Boating Holidays Masthead
Boating Holidays Masthead

Holland Boating Holidays

Easy cruising on friendly waterways

Boats and canals are a way of life in Holland, and boating on Dutch waterways lets you see the real Holland. Travel the landscape of famous painters, admire traditional windmills, use the many waterside cycle routes, and moor at neatly kept marinas.

Cruising is very relaxed from spring tulip time to autumn, with many locks left open throughout the summer months, and the occasional lift bridge a good place to meet fellow travellers. Moor close to the many canal-side bars and cafes offering good food and traditional Dutch hospitality.

The Friesland region in north Holland has many lakes for watersports. From our Sneek cruiser base in Friesland with its famous ‘watergate’ visit towns and coastal villages such as Grouw, Workum or Makkum, and Bolsward.

The one-way cruise from Sneek to our other cruiser base at Strand Horst passes villages such as Gleethorn, Elburg and Spakenburg.

From both Strand Horst and our lakeside penichette base at Loosdrecht you can reach Amsterdam and explore this exciting cosmopolitan city. See Old Masters at the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh exhibition, or just soak up the amazing sights.

In Amsterdam you can moor in the marina a ferry ride across the ship canal from the central station. You can cruise your boat through the city canals, but care is needed, plus permit purchase. Or take one of the many canal cruise trips. Maybe take the regular train to Amsterdam from Weesp, about 10 minutes by rail.

North of Amsterdam you can cruise to Edam, famous for its distinctive cheese.

The famous Keukenhof Gardens are west of Amsterdam, near Haarlem, with millions of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other bulbs flowering in Spring.

South from Amsterdam cruise the River Vecht past ancient townhouses lining the canal through Loosdrecht to Utrecht. Moor at the quaysides or by the cathedral (limited height) and climb the 465 steps in the Dom Tower. Further on reach Gouda where the marina is in the middle of the old town.

The Dutch waterways give you many miles of lock-free cruising, with many opportunities for cycling in the flat countryside. A boating holiday is the best way to see Holland.


Area Highlights

Highlights of Holland Boating Holidays

  • Amsterdam, the famous cosmopolitan city noted for its canals and tulips
  • One-way trips between our bases
  • Lake Ijssel and lakeside towns with watersports and dishing
  • Friesland region - seaside, countryside and maritime history
  • Flat lands suitable for cycling
  • Historic towns such Dokkum, Leeuwarden, Stavoren and Sloten
Holland - Windmill

Useful Information:

  • All locks and lifting bridges are manned by lock-keepers, with breaks for lunch and tea (usually 12:00 -13:00 and 16:15-17:15). You need to pay a small charge (€1.50 - €2.50) to pass through the locks
  • There are plenty of marinas for shore power, facilities and canal-side-moorings. (Small charges may apply)
  • Visit Amsterdam by taking a train from moorings at Weesp, or moor opposite Amsterdam Central Station and use the free 24-hours ferry to the city centre

Suggested Cruises from our cruiser bases in Holland

Show Full Map
Holland Boating Map

View Routes from:

Boat Holidays from Loosdrecht


Out and Back Routes

Loosdrecht - Amsterdam - Uithoorn - Woerden - Gouda - Oudewater - Utrecht - Loosdrecht

Circular Route • 1 Week • 168km • 14 Locks • 48 Lifting Bridges • 5 hr 30 / day

Loosdrecht - Amsterdam - Edam - Alkmaar - Zaanstad - Amsterdam - Loosdrecht

Circular Route • 1 Week • 164km • 9 Locks • 28 Lifting Bridges • 4 hr 30 / day

Loosdrecht - Amsterdam - Aalsmeer - Kager Plassen - Lisse - Alphen - Gouda - Oudewater - Utrecht - Loosdrecht

Circular Route • 1 Week • 225km • 13 Locks • 76 Lifting Bridges • 5 hr 30 / day

Loosdrecht - Amsterdam - Alkmaar - Edam - Amsterdam - Uithoorn - Alphen - Gouda - Oudewater - Utrecht - Loosdrecht

Circular Route • 10 / 11 Days • 250km • 13 Locks • 76 Lifting Bridges • 5 hr 15 / day

Loosdrecht - Amsterdam - Alkmaar - Edam - Amsterdam - Aalsmeer - Kager - Plassen - Leiden - Alphen - Gouda - Oudewater - Utrecht - Loosdrecht

Circular Route • 2 Weeks • 315km • 16 Locks • 88 Lifting Bridges • 4 hr 30 / day

Boat Holidays from Woudsend

Woudsend is a charming city. Downtown, along the canal banks, you can stroll and admire the colourful houses or eat in one of the numerous restaurants. Woudsend is the centre of the Friesland cruising region and a network of 12 towns.


One Way Routes

Woudsend - Amsterdam - Utrecht - Vinkeveen

One Way • 10 - 14 Days • 160km • 4 Locks • 30hrs

Woudsend - Amsterdam - Vinkeveen

One Way • 1 Week • 215km • 14 Locks • 57 Bridges • 35hrs

Woudsend - Amsterdam - Utrecht - den Haag - Vinkeveen

One Way • 2 Weeks • 365km • 23 Locks • 114 Bridges • 60hrs

Out an Back Routes

Woudsend - Sneek - Woudsend

Short Break Return Trip • 3 - 4 Days • 80km • 4 Locks • 9hrs

Woudsend - Workum - Leuwarden - Woudsend

Return Trip • 1 Week • 125km • 0 Locks • 32 Bridges • 24hrs

Amsterdam
Utrecht

Boat Holidays from Vinkeveen

Vinkeveen is situated south of Amsterdam, it is the perfect place to start a cruise in the area. The Vinkeseense Plassen is an important recreational lake for many activities like swimming, diving & yachting.


One Way Routes

Vinkeveen - Amsterdam - Woudsend

One way • 7 days • 150km • 0 Locks • 28hrs

Vinkeveen - Amsterdam - Utrecht - Woudsend

One way • 7 days • 235km • 14 Locks • 72 Bridges • 40hrs

Vinkeveen - Amsterdam - Utrecht - den Haag - Woudsend

One way • 14 days • 365km • 23 Locks • 114 Bridges • 60hrs

Out and Back Routes

Vinkeveen - Amsterdam - Utrecht - Vinkeveen

Return Trip • 1 Week • 90km • 19 Locks • 56 Bridges • 18hrs

Vinkeveen - Amsterdam

Return Trip • 1 Week • 50km • 7 Locks • 40 Bridges • 10hrs

Holland - Windmill
Northern Holland

There is often a small toll at the well-maintained locks and lifting bridges.

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