When you travel to the Netherlands by ferry, you are taken directly to the heart of the country and you can start your adventure from the moment you step on board. The Netherlands is a fantastic destination for a city break or a longer holiday. You can visit amazing museums, explore the beautiful canals and hear the amazing and inspiring stories of what it was like during the second world war in Amsterdam. If you are looking for a different experience, you can discover the innovative architecture and design in Rotterdam or indulge your culinary desires in Maastricht. If it’s peace, quiet and space you’re looking for, you can enjoy over 250 kilometres of gorgeous coastline and sprawling nature reserves such as Veluwe and Oostvaadersplassen lakes. If you can, make sure you travel to the Netherlands by ferry in the spring so that you can witness the blazing colour of the flower bulb fields. Whatever you are looking for, you’ll find it when you travel by ferry to the Netherlands.
How to have a great cycling holiday in Holland via ferry
Cycling is a way of life in the Netherlands. Holland is the most bike-friendly country in the world, and the road network, towns and cities either have dedicated cycleways or well-marked cycle lanes, making exploring this great destination by bike easy and carefree. Sailing to four destinations in Holland, Discover Ferries’ members serve Amsterdam, Dieppe, Rotterdam and the Hook of Holland, with easy access to the rest of the country, meaning there are plenty of options to entertain families, professionals and novices alike.
From the port in IJmuiden you can cycle to Amsterdam in around two hours. Alternatively, cyclists can enjoy a leisurely journey from the Hook of Holland port to destinations such as The Hague, which is just over an hour, and Rotterdam which is 90 minutes’ away – both of which offer routes along the coast, past sand dunes and capturing beautiful coastal views. Unsurprisingly for a country that calls itself ‘the cycling nation’, Holland has an extensive network of cycle routes, including over 32,000km of safe cycle paths, separated from motorised traffic, and a 4,500 kilometre-long National Long Distance network linking together regional routes. For more information, tips and tours visit www.holland.com
Routes to Holland are available from DFDS Seaways, P&O Ferries and Stena Line. Visit their websites for information, or call 0871 574 7235 for DFDS Seaways, +44 (0) 1304 44 88 88 for P&O Ferries, or 0844 770 7070 for Stena Line
Travelling with a bike attached to a vehicle
The majority of passengers taking ferry holidays with bikes simply strap them onto their cars, caravans, or motorhomes in racks or boxes. That means they can drive to any destination and cycle wherever they go on their holiday. The pricing of taking bikes on a vehicle is simple – passengers just need to include the additional height and length of the vehicle when making the ferry booking.
It’s worth remembering that rear mounted cycle racks can obscure rear lights and number plates so car owners may need a lighting board with number plate and electrical supply to ensure their car and bike racks are legally roadworthy.
How to take a bike on board a ferry as a foot passenger
It’s easy to take a bike on a ferry as a foot passenger and cycle off into the sunset from the port. Passengers travelling with bicycles generally check in at the same time as other foot passengers. They dismount from their bikes for safety reasons and push their bicycle up the same vehicle ramp as that used by cars. Stewards will be on board to instruct cyclists. Once onboard travellers will be shown where to park and secure their bicycle on the deck for the crossing. It may be attached to the floor, wall or a railing for the crossing.
Ferry company policies and charges
DFDS accepts bicycles as part of a car booking for no additional charge on its routes from Newcastle to Amsterdam, and Newhaven and Dieppe. Its website is packed with useful cycling tips and cycling route advice. Visit www.dfdsseaways.co.uk for more information.
P&O Ferries accepts bicycles as part of a car booking for no additional charge on its routes between from Hull to Rotterdam. A clever interactive adventure planner on its website gives ideas for cycling adventures and gives tips about travelling to watch professional cycling overseas. Visit www.poferries.com or call 01304 44 88 88
Stena Line accepts bicycles for no additional charge on its routes from Harwich to Hook of Holland. Visit www.stenaline.co.uk for more information.
In addition to checking out the cycling sections of each ferry members’ website there is some great advice for cycling routes from cycling organisations such as Eurovelo – a European cycling network http://www.eurovelo.com/en, or www.Sustrans.org.uk for UK, Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland.
Cycling rules of the road
We advise checking out the rules of the road in any international country before you set off. In Holland all bikes must have a round red reflector on the rear, yellow reflectors on the pedals and white or yellow reflective tyres, and use of flashing LED lights is illegal.Tourist Information