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ToursNetherlandsSail & Bike IJsselmeer + National Parks
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Sail & Bike IJsselmeer + National Parks

Bike tour along Lake IJsselmeer 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
Independent cycling

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 […]

From €1149 p.p.

Raise the sails along IJsselmeer’s coast

Picturesque harbor towns like Stavoren

Gentle rides in Weerribben National Park

Sailing 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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Sail & Bike IJsselmeer + National Parks

About this tour

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.

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Day to day program

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.

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 individually cycling.

 

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 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 June 7 - Sept. 6 Sept. 13 + 20
Small twin cabin 2 pers. € 1219 € 1099 Twin cabin 2 pers. € 1319 € 1199 Twin cabin for single use 1 pers. € 1978.50 € 1798.50 Triple cabin 3 pers. € 1269 € 1149 Quadruple cabin (2 adults+2 children till. 16 yrs)) 4 pers. € 1219 € 1099
Pricing overview - 2024
Cabin type For June - Sept. 1 Sept. 7
Small twin cabin 2 pers. € 1149 € 1049 Twin cabin 2 pers. € 1249 € 1149 (Small)Twin cabin for single use 1 pers. € 1873.50 € 1723.50 Triple cabin 3 pers. € 1199 € 1099 Quadruple cabin (2 adults+2 children till. 16 yrs) 4 pers. € 1149 € 1049
Included in this tour
  • 8 days/7 nights
  • 7 x breakfast
  • Packed lunches
  • 7 x 3-course dinner
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Welcome drink
  • Use of bed linen and towels
  • Cleaning of the cabin once a week
  • Daily briefings by the crew
  • Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set 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
  • Transfers to/from the docking place in Amsterdam
  • Other transfers
  • Rental of bike or E-Bike
  • Rental bike helmet
  • Parking fees
  • Entrance fees & excursions
  • Fees for ferries
  • Drinks on board
  • Personal (travel) insurances
  • Gratuities (at your discretion)
  • 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
  • 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).
  • 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)
  • Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
  • 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)
  • Please click on this link for more information
  • Parking own bicycle: € 14 per week (only a limited number of parking places available: pref. reservation by booking)
  • Parking 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
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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: € 25.20 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
  • 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 14 reviews on
30 Apr 2024

Sue Muller

The crew and guides made this an amazing vacation! Everything on the boat was great…food, drinks, hospitality and the professionalism of the captain. Love the small boat experience! Our bike guides made for a stress free/fun riding experience by letting us know what to expect. Highly recommend!

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 2 May 2024

Dear Sue, We are delighted to hear that everything, from the food and drinks to the hospitality and professionalism of our captain, met your expectations. We would be happy to welcome you on board again! Best regards, Boat Bike Tours

14 Nov 2023

David Bova

My wife and I were on a week long sailing & biking trip aboard the Elizabeth which surpassed our expectations. We attribute this foremost to the crew, and then to our fellow passengers whom we sailed with. The crew on this sailing were kind and accommodating – each doing their jobs well and going above and beyond, helping to make our time aboard the ship enjoyable and memorable. It is, of course, total luck of the draw as to whom our fellow passengers would be, and we were indeed very lucky, as we enjoyed sailing and biking with some very nice people. The bikes provided were of decent quality, and the ships crew had our bikes lined up and ready to go at each port. We thoroughly enjoyed the trails and the scenery of the places we biked throughout the Netherlands, before returning to our ship in the afternoon. Our room onboard the Elizabeth was spacious enough, and well kept and clean. The meals and snacks prepared by the chef were a delight, and our time sailing on the Elizabeth was a joy. We hope to join Boat & Bike Tours for another adventure in the future.

21 Sep 2023

Terrilou Josi

Fantastic trip, crew was great – helpful and friendly. The boat was clean and beautiful. There were some maintenance issues which the crew dealt with efficiently but as a result the route was changed. A bit more information about things to see on the route would be a benefit as it was unguided.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 4 Oct 2023

Thank you for your kind review! We are delighted that you enjoyed our tour. We also appreciate your recommendation! Hopefully, we can welcome you on board again soon. Best wishes, Boat Bike Tours.

21 Sep 2023

gail

Sailing aboard the ELIZABETH was one of the best vacations that I have ever experienced. The crew were terrific. We ate like queens and kings. And the bicycle touring was like something out of a fairy tale. Gorgeous scenery along canals and picturesque Dutch landscapes. I hope to do another tour soon.

Reply from Boat Bike Tours 4 Oct 2023

Thank you really much for this wonderful review! We are really happy that you enjoyed our tour so much and already plan to do another one! We are looking forward to welcoming you on board again soon! Best wishes, Boat Bike Tours


Can we help you?


Available ships for this tour

Sail & Bike ship Elizabeth Netherlands

Classic elegance

Openable windows

Three masted ship

Third bed available

max. 32 passengers
10 cabins
1 tours available with this ship

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