Five Dutch provinces combined in one route: This special varied journey starts in the province South-Holland and will bring you to the north to Leeuwarden, capital city of the province Friesland and the European Capital of Culture 2018. On our way, fascinating nature alternates with atmospheric harbour and fortress cities like Muiden, Elburg and Sneek. You will experience pleasant boat cruises on the Friesian lakes and marginal seas of the Ijsselmeer as well as wonderful cycle tours to e.g. Giethoorn, a place shaped by former peat extraction, also called the Venice of the North. This tour is a course-tour and it ends in Leeuwarden.
Saturday: Alphen (South-Holland)
Embarkation in Alphen a/d Rijn at 16.00 'o clock and welcome by the crew. Over a cup of coffee we will introduce you to the travel program. In the evening, explore the inner city of Alphen or/and end your first day with a cosy evening on board.
Sunday: Alphen-Muiden (North-Holland, 35 km)
Our first boat cruise of three hours will take us over the Aarkanaal and the beautiful Amstel to Uithoorn. Here our first cycle tour along picturesque lakes will start, passing by lovely villages like Abcoude and Weesp. In the late afternoon we will reach Muiden, an old fortress and harbour city at the IJmeer with many traditional sailing ships. In the evening you can walk to the shore of the IJmeer.
Monday: Muiden-Harderwijk-Elburg (Gelderland, 27 or 33 km)
We will sail over the "Veluwer Randmeer" up to Harderwijk in about 5 hours, during which we can enjoy wonderful views of the inner lakes, which have arisen from drainage of part of the Zuiderzee. Subsequently, we will cycle through forest and heath landscape of the Veluwe and along the shore of the Veluwermeer up until the former city of the Zuiderzee Elburg.
In the evening there is time to visit the magnificent, still preserved fortress city of Elburg with its medieval rectangular street map surrounded by city ramparts, canals rich in fish and remains of the city wall.
Tuesday: Ellburg-Vollenhove/Giethoorn (Overrijssel, 30 km)
In the morning the Ali-B2 will sail in an extended lake area (Drontermeer, Zwarte Meer, Ketelmeer) up until Vollenhove, a former fishing village at the Zuiderzee (today's IJsselmeer).
In the late afternoon we will cycle through the national park "Weerribben", a wonderful wetland, where centuries-old turf excavation sites have created a distinctive landscape with extraordinary flora and fauna. We will stop in Giethoorn, which is also referred to as the Dutch Venice. Here, you can choose to go on a boat tour with an authentic 'Punt'-Boat or visit Giethoorn by foot.
Do not miss the opportunity to discover the centre of Vollenhove on a marked historical route. In the past, this lovely town used to be indicated as the 'City of palaces", as many nobles lived here. We will stay overnight in the cosy city harbour.
Wednesday: Vollenhove-Lemmer (Friesland, 30 km)
First, we'll sail through the North East Polder, the first polder to be reclaimed from the new lake IJsselmeer. We will moor in the former fishing town Lemmer.
In the afternoon our cycling tour will brings through the Gaasterland, a hilly, wooded landscape that protrudes 10m over the surrounding peat area with cliffs along the IJsselmeer.
Finish your day with a walk to the nearby Lemmer beach and admire the special view or stroll through the historical centre of Lemmer.
Thursday: Lemmer-Sneek (Friesland, 18-35km. by bike)
Look forward to a special sailing tour today. We will pass the authentic Leemster Lock and sail on a narrow waterway through the centre of this lovely town. We will continue our tour on the Prinses Margriet Canal through several small lakes to Sneek, the mecca of water sports.
In the afternoon we have a varied cycle tour planned on the Legeanster-route, which will take us through a low-lying region with beautiful old villages like Gauw and unique nature. On our way back we will enjoy the view of the Sneekermeer from our bicycles.
In the evening you will have time to visit the magnificent water city Sneek with its rich history. The oldest part of the city is the area around the mound "Grote" and the Martini-church. The first time something was built here was already in the 10th century. The most famous building construction in Sneek is the watergate from 1613.
Friday: Sneek-Leeuwarden (Friesland)
After breakfast the ship will leave for our last cruise, which will bring us to the Frisian Leeuwarden. In the afternoon, you can get an impression from the European Capital of Culture 2018.
The historical centre with its picturesque canals, arched bridges and old house facades was built on mounds.
We will finish this eventful week with our traditional Captain's Dinner.
Saturday: Individual departure after breakfast