North Holland and Texel: MS Serena

Exploring North Holland and the Ijsselmeer

Embark on a remarkable 8-day journey through the diverse landscapes of the Netherlands, where you'll encounter fields, nature reserves, the scenic Texel Island, and the stunning dunes along expansive sandy beaches. Immerse yourself in the charm of quaint villages and picturesque harbour towns along the coast, and venture across the vast waters of the IJsselmeer. Experience the essence of the Netherlands with its flat countryside stretching to the horizon, iconic windmills, and picturesque canals (Grachten).

Discover the beauty of Rembrandt's and Van Gogh's country as you pedal along well-built cycle paths, while the wide and extensive waterways ensure an unforgettable holiday. During the day, explore the captivating landscapes at your own pace, and in the late afternoon, your floating accommodation, MS SERENA, awaits you. If you prefer a break from cycling, simply stay on board and enjoy the scenic countryside passing by.

The Northern Netherlands province, situated on a peninsula between the North Sea and the IJsselmeer, offers a delightful blend of folklore, traditions, and picturesque ports. Traverse a former lake and marsh region, which windmills have skillfully drained since the 17th century. Experience the distinct beauty of the Dutch Polder countryside, scenic dunes, North Sea beaches, the enchanting Texel Island, and the charming harbour villages along the IJsselmeer coast.

Embark on this unique bike and boat adventure to truly discover the Netherlands and its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and captivating coastal scenery.

Details about the bicycle cruise through North Holland

Surrounded by water on three sides - the Dutch province of North Holland is located on a peninsula between the North Sea, the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer. The rich history of North Holland can still be seen in many places today. Picturesque towns tell of a time when the IJsselmeer was still called the Zuiderzee and had open access to the North Sea. 

A visit to the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen brings that time back to life. Discover the peninsula between the North Sea, the IJsselmeer and Texel, the largest West Frisian island.

The highlights of the North Holland Bike and Boat holiday at a glance

  • Wadden island of Texel: With about forty fantastic nature reserves, thousands of breeding birds, a polder with thousands of orchids and just as many sheep as people. Visit the Cape Skil lighthouse and museum in Oudeschild.

  • Cheese town Alkmaar: With its many canals, courtyards and world-famous cheese market. The Beer Museum, the Dutch Cheese Museum and the Beatles Museum are also definitely worth a visit.

  • Colourful sea town Stavoren: Located on the former Zuiderzee, an almost un-Frisian town is also called the Copenhagen of Friesland because of the colourful houses on the harbour.

Worth knowing about the bicycle cruise through the Netherlands

In between cycling, you will sail with your sailing hotel, which sails to a new destination every day. You will have dinner, sleep and breakfast on board while your floating hotel ship is docked in a picturesque harbour.

Approximate timings (subject to sailing conditions)

Day 1: Enkhuizen (Embarkation at 1600)
Day 2: Enkhuizen
Day 3: Enkhuizen | Depart: 0630
Day 3: Lemmer | Arrival: 0900 
Day 4: Lemmer | Depart: 1200
Day 4: Stavoren | Arrival: 1430 | Depart: 1500
Day 4: Texel | Depart: 2000
Day 5: Texel | Depart: 1730
Day 5: Den Helder | Arrival: 2000
Day 6: Den Helder | Depart: 0915 
Day 6: St. Maartensvlotbrug | Arrival: 1130 | Depart: 1200
Day 6: Alkmaar | Arrival: 1500
Day 7: Alkmaar | Depart: 0715 
Day 7: Wormerveer | Arrival: 0930 | Depart: 1000
Day 7: Hoorn | Arrival: 1630
Day 8: Hoorn | Depart: 0600
Day 8: Enkhuizen | Arrival: 0800 (Disembark)

Tour information
  • 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • Self-Guided
  • Meals included
  • Total cycling distance: approx. 205 - 279 km
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Individual arrival in Enkhuizen. Embarkation in the afternoon. Maybe you still have time for a first short walk through the pretty historic port city with its enchanting old town.


Today you will get to know the pretty port town on the banks of the IJsselmeer and its beautiful surroundings. The rich history of the city can still be sensed today on a walk through the old town with its numerous villas, canals, churches, city walls and ports. Tip: A visit to the Zuiderzeemuseum. If you want to take a day trip to Amsterdam: Enkhuizen train station is within walking distance of the berth. Train connections to Amsterdam and back every 30 minutes. Journey time approx. 1 hour (train ticket not incl.)

ca. 29-36 km

In the morning, you will sail across the IJsselmeer to one of the most popular water sports villages in Friesland, Lemmer with its historic city centre and beautiful gabled houses. Before you step on the pedals, enjoy a delicious cup of coffee with Frisian biscuits on one of the terraces of the 'Vlecke' Lemmer.

Via Oosterzee-Buren, you cycle to the largest lake in Friesland, the Tjeukemeer. If you are lucky you will find the skûtsjesilen competition held with skûtsjes. The lookout point Tjeukemeer-Delfstrahuizen is a stop-off moment. Via the regional village of Munnekeburen, Scherpenzeel and Schoterzijl you cycle through the polder back to Lemmer.

Tip: A 'must see' in Lemmer is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Woudagemaal, the largest functioning steam pumping station in the world!

ca. 33-41 km

Today nature is on the program, a full day of cycling in nature reserves. You cycle to the nature reserve Sondeler Leien, this ancient lake dates from the 14th century and was created by the flooding of the former Zuiderzee. Stop at the bird-watching huts before cycling further through the Rysterbosk, one of the most famous hiking forests in Fryslân with majestic beech and oak trees.

You continue the cycling stage along the bird-rich nature reserve Mokkebank, step off the pedals and marvel at the many birds on the IJsselmeer. The last part of this cycling day to Stavoren goes over the Red Cliff on the IJsselmeer, this dike is 10 metres high and was created in the Ice Age when huge ice masses from Scandinavia pushed the ground further up with thick boulders and gravel.

From Stavoren we sail to Oudeschild on Texel.

ca. 32-41 km
Stavoren-Oudeschild (Texel)

Bicycle tour on the largest Wadden Sea island of Texel. Different routes of approx. 29-32-47-70 km are available today.

The ship will sail to Den Helder around 6 pm.

ca. 29-49 km
Oudeschild (Texel) – Den Helder

In the morning, you will cycle through the dunes to St. Maartensvlotbrug. Here you can board the ship again and sail to Alkmaar or you sail in the morning to St. Maartensvlotbrug and start your cycling stage in St. Maartensvlotbrug and cycle to Alkmaar.

Alkmaar is known as the cheese city of the Netherlands. In the beautiful old centre, you will find many monuments, nice shops and countless cosy terraces, cafes and restaurants. In addition, you will also find the Beer Museum, the Beatles Museum and of course the Cheese Museum. And don't forget this hidden gem in the city centre, the Hofje van Splinter.

ca. 27-57 km
St. Maartensvlotbrug-Alkmaar

From Wormerveer you start in the morning at the Zaanse Schans open-air museum (windmills, an old Dutch village, a cheese factory and much more). We continue towards Volendam. Shortly before you have the opportunity to visit a cheese dairy in Katwoude, here you can see how Gouda cheese and traditional Dutch clogs are made. Via Volendam, known as a traditional fishing village with typical authentic houses, you cycle to Hoorn. It would be best if you took some time to visit the historic old town with its many buildings from the 17th century (e.g. the harbour tower or the warehouses on the old quay).

ca. 28 km

Early morning boat trip to Enkhuizen. Arrive around 08:00. Until 09:00 disembarkation and departure.

Route information

A large number of bicycle paths makes the Netherlands a paradise for cyclists. The routes are flat and can be classified as easy.

Prices and dates

Prices are per person in GBP and exclude flights

Price calculation and check availability: North Holland and Texel: MS Serena

Price promise: If you receive a quote for the same tour elsewhere, please let us know and we will match it!

Place of arrival: Enkhuizen
  Season 1
23.03.2024 | 30.03.2024 | 05.10.2024 |
Season 2
06.04.2024 | 13.04.2024 | 21.09.2024 | 28.09.2024 |
Season 3
20.04.2024 | 27.04.2024 | 07.09.2024 | 14.09.2024 |
Season 4
15.04.2023 | 22.04.2023 | 29.04.2023 | 09.09.2023 | 16.09.2023 | 04.05.2024 | 11.05.2024 | 18.05.2024 | 25.05.2024 | 01.06.2024 | 08.06.2024 | 15.06.2024 | 22.06.2024 | 29.06.2024 | 06.07.2024 | 13.07.2024 | 20.07.2024 | 27.07.2024 | 03.08.2024 | 10.08.2024 | 17.08.2024 | 24.08.2024 | 31.08.2024 |
North Holland and Texel: MS Serena, Main Deck, NL-NHSNS-08I-H
Base price
Fixed price for double cabin in single use 1,009.00 1,139.00 1,009.00
Single cabin (fixed price) 699.00 789.00 879.00
Fixed charge for double cabin in single use 450.00
Single cabin 1,009.00
North Holland and Texel: MS Serena, Promenade Deck, NL-NHSNS-08I-O
Base price
Fixed price for double cabin in single use 1,199.00 1,329.00 1,469.00 1,659.00
Single cabin (fixed price) 829.00 919.00 1,009.00 1,139.00
Season 1
Mar 23, 2024 | Mar 30, 2024 | Oct 5, 2024 |
Season 2
Apr 6, 2024 | Apr 13, 2024 | Sep 21, 2024 | Sep 28, 2024 |
Season 3
Apr 20, 2024 | Apr 27, 2024 | Sep 7, 2024 | Sep 14, 2024 |
Season 4
Apr 15, 2023 | Apr 22, 2023 | Apr 29, 2023 | Sep 9, 2023 | Sep 16, 2023 | May 4, 2024 | May 11, 2024 | May 18, 2024 | May 25, 2024 | Jun 1, 2024 | Jun 8, 2024 | Jun 15, 2024 | Jun 22, 2024 | Jun 29, 2024 | Jul 6, 2024 | Jul 13, 2024 | Jul 20, 2024 | Jul 27, 2024 | Aug 3, 2024 | Aug 10, 2024 | Aug 17, 2024 | Aug 24, 2024 | Aug 31, 2024 |
North Holland and Texel: MS Serena, Main Deck, NL-NHSNS-08I-H
Base price
Fixed price for double cabin in single use
Single cabin (fixed price)
Fixed charge for double cabin in single use
Single cabin
North Holland and Texel: MS Serena, Promenade Deck, NL-NHSNS-08I-O
Base price
Fixed price for double cabin in single use
Single cabin (fixed price)
Unisex E-Bike
7-Speed Unisex Bike
Own Bike
Prices per person in GBP

Included services and travel information



  • 7 nights in outside cabins on board the MS Serena in the booked cabin category
  • Full board: 7x breakfast buffet, 6x packed lunch for cycling or lunch snack, 6x coffee and tea in the afternoon, 7x 3-course evening menu
  • Welcome cocktail
  • Some short guided walks
  • Travel folder 1 x per room (German, with route and overview maps, detailed route description, places of interest, important telephone numbers, luggage labels)
  • GPS data available on request
  • Tour guide


Not included

  • Bike rental
  • Excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Drinks
  • Personal expenses
Arrival information
  • Airport: Amsterdam Schiphol
  • Train: Enkhuizen
  • Parking: Free parking at the train station in Enkhuizen, directly at the port, within walking distance to the berth. No reservation possible.
General information
  • A minimum number of 15 people applies for this trip (at least 21 days before departure)
  • Embarkation takes place from 4:00 PM, and disembarkation after breakfast no later than 9:00 AM
  • Bicycles on board are equipped with a hand brake or coaster brake (limited availability, please specify when booking as a non-binding preference) and bicycle bag
  • It is possible to bring your own bicycles, but due to the limited space on the sundeck, you can only bring your own bicycle on request and only to a limited extent. Any damage to your bike is at your own risk
  • Daily cycling tours are individual and unaccompanied, the tour guide remains on board. It is not mandatory to cycle the route, you can also stay on board and sail to the next port
  • This trip is not suitable for people with reduced mobility
  • If the cycling stages and rest times allow, an excursion program is offered, this can only be booked on board and paid in cash.
  • Sailing times, schedule and program changes are in principle reserved. For example, if a route cannot be completed due to low tide, high tide or bad weather, the captain reserves the right to change the route for your safety (this is not a valid reason to cancel your trip free of charge)
  • Engine and generator noises may be heard in the ship's cabins
  • We recommend wearing a bike helmet. Please bring your own bike helmet (no onboard selling).


Why book with Active on Holiday?

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