Boating Holidays Masthead
Boating Holidays Masthead

Holland Boating Holidays

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.

Easy cruising on friendly waterways

Navigate the canals and waterways to 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 Six Haven marina, a ferry ride across the ship canal from the central station. It may be possible to cruise your boat through the city canals, but care is needed, plus permit purchase. Or take one of the many canal cruise trips. We recommend taking the regular train to Amsterdam from Weesp, about 10 minutes by rail.

Our bases at Vinkeveen and Loosdrecht give access to Amsterdam. In 2016 we at Boating Holidays organised a penichette boat from Loosdrecht for Timothy West and Prunella Scales to use for filming one of their Great Canal Journeys TV programmes.

North of Amsterdam you can cruise to Edam, famous for its distinctive cheese, and cross the Zaan country, full of windmills and rich in wildlife.

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 the great art centre of Utrecht. Moor at the quaysides or by the cathedral (limited height) and climb the 465 steps in the Dom Tower. Further on reach beautiful Gouda where the marina is in the middle of the old town.

The Friesland region in north Holland has many glistening lakes for watersports and friendly towns and coastal villages to explore such as Grouw, Workum or Makkum, and Bolsward. Our new cruiser base at Hindeloopen is located at a historic fishing village.

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 the real 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
Penichette and a 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

Customer Reviews

There was plenty of choice for routes to take. We only had 5 nights, but you could go further than we did if you stayed longer. I was very impressed by your helpful and friendly staff KW – Wousend and back in Holland

Suggested Cruises from our cruiser bases in Holland

Show Full Map
Holland Boating Map

One way cruises are available between bases of the same colour.

View Routes from:

Boat Holidays from Loosdrecht

Loosdrect is split into two small villages – Niew-Loosdrect (New) and Oud-Loosdrect (old). From Loosdrecht, cruise along the River Vecht and pass through Amsterdam, known as the Venice of the North’ or Utrecht.

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 Alphen aan den Rijn

Our new marina in Alphen aan den Rijn, is perfect for visiting the the famous city of Gouda and its renowned cheese market. Not far away is the old city of Lieden, birthplace of Rembrandt and home to the oldest Dutch university. Cruise to Lisse, from where you can explore the beautiful Keukenhof Gardens, the largest tulip garden in the world.

Vecht River
Northern Holland

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

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