Detailed report on Holland and the sailing regions: Ijsselmeer, Wadden Sea and North Sea

Holland is not only known for tulips, windmills, cheese and wooden shoes, but also for its excellent infrastructure for all kinds of water sports, with 136 marinas, especially for varied yachting cruises.

The best-known yacht manufacturers are also based in the Netherlands: Jongert, Royal Huisman, Linssen, Contest, Feadship and many more. Also the "tailor-made" aluminium catamarans of our own brand CATAMARIS® are designed and built in the Netherlands.

Sailing in Holland is a completely new and different experience with Yates Europa.

The Netherlands

You can find a detailed report on the Netherlands as a tourist destination here.


Here you will find detailed information about the regulations and possible visas required to enter the EU:  


If in doubt, please contact the Dutch embassy or consulate in your country.

Amsterdam Airport (AMS). Optionally also from Madrid (MAD).

Transfers can be arranged from the charter base.

€ Euro. Withdraw cash at many ATMs with a credit card (Mastercard, Visa, American Express). Tip: Withdraw a certain basic amount for your travel fund as soon as you arrive at the airport.

The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate. The average maximum temperature in summer is 20 degrees Celsius, with days and periods of 25 and even 30 degrees Celsius possible. If it rains, it doesn't last long: the cool winds off the coast quickly blow the clouds away.

The ideal sailing season is from May to September.

As one of the world's leading countries for water sports, the Netherlands has a particularly perfect infrastructure for yachts. In 136 very good marinas, with clean showers and toilets, as well as shore power connections for yachts, most with restaurants and nautical shops, yachtsmen will find everything they need for a good holiday.

The lateral "A" buoy system also applies in the Netherlands: channels as well as underwater shallows and other obstacles are well marked with buoys at all times.

A quarter of the surface of the Netherlands lies below the level of the North Sea. This forced the Dutch to build sustainable dikes, sea locks and storm surge defences to protect themselves and even to reclaim new fertile land from the sea. That is why the Dutch are today world leaders in hydraulic engineering.

Sailing in Holland does not mean bays, anchoring, diving and barbecues. Sailing in Holland is a completely different and very interesting new experience.

Easy: Sail short distances on the Ijsselmeer from one picturesque town to another, enjoying an overnight mooring in the middle of historic city centres (Hindeloopen, Enkhuizen, Hoorn, Volendam, Medemblik...).

Middle: Sail through the lock of the final barrage into the Waddenzee. There, the tides and their currents play an important role in planning the correct navigation route. The channels are very well marked with red and green buoys of the late-normal "A" system. Harlingen (historic harbour) and the islands of Terschelling, Vlieland and Texel, with their good marinas and long sandy beaches, are definitely worth a visit.

Demanding: it is a journey across the North Sea from, for example, Vlieland/Terschelling to Texel, between the islands and the traffic separation zone, and further along the coast to IJmuiden, where you pass together with the large cargo ships through the huge lock system to the "Noordzeekanaal". From there, 25 km along the canal, past the seaports to the marina "Sixhaven" directly in the city centre of Amsterdam, there is nothing closer. From there we continue directly to the south of the Ijsselmeer and return to the charter base in Lemmer.

The Netherlands offers 3 sailing regions: Ijsselmeer, Wadden Sea (Waddenzee) and North Sea.

The Ijsselmeer

was historically a large bulge in the North Sea called the Zuiderzee. In the past, cargo sailors sailed from the harbours in this bay to Cape Hoorn, which was named after a captain from the town of Hoorn on the Ijsselmeer.

Repeatedly affected by devastating storm surges, it was decided in 1927 to completely separate the Zuiderzee from the North Sea by building a 32 km long dike. The objectives were coastal protection and increased land reclamation, which were impressively achieved. The closing dike has two locks used by inland vessels and yachts to/from the Wadden Sea and the North Sea.

The area now called Ijsselmeer is an inland and tideless sea. Therefore, it is at the same time a perfect sailing area without any special requirements.

Our charter base is located in Lemmer on the east side of the Ijsselmeer, a strategic starting point in all directions.

The Wadden Sea (Waddenzee - a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

stretches between the offshore islands from Texel to Schiermonnikoog (formerly part of the mainland) and today's coasts. Here the tides have an influence, and there are areas that dry out at low tide. Well buoyed routes allow for safe navigation as long as marker buoys are maintained.

The North Sea

The Netherlands has 451 km of North Sea coastline from the island of Schiermonnikoog in the east to the Belgian border in the south. Traffic separation zones off the coast regulate cargo ship traffic in the English Channel in separate lanes in a north-east and south-west direction. This makes it possible to navigate close to the coast without the danger of large ships. The tidal range is approximately 1.50-2.50 m, the tidal current up to 2.3 kn, between the islands also somewhat more. With the tidal currents you have a fast trip.

Our charter company in the Netherlands was founded 25 years ago and is today considered to be one of the largest suppliers of high quality and well maintained yachts.

Depending on the sailing region, from easy (Ijsselmeer) to medium (Wadden Sea) to demanding (tides/tidal currents in the Wadden Sea and North Sea).

Families with children - Couples - Groups of friends

Not all sailing licences of non-EU citizens are recognised in the Netherlands. Please send us a copy of your sailing licence with your charter application. We will check the validity with the charter base in advance.

We strongly recommend that you hire a local skipper for your planned charter. He speaks the local language and in any case also English. The skipper knows the local conditions, recommends suitable routes taking into account weather and wind forecasts. He knows the best marinas and books moorings for the night, helps with restaurant reservations, shopping and much more.
For the skipper, always consider a separate cabin on board.


Short (on the Ijsselmeer), medium (Ijsselmeer/Wadden Sea), long and very long routes - e.g. Vlieland-Ijmuiden - can be combined as desired.

Here you will find an international distance calculator

(Hint: move the map with the mouse pointer in the centre to the destination area).

Suggested cruises

From charter base in Lemmer: 1 week and 2 weeks. Destinations can be combined as desired, depending on the wind.

1 easy week: Tour of the Ijsselmeer

Tour of the Ijsselmeer

From Lemmer to Hindeloopen, Enkhuizen (stop in Medemblik), Hoorn, Amsterdam with 1 day harbour and city tour, Lelystad, back to Lemmer.
Total: approx. 126mn

1 semana media: Ijsselmeer, Wadden Sea Isla de Vlieland

Ijsselmeer, Wadden Sea, Islands of Vlieland and Terschelling

From Lemmer to Harlingen (35nm), islands of Vlieland or Terschelling, via Wadden sea to island of Texel, back to IJsselmeer, Medemblik, Hoorn and back to Lemmer base.
Total: approx. 160mn

2 weeks demanding

2 weeks

From Lemmer via the final dyke lock to Harlingen, Waddenzee, islands of Vlieland and Terschelling, North Sea, island of Texel, North Sea, Ijmuiden lock, North Sea Canal to Amsterdam, Amsterdam with port day and city tour, Ijsselmeer, back to Lemmer.

Total depending on choice of ports: 140-190mn.

Get to know Holland on a yacht

Rent or charter a yacht in Holland, the Netherlands in the 3 sailing regions from our base in Lemmer on the IJsselmeer. A sailing yacht with or without skipper or captain: Charter safely and have a good experience with our yacht and boat charter agency "Yates Europa".