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Youth Beat

Bargains in Holland by Moped or Bicycle

February 23, 1986|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

Want to crew on a traditional sailing ship? Cycle through the Dutch countryside on your own brand new bike or tour the Netherlands by moped? All these are economical options for young travelers this year.

This is the first year that do-it-yourself moped holidays are being operated by the Netherlands Youth Hostel Assn. For $110, NJHC-Travel (a service owned by the Netherlands Youth Hostel Assn.) will arrange to have a moped waiting for you in Amsterdam, The Hague or Arnhem.

According to NJHC, licenses are not required. The moped is yours to use for seven days. Participants are supplied with a helmet, insurance, and vouchers for two nights' lodgings with breakfast in youth hostels in the Netherlands. Two nights of tent camping are also provided. You make your own arrangements for lodging on other nights.

For Tourist Season

You can start the holiday any day between March 15 and Oct. 15 but you must make your arrangements at least two weeks in advance. You'll be asked to leave a $75 deposit when you pick up the moped. Arrangements can be made by contacting the Amsterdam office of NJHC-Travel.

The idea of a do-it-yourself moped holiday evolved from the success of independent cycle vacations which the Netherlands Youth Hostel Assn. has offered since 1979.

For about $168, NJHC-Travel will have a new three-speed bicycle waiting for you when you arrive in Amsterdam, Doorwerth or The Hague. You are buying the bike. You can sell it or bring it home after your trip. To help get you started with your independent tour you are also supplied with four vouchers for overnight accommodations and breakfast (usable in any of the 50 youth hostels of the Netherlands), a road map, a rain poncho, a tire repair kit and a shoulder bag.

You can start an independent cycle package any day between March 15 and Oct. 31. There are male and female models of the bikes but only one size is offered. It is suitable for people 5 feet 4 inches to 6 feet tall. A six-month factory guarantee against construction defects is valid for the first owner. NJHC-Travel can supply further details.

These two packages are suited to travelers who wish to remain flexible, choosing their route as they go. If you are willing to tie yourself into more definite arrangements, the Netherlands Youth Hostel Assn. has other budget-priced options ranging from an eight-day parachute jumping course to windsurfing and sailing.

Through the summer there will be weekly departures for sailing on traditional ships on the Waddenzee. Last year this drew a variety of international travelers, averaging in age from 16 to 26.

The eight ships used are former flat-bottom cargo vessels, converted to carry passengers. As many as three will depart each week. They are equipped with berths, washrooms, running water (some have showers), a kitchen, a lounge and, in case of need, a diesel engine.

Old Fishing Town

The trips start and finish in Enkhuisen, an old fishing town 50 miles north of Amsterdam. The route is dependent on tide and weather. The number of passengers varies depending on the size of the ship used; expect 11 to 20 travelers, with cabins shared by two to six people. There will also be an experienced skipper, shipmate and cook.

You don't have to have sailing experience but will be expected to help with sailing and chores such as meal preparation and clean-up.

The ships set sail every Saturday afternoon from May 17 until Sept. 6. A six-night voyage costs about $163; 13 nights, $307. You'll also have to contribute $52 towards a food kitty for each week. Participants are expected to bring a sleeping bag, rain gear, (warm) spare clothes, shoes with rubber soles and towels.

You can get further details on any of these programs by contacting NJHC-Travel, Prof. Tulpplein 4, 1018 GX Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Telephone 020-264433.

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