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An unforgettable biking and boating adventure through picturesque polder landscapes
Unleash your inner adventurer and embark on a bike and boat tour through the incredible 'polder' landscapes, where the Dutch used their remarkable ingenuity to reclaim land from the sea. Pedal past windmills, soak up the epic dune landscapes, enjoy endless sandy beaches, and explore the quaint harbor towns on the stunning edge of Lake Ijsselmeer!
You'll visit Texel, a scenic and bike-friendly island, and pass through small, dreamlike farm villages and harbor cities, such as Enkhuizen and Hoorn. The routes are flat, featuring a magical mix of nature, water, and farmland - the towering sand dunes are the only 'hills' you will encounter along the North Sea coastline!
- North Holland Dune Reserve
- Texel Island
- The enchanting city of Enkhuizen
- Zaanse Schans, open-air museum
- Seeing Holland as the locals do, from the saddle of a bike!
Interested in adding to your itinerary? Take a look at our cycling day tours in Amsterdam.
Day 1: Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans (4 miles/8 km)
Welcome aboard! Your exciting journey begins with check-in and embarkation at 2:00 pm, when the friendly crew will greet you near the heart of Amsterdam. At around 3:00 pm, the vessel will depart for Zaandam. To kickstart your adventure, the cycling guide will take you on a short bike ride to the Zaanse Schans. Immerse yourself in the open-air museum's fascinating collection of traditional windmills and wooden houses, and even discover the secrets of cheese and clog production. It's a delightful way to step back in time and experience the rich heritage of the region.
Day 2: Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar (18 or 24 miles/29 or 40 km)
The cycling today leads through the 'Land of Leeghwater', a lush polder region nestled between the vibrant cities of Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Hoorn, starting directly from Zaanse Schans. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to explore the former whaling village of De Rijp and catch glimpses of the iconic windmills of Schermerhorn. The route leads back to the ship, conveniently located near the historical city center of Alkmaar.
Day 3: Alkmaar – St. Maartensvlotbrug – Den Helder (18 or 32 miles/30 or 53 km) | Den Helder – Texel (by boat)
Departing from Alkmaar, the first stop is the eclectic artist village of Bergen, a haven of creativity and inspiration. Venturing on, you'll enjoy the stunning North Sea and its breathtaking crown jewel - the North Holland Dune Reserve. Spanning an impressive 5,300 hectares (20 square miles), this magnificent forest and dune area will leave you in awe of its natural beauty.
The group rejoins the ship in the bustling naval port of Den Helder. If the weather permits, you'll navigate across the magnificent Wadden Sea towards the island of Texel, the largest Dutch island.
Day 4: Texel, round trip (26 or 29 miles (43 or 48 km) | Texel – Medemblik
If the ship was not able to cross to Texel yesterday, today you will cross by ferry. Texel boasts an extensive network of well-maintained cycling paths. Pedal through rolling dunes, lush meadows, and along scenic coastal routes, taking in the invigorating sea air and stunning vistas at every turn. A unique experience, and highly recommended, is a visit to the renowned seal sanctuary and nature museum of Ecomare. Here, you can witness the incredible work done to protect and rehabilitate seals, whilst also learning about the island's rich natural heritage.
As the afternoon draws to a close, the ship will bid farewell to Texel, sailing back across the Wadden Sea towards the mainland.
Day 5: Medemblik – Enkhuizen (24 or 31 miles/39 or 51 km)
Today is all about coastal exploration and historical charm. After a restful night in Medemblik, you'll bike along the coast of the IJsselmeer. It's hard to believe that this vast lake was once part of the mighty North Sea until the impressive Afsluitdijk dike sealed it off from the sea.
The cycling route leads to Enkhuizen, a captivating old town that has a rich maritime heritage as a former fishing and shipping port. Its historic harbor and well-preserved old center are a highlight, as well as the renowned Zuiderzeemuseum, a treasure trove of maritime history and cultural artifacts that offers a glimpse into the life and traditions of fishing ports. Dinner is on your own this evening and the guide will be happy to assist with suggestions.
Day 6: Enkhuizen – Hoorn (14 or 21 miles/23 or 35 km)
You'll make your way to the enchanting town of Hoorn, once a bustling Dutch East India Company stronghold and one of the world's most prominent harbors during the illustrious 17th century. Its old city center exudes a sense of history and charm. Stroll through its winding streets and let the stories of the past come alive as you visit the historic landmarks and architectural treasures. Hoorn played a vital role in shaping global trade and exploration. Admire the well-preserved buildings that harken back to the town's golden age and imagine the bustling harbor filled with ships from all corners of the world.
Day 7: Hoorn – Volendam | Volendam – Amsterdam (14 or 27 miles/23 or 45 km)
Your final route will guide you through the picturesque region of Waterland, with its countless small lakes and meandering canals.
In the early afternoon, you'll head back to Amsterdam, where your journey began. Upon arrival in Amsterdam, the remainder of the afternoon and evening is yours. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in Amsterdam's rich cultural heritage by visiting renowned sights, indulge in some last-minute shopping to find the perfect mementos, or simply wander the streets and canals, Amsterdam offers an abundance of possibilities to suit every preference.
Day 8: Departure
Today marks the conclusion of your tour. After your final breakfast on board, disembarkation is by 9:30 am.
Surface and terrain
This tour features lovely, flat terrain and Holland's incredible cycling infrastructure.
Many of 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. 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/Tour end
Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (AMS).
At the airport, you can conveniently catch a direct train to Amsterdam Central Station, with departures occurring six times every hour. The train ride typically lasts around 16 minutes. Rest assured, we will provide you with precise details regarding the docking location of your barge along with your final travel information. Some boats are within walking distance, while others may require a short taxi ride. At the end of your tour, the process is simply reversed.
Flora: Saturdays, May 13; July 15; August 5, 2024
Gandalf: Saturdays, June 17, 24; Aug 12, 19, 26; Sep 16, 2024
Sarah: Saturdays, June 3; July 8; Sep 9, 2024
Flora, Gandalf, Sarah
Per person, double occupancy April May - Sep Twin cabin/lower deck €1199 €1249 Twin for single use €1798.50 €1873.50 Twin for triple use €1139 €1149
Standard touring bike €90 Electrically assisted bike €225
- 7 nights accommodations on board the selected vessel
- 7 x breakfast
- Packed lunches
- 6 x 3-course dinner
- Coffee and tea on board
- Welcome drink
- Use of bed linen and towels
- Daily cleaning of the cabin
- Daily briefings
- Fully guided cycling tours
- Fees for ferries
- Cycling maps (1 per cabin)
- GPS tracks
- Use of a waterproof pannier bag
- Biodegradable water bottle
- Carbon offset payment to the non-profit organization Justdiggit
- Bicycles: Trek X300 brand with Shimano 24-speed gears, handbrakes, gel-saddle (height adjustable), a lock on the frame, and a pannier bag. All bikes have 28-inch wheels. Some traditional men's models are available for large gentlemen (1.90m and above).
- E-Bike: Trek TM2+ brand with 9 gears, 3 support levels, and hand brakes only (or a comparable brand/model).
- Bicycles: Velo de Ville C100 brand, unisex city bikes with lightweight frames, normal mount (ladies model), Shimano 7 gears, hand brakes, gel-saddle (height adjustable), a lock on the frame, and a pannier bag. All bikes have 28-inch wheels. Smaller frames are available for smaller individuals. Traditional men's models are available for large gentlemen (1.90m and above).
- E-Bike: Velo de Ville CEB 200 brand with Nexus 7 gears, 4 support levels, and hand brakes only (or a comparable brand/model). E-bikes are available on request, with limited stock and subject to availability.
- Bicycles: Velo de Ville brand touring/trekking bikes with 7 speeds, handbrakes, a lock, and a pannier bag.
- E-Bikes: Velo de Ville CEB 200 brand with Nexus 7 gears, 4 support levels, and hand brakes only (or a comparable brand/model). E-bikes are available on request, with a limited number of bikes. Early bookings are strongly recommended
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