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The Netherlands Bike & Boat: Holland’s Wadden Sea & Friesland Coast

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There’s only one way to bike and barge Holland: cycle across the jaw-dropping landscapes of the Dutch countryside and experience the rich, unspoiled waters of the Wadden Sea by boat.
Former tour name: North Holland and Friesland Bike & Boat

Guided Bike & Boat

  • Duration: 11 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 10 - 34|
  • Biking: 1 - 3.5 hr|
  • Group Size: 24
4.9 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy
Easy
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

Bike Vacation + Air Package

$4,895

Bike Vacation Only

$3,845

(per person, double occupancy)

The Netherlands Bike & Boat: Holland’s Wadden Sea & Friesland Coast

Cycle through Dutch villages and sweeping farmlands on our bike and barge Holland trip, where land and sea are intertwined. Experience the unique ebb and flow of the Wadden Sea, where twice daily the tide pulls back to reveal sandy strips of beach. On the boat, try your hand at the sail or relax in the hot tub or deck while keeping a watchful eye on lighthouses, seabirds, and marine life. On land, windmills swirl in the breeze, grazing animals dot idyllic landscapes, and pristine bike paths lead you to nautical villages.

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain on bike paths and roads through mainly rural areas. You will encounter traffic, especially in urban areas. Some of the bike paths are unpaved, and the terrain can lack shelter from the wind. Weather permitting, Day 4 features a full-day sail to the island of Terschelling; no biking is possible on this day. Whether the ship sails or transfers by motor will depend on sea/wind conditions and timing. Our VBT van support shuttle is available every day at designated points for those who would like assistance, with the exception of Day 5 on the island of Terschelling.

  • Duration: 11 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 10 - 34|
  • Biking: 1 - 3.5 hr|
  • Group Size: 24
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Sail aboard a romantic three-masted schooner in the UNESCO-listed Wadden Sea
  • Bike on picturesque paths through unspoiled quaint fishing villages, sand dunes and reclaimed polder lands
  • Learn Frisian from your captain and other friendly locals
  • Taste smoked herring and learn how it’s processed
  • Picnic on a family run Friesian horse stable
  • Admire Hindloopen’s colorful clothing and unique architecture
  • Visit an organic cheese farm for a tour and tasting

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

May61º/46º

Jun66º/52º

Jul69º/55º

Aug70º/55º

Sep64º/51º

Average
Precipitation:

May2.0 in

Jun2.4 in

Jul2.9 in

Aug2.4 in

Sep3.2 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
Two nights in Den Haag in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
7 nights aboard a three-masted schooner Check Check
15 meals: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Thu, May 21 to Sun, May 31 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Depart from home for Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Amsterdam airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area; VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Please make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you. After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative holding a VBT sign. They arrange your transfer via taxi or minibus to our hotel in Den Haag (transfer time is approximately 35 minutes, depending on traffic).

Transfers are provided by Schiphol Taxi, who will be looking for you and carrying a VBT sign. You may be approached by other companies offering a transfer. Please use only Schiphol Taxi (telephone: +31 654 354 601 or +31 681 299 101). Transfers provided by any other company will be at your own expense.

If you cannot find the VBT representative or have been delayed in customs because of lost luggage or another reason, please follow the signs and wait at the Meeting Point in the main arrival hall. The Meeting Point is across from Burger King and in between the entrances to train platforms 3/4 and 5/6. You can also go to one of the yellow information desks in the main hall and ask if they will telephone Schiphol Taxi (using the number above) on your behalf.

Hotel check-in time is 3:00 p.m., but the staff will do their best to get you to your room as soon as possible. After checking in, you have the rest of the day to relax or to begin your exploration of the city.

Later, try one of the city’s wonderful restaurants for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Hotel Corona

After breakfast, make sure your luggage is packed and ready to be transported to the ship. At 8:50 a.m., meet a VBT representative in the hotel lobby for a 9:00 a.m. departure for Enkhuizen (approx. 1 hour 20 minutes from Den Haag). Upon arrival, meet one of your VBT trip leaders, who will give you some information about Enkhuizen. Included is the very interesting Zuiderzeemuseum Enkhuizen, with an indoor exhibit about the history of the region and a 15-acre open-air museum that features historic buildings from the Zuiderzee region. The staff and volunteers here will demonstrate 19th-century handicrafts.

After lunch on your own, enjoy a walk through the old city center. Its numerous stately mansions, canals, churches, city walls, and harbors reveal the 17th-century mercantile wealth of Enkhuizen. Meet again at 2:00 p.m. and embark ship.

Once on board, you’ll be welcomed by the ship’s crew and your second VBT trip leader. After time to settle in, join a safety briefing before a warm-up ride around Enkhuizen.

This evening, gather on board with the group for a welcome dinner.

Please note regarding WiFi on board: Shipwide WiFi/WLAN connection (free of charge) is available only in harbor. If stable Internet access is critical to you, VBT recommends that you purchase your own bundle before traveling overseas.

Please note regarding Ride with GPS: Due to the limited WiFi onboard, VBT also recommends downloading your VBT Maps & Route Notes prior to arrival on the boat if you wish to use Ride with GPS on your smartphone. During your vacation, you will be able to follow these route notes on your smartphone with turn-by-turn voice navigation as you ride. This option is in addition to VBT’s traditional printed maps and route notes available on tour.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 18 km (11 miles)
Afternoon
Enkhuizen Warm Up: 18 km (11 miles)

What to Expect: Ride back and forth along the mooring to get comfortable with your bike. Shift gears, test the brakes, make adjustments and follow the route notes. It also serves to acquaint you with the Dutch bike network that we follow most of the week.

This is a perfect day for a bike and barge in Holland. After breakfast, disembark and cycle along the Ijsselmeer to Medemblik. The largest lake in Western Europe, Ijsselmeer is a shallow artificial lake, with an average depth of 16 to 19 feet (5 to 6 meters). It was created in 1932 when an inland sea, the Zuiderzee, was enclosed by completion of the 19-mile (32-km) Afsluitdijk, part of the Zuiderzee Works project designed to keep the waters of the North Sea at bay.

As you ride along the lake, enjoy lovely views of the famous Dutch polder landscapes, a tranquil and colorful canvas of dikes, agricultural fields, and small rural settlements. Keep your eyes open for birdlife in the meadows.

Upon arrival at Medemblik, you will have time to enjoy lunch and explore the small, picturesque inner town with its many houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. After lunch on your own, you will board the ship and, weather permitting, sail to Oudeschild on the Island of Texel, the largest of the Wadden Islands.

Dinner will be served on board this evening.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 28 km (17 miles)
Morning
Enkhuizen to Medemblik: 28 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: After exiting the city gate of Enkhuizen, you’ll find yourself in grasslands, flower fields, and agricultural land. Just before entering the small town of Wervershoof, a windmill offers a great photo opportunity. Today you will follow the Omring dike originally built by monks in the 14th century to protect flood-prone land. Before entering the pretty town of Medemblik, you will pass a historical steam-powered pumping engine on your left, from where you see the giant 427-feet (130 meters) wind turbine towering behind the town.

With its 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) of sandy beaches and countless miles of traffic-free bike paths, Texel Island is a paradise for cyclists and nature lovers—especially bird lovers, as many migrating birds flock to these shores.

After breakfast, a short walk takes you to the Kaap Skil Museum van Jutters and Zeelui (the Skil Cape Museum of Beachcombers and Sailors), uniquely built from recycled wood and other items. The proprietors open it especially for VBT guests. During your visit, you will meet some of the residents and learn about the local history. You will have time to wander the museum’s grounds and visit a fisherman’s cottage dating from 1930 and 1950. You can also visit the charming windmill.

The rest of your day is free. Texel Island has much to explore: seven pretty villages, several additional museums, and the seal colony at Ecomare. If you wish, you can cycle to the bright red Eierland Lighthouse at the island’s northern end where you’ll find breathtaking vistas and, of course, the island’s famous Texel sheep—considered some of the tastiest lamb anywhere. VBT has a recommended route, but you are free to explore on your own. Notice the characteristic earthen garden walls, which once separated plots of land.

Afterward, enjoy dinner on the ship again this evening. The ship is again moored in Oudeschild on Texel overnight.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 40 km (24 miles)
Morning-Afternoon
Texel: 40 km (24 miles)

What to Expect: Ride through the quiet agricultural roads and paved bike paths of Texel. During your visit to the Skil Cape Museum of Beachcombers and Sailors, you’ll learn plenty about the displayed artifacts. The majority of these antiques were discovered by divers and beachcombers who considered Texel “Treasure Island,” thanks to all the heirlooms that were lost below the water or washed upon shores. At the Eierland Lighthouse, take in the magnificent views of Wadden Sea, North Sea, and Vlieland.

Spend the day (weather permitting) sailing to Terschelling, our second Wadden Island. If you wish, you can help the ship captain sail the Mare Fan Fryslân. Or you can simply sit back on deck or in the Jacuzzi and watch for seals and other marine and birdlife. Your route traces the southern coasts of the islands, maneuvering passages past sand and mud banks.

As you sail, you will learn a few words of the Frisian language from a native speaker and enjoy lunch on board.

Late in the afternoon, arrive at Terschelling, admiring its landmark 400-year old stone Brandaris lighthouse as you approach. You will moor in West Terschelling, the largest village on the island. Disembark to regain your land legs during a stroll, perhaps trying out your Frisian tongue while visiting the quaint shops, pubs, or ordering dinner on your own in one of the local restaurants.

The ship remains moored in Terschelling overnight.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choice:
Non-Biking Day: Leisurely sail to the island Terschelling

What to Expect: Give your legs a break from your bike and barge Holland vacation with a relaxing day on the boat. Trade stories with your ship captain and crew who will help you with some basic Frisian language lessons while sailing. When you arrive at West Terschelling, stop to browse second-hand bookstores and antiques shops or take a stroll along the moor while watching other ships come and go.

A true cycling paradise, Terschelling is home to sweeping natural beauty, rich Frisian culture in four beautiful villages and the widest beaches in Europe. The island’s bike paths stretch for more than 43 miles (70 km). The island is also known for its cranberries, cultivated here since 1840 when a barrel of cranberries washed ashore. The barrel, apparently lost from a ship that used it to help prevent scurvy, inspired locals to cultivate the fruit for their own sailors. Today, you can sample the tart berries in local specialties and baked goods.

For lunch, enjoy a special visit to the kitchen of local chef Flang Cupido. A native Terschellinger, Cupido provides insight into the very locally sourced products used to prepare your midday meal.

The afternoon is free for you to continue exploring this lovely little island.

Weather permitting, you will later sail for the pretty mainland town of Harlingen. Dinner is included on board this evening. After dinner, you may wish to stroll along the canals, historic warehouses, and mansions of this quaint port town.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 31 – 57 km (19 – 35 miles)
Morning-Afternoon
Terschelling Loop: 31 km (19 miles)
Terschelling Plus: 57 km (35 miles)

What to Expect: From the harbor of West Terschelling, dominated by the famous lighthouse Brandaris, our bike route loops along the western shore from where you can see Vlieland Island between Texel and Terschelling. We then alternate riding between the pine wood forest and the dune area until the village of Hoorn, where we will have a home hosted lunch with Flang Cupido, a Terschelling islander. After lunch, our route skirts the Wadden Coast (a UNESCO World Heritage site).

Start the day with a reel through typical Dutch polder landscape, much of which lies below sea level. Admire the dike systems that keep this fertile agricultural area well drained. Modern wind turbines share the stunning landscape with traditional Dutch windmills.

The highlight of the day is a visit to the Friesian horse stable of Pieter and Tiety Okkema in Witmarsum. Their passion of the Frisian horse will shine through as they give you a tour around the stables, showing some of their competition horses, explaining about the breed and how they train the horses for both the saddle and carriage. Pieter is also a state-certified farrier. During the visit, savor a picnic lunch in their cozy canteen.

After lunch you may either shuttle back to the ship or cycle to our next mooring site in Makkum.

Enjoy dinner in one of the local restaurants in Makkum this evening.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 27 – 44 km (17 – 27 miles)
Morning
Harlingen to Witmarsum: 27 km (17 miles)

Afternoon
Witmarsum to Makkum: 17 km (10 miles)

What to Expect: After leaving the industrial side of Harlingen, the Dutch Polder countryside dominates today’s scenery. Following lunch, our route takes you through open agricultural polder to meet the ship in Makkum. Vast fields of green stretch over the horizon, and you’ll cycle past tiny canals, windmills, and grazing cows. Eat dinner in this quaint town, where you’ll find everything from meat and vegetable tapas to local Frisian goat cheese and pastas.

Enjoy your last day of cycling on a seaside route that passes through charming towns. Cycle out of Makkum, following the coast and marshlands through the sweeping polder landscape and prolific farmland.

Stop in the small town of Workum. Its Jopie Huisman Museum is dedicated to the work and life of this Frisian self-taught master painter. A short distance after Workum, meet your Trip Leaders for a guided visit and tasting at a small organic cheese farm.

Continue to Hindeloopen, an enticing patchwork of old streets, canals and wooden bridges. Isolated from the Dutch mainland and influenced by trading partners from Denmark, Norway, Britain and beyond, the people of Hindeloopen developed a unique dialect and an eclectic style of dress and décor. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the shipping trade brought Hindeloopen great prosperity. Locals spent much of their wealth in Amsterdam on precious fabrics and furnishings supplied through the Dutch East India Company. Upon arrival, meet one of the locals in her home and experience the beautiful costumes from the Dutch Golden Age for yourself. Lunch is on your own today, perhaps at a Hindeloopen café.

Continuing along the IJsselmeer coast, you will soon reach Stavoren, the oldest town in Friesland. Your ship meets you here and takes you back to Enkhuizen.

Dine on the ship one last time this evening.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 26 – 46 km (16 – 29 miles)
Morning
Makkum to Hindeloopen: 26 km (16 miles)

Afternoon
Hindeloopen to Stavoren: 20 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Your final day of cycling takes you along quiet country roads, through the picturesque villages of Allingawier and Workum to Hindeloopen, where you have free time for lunch. After lunch, continue cycling along the banks of the IJsselmeer to meet your ship in the historic harbor of Stavoren.

After breakfast, say goodbye to your ship crew and trip leaders, then transfer by motorcoach to our Amsterdam hotel. After checking in, enjoy free time for independent exploration. Please note that your room may not be ready at this time, in which case the hotel will store your luggage. Enjoy dinner on your own tonight in one of the city’s many fine restaurants. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations about what to see and do in Amsterdam.

Hotel: Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District
Please note: Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District is a cash free hotel, so any extras must be paid by credit or debit card.
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast,* transfer to the airport for your flight home.** Be sure you are waiting at the designated time and transfer location.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the Front Desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” The transfer is prearranged by VBT and is prepaid. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Sat, May 23 to Sat, May 30 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

You are responsible for making your own way to the ship in Enkhuizen, arriving between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Please note that you cannot embark before this time, as the ship is being prepared for your arrival. If you are running late, you must contact the ship as you might miss the welcome, safety briefing and warm-up ride. The ship’s telephone number is +31 6 547 713 22. However, rest assured that the ship does not set sail this evening, so you can embark later. It will be moored a short five-minute walk from the railway station, in Enkhuizen’s harbor for sailing ships, at Tritondam 5 – 1601 GT Enkhuizen (pier Dirck Chinaplein 1).

After lunch on your own, enjoy a walk through the old city center. Its numerous stately mansions, canals, churches, city walls, and harbors reveal the 17th-century mercantile wealth of Enkhuizen. Meet again at 2:00 p.m. and embark ship.

Once on board, you’ll be welcomed by the ship’s crew and your second VBT trip leader. After time to settle in, join a safety briefing before a warm-up ride around Enkhuizen.

This evening, gather on board with the group for a welcome dinner.

Please note regarding WiFi on board: Shipwide WiFi/WLAN connection (free of charge) is available only in harbor. If stable Internet access is critical to you, VBT recommends that you purchase your own bundle before traveling overseas.

Please note regarding Ride with GPS: Due to the limited WiFi onboard, VBT also recommends downloading your VBT Maps & Route Notes prior to arrival on the boat if you wish to use Ride with GPS on your smartphone. During your vacation, you will be able to follow these route notes on your smartphone with turn-by-turn voice navigation as you ride. This option is in addition to VBT’s traditional printed maps and route notes available on tour.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 18 km (11 miles)
Afternoon
Enkhuizen Warm Up: 18 km (11 miles)

What to Expect: Ride back and forth along the mooring to get comfortable with your bike. Shift gears, test the brakes, make adjustments and follow the route notes. It also serves to acquaint you with the Dutch bike network that we follow most of the week.

This is a perfect day for a bike and barge in Holland. After breakfast, disembark and cycle along the Ijsselmeer to Medemblik. The largest lake in Western Europe, Ijsselmeer is a shallow artificial lake, with an average depth of 16 to 19 feet (5 to 6 meters). It was created in 1932 when an inland sea, the Zuiderzee, was enclosed by completion of the 19-mile (32-km) Afsluitdijk, part of the Zuiderzee Works project designed to keep the waters of the North Sea at bay.

As you ride along the lake, enjoy lovely views of the famous Dutch polder landscapes, a tranquil and colorful canvas of dikes, agricultural fields, and small rural settlements. Keep your eyes open for birdlife in the meadows.

Upon arrival at Medemblik, you will have time to enjoy lunch and explore the small, picturesque inner town with its many houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. After lunch on your own, you will board the ship and, weather permitting, sail to Oudeschild on the Island of Texel, the largest of the Wadden Islands.

Dinner will be served on board this evening.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 28 km (17 miles)
Morning
Enkhuizen to Medemblik: 28 km (17 miles)

What to Expect: After exiting the city gate of Enkhuizen, you’ll find yourself in grasslands, flower fields, and agricultural land. Just before entering the small town of Wervershoof, a windmill offers a great photo opportunity. Today you will follow the Omring dike originally built by monks in the 14th century to protect flood-prone land. Before entering the pretty town of Medemblik, you will pass a historical steam-powered pumping engine on your left, from where you see the giant 427-feet (130 meters) wind turbine towering behind the town.

With its 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) of sandy beaches and countless miles of traffic-free bike paths, Texel Island is a paradise for cyclists and nature lovers—especially bird lovers, as many migrating birds flock to these shores.

After breakfast, a short walk takes you to the Kaap Skil Museum van Jutters and Zeelui (the Skil Cape Museum of Beachcombers and Sailors), uniquely built from recycled wood and other items. The proprietors open it especially for VBT guests. During your visit, you will meet some of the residents and learn about the local history. You will have time to wander the museum’s grounds and visit a fisherman’s cottage dating from 1930 and 1950. You can also visit the charming windmill.

The rest of your day is free. Texel Island has much to explore: seven pretty villages, several additional museums, and the seal colony at Ecomare. If you wish, you can cycle to the bright red Eierland Lighthouse at the island’s northern end where you’ll find breathtaking vistas and, of course, the island’s famous Texel sheep—considered some of the tastiest lamb anywhere. VBT has a recommended route, but you are free to explore on your own. Notice the characteristic earthen garden walls, which once separated plots of land.

Afterward, enjoy dinner on the ship again this evening. The ship is again moored in Oudeschild on Texel overnight.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 40 km (24 miles)
Morning-Afternoon
Texel: 40 km (24 miles)

What to Expect: Ride through the quiet agricultural roads and paved bike paths of Texel. During your visit to the Skil Cape Museum of Beachcombers and Sailors, you’ll learn plenty about the displayed artifacts. The majority of these antiques were discovered by divers and beachcombers who considered Texel “Treasure Island,” thanks to all the heirlooms that were lost below the water or washed upon shores. At the Eierland Lighthouse, take in the magnificent views of Wadden Sea, North Sea, and Vlieland.

Spend the day (weather permitting) sailing to Terschelling, our second Wadden Island. If you wish, you can help the ship captain sail the Mare Fan Fryslân. Or you can simply sit back on deck or in the Jacuzzi and watch for seals and other marine and birdlife. Your route traces the southern coasts of the islands, maneuvering passages past sand and mud banks.

As you sail, you will learn a few words of the Frisian language from a native speaker and enjoy lunch on board.

Late in the afternoon, arrive at Terschelling, admiring its landmark 400-year old stone Brandaris lighthouse as you approach. You will moor in West Terschelling, the largest village on the island. Disembark to regain your land legs during a stroll, perhaps trying out your Frisian tongue while visiting the quaint shops, pubs, or ordering dinner on your own in one of the local restaurants.

The ship remains moored in Terschelling overnight.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choice:
Non-Biking Day: Leisurely sail to the island Terschelling

What to Expect: Give your legs a break from your bike and barge Holland vacation with a relaxing day on the boat. Trade stories with your ship captain and crew who will help you with some basic Frisian language lessons while sailing. When you arrive at West Terschelling, stop to browse second-hand bookstores and antiques shops or take a stroll along the moor while watching other ships come and go.

A true cycling paradise, Terschelling is home to sweeping natural beauty, rich Frisian culture in four beautiful villages and the widest beaches in Europe. The island’s bike paths stretch for more than 43 miles (70 km). The island is also known for its cranberries, cultivated here since 1840 when a barrel of cranberries washed ashore. The barrel, apparently lost from a ship that used it to help prevent scurvy, inspired locals to cultivate the fruit for their own sailors. Today, you can sample the tart berries in local specialties and baked goods.

For lunch, enjoy a special visit to the kitchen of local chef Flang Cupido. A native Terschellinger, Cupido provides insight into the very locally sourced products used to prepare your midday meal.

The afternoon is free for you to continue exploring this lovely little island.

Weather permitting, you will later sail for the pretty mainland town of Harlingen. Dinner is included on board this evening. After dinner, you may wish to stroll along the canals, historic warehouses, and mansions of this quaint port town.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 31 – 57 km (19 – 35 miles)
Morning-Afternoon
Terschelling Loop: 31 km (19 miles)
Terschelling Plus: 57 km (35 miles)

What to Expect: From the harbor of West Terschelling, dominated by the famous lighthouse Brandaris, our bike route loops along the western shore from where you can see Vlieland Island between Texel and Terschelling. We then alternate riding between the pine wood forest and the dune area until the village of Hoorn, where we will have a home hosted lunch with Flang Cupido, a Terschelling islander. After lunch, our route skirts the Wadden Coast (a UNESCO World Heritage site).

Start the day with a reel through typical Dutch polder landscape, much of which lies below sea level. Admire the dike systems that keep this fertile agricultural area well drained. Modern wind turbines share the stunning landscape with traditional Dutch windmills.

The highlight of the day is a visit to the Friesian horse stable of Pieter and Tiety Okkema in Witmarsum. Their passion of the Frisian horse will shine through as they give you a tour around the stables, showing some of their competition horses, explaining about the breed and how they train the horses for both the saddle and carriage. Pieter is also a state-certified farrier. During the visit, savor a picnic lunch in their cozy canteen.

After lunch you may either shuttle back to the ship or cycle to our next mooring site in Makkum.

Enjoy dinner in one of the local restaurants in Makkum this evening.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 27 – 44 km (17 – 27 miles)
Morning
Harlingen to Witmarsum: 27 km (17 miles)

Afternoon
Witmarsum to Makkum: 17 km (10 miles)

What to Expect: After leaving the industrial side of Harlingen, the Dutch Polder countryside dominates today’s scenery. Following lunch, our route takes you through open agricultural polder to meet the ship in Makkum. Vast fields of green stretch over the horizon, and you’ll cycle past tiny canals, windmills, and grazing cows. Eat dinner in this quaint town, where you’ll find everything from meat and vegetable tapas to local Frisian goat cheese and pastas.

Enjoy your last day of cycling on a seaside route that passes through charming towns. Cycle out of Makkum, following the coast and marshlands through the sweeping polder landscape and prolific farmland.

Stop in the small town of Workum. Its Jopie Huisman Museum is dedicated to the work and life of this Frisian self-taught master painter. A short distance after Workum, meet your Trip Leaders for a guided visit and tasting at a small organic cheese farm.

Continue to Hindeloopen, an enticing patchwork of old streets, canals and wooden bridges. Isolated from the Dutch mainland and influenced by trading partners from Denmark, Norway, Britain and beyond, the people of Hindeloopen developed a unique dialect and an eclectic style of dress and décor. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the shipping trade brought Hindeloopen great prosperity. Locals spent much of their wealth in Amsterdam on precious fabrics and furnishings supplied through the Dutch East India Company. Upon arrival, meet one of the locals in her home and experience the beautiful costumes from the Dutch Golden Age for yourself. Lunch is on your own today, perhaps at a Hindeloopen café.

Continuing along the IJsselmeer coast, you will soon reach Stavoren, the oldest town in Friesland. Your ship meets you here and takes you back to Enkhuizen.

Dine on the ship one last time this evening.

Hotel: Ship Mare Fan Fryslân
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 26 – 46 km (16 – 29 miles)
Morning
Makkum to Hindeloopen: 26 km (16 miles)

Afternoon
Hindeloopen to Stavoren: 20 km (13 miles)

What to Expect: Your final day of cycling takes you along quiet country roads, through the picturesque villages of Allingawier and Workum to Hindeloopen, where you have free time for lunch. After lunch, continue cycling along the banks of the IJsselmeer to meet your ship in the historic harbor of Stavoren.

After breakfast, say goodbye to your ship crew and trip leaders as your tour ends. It is important that you leave the ship no later than 9:00 a.m.

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Pre-Trip Extension - Den Haag

2 Nights From $295 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $195

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Corona
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

Depart from home for Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at the Amsterdam airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If any portion of your luggage appears to be lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area; VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Please make certain your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you. After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative holding a VBT sign. Please wait here while your representative helps make arrangements for your transfer via taxi or minibus to your hotel in Den Haag (transfer time is approximately 35 minutes, depending on traffic).

Transfers are provided by Schiphol Taxi, a representative of whom will be looking for you and carrying a VBT sign. You may be approached by other companies offering a transfer. Please use only Schiphol Taxi (telephone: +31 654 354 601 or +31 681 299 101). Transfers provided by any other company will be at your own expense.

If you cannot find the VBT representative, or have been delayed in customs because of lost luggage or another reason, please follow the signs and wait at the Meeting Point in the main arrival hall. The Meeting Point is across from Burger King and in between the entrances to train platforms 3/4 and 5/6. You can also go to one of the yellow information desks in the main hall and ask if they will telephone Schiphol Taxi (using the number above) on your behalf.

Hotel check-in time is 3:00 p.m., but the staff will do their best to get you to your room as soon as possible. After checking in, you have the rest of the day to relax or to begin your exploration of the city.

Hotel: Hotel Corona

Explore the art museums of Den Haag, where you’ll see Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring at Mauritshuis and the famed optical illusions of M.C. Escher in a palace that formerly belonged to the royal family. Delve into the history of criminal justice at the Prison Gate Museum in the “International City of Peace and Justice.” And end your day on a light-hearted note with a stroll through Madurodam, an intricately designed miniature Dutch town complete with tiny Dutch landmarks, attractions, and buildings.

Hotel: Hotel Corona
Meals: Breakfast

Spend the morning on your own. VBT Air Package guests will be arriving throughout the day. Later, try one of the city’s wonderful restaurants for dinner on your own.

Hotel: Hotel Corona
Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Post-Trip Extension - Amsterdam

2 Nights From $545 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $445

  • 2 nights at the Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District, Amsterdam or W Amsterdam, Amsterdam
  • Daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

Spend the next few days exploring at your own pace. VBT provides you with City Information, which includes recommendations about what to see and do in Amsterdam. Before your extension begins, your Trip Leaders will advise you of your departure time at the end of your extension, when a taxi will meet you at the hotel’s reception area and transfer you to the Amsterdam airport.

Hotel: Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District
Please note: Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District is a cash free hotel, so any extras must be paid by credit or debit card.
Meals: Breakfast

End your bike and barge Holland adventure with a free day in Amsterdam, where there’s no shortage of things to do and see. Museum hop at The Museum Quarter—located close to your hotel— to view works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, Van Gogh, and many more. For a piece of the jungle in this urban city, head over to the Natura Artis Magistra, one of the oldest zoos in Europe. Learn more about the ale brewing process with an interactive tour at the Heineken Beer Museum. Immerse yourself history at the Verzetsmuseum (museum of Dutch Resistance) or the Anne Frank House (advance reservations required). Or simply absorb the everyday life of Amsterdam at Dam Square in the heart of the city.

Hotel: Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District
Please note: Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District is a cash free hotel so any extras must be paid by credit or debit card.
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast,* transfer to the airport for your flight home.** Be sure that you are waiting at the designated time and transfer location.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the Front Desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” The transfer is prearranged by VBT and is prepaid. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 26 out of 27 (96%) of reviewers recommend this tour

4.9 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

11 days, includes round-trip international airfare, airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $1,845

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Bike Vacation Only

8 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $1,495

Thu, May 21 - Sun, May 31, 2020

From
$4,895

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Sat, May 23 - Sat, May 30, 2020

From
$3,845

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Limited Spaces Left

Thu, Jun 4 - Sun, Jun 14, 2020

From
$5,095

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Limited Spaces Left

Sat, Jun 6 - Sat, Jun 13, 2020

From
$4,045

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Thu, Jun 18 - Sun, Jun 28, 2020

From
$5,095

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Sat, Jun 20 - Sat, Jun 27, 2020

From
$4,045

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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