Visiting the Dutch Wadden Islands, island hopping or crossing the many rivers and canals: ferries are an important means of public transport in Holland. Taking your bicycle is never a problem, though there might be an extra charge.
Boarding a bicycle ferry over the River IJssel. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com
There are numerous small ferries especially for cyclists and foot passengers. They can save you long detours and busy roads. Some of the crossings are such fun that they are specially incorporated in cycle routes. To plan your trip, it’s important to know where the ferries are and when they run. Otherwise you might get stuck.
Ferries - where and when they run
Ferry crossings are marked on all good cycle maps. However, the ferry service may be restricted to the summer or certain days of the week. To find out when each ferry runs, go to the website of Vrienden van de Voetveren, the association for ferry enthusiasts. If a ferry has its own website, it will be listed under ‘Op internet’.
How to search?
If you don’t understand Dutch, the easiest way is to click on the appropriate ferry on the map. It is also possible to search by province or river. On the left - under ‘Vaarschema’ - you will find the timetable.
dagelijks = daily
hele dag = all day round
alleen overdag = only in the daytime
hele jaar = all year round
in de zomer = in the summer
geen vaart = no crossing
niet bij ijsgang = not when there is ice
Ferries to the Wadden Sea Islands
The ferries to the Wadden Sea Islands run all year round. Crossings will be cancelled if the weather is too bad. In the holiday season it can be very busy. To avoid a long wait it is advisable to book in advance.
|Wadden Sea Island||Port of departure||Ferry company|
Island hopping is a good way of combining several of the Wadden Sea Islands in one trip. Please note that the ferry between Texel and Vlieland only runs in the high season. Booking in advance is required.
|Wadden Sea Island||Ferry company|
|Texel - Vlieland||Rederij De Vriendschap (in Dutch)|
|Vlieland - Terschelling||Rederij Doeksen|
Ferries - many different types
Ferries come in all different shapes and sizes, as you will see in our photo gallery. From large, seaworthy ferries to simple ferries you can operate yourself. Some are well worth a detour!
Click on one of the photos to start the slide show.