About Holland, Amsterdam and Friesland

Enter a world of beauty by the sea in Friesland-Amsterdam

The water is a way of life in Holland, a nation born of the sea and the rivers that flow across its pastoral flat lands. On an Amsterdam canal, you will cruise leisurely past turning windmills, fields of colourful tulips, quaint villages, cosmopolitan cities and it will usher you into a realm unique in boating. It’s a place to explore at your own pace, inviting you to ease into an unhurried journey like no other.

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Find your bearings...

Holland, Amsterdam and Friesland Region map

 = Le Boat Base           = Canal           = Navigable river           = No navigation beyond this point

The perfect boating region for...

History & Heritage

The Friesland-Amsterdam region is replete with history and heritage, especially in Amsterdam and Utrecht! Check out Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House, the Royal Palace and Dom Square! In historic Utrecht, don’t miss the tour of Stadskasteel Oudaen, a fortified house turned into a brewery!

Watersports

The Lakeland district is famous for watersports holidays throughout Europe! Boating is not just a pastime in Friesland-Amsterdam, it’s a way of life! Check out the watersports hires in Sneek and Grouw. Canoe, kayak, jet ski and sail!

Cycling

Holland isn’t known for its hills, making it ideal for bicycle tours in Friesland-Amsterdam! Cruise past fields of tulips and rustic-looking restored windmills. Stop in a waterside village for steamed mussels or oysters on the half-shell! Lift a pint and watch the world go by!

Useful information

Useful Info for Holland

The waters of Holland are vast, totalling roughly 269 waterways equalling 3,732 kilometres (2,319 miles)! The canals range from the enormous North Sea Canal that stretches 24 kilometres (15 miles) from the ocean to bustling Amsterdam to quiet fingers of blue amidst lush green fields. More than 25 percent of Holland is below sea level, necessitating a network of dikes to keep the water out. The Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt rivers all flow through Holland, creating a beautiful delta.

An Amsterdam canal cruise unfolds along the north and west waters. As you travel, you’ll see a unique swath of pretty sand dunes fronting the sea, and, by way of more Amsterdam info, the Lakeland district has more connected inland lakes than found in any other nation in Europe! It’s an ideal playground for watersports, which are hugely popular! It’s great for canal boating too!

Amsterdam began in about 1200 as a fishing village, and the first dam was built at roughly the same time. By 1400, the town had become a major trading port. It continued to grow and in the 1700s Amsterdam served a major European financial hub. As part of its expansion, three concentric semicircular canals were built around the city centre. Narrow streets and smaller canals followed, transforming Amsterdam with more than 90 islands and 1,280 bridges!

Navigating in Holland is easy and suitable for beginners.

Lock keepers operate all locks and lifting bridges. Keep small change handy because there is a charge of 1.50-2.50 euros to pass through the locks.

Bridges/locks in the Woodsend Area operate from 25th March to 31st October. Before 1st April, boating is possible in Friesland but locks/bridges are closed on Sundays.

Bridges/locks between Vinkeveen and Amsterdam operate from the 1st April. Locks closed on Sundays 01-15 April and 15-31 October.

Opening hours: Locks are closed for lunch between 12:00-13:00 (1:00 p.m.) and for tea between 16:15-17:15 (4:15-5:15 p.m.).

Public holidays: Locks are closed on some public holidays. Hindeloopen: Before 1st April, boating possible in Friesland but locks/bridges are closed on Sundays.

Vinkeveen: Bridges/locks between Vinkeveen and Amsterdam operate from the 1st April. Closed on Sundays 01-15 April and 15-31 October.

You may moor alongside in the canals in ports. You’ll find marinas with shore power and other services. Small charges may apply. To visit Amsterdam, moor at Weesp and take a train to the city centre. Alternatively, you can moor at Six Haven Marina across from the Amsterdam Central Station and take a free 24-hour ferry to the city centre.

To find out how to get to each of our bases in this boating region, as well as what facilities and amenities are available at each base or nearby, click on the relevant base below:

  • Hire of the boat and its onboard equipment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demontration prior to departure
  • Technical support
  • On-board maps and visitor information
  • Optional holiday extras (find out more
  • Boat damage waiver (find out more)
  • Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear and tear) - charged by the engine hour (find out more)
  • Passage through locks (small fee applies - payable locally)
  • Travel to and from the base(s)
  • Waterside serevices if you use them (i.e. moorings where a charge is applicable, pump-out if needed, water, etc)
  • Cancellation plan & any travel/personal insurance
  • Food and drink

Download our region guide

We've produced a handy PDF guide for this region to give you an overview of all the stops and things to do along the waterway.

Download our region guide

Interactive map of Holland, Amsterdam, Friesland

  = Le Boat base       = Point of interest

Great to see...

Must see
Wobbly houses in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the largest city in Holland, will welcome you with all of its treasures, its monuments, and its history. Take a moment to visit this unique and eclectic city.

Must see
Edam cheeses

Edam is worldwide known thanks to the cheese with the same name which was done here. Don't miss the cheese market in peak summer on Wednesday morning.

Must see
Keukenhof flower garden in Lisse

Lisse is known as the Holland's flower-growing area. Enjoy the amazing view of the surrounding flowered fields during spring. From March to May, at time tulipare flewring, the famous Keukenhof, one of the largest flower gardens of the world, which also hosts a Castle which is open all-year-round.

Must see
Stacked Gouda cheeses at the cheese market

Famous thanks to the cheese of the same name, Gouda hosts a traditional cheese market every Thursday morning. The town is rich in history and heritage and hosts one of the oldest city halls of the country. Don't miss the Saint John Church famous for its stained glass windows.

Must see
De Haar castle, Utrecht

Utrecht is Holland's fourth city and the old section has many attractions. The famous medieval church, St. Martin's Cathedral, is half of its former self as a result of the terrible hurricane of 1674. Canals, lined with terraces and greenery, give the city its charm; it's a nice place for a leisurely walk.

Must see
Sneek watergate

Sneek is a dynamic city in the area. It has interesting architecture, especially the great gate of the waterport and the city hall, which is built in a rococo style. Also, visit the Roman Catholic Church, which is a national monument.

Situated in the south of Amsterdam, Vinekveen 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.

The charming town of Leiden is surrounded by many small, tree-lined canals. The historical town center contains impressive buildings and churches that you can't miss. Spend some time to walk in the numerous parks and to visit the Hortus Botanicus and other gardens of the town.

Spend some time to visit the historic protected city center and the famous 'Heksenwaag' (witches' scales) where people accused of witchcraft were offered an honest chance of priving their innocence

Situated along the Vecht River Maarssen was a key place for the peat-bog in the Middle Age. Later some rich families of Amsterdam have built some country houses nearby that you could still see. The town is now more a suburb of Utrecht but you can still visit historical village of Maarssen-Dorp in the East side of the town.

Weesp, a dynamic city, has many treasures for you. Downtown, you will have the chance to see many landmarks, and also discover the local specialities such as chocolate, beer, and the renowned Jenever gin.

Muiden is a walled city with an impressive heritage. The Muiderslot Castle is a wonder of the Middle Ages that has survived throughout the centuries. Discover the numerous monuments and vestiges of Muiden, and enjoy its quietness.

Although Huizen is one of the biggest cities in the area, it is surrounded by beautiful countryside. You can visit the old Huizen, the picturesque fishing harbour, or go for a bike ride or a hike.

Elburg is a medieval town with a lot of hidden treasures. Walking in the winding streets, you will have the opportunity to see the huge old city gate, a vestige of the past. Elburg is a very friendly and dynamic town, especially during the Midweekfeesten.

A very charming town known as the "Venice of the North". Giethoorn will enchant you with its beautiful riverside setting. It is a welcoming place and a joy to explore.

Lemmer is a beautiful town, decorated by colourful houses along the canal banks. The city is well-known in Holland for its watersports.

Hindeloopen is a picturesque village full of Dutch character. Its quirky cobbled streets, wooden bridges & well preserved houses give it a unique identity and a rich heritage that you can discover by walking to its old center, around the traditional harbour and along the nearby sandy beaches.

Workum is a beautiful little seaside city with numerous medieval monuments like the Gertrudis church. You should also visit Werenfridus Church.

Itinerary suggestions

To help you get an idea of how far you can travel in the time you have, here's a selection of routes to and from our bases in this region. You dont have to stop at all the places listed or follow the route exactly. So long as you return your boat to your end base by the date you've booked - you're free to enjoy your cruise however you like. For a comfortable pace, allowing you time to regularly stop and explore, we'd recommend an average of 2 - 4 hours cruising each day.

Vinkeveen RETURN via Amsterdam

Vinkeveen
Amsterdam
Vinkeveen

19 hr(s) of cruising

50km 6 lock(s) 3 nights

Vinkeveen RETURN via Amsterdam

Set off from Vinkeveen Marina and its luxury amenities on your canal cruise through the peaceful suburbs of Amsterdam. You’ll head northward to picturesque Amstelven and its modern art museum before diving into the dynamic city of Amsterdam.

Vinkeveen area: Some navigation restrictions applies between mid-October up to mid-April.  Locks & bridges closed on Sundays - 24hrs advanced notice needed on all other days - special arrangements for getting in/out of Vinkeveen. Please contact our sales team so we can assist you further.

19 hr(s) of cruising

50km 6 lock(s) 3 nights

Vinkeveen RETURN via Amsterdam & Utrecht

Vinkeveen
Maarsen
Utrecht
Amsterdam
Vinkeveen

18 hr(s) of cruising

90km 19 lock(s) 7 nights

Vinkeveen RETURN via Amsterdam & Utrecht

Start your Holland river cruise with a bit of pampering at the resort amenities of Vinkeveen, and then it’s off on the River Vecht to cosmopolitan Amsterdam and historic Utrecht! You glide past the palatial riverfront homes and find yourself in more rural locales with traditional windmills and fields of colorful flowers.Vinkeveen area: Some navigation restrictions applies between Oct 16th & 31st, 2017: Locks & bridges closed on Sundays - 24hrs advanced notice needed on all other days - special arrangements for getting in/out of Vinkeveen. Please contact our sales team so we can assist you further.

18 hr(s) of cruising

90km 19 lock(s) 7 nights

Vinkeveen RETURN via Amsterdam, Edam & Alkmaar

Vinkeveen
Amsterdam
Edam
Vinkeveen

28 hr(s) of cruising

150km 14 lock(s) 7 nights

Vinkeveen RETURN via Amsterdam, Edam & Alkmaar

This cruise will drive you to the culture of Holland. Starting by a wity tour of Amsterdam to admire its canals and enjoy its dynamic & cultural life before tasting the famous dutch cheeses. Edam and Alkmaar have a long history with cheese that you will discover with the handful of remaining cheese warehouses and their local cheese markets.Vinkeveen area: Some navigation restrictions applies between Oct 16th & 31st, 2017: Locks & bridges closed on Sundays - 24hrs advanced notice needed on all other days - special arrangements for getting in/out of Vinkeveen. Please contact our sales team so we can assist you further.

28 hr(s) of cruising

150km 14 lock(s) 7 nights

Vinkeveen RETURN via Gouda

Vinkeveen
Weesp
Utrecht
Oudewater
Gouda
Vinkeveen

30 hr(s) of cruising

140km 11 lock(s) 5 nights

Vinkeveen RETURN via Gouda

Following the River Vecht, this cruise will drive you to the historic and charming city of Utrecht. You'll then be able to reach the small town of Gouda, famous for its cheese and its traditional cheese market. Admire there the historic buildings of the town such the Saint John Church, famous for its stained glass windows.Vinkeveen area: Some navigation restrictions applies between Oct 16th & 31st, 2017: Locks & bridges closed on Sundays - 24hrs advanced notice needed on all other days - special arrangements for getting in/out of Vinkeveen. Please contact our sales team so we can assist you further.

30 hr(s) of cruising

140km 11 lock(s) 5 nights

Vinkeveen RETURN via Utrecht, Den Haag & Amsterdam

Vinkeveen
Maarsen
Utrecht
Oudewater
Gouda
Leiden
Amsterdam
Vinkeveen

35 hr(s) of cruising

170km 14 lock(s) 7 nights

Vinkeveen RETURN via Utrecht, Den Haag & Amsterdam

Discover the dutch way of life! Emerge yourself into some of the most historic & dynamic cities of Holland like Amsterdam, Utrecht or Den Haag through typical dutch villages like Delft. On the way you'll also admire the flowered fields near Lisse & Leiden and taste the famous cheese of Gouda. Don't miss the traditional cheese market there!Vinkeveen area: Some navigation restrictions applies between Oct 16th & 31st, 2017: Locks & bridges closed on Sundays - 24hrs advanced notice needed on all other days - special arrangements for getting in/out of Vinkeveen. Please contact our sales team so we can assist you further.

35 hr(s) of cruising

170km 14 lock(s) 7 nights

Vinkeveen to Hindeloopen via Amsterdam

Vinkeveen
Amsterdam
Elburg
Giethoorn
Lemmer
Sneek
Workum
Hindeloopen

36 hr(s) of cruising

180km 7 lock(s) 7 nights

Vinkeveen to Hindeloopen via Amsterdam

Rivers, lakes and canals lace Holland with ribbons of blue that run through low flat fields of green studded with restored traditional windmills and picturesque towns. You’re a fan of cycling, and Holland river cruises do not disappoint! Paths along the waterways invite you tie up, grab the bike and explore Elburg, Joure and Akkrum, to name a few of the places where you plan to go! This itinerary is achievable in 7 nights but requires an average of 6hrs of cruising time per day. If you want to take more time to visit the many waterside locations, please consider taking a 10+ nights vacation for an easier pace. Alternatively, you can also choose not to take the loop to Amsterdam, saving approximately 10hrs of cruising time.Vinkeveen area: Some navigation restrictions applies between Oct 16th & 31st, 2017: Locks & bridges closed on Sundays - 24hrs advanced notice needed on all other days - special arrangements for getting in/out of Vinkeveen. Please contact our sales team so we can assist you further.

36 hr(s) of cruising

180km 7 lock(s) 7 nights

Vinkeveen to Hindeloopen via Amsterdam & Utrecht

Vinkeveen
Maarsen
Utrecht
Amsterdam
Huizen
Muiden
Elburg
Giethoorn
Lemmer
Sneek
Workum
Hindeloopen

40 hr(s) of cruising

235km 14 lock(s) 10 nights

Vinkeveen to Hindeloopen via Amsterdam & Utrecht

The lure of Holland frequently is its jewel city of Amsterdam, and it’s no surprise that you included it in your Holland river cruises! As you join the fleets of boats to cruise Amsterdam around the great canal ring circling the city center, you marvel at the ornate stone buildings. After the city delights, you venture north to the beautiful lakelands for watersports and laid-back fun!Vinkeveen area: Some navigation restrictions applies between Oct 16th & 31st, 2017: Locks & bridges closed on Sundays - 24hrs advanced notice needed on all other days - special arrangements for getting in/out of Vinkeveen. Please contact our sales team so we can assist you further.

40 hr(s) of cruising

235km 14 lock(s) 10 nights

Hindeloopen RETURN via Sneek

Hindeloopen
Workum
Sneek
Hindeloopen

16 hr(s) of cruising

120km 0 lock(s) 3 nights

Hindeloopen RETURN via Sneek

Cruise from our base in Hindeloopen, frequently ranked as one of the prettiest villages in Europe, to the city of Sneek. Sneek's centrepiece is it's beautiful Waterpoort Gate, the only of its kind in the Netherlands and all that remains of the 17th Century town walls. En-route you'll pass through Workum, the hometown of famous artist Jopie Huisman. Here you'll find a great little museum showcasing some of his work, as well a fine church on Workum's bustling main street.

16 hr(s) of cruising

120km 0 lock(s) 3 nights

Hindeloopen RETURN via Workum & Leuwarden

Hindeloopen
Workum
Sneek
Lemmer
Hindeloopen

20 hr(s) of cruising

120km 2 lock(s) 7 nights

Hindeloopen RETURN via Workum & Leuwarden

You’re in the heart of the Lakelands region, a highlight of fabulous Holland river cruises! For lunch it’s a stop at a traditional fishing village to enjoy a pint of Grolsch and oysters on the half-shell, and later you take time for some sightseeing in beautiful Lemmer. The warm sun relaxes you as you kayak in scenic Grouw.

20 hr(s) of cruising

120km 2 lock(s) 7 nights
Added on 28 July 2018

Anne Spratt said

Good welcome, friendly staff. Would recommend and will use again. Lovely countryside and friendly people.
READ MORE
Vinkeveen - Hindeloopen
Sheba
Added on 15 June 2018

Willie Oldewage said

We really appreciated the service received at Hindeloopen where arrangements were made to collect us from the hotel and drop us off at the boat and your staff could not be more friendlier Conformed to all our expectations and had a wonderful two weeks
READ MORE
Hindeloopen - Vinkeveen
Horizon 1
Added on 06 June 2018

Hendrik Ferreira said

Friendly and helpful Very professional. Great experience. Scenic route
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Vinkeveen - Vinkeveen
Horizon 2
Added on 26 May 2018

Colin Somers said

Fantastic service both from via email and at the base at Vinkeeven. Staff were friendly, helpful and flexible to our requirements. We had a wonderful holiday on the canals and waterways of the Netherlands. There were 3 generations of our family on the boat, and all of us had a fantastic week. There were so many great sites and interesting places to visit. The canals were beautifully kept and well managed, and everyone we met was friendly and helpful. Amsterdam, Utrecht and Gouda were highlights, but we also loved the smaller towns and villages that we stopped at, Weesp in particular. This was our third holiday with Le Boat and my favourite so far!
READ MORE
Good Morning,
Many thanks for your review and the fantastic comments regarding our staff. Our customers' comments are very important to us and we will be sure to pass your feedback on to the relevant teams.
The Le Boat Team
Vinkeveen - Vinkeveen
Classique
Added on 26 May 2018

Jan Nieuwenhuis said

The service was excellent,although we had bad experience with the brackdown our journey was excellent Value for money and a wonderfull experience,thanks for a special holiday
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Vinkeveen - Vinkeveen
Sheba
Added on 11 April 2018

George Edwards said

Excellent customer service both when booking and on site when we travelled in Holland. We had an amazing journey - particularly having the bicycles with us.
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Hindeloopen - Vinkeveen
Royal Mystique A
Added on 16 October 2017

Amanda Hamann said

this was our 3rd cruise with le Boat, and we love the freedom of cruising on our own time and experience the place, food and people of place that we might not have visit if taking a conventional trip. Great experience - already planning next rip for 2019
READ MORE
Hi Amanda, thank you so much for taking the time to send through your feedback to us. We're so glad that you had a great holiday and we look forward to helping you plan your next cruise with us!
Vinkeveen - Vinkeveen
Caprice
Added on 11 October 2017

Kristen Downey said

Good all round Friendly and helpful staff
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Vinkeveen - Vinkeveen
Clipper
Added on 06 September 2017

Meridith Lafrenz said

Helpful, friendly service. Nice boat. Very happy customers Loved Holland - beautiful countryside, darling towns, great food. Only thing putting a damper on the trip was the weather. There was an unusual amount of cold and rain, which limited our use of the bicycles and the top deck of the boat.
READ MORE
Hindeloopen - Vinkeveen
Horizon 4
Added on 16 August 2017

Arrie Rohlandt said

The second time we cruised with Le Boat and definately not the last. Always friendly and helpful
READ MORE
Hi Arrie,
Thank you for taking the time to get in touch with us and for your positive feedback.
We're so glad that you had a good holiday and we have have shared your comments with our Vinkeveen team.
We look forward to helping you plan your next holiday with us again soon!
With Best Regards, Lauren
Vinkeveen - Vinkeveen
Cirrus B