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North Holland and Friesland Bike & Boat Reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful vacation!

We loved the opportunity to stay on the sailboat with the friendly and attentive staff. The food on the boat was delicious and featured a variety of dishes. The scenery was beautiful & we had an opportunity to learn the history of the Dutch. The guides made an effort to offer extra miles for those who wanted a greater challenge,

Southern Biker, NC, United States

5 out of 5 stars

A boat and a bike, what could be better1

Another wonderful VBT trip, combining sailing and biking on this adventure. The guides and boat crew were incredible, responding to everyone’s individual needs while keeping the group as a whole going. As always, it was a combination of biking, seeing the countryside, and experiencing the culture – this time of the Netherlands, specifically the Friesian Islands. We are already planning our next VBT adventure.

DeeJay, North Carolina, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Return to Roots

Our VBT trip to North Holland and Friesland was a wonderful experience which included not only sailing and biking, but the opportunity to visit the home of my ancestors. After booking the trip, we learned that one of the stops was very close to my ancestral home. When the guides learned about this, they made it their mission to make sure we were able to visit the little town and the house itself. Our guide contacted the owners of my great great grandparent’s home and made arrangements for us to go there and spend a few hours at the house and in the town. Standing in the rooms that once housed my ancestors was an amazing experience. I’m so thankful to our guide for making this dream come true. It was the icing on the cake for this trip.
I really can’t say enough good things about this tour. From our extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful guides to the delightful schooner crew to the other bikers/sailors to the beautiful scenery and small towns we visited, everything made for a wonderful vacation. I know I’ll be recommending this trip to everyone.

ShirleyO, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Best Trip Ever

Who knew how beautiful North Holland and the Friesland Islands were? In addition, to being able to sail this gorgeous part of the world, bike every day through the countryside with sheep and cows everywhere, along the waterside and through quaint little towns and then return to the coziness of the ship was so much better than ever imagined. We highly recommend this tour.

Elly, Foxborough, MA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic: Sailing and cycling!!

The crew and tour guides were fantastic and always there to give 150%. I did the post and pre which was a wonderful addition. However having your luggage in the cabin as you cycle through the different Islands and Northern Holland main land was wonderful. Don’t hesitate to enjoy this once in a life time experience

5 out of 5 stars

Phenominal holiday!!!

I have traveled all over the world, and I am always amazed @ the perfection of the VBT holidays; exquisitely fine detail paid to each intricate part of the journey.

Georjean, Ft. Worth, TX U.S.

5 out of 5 stars

Great combination: sailing and biking!

The two guides (Ed and Wouter) were great. Both were local and knowledgeable of the history and culture of the area. The rides were easy and allowed time for stops and sightseeing. They were well marked and the GPS system worked well. The guides split leader and support / sweeper duties. No one on the trip actually needed the support van and only few people got briefly lost.

The landscape included classic Holland flat pasture land plus nice coastal dunes and beaches. Plenty of scenic small towns. Most days had a local lecture or home visit to learn more about food and local history/ life style. Most routes were dedicated bike-ways and any small roads had almost no traffic (and the Dutch are very respectful of bikers anyway). It all felt safe and rewarding.

We had good weather for real sailing and even got all 5 sails up on the last day. The crew was also wonderful: very friendly and competent. The chef was great and prepared tasty local food. We probably ate half our dinners on board. The crew threw a couple celebratory dinners with many nice touches such baked Alaska on the last night. The only drawback to the ship was somewhat stuffy sleeping quarters – only portholes for ventilation and no a/c.

This was our first VBT trip; everyone else had been on multiple trips and were all enthusiastic. There were only 14 of us in the group and the group chemistry was terrific. There were opportunities for quiet time alone as well as gatherings of various sizes.

The weather was spectacular during the last week of May 2017, with blue skies and crisp air every day but one. We biked every day but one that was devoted to sailing from Texel to Terschelling… and then the foggy conditions simply made the sailing seem more special.

LarryT, Charlottesville, VA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Great Ride and Sail!

Beautiful country side, with an easy biking experience. The crew and especially the food aboard the Mare Fan Fryslan could not have been better. Highly recommend this ride. Couldn’t say enough good things about our guides Ed and Wouter!

LeslieH, Grapevine, TX, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Trip of a Lifetime

Vacationed with my sister for the trip. Just about every last detail is planned out for you in your days so it’s incredibly relaxing! We RARELY needed paper route directions with the GPS bike APP that always TOLD us where to follow & made it so much easier to enjoy the daily rides & scenery. Biking the islands, sailing the waters around the Netherlands on the beautiful ship, & exploring Amsterdam made this one of the MOST incredible trips I’ve been on.

Jane48, Houston, TX, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Bike and Sail Trip

Nancy and I really enjoyed the trip. Our VBT guides, Felix and Wouter, were knowledgeable, flexible with the group, and provided information about the Netherlands generally and Friesland specifically. They were wonderful! We loved the visit to the farm and the lunch by the Friesland chief.

The sailing crew were great! We loved Alf, the chef, as he was so excited about the meals he had planned for the group.

This is our 4th VBT trip and the second trip with our adult kids and one of our kid’s wife. We are sure that another VBT trip will be in our future.

Jim Wason and Nancy Cohen

Friesland trip, Denver, CO, United States

4 out of 5 stars

Great Experience!

This trip was very different from any of the other 5 we had taken, but for the better! It was NOT warm, but we had a great experience overall. We learned SO much about Holland and the culture.

amandaleigh9, Peoria, IL, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Great experience!

VBT is top notch. Great locations, leaders, and accomodations.

Dawn B, Grand Rapids, MI, United States

3 out of 5 stars

The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly

The Good- The boat, the crew, the food, and the fellow cyclists. The Bad- The sleeping pad (mattress) was a challenge. The Beautiful- The little villages which gave evidence of the enormous pride of the Dutch people. The Ugly – too many art lovers in the Van Gogh museum.

Lewis 80, tennessee

5 out of 5 stars

I'd do it again!!!

I will never forget this fantastic trip … booked it a year ahead!! Went all by myself, and met some wonderful people including a warm and caring crew … the happy captain, his beautiful family, the fabulous cook and his crew of delightful hardworking young adventurous people, and bikers from all over the world! And I especially want to thank our guides … soooooo attentive, enthusiastic, and FUN to be with!! The rides were heavenly too!

Jilly, Seattle, WA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful experience on every level

Every aspect of our trip was wonderful……our guides, bikes, routes, special events each day, the boat, the food, the service and the schedule did not disappoint us.

Tom A, Michigan, United States

5 out of 5 stars

I'll do it again!!

I will never forget this wonderful week of sailing, biking, sights, sounds, FANTASTC CREW, HAPPY PASSENGERS, WONDERFUL WARM FUN & CARING GUIDES, & DELICOUS FOOD & SERVICE … TRUE EXCELLENCE!!!

Jilly, Seattle, WA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

Exceeded my expectations

Thoroughly enjoyable experience for this first-time bike/sail traveler. Had some rain along the way, but that in no way diminished the pleasure of riding on Holland’s well organized and maintained bike trail network. The sailing part of the trip was an additional pleasant diversion.

Russ, Suburban Atlanta, GA

5 out of 5 stars

wonderful....eat and drink and ride!

accommodations…for a sail boat ( and we actually sailed with all 5 sails up)….were clean and comfy – even our bathroom with shower! For a land lover that I am, I felt safe and secure seeing land most of the time! All our meals Served on the ship were tasty and plentiful! Especially enjoyed the barbecues dinner on deck!
Had two wonderful guides that went out of their way to be sure everyone
was enjoying the experience! My e bike kept me up with everyone and anyone. Could have continued for another 10 days !!!!

Paula hazzard, Manhattan beach, California

5 out of 5 stars

Gotta go on this trip!

Great week biking along the bike paths and through small towns on 2 islands and the mainland of northern Netherlands. Several museums that we attended were excellent;guides (Maranje and Mathilde were fabulous) were so knowledgeable and personable;full day sailing on our 3 masted schooner,with 5 sails up and a strong wind-exciting! The people we met on our tour, both fellow riders and local folks- so friendly and interesting. We were spoiled with great weather (late May) and delicious food- loved the trip. We had done the “bike and barge” trip several years ago from Amsterdam to Bruges, and this one was quite different. Both great- this one would be my 1st choice, but do the other also, if time and money allow. We had 17 riders on our trip, from 30yrs of age to 85 yrs old- all had a lot of laughs and always wore smiles! Do these bike trips while your body let’s you- remember, the window of opportunity is slowly closing!

Fireman Mike from FDNY, New York, USA

5 out of 5 stars

Fun, Educational and Enjoyable!

An enjoyable, informative, special and new experience on a three masted schooner along with seeing a different part of the Netherlands which happened to be where my ancestors came from!

Eastern Shore1, Eastern Shore, Virginia

5 out of 5 stars

Exceeded expectations

Our first cycling, sailing trip abroad. Though both my wife and I came with cold viruses, and the weather was unusually chilly and rainy, our trip was extraordinary. This was due in large part to the wonderful guides, ship crew and fellow travelers. We learned about and experienced the Friesland culture, ate scrumptious cuisine and saw countless wonders of North Holland villages.

Steve Collen, North Holland sail and bike

5 out of 5 stars

I don't like to use the term "bucket list," but...

More than 40 years ago, I had the good luck to spend 10 months in the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, Germany, where a history of mercantile sea-faring gave the flat landscape its unique brick-gabled architecture. When I first saw the North Holland Bike and Sail trip in the VBT catalog, I knew that that part of the world was calling me back–and when I saw that the trip featured a lesson in the Frisian language (the English language’s closest linguistic ‘relative’) the decision was made. I had to go.
This trip, my first VBT abroad after four VBTs in the US, could be called the trip of a lifetime–except that I want to go back and repeat it during this, my current lifetime! The sailing ship, Mare fan Fryslan, and its crew, provided a comfortable home for 7 days; the ship’s chef cooked us wonderful, fresh meals with local ingredients; the daily rides were challenging and interesting, although I wished I could have spent more time in each lovely town.
I am not a strong rider, and I don’t have the right kind of phone for the bike-GPS feature, so I worry about being the last duckling in the pack, and then about getting so far behind that I get lost. The lovely flat landscape helped allay some of my fears–I could see where the riders ahead of me turned–but the truly sensitive, sympathetic nature of one of our guides also guaranteed that my fears were not realized. I was also the only single person in a group of couples–and this worried me too, but our group was supportive and inclusive. I am, however, a pretty good language learner (even at my advanced age), and when we enjoyed, not only a language lesson in Frisian, but also one in Dutch, my contentment was compete.
Not only would I recommend this trip to a friend, I am actively recruiting among my friends and family for someone to come with me so I have an excuse to do this trip again.

Susan Meredith, Normal, IL, USA

5 out of 5 stars

Wind & sails & bikes

Trip leaders were terrific – so well-informed & so helpful. Time sailing was unbelievably special.

evshacke, Atlanta, GA, United States

5 out of 5 stars

An amazing adventure

Wonderful trip with great memories, new friends and new experiences.

Mame, Bristol, Vermont

5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed sailing!

We decided on this tour because it included sailing. We enjoyed the sailing, the peace of going across the water. The stops we biked were each unique and the scheduled tours were very interesting. Our guides were great. This was my 4th VBT trip and the guides have all been great; helpful and knowledgeable. I have done 2 bike and barge and this was a nice twist from those trips.

5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous

Based on what some friends who had done several VBT trips told us, we had high expectations. Those expectations were blown away by the reality of this trip! It was so much more than what we imagined. I would recomend VBT trips to anyone looking for a cutural immersion experience in an outdoor adventure. Fabulous!

brucehood, Muskegon, MI