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Netherlands

Netherlands: Northern Tour of Holland

Historical cities of Holland
Amsterdam Round tour.
From €599 p.p.

Highlights of this tour

North Holland’s flat polder landscapes

Visit Texel Island’s sandy beaches

Romantic harbor villages incl. Enkhuizen

Ship with max. 96 passengers

Guidance
  • Guided cycling: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Independent cycling: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Independent cycling
Difficulty
  • Level 1: easy tours, very flat terrain
  • Level 2: quite easy tours, mostly flat terrain
  • Level 3: requires a higher level of exertion, medium hilly terrain
  • Level 4: for experienced cyclists, hilly terrain with climbs
Difficulty level 1 Difficulty level 1
Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch.
8 days

About this tour

During this fascinating cycling cruise on board the ships De Willemstad or Poseidon 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!

Nowhere else in the world will you find an area as fascinating as the Dutch Provinces of North Holland and Friesland, two areas rich in tradition. Over the course of your week, you will be able to discover typical Dutch culture and cycle through a flat “polder land”, extensively reclaimed over the centuries from the North Sea and the former Southern Sea (now IJsselmeer). 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 for 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 bicycle friendly island of Texel, the beautiful flat landscapes, small dreamlike farm villages and romantic 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.

A varied landscape
In this short tour, you’ll travel by barge and bike through stunning North Holland landscapes. Pedaling flat bicycle paths across polders (reclaimed land), dikes, canals, and the dunes of the coast, past nature areas and farmland, you’ll be able to see how the Dutch have shaped the landscape, preventing flooding while respecting nature and allowing space for agriculture. The changing landscape will charm you.

What makes Holland Holland
When you think of Holland, you probably imagine windmills, dikes, cheese, and clogs. That history comes alive at Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum where you can explore a range of historical windmills, traditional Dutch houses and shops, and you can observe how cheese and clogs are made. And speaking of cheese, you’ll also visit Alkmaar, home to a traditional cheese market.

Another highlight of this tour is Marken, once an island of fishermen and still picture-perfect with its small wooden houses and boat harbor. Amsterdam, the start and end point of the tour, offers endless opportunities for exploring museums and shops, or just admiring the graceful elegance of the canal houses in the UNESCO-listed canal zone.

On board the ship
When you’re not pedaling through the countryside or exploring Holland’s historical towns, you’ll enjoy the facilities on the ship. On-board chefs prepare a varied and delicious dinner menu fresh daily. Raise a toast at the bar with other guests, watch the scenery from a deck chair outside or from the salon inside. You’ll get a good night’s rest in one of our well-appointed cabins, all with en-suite bathrooms.

The ship – Your sailing hotel
In between cycling excursions, you cruise along with the ship, which travels to a new destination every day. You dine, sleep and eat breakfast on board. You can make a packed lunch every day, and you can usually choose between a longer or shorter bike ride. It’s also possible to spend a day on board if you like. There are rental bikes on board, but you can also bring your own if you mention it when booking.

You cycle independently 
During this trip there is an expert and experienced tour leader on board. He or she will discuss the next day’s cycling routes on a daily basis and provide you with tips and information about the route. You will cycle the tours independently and at your own pace using a detailed cycling map, GPS directions via the free Ride With GPS app and printed route descriptions (available on board). The tour leader will also cycle the routes, so they will be riding nearby and can be reached by phone in case of emergencies, problems or questions.

Tip for a two-week trip
During almost the entire season, the ship “Poseidon” sails alternately the “North Holland and Friesland” trip and the “South Holland” trip. So you have the possibility to combine these two trips into a 14-day boat-bike-tour. You will stay and travel for fourteen days in the same cabin on board the ship “Poseidon”. Depending on the travel date, you can decide on the order.

YOUR BENEFITS:
– All the highlights of the Netherlands during a 2 week cruise;
– No change of ship or cabin;
– € 50 p.p. discount on the cabin price of the 2nd week.

2023: Surcharge energy costs
Due to the continued high cost of energy, we are forced to charge a surcharge of 25€ per person per week for all new bookings for season 2023 as of October 1, 2022. No commission is charged on this surcharge and it goes net to the ship.
If it eventually turns out that the energy costs have returned to normal levels by the departure date then this amount will be converted into board credit and settled with the bar bill on board.

Prepare yourself for this tour with our Travel Prep-tips

Preparation is half the fun, so why not start straight away?
See all tips

Day to day program

Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.

All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

Day 1: Amsterdam | Amsterdam – Zaandam

Embarkation and check-in between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping, to explore downtown Amsterdam, to make a canal cruise or to visit a museum. At 5 p.m. welcome drink and safety instructions, dinner and first briefing on board. During dinner short cruise to Zaandam.

Day 2: Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar (44 km/27 mi.)

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 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 will be waiting for you near the historical city center of Alkmaar.

Day 3: Dune tour: round trip from/to Alkmaar (33 km/20 mi. or 40 km/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 the ship will sail over the North-Holland Canal to the navy harbor of Den Helder.

Day 4: Ferry to North Sea island of Texel: cycling round trips from ‘t Horntje (several options from 15 km/9 mi. to 65 km/41 mi.) | Den Helder – Den Oever

After breakfast you’ll take a 20-minute ferry ride (ticket included) from Den Helder to the isle of Texel, where you can make beautiful cycling tours on the largest of the Dutch North Sea Isles. Ride through meadows, nature parks and dunes to small villages and have the opportunity for a stop and some bathing at the sandy North Sea beach, or visit the “Ecomare” seal sanctuary. In the late afternoon you will return by ferry to Den Helder. During dinner your ship will sail to Den Oever.

Day 5: Den Oever – Stavoren | Southwest Friesland: round trip from/to Stavoren (43 km/27 mi. or 55 km/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: Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen (30 km/19 mi. or 50 km/31 mi.)

The ship will cross the IJsselmeer again during breakfast. Take the short cycling 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, a historical old town centre 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 centre. Continue by bicycle to Enkhuizen via some picturesque rural villages. In the evening you can join a short city walk.

Day 7: Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam (35 km/22 mi. or 50 km/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: Amsterdam

End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.30 a.m..

Good to know
  • Cycling route distances in the travel program are approximate.
  • On some days you can choose between a longer and a shorter cycling route. Please note that on the shorter routes you may not be able to visit all the highlights mentioned.
  • If you prefer not to cycle on a particular day, you’re welcome to stay on board and relax while the ship cruises to the next landing place.
  • The tour itinerary and route are subject to possible changes due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons, or other unforeseen events.
  • On the arrival day, you can leave your luggage on board the ship from 11.00 am.
  • Detailed cycling maps, route tips and a GPS app are available for guests who wish to cycle individually and at their own pace. The tour guide is always available via cell phone in case of questions, breakdowns or emergencies.

Prices & availability

Below you see an overview of the available (blue) dates; the yellow dot means that this date has 2 or less cabins available, orange is ‘on request’ and red means that on this date there aren’t any cabins available. Then click on the preferred date. After this, choose your ship (some tours have only one ship, and therefore there is no choice), the number of cabins in the required (and available) category, any desired additional products, and ‘local costs’ (such as special dietary needs, which you usually pay for onboard). On the right side, you’ll find the ‘Booking Summary.’ After completing your preferences and necessary information click ‘Book now’ to finalize your booking.

  • Available
  • 2 or less available
  • On request
  • Not available
Departure date -

Choose preferred ship

Please select your cabin(s)


Prices & information

For departures in October 2022 you get € 100  discount per person. Enter the discount code DAM100 in your reservation.

The discounts apply only to new bookings for this tour and ship and cannot be combined with other discount offers.

Pricing overview - 2023
Cabin type For Season A Season B Season C Season D
POS: Twin cabin lower deck 2 pers. € 649 € 799 € 929 € 1039 POS: Twin cabin lower deck for single use (max. 3) 1 pers. € 973.50 € 1198.50 € 1393.50 € 1558.50 POS: Twin cabin upper deck 2 pers. € 849 € 999 € 1129 € 1239 POS: Twin cabin upper deck for single use (max. 3) 1 pers. € 1273.50 € 1498.50 € 1693.50 € 1858.50 DWI: Twin cabin lower deck 2 pers. € 689 € 839 € 949 € 1059 DWI: Twin cabin lower deck for single use (max. 4) 1 pers. € 1033.50 € 1258.50 € 1423.50 € 1588.50 DWI: Twin cabin upper deck 2 pers. € 889 € 1039 € 1149 € 1309 DWI: Twin cabin upper deck for single use (max. 1) 1 pers. € 1333.50 € 1558.50 € 1723.50 € 1963.50 DWI: Suite upper deck 2 pers. € 1139 € 1289 € 1399 € 1559
Pricing overview - 2022
Cabin type For Season A Season B Season C Season D
POS: Twin cabin lower deck 2 pers. € 599 € 749 € 849 € 949 POS: Twin cabin lower deck for single use (max. 3) 1 pers. € 898.50 € 1123.50 € 1273.50 € 1423.50 POS: Twin cabin upper deck 2 pers. € 799 € 949 € 1049 € 1149 POS: Twin cabin upper deck for single use (max. 3) 1 pers. € 1198.50 € 1423.50 € 1573.50 € 1723.50 DWI: Twin cabin lower deck 2 pers. € 649 € 799 € 899 € 999 DWI: Twin cabin lower deck for single use (max. 2) 1 pers. € 973.50 € 1198.50 € 1348.50 € 1498.50 DWI: Twin cabin upper deck 2 pers. € 799 € 949 € 1049 € 1199 DWI: Twin cabin upper deck for single use (max. 1) 1 pers. € 1198.50 € 1423.50 € 1573.50 € 1798.50 DWI: Suite upper deck 2 pers. € 1049 € 1199 € 1299 € 1449
Included in this tour
  • 8 days/7 nights
  • 7 x breakfast
  • Packed lunches
  • 7 x 3-course dinner
  • Coffee and tea on board till 4 PM
  • Welcome drink
  • Use of bed linen and towels
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Climate-controlled cabin
  • Daily briefings
  • Semi guided cycling tours (guest cycle independently, tour leader also cycles the tour);
  • Some short walking tours
  • Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)
  • GPS tracks
  • Use of a waterproof pannier bag
  • Ferry ticket to Texel
  • Wi-Fi is available in restaurant – data use is not included
  • Live music on board
  • Carbon offset payment to the non-profit organization Justdiggit
Excluded in this tour
  • Coffee and tea on board after 4 PM
  • Drinks
  • Bicycle rental or E-bike rental
  • Helmet rental
  • Personal insurances
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Fees for ferries (ferry to Texel included)
  • Transfers to/from the docking place
  • Parking fees
  • SGR Insolvency protection
  • 2023: Surcharge energy costs
Bicycles/E-Bikes
  • The bicycles on board are unisex city bikes of the brand Gazelle Chamonix and of the brand Velo de Ville C100, both with lightweight frames and normal mount (ladies model), with easy-to-handle Shimano 7 gears, hand brakes, gel-saddle (height adjustable), a lock on the frame and pannier bag. All bikes have 28 inch wheels.  Some smaller frames are available on board for smaller persons. For large gentlemen (from 1.90m and above) we have a few traditional men’s models (with a horizontal bar) available.
  • The e-bike is a Velo de Ville CEB 200 with Nexus 7 gears, 4 support levels and hand breaks only (or a comparable brand/model). E-bikes available (on request, limited stock, pending availability).
  • Bicycle rent is optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles/e-bikes (limited number of parking places available). Guests can book a parking place for a normal bicycle or a parking and charge station for an e-bike for a small additional fee. For safety reasons it is no longer possible to charge the batteries of your own e-bikes in the cabin. The crew will inform you where on deck/ on board you can recharge your battery. However, the crew or tour operators are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of guests own bicycles or e-bikes.
  • Prices of other bikes (e.g. children’s bikes, “slip streamers”/tag-a-long, tandem bicycles etc. and child’s saddles (rear) are on request.
Additional options & information - 2023

2023:

  • Rental bicycle: € 90 per week
  • Rental E-Bike: € 195 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle € 10/week (only bookable in advance)
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike € 25/week (only bookable in advance)
  • Parking own bicycle: € 10 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Parking + charge station own E-Bike: € 25 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Please click on this link for more information about the rental and own bicycles/E-bikes
  • Canal cruise Amsterdam: Ticket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam – special price for our guests: € 15(at the ticket desk approx.: € 18). Please book your ticket in advance and you can collect it on board of your ship on the first day of the tour.
  • Parking in Amsterdam (valet parking): prices and pre-booking on request.

 

Optional visits (entrance fees not included, but for our guests with discount/several 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….

Additional options & information - 2022

2022:

  • Rental bicycle: € 85 per week
  • Rental E-Bike: € 185 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • You can find a description of the bicycles under ‘ship’.
  • Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle € 10/week
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike € 25/week
  • Parking own bicycle: € 10 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Parking own E-Bike: € 25 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Please click on this link for more information about the rental and own bicycles/E-bikes
  • Canal cruise Amsterdam: Ticket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam – special price for our guests: € 15 (at the ticket desk approx.: € 20). Please book your ticket in advance and you can collect it on board of your ship on the first day of the tour.
  • Parking in Amsterdam (valet parking): prices and pre-booking on request.

 

Optional visits (entrance fees not included, but for our guests with discount/several with discount or free of charge):
* Open air museum Zaanse Schans
* Visitors centre windmill Schermerhorn
* Beer brewery Oudeschild
* Seal sanctuary Ecomare De Koog
* Steam engine museum Medemblik
* Open air museum Zuiderzeemuseum Enkhuizen and more….



Reviews

based on 74 reviews on

This was an excellent week’s touring from the warm reception at the beginning to the handshakes and even hugs on departure. The cabins were much better than our previous experience. They are still small but we spent very little time in them. They were thoroughly cleaned and ordered each day. The ship cruising and cycling itinerary were really interesting, scenic,…

Nigel Pearce

Another tour with a great pleasure, the guide was excellent and I’ve enjoyed the whole tour and the services on the boat, The crew was pleasant and available. The food also was very good even if it was a bit difficult to make them realise my diet problem the first days.

Marylise Ballarin-Devins

Afwisselende tocht ( NW Nederland) met door het goede weer een extra positieve inslag. Internationaal gezelschap wat duidelijk niet gewend is aan fietstochten. Bemanning prima en service gericht. Eet tijden en duur mogen wat flexibeler. Onverklaarbaar veel muggen in de kamers. Dat benedendeks de ramen tijdens het varen zijn gesloten is begrijpelijk maar ‘s nachts ligt de boot stil en…

R.P.

Margret Findt


Available ships for this tour

Cycling cruise ship De Willemstad Netherlands

Restaurant and separate lounge

Dance floor

Openable windows in cabins

Individually controlled air conditioning

max. 96 passengers
48 cabins
1 tours available with this ship
Cycling cruise ship Poseidon Netherlands

Separate lounge and restaurant areas

Openable windows in cabins

Individually controlled air conditioning

max. 96 passengers
48 cabins
2 tours available with this ship

Related tours

Amsterdam Round tour.
discount
Southern Tour of Holland Cities and countryside

Bike through the Green Heart of Holland

Historical cities Amsterdam & Rotterdam

Kinderdijk’s windmills & Zaanse Schans

Ships with max. 112 passengers

Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 8 days
5 stars
123 Reviews
Guidance
  • Guided cycling: A tour leader will guide you during the cycling days
  • Independent cycling: No tour leader, the ships’ crew does daily briefing, independent cycling
guidance Independent cycling Guided cycling
Difficulty
  • Level 1: easy tours, very flat terrain
  • Level 2: quite easy tours, mostly flat terrain
  • Level 3: requires a higher level of exertion, medium hilly terrain
  • Level 4: for experienced cyclists, hilly terrain with climbs
Difficulty level 1 Difficulty level 1

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Netherlands: Northern Tour of Holland

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