Location: Netherlands - Amsterdam
Price: From € 599,-

Bike and Barge Tour Holland: North-Holland Tour | De Holland

During this fascinating Northern Holland cycling cruise on board the ship De Holland you will discover the best of what the beautiful Provinces of North Holland and Friesland offer. Explore flat “polder” landscapes – a polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments – the North Sea coast, towering sand dunes, long sandy beaches, historic windmills, the island of Texel and the many picturesque harbor towns along the coast of IJsselmeer Lake. It is without doubt a tour not to be missed!

Historical towns and villages, rural countryside and beaches above Amsterdam – the “North-Holland tour”

Nowhere else in the world will you find an area as fascinating to explore as the Dutch Provinces of North Holland and Friesland, two areas rich in tradition, full of romantic fishing and harbor villages, picturesque lakes and expansive North Sea vistas. Over the course of your week on board your floating hotel, the ship De Holland, you will be able to discover typical Dutch culture in picturesque harbor towns and small villages while you cycle through a flat “polder land”, extensively reclaimed over the centuries from the North Sea. What you will soon realize is the truth behind the proverb “God created the earth but the Dutch made Holland”, such has been the extent of land reclamation in the region you will be cycling through. Since the 17th century in an effort to save disappearing land from encroaching water, protective dikes have been built, low lying land has been pumped dry and tidal dams have been created in creeks to prevent flooding, with the result that today’s green flat polder landscape is full of agricultural enterprise. Given the Dutch love of cycling, the region is crisscrossed with many quiet cycle tracks that stretch from one end of the region to the other. You will be amazed by the beauty of the North Sea beaches, the towering sand dunes – who said there were no hills in Holland! – the extremely bike friendly island of Texel, the beautiful flat landscapes, small dreamlike farm villages and picturesque harbor villages. During the second part of the tour you will cross the large lake IJsselmeer to Stavoren in the Province of Friesland. Other highlights during your week tour include the open air museum “Zaanse Schans”, the historic city center of Alkmaar and the old harbor cities of Medemblik, Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Volendam, the  islands of Texel and Marken and – of course – Amsterdam with its beautiful canals.

All of the above and much, much more is in store for you when you set sail on board the ship De Holland for a week of discovery.

On two departure dates in 2018 (April 28 and September 1, 2018), the De Holland will be sailing on the Southern Tour of Holland. This gives you the opportunity to book the “Grand Tour of Holland” and travel 2 weeks on the same ship and in the same cabin. Depending on your travel dates in 2018 you have the choice of a week of North Holland followed by a week South Holland (2x) or first South Holland and then North Holland (2x). Please click here for more information.


  • Dates/Prices (Book Here)

    On the 7th of april the route will be covered by the ship Arlene 2. Information about this ship is shown in the ‘ship information' tab

  • Ship information

    De Holland is a 257 ft. long and 24 ft. wide cozy river cruise ship. The vessel has 34 cabins for max. 68-72 passengers. All of the rooms are well-equipped outside cabins.

    Lower deck cabins
    The lower deck has 24 twin cabins. All cabins (approx. 108 sq.ft.) have an individual climate control system, digital TV, mini-safe, small wardrobe, hair dryer, 230V sockets, 2 single beds (78 x 31 inches) and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and bath products and a window (2.55 ft. x 1.28 ft.) that – for safety reasons – cannot be opened. Three “regular” twin cabins in the front have single beds, set in L-shape, and an additional Pullman Bed as optional third bed. Five twin cabins and 16 “superior” twin cabins have separate beds, set next to each other as a hotel style bed (78 x 62 inches). The difference between twin and superior twin cabins on the lower deck is their location in relation to engine room, stairs and salon and/or (in 3 cases) beds set in L-shape (optional triple cabin).

    Upper deck cabins
    The upper deck offers 9 identical superior twin cabins (accommodation: s. lower deck) and 1 suite. The suite (approx. 140 sq. ft.) has the same amenities as the superior twin cabins, but is larger and – in addition – also has a mini-bar and a sofa bed as optional third bed. All upper premium deck cabins and the suite have a “French Balcony” (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors) instead of a regular window.
    Beds in most cabins are normally set as hotel-style beds (78 x 62 inches) or, optional, on previous request, can be arranged as 2 separate single beds (78 x 31 inches).

    Restaurant and lounge
    DE HOLLAND has a large salon with large panoramic windows on the upper deck that combines the restaurant, bar and a lounge area. Wi-Fi is available for guests in the salon (limited data packages included / additional data packages can be purchased online).

    On the partially roofed sun deck, chairs and sun loungers invite for a stay. Bicycles will be stored on a separate part of the sun deck.

    Please note
    Inside areas of DE HOLLAND are non-smoking areas; the sun deck has a smokers’ area.
    Onboard languages: English/German (international guests, international crew).

    Technical details
    Year Built: 1952. Full refit: winter 2017-2018.
    Registry/flag: Dutch
    Length: 78.25 m (257 ft.) and width: 7.32 m (24 ft.)
    Passenger Capacity: 68-72. Cabins: 34. Number of Crew: 11.
    Currency on Board: Euro. Accepted cards: Visa, Eurocard, MasterCard (only with PIN).

    Situation on December 21st 2017. With subject to modifications during the construction period.

    Ship Arlene 2

    The comfortable ARLENE II provides the right ambiance to make you feel at ease. The ship is being completely refurbished and upgraded in the winter of 2017/2018. In the tastefully furnished and fully air-conditioned restaurant on the Main deck, you can enjoy your dinner. In the saloon/bar with panoramic windows on the Upper deck, you can reflect on the day’s events enjoying a glass of fine wine.

    All cabins on the vessel are outside featuring en-suite facilities with shower and hair dryer, TV, safe and individually controlled air-conditioning.
    Upper deck: eight suits (approx. 15 m2) with French balcony and sliding glass doors, two twin beds and a small sitting area. Further 16 two-bed cabins (approx. 10 m2) with two separate lower beds, as well as two single cabins (approx. 8-9 m²). Both the two-bed and the single cabins on the Upper deck are outfitted with opening panoramic windows.

    Main deck: the 24 two-bed cabins also feature two separate lower beds, and have windows with an opening ventilation flap. The spacious and partly shaded sun deck holds deck chairs, which invite passengers to enjoy the passing scenery in relaxation. Here there is also the storage space for the bicycles.

    Look forward to interesting cycle tours, meeting nice people and having enjoyable time aboard the ship. On board language: German and English.

    Technical Details: Year Built: 1986. Last refurbished: 2017/2018. Registry: Dutch. Length: 91,35 m. Width: 10,45 m. Draft: 1,45 m. Passengers: 98. Number of Crew:20. Cabins: 50. Credit cards: Visa, Master Card; Currency on board: Euro.

  • Program/Route

    Tour Details the Netherlands: North-Holland Route | De Holland

    Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Amsterdam
    Embarkation and check-in from 2 pm in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping, to explore downtown Amsterdam, to make a canal cruise or to visit a museum Welcome drink, dinner and first briefing on board. First night on board in Amsterdam.

    Day 2 (Sun): Amsterdam – Zaandam | Zaandam – Zaanse Schans – Alkmaar (approx. 44 km/27 mi.*)
    The first bike trip of this tour takes you via small villages through the beautiful flat and green polder landscape. The first stop is at the Zaanse Schans open air museum (free entry) with its traditional Old Dutch wooden houses, windmills and the cheese- and clog factory. After this visit you will cycle through the “Land of Leeghwater”, a green polder area between Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Hoorn. Stroll through the former whaler’s village De Rijp and pass by the windmills of Schermerhorn. Your ship De Holland will be waiting for you near the historical city center of Alkmaar.

    Day 3 (Mon): Dune tour: Alkmaar – Alkmaar (approx. 33-40 km/20-25 mi.) | Alkmaar – Den Helder
    Today you can discover the beautiful North-Holland Dune reserve. This is a 5.300 hectare large forest- and dune area with its unique landscapes. In these dunes the drinking water for almost the whole province of North-Holland is gained. After a visit to the beach and artists village Bergen you will return to Alkmaar where you can visit the wonderful city center. In the afternoon De Holland will sail over the North-Holland Canal to the navy harbor of Den Helder.

    Day 4 (Tue): Den Helder – Oudeschild | North Sea island of Texel: round trip from/to Oudeschild (your choice 15-65 km/9-41 mi.*) | Texel – Den Oever
    During breakfast De Holland will sail to the isle of Texel, where you can make a tour on the largest of the Dutch Northsea Isles. You will cycle through beautiful natural parks and have the opportunity for a stop and some bathing at the beach. Suggestion: cycle the beautiful “Thijsse-route” (with signposting, approx. 25 miles) through picturesque villages and landscapes and visit the seal sanctuary “Ecomare” At the end of your cycling tour you can enjoy a locally brewed beer during a visit to the small brewery near Oudeschild. During dinner De Holland will return to the mainland and sail to Den Oever. The highlight of the evening will be a night of live music on board.

    Day 5 (Wed): Den Oever – Stavoren | Stavoren South-west Friesland round trip (approx. 43-55 km/27-34 mi.*)
    The vessel will cross the large inland lake IJsselmeer to sail to Stavoren in the Province of Friesland. You can opt for a shorter or longer cycling tour: discover the nature area of Gaasterland or explore a part of the wide lake district, that Friesland is well-known for. You can also combine both options. Night in the small harbor of Stavoren, one of the famous traditional 11 cities of Friesland.

    Day 6 (Thu): Stavoren – Medemblik | Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen (approx. 30-50 km/19-31 mi.*)
    De Holland will cross the IJsselmeer again during breakfast. Take the short bike trip from Medemblik along the IJsselmeer coast directly to Enkhuizen, where you can spend the afternoon. Enkhuizen is an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. The “herring city” boasts a beautiful old harbor, an historical old town center and the very interesting Zuiderzeemuseum. If you prefer a longer cycling tour, ride from Medemblik to the former Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn, in the 17th century one of the world’s leading harbors. Enjoy your lunch break and make a short stroll in the old city center. Continue by bike to Enkhuizen via some picturesque rural villages. In the evening you can join a short city walk.

    Day 7 (Fri): Enkhuizen – Volendam | Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam (Approx. 35-50 km/22-31 mi.*)
    During breakfast the ship will sail to Volendam. Your final day of cycling will lead you through the beautiful area of Waterland, with its hundreds of small lakes and tiny canals. Near Volendam you will have the opportunity to visit a cheese farm. Recommended (extra cycling miles) is a tour to the former island of Marken, to continue through the water shaped region of Waterland back to the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy everything Amsterdam has to offer. If you didn’t go for a canal cruise on the first day, you can do so today.

    Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Amsterdam
    After breakfast: disembarkation and end of the tour.

    Details: printed parts in italics will be covered by ship.
    *: Both possibilities are offered – you can choose. All distances are approximate distances of recommended bike tours.
    **: In case of unfavorable weather conditions, the captain may decide to sail to Texel on Monday evening or not at all: in the latter case you can reach Texel by ferry (price approx. 5€ not incl.).

    Program and details barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.

    If you don’t feel like cycling for a day (or more) you are welcome to relax and stay on board while the ship is sailing. But please note: lunch will not be served on board. So you can enjoy your packed lunch. On the arrival (first) day it is possible to put your luggage on board from 9:30 am.

  • Included

    – Tour and accommodation on board 8 days/7 nights (Saturday-Saturday) from/to Amsterdam, cabin in the booked category;
    – Full board (7x breakfast, 6x picnic lunch during bike tours, 7x three course dinner);
    – Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible); daily light cleaning of the cabin;
    – Welcoming drink and -speech on the first evening;
    – Experienced and local Tour leader (multilingual incl. English) with daily briefings of the bike tours, some short city tours, during the day the tour leader is cycling the daily bike tour and can be reached on his/her cell phone;
    – Printed instructions and detailed maps for the daily bike tours, 1 set per cabin;
    – 2 Short city walks with the tour leader;
    – Discounts on entrance fees and excursions as mentioned in the program, value up to €25 p.p.;
    – 1x night live music on board;
    – Use of Wi-Fi in the lounge of the ship;
    – Daily complimentary coffee and tea till 4 PM.

    – Transfers to/from the docking place Sumatrakade in Amsterdam;
    – Reservation fee;
    – Rental bicycle or e-bike(optional);
    – Rental bike helmet: € 10 per piece/week (optional)
    – Other transfers;
    – Parking fees;
    – Entrance fees & excursions;
    – Fees for ferries during cycling tours;
    – Drinks on board;
    – Personal insurances;
    – Gratuities (at your discretion/optional);
    – Dietary requirements on request/surcharges may be calculated (pre-booking is necessary).

    Reservation fee: €15 per booking/group (obligatory )
    Rental bicycle with 7 gears, hand brakes, pannier bag : €70 per week
    Rental E-Bike (brand: Flyer or similar) with 3 support levels, 7-8 gears, range 60-65 km (36-39 miles), pannier bag: €165 per week (only on request, limited number available)
    Rental bike helmet: € 10 per piece/week (optional)
    Ticket canal tour Amsterdam, approx. 60 minutes – for our guests with discount: € 12,50 (at the ticket desk approx.: €16)
    Parking Amsterdam (valet parking): rates and reservation on request
    Visits (optional): open-air museum Zaanse Schans, visitor center windmill Schermerhorn, beer brewery Oudeschild (Texel), seal sanctuary Ecomare (Texel); steam engine museum (Medemblik), open-air Zuiderzeemuseum (Enkhuizen), cheese farm, and more (entrance fees not included, but for our guests with discount);

  • Cabin types and prices


     Cabin type: Occupation Super saver Mid season Main season  Late season
    Twin cabin lower deck 2 pers. €    599 €     789 €     829 €     769
    Superior twin cabin lower deck 2 pers. €    669 €     859 €     899 €     839
    Triple cabin lower deck 3 pers. €   579 €    769 €     809 €     749
    Twin cabin lower deck for single use 1 pers. €   889 €  1,079 €  1,119 €  1,059
    Superior Twin cabin upper deck 2 pers. €    799 €     989 €  1,029 €     969
    Superior twin upper deck for single use 1 pers. € 1,019 €  1,209 €  1,249 €  1,189
    Suite upper deck 2 pers. €    899 €  1,089 €  1,129 €  1,069
    Suite upper deck for triple use 3 pers. €    879 €  1,069 €  1,109 €  1,049

    Twin cabins for single use and triple cabins are limited and only on request available. Please contact us if you want to book such a cabin.

    Super saver season:
    departure date on April 14 and April 21;
    Mid-season: departure date on May 5, 12, 19 and 26; September 8;
    Main season:  all other departure dates, weekly from June 2 up to and incl. August 25;
    Late season:  departure date on September 15.

    On the 7th of april the route will be covered by the ship Arlene 2. Information about this ship is shown in the ‘ship information' tab

    On two departure dates in 2018 (April 28 and September 1, 2018), the De Holland will be sailing on the Southern Tour of Holland. This gives you the opportunity to book the “Grand Tour of Holland” and travel 2 weeks on the same ship and in the same cabin. Depending on your travel dates in 2018 you have the choice of a week of North Holland followed by a week South Holland (2x) or first South Holland and then North Holland (2x). Please click here for more information.

  • Good to know


    The bicycles on board are unisex touring bikes of the brand Gazelle Chamonix 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. There are a few 7-gear bicycle with hand brake & back pedal brake on request available.
    Aboard De Holland there are e-bikes available (on request).  The e-bike is a Trenergy E-Relax Pro with Nexus 7 gears, 3 support levels and hand breaks only (or a comparable brand/model).
    Prices of other bikes (e.g. E-Bikes or electrical bikes (limited stock, pending availability), children’s bikes, “slip streamers”, tandem bicycles etc. and child’s saddles (rear) are on request.
    Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles (at no additional fee). However, the crew or tour operators are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of guests own bicycles.
    In the Netherlands bikers are not obligated by law to wear a bike helmet. There are some bike helmets on board, which can be rented for € 10 per piece. (please pre-book).

    Throughout the Netherlands there is a network of interconnecting cycle routes, with a total length of more than 4,500 km, called the ‘Cycle junction network’ (Dutch: fietsknooppunten netwerk). A cycle junction is a numbered intersection that is part of a regional cycle route network. Each junction is provided with a number and an information panel. The distance to the next junction is displayed on this panel. The routes between two junctions are signposted in two directions with white and green signs (see picture). On the information panel you can orientate where you are and decide to extend or shorten the route to your destination. We use the cycle junction network in the description of the daily bike tours in the Netherlands and Flanders. The junctions are marked on the maps our guests use for the daily bike tours. The tour guide on board will explain to our guests how this easy system works. He/she will tell you the daily highlights and the detours which are worthwhile as well. On our website we show in a short video how this cycle junction network works. You can watch this video and other useful and interesting videos on:

    The General Conditions (travel conditions) of Boat Bike Tours apply to cycling cruises, as well as the confirmation and cancellation of such tours. Children are very welcome on board. However, before booking, we advise you consider whether your child is able to manage a daily cycle trip of 30-55 km. Children’s bikes, tandems, parent-and-child tandems, slip streamers etc. or child’s saddles are available on request. Of course you may stay one or more days longer on board (children under the age of 18 years must be under supervision). The interior of the ship is a no-smoking area: smoking is only allowed on the (outside) sun deck. As a safety measure, a statutory smoking ban applies in all cabins; this means that all cabins and rooms on board are non-smoking rooms.

    Boat Bike Tours BV
    ’t Prooyen 3-B
    1141 VD Monnickendam
    The Netherlands
    Tel: +31 299 313071
    Fax: +31 299 313065

    Updated: August 9, 2017

  • Photos