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Netherlands

Sail & Bike IJsselmeer & small Frisian cities

Comfortable voyage of discovery
Amsterdam Round tour.
From €1049 p.p.

Highlights of this tour

Raise the sails along IJsselmeer’s coast

Harbor towns like Volendam with a guide

Gentle rides through beautiful Friesland

Sailing ship with max. 24 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 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
Duration of the tour.
tijd2 Created with Sketch. 8 days

Sail & Bike along the coast of the IJsselmeer. Once a salty sea, now the largest sweetwater lake in all of Holland! Discover this unique part of the Netherlands aboard a magnificent and comfortably furnished sailing ship, and while riding excellent cycle paths and tracks. Sailing experience is not necessary. Just a desire to give it a go. Cycling can be done on your own or by joining a tour leader. Whatever you like best.

Up until 1932, the IJsselmeer was an inland sea called the Zuiderzee. Since the Middle Ages, the area played a major role in the economic development of the Netherlands, but was also often severely flooded. A 32 kilometer long dike, finished in 1932, put an end to the flooding and turned the salty sea into a sweetwater lake. Along its banks many picturesque, historical harbor and trading towns, centuries-old polders (fields of reclaimed land below sea level) and beautiful inland villages are still witness to a rich seafaring past. The Ijsselmeer’s now sweet water is home to a huge diversity of birds, plants and fish.

You will visit many of those historical towns and polders on both the western and eastern banks of the IJsselmeer. The tour also leads you through various Dutch national parks and gets you as far as the province of Overijssel. On the final day the ship sails back to Amsterdam, while you can relax on board. We do stop for a last short bike ride though: through the Oostvaardersplassen—a nature reserve known for its rewilding, meaning that the area is left alone to create its own natural balance of animal and plant life.

If you feel up to the challenge, you may – instructed by the experienced crew – lend a hand during navigating and raising of the sails on board your ship. Of course, you are just as welcome to relax and enjoy the fresh air, sailing and scenery. Since the ships are very large (up to 55 meters/60 yards) and very stable, there is almost no risk of seasickness.

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’ll receive 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.

Fully Guided
Accompanied by a competent, professional and multilingual tour leader, you and the group will visit interesting sights and places on the daily cycling tours. During the bike tour, they will explain the local history and culture behind the things you encounter along the way. You can also choose to ride individually with the help of a map and route notes (available on board).

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 planned itinerary is subject to change due to nautical, technical or meteorological reasons and other unforeseen circumstances. If there is low or high water and a route cannot be shipped, the captain reserves the right to change the route in view of your safety (this cannot be accepted as a reason for free withdrawal).

Day 1: Amsterdam – Volendam | testride (10 km/6 mi.)

Your week of sailing and cycling starts in Amsterdam. The crew welcomes you on board at 2 p.m. (on May 8 the check-in is at 4 p.m.) Once all guests have checked in, the ship sails under motor to Volendam. From the port of this former fishing village, a short warm-up ride leads you through the rural nature reserve of Waterland with its many villages.

Day 2: Volendam – Volendam (36 km/22 mi. or 49 km/31 mi.) | Volendam – Hoorn

A very Dutch start of the day: you cycle to a nearby, family-run cheese and clog shop for a short demonstration of cheese and clog making, and of course a cheese tasting. Continue pedaling along the dikes to Purmerend, in the heart of a polder named De Beemster, 11½ feet (3.5 meters) below sea level. It was created more than 400 years ago, when the Dutch transformed an inland lake into pasture land. Divided into a tight geometric pattern of squares and quadrants, it is recognized by UNESCO as “a creative masterpiece”.

Your next destination is Edam, a lovely town whose lanes and canals deserve a stroll. Edam is known worldwide for its cheese covered in red or yellow wax. This practical solution keeps the cheese fresh for a long time, so 17th century sailors could take it on their voyages or trade it for spices and other riches of the East.

Via the main dike of the IJsselmeer you will return to the promenade of Volendam, where the ship is waiting for you. You will still have some time on your own to check out the souvenir shops. During diner the ship will take you to Hoorn. Let the historical city center lure you into a digestive walk.

Day 3: Hoorn – Enkhuizen (26 km/16 mi. or 44 km/27 mi.)

Through small rural hamlets and villages, today’s ride brings you to Enkhuizen. Pass by windmill De Krijgsman (The Warrior), the highest windmill in the province of North-Holland and one of a handful of old Dutch windmills still in use to produce flour commercially. The area is also known for its many greenhouses, where vegetables are grown.

In the 17th century, Enkhuizen was one of the wealthiest cities in Holland, thanks to its harbour that shipped then-costly spices from Asia. Be astonished by the stately mansions, canals, churches and city walls that to this day reflect the city’s rich history and wealth.

Day 4: Enkhuizen – Stavoren | Stavoren loop (25 km/15 mi. or 37 km/23 mi.)

Weather permitting, we sail across the IJsselmeer to the port of Stavoren in Friesland (approx. 4 hours). On board, you can help the captain sail the ship if you wish. Or you can simply sit back on deck and enjoy the invigorating journey, while keeping watch for marine bird life. Upon arrival a bike tour is planned that first takes you to Hindeloopen, a picturesque and lively fishing village. From there you go to Workum, home to the Jopie Huisman Museum. This museum is dedicated to the work and life of the Frisian realist painter Jopie Huisman, whose work is very much loved by the Dutch.

Day 5: Stavoren – Lemmer (33 km/20 mi. or 40 km/25 mi.)

Following the dike along the IJsselmeer we arrive in Gaasterland, renowned for its sandy heights that are over 32.8 feet (10 meters) high. The name Gaasterland derives from gaasten, the Frisian word for these elliptically shaped heights. They were formed during the Ice Age, when boulder clay from Scandinavia was deposited on this terrain.

Leaving the dike, you enter the Rijsterbos, a 300-year-old forest. Through this wooded area you ride to the town of Balk and along the tree-lined river Luts, that flows through the center of town. Shortly afterward, you’ll arrive at the fortress city of Sloten. With less than 800 inhabitants, it is one of the smallest cities in The Netherlands. Take the time to leisurely wander the narrow streets, to relax and to find a spot for a lunch on your own.

The last stretch of today’s tour brings you to the fishing port of Lemmer, where the ship moors for the night. Dinner will be served on board. An after dinner stroll into town is definitely worth your while.

Day 6: Lemmer – Urk | Urk loop (ca. 25 km/15mi.)

In the morning we sail across the IJsselmeer to the port of Urk. On board, you can help the captain sail the ship if you wish. Or you can simply sit back on deck and enjoy the invigorating journey, while keeping watch for marine bird life. In Urk you may stroll through the narrow streets and alleys. The houses in this picturesque fishing village were built close to one another on elevated grounds to protect them against the water, and that is still visible today. In the afternoon a short optional bike ride is planned through the Northeast polder (Noordoostpolder).

Day 7: Urk – Lelystad | Lelystad – Blocq van Kuffeler (20 km/12 mi. or 28 km/17 mi.)| Blocq van Kuffeler – Amsterdam

After breakfast you’ll disembark for your last half day of cycling. You’ll ride through the Oostvaardersplassen—a nature reserve on new land, left to find its own balance like nature did in old times on old land. Sections of the ride wind through forested areas, while others give you panoramic views of expansive reed beds and marshes. This is a birdwatchers’ paradise.

The ship picks you up in the small harbor of Oostvaardersdiep for the return voyage to Amsterdam. Celebrate this marvelous week around the Ijsselmeer while having a farewell dinner aboard the ship.

Day 8: Amsterdam

Your tour ends today with a nice breakfast. Disembarkation afterwards 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.

 

Important observations for the Sail & Bike program:
A little bit of adventure is a part of every Sail & Bike tour: the departure and arrival day and the location – Amsterdam – are a certainty, 100%. For the rest, the planned daily sailing routes are partially dependent on the strength and direction of the winds. The skipper decides the best route to be taken day by day, and discusses the options with his guests. The crew does everything in its power to enable the program to run according to plan and to offer you as fascinating, varied and active a week as possible, in which nature and culture play a major part. It is, however, also possible that departure times and the time spent on the water – and even the order of the program itself – may be adjusted. Enjoy the ride and let yourself be led by the elements!

Whenever possible, various passages will be undertaken fully rigged and anyone who would like to help the crew to sail and steer the boat is welcome to do so. This is of course absolutely up to you and no sailing experience is necessary.


Prices & information

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)

Pricing overview - 2022
Cabin type For April 30 & May 7 May 14 - September
Twin cabin 2 pers. € 1049 € 1129 Juniorsuite (Mare, max. 1 ) 2 pers. € 1249 € 1329 Single (Mare, max. 1) 1 pers. € 1349 € 1429 Twin cabin for single use (max. 1) 1 pers. € 1573.50 € 1693.50
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 p.m.
  • Welcome drink
  • Use of bed linen and towels
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Daily briefings by the tour leader
  • Fully guided cycling tours
  • Fees for ferries
  • Some short walking tours
  • Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)
  • GPS tracks
  • Use of a waterproof pannier bag
  • Wi-Fi
  • SGR Insolvency protection
  • Carbon offset payment to the non-profit organization Justdiggit
Excluded in this tour
  • Drinks
  • Coffee and tea on board after 4 p.m.
  • Bicycle rental or e-bike rental
  • Helmet rental
  • Personal insurances
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • Entrance fees and excursions
  • Transfers to/from the docking place
  • Parking fees
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 when you click on 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
  • Please click on this link for more information
  • 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

 

Reduced rates for families with children
We offer a reduced rate for children on the Sail & Bike IJsselmeer Tours: 15% reduction for children up to incl. 15 years of age, only applicable when staying in the same cabin with 2 adults (triple cabin).

Travel during corona time

On our tours we make sure that you can travel safely! We follow all possible safety measures on board by observing hygiene rules, equipping staff with face masks and with extra cleaning and sufficient ventilation. All guests, crew and tour leaders complete a health declaration in advance, and during the trip we take care that everyone stays healthy!
For more information and the latest updates click here.



Reviews

Rated 9.6 out of 10 based on 9 reviews
4 stars

Donald Marcou

We enjoyed the week, staff, accommodation and meals. Due to the changes in cycling routes which occur when sailing, some distances were needed to be covered in a shorter length of time than was comfortable for us. Several guests had ebikes and this was not a problem for them. We didn’t. We missed the opportunities to stop and enjoy the…

5 stars

wolfreinhard

Eine wunderbare Woche auf dem ijsselmeer ….. Unser Schiff: Leafde fan Fryslân Perfekt geeignet für 2 Dutzend Passagiere mit Bikes und guter Laune , Internationale Zusammensetzung bringt Schwung in Deine Kommunikation…. Unser Captain : Floris , cool und kompetent Unser Bootsmann: Yorick , immer busy und engagiert Unser Koch : Ruben, zaubert in seiner kompakten Kombüse die Besten internationalen Leckerbissen…..…

5 stars

Lee & Meg Phillips

This was our second experience with Boat Bike Tours. A trip on the Fluvius from Bruges to Amsterdam made us eager to sail with this company again. We were expecting a nice trip on the Leafde fan Fryslan, sailing and biking along the coast of the Ijsselmeer. What we experienced was an amazing week with a wonderful crew, a beautiful…

5 stars

Lee & Meg Phillips

We just returned from a week on the Leafde fan Fryslan with Captain Floris, and his crew: Yorick, Ruben, Annie and Paulette. This is our second experience with BoatBike Tours and our first on a sailing vessel. Everything about this trip exceeded our expectations: food, condition of the ship, staterooms, attentiveness of the crew, quality of bike and walking tours…

Read all reviews on Trustpilot

Available ships for this tour

Sailing ship Wapen fan Fryslân Netherlands

Jacuzzi

Cozy bar and lounge

Third bed available

Openable windows in cabins

max. 36 passengers
12 cabins
3 tours available with this ship
Sailing ship Mare fan Fryslân Netherlands

Jacuzzi

Cozy bar and lounge

Three masted ship

Teakwood deck

max. 41 passengers
14 cabins
3 tours available with this ship

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Sail & Bike IJsselmeer & small Frisian cities

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