Northern Holland Bike and Boat

  • 4.9
    (6 reviews)
  • Category

    Bike and Boat
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Easy to Leisurely
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Amsterdam / Amsterdam
  • Distance

    157 miles/252 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeFamilyRivers and Lakes
  • Accommodation

    Comfort to Superior
  • Tour code

Price From £652


A unique bike and boat holiday cruising and cycling the charming landscapes and waterways of Northern Holland. Cycle through the original polders of Leeghwater, cross the Marsdiep channel to Texel Island and explore the historic towns of Alkmaar, Hoorn and Enkhuizen. Easy cycling suitable for all.

This is a land of polders, windmills, long sandy beaches, rolling dunes and cosy fishing villages. Yes, you’ll get a taste of the big city in the Dutch capital, but you’ll also discover another side of Holland, visiting the famous cheese-making town of Alkmaar and the old harbour cities of Medemblik, Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Volendam.

Zaanse Schans - Holland

Zaanse Schans – Holland

The terrain in northern Holland is overwhelmingly flat, and this cycling tour is suitable for anyone. You’ll follow quiet back-roads as well as canal and riverside cycle paths. Most days offer shorter and longer routes so this is good choice for mixed ability groups. Also, as your floating hotel moves with you each day, it’s also possible to skip a day if the mood takes you and relax on board.

Itinerary & Map

The captain reserves the right to make changes to the planned route due to changing wind, tide and weather conditions, and where required by organizational necessities.

View larger map

Day 1: Amsterdam



The De Willemstad remains moored close to  Amsterdam centre for your first night aboard. Check-in is between 2pm-4.30pm so after you’ve settled into your cabin there’s still time to take the tram back into the centre to explore this this vibrant and unique city with its quirky ‘leaning’ buildings and network of canals. At 5pm there is a welcome drink and safety briefing so you need to be on board for this. Then in the evening, there is a welcome briefing whilst you enjoy dinner and get to meet your fellow travellers.

Day 2: Amsterdam – Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar, 27 miles/44 kms

Zaanse Schans - Holland

Zaanse Schans

During breakfast the boat cruises to Zaandam where we start our first cycle ride through the green polder landscape. The first stop is the Zaanse Schans,  a fascinating open-air museum complete with traditional wooden houses, working windmills and traditional arts & crafts. After exploring the museum, cycle on through the green, polder landscape punctuated by tiny villages and windmills. This is the Land of Leegwater where, in the 17th century, scientist Jan Leeghwater devised a revolutionary system for reclaiming land using a system of windmills. Visit a former whaler’s villlage De Rijp and pass the windmill of Schermerhorn. The boat is waiting for us near the village of Alkmaar.

Please note.he itinerary for all tour dates from 28 March to 30 May is subject to change due to works on the locks of Zaandam. Rather than the boat waiting for you at Alkmaar, a bus will transfer you to Enkhuizen, a lovely 17th century town,  where the boat will stay the night.

Day 3: Alkmaar – Den Helder, 20 or 25 miles/33 or 40 kms

Polder scene

Iconic polder landscape

Our second day’s ride is a delightful route to discover the North-Holland Dune reserve which supplies the drinking water for most of the province of North-Holland. Then on to the beach and artists town of Bergen before returning to Alkmaar. During the afternoon the boat cruises north to the naval port of Den Helder, the northern-most town on mainland Holland, where she moors for the night.

Please note. The itinerary for all tour dates from 28 March to 30 May is subject to change due to works on the locks of Zaandam. In the morning you will be taken by bus back to Alkmaar where your bike ride of approximately 45 miles/70 kms will start. Cycle along the sandy beaches of the North sea and visit the lovely village of Bergen. Finally arrive in the naval port of Den Helder for the night.

Day 4: Island of Texel, 9 to 41 miles/15 to 65 kms



During breakfast the De Willemstad crosses the Marsdiep channel to the island of Texel. After disembarking in the tiny port of Oudeschild we begin our ride around the island. Charming villages, deserted beaches and a network of wonderful cycle paths characterise this idyllic little place and there are a number of routes to choose from ranging from 9 to 41 miles. On returning to Oudeschild we highly recommend sampling a locally brewed beer from the nearby brewery. In the late afternoon the De Willemstad returns to the mainland, mooring for the night in port of Den Oever where the impressive, 20 mile long Afsluit Dyke separates the North Sea from the IJssel Lake.

Note: in case of unfavourable weather conditions, the captain may decide to sail to Texel on Monday evening, or it may not be possible at all; if so, you can reach Texel by ferry (approximately €5 per person, not included).

Day 5: South-west Friesland, 27 or 33 miles/43 or 55 kms

cycling in holland

Cycling in Friesland

The day starts with a breakfast cruise across the IJssel Lake to the province of Friesland. The IJssel Lake was created in 1932 when a 20 mile breakwater was built between the provinces of North Holland and Friesland. Occupying 1100 km², it is the largest freshwater lake in western Europe. The boat moors in the small port of Stavoren and after disembarking you can choose between a long and a short ride or a combination of the two. The shorter ride leads you on a gentle, circular route through the untouched beauty of the Gaasterland nature park while the longer option leads you through the extensive and equally beautiful lake district. The boat remains moored in Stavoren for the night

Day 6: Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen, 19 or 31 miles/30 or 50 kms

Enkhuizen - Holland*


During breakfast we will cruise back across the IJssel Lake to the pleasant little port of Medemblik. Here once again we can choose between a long and a short route. The shorter ride leads us along a scenic, lakeside cycle path directly to the beautiful town of Enkhuizen. The longer route also finishes in Enkhuizen but first heads south, via a succession of small villages to Hoorn, erstwhile home port of the powerful Dutch East India Company. In the evening we can enjoy a short, guided walking tour of Enkhuizen.

Day 7: Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam, 22 or 31 miles/35 or 50 kms



During breakfast we cruise south to Volendam where we disembark with the bikes. For our last day of cycling we’ll venture into the ‘Waterland’ area of Holland, aptly named, as it is a network of canals linking a myriad of small lakes. We also recommend adding on a short detour to pedal out along the breakwater to the former island of Marken. We then enjoy a leisurely ride back into Amsterdam along canal-side cycle paths for a last night aboard De Willemstad moored close to the city-centre.

Day 8: Amsterdam

After breakfast it’s time to disembark, by 9.30 am, and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2021 Arrival Dates

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2021 Prices
Per person
28 Mar
11 Apr
12 Apr
25 Apr
26 Apr
05 Sep
06 Sep
19 Sep
20 Sep
03 Oct
10 Oct
De Willemstad - comfort
Lower Deck
Twin £652 £803 £953 £903 £803 £652          
Twin - sole use £978 £1204 £1429 £1354 £978 £978          
Upper Deck
Twin £803 £953 £1154 £1053 £803 £803          
Twin - sole use £1204 £1429 £1731 £1580 £1204 £1204          
Upper deck suite - 2 share £1053 £1105 £1405 £1304 £1053 £1053          

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Deposit per person £250

Price Includes

7 nights aboard the De Wilemstad. See practical information
7 x Breakfast, 6 x Packed lunch, 7 x Dinner
Welcome drink and daily briefing
Daily coffee and tea until 4pm.
Services of an on board representative
Maps & route information ( 1 x set per cabin)
Short walking tours
Ferry to Texel
Free use of Wi-Fi in the ship lounge
GPS route data

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire, helmet & bike insurance (see supplements)
Drinks on-board
Special dietary requests, excluding vegetarians (€50, payable locally)
Entrance fees, excursions and ferries not mentioned above


Regular bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£81)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£194)
Regular bike with pannier, lock and bike insurance (£91)
Electric bike with pannier, lock and bike insurance (£220)
Helmet (£11)


Practical Information


Unisex bike

Example of the bike provided on this tour.

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 7 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

Smaller framed bikes for children, tag-a-longs and child seats are also available on request at time of booking.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons, alternatively helmets are available for rent at the time of booking.


On-board payments: On board you can pay using your debit card with PIN number and with a VISA or MasterCard credit card with PIN: Payment in cash is NOT possible.

The captain reserves the right to make changes to the planned route due to changing wind, tide and weather conditions, and where required by organizational necessities.

De Willemstad – underway

The De Willemstad

The De Willemstad was completely renovated in 2017/18. She has 48 cabins distributed over two decks.

The upper deck features 8 suites ( approx 15㎡ / 161 sq. ft) equipped with French balcony and floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, two single beds that can be set together to make a queen bed, and a small seating area. The upper deck also features 16 twin bedded cabins (approx. 10㎡ / 108 sq.ft) equipped with two separate, single beds and panoramic windows that can be opened.

De Willemstad – suite

The lower deck offers 24 twin cabins total (approx. 10㎡ / 108 sq.ft) with two separate single beds and a large window with an upper hinged window that can be opened for ventilation

All cabins feature TV, mini-safe, air conditioning and private bathroom with shower, toilet and hairdryer.

Other facilities on board include a spacious salon with panoramic windows, an air conditioned restaurant deck, there is a large lounge with restaurant and bar with panoramic windows to enjoy the passing scenery. Outside there is a partially covered sun deck with chairs and sun loungers to relax in the fresh air.  Wi-Fi is available on board for a fee (payable locally).

De Willemstad - twin cabin

De Willemstad – twin cabin


A hearty breakfast is provided each morning, as are packed lunches to take with you on the daily rides. A three-course meal is served each evening in the dining area.

Daily complimentary coffee and tea is available until 4 pm.


Getting There

Fly to Amsterdam or take the Eurostar.

Research flights from the UK here.


Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 6 reviews 4.9
  • Date - 02/09/2018
  • Name - Kenneth Marson
  • Service rating -
  • Service comment - Firstly the extensive variety of the available tours. Cycle Northern Holland struck the right chord with me based on the detailed description of the tour,
  • Product rating -
  • Product comment - Great responses with the customer in mind.
  • Flexitreks response - Service rating : Very kind - thank you Kenneth!

    Product : Thanks Kenneth, we're glad we were able to help you select a tour that was just right for you.
  • Date - 16/07/2018
  • Name - Chris Ferguson
  • Service rating -
  • Service comment - excellent
  • Product rating -
  • Product comment - all aspects were really good, would recommend
  • Flexitreks response - Service rating : Couldn't really ask for more - thanks Chris

    Product : So glad you enjoyed it so much Chris.
  • Date - 03/07/2018
  • Name - Bruce Jensen
  • Service rating -
  • Service comment - Wonderful service and quick responses to questions. Never felt left out of the picture or that any questions were too small to deal with. I always felt completely in the loop with them.
  • Product rating -
  • Product comment - It was my first boat/bike trip of any kind and would love to do one again. The boat and crew of Boat-Bike Tours were all first rate and I highly recommend them!
  • Flexitreks response - Service rating : Great to hear, many thanks Bruce.

    Product : We offer over 30 different boat and bike tours Bruce. We look forward to welcoming you on another one soon.
  • Date - 31/07/2017
  • Name - Antonella Macchia
  • Service rating -
  • Service comment - Great service and friendly approach.
  • Product rating -
  • Product comment - The tour was great. The guide assistance excellent. The landscape magnificent. The boat had very small cabins. The food was very poor and monotone.
  • Flexitreks response - Thanks for the feedback Antonella and we're glad you had such a good time. As the images show on our website, the cabins are a little on the small side, especially compared to the boat you travelled on last year. This is the first time we've received negative comments about the food however and rest assured this will be passed on to the crew.
  • Date - 22/05/2017
  • Name - Robert Hill
  • Service rating -
  • Service comment - The info pack was very comprehensive and gave us all the info we needed. We will probably go again and also recommend to others.
  • Product rating -
  • Product comment - The staff were excellent, very considerate to others and always willing to help. The food was good and facilities on board just as advertised
  • Flexitreks response - Many thanks for the review Robert and great to hear you'd travel with us again.
  • Date - 02/06/2016
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
  • Service comment - Quick response to queries. Friendly & helpful
  • Product rating -
  • Product comment - Excellent briefings and routes. Boat very comfortable with friendly staff.
  • Flexitreks response - Many thanks for the positive review of this very popular tour.