Mudflat hopping from island to island
Take a look at the map of the Netherlands and it seems that the Dutch Wadden Islands are very close to each other. So it must be easy to 'hop' from one island to another. Nothing is further from the truth. Although the islands are close to each other (the distance between Terschelling and Ameland is 4 km), there is not always a direct boat connection between the islands.
For Wadden-/Island hopping, you go through the Wadden area, a dynamic area that has to do with tides, currents, sand banks and gullies. Because of these natural influences, some direct boat connections do not take place regularly. Visiting the islands from the mainland and vice versa is possible all year round via the regular ferry services..
Visiting the islands from 'the mainland"
This option is the easiest way to visit several islands in one holiday. Wadden-hopping in this way is possible all year round. Another advantage is that it does not matter how long you stay on each island. If you have visited one island, you can take the regular boat back to the mainland, get into a car, cycle or take public transport and drive to the next harbour for the next island. And on the way from one harbour to the next, you can also enjoy the Friesian Wadden Sea coast! Wonderful, isn't it?
More information about regular boat connections, sailing times and tickets? Then click on the relevant island:
- Texel (the boat leaves from Den Helder)
- Vlieland (the boat leaves fromHarlingen)
- Terschelling (the boat leaves from Harlingen)
- Ameland (the boat leaves from Holwerd)
- Schiermonnikoog (the boat leaves from Lauwersoog)
In addition to the above boat connections, it is also possible to travel by water taxi. These boats are smaller and the sailing time is often shorter.
More information on water taxis and express services can be found here:
Direct boat connection between the islands
Use of a direct boat connection between the islands
If you want to visit several islands in one holiday, without having to return to "the mainland" each time, you can use the direct boat connections between the islands. These connections mainly take place in the summer months and are provided by various shipping companies. Below, you will find the possibilities of putting together your own trip:
Schiermonnikoog <–> Ameland
The direct boat connection between Schiermonnikoog and Ameland is provided by the m.s. Ameland and the historical sailing clippers Willem Jacob and Minerva. These crossings only take place a few times a year and vary in duration from 2 ½ hours to 10 hours. More information, dates and prices can be found here.
Ameland <-> Terschelling
The m.s. Zeehond, m.s. Ameland and the historic sailing clippers Willem Jacob and Minerva sail between Terschelling and Ameland. These crossings are only possible at high tide and in the summer months. Only 25 trips are planned for 2023. If you want to know which ones, look here.
Terschelling <-> Vlieland
For the transport between Terschelling and Vlieland you can use the speedboat of shipping company Doeksen from the 1st of May until the 30th of September. This boat service is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with the exception of the festivals 'Oerol' and 'Into The Great Wide Open'. More information.
Vlieland <-> Texel
A one-way trip to Vlieland with or without a bike? Or from Vlieland to Texel? That's a great adventure! Wadden ferry De Vriendschap, a seasonal passenger ship, takes you from the port of Texel to the port of Oost-Vlieland and vice versa. You can find more information about 'De Vriendschap' here
Own car and bicycles
When island hopping, it is unfortunately not possible to bring a car. Taking a bicycle with you is possible to a limited extent. Bicycles can also be hired on all the islands. Information on bicycle rental companies can be found here:
Accommodation on the islands
Would you like to spend the night in a hotel, holiday home, bed & breakfast, flat or rather in your own tent? On the islands everything is possible! Click for the accommodation possibilities on your preferred island:
Eilandhopper, the sailing Wadden service.
The 'Eilandhopper' consists of three historic sailing ships: the Avontuur, the Minerva and the Willem Jacob. During the summer months, the Eilandhopper calls at the ports of Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, among others. You can choose to sail an entire week or you can book a single crossing (with or without an overnight stay). Because the trips with the island hopper depend on wind and tide, they generally take longer than regular trips. At wind force 0, the journey is made by engine. And, if you like it, you can help with the sailing! More information.
Wadden hop holidays-Total Adventure
Waddenhop holidays offer island hopping arrangements varying from a long weekend to one and a half weeks, during which you visit several Wadden Islands. You stay 2 or 3 nights per island and then get on a historic sailing yacht, a fast rib or a water taxi to the next island, taking into account the tide. Island hopping is one big adventure close to home. You will experience the uniqueness of the Wadden Sea region optimally. You will also notice that each island is very different. More information.
If you want to visit all the islands in one holiday, it's quite a puzzle. The tides and different sailing times make planning a bit more difficult. Texel-based travel agency ReisCreaties organises Wadden experiences. Wadden hopping from island to island or via the mainland, to the Dutch, German and Danish Wadden, it's all possible. More information.
If you go island hopping, then at the end of your hopping holiday you will arrive at a different port than the one from which you started. If you went by car, you can take public transport or a taxi back to the point where you started your holiday.
Want to read all the above at your leisure?
Download all the information here.