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North Holland - A wonderful coastal route

Bike cruise with MS Serena - a delightful hotel boat

The North Holland route, also called the Coastal Route, offers sea, beaches, dunes and the North Sea island of Texel. You sail with the lovely boat MS Serena through the old, traditional Holland to charming fishing villages.

€3,798.00
In stock
Travel Code
KR-69
North Holland

Once again, we offer this bike cruise with the popular and beautiful boat MS Serena.

 

The tour is very varied, from reclaimed flat marchland to the North Sea island of Texel. You’ll experience North Sea sailing, dune areas, long white sandy beaches, lush green meadows with birdlife along the canals and cosy small and big harbour towns along the entire coastline.

Life on the Dutch coasts is often completely different than in the hurried cities. Here is a very special atmosphere with warm and hospitable people. You will experience the Holland that is known for its specialties, such as cheese factories, the Texel brewery, the fish smokehouses in the small fishing villages and the countless windmills in the marsh where you can still meet traditionally dressed people wearing the typical Dutch "klompen" (wooden clogs).

The tour also leads you into old cultural towns like Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Alkmaar, and includes sailing on rivers and canals in the area northwest of Amsterdam. A wonderful and varied cycle route offering countless diverse experiences in one of Europe's very best cycling countries, and daily cycle stages manageable by anyone with an average level of fitness. If you want a full day of relaxation during your vacation, you also always have the choice to stay on board where you can enjoy the fresh air, the sailing and the view from the sun deck on board your lovely floating hotel, MS Serena.

Accommodation

MS Serena is a nice big boat with room for up to about a 100 people. The boat was completely renovated in the 2010/2011 season, so now both the sun deck, dining room and lounge area with adjacent bar feature a beautiful and elegant design with brand new furniture.

The cabins are located on the upper deck and the main deck. They are only 8-9 m2, but they have everything you’ll need, and the space is very well utilized. They have floor-standing single beds (no bunk beds) and each cabin have a private bathroom/toilet.
All cabins on both decks have air conditioning and windows that can be opened.
On board the boat there are guests of many different nationalities.

You have full board the whole week: Buffet breakfast, packed lunch for the day's bike ride (or small lunch on board), afternoon coffee/tea and a 3-course dinner in the evening.

Degree of difficulty and maps

The total cycling distance on the tour is approx. 175-265 km, depending on which routes you choose from day to day. The daily cycling stages are from 20 to 70 km. The terrain is flat and without hills, so anyone with an average level of fitness can manage the daily cycling stages without any problems whatsoever.  

The cycling stages are self-guided, and you decide your own pace along the route, including when to take breaks and which attractions you want to explore further. 
On board you'll be provided with really good maps overviewing the various stage routes, in either English or German. These maps contain numbered "knotenpunkte"(focal points) to follow along the route. There’ll be 1 set of maps per cabin.
I addition, every day the on-board tour guide will review the following day's stage, as well as provide tips and advice, before you head out on the route.

 

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Amsterdam  
Check-in between approx. 15.00-16.30h. Already at 18.00h we depart for the historic town of Hoorn on the IJsselmeer, and during the voyage you will be served your first dinner on board.

Day 2. Hoorn - Enkhuizen, cycling distance approx. 20-26 km  
There is probably time for a small tour of Hoorn with the old, historic 18th century buildings and the charming harbour, before setting out on the first cycling stage to Enkhuizen. Enkhuizen is a city with a very special atmosphere, where narrow cobblestone passageways cross the small intimate canals, and in the city, you will also find the Zuiderzee Museum, where you can see pictures from before the reclamation of land, together with modern Dutch art. The museum is absolutely worth a visit.

Day 3. Enkhuizen - Lemmer, cycling distance approx. 32 or 45 km (round trip)
The day starts with a sail across the IJsselmeer to the town of Lemmer, known for its old town centre with the beautiful traditional Dutch gabled houses. The day's stage goes through the nature areas around Lemmer, including Oosterzee-Buren, Tjeukemeer, Munnekeburen, Scherpenzeel and Schoterzijl, before heading back to Lemmer, where we’ll moor overnight. For the energetic, it's also possible to do a detour to the world's largest steam-pumping station still in use. If it wasn't for these pumping-stations, Holland would be under water.  

 

Day 4. Lemmer - Stavoren, cycling distance approx. 33 km + sailing to Oudeschild on the island of Texel
A day where different experiences await. First you follow a lovely route to lake Sandeler Leijen and through lovely forest areas at Rijsterbos, past the Mokkebank bird sanctuary to Roode Klif and ending in Stavoren. From here, you sail to Oudeschild on the North Sea island of Texel, where we'll moor overnight. A recommendation from Ruby Rejser: having a glass of cold draft beer from the Texel Brewery.

 

Day 5. Texel, cycling distance up to approx. 70 km (round trip) 
The whole day is spent on Holland's largest island in the North Sea, Texel. You can choose either a short cycling route and enjoy the beach life on Texel's long white sandy beaches, or cycle along the well-signposted "Thijsse-route" through idyllic villages and beautiful bird and nature reserves. A visit to the seal sanctuary and nature museum, "EcoMare", is also an option today. It's a day where you are free to choose between many opportunities for different activities and relaxation. The Texel Brewery can also be visited today. The day’s possible cycling routes vary between 29 and 70 km. The sailing departure for the mainland, Den Helder, is scheduled for approx. 18.00h.

 

Day 6. Den Helder - Sint Maartensvlotbrug - Alkmaar, cycling distance approx. 25/55 km
Today you also have several options. You can choose between two short cycling stages or a long one. The first stretch goes from Den Helder, through dune landscapes along the coast, to Sint Maartensvlotburg. Here the boat makes a short stop, where you can either board again or wait until here to disembark and cycle from here to Alkmaar. Or you can cycle the whole of this lovely stretch of approx. 55 km. In Alkmaar we'll moor overnight.

 

Day 7. Sailing: Alkmaar - Wormerveer, cycling to Amsterdam: approx. 35 km
In Alkmaar you can experience the famous big cheese market from April to September, therefore the boat will wait until noon to sail to Wormerveer, where it'll make a short stop allowing you to cycle the last stretch from here into Amsterdam. First you cycle to the open-air Zaans Schans Museum, where you can truly experience the old Dutch village idyll with market stalls as in the old days. Here you can also see how the klompen (wooden clogs) are made. You continue through the recreation and holiday area "Twiske", before reaching Amsterdam for your last evening of the bike cruise. If you haven't yet been on a canal tour, now is your chance (it’s possible to book on board).

 

Day 8. Departure Day
Checkout after breakfast and return journey home.

Travel Info

Arrival and departure: Every Saturday throughout the season.
The season runs from about March/April until October.

The tour starts and ends in Amsterdam.

Check-in between 15.00-16.30h. The first sailing from Amsterdam to Hoorn departs at approx. 17.30-18.00h.
Checkout after breakfast (the following Saturday).

Extra nights in Amsterdam
If you wish to extend your holiday with a few extra nights in Amsterdam, you can do a hotel search on www.hotels.com.

The tour price does not include gratuity (tips). The level is approx. 5 EUR per person per day, and in your cabin, you'll usually find an envelope already prepared for tips, or the tips can be put in a glass at the bar.

Bikes and cycling equipment

You can rent a 7-gear unisex bike with hand and foot brakes. A bike bag is provided. Bike insurance is included.  
It's also possible to rent an electric bike (limited number of on board, so book well in advance). 

It's possible to bring your own bikes. However, because of the limited space on board, this must be pre-approved, and you must state your wish to do so when booking.

Bike helmets cannot be rented on board. If you wish to ride with a helmet, you must bring one yourself. But in Holland it's not a requirement to wear bike helmets.

How to get there

By train
The Amsterdam Centraal station (central railway station) is located very close to the dock (walking distance).

By plane

If you arrive by plane, there are train connections (approx. every 10 minutes) from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Amsterdam Centraal station. 

By car
Parking in Amsterdam is very expensive and costs from approx. 100 €/week. Another option is "valet parking": Here you drive directly to where the boat is moored and hand over your car, which will then be returned to you in the same spot, once the tour is over. Price 150 €/week (must be pre-booked), on-site payment.
Additional information and booking form is included in the departure information, which will be sent out no later than 3 weeks before departure. 

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Practical information

The price includes: 

  • 7 nights in a shared outside double cabin with private bath/toilet
  • Full board – breakfast, lunch buffet or packed lunch, 3-course dinner menu
  • Afternoon coffee/tea 
  • Welcome drink
  • Daily cleaning of the cabin with change of bed linen when needed
  • Port and lock fees
  • German/English-speaking travel guide
  • 1 set of maps per cabin

 

Supplements:

  • 7-gear unisex bike (incl. bike insurance) 
  • Electric bike (without foot brake), limited number available 
  • Any offered excursions (booked and paid on board)
  • Double cabin as single cabin +50% surcharge (There are 1 single cabin on the upper deck and 2 on the main deck which are free of any surcharge – but these get sold out very quickly, so must be booked well in advance). 

 

Excursions:
Booking and payment of excursions are made on the boat.

 

NB: All cabins are on request. We therefore recommend that you book the tour with us before arranging flights/trains/buses to the destination.

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