NEW TREND | BOOK A RIVER CRUISE IN THE NETHERLANDS
Two years ago, we enjoyed an amazing river cruise in France. Well, now it’s possible to do this in The Netherlands, and because you are on your own boat, with you as the captain, it’s completely safe!
Last summer I sailed across the Saône river in France with a huge boat owned by Nicols, a boating company that offers a variation of boats that you can rent at different locations across Europe. The cool thing is, that you don’t need a boat or sailing license to do this. Boating holidays like these are popular with the French, English and the Germans, but in the Netherlands it is relatively new. Until now.
Last summer in France
How to book your river cruise
Jachthuren.nl is the company that’s going to roll out the Nicols boats in The Netherlands and for the first time it’s possible to sail across the rivers in Holland without a boat license. Jachthuren offers 4 different boats from 4 to 8 people. All boats are equipped with a bedroom, a bathroom and kitchen. You can relax on the back deck or sit at the top, where the captain (hey, that could be you!), can sit also.
There is no need to be an experienced captain, but there are some things that will be explained before you depart. On most routes you will pass a few locks (sluizen) that you will need to open before you can continue. This is a bit nerve-racking at first, but also a lot of fun! After 2 locks you are a pro.
The Dutch Route
There are 9 Dutch routes to choose from, but some are only available for those that book a midweek or longer. All boats start from Kerkdriel, located in the South of Holland. From there you have many options. If you want to cruise the river Maas for a weekend for example, you’ll make your way up to Heusden – Woudrichem and back to Kerkdriel. On your way you pass characteristic villages with places to relax and eat. If you have more time on your hands, opt for the full week river cruise where you pass some of Hollands prettiest cities like Utrecht, Maarsen, Leiden, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. You can decide yourself where to stop, as long as docking is permitted and you are following the route.
Here are of some of the best routes for river cruising:
Weekend – Kerkdriel > Heusden > Gorinchem > Kerkdriel
100 kilometer / 2 locks / 12 uur varen
Midweek – Kerkdriel > Biesbosch > Kerkdriel
120 kilometer / 0 locks / 15 uur varen
1 week (retour) – Kerkdriel > Rotterdam > Gouda > Gorinchem > Heusden > Kerkdriel
200 kilometer / 9 locks / 25 uur varen
1 week ( 1 way) – Kerkdriel > Gouda > Amsterdam > Utrecht > IJsselstein > Montfoort
220 kilometer / 8 locks / 28 uur varen
2 weken – Kerkdriel > Bois-le-Duc > Veghel > Maastricht > Venlo > Ravenstein > Kerkdriel
350 kilometer / 22 locks / 60 uur varen
We might see you sailing across Dutch waters this spring!