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Enkhuizen in North Holland

Discovery Friesland, MS Flora

Exploring the Danish South Sea

8 Days / 7 Nights
Enkhuizen in North Holland

The Netherlands basically means "the lower lands", and the Frisian regin embodies this name. Water and land are almost on the same level and are intertwined in every possibel way. It's only thanks to a large network of lock, dikes and pumps that it's even possible to live hre. This results in a unique open landscapes, home to 12 'Natura 2000' conservation areas. this tour is carefully planned to shpw you all the different landscapes that Friesland has to offer. You'll cycle along canals and lakes, through open farmland and visit small village that were granted city rights in medieval times. You'll not only show see the mainland, but also the Wadden Islands off the coast, which are another part of this diverse province.

Itinerary at a glance

Your floating hotel is ready for you at 2 pm (at 4 pm on June 24, 2023) in the harbor of Enkhuizen and the crew will show you your home for the week. After this introduction the barge will depart. On your first cruise you’ll cross the former Zuiderzeethe once notoriously wild South Sea, to reach the province of Friesland. You’ll enter the small Hanseatic trade village of Stavoren for your first night on board.

Today your first bike ride is on the agenda. The route will follow the Frisian coast in a northerly direction. Along the way you’ll pass through the historic harbors of Hindeloopen and Workum, both small picturesque fishing villages. In Workum you can visit a museum dedicated to the painter Jopie Huisman, who was an iconic local artist with a uniquely Frisian approach to life and art. Continuing by bike towards your destination of Makkum, you’ll see a huge hall clearly visible in the distance. Inside, shipbuilders are busy constructing superyachts, large ocean-going vessels with everything on board that a human could possibly need or imagine. When you arrive in Makkum, the crew will welcome you back on board with tea and coffee.

In the early morning your captain will maneuver the barge through sea locks onto the Wadden Sea. Over about four hours the barge will carry you through this UNESCO-listed tidal sea flats to the island of Terschelling. Beside the birdlife, you may even spot some seals on the crossing if you’re lucky.

On the island you’ll have plenty of time to explore. There are many tiny villages, sandy beaches and dunes. The eastern part of Terschelling is one large nature reserve where you’ll have a chance to spot black-winged stilts, large colonies of spoonbills and great black-backed gulls.

With another morning sail, the ship will head back to the mainland. Starting in the historic fishing town of Harlingen, you’ll leave the coast for the first time this week to visit Franeker, another of Friesland’s 11 cities. Here the Royal Planetarium is well worth a visit to see a working model of the solar system built by amateur astronomer Eise Eisinga in the 18th century. He planned to create it in six months, but in the end it took seven years. Today’s destination is Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland. Leeuwarden is a vibrant city with plenty of things to see and do. Among them, the church tower of Oldehoeve is certainly a highlight. Nicknamed the ‘Frisian tower of Pisa’ you can imagine how it looks! Dinner tonight (not included) will be in town in a restaurant of your choice (recommendations available on board).

After breakfast we start cycling out of the city towards National Park De Alde Feanen. This park consists of a variety of landscapes with small lakes, reedbeds and swamp forest. In the 17th century the area was mined for wet peat. Now, centuries later, the former mining grounds have evolved into a spectacular nature reserve with over 400 different plant species. One moment you’ll see a wide view over vast grasslands and waving reed beds, the next you’ll have a sheltered feeling as you pass through fairytale marshy forests. You’ll then return to Grou where the barge is moored for the night.

This morning you’ll start cycling from Grou in a westerly direction for a day of quiet bike paths and expansive views. Today’s destination is Sneek, the oldest fortress town in the province. Sneek, or Snits in Frisian, played a key role in the Friso-Hollandic wars of the 13th-15th centuries, when the counts of Holland attempted to conquer the free Frisian territories. One of the city’s highlights is the Waterpoort, an impressive gate connecting city and harbor that is both defensive and decorative. Tonight, the ship docks in Sneek.

The last cycling route of the tour leads you from Sneek to Heeg. This 18th century village is known for its long history of eel trade with London, which continued up until 1938. From Heeg, traditional wooden eel boats would sail across the Channel and right up the Thames to moor in the center of London. Eels were transported live in the bottom of the boats, which had special holes to allow water to flow in and out. From Heeg, you’ll cycle past Fluessen Lake through classic Frisian countryside. When you arrive in Stavoren, the barge will be ready to take you back to Enkhuizen.

Enjoy your last breakfast on board before check out and disembarkation at 09:30. End of the tour.

Route information


Prices & Dates

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • Program according to itinerary from/to Enkhuizen 
  • 7 nights in outside cabins in the booked cabin category
  • 1 welcome drink 
  • Full meals (7x breakfast, 6x packed lunch fpr cyclists, 7x coffee and tea, 6x 3-course-dinner) 
  • On board tour guide incl. daily tour briefing 
  • Daily cabin cleaning, change of bed linen and towels as needed 
  • 1 route book per cabin 
  • All harbour, lock and bridge fees 
  • Wifi
  • GPS-data



  • Bring your own bike €10,- / electric bike €25,- (on request only, limited) 
  • Renal bike insurance for rental bike €10,-/week, for electric bike €25,-/week, limitation of risk and liability in the event of damage to or loss of the bicycle you have rented
  • Helmet €10,-/week, reservation necessary and to be paid for in advance 

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Train station Enkhuizen

Things to note

  • Further important information according to the package travel law and additional information about your bike and boat trip can be found here
  • Minimum number of participants: none
  • This tour is a partner tour.

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Christine Pölzleitner

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Christine Pölzleitner
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