Harbor in Hoorn, North Holland, the Netherlands. Photo via Flickr:b k

Lighthouse on Texel - one of the Frisian Islands on the Wadden Sea. Photo via Flickr:Jurgen Knops
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North Holland Tour

Netherlands Bike + Barge Tours

Holland below sea level, a Dutch bike and boat tour through Northern Holland

  • During this bike and boat tour in Northern Holland, beginning and ending in Amsterdam, you will discover the best of what the beautiful provinces of North Holland and Friesland offer. Explore flat “polder” landscapes, 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. This is a tour not to be missed!


    • Typical fishing villages of Volendam and Enkhuizen
    • Isle of Texel with its thousands of sheep and magnificent nature reserve
    • Alkmaar, the capital of cheese
    • Land of Leeghwater, Purmer, and the Beemster

    Be sure to check out all of our bike and boat tours in Holland.


    De Holland MiddleMain LateOctober 5
    Twin cabin/lower £ 766 $ 1,544 894 $ 1359 NOK 8493 kr 7840 $ 1,019 £ 801 $ 1,613 934 $ 1420 NOK 8873 kr 8190 $ 1,065 £ 749 $ 1,510 874 $ 1328 NOK 8303 kr 7664 $ 996 £ 578 $ 1,164 674 $ 1024 NOK 6403 kr 5910 $ 768
    Superior twin/lower £ 818 $ 1,648 954 $ 1450 NOK 9063 kr 8366 $ 1,088 £ 852 $ 1,717 994 $ 1511 NOK 9443 kr 8717 $ 1,133 £ 801 $ 1,613 934 $ 1420 NOK 8873 kr 8190 $ 1,065 £ 629 $ 1,268 734 $ 1116 NOK 6973 kr 6437 $ 837
    Triple cabin/lower £ 749 $ 1,510 874 $ 1328 NOK 8303 kr 7664 $ 996 £ 783 $ 1,579 914 $ 1389 NOK 8683 kr 8015 $ 1,042 £ 732 $ 1,475 854 $ 1298 NOK 8113 kr 7489 $ 974 Please ask
    Twin cabin/lower/single use £ 1075 $ 2,166 1254 $ 1906 NOK 11913 kr 10997 $ 1,430 £ 1109 $ 2,235 1294 $ 1967 NOK 12293 kr 11347 $ 1,475 £ 1058 $ 2,131 1234 $ 1876 NOK 11723 kr 10821 $ 1,407 Please ask
    Superior twin/upper £ 938 $ 1,890 1094 $ 1663 NOK 10393 kr 9594 $ 1,247 £ 972 $ 1,959 1134 $ 1724 NOK 10773 kr 9944 $ 1,293 £ 921 $ 1,855 1074 $ 1632 NOK 10203 kr 9418 $ 1,224 £ 749 $ 1,510 874 $ 1328 NOK 8303 kr 7664 $ 996
    Superior twin /upper/single use £ 1195 $ 2,408 1394 $ 2119 NOK 13243 kr 12224 $ 1,589 £ 1229 $ 2,477 1434 $ 2180 NOK 13623 kr 12575 $ 1,635 £ 1178 $ 2,373 1374 $ 2088 NOK 13053 kr 12049 $ 1,566 Please ask
    Suite/upper deck £ 1023 $ 2,062 1194 $ 1815 NOK 11343 kr 10470 $ 1,361 £ 1058 $ 2,131 1234 $ 1876 NOK 11723 kr 10821 $ 1,407 £ 1006 $ 2,028 1174 $ 1784 NOK 11153 kr 10295 $ 1,338 £ 835 $ 1,682 974 $ 1480 NOK 9253 kr 8541 $ 1,110
    Suite/upper deck/triple £ 998 $ 2,011 1164 $ 1769 NOK 11058 kr 10207 $ 1,327 £ 1032 $ 2,080 1204 $ 1830 NOK 11438 kr 10558 $ 1,373 £ 981 $ 1,976 1144 $ 1739 NOK 10868 kr 10032 $ 1,304 Please ask

    Middle season: August 31, September 7, and September 14, 2019
    Main season: All other departures, weekly from June 1 up to and incl. August 24, 2019
    Late season: September 21, September 28, and October 5*, 2019

    *Now being offered at discounted price valid based on bookings of 2. Valid for bookings from June 4.

    Twin cabins for single use and triple cabins are very limited.

    Sailing HomeLowStandard
    Twin cabin £ 951 $ 1,916 1109 $ 1686 NOK 10536 kr 9725 $ 1,264 £ 1046 $ 2,107 1220 $ 1854 NOK 11590 kr 10698 $ 1,391
    Twin/single use £ 1346 $ 2,712 1570 $ 2386 NOK 14915 kr 13768 $ 1,790 £ 1483 $ 2,988 1730 $ 2630 NOK 16435 kr 15171 $ 1,972
    Liza MarleenLow Standard
    Twin cabin £ 934 $ 1,883 1090 $ 1657 NOK 10355 kr 9558 $ 1,243 £ 1029 $ 2,073 1200 $ 1824 NOK 11400 kr 10523 $ 1,368
    Twin/single use £ 1316 $ 2,651 1535 $ 2333 NOK 14583 kr 13461 $ 1,750 £ 1449 $ 2,919 1690 $ 2569 NOK 16055 kr 14820 $ 1,927
    Superior cabin (15 m²) for twin use £ 1020 $ 2,055 1190 $ 1809 NOK 11305 kr 10435 $ 1,357 £ 1114 $ 2,245 1300 $ 1976 NOK 12350 kr 11400 $ 1,482
    Superior cabin (15 m²) for triple use £ 861 $ 1,736 1005 $ 1528 NOK 9548 kr 8813 $ 1,146 £ 947 $ 1,909 1105 $ 1680 NOK 10498 kr 9690 $ 1,260
    Twin cabin £ 1046 $ 2,107 1220 $ 1854 NOK 11590 kr 10698 $ 1,391
    Double cabin £ 1046 $ 2,107 1220 $ 1854 NOK 11590 kr 10698 $ 1,391
    Cabin in front of barge for single use £ 1483 $ 2,988 1730 $ 2630 NOK 16435 kr 15171 $ 1,972


    Twin  £ 887 $ 1,788 1035 $ 1573 NOK 9833 kr 9076 $ 1,180 £ 977 $ 1,969 1140 $ 1733 NOK 10830 kr 9997 $ 1,300
    Twin for single use £ 1033 $ 2,081 1205 $ 1832 NOK 11448 kr 10567 $ 1,374 £ 1136 $ 2,289 1325 $ 2014 NOK 12588 kr 11619 $ 1,511
    Triple £ 840 $ 1,693 980 $ 1490 NOK 9310 kr 8594 $ 1,117 £ 930 $ 1,874 1085 $ 1649 NOK 10308 kr 9515 $ 1,237


    Liza MarleenLow Standard
    Twin cabin £ 953 $ 1,920 1112 $ 1689 NOK 10559 kr 9747 $ 1,267 £ 1061 $ 2,138 1238 $ 1881 NOK 11756 kr 10852 $ 1,411
    Twin/single use £ 1348 $ 2,716 1573 $ 2390 NOK 14939 kr 13790 $ 1,793 £ 1489 $ 3,001 1738 $ 2641 NOK 16506 kr 15237 $ 1,981
    Superior cabin (15 m²) for twin use £ 1085 $ 2,186 1266 $ 1924 NOK 12022 kr 11097 $ 1,443 £ 1151 $ 2,319 1343 $ 2041 NOK 12754 kr 11773 $ 1,530
    Superior cabin (15 m²) for triple use £ 867 $ 1,747 1012 $ 1537 NOK 9609 kr 8870 $ 1,153 £ 962 $ 1,939 1123 $ 1706 NOK 10664 kr 9843 $ 1,280

    Low season: July 25 and August 8, 2020
    Standard season: May 16 and August 29, 2020

    ZwaanStandard season
    Luxury double cabin £ 1331 $ 2,682 1553 $ 2360 NOK 14749 kr 13614 $ 1,770
    Twin cabin £ 1194 $ 2,405 1393 $ 2117 NOK 13229 kr 12211 $ 1,587
    Triple cabin £ 1159 $ 2,336 1353 $ 2056 NOK 12849 kr 11860 $ 1,542
    Small double/front of boat £ 1038 $ 2,093 1212 $ 1841 NOK 11509 kr 10624 $ 1,381
    Small cabin/single use/front of boat £ 1506 $ 3,036 1758 $ 2671 NOK 16696 kr 15412 $ 2,004

    Low season: June 27 and July 11, 2020 
    Standard season: June 13, 2020

    De HollandSeason ASeason BSeason CSeason DSeason ESeason FEarly season
    Twin cabin/lower deck £ 685 $ 1,380 799 $ 1214 NOK 7591 kr 7007 $ 911 £ 728 $ 1,466 849 $ 1290 NOK 8066 kr 7445 $ 968 £ 771 $ 1,553 899 $ 1366 NOK 8541 kr 7884 $ 1,025 £ 813 $ 1,639 949 $ 1442 NOK 9016 kr 8322 $ 1,082 £ 848 $ 1,708 989 $ 1503 NOK 9396 kr 8673 $ 1,127 £ 882 $ 1,777 1029 $ 1564 NOK 9776 kr 9024 $ 1,173 £ 599 $ 1,207 699 $ 1062 NOK 6641 kr 6130 $ 797
    Triple cabin/lower deck £ 668 $ 1,346 779 $ 1184 NOK 7401 kr 6831 $ 888 £ 711 $ 1,432 829 $ 1260 NOK 7876 kr 7270 $ 945 £ 753 $ 1,518 879 $ 1336 NOK 8351 kr 7708 $ 1,002 £ 796 $ 1,605 929 $ 1412 NOK 8826 kr 8147 $ 1,059 £ 831 $ 1,674 969 $ 1473 NOK 9206 kr 8497 $ 1,105 £ 865 $ 1,743 1009 $ 1534 NOK 9586 kr 8848 $ 1,150 £ 582 $ 1,173 679 $ 1032 NOK 6451 kr 5954 $ 774
    Twin cabin/lower deck/single use £ 985 $ 1,985 1149 $ 1746 NOK 10916 kr 10076 $ 1,310 £ 1028 $ 2,071 1199 $ 1822 NOK 11391 kr 10514 $ 1,367 £ 1071 $ 2,157 1249 $ 1898 NOK 11866 kr 10953 $ 1,424 £ 1113 $ 2,244 1299 $ 1974 NOK 12341 kr 11391 $ 1,481 £ 1148 $ 2,313 1339 $ 2035 NOK 12721 kr 11742 $ 1,526 £ 1182 $ 2,382 1379 $ 2096 NOK 13101 kr 12093 $ 1,572 £ 899 $ 1,812 1049 $ 1594 NOK 9966 kr 9199 $ 1,196
    Twin cabin/upper deck £ 856 $ 1,726 999 $ 1518 NOK 9491 kr 8760 $ 1,139 £ 899 $ 1,812 1049 $ 1594 NOK 9966 kr 9199 $ 1,196 £ 942 $ 1,898 1099 $ 1670 NOK 10441 kr 9637 $ 1,253 £ 985 $ 1,985 1149 $ 1746 NOK 10916 kr 10076 $ 1,310 £ 1019 $ 2,054 1189 $ 1807 NOK 11296 kr 10427 $ 1,355 £ 1053 $ 2,123 1229 $ 1868 NOK 11676 kr 10777 $ 1,401 £ 771 $ 1,553 899 $ 1366 NOK 8541 kr 7884 $ 1,025
    Twin cabin/upper deck/single use £ 1156 $ 2,330 1349 $ 2050 NOK 12816 kr 11830 $ 1,538 £ 1199 $ 2,416 1399 $ 2126 NOK 13291 kr 12268 $ 1,595 £ 1242 $ 2,503 1449 $ 2202 NOK 13766 kr 12707 $ 1,652 £ 1285 $ 2,589 1499 $ 2278 NOK 14241 kr 13145 $ 1,709 £ 1319 $ 2,658 1539 $ 2339 NOK 14621 kr 13496 $ 1,754 £ 1353 $ 2,727 1579 $ 2400 NOK 15001 kr 13847 $ 1,800 £ 1071 $ 2,157 1249 $ 1898 NOK 11866 kr 10953 $ 1,424
    Suite/upper deck £ 985 $ 1,985 1149 $ 1746 NOK 10916 kr 10076 $ 1,310 £ 1028 $ 2,071 1199 $ 1822 NOK 11391 kr 10514 $ 1,367 £ 1071 $ 2,157 1249 $ 1898 NOK 11866 kr 10953 $ 1,424 £ 1113 $ 2,244 1299 $ 1974 NOK 12341 kr 11391 $ 1,481 £ 1148 $ 2,313 1339 $ 2035 NOK 12721 kr 11742 $ 1,526 £ 1182 $ 2,382 1379 $ 2096 NOK 13101 kr 12093 $ 1,572 £ 899 $ 1,812 1049 $ 1594 NOK 9966 kr 9199 $ 1,196

    Early season: March 28, 2020
    Season A:  April 4, April 11, and October 10, 2020
    Season B: April 18 and October 3, 2020
    Season C: April 25 and September 26, 2020
    Season D: May 2, May 9, and September 19, 2020
    Season E: May 16, May 23, May 30,  and September 12, 2020
    Season F: All other departure dates, weekly from June 6 up to and incl. September 5, 2020

    Twin  £ 902 $ 1,818 1053 $ 1600 NOK 9999 kr 9230 $ 1,200 £ 992 $ 1,999 1158 $ 1759 NOK 10996 kr 10150 $ 1,320 £ 1082 $ 2,181 1263 $ 1919 NOK 11994 kr 11071 $ 1,439
    Twin for single use £ 1038 $ 2,093 1212 $ 1841 NOK 11509 kr 10624 $ 1,381 £ 1155 $ 2,328 1348 $ 2048 NOK 12801 kr 11817 $ 1,536 £ 1258 $ 2,535 1468 $ 2231 NOK 13941 kr 12869 $ 1,673
    Triple £ 915 $ 1,844 1068 $ 1623 NOK 10141 kr 9361 $ 1,217 £ 1009 $ 2,034 1178 $ 1790 NOK 11186 kr 10326 $ 1,342 £ 1074 $ 2,163 1253 $ 1904 NOK 11899 kr 10983 $ 1,428

    Low season: July 4, July 18, and August 1, 2020
    Standard season: May 9, May 23, May 30, June 6, June 20, and August 15, 2020
    High season: September 12, 2020


    extra options

    De Holland
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 90 $ 181 105 $ 160 NOK 998 kr 921 $ 120 Helmet rental: £ 9 $ 17 10 $ 15 NOK 95 kr 88 $ 11 Gluten free and dairy free meals, payable on board: £ 43 $ 86 50 $ 76 NOK 475 kr 438 $ 57 On the Sailing Home, Zwaan, Wending, and Liza Marleen
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 69 $ 138 80 $ 122 NOK 760 kr 702 $ 91 Set of maps for self guided option (advanced reservation required): £ 17 $ 35 20 $ 30 NOK 190 kr 175 $ 23 Gluten free meals: £ 43 $ 86 50 $ 76 NOK 475 kr 438 $ 57 On the Merlijn
    Tandem or electric bicycle rental (rate is per day): € 25

    Zwaan, Wending, and Liza Marleen

    Electric bicycle rental: £ 71 $ 143 83 $ 125 NOK 784 kr 723 $ 94 Gluten free and vegan meals: £ 43 $ 86 50 $ 76 NOK 475 kr 438 $ 57 Set of maps for self guided option (advanced reservation and payment required): £ 18 $ 36 21 $ 32 NOK 200 kr 184 $ 24 *Children's discounts, child bikes, tag alongs, bike trailers, and child seats available.

    De Holland
    Electric bicycle rental: £ 86 $ 173 100 $ 152 NOK 950 kr 877 $ 114 Helmet rental: £ 9 $ 17 10 $ 15 NOK 95 kr 88 $ 11 Gluten free and dairy free meals, payable on board: £ 43 $ 86 50 $ 76 NOK 475 kr 438 $ 57


    please note

    *Please note:  Pricing on the Sailing Home, Liza Marleen, Wending, and Zwaan is based on fuel costs as of July 2018. If  the fuel cost increase 5%, additional fees may apply  (even for reservations already booked).

    If traveling solo, we can try to find a roommate of the same gender to avoid the increased charge for a single cabin.

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Fly to Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (AMS).

    Local Travel

    There is a direct train that leaves 6 times per hour from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. It takes about 16 minutes. The price for a train ticket Schiphol-Amsterdam Central is € 4,20 per person for a single journey. We will inform you of the exact docking location of your barge with your final travel information. Some boats moor within walking distance, and others will require a short taxi ride. If you prefer to travel by taxi from the airport to the barge, this takes about 30 minutes and costs about €45.


    Please check local conditions before your arrival. The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. A good website to use to research regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more is weatherbase.com. Don’t forget your rain gear! Average high/low temp in °F for the region is approximately April, 53/40°, May, 61/46°, June, 66/52°, July, 69/55°, August, 70/55°, September, 64/51°, and October, 57/46°.


    Amsterdam City Card
    Museum Card


    Please be aware that you will be part of an international group of people, but your tour guide and crew members will always speak English.


    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.

    Discounted optional visits on board the De Holland:

    Optional visits (entrance fees not included, but offered with discount or free of charge:
    * Open air museum Zaanse Schans
    * Visitors center windmill Schermerhorn
    * Beer brewery Oudeschild
    * Seal sanctuary Ecomare De Koog
    * Steam engine museum Medemblik
    * Open air museum Zuiderzeemuseum Enkhuizen and more

Tour Dates

Deluxe Class Boat

De Holland:
Middle season: August 31, September 7, and September 14, 2019
Main season: All other departures, weekly from June 1 up to and incl. August 24, 2019
Late season: September 21, September 28, and October 5*, 2019

*Now being offered at a discount. See pricing. Valid for bookings from June 4, 2019.

Premium Class Boat

Sailing Home:
Low season: August 3, 2019
Standard season: August 24 and August 31, 2019

Liza Marleen:
Low season: July 27, 2019
Standard season: May 18, 2019

Standard Class Boat

Standard season: June 15, 2019

Low season: July 6, 2019
Standard season: June 22, 2019

Deluxe Class Boat

De Holland:
Early season: March 28, 2020
Season A:  April 4, April 11, and October 10, 2020
Season B: April 18 and October 3, 2020
Season C: April 25 and September 26, 2020
Season D: May 2, May 9, and September 19, 2020
Season E: May 16, May 23, May 30,  and September 12, 2020
Season F: All other departure dates, weekly from June 6 up to and incl. September 5, 2020

Premium Class Boat

Liza Marleen: 
Low season: July 25 and August 8, 2020
Standard season: May 16 and August 29, 2020

Standard Class Boat

Low season: June 27 and July 11, 2020 
Standard season: June 13, 2020

Low season: July 4, July 18, and August 1, 2020
Standard season: May 9, May 23, May 30, June 6, June 20, and August 15, 2020
High season: September 12, 2020

Skill Level

Easy, self-guided or guided tour with average daily distances of ± 30 miles on flat terrain and well-maintained asphalt roads with little traffic. On the De Holland, the onboard tour guide will give extensive descriptions of the day’s cycling route. Guests will bike using provided route descriptions and maps. The guide will also cycle the route but does not guide the group. The main role of the tour guide is to provide assistance if needed during the cycling itinerary. On all other boats, tours are fully guided, with the option to cycle self-guided. This tour is suitable for families with children. On all other boats, tours are fully guided with an option to purchase maps for self-guided.

Where You’ll Stay

Different class boats are available for this tour. See dates and pricing. Click here for detailed barge information.

What’s Included

Liza Marleen, Sailing Home, Wending and Zwaan

  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board ship
  • Breakfast buffets, packed lunches, 3-course dinners
  • Coffee and tea
  • Cycling tour guide
  • Minimum of 3 city walks with the tour guide
  • 24-speed hybrid bicycle equipped with hand brakes, panniers, lock, water bottle and repair kit
  • Helmet
  • Road book (1 per cabin)
  • Ferry fares en route
  • Free limited WiFi in lounge and on deck (for more than 100 MB, there will be surcharge
  • GPS tracks on request

De Holland

  • Accommodations for 7 nights on board ship
  • Breakfast buffets, packed lunches, 3-course dinners
  • Bed linens and 2 towels (change of towels is possible)
  • Daily light cleaning of cabin
  • Daily complimentary coffee and tea until 4 pm
  • Welcome drink
  • Onboard tour leader (see below)
  • Road book (1 set per cabin)
  • Short city walks with the tour guide
  • Discounts on entrance fees and excursions as mentioned in program
  • Live music on board
  • 7-speed unisex city touring bike with 28-inch wheels, handbrakes, gel saddles, and frame lock. Accessories include one rear pannier, repair kit and pump.
  • Use of WiFi in the lounge
  • GPS tracks
  • Please note: tours on board De Holland are not fully guided bike tours but rather supported by a guide who ensures the safety of riders and takes care of mechanical issues. The guide is cycling the route and can be reached by cell phone for quick assistance

What’s Not Included

  • Arrival transfers
  • Museum/excursion entrance fees
  • Beverages (incl. alcohol) (available on board)
  • Electric bike rental. Available for supplement. See pricing.
  • Aboard the Zwaan, Sailing Home, Liza Marleen, Wending: maps for self-guided option (please see pricing)
  • Helmets: De Holland, available on request with supplement, reserve at time of booking. See pricing.
  • Ferry fares en route on De Holland
  • Optional excursions De Holland, see travel section
  • Gratuities
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance

Extra Stay

Ask us for details if you desire to book an extra night in Amsterdam.

Length8 days
From704 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

North Holland Tour Map

All distances are approximate. The itineraries are subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc. Each boat has a slightly different itinerary so be sure to check each boat's day to day as well as what is included and not included.

*Aboard these boats, it is possible to do the tour as self-guided with route descriptions. Please specify at the time of booking if you wish to do this. Maps are available for a small, additional fee. Ask us for details.

Day 1: Boarding in Amsterdam at 3 pm; optional cycling, 9 mi. (15 km)
Day 2: Amsterdam - Volendam, 29 mi. (46 km)
Day 3: Horn - Enkhuizen, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 4: Enkhuizen - Medemblik, sailing to Texel, 22 mi. (34 km)
Day 5: Texel, roundtrip, 25/30/41 mi. (40/48/62 km)
Day 6: Texel - sail to Den Helder and cycle to Alkmaar, 36 mi. (58 km)
Day 7: Alkmaar – Zaanse Schans - Amsterdam, 34 mi. (55 km)
Day 8: Departure

*All distances are approximate. The above-planned itinerary is subject to change, even on very short notice, due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, docking location changes, lock repairs,  etc.

Day 1: Boarding in Amsterdam at 4 pm; optional cycling, 9 mi. (20 km)
Boarding begins at 3 pm. Please be prompt and plan on having completed your embarkation by 4 pm. You can bring your luggage on board at noon but cabins will not be ready for check-in.  (In 2020, boarding will begin at 1 pm). When you arrive on board the boat, you can put your baggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper, crew, and of course your fellow passengers. The bicycles are distributed and straight from the moorings of the boat, you can have a short bike trip through quiet parts of town. If time permits, you can also bike outside the city.

Amsterdam first saw the light of day as a simple village at the mouth of the Amstel River but expanded rapidly with its famous rings of canals in the Golden Age (18th century). The palace on the Dam Square is sometimes called the 8th wonder of the world because it is built on 13,659 piles. Amsterdam, as we know it today, is famous for being able to cater to all tastes, including lovers of diamonds. In the evening, you dine on board. During the meal, the plans for the rest of the week are discussed.

Day 2: Amsterdam -  Volendam, sailing to Hoorn, 29 mi. (46 km)
 Amsterdam will be very quiet as you begin to cycle. A ferry takes you to the Amsterdam Noord quarter and soon you will be cycling through the rural area of Waterland. In this soggy peatland, the houses and villages are barely above the level of the water.
You will visit the former Isle of Marken. 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 by bike. The route continues to the historic village of Monnickendam, which received its municipal charter in 1355.  Gouwzee dike to Volendam is next on the agenda. 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. Hoorn was a major trading town in the 17th century. From here ships sailed for the Dutch East Indies, (now Indonesia), America, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean. The most beautiful gable is in the former town hall; the Statenpoort which houses an interesting museum with paintings and exhibits concerning the V.O.C. The V.O.C. (United East Indies Dutch Trading Company) was a very powerful almost monopolistic trading company in the 17th century. During the evening walk, you will have the opportunity to get a good impression of this beautiful city with its rich past. 

Day 3: Horn - Enkhuizen, 19 mi. (30 km)
You continue on the dike with a wonderful view over the Markermeer on your right and West-Frisian villages on your left-hand side. The recently (1976) built dike from Enkhuizen to Lelystad (in the Noordoostpolder) 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. 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 joined. You can end your day with a visit to the Zuiderzeemuseum. This museum showcases the history of everyday life around the Zuiderzee until the middle of the 20th century. 

Day 4: Enkhuizen - Medemblik, sailing to Texel, 22 mi. (34 km)
If you haven't visited the Zuiderzeemuseum yesterday you'll have some time for a visit this morning. 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. The cycling route begins over the dike of the IJsselmeer, but we leave it to ride through a nature reserve and then some of the characteristic villages of West Friesland. Medemblik comes into view, one of the old Zuiderzee harbors with an illustrious past and a castle dating from the 13th century. You take a break here, and if you wish, you can board the boat.

After Medemblik, the route goes through a polder, Wieringermeer, which was created at the same time as the famous Afsluitdijk in 1932. This created new land out of the old Zuiderzee and turned the inland sea (IJsselmeer) into the largest sweet water basin of The Netherlands.

The food crisis resulting from the 1st World War created a need for more agricultural land so, in 1927, work on the Wieringermeer commenced. The dikes and pumping stations were built in the open sea. The polder itself was reclaimed during a period of mass unemployment and most of the work for preparing the land for agricultural use was done by hand and horsepower.

Halfway over the polder, you can step on board again or otherwise ride through a forest to the fishing town of Den Oever. Sail by boat over the Wadden Sea to the harbor of the island of Texel.

Day 5: Texel, roundtrip, 25/30/41 mi. (40/48/62 km)
Today you could if you would like, you can visit the beach or take a bike ride on the island of Texel. There are numerous bicycle paths here. In the north, you have the nature reserve ‘de Slufter’, with an open connection to the sea.

The largest village on the island is Den Burg, which could easily be the prototype of the typical Dutch town with its circle of canals around an old church. You will find most of the shops on the island in this village. The local museum is a good representation of island life and is housed in a building dating from 1599. De Koog is the principal bathing resort and is only a stone's throw away from the widest beach on the island. As well as a nature center, which has a lot of information about the flora and fauna to be found on Texel, De Koog has a rescue center for seals.

Cocksdorp is entered through a tunnel of interlocking tree branches, which give it a unique character. If you cycle to the most extreme northerly tip of the island you may be able to see Vlieland, the next island making up the chain of Wadden islands. This part of the island is called the Slufter, a nature reserve open to the sea and the rhythm of the tides.

The villages of Den Doorn, Oosterend, and de Waal have escaped modern architectural influences and are now officially protected. In Den Hoorn, some of the old 'Commandeurs' dwellings have been preserved. These were the houses belonging to the captains of the whaling ships that sailed from Texel. The oldest church is situated in Oosterend. In clear weather, you can see the neighboring island Vlieland. Oudeschild, where the boat is moored, was the entrance port of the island until 1962.

Day 6: Texel - sail to Den Helder and cycle to Alkmaar, 36 mi. (58 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 or further south at the canal. Today you ride through the dunes (the dunes between Schoorl and Bergen have the highest dunes in The Netherlands) and over the Hondsbossche Zeewering (seawall) with its spectacular view over the North Sea. On your left, you will see the dunes, and on your right, the sweep of a 5 km long dike keeping the sea at bay. On your right where the dike is, were once dunes. However, in 1421, in what is known as the St Elizabeth's floods, they were swept away along with the village of Hondsbossche. The dike replacing the dunes is called the Hondsbossche Sea Dike. If the weather allows you to cross to the island of Texel, you will head straight for Den Helder. Otherwise, you will take a leisurely tour around the land bounded by the dikes. This part of the country, known as the Kop van Noord Holland (head of North Holland), is well known for bulb growing with the town of Anna Paulowna at its center. The bulbs bloom in April and May.

The stage ends in Alkmaar, which boasts almost four hundred buildings on the monument list, and typical Old-Dutch canals and harbor. Alkmaar is often called the cheese town as the weighing and selling of cheese in the 'Waag' (weighing house) was a popular activity in the past.

Day 7: Alkmaar – Zaanse Schans - Amsterdam, 34 mi. (55 km)
The last stage of the week takes you through the ‘droogmakerij’ land with the 17th-century towns of Schermerhorn, Graft and De Rijp. In 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.

The last stretch of the trip takes you through ’t Twiske (the Twiske) Leisure Park. Since the beginning of the Christian era, the peat region around the Zaan had been used for cattle grazing. In the peatland, ditches were dug to help to drain the land. The dried peat was used as fuel. Once you are back at the barge in Amsterdam it is time to take leave of your bikes. In the afternoon there is still some time to go into town and after dinner, you may want to finish off your trip by going on a city walk or taking a trip on one of Amsterdam’s canal boats.

Day 8: Amsterdam - Day of departure
Breakfast as usual, and departure around 10 AM.

Day 1: Embarkation: Amsterdam
Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam - Zaanse Schans - Alkmaar, 27 mi. (44 km)
Day 3: Dune tour, Alkmaar – Alkmaar, 20 or 25 mi. (33 or 40 km) | Alkmaar – Den Helder
Day 4Den Helder – Oudeschild* | North Sea island of Texel: round trip from/to Oudeschild (your choice 9 - 41 miles/15 - 65 km) | Texel – Den Oever
Day 5: Den Oever – Stavoren | South-west Friesland round trip, 27 or 34 mi (43 or 55 km)
Day 6: Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen, 19 or 31 mi (30 or 50 km)
Day 7Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam, 22 or 31 miles (35 or 50 km)
Day 8: Disembarkation: Amsterdam

Parts in italics are covered by the ship. A knowledgeable and multilingual tour leader is available on board. He/she will provide you with all necessary tour information during daily briefings. Y during daily briefings. You  will cycle the tours independently, at your own pace, with the help of a detailed cycling map, GPS-tracks, and printed route notes.The tour leader will also be cycling the daily tours and can – for assistance – be reached on his/her mobile phone in cases of emergency or technical breakdown of the bicycle. During days when several bicycle options are possible, not all mentioned highlights can be visited during the shorter cycling options.

Day 1: Embarkation: Amsterdam
Embarkation and check-in starts at 2 PM in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping or explore downtown Amsterdam, world famous for its canals, its quirky ‘leaning’ buildings, museums, the Anne Frank House, the Waterlooplein Flea Market, the Dam Square in the historical center and heart of the city. An optional canal tour is a unique way to see the capital of Holland from another side. Be back on board by 5 pm as you will enjoy your welcome meeting, drink, followed by dinner and first briefing on board. First night on board in Amsterdam.

Day 2:  Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam - Zaanse Schans - Alkmaar, 27 mi. (44 km)*
The first bike trip of this tour takes you via small villages through the beautiful flat and green polder landscape. You will cycle out of Amsterdam via a well-maintained cycling track. The first stop is the open air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ with its beautiful windmills, traditional wooden houses, an old Dutch village, a cheese farm, and a traditional wooden clog maker. After exploring the museum, you will cycle through the "Land of Leeghwater", a green polder area between  Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Hoorn. Leeghwater was a 17th Century scientist, who invented a revolutionary system to reclaim marshland from the sea by pumping out water with a system of windmills, smaller and larger canals. Stroll through the former whaling 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.  

*Alternative program 2020, see below: Due to works on the locks of Zaandam in 2020, on some departure dates day 2 and day 3 of the tour will be subject to some changes. On day 2 you will spend the night in Enkhuiz  instead of Alkmaar and a transfer by bus will be included.

*Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar, 27 mi. (44 km) | Alkmaar – Enkhuizen
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 y After this visit you will cy ou will cycle thr cle through the “Land of Leeghwater ough the “Land of Leeghwater”, a gr ”, a green polder ar een polder area between Amster ea between Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Hoorn. Str dam, Alkmaar and Hoorn. Stroll Day to day program Day 1 (Sat): Amsterdam  Day 2 (Sun): Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar (44 km/27 mi.)  5-4-2019 Lovely Bike Tour through the Netherlands on the northern Boat Bike Tour https://boatbiketours.com/boat-bike-tours/netherlands/northern-tour-holland/ 4/13 through the former whaler ough the former whaler’s village De Rijp and pass b s village De Rijp and pass by the windmills of Schermerhorn. A local guide will tak y the windmills of Schermerhorn. A local guide will take you on a guided ou on a guided walking tour through the historical city center of Alkmaar. At the end of the afternoon a coach will bring you back to “De Holland” in Enkhuizen. Enkhuizen is a beautiful 17th century city at the banks of the IJsselmeer with a rich cultural and maritime tradition.

Day 3: Dune tour, Alkmaar – Alkmaar, 20 or 25 mi. (33 or 40 km) | 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 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 De Holland will sail over the North Holland Canal to the navy harbor of Den Helder.

*Alternative program 2020, see below: Due to works on the locks of Zaandam in 2020, on some departure dates day 2 and day 3 of the tour will be subject to some changes.

Day 3: Dune tour: Alkmaar – Den Helder, 31 mi. (50 km)
After breakfast, a bus will bring you back to Alkmaar from where the bike tour starts. 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 sand dunes the drinking water for almost the whole province of North-Holland is obtained. The sandy beach here is one of the most wonderful to walk along in the entire Netherlands, the perfect spot for feeling the wind in your hair or simply enjoying the view. Close by and worth a visit is the artist’s village of Bergen. Then you will bike on through the dunes to the navy harbor of Den Helder.

Day 4: Den Helder – Oudeschild*| North Sea island of Texel: round trip from/to Oudeschild (your choice 9-41 miles/15-65 km)** | Texel – Den Oever
During breakfast the Angela Esmee will cross the Marsdiep, a deep tide-race between Den Helder and Texel Island to the harbor of Oudeschild.** You will quickly understand why the island of Texel is a favorite destination for many tourists as you cycle around this enchanting Dutch island. Charming villages, beautiful beaches, and areas of natural importance are crisscrossed by a network of cycling tracks, making all areas of the island easily accessible. Swim at one of the wide sandy beaches, visit the seal sanctuary “Ecomare” and/or cycle the beautiful “Thijsse-route” (with signposting, approx. 25 miles) through picturesque villages and landscapes. At the end of your cycling tour, you can enjoy a locally brewed beer during a visit to the small brewery in the harbor of Oudeschild. In the evening the boat will return to Den Oever on the mainland. The highlight of the evening will be a night of live music on board.

** 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 pp, not incl.).

Day 5: Den Oever – Stavoren | South-west Friesland, round trip from/to Stavoren, 27 or 34 miles (43 or 55 km)
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 Stavoren, one of the famous 11 cities of Friesland.

Day 6: Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen, 19 or 31 miles (30 or 50 km)
Sail to Medemblik during breakfast. Take the short pedaling from Medemblik along the IJsselmeer (former “Zuiderzee”) 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 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 and name giver of Cape Horn. Enjoy your lunch break and make a short stroll of the old city. Continue by bike through some picturesque rural villages to Enkhuizen. In the evening you enjoy a short city walking tour.

Day 7 (Fri): Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam (Approx. 35 or 50 km/22 or 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, where you will have the opportunity to visit a cheese farm. Recommended (extra miles) is a detour 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 tour on the first day, you will have the opportunity to do so today.

Day 8: Amsterdam
After breakfast, disembarkation and end of the tour.


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Tour Reviews

  • Maryann B. 6 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    This was a wonderful trip, highly recommended to both cyclists and non-cyclists! The staff went out of their way to make sure all the guests were well looked after.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Susan O. 7 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    The De Holland is a lovely barge with a proficient staff and nice upper level staterooms. The food was above average and the after-ride beer is a great value. The North Holland area is very rural with small towns but mostly agricultural routes. Easy navigating because The Netherlands has an extensive network of bikeways and understandable wayfinding. The history of diking, watermills and pumping is fascinating and would be good to know about as you ride through this area. Our trip was in the beginning of October and we had beautiful weather although it can be windy along some portions of the ride.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Paul Alper 9 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    On the Liza Marleen there were 6 of us from our family ranging in age from 82 to less than 2 years of age. The staff on the ship was superb, especially the cook who was particularly considerate regarding the granddaughters who roamed the dining area. She was quite creative with her menus and happy to socialize with the participants. Moreover, because it was my daughter's birthday (birthdays are Big Deals in the Netherlands) on the last night of the trip, the cook ignored my request for one cupcake with a candle and instead presented gorgeous cakes for the entire ship. Her English assistant was equally kind; the skipper turned out to be a first-class guitar player and had the entire ship singing along.

    It was a wonderful and successful excursion and I am very grateful to the staff on board the Liza Marleen for everything they did to accommodate us and make it a memorable 50th wedding anniversary.

    Boat: Liza Marleen

  • Stephen T. 10 months ago     Verified Reviewer

    The North Holland barge and bike is a fantastic experience and a great opportunity for a family to share a unique adventure together. The scenery is spectacular, the villages immaculate, the people friendly, the barge comfortable, the food good, the bikes new and the staff accommodating. To improve the experience, breakfast could be better and the lunch selections more varied. Early risers generally helped themselves to all of the pastries before others cold enjoy them. Seating could be unassigned so that more people could meet and enjoy different parts of the dining room. Otherwise they have this trip wired.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Marion B. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Most Memorable Part: How well everything was organized for each day - even when weather was challenging (very rainy), being able to re-accommodate the trip itinerary in such short notice.

    Boat: Wending

  • Jill L. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    A number of things stand out. First, the size of the room (which was shown as 4 single beds but ended up being a tiny room with two bunkbeds where we could not all stand in the room). Second, the fact that after active days covering 50 Kms or more there was no water provided (a bottle of water was provided at breakfast only) and no food available in the hours before dinner. Third, all meals had to be taken at the same assigned table reducing any opportunity to mingle with other guests. Fourth, on an active holiday with healthy active people, the meals did not include any colorful vegetables. The staff were mostly lovely and the rides were picturesque, but the overall experience was not positive.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Alene G. 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    This was our first time at a bike & barge trip and it was a great adventure! Staff was amazing and the other guests all gelled - we all worked together to have a fun experience. Getting to see various areas in Northern Holland up close was amazing. Be prepared for weather changes! Layer and bring clothes for rain! But most of all be prepared for a great vacation!

    Boat: Wending

  • D. Dray 2 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    We have been on seven self-guided bike trips (two of them with boats) and this was truly one of the best! The accommodations on our Prague ship, the MS Florentina were nicer (larger lounges, expansive deck, etc) than the Angela Esmee to be frank, but the Angela's superb crew, the charming towns as ports of call, and along the route, and our tour leader, Margaret, more than made up for it. I highly recommend this tour!

    Boat: De Holland

  • Cathy G. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    I already have recommended this trip to several people. By far this trip was the best trip I have ever been on. Thank you.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Kim E. 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Complete day from start to finish! Staff were super friendly and efficient! Breathtaking views of countryside and timeless villages! Supper dining was plentiful, varied and delicious! Basic rooms were always tidy and clean. Wow...what an incredible adventure.

    Boat: De Holland

  • J. Post 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The wifi on the barge needs to be upgraded. It was inadequate and inconsistent.This is really the only criticism I have - the rest was great. But it is important to travelers these days.

    Boat: Liza Marleen

    • Jehiel 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

      Hi J. Post,
      I'm sorry you found the onboard wifi inadequate. We often tell our guests that onboard wifi is not guaranteed and that signals can be weak from time to time. It is because of this we recommend looking into Portable Wifi for travel found on our FAQ page.

  • K. Jevons 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    It was a great bicycle trip. Beautiful countryside, bike paths were excellent and the guide "Hugo" was exceptional. Barge was perfect. We were able to see the real Holland, not the typical tourist city Holland. Communication and arrangement of the tour with Tripsite was very good. Thanks.

    Boat: Sailing Home

  • C. Abernethy 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The small tour group was perfect for my 12 year old son and I. The biking was awesome - we both loved cycling through the farms and along the canals. Although it was rainy and windy for majority of the time - we still enjoyed it very much. The food was fantastic!!

    Boat: Wending

  • J. Caffrey 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    We have been on 4 barge based bike trips plus 3 hotel based bike trips, all in Europe and this was the best. There are simply not enough superlatives to use to praise this trip. From the guide to the cook to the quality of the bikes and the barge we add the wonderful route and great scenery.

    Boat: Wending

  • L. Scrutton 3 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    I would have liked was some variety in the lunch fruit. Apples every day but one ...... got a bit boring. I would also have liked to have a condiment (mustard or mayonnaise) to add to the meat/cheese sandwiches as they were a bit dry. All in all, a great trip! Too bad the weather wasn't a bit better, but nothing could be done about that.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Margaret Terrett 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    I would recommend the trip with reservations. The food on the boat was not special but ok. While our leader was competent I did not find him helpful at times and other times I found him condescending. The route descriptions were well done but we had to argue to have one for each rider even though it clearly stated we would each a have one. I would have like much more about the places we were visiting included on the daily route descriptions. Carrying a visitor guide is not easy on a bike. The bikes were not in good shape for our trip. The mechanic tried to do his best but they were not a "freewheeling" experience. On mine the gears did not work, others had similar issues. When the holiday depends on a good cycling experience then the bike becomes a priority.
    I cannot recommend the experience whole heartily except for the amazing landscape of northern Netherlands. That part I really enjoyed. Also I enjoyed being part of a group. I would not recommend a Read more… person or couple try the trip because no effort was made to mix the people. I was part of a big group and so I always had people to cycle with.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Sue Cousineau 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    1. Food was mediocre - not great...lots of canned or frozen vegetables. Meat was consistently over cooked and dry. There was lots of choices for breakfast and we especially liked the variety to make our lunches. Had to pay for hot water, tea & coffee after 4:00 pm was a ridiculous and cheap policy which angered many.
    2. Room service - towels were not replenished each day as expected until the guide told us to put them in the shower to indicate we wanted towels refreshed each day. This was a problem of no signage to indicate this practice and that the guide forgot to tell us until day 4 when someone complained.
    3. Maps and route descriptions - we always marvel at the signage for cycling in the Netherlands. Our country should adopt this method. But we were only given one map/booklet per room. Again, a very cheap practice as all travelers are paying cyclists and each want their own maps. Can't guarantee that those who room together actually cycle Read more… together. This again angered many in our group all of whom are avid cyclists who have traveled extensively by bike in Europe.
    4. Route - Wonderful! Northern Netherlands is so beautiful, the route selected was varied and very picturesque, and towns we visited were charming.
    5. Staff - Every staff person, but one, was extremely polite, helpful and courteous, from the kitchen staff, the captain, servers, and bike support fellas. The one exception was our guide who was rigid, rude, impatient and grumpy. He warmed up as the week progressed but his welcoming manner was less than desirable. He didn't seem to like to deal with women or English clients, as we saw that he got along very well with the German clients. It could have been a factor of language and fatigue due the fact that it was the end of the season.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Paul Hough 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The nickel and diming on the boat was annoying - i.e., free coffee until 4 pm but nobody gets back before then; coffee and tea not included with dinner (extra cost); bottled water sold at the same price as a beer (one token worth 2.5 Euros). Our guide, Marcel, was clearly out of sorts and was not someone I would recommend - rude, disinterested, unhelpful, condescending, and refused to answer questions. I trust that other guides are much better.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Diane Thomson 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The bikes did show some wear but the two mechanics on our barge were wonderful in making repairs overnight. The maps were on the whole very good but each person on the trip should be given their own set of maps and the accompanied daily itinerary descriptions.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Carolyn Dunbar 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    This was a nice trip which I chose after research. I learned that I prefer smaller groups.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Thomas Reid 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Marcel is a great guide/tour leader.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Susan Monaghan 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    There was some disconnect in passing along information. For example the barge had to leave earlier than 6:30 but info was not passed on. Fortunately my friends and I arrived and boarded the sister ship and got the info that the Angela Esmee was instructed to leave the port due to some Dutch holiday celebration. Good thing we took the initiative. There was no one waiting on the dock to give us this info.
    Info about running a tab for drinks was false. We had to purchase tokens from a machine to use at bar. Bikes were somewhat rickety, having seen their 2nd season (according to a mechanic I talked to). Mine and some others made a grinding noise the entire time. The mechanic tried to fix it, but eventually I just tolerated it. I heard one mech say the bikes had a couple more trips this season. Good luck to the next owner.
    Food was very good and the staff were very friendly. I would recommend a Bike and Barge trip to friends, but we ran into another group on a Read more… similar tour riding green bikes...they LOVED their bikes. We couldn't come close to saying that about ours. The green bike tour paid similar costs.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Marnie Terrett 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    I found the conditions of the bikes quite poor. They were obviously wearing out after a season of use. The food was adequate but not spectacular. The information about how to get clean towels was given 5 days into the trip.
    The routes were well described but I would have liked further information about the towns we were passing through and where we were staying the night. Our group happened upon a cemetery with Canadian war dead but it was just luck. That type of information should be included I the route description of the day. Despite the things mentioned I did enjoy the trip and would recommend it to others.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Fair Rapsey 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    I had a lot of trouble with the bike seat. That created pain/discomfort for the whole week. We saw other barges participants en route with much better bikes than we had. Ours were quite old and clunky but they worked OK when you got used to them. The bike mechanics were great. The seven gears were adequate for the terrain.

    We should each have our own maps and route descriptions, not just one per cabin. You don't necessarily cycle with your cabin mate and sometimes people get separated from cycling partners during the day.

    Our guide Marcel appeared to have a very arrogant attitude towards guests, particularly those who asked for clarification of various things. He was rude to me when I asked a question about the availability of public washrooms along the way - and what was customary in Holland. He snapped "So you think Dutch people don't go to the toilet?" He seemed to make a lot more effort as the week went on and was quite knowledgeable about Read more… a variety of things. He got off to a bad start with quite a few people however.

    Re Food: The food was good and varied. We had a lot of salads/vegetables (generally overcooked) which I appreciated. Tea, coffee and water should be available for free all the time, not just till 4. A euro for hot water and a tea bag is chintzy.

    I enjoyed the trip and the route. The route was quite varied in a lot of ways and very beautiful. Luckily the weather was reasonably cooperative and our group had a great time. The barge is a fun experience, and I would recommend it and consider another trip for myself as well.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Bob Rodney 4 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    Marcel was a very good guide-Johnan helped keep our bikes in very good order.

    Boat: De Holland

  • Buford and Gina 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    The tour was excellent. We’d have no reservations about booking another tour comparable to this, or recommending the trip to others—in fact, we already have. We enjoyed every minute.

    We were somewhat anxious about how the trip would work out: would we find the boat ok?; would we be able to get everything on-board ok?; would we have a good time? The trip worked like clockwork—everything worked exactly as it should!

    Our accommodations on-board the Angela Esmee were quite comfortable. The rooms were small, as we expected. However, they were very comfortable. Additionally, we spent very little time in our cabin. Most of our time was spent either on the bikes, walking in the great port villages, on the top deck, or in the dining salon, enjoying the company of the others on the tour or the wonderful staff. Food on-board the ship was very good, and quite filling. Just right to get us off to a good start, or to replenish us after a Read more… great day of riding.

    The staff was most accommodating. We really bonded with Arie, the tour leader. He proved to be very helpful, and knowledgeable. However, beyond that, he was personable! He is very well schooled, and has a great sense of humor. He was someone we enjoyed spending time with on our vacation. In addition to Arie, the Captain and ship’s crew (Matthew, and Peter), the hotel manager (Yvonne), cook, and the wait staff and cabin cleaning crew were all very personable, and willing to help with anything we needed.

    The cycling was fantastic. The tour routes were obviously well thought out—they led us through picturesque small villages, and natural terrain. Traffic was negligible throughout the routes. Additionally, all of our many stops resulted in very positive, enjoyable conversations and interactions with everyone we encountered. At one stop, we were offered tea, coffee, and great conversation when we stopped into a local hardware store along our route between Enkhouzen and Hoorn. We also encountered the Wervershoof bakery owner’s wife, a fantastic lady, at one of our many bakery stops. There’s a reason Dutch Apple Pie is famous, though in Wervershoof, it’s the cookies that steal the show.

    Thank you for helping us arrange rental of the Hase Pinos! They were quite enjoyable for the trip. TomTom rentals(info@tomtomtandem.nl) really went out of their way to help us get the bikes adjusted and to ensure we were comfortable on the bikes. They were with us for approximately two hours before departure to ensure everything was just right. In addition, Tom left us with a tool kit with anything we may have needed during the tour—fortunately, we didn’t need anything, the bikes performed flawlessly. I would suggest that you offer these Hase Pino Tandems as a routine option. There may be others who desire such a bike—especially cases where one rider is significantly stronger than another, or for cases where one rider may have a physical limitation that wouldn’t allow them to participate on their own. The advantages of the Pino are that two riders will stay together with their heads so close that they can carry on conversations. Plus, both have a beautiful view of the route ahead. My wife actually rode with her i-phone/camera dangling from a wrist strap—ready to snap photos at a moment’s notice, which she did quite often. During our tour, we encountered one other Hase Pino. It appeared the rider in the front may have been blind. Nevertheless, on this bike they could still participate in the ride.

    We did have one minor annoyance. I’d like to emphasize “minor.” The Wi-Fi service on-board the ship only worked sporadically. We had wanted to use this service to maintain a blog, and keep friend and family at home appraised of the trip. Unfortunately, the service wasn’t reliable enough to enable us to do this. Nevertheless, in the grand scheme of things, we consider this a minor annoyance against what was otherwise a FANTASTIC trip.

    We plan on doing a similar vacation again. When we do, you can bet that we’ll return to Tripsite for your outstanding support.

    Thank you!

    Buford and Gina

    Boat: De Holland

  • Beth Davidson 6 years ago     Verified Reviewer

    I loved the Northern Tour aboard the Elodie. It is a nice small boat with a wonderful crew and fantastic bikes. I hope to do it again some day.

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North Holland Tour Boats + Barges

De Holland Photo

De Holland Netherlands Deluxe Class Boat The former Angela Esmee, renamed now to De Holland, and was completely renovated in winter 2017/2018. The De Holland has 34 well equipped staterooms for a maximum of 71 passengers.

Liza Marleen Photo

Liza Marleen Premium Class Boat The Liza Marleen is a luxury motor passenger barge that was completely refurbished in 1998. This robust barge is ideally suited for trips on the wider waterways. It has a beautiful salon area and spacious deck.

Sailing Home Photo

Sailing Home Netherlands, Belgium Premium Class Boat Built in 2001, the Sailing Home was designed specifically to provide a more attractive hotel ship during your carefree vacation. It was built to meet the latest wishes and ideas with respect to comfort and service. The experience of a lifetime: cycling through the most beautiful spots within the Netherlands while residing on a very comfortable, newly built and well-furnished ship.

Wending Photo

Wending Netherlands Standard Class Boat The Wending is a former freight barge that was converted into a luxury passenger motor barge in the early nineties and completely redecorated in 2002. The barge has a spacious salon equipped with a television and music installation. It is a great place to relax after a strenuous day of cycling.

Zwaan Photo

Zwaan Belgium, Netherlands Standard Class Boat Once a cargo boat, the Zwaan (Swan) was completely renovated and converted into a comfortable passenger barge. On board you will find seven comfortable cabins allowing a total capacity of 16 passengers.