Three masted ship
Third bed available
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. 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 […]
Raise the sails along IJsselmeer’s coast
Picturesque harbor towns like Stavoren
Gentle rides in Weerribben National Park
Sailing ship with max. 24 passengers
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.
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 harbour 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.
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.
Perfect for more experienced cyclists
With a detailed map of the area and a suggested route for close-range explorations, you decide where you head and how fast you ride. During the evening prior to next day’s cycling tour, the ship’s crew will explain some difficult parts, offer tips about the nicest places to stop for a drink or lunch, and mention the best highlights. In case of emergencies or problems, the crew can be contacted. But – as the ship is sailing to the next port – they can only offer assistance by phone.
Day 1: Amsterdam – Monnickendam / Volendam
Your week of sailing and cycling starts in Amsterdam. The crew welcomes you on board around 2 p.m. Once all guests have checked in, the ship sails under motor to Monnickendam or Volendam. From the port of one of these former fishing villages, you can take a nice stroll through the historic center after dinner.
Day 2: Monnickendam / Volendam (32 km/19 mi. or 51 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 arrive at the promenade of Volendam, where the ship is docked. Later in the afternoon, the ship sails to Hoorn.
Day 3: Hoorn – Enkhuizen (28 km/17 mi. or 39 km/24 mi.) | Enkhuizen – Urk
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.
In the afternoon, weather permitting, 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 the evening you may stroll through the narrow streets and alleys of Urk. 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.
Day 4: Urk – Vollenhove (37 km/23 mi.)
After breakfast the ship will bring you to the “new land”. From Schokkerhaven your bicycle tour through the polder begins. Cycle on a tarmacked cycle path to the former island of Schokland. Since the reclamation of the Northeast polder (Noordoostpolder) in 1942, Schokland – just as Urk – is no longer an island. Since 1995, it belongs to the cultural heritage of UNESCO. Continue your bike ride through the polder to Vollenhove, another charming, former fishing village.
Day 5: Vollenhove – Giethoorn (37 km/22 mi. or 49 km/30 mi.)
From Vollenhove, cycle paths through open countryside lead you to the small town of Blokzijl. This is where you enter the Weerribben-Wieden National Park, the largest freshwater wetland in northwestern Europe and a peaceful oasis for plants, animals and humans.
A bicycle path through the center of the park takes you far away from roads, immersing you in the tranquility of this region. Keep your eyes peeled for a fleeting kingfisher or—if you’re really lucky—an otter, the symbol of the park. You pass through Kalenberg, a village that till the fifties of the last century could be reached by boat only.
A twisting route through an agricultural landscape of narrow strip fields surrounded by dikes takes you to the lovely town of Giethoorn, known as “small Venice of the North”.
Day 6: Giethoorn – Lelystad
Today you can enjoy a full day of sailing and relaxing on board. Again, you can help the captain sail the ship if you wish. Or you can simply sit back on deck and relax. The captain sails the ship out of the narrow channels toward open water. Early afternoon the Elizabeth will arrive in Lelystad, capital of the province of Flevoland that was entirely reclaimed from the sea. After docking, the ship serves a real captain’s dinner.
Day 7: Lelystad – Blocq van Kuffeler (20 km/12 mi. or 29 km/18 mi.) | Blocq van Kuffeler – Amsterdam
In the morning you can visit the Batavia Werf, an extraordinary shipyard, where ships with an important maritime history are taken from oblivion and returned to their former glory. Or go shopping at Batavia Stad, an outlet center with all the famous brands.
After these optional visits you depart 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.
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.
The rental bikes on our ships are unisex bicycles with a low bar and a comfortable upright sitting position. These are stable and dependable bikes, good for miles in the saddle. Decide which kind of bike you want to rent and simply fill in your preference with your reservation. We’ll make sure you get the right bike for you. On most of our tours, the bike rental cost is not included in the tour’s price.
Every Boat Bike Tour rental bike is well equipped. The bikes consist of a lightweight aluminum frame and have highly-responsive handbrakes, at least seven speeds, an adjustable gel seat, normal flat pedals (no clips), an easy-to-use lock attached to the frame, and special puncture-resistant tires. All told, this is a light, stable and reliable bike, very suitable for touring long distances pleasantly.
Our e-bikes also have at least seven speeds and handbrakes. The motor runs on a 400Wh battery and offers three levels of power-assistance. The e-bikes include comfortable gel seats that can be adjusted for height, have a lock attached to the frame, and sport anti-puncture tires. Note that some of the ships have their own bikes on board. They may look a bit different, but qualitatively they are equal to Boat Bike Tours’s e-bikes.
The use of bicycle helmets is not required in the Netherlands, but for safety’s sake they are suggested. If you wish to rent one, you can do so during the booking process. If you book a premium tour and rent a bike or e-bike, then the helmet and a “limit of liability for damage or loss” for your bike or e-bike is included in the rental price.
Other rental items
Other items such as children’s bikes, tandems, family tandems (child & adult), tag-along, trailers to carry toddlers and child seats are available on request.
Taking your own bike or e-bike?
The fee for parking your own bicycle is €10 per week. For an e-bike the fee is €25 to cover parking and charging the battery. For safety reasons it is not always possible to charge your e-bike batteries in your cabin. The crew will tell you where you can charge the battery on board the ship. Neither the crew nor Boat Bike tours is responsible in any way for any damage, loss or theft of a guest’s own bike or e-bike or its accessories. Note: not all the ships are suitable or have enough room for extra bikes, so make sure you check with us well ahead of travel.
Our bicycles have a lightweight aluminum frame and are furnished with highly-responsive handbrakes, at least seven speeds and a gel seat whose height can be adjusted. Attached to the frame is an easy-to-use lock and the wheels carry puncture-resistant tires.
Our e-bikes also have highly-responsive handbrakes and a minimum of seven speeds. The motor runs on a 400Wh battery and offers three levels of power-assistance. The e-bikes include comfortable gel seats that can be adjusted for height, have a lock attached to the frame and special anti-puncture tires.
It is possible to take your own bike or e-bike with you, as long as it doesn’t have mirrors or other elements that stick out. There’s only limited space available on board for guests’ bikes. You can reserve a place for your bike for a small fee. Boat Bike tours is not responsible for damage to your bike or for theft.
To view the availability of this tour and/or book online please click on the button below. A new screen will open.
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.
Three masted ship
Third bed available
Discover the Wadden Sea by bike & ship
Pretty harbor towns Enkhuizen & Stavoren
Texel & Terschelling islands bike trips
Sailing ship with max. 26 passengers
A sailing adventure on a three-/four-mast ship
Tulip fields in South & North Holland
Visit the Wadden Island of Texel
Sailing ships with max. 38 passengers
North Holland’s flat landscapes
Beautiful beaches of Texel Island
Quaint harbor villages incl. Enkhuizen
Boutique ship with max. 24 passengers
North Holland’s flat polder landscapes
Visit Texel Island’s sandy beaches
Romantic harbor villages incl. Enkhuizen
Ship with max. 96 passengers