Bike and boat
Wherever you go cycling in Holland you’ll always encounter water, whether it will be one of the large rivers, a lake, the Waddensea or the IJsselmeer. But don’t worry: there are lots of facilities to cross whatever water you’ll meet in a comfortable or even adventurous way. On this page you read all about ferries and some nice ways to combine cycling and boattrips.
Of course you can cross a river by bridge. But it’s far nicer to use a ferry, especially the ones that carry cyclists and pedestrians only. You find them on the better maps. An overview of these special ferries is available on the site of the friends of the small ferries .
Combining cycling and boat trips
You can use boats as means of transportation and even as accommodation. Here you can read about overnight stays on boats and about longer boat trips.
Independent cycling and boat trips
There are several places where you can combine a boat trip with cycling. You can take your bicycle on board of the ship and continue your cycle trip up or down the river.
Schedules change often, most boats only run in the high season and maybe not every day, so when you are planning a trip contact through the e-mail addresses at the websites
The Maashopper plies on the river Maas in the province of Limburg between Baarlo and Afferden.
The fast ferry plies between Rotterdam and Dordrecht with stops in Krimpen a/d Ijssel, Ridderkerk and Alblasserdam. In Dordrecht you can change to the waterbus. In Ridderkerk it connects to a ferry to the world famous windmills of Kinderdijk.
The waterbus plies east of Rotterdam between the cities of Zwijndrecht and Sliedrecht with stops in Dordrecht, Papendrecht and Hollandse Biesbosch. You can take your bicycle on board for free.
The Eemlijn plies on the river Eem north of the city of Amersfoort. It stops in Amersfoort, Soest, Baarn, Eemdijk, Spakenburg and Huizen.
The province of Zeeland consists almost of islands only. It’s an excellent area for combining cycling and boating. There are a lot of seasonal ferries making it possible to cycle several loops in this province. On the website you find all the information about these ferries. It’s also possible to order a time table (almanak) and a book with cyclingroutes using the ferries.
An interesting way to avoid the long and windy Afsluitdijk between Noord-Holland and Friesland is the ferry from Enkhuizen tot Stavoren (v.v.)
Island hopping on the Waddenzee
great way of combining cycling and boat trips is island hopping. In the summer
season you can travel this way along the Wadden islands in the north of the
country . When you intend to visit all the islands it’s very
time consuming to plan the trip. It’s also possible to book an island
hopping trip through travel agents.
The ferries run on an irregular basis because of the tides and some of the ferries connecting the islands run only once a week. Of course you can also travel from island to island by taking a ferry to the mainland and then another one to the next island, but that’s not the real thing.
We especially liked the boat from Texel to Vlieland. It’s a pedestrians and bicycles only boat. On arriving on Vlieland you are being transported by the Vliehorsexpres, a specially prepared truck. When you want to make this trip making a reservation is essential.
A tour report of a family on island hopping is available. Try the links in the report for a nice photo impression of such a trip.
Independent island hopping
For more information on independent island hopping have a look at the websites of the ferries (see below the map) or contact the tourist information (VVV) on the separate islands :