Bike and Barge Tour on Lake IJssel in the Netherlands

Bike and Barge Tour in the Netherlands

North Holland and Texel with the MS Serena

 Amsterdam – Lemmer – Amsterdam

  • Texel island, capital Amsterdam, open air museum Zaanse Schans
  • Daily routes ●○○○○
  • Altitude profile ●○○○○
  • Bike & Boat: MS Serena


km / day avg.

Travelling by Bike and Barge on Lake IJssel in the Netherlands is simply wonderful. You will get to know not only Yssel, Frisia and Texel island in the North Sea but also the historic cheese town of Alkmaar, the open air museum Zaanse Schans and its wonderful windmills, and the Netherland’s lively capital, Amsterdam. Your boat accompanies you on your tour, so there is no need to pack up luggage and you get to cycle the most beautiful sections of the route. In North Holland you will find all that is so typical of the Netherlands. Canals, the once so important trading towns such as Hoorn, colourful fields of flowers and windmills to the left and right of these level cycle paths.

Bike and Barge Tour on Lake IJssel in the Netherlands
  • Booking Code
  • Start / Destination
  • Duration
    8 days, 7 nights
  • Length
    approx. 180 – 265 km
    Daily routes ●○○○○
    between 25 and 70 km, Ø 45 km
    Altitude profile ●○○○○

Your cruiser MS Serena

Look forward to the river cruiser, the MS Serena, which cruises gently along the waterways around North Holland. If you're not up on your bike, you are enjoying the day on the sundeck of the boat or chatting in the restaurant with your fellow passengers. The crew will spoil you on a daily basis with delicious meals and provide you with all the information you need on your cycle tour.

MS Serena, Ship view

Day 1: Individual arrival in Amsterdam, Amsterdam ‒ Hoorn (by boat)

The MS Serena awaits your arrival in the port of Amsterdam. The many canals, bikes and parks create a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere in this the great city of Amsterdam. During your evening meal, you set sail and the MS Serena takes you to Hoorn. This small harbour town used to be one of the most important hubs in Europe.

Day 2: Hoorn ‒ Enkhuizen, approx. 25 km

On you go by bike to Enkhuizen at the northern part of Lake Yssel. You will love the flair of the harbour. Lake Yssel used to be called Zuiderzee - and the wonderful open-air museum in Enkhuizen bears the same name. If you take a tour you will get an impression of what places used to look like in Holland in the 18th and 19th century. It is particularly impressive in the summer, as village life is re-enacted.

Day 3: Enkhuizen ‒ Lemmer (by boat), Round trip, approx. 30 ‒ 45 km

In the morning, feel the fresh sea breeze around your gills as you sail over Lake Yssel. Once arrived in Lemmer you set off on a small trip through Frisia, the province of lakes, canals and waterways. The paths along the banks are perfect for cycling. First you get to Tjeukemmer and then cycle on via Munnekeburen and Scherpenzeel back to Lemmer.

Day 4: Lemmer ‒ Stavoren, approx. 35 km, Stavoren ‒ Texel island (by boat)

Back on the bike you pedal away from Lemmer. You continue cycling to Sondeler Leijen See Lake. From there you cycle past the wooded Rijsterbos area at Mokkebank, which is an important bird sanctuary, to Roode Klip heading for Stavoren. This is the oldest of the eleven Frisian towns and used to be the residence of Friesian kings. It later became a Hanseatic town. The boat takes you to Texel island.

Day 5: Round trip Texel island, 30 ‒ 70 km, Oudeschild ‒ Den Helder (by boat)

Texel island is the biggest, most western-lying of the West Friesland islands. Enjoy the day on the island, cycling around the south part before returning to the mainland in the afternoon. The countryside is diverse and animals rich in variety live here. From Oudeschild you are taken by boat to Den Helder, which means Gateway to Hell. Harbours, ships and maritime museums still shape the character of the town today.

Route alteration 2020

Up until the 30.05.2020 the departures for day five will follow a different route because of construction works at the Locks in Zaandam. Starting from the 06.06.2020 the MS. Serena will resume its normal route.
On day five you will travel from the Island of Texel to Mendemblik instead of Den Helder. On day six a 40 km bike trip to Hoorn awaits you and you will be staing in Hoorn for a second night. In the morning of day seven you will then leave for Zaandam by ship. Here you should definitely not miss visiting the open-air museum Zaanse Schanse with its windmills, a cheese diary, and an old Dutch village (not included). In the afternoon the last bike tour on your Bike and Barge Tour on Lake IJssel will see you returning to Amsterdam (approx. 25 km).

Day 6: Den Helder ‒ Alkmaar, approx. 25 / 55 km

Today you will cycle through the windy sand dunes to Alkmaar. As the boat lands in St. Maartensvlotbrug, you can cycle only the first or second section. Alkmaar awaits you with its picturesque old town and many small museums. The charming cheese market is not only well known in Holland. Since 1365, cheese is tasted, weighed and sold on the market square.

Day 7: Alkmaar ‒ Wormerveer (by boat), Wormerveer ‒ Amsterdam, approx. 35 km

There is still time for a pleasant walk through Alkmaar before you set off by boat to Wormerveer. From there you cycle via the open air museum Zaanse Schans, with its historic windmills, to Amsterdam. In the evening you have the chance to go on a canal trip. The view from the water gives you a very special perspective on this metropolis.

Day 8: Individual departure or extension of stay in Volendam

After breakfast, your Bike and Barge Tour through the Netherlands comes to end. You must disembark by 9.30 am and can then set off on your journey home.

Would you like to extend your holiday on Lake Yssel? Then simply book additional nights in a 4* hotel in Volendam, just 20 km from Amsterdam's city centre. You can also book additional nights at the beginning of the tour.
Included in the price are two bus tickets (bike cannot be taken on the bus) from the boat to Volendam and back to the jetty in Amsterdam. You can also park your car in Volendam for a week while you're out and about by bike & boat. This will save you high fees for parking in Amsterdam.