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ToursNetherlandsHolland: North Holland landscapes and seascapes
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Holland: North Holland landscapes and seascapes

A breath of fresh air along the Dutch coast

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.
time
8 days
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

This gorgeous cycling cruise is guaranteed to help you understand why the Dutch say “God created the earth but the Dutch made Holland.” The tour takes you through “polder” landscapes: low-lying land that has been drained of its water – reclaimed from the sea – using dikes and windmills. That means you’ll cycle past plenty of windmills, as well as dune landscapes, long sandy beaches, and picturesque harbor towns along the coast of Ijsselmeer Lake. This is an unforgettable tour! Tour guide Wilma will highlight all the sights of the […]

From €1119 p.p.

North Holland’s flat landscapes

Beautiful beaches of Texel Island

Quaint harbor villages incl. Enkhuizen

Boutique ship with max. 24 passengers

Monday to Friday
Amsterdam: 08:30 to 22:00
New York: 6:00AM to 7:00PM
+31 20 72 35 400 NL
+1 203 814 1249 USA
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Holland: North Holland landscapes and seascapes

About this tour

This gorgeous cycling cruise is guaranteed to help you understand why the Dutch say “God created the earth but the Dutch made Holland.” The tour takes you through “polder” landscapes: low-lying land that has been drained of its water – reclaimed from the sea – using dikes and windmills. That means you’ll cycle past plenty of windmills, as well as dune landscapes, long sandy beaches, and picturesque harbor towns along the coast of Ijsselmeer Lake. This is an unforgettable tour!

Tour guide Wilma will highlight all the sights of the North Holland tour.

A varied landscape
During this tour, you’ll travel by barge and bicycle along flat bike routes, crossing polders, dikes, and dunes. You’ll pass through nature areas and farmland. You’ll see how the Dutch have spent centuries shaping the landscape to prevent flooding and extend farmland, yet maintained their respect for nature. The changing landscape will charm you.

Reclaimed land
Since the 17th century the Dutch have worked to prevent flooding, both for their own safety and to preserve and expand farmland. To do this, they built dikes, used windmills to pump the land dry, and created tidal dams in case of high water. The end result is this breathtakingly green, flat landscape supporting profitable agricultural activity. Yet the Dutch have made room for bicycles too, so the region is laced with a network of bicycle paths, often dedicated paths away from car traffic.

Sandy beaches
The Netherlands isn’t known for its beaches, but you’ll be amazed by the beauty of the beaches on the North Sea, with their high sand dunes, on this biking and boating tour. The dunes are the biggest hills you’ll find in North Holland! You’ll also visit Texel, a scenic and bike-friendly island, and pass through small dreamlike farm villages and quaint harbor cities such as Enkhuizen and Hoorn.

Open air museum Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is likely to be one of your favorite stops on this tour, because it has everything you associate with Holland: windmills, dikes, cheese, and clogs. At this open-air museum you can visit a range of different historical windmills, as well as traditional Dutch houses and shops. You can see demonstrations of how cheese and clogs are made and, if you want, buy some for yourself. Another cheese-related stop is Alkmaar, home to a traditional cheese market.

The former island of Marken
A highlight of this tour is a visit to Marken, which used to be an island and a fishing port. It’s not anymore, but it’s still picture-perfect, with small wooden houses and boat harbor.

Amsterdam
The tour includes some city sightseeing as well. Amsterdam, the start and end point of the tour, is both a modern, bustling city with world-renowned museums and shops, and a historical reminder of a prosperous past in the elegant houses along the UNESCO-listed canal zone.

On board your boutique ship – your sailing hotel
When you’re not pedaling through the countryside or exploring Holland’s historical towns, you’ll enjoy the facilities of your boutique ship. There won’t be more than 24 passengers, which means you’ll get to know the crew and other passengers over meals and evening drinks in a hearty, warm and friendly atmosphere. You’ll dine, sleep and eat breakfast on board: fresh, local ingredients in meals prepared with care are the norm. 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.

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 the Ride with GPS app and our BBT cycling map (available on board).

Prepare yourself for this tour with our Travel Prep-tips

Preparation is half the fun, so why not start straight away?
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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 – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans (8 km/4 mi.)

Embarkation and check-in where the crew will welcome you on board is at 2 p.m. near the center of Amsterdam. Around 3 p.m. the barge sails to Zaandam. For your first bike ride, the tour leader will take you the short distance to Zaanse Schans. This is an open-air museum with a collection of windmills, traditional wooden houses, and cheese and clog factories.

Day 2: Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar (29 km/18 mi or 40 km/24 mi.)

From Zaanse Schans you will cycle through the “Land of Leeghwater”, a green polder area between Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Hoorn. You’ll visit the former whaling village De Rijp and pass by the windmills of Schermerhorn. You’ll rejoin the ship near the historical city center of Alkmaar.

Day 3: Alkmaar – St. Maartensvlotbrug – Den Helder (30 km/18 mi. or 53 km/32 mi.) | Den Helder – Texel 

Today you’ll leave Alkmaar via the artist village Bergen, then reach the North Sea to see the beautiful North-Holland Dune reserve. This is a forest and dune area of 5,300 hectare (20 square miles). You’ll find the ship again in the naval port of Den Helder. Next, if the weather allows, you’ll sail with the ship across the Wadden Sea to the island of Texel, the largest Dutch island.

Day 4: Texel, round trip (43 km/26 mi. or 48 km/29 mi.) | Texel – Medemblik 

No worries if the ship wasn’t able to cross to Texel. In that case, today you can cross via ferry to Texel. On the island you’ll cycle through some beautiful natural areas and through charming villages and landscapes in the south of the island. If you want, take a break along the way on a beautiful long beach. A suggestion: make a stop at the seal sanctuary and nature museum, Ecomare. At the end of the afternoon the ship will leave from Texel over the beautiful Wadden Sea back to the mainland, or else you’ll take the ferry back.

Day 5: Medemblik – Enkhuizen (39 km/24 mi. or 51 km/31 mi.)

After spending the night moored in Medemblik, you’ll cycle along the coast of the IJsselmeer. The IJsselmeer is a lake, but used to be part of the North Sea before a huge dike, the Afsluitdijk, cut it off from the sea. You’ll finish today’s ride in Enkhuizen, a picturesque old city that used to be a fishing and shipping port. It has a beautiful historic harbor and old center, and is home to the Zuiderzeemuseum, a great place to see what life was like in fishing ports like this. Dinner tonight (not included) will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).

Day 6: Enkhuizen – Hoorn (23 km/14 mi. or 35 km/21 mi.)

A shorter ride today, taking you to the former Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn. This was one of the world’s most important harbors back in the 17th century. Enjoy the afternoon in Hoorn and take a stroll in the old city center.

Day 7: Hoorn – Volendam | Volendam – Amsterdam (23 km/14mi. or 45 km/27 mi.)

On this, the last day of your cycling tour, you’ll arrive in Volendam as you eat your breakfast. Today’s route will lead you through a particularly pretty area called Waterland, which is dotted with hundreds of small lakes and tiny canals. Early in the afternoon you’ll cycle back to Amsterdam. Spend the afternoon and evening enjoying Amsterdam’s sights or doing some last-minute shopping.

Day 8: Amsterdam

The last part of your tour is today, but we won’t let you leave with an empty stomach. So before disembarkation until 9.30 a.m., enjoy a nice breakfast first.

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.
  • A detailed cycling map 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.

The bicycles of Boat Bike Tours

Always the best rental bikes

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.

Bicycle helmets
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.

Cyclists in a green landscape

Touring bikes

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.

E-bikes

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.

Taking your own bicycle

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.


Prices & availability

To view the availability of this tour and/or book online please click on the button below. A new screen will open.


Prices & information

Pricing overview - 2025
Cabin type For May - Sept 20 Sept 27
Twin cabin lower deck 2 pers. € 1329 € 1279 Twin lower deck for single use (max. 2) 1 pers. € 1993.50 € 1918.50 Triple cabin (Sarah/Flora, 3rd bed for child, max. 2) 3 pers. € 1229 € 1219 Triple cabin (Gandalf, max. 2) 3 pers. € 1269 Not available
Pricing overview - 2024
Cabin type For April May - Sptember
Twin cabin lower deck 2 pers. € 1199 € 1249 Twin lower deck for single use (max. 2) 2 pers. € 1798.5 € 1873.50 Triple cabin, price 3rd person (3rd bed for child, max. 2) 3 pers. € 1139 € 1149
Included in this tour
  • 8 days/7 nights
  • 7 x breakfast
  • Packed lunches
  • 6 x 3-course dinner
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Welcome drink
  • Use of bed linen and towels
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin
  • Daily briefings
  • Fully guided cycling tours
  • Fees for ferries
  • BBT cyclingmap (1 per cabin)
  • GPS tracks
  • Use of a waterproof pannier bag
  • Biodegradable water bottle
  • Wi-Fi
  • Carbon offset payment to the non-profit organization Justdiggit
Excluded in this tour
  • 1x Diner
  • Drinks
  • 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
  • SGR Insolvency protection
SGR Insolvency protection (mandatory consumer contribution SGR insolvency protection guarantee scheme: € 5 per person - will be specified separately on the booking confirmation)
Bicycles/E-Bikes

Flora

  • On board are bicycles of the brand Trek X300 with easy-to-handle Shimano 24-speed gears, handbrakes, gel-saddle (height adjustable), a lock on the frame and a pannier bag. All bikes have 28 inch wheels. 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 Trek TM2+ with 9 gears, 3 support levels and hand breaks only (or a comparable brand/model).

 

Gandalf

  • The bicycles on board are unisex city bikes of the brand Velo de Ville C100, 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).

 

Sarah

  • The bicycles on board are touring/trekking bikes of the brand Velo de Ville with 7 speed and handbrakes, a lock and pannier bag.
  • E-Bikes of the brand Velo de Ville CEB 200 with Nexus 7 gears, 4 support levels and hand breaks only (or a comparable brand/model). E-Bikes are only on request, limited number available, early bookings strongly recommended.

 

All ships

  • 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 - 2025

2025:

  • Rental bicycle: € 91 per week
  • Rental E-Bike: € 245 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle €14/week (only bookable in advance)
  • Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike €28/week (only bookable in advance)
  • Parking own bicycle: € 14 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Parking + charge station own E-Bike: € 28 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
  • Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
  • Canal cruise Amsterdam: Ticket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam – special price for our guests: € 18 (at the ticket desk approx.: € 22). 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 here.
Additional options & information - 2024

2024:

  • Rental bicycle: € 96 per week
  • Rental E-Bike: € 232 per week (only on request, limited number available)
  • 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: € 25,20 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
  • Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
  • Canal cruise Amsterdam: Ticket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam – special price for our guests: € 16 (at the ticket desk approx.: € 19). 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 here.


Reviews

based on 2 reviews on
11 Sep 2023

Anne Smithey

Fred was a fabulous Tour Guide. He took us to so many great places and he made sure it was easy for everyone to follow him. On his own time, he also took us on guided walks in the evening which was so much fun. Great staff on board the Gandalf. Very attentive and great food. Overall Amazing tour. Sights and towns were absolutely gorgeous. Hit some rain but it didn’t damper our tour. It was so nice to get to know the other riders from various countries. Very friendly group of travelers.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 2 Nov 2023

We're happy to hear about your amazing tour and the experience with our Tour Guide Fred, it's fantastic that he made the trip enjoyable and easy to follow. Your appreciation for the staff on board the Gandalf, the great food, and the beautiful sights and towns is wonderful. Thank you for your kind words, and we hope to welcome you on another adventure soon! Best regards, Boat Bike Tours

31 Aug 2023

Linda Breault

Captain Hans, Skipper Saskia, Chef Adam and assistant Alexandra were wonderful. Our Guide Fred was superb taking us through quaint villages, along dikes, dunes, beaches and fields. Texel Island was a favourite. The meals were exceptional.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 2 Nov 2023

We're glad Captain Hans, Skipper Saskia, Chef Adam, Alexandra, and your guide Fred made your experience wonderful. Thank you for your feedback, and we hope to welcome you back! Best regards, Boat Bike Tours


Can we help you?


Available ships for this tour

The Flora
Boutique ship Flora Germany, Netherlands

Openable windows

Free coffee and tea 24/7

Storage space under the beds

Third bed available

max. 24 passengers
11 cabins
6 tours available with this ship
The ship Gandalf sails into Amsterdam
Boutique ship Gandalf Belgium, Netherlands

Openable windows in cabins

Generator

Third bed available

Two sun decks

max. 20 passengers
10 cabins
5 tours available with this ship
Boutique ship Sarah Netherlands

Openable windows in cabins

Covered sundeck

Third bed available

Cozy lounge space

max. 22 passengers
10 cabins
4 tours available with this ship

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