level! Alkmaar will also provide a good picture of ancient times. It is the capital of Dutch cheese with its own cheese market and weigh-house for cheese. In Zaanse Schans, a lovely little hamlet on the banks of the river Zaan, the mills, houses, shops and traditional Dutch crafts bring the past to life.

    Highlights

    • Beautiful Dutch landscapes of polders, mills, harbors, and tulips
    • Enkhuizen, a traditional Dutch town
    • Texel, an island with a beautiful nature reserve
    • Zuiderzeemuseum
    • Holland's most beautiful dune area
    • Alkmaar, the capital of Dutch cheese
    • Traditional fishing villages
    • Zaanse Schans

    Learn More

    Learn more about guided tours.

  • Daily program

    Day 1: Arrival and embarkation in Amsterdam (9 miles/15 km)
    The barge is moored at the Oosterdok in central Amsterdam, near the train station. You are expected to arrive at the barge on Saturday between 3 PM and 4 PM. When you arrive on board, you can settle in and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the tour leader, skipper and crew and of course your fellow passengers. Once everyone is ready the tour guide will take you on your first short bike ride around the northern and more quiet part of Amsterdam. During dinner aboard the ship, the program for the next day and the global planning of the week are discussed. Instructions on cycling and safely procedures will also be given.

    Day 2: Amsterdam – Volendam | Cruise to Hoorn (28 miles/46 km)
    You now leave Amsterdam, which is still very quiet at this hour. A ferry takes you to the Amsterdam Noord quarter and soon you will be cycling through the rural area of Waterland. In this soggy peat land, the houses and villages are hardly above the level of the water.

    The former isle of Marken is visited. It was not until 1957 that this island was connected to the mainland by a dike and it has retained its own particular character. The inhabitants are the only ones allowed to use their cars, so Marken can only be visited on foot or on bike. The route continues to the historic village of Monnickendam, which received its municipal charter in 1355. Now you continue your way along the Gouwzee dike to Volendam. Originally Volendam was a small fishing community. Practically all its inhabitants used to wear their distinctive and picturesque traditional costumes. Volendam started as a settlement when Edam dug its new, shorter waterway to the Zuiderzee in the 14th century. The old harbor became superfluous, a new dike was built and soon farmers and fishermen settled down. In the second half of the 15th century, a new village came into being: Volendam. From Volendam, you sail in a northerly direction towards the city of Hoorn. During the evening walk you will have the opportunity to get a good impression of this beautiful city with its rich past.
    Overnight near Hoorn.

    Day 3: Hoorn – Enkhuizen, visit Zuiderzeemuseum (28 miles/45 km)
    You continue on the dike with a wonderful view over the Markermeer on your right and West-Frisian villages on your lefthand side. The recently (1976) built dike from Enkhuizen to Lelystad (in the Flevoland polder) appears on the horizon. This was meant to be a polder dike for a huge new polder: the Markerwaard. However, the plans were never executed: with time perception changed. The environment and fresh water supply became more important. So today the dike is there, but no polder… The trip for today ends in Enkhuizen, a town which came into existence when two adjoining villages amalgamated. You can end your day with a visit to the Zuiderzeemuseum. 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. Enkhuizen itself is a very nice old harbor town.
    Overnight in Enkhuizen

    Day 4: Enkhuizen – Medemblik | Cruise to Texel (22 miles/35 km)
    The cycling tour starts on the IJsselmeer dike and is then left behind to go through a nature reserve and some typical West -Frisian villages like Oostwoud, Twisk and Opperdoes. Then Medemblik comes in sight, the oldest city of West-Friesland (1289), with an illustrious past and with Radboud castle, dating from the 13th century. At Medemblik you get on board and sail the IJsselmeer and Wadden Sea to the isle of Texel.
    Overnight in Texel

    Day 5: Texel loop tour (22, 30, or 39 miles/35, 48, or 62 km)
    The isle of Texel, which is one municipality, is the largest of the Dutch Waddeneilanden (Wadden islands). The average length of Texel is 20 km and the average width 8 km. Texel is highly appreciated by bird-watchers. In springtime about 80 different types of birds breed here, mainly in the dune areas, but all in all about 300 different species have been perceived on Texel. A tour around this island with its numerous cycle tracks is well worth the effort. The guide will cycle the 35 km.
    Overnight in Texel

    Day 6: Cruise Texel – Den Helder | Cycle Den Helder – Alkmaar (37 miles/60 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.

    Today’s route takes you through the dunes. You pass by the unique nature reserve Het Zwanenwater (The Swans’ Water), with its lakes and boggy hollows in the dunes. A little further you cycle on the Hondsbossche Zeewering (Hondsbossche Sea Dike), with a spectacular view of the North Sea. You enter the area of the Schoorlse Duinen (Schoorl Dunes), where you will find the highest dunes in the country. During the last century many pine trees were planted here so now it is a rather woody region. Bergen is an artists’ village which attracts many painters, writers and architects. Your destination for today is Alkmaar, also called the City of Cheese. Its weigh-house was the first in the country (for weighing and trading of cheese).
    Overnight in Alkmaar

    Day 7: Alkmaar – Zaanse Schans – Amsterdam (37 miles/60 km)
    Around the Schermer polder a lot of the original windmills used for pumping out the water are preserved. You will visit the windmills and museum at Schermerhorn and walk around the iconic village de Rijp. The Beemster Polder, dating from the early 17th century, is an exceptional example of reclaimed land in the Netherlands. It has preserved intact its wellordered landscape of fields, roads, canals, dykes and settlements, laid out in accordance with classical and Renaissance planning principles.

    These unique features earned Beemster a UNESCO world heritage listing. . Near Zaandam, you will visit the world famous hamlet and open air museum of Zaanse Schans. A unique place where people live and work, with original houses and windmills from the river Zaan area. An extensive network of bicycle paths ensures a relatively easy way back into Amsterdam, showing you some remarkable sites in the centre. Then it is time to say goodbye to your bike. Before the fare-well dinner you may want to go for a walk in town. At night there you may want to take a canal trip or go on a city walk through the centre of the city.
    Overnight in Amsteredam

    Day 8: Amsterdam
    End of tour after breakfast (disembarkation by 10:00am).

    This program is subject to change without notice.

    Surface and terrain

    The terrain for the tour is mostly flat with occasional moderate hills, and the tour follows a leisurely pace.


    Boats

    These barges are former working river vessels, converted specifically for this kind of passenger vacation. The barges comply with the strict safety regulations set forth by the Dutch Shipping Inspection Authorities. On board, you'll find a cozy dining room, a sun deck/a deck for the bicycles. As there is limited storage space in each cabin, we recommend only 1 suitcase per person which you can slide the suitcase under the bed.

    Do not expect a luxury cruise ship. The experience of the tour is built around guests being active cycling, and the layout of the barge supports a social environment in common spaces.


    How to get there

    Tour start and end
    Nearest airport: Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)
    Nearest train stations: Centraal Station

    There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station. It takes about 16 minutes. The price for a train ticket Schiphol Amsterdam is €5 per person for a single journey.

    A taxi from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport to the barge in Amsterdam takes about 30 minutes. It costs about €50. A taxi from the Central Train Station in Amsterdam to the barge takes about 5 minutes: Costs about €10.

    Tips on getting to and from your tour

  • Dates

    Liza Marleen: May 13, 20, 27; Jun 03, 10; Aug 05; Sep 02, 09, 16, 2023
    Zwaan: Jun 17, 24, Jul 01, 08, 22, 29; Aug 13, 2023

    Low season: Jul 01, 2023 - Aug 19, 2023

    Standard season: May 13, 2023 - Jun 30, 2023, Sep 02, 2023 - Sep 08, 2023

    High season: Sep 09, 2023 - Sep 23, 2023

    Prices

    Liza Marleen (Comfort class)

    Per person, double occupancy Low season Standard season High season
    Standard twin cabin €1165 €1300 €1425
    Superior twin cabin €1385 €1540 €1675
    Single use cabin (1 person/1 cabin) €1695 €1880 €2075

    Zwaan (Comfort Plus)

    Per person, double occupancy All seasons
    Twin/Double cabin €1495
    Luxury double cabin €1695
    Single use cabin (1 person/1 cabin) €1940


    Bike Rentals

    Hybrid touring bike €100
    Electrically assisted bike €195
    Children's bike € 60
    Child's seat € 15
    Tag-along € 55

    Additional Options

    Gluten free or vegan meals €50

    Discounts

    Child, ages 0-2 sharing a room with at least 1 full paying adult (on base package price) 100%
    Child, ages 3-11 sharing a room with at least 1 full paying adult (on base package price) 30%

    Included services

    • 7 nights accommodation on board (including bed linens and towels)
    • Breakfast and dinner on board
    • Lunch packages when on the road
    • Coffee and tea on board
    • Tour guide
    • Road book (1 per cabin)*
    • Ferry fares on the route
    • At least 3 city walks with tour guide
    • Free Wifi (limited availability in lounge and on deck)
    • GPS tracks (upon request)

    *The road book (1 per cabin) includes the detailed itinerary. Although the tour is guided, if you wish to cycle any of the days on your own, you may purchase a set of bike maps (must be ordered at time of booking). The bike maps are road maps which provide an overview of the entire area and not just the daily cycling route.

    Note: special wishes concerning meals as dietary or vegetarian food can be provided upon request. Extra fees may apply. Please inform us when booking your tour.


    Bike rentals

    Bikes available to be rented (booked in advance at the time of booking) include:

    • Hybrid touring bike, 24-speed
    • Electrically assisted bike, 24-speed, detachable lithium-Ion battery, unisex*
    • Children's bike, child seats (rear of bike), trailer bike (one-wheeled bicycle attached to adult hybrid bike), bike trailer

    *More about electrically-assisted bikes >

    All above bike rentals will be equipped with the following at no additional charge:

    • Helmet
    • Pannier bag
    • Lock
    • Water bottle
    • Repair kit (when cycling self-guided)

    Bike Protection:
    Bike protection can be purchased at the time of booking. You can read more about that HERE

    Pedals:
    The bikes will have flat pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.

    Helmets:
    Helmets are available with your bike rental. A helmet is required for children in the Netherlands; however, we recommend, for safety and hygiene reasons, that you bring your own helmet.

    Bike Insurance:
    You can purchase bike insurance with your booking, if you would like. It costs €20 for a hybrid touring bike, and €40 for an electrically assisted bike.

    More information about the electrically assisted bike
    Your electrically assisted bike has 24 gears, a detachable lithium-Ion battery, hand brakes, pannier bags, a good lock, water bottle and you can get a repair kit. We draw your attention to the fact that you will be held responsible for damage to or theft of the bike, as long as the bike is not on board. (the E-bike has a value of more than €2000). Never leave it unattended. Always lock it and fasten it to a fixed object, and don’t forget to remove the information panel from your steering wheel. If you didn't arrange cycle insurance when booking you can do this on board (the first day). Payment in cash is required.


    Tour Company

  • Route Map

    Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.

    • Dewey July 5, 2019

      One of the most memorable vacations ever

      This was a marvelous tour of Holland for an entire family: Grandparents through grandchildren - youngest age 12. Every one was ecstatic about the tour. Our guide outstanding, countryside beautiful, accommodations first rate and, best of all, the food was a treasure.

      What was the date of your tour?
      15 June - 22 June
      How many tours have you completed?
      three
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Much easier
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Families with young kids, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 1/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • dsr1691 August 8, 2017

      Great crew in North Holland on board Zwaan.

      We had a great family vacation on board the Zwaan. The crew and our guide were marvellous and totally spoiled us. Dinner was a meal to look forward to with creative 3/4 course meals with a different country theme each night.
      Wind was a bit of a problem and some cycling days were shortened due to strong head winds. Instead the captain cheerfully moved us ahead to less exposed trails. It was recommended that we use the services of a guide which turned out to be very good advice.

      What was the date of your tour?
      July 29, 2017
      How many tours have you completed?
      2
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)