Holland by Bike and Barge - North Route

Semi-Guided Cycling Tour, 8 days/ 7 nights (220-330km cycling)

Experience a carefree way of travel on board a comfortable barge and touring by bike. Explore the rich tradition in the flat “polder-land”, along the North Sea coast with its romantic fishing villages. Cycle across a distinctly rural, former lake and marsh land. Since the 17th century, this area has been reclaimed from the sea, in ancient times by pumping it dry with windmills.

Green flat polder landscapes with quiet cycle tracks, the stretch of the North Sea beach and the beautiful sand dunes will alternate with each other.

One of the highlights is the bike friendly island of Texel. Beautiful flat landscapes, small dreamlike farm villages and picturesque harbour villages along the Ijsselmeer.


  • Polder land of the North Sea Coast
  • Texel Island
  • The open air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’
  • Alkmaar
  • Old harbour towns like Medemblik, Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Volendam

Your Journey - North Route

The bicycle paths run mostly through country areas, along the former “Zuiderzee”, today’s Ijsselmeer, then to the biggest of Holland’s mud flat islands, Texel, and along the shores to Alkmaar.

Day 1 Arrive Amsterdam - Zaandam

Board from 2 – 4.30 pm. Welcome dinner on board to meet fellow guests and crew.  During dinner we cruise to Zaandam for overnight.

Day 2 Zaandam (by boat) Zaandam  – ‘Zaanse Schans’ – Alkmaar (Approx 44 km):

Leave Zaandam and cycle through the green area of Waterland to the open air museum ‘Zaanse Schans’ with its’ traditional wooden houses, windmills, cheese and clog manufacturing. Rejoin the ship near the historic city centre of Alkmaar.

Day 3 Dune tour:  Alkmaar – Den Helder (33-40 km):

Today you'll explore the beautiful North Holland Dune reserve - 5,300 hectare forest and dunes area.  After visiting the beach and artists village of Bergen, you will return to Alkmaar.   Dinner cruise along the Noordhollands Kanal to the naval port of Den Helder.

Day 4 Den Helder – Texel Island – Den Oever (15-65 km):

After breakfast take a ferry ride from Den Helder cross the Marsdiep to the harbour of Oudeschild  the island of Texel for a bike tour of the beautiful natural areas and beaches. We suggest the ‘Thijsse-route’ (with signposting) on the southern part of the island. End the day with an optional visit to a small beer brewery in Oudeschild. In the evening the ship will return to Den Oever on the mainland. A night of live music on board.

Day 5 Den Oever - Stavoren - South West Friesland (43-55 km):

Cross the large inland lake Ijsselmeer by boat to Stavoren. Discover the natural region of Gaasterland or explore part of the lake district that Friesland is known for.

Day 6 Stavoren – Medemblik – Hoorn - Enkhuizen (30-50 km):

Cruise to Medemblik and cycle along the Ijsselmeer (former Zuidersee lake) coast to Enkhuizen, the “herring city” steeped in maritime tradition with a very interesting Zuidersee Museum. Extend your bike tour from Medemblik to the former Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn which gave its name to Cape Horn. Stroll through the old city and continue by bike through picturesque villages to Enkhuizen. Here you visit a traditional chees shop with a tasting included.

Day 7 Enkhuizen - Volendam – Waterland - Amsterdam (35-50 km):

Cruise to Volendam during breakfast then cycle through the beautiful Waterland area with its hundreds of small lakes and canals. Take a detour to the former island of Marken where the locals still dress in traditional costume, through the “Garden of Amsterdam”. Afternoon and evening free time in Amsterdam.

Day 8 Tour ends in Amsterdam:

Disembark after breakfast.


Easy flat cycling mostly on dedicated cycle paths.


Breakfast daily, 6 packed lunches, 7 dinners (3 courses) onboard.

Trip Notes / Dates / Prices

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  • 306 Lake Road, Takapuna
    Auckland 0622, New Zealand
  • P: (0064) 09 486 7473
    F: (0064) 09 484 0091

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