Set off with your bike, cycling through Holland's flat, rural topography, picturesque towns and romantic fishing villages in this 8 day northern bike and boat tour!
Dutch windmills pumped this former lake dry in the 17th century, with lush farmland and rows upon rows of tulips taking the water's place. Among the North Sea route's highlights is the bike friendly island of Texel. You'll also stop by the “Zaanse Schans” open air museum and its collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses. During your bike excursion you'll visit the city centre of Alkmaar, as well as the old harbour cities of Medemblik, Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Volendam.
Room and board will be provided onboard a barge converted for bicycle tours.
Day 1 (Saturday)
Arrival and embarkation in Amsterdam
Embarkation in central Amsterdam is between 2pm and 5pm. But, you can already load your luggage as early as 9:30am. We will be given our free time to explore the beautiful city, shop, visit a museum, tour the canal and immerse ourselves in the local culture. A short dinner cruise will happen by 6pm.
We travel from Amsterdam to Zaandam in the evening.
Day 2 (Sunday)
Zaandam – "Zaanse Schans" – Alkmaar | (ca. 50 km/31 miles)
Our first stopover for today’s adventure is the open-air museum of Zaanse Schans. It boasts a unique collection of traditional wooden houses, windmills and wooden shoe. You'll be amazed by different cheeses that are being manufactured in this side of town.
You'll also be inspired by the picturesque beauty of polder-land through the small villages and Leeghwater to Alkmaar via a biking tour.
We’ll spend the evening in Alkmaar.
Day 3 (Monday)
Alkmaar – Callantsoog - Den Helder | (ca. 60 km / 37,5 miles)
This day promises to be awesome! Our first activity is a bike tour from Alkmaar via the artist village of Bergen to the North Sea, along the beach, through the dunes with view on the flat polder- and coast land to the naval port of Den Helder.
In the evening, we will cross the Marsdiep to the harbour Oudeschild on the island of Texel. We will spend the evening in Den Helder – Oudeschild.
Day 4 (Tuesday)
Island of Texel: Roundtrip Oudeschild - Oudeschild | (as desired 15 > 65 km / 9 > 41 miles*)
We will venture on a round trip on the largest Dutch island of Texel. We will be given our time to admire the stunning views of the beach and a quick swim. Never miss out on the seal sanctuary “Ecomare” and the cycle the wonderful “Thijsse-route” (with signposting, approximately 25 miles) via the scenic villages and landscapes. End the day with a bang and enjoy a few drinks in a small beer brewery in Oudeschild.
We will spend the evening in Texel going to Den Oever. Music will serenade us as we bid goodbye to a memorable day.
Day 5 (Wednesday)
Den Oever – Medemblik | Medemblik – Enkhuizen | (ca. 30 or 50 km / 19-31 miles *)
We have the option to visit the steam engine museum. After this, we can join the bike tour from Medemblik along the IJsselmeer (former “Zuiderzee”) coast or a longer tour through the inland via Opperdoes and the lovely stretched village Twisk to soectacular harbor of Enkhuizen up to the very interesting „Zuiderzeemuseum“.
In the evening, we can continue exploring the city via a walking tour.
Day 6 (Thursday)
Enkhuizen – Hoorn – Volendam | (ca. 50 km / 31 miles)
Wake up early because we are bound to enjoy this fun-packed day. We will go on a biking tour via Hoorn (a short visit of historical town) and "cheese town" of Edam to the old fishing harbour of Volendam – sink your teeth on the popular smoked eel "paling" or salted herring.
Day 7 (Friday)
Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam | (ca. 35 - 50 km / 22 - 31 miles*)
Another biking expedition is set to be experienced today. We will pass by the marvelous "Waterland“ area with its hundreds of small lakes and canals and visit the cheese farm. We can also take a detour to the interesting former island of Marken via the region of Waterland back to the capital city.
We will spend the afternoon and evening in Amsterdam. If you failed to join the canal tour on the first day, this is the perfect time to accomplish this.
Day 8 (Saturday)
Amsterdam: end of the tour
We disembark after breakfast.
*Both possibilities are being offered: the guest can choose. All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours.
**At unfavorable weather conditions, the barge will not be able to cross over to Texel on Monday. In this case, we can cross through a ferry. Program and barging changes could be a result of nautical, technical or meteorological factors.
- Tour and accommodation on-board for 8 days and 7 nights (Saturday to Saturday) from/to Amsterdam
- Cabin in the booked category
- Meals – 7x breakfast, 6x picnic lunch during bike tours, 7x three-course dinner
- Use of bed linen and towels (daily change of towels)
- Daily short cleaning of the cabin
- Welcome drinks and speech on the first evening
- Experienced and multilingual local tour leader – with daily briefings of bike tours and can be reached via mobile phone
- Printed instructions and detailed maps for the daily bike tours
- Minimum of 2 city walks (Alkmaar, Enkhuizen) with the tour leader
- Optional visits: open-air museum Zaanse Schans, visitors centre windmill Schermerhorn, Beer brewery Oudeschild (Texel), steam engine museum, open-air museum Enkhuizen, and more (entrance fees not included, but for our guests with discount)
- 1x music night on board;
- Discounts on entrance fees and excursions as mentioned in the program, value up to € 25,00 p.p.
- Use of WLAN/Wifi in the lounge of the ship
- Daily coffee and tea until 4pm
- Transfers to/from the docking place in Amsterdam
- Reservation fee at €15,00 (obligatory surcharge)
- Rental bicycle fee at € 60,00
- Other transfers, parking fee, entrance fees & excursions, fees for ferries
- Ticket canal tour Amsterdam, approximately 60 minutes - for our guests with discount € 10,50 (at the ticket office € 15,00)
- Drinks on board
- Personal insurances
- Gratuities and tips at your own discretion
Bicycles available are mostly unisex touring bicycles of the German brand VSF, with normal mount (ladies model). They have 7 gears, saddles (front or rear) are only available upon request and confirmation. However, we have a limited supply on board. To rent them is also optional. Guests are also allowed to bring their own bicycles or E-bikes (with no extra charge). You just have to be reminded that operators are in no way responsible for any damage, loss or theft of such bicycles. In the Netherlands, law does not require wearing bike helmet. We have helmets on board, free of charge, if you wish to use, but was not able to bring one.
The General Conditions or travel conditions of boat biking tours apply to cycling cruises, as well as to confirmation and cancellation of reservations to join these tours. We would be pleased to send a copy of these conditions upon request. These conditions represent a fundamental part of the travel agreement when booking a tour.
Children are very welcome on board. However, before booking, we advise that you check if your child will manage to go on a cycle trip of 30-60 kilometers.
Children’s bikes, tandems, parent-and-child tandems, slip streamers or child’s saddles are all available upon request. You are always free to stay one or more days longer on-board. We require that children under the age of18 years must be under supervision.
The ship is a nonsmoking zone. Smoking is only allowed on the sun deck. As a safety measure, a legal smoking ban applies in all cabins. This means that all cabins and rooms on board are no-smoking areas.
The ship ANGELA ESMEE can accommodate up to approximately 80 guests when sailing the Northern Tour. It stretches around 78 meters wide. The ship was completely refurbished during the winter of 2011-2012. There was an extension made to house a new section of approximately 16 meters (52 ft.).
There are 41 cabins (approx. 9 M² = 97 square feet) in total. Each is equipped with en-suite bathroom (shower + toilet), air-conditioning and ventilation system. After the reconstruction, the vessel now has 10 cabins on the upper deck (supplement) and 31 cabins on the lower deck. All cabins have a window (the windows in the upper deck cabins can be opened; the windows on the lower deck are fixed for safety reasons). There are some single, triple and quadruple cabins.
The salon with large windows has a separated restaurant area, a bar and in front of the ship a new large lounge with seats & tables and full glass panoramic windows where you relax and also use the WLAN/Wifi network. On the large and partially roofed sun deck of the ship are tables and chairs and there is separate deck to store the bikes. The ship is extremely popular and perfect for boat & bike tours on this route.