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The sailing ferry service on the Wadden Sea

Experience the Wadden in an adventurous way

Our sailing ships provide a scheduled service on the Wadden. The schedule is set according to the tides as we can only sail across the sandbank during high tide. 

During our overnight tours we stay at night outside at sea, most of the time the ship lays on the sand during low tide. This is a unique way of experience the Wadden. One of our passengers wrote:

“The islands of the Philippines are beautiful, Peru is unbelievable but seeing the sunrise at 6 am aboard the Willem Jacob lying on a sandbank is more than words can say…..!”



Historical sailing clippers

The island hopping on the IJsselmeer and the Wadden Sea is done with two sailing clippers: the Minerva and the Willem Jacob. Both of the ships are more than a century old and offer you a unique chance of exploring the Wadden Sea and its islands on an adventurous way. Aboard you can help the crew with handling the sails. There will be a cook taking care of good food. You can sleep aboard in your own bunk with sheets. A relaxed way to island hop on the Wadden Sea.

Vacation in the Netherlands

Sailing holidays and island hopping, a fantastic vacation for young and old. You get in touch with other guest easily; you see the islands and the stunning Wadden Sea. Enjoy with a good book on deck or help with handling the sails.

Use our  search and book module to get some good tour suggestions by telling us when and where you want to travel.


Historical sailing clippers

The island hopping on the IJsselmeer and the Wadden Sea is done with two sailing clippers: the Avontuur and the Willem Jacob. Both of the ships are more than a century old and offer you a unique chance of exploring the Wadden Sea and its islands on an adventurous way.

Aboard you can help the crew with handling the sails. There will be a cook taking care of good food. You can sleep aboard in your own bunk with sheets. A relaxed way to island hop on the Wadden Sea.

Willem Jacob

klipper Willem JacobTsjerk Hesling Hoekstra, Douwe Dijkhuizen, Ruth Giesen en Gijs

The Willem Jacob, build in 1889 is completely turned upside down during the last five years. By now the ship has a new bottom, the interior is all new, and there is a new and quiet engine. The outside is restored as good as possible. There is an ongoing wooden hatch from bow to aft, the sides of the accommodation are covered with wood en in 2011 the new mast trunk was sounded.

The accommodation in the hold stands in sharp contrast with the exterior of the historic clipper: an open and modern room. The interior is very light and has an open layout. You sleep in a common sleeping area. The is one toilet and one shower/ toilet combination

More information about crew and ship can be found at .
Phone aboard is 0031 050-211 1863

kombuis willem jacob kooien Willem Jacob cocksdorpMinerva

This elegant lady launched in 1878 from one of the many yards on the Kinderdijk (on the river Lek). She was built as a Stevenaak, a freight ship with outstanding sail characteristics, especially in a headwind.

As well as facing all the usual hazards as a freight ship, she managed, unlike many of her peers, to avoid the breakers yard when times got hard. In 1994 a major restoration was started, and two years later she began her second youth as sailing ship.

Every year she, and her skilled crew, provide many people with a fantastic time on the water.


You can reach Skipper Chris Roch @ +31 6 3096 8665


Boarding Area

The ships are recognizable by the big, light blue Eilandhopper flags on the mast. The Willem Jacob have a black hull with a one mast. The Minerva has two masts, a black hull with a braod, white banding.

We are trying to be at location at least fifteen minutes before departure time. Should you have trouble finding us please call the ship onto which you are going to board:

Minerva 0031 (0)6-30968665
Willem Jacob 0031 (0)50-211 2573



In Harlingen the Minerva is moored in ‘t Dokje. Next to Haven Harlingen station. You can park near the ship for loading and unloading. After that, the car can go to a (paid) parking lot at the Westerzeedijk.

Texel, Oude Schild

The Minerva wil be moored in the port of Oudeschild, a fishermens harbour. Most of the time near the tuktuk-shop.


The Willem Jacob and Minerva will be moored in the marina of Vlieland, at the southeastern part with the other charter ships. When crowded, it is possible that you have to cross the forward decks of a couple of ships. Make sure, that you take the right row of ships.
The village/ferry is approximately 1.5 kilometers to the east.


The ships are usually docked on one of the two wooden piers in the harbor of West Terschelling. Sometimes however, we are docked at the terrain of the shippingcompany Doeksen or at the loading and unloading pier between the marina and the buoyaging service.

Ameland, Nes

The ships are docked at the east of the new causeway, this is the old one.


The Willem Jacob and Minerva dock usually at the causeway where the big ferry also arrives. Should we be in the marina, then you will be noticed timely.



The Willem Jacob usually moored in the southern part of the fishing harbor. We are moored in front of restaurant “Schierzicht”

What should I know?

We try to give you an as pleasant as possible adventure on the Wadden Sea. To prepare you for this we want to provide you with as much information as possible.

If you still have any further questions the best solution will be to simply mail them to us:
You can also call us but often we are not able to immediately answer as we will be sailing so please feel free to leave us a massage and you phone number so we can call you back later.
Our phone number is: 0031 50 211 0832

What should I take with me?



What should I leave at home?

Must I be capable to sail?

No, no sailing experience is required.

Am I obligated to help?

Participating is of course possible but in no way obligated.

Do I need to take a sleeping bag with me?

No, we do provide a pillow and a sheet.

What should I take with me?

Will I be seasick?

Never say never but on the Wadden Sea there are not so many waves. When sailing through a tidal outlet the ship might roll a bit but this never takes too long. If you are very sensitive for motion sickness you might want to think about getting some medicine at the pharmacy. Eating some ginger is a natural way to relive seasickness.

Why is the tour to the next island taking so long, when I can see it from here?

Rather than that, couldn’t you be asking why it’s over already, why it can’t last a little longer? The tours will take some more time because we’re sailing from port to port, not to the nearest beach. We also have to navigate in between shallow areas so we won’t get stranded. Let’s make the travel itself a purpose, not the destination.


Can I take my dog with me?

Please contact us about this first.

Can I bring my baby stroller, bicycle, folding bicycle, tandem or scooter along?

In the same order: Yes, yes, yes for free, yes if you really have to and no. More about bicycles below.


Are there enough children’s life-jackets aboard?

Yes, we always make sure there are enough life-jackets on board. We don’t have jackets for children younger than two years old. A life-jacket for these children is not obligated.

Will you wait if I come too late?

Please come in time, because, no, sorry, the tide won’t wait either. The best thing to do is being here fifteen minutes ahead of time. You will be welcome then as well and the coffee will be ready when you arrive.


What will we do if there is no wind?

If there is no wind, we will turn on the engine and motorboat to the next island. We can arrange some time to go swimming then, should our schedule permit it.

Do we arrive on the mentioned time?

Mostly not…. We are propulsed by the wind, so that means that we can be earlier or later than the time we are expected to be their. We will arrive, sometimes a few hours earlier, sometimes later. If our arrival time is important for you, please inform your skipper on the boat, And he or she will do his best. But if you use the wind as energy moving you, you have te be flexible. “You cannot change the direction of the force of the wind, you can only change how you set your sails”

What are we doing if it is stormy?

The only thing to do when it is storming is keeping calm. If it is really so stormy that we can’t sail you can get a refund. You might also want to wait till there is less wind and we start to sail again. A roundtrip will be canceled sooner than a passage to the next island. From wind force 6 on you can get a 90% refund even if we are sailing, 100% if we stay in the port.

What will we do when the port is full?

Vlieland, Terschelling and Ameland have ports that might well be full in the main season. If that is the case, then we are always permitted to let passengers go ashore. When spending the night on board, we will sleep while anchoring. Sometimes we will sail another tour afterwards; it is possible then to stay ashore while we are busy with this tour. When the guests are gone, we will pick you up to anchor in front of the port.


More about bicycles:

The clippers are not a ferry; there isn’t a lot of space. Most of the time it’s more practical to rent a bike on one of the islands. You always find a bike rental near the harbors offering you a good price. We do, however, understand that some “Eilandhoppers” would like to take a bicycle along. This is why:


Food and beverages

When spending the day outside it is important to stay well nourished. That’s why we have a cook aboard who will provide you a good meal. We mainly use fresh products for our dishes.

It’s possible to select a lunch and/or diner while booking a trip via the web shop. When booking a night aboard breakfast will always be included. The meal itself is a surprise and is partially dependant on the weather conditions (a lot of wind can be a hindrance when baking a quiche for example). We will of course take diets and wishes into account while preparing the meal. Should you have a vegetarian or other diet or have an allergy, then it’s possible to mention this in the details box while booking.

We eat with the whole group in an informal setting outside above outside or below deck. If people would like to help with cooking, then feel free to ask. The cook would most likely very much appreciate this.

Lunch: € 16,00Kom soep aan boord

The lunch includes sandwiches and a diversion of fillings, milk or buttermilk, fruit and always something extra like soup, an omelet or a salad.

Diner: € 21,00

This varies between the days. For example: Pasta with zucchini, salmon and a salad, mashed potatoes, an oven dish, couscous or just ‘plain and standard’ potatoes, vegetables and fish or meat. We finish our meal with a desert.


Coffee, tea and lemonade are included in the price.
Soda, juice, beer, wine or a drink can be purchased aboard.

Binnenkort van Eilandhopper: Combined trips

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