Boat Rental and Yacht Charter in Netherlands

The Netherlands' intricate network of canals and lakes offers a unique sailing experience. Guided by a knowledgeable captain, explore charming windmills, vibrant tulip fields, and historic cities, all from the comfort of your boat.

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Sailing in the Netherlands

Enjoy an alternative side of the Netherlands on your next sailing holiday. Sail from Amsterdam or Kortgene in Zeeland, experience the Frisian Island chain that stretches across to Germany up to the Danish Islands and enjoy the culture and cuisine of this beautiful corner of Europe with a boat rental in the Netherlands.

Things to do and see when sailing in the Netherlands

The Netherlands have more to offer than just Amsterdam. The lovely port city of Rotterdam is not just an interesting place for companies who want to import or export their goods, it is also a vibrant city filled with brilliant young minds who create start ups and plenty of amazing cafes and restaurants. If you get sick of sailing in the Netherlands, you can always do as the Dutch and rent a bike for a day to explore the Netherlands from a different perspective.

Activities in the Netherlands

  • A canal boat rental in the Netherlands is a must when visiting this beautiful country that is famous for its beautiful canals and the picturesque houses greeting you when sailing along them
  • Do as the locals and rent a bike - you get to use the amazing infrastructure specifically designed for bikes
  • Walk around Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands - visit the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank house or the Van Gogh Museum to get your history and art fix, go all out for an experience at one of the coffee shops or walk around the red light district
  • Keukenhof, a botanical garden in Lisse (between Amsterdam and The Hague) that is open to visit when the tulips are blooming between March and May
  • Visit Castle De Haar, the largest castle in the Netherlands, is located in Utrecht. First built in 1391, it was later destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in the 16th century. The surrounding gardens are also worth a walk
  • Shop some cheese in one of the Netherlands famous cheese shops

Beaches in the Netherlands

  • Zandvoort: As one of the most beautiful, extensive and popular beaches in the Netherlands, this beach attracts tourists and locals alike on a sunny day. So be prepared to share the beach with plenty of people. One thing that makes it popular is the easy access to the sea, making it also very family-friendly
  • Bloemendaal is the perfect beach near Amsterdam for a swim and a party. Plenty of beach clubs await you here to dance the night away
  • Terschelling: This little island offers visitors some of the most beautiful beaches the Netherlands has to offer. Soft sand, interesting dunes and long stretches of coast are the perfect choice for beach lovers from around the world

Restaurants in the Netherlands

Casual dining in Netherlands:

  • Fabel Friet: If you’re in the mood for fried foods and happen to be in Amsterdam as part of your sailing adventure in the Netherlands, you should stop by and enjoy some crispy fries in this local eatery
  • Banhs & Boba in Leeuwarden is the perfect cheap eatery for anyone craving some Asian food. Authentic Vietnamese sandwiches will make your mouth and tummy very happy

Best restaurants with a view in the Netherlands:

  • Restaurant Moon in Amsterdam is giving you great vibes and fantastic views. The restaurant is revolving, so you get a great 360 degree view
  • The Fat Mermaid is a super lovely restaurant in the Hague by the beach. You cannot get closer to the sea than this - unless you’re dining on your very own boat rental, of course

Fine dining in the Netherlands:

  • Restaurant Fidèle in Drachten is a restaurant that is part of the Michelin star restaurant list. The quality and the presentation of the food is surely going to take your breath away
  • Restaurant Bougainville in Amsterdam is a Michelin star restaurant that will make your taste buds explode. European/Asian fusion is what you get here


Bars and Clubs in the Netherlands

  • Law & Order Cocktail Bar in Amsterdam is luring you into Amsterdam’s infamous nightlife. Extraordinary cocktails combined with a great atmosphere and friendly staff are the perfect ingredients for a fun night out
  • De Paas in the Hague is the perfect spot for craft beer lovers. Enjoy a cold beer while admiring the antique facade

Explore the historical Netherlands

Most people who travel to the Netherlands are not just interested in getting high in one of the coffee shops, they also want to explore the rich history of this country. After all, it is the land of Van Gogh, Vermeer and other famous painters. You can even walk along the streets of Amsterdam or Utrecht to view the fascinating history first hand. The beautiful houses that still stand tall along the canals have been built during a time when the Netherlands became a big trading nation. Many houses still have a hook attached to their roofs in order to move furniture in and out of the buildings as you simply wouldn’t be able to carry your furniture down the narrow stairs.

Sailing conditions in the Netherlands

Sailing in the Netherlands on the North Sea requires a bit more attention compared to sailing destinations in the Mediterranean. Depths are sometimes shallow at the shorelines of the islands, so approaching is recommended for more experienced sailors. If you need help to navigate, you can always book a skipper through Borrow A Boat together with your sailing holiday.

The larger islands have mooring buoys, so anchoring is usually not a concern. The waters can be quite rough out at sea, with waves reaching up to 1.5 meters and winds up to 20 knots at times, but usually they are lower and not as strong.

Sailing holidays in the Netherlands are best in summer when you get the warmest weather and the calmest waters. You can expect summer air temperatures approaching 30°C and water temperatures in the middle of summer at about 18°C.

Commercial traffic is fairly busy around the German Frisians, especially towards the German Bight. Stay extra cautious around the Osterams, east of Borkum, with shallow waters and occasional strong north-westerly winds. They can be very strong and unpredictable once they pick up! Sailing the Frisians is definitely an exciting experience - whether you want to take the lead or sit back and relax on a crewed boat in the Netherlands.

How much does it cost to rent a boat in the Netherlands?

A boat rental in Holland is also great for those traveling on a bit of a budget. Of course prices can vary according to the type of boat, the season and the amount of bedrooms available on board, but they are generally more affordable than in other destinations. You can rent a houseboat for just 630 EUR for a week.

What type of boat is best for sailing in the Netherlands?

One of the most popular boats you can rent in the Netherlands is a canal boat that takes you around the cities and allows you to discover the canals connecting the different parts of the Netherlands with one another.

Rent a houseboat in the Netherlands

Pros of renting a houseboat in the Netherlands

A houseboat rental in the Netherlands is perfect for anyone who wants to drive around the canals and feel like a local for a week. There are many Dutch people who live on a houseboat full time, so you will fit right in.

A houseboat charter in the Netherlands is a great choice for those who are travelling on a budget. In many locations in the Netherlands you can rent a houseboat for a week for just 630 EUR. This is extremely affordable and makes it particularly great for those travelling with kids.

Rent a canal boat in the Netherlands if you want to feel like you’re staying in a home away from home. These boats are equipped with everything you need and are basically tiny houses on the water. You really don’t have to miss out on any comforts when it comes to vacationing on a boat in the Netherlands.

Many houseboat charters in the Netherlands allow you to bring your pets on board so that you don’t have to leave them at home or leave them in a shelter for a week. That way you get to create beautiful holiday memories with your pets as well.

Cons of renting a houseboat in the Netherlands

One of the downsides of a houseboat rental in the Netherlands can be the fact that they are rather bulky and therefore more difficult to navigate. As long as there is no traffic or obstacle that you need to avoid you are probably fine, but as soon as you have to go out of your way to operate a houseboat, you might be in trouble.

Charter a houseboat in the Netherlands

Rent a sailboat in the Netherlands

Pros of renting a sailboat in the Netherlands

A sailboat charter in the Netherlands is the right choice for anyone who cares about the environment. As sailboats are solely fueled by wind, you won’t create any CO2-emissions that are further going to harm the environment.

A sailboat rental in the Netherlands is one of the most affordable options when it comes to a boat holiday here. As you don’t need to refuel your boat in order to make it move, you won’t need to spend extra money on that. The wind is what you get for free!

Cons of renting a sailboat in the the Netherlands

One of the downsides of a sailboat rental in the Netherlands is equally an advantage: The fact that sailboats are completely and utterly dependent on mother nature. When the wind suddenly stops blowing, you might get stuck in the middle of the sea. However, the winds on the Dutch coast are generally quite strong, so you might face this difficulty rather seldomly compared to other destinations.

Sailboat charter in the Netherlands

Rent a motorboat in the Netherlands

Pros of renting a motorboat in the Netherlands

A motorboat rental in the Netherlands is a great choice for anyone who wants to explore the Frisian islands or just sail along the Dutch coast on a hunt for the most beautiful beaches. Motorboats have a shallow draft, making them a perfect partner in crime to do so.

A motorboat charter in the Netherlands is also a great choice for those who have plenty of to do’s on their bucket list. Motorboats are generally faster than other types of boats and give you more opportunities to discover what this tiny country has to offer.

Cons of renting a motorboat in the Netherlands

One of the downsides of a motorboat rental in the Netherlands is the fact that motorboats are solely fueled by petrol. This makes them one of the most expensive and least environmentally friendly choices.

Another downside of renting a motorboat in the Netherlands is the fact that the engine can be quite noisy. This can not only disturb you or the conversations you’re trying to have on board, but also the local wildlife. There are some protected national parks where it might be prohibited to pass through with a motorboat during specific times of the year.

Motorboat rental in the Netherlands

Luxury boat holidays in the Netherlands

The Netherlands are not necessarily known for their luxury lifestyle, but you can definitely find it. Charter a private luxury yacht in the Netherlands to enjoy the sweeter things in life. All luxury yachts are generally equipped with a full kitchen and extra kitchen utensils you might need in order to store and prepare your own meals while on board your boat. Many luxury yacht rentals in the Netherlands further include some equipment such as jet skis or a jacuzzi to make for an extra fun sailing adventure in the Netherlands.

What kind of boat license do you need when renting a boat in the Netherlands?

Anyone who wants to drive a motorboat in the Netherlands that goes faster than 20 km/h and longer than 20 meters needs to be in possession of a valid boat license or a so-called Small Licence. The same goes for other types of boats that are between 15 and 25 meters long. You can also take a test in the Netherlands to get this certification.

If you want to operate a bigger boat that is between 25 and 40 meters long, you need to carry a so-called Pleasure Boat Licence in the Netherlands.

If you are unsure about the certification you would need, you can always carry the International Certificate of Competency or short ICC. If you are neither in possession of a valid boat license, nor plan on obtaining one in the near future, you can always hire a skipper or captain in addition to your bareboat charter.

Sailing routes in the Netherlands

Beginning your sailing holiday in the Netherlands from Amsterdam, you can head up the scenic coastline of the Markermeer and IJsselmeer lakes. Lemmer is an excellent starting location for a boat holiday on the Ijsselmeer. You can continue north up to Den Helder, which offers excellent mooring and boat service facilities.

There are a number of uninhabited islands offshore from Den Helder including Noorderhaaks, Richel and Griend. The best places for mooring overnight are usually off the mainland in marinas such as Breskens or Delfzijl. It’s therefore a good idea to moor temporarily for day trips on the islands and then head back to the mainland overnight during your boat trip.

Sailing in the area allows you to see the vast array of islands, each with its own distinct personality. You can stick to the Dutch Waddens or explore the islands further along the chain, across the German Frisians and to the Danish Waddens. Rømø Island has a stunning national park (Denmark’s largest) or stop at Cuxhaven in Germany and visit its scenic seaside resort. Sailing holidays in the Netherlands will allow you to explore parts of the country only accessible by boat, and too often overlooked by those who stick to land-based accommodation.