Green polders, sand dunes and picturesque cities, all within a stone’s throw of Amsterdam
Right after your departure from Amsterdam, you will leave the city in a spectacular way: you sail straight through the center along the Skinny Bridge and the Carré theater. From the village of Uithoorn it’s a good idea to visit FloraHolland, the flower auction in Aalsmeer, very early in the morning.
The old university city of Leiden is a beautiful historic town with several attractions. En route to Haarlem you sail across the bulb-growing area where in springtime a visit to flower park Keukenhof is very worthwhile.
Your ship is now heading north. Via open-air museum Zaanse Schans you arrive in Alkmaar. Here you can experience the famous cheese market (every Friday morning during summer) before sailing back to Amsterdam.
The crew welcomes you aboard the ship and shows you around. Cabins are assigned and you are free to unpack your luggage and settle in.
After departure we sail up the river Amstel right through the centre of Amsterdam. From the ship you have a good view on the numerous houseboats and the magnificent mansions at the canals. We’ll pass the ‘Skinny Bridge’ and the Carré theatre.
After leaving the city, the river winds through a lovely, green landscape. A few hours later we will moor in the village of Uithoorn.
Today we have an early breakfast, because a visit at the flower auction in Aalsmeer is planned at eight o’clock. From Uithoorn you take the bus to the auction hall.
After the visit we sail from Uithoorn on to Leiden. When seeing the polderland on the way, you realize that a large part of the Netherlands lies below sea-level. We also pass greenhouses in which all kinds of vegetables are grown.
In Leiden we moor near the Zijlpoort, a very old town-gate. The evening is good for a stroll through this oldest university town of the Netherlands, which has an attractive old town centre.
Instead of staying overnight in Leiden, we may anchor in an extensive lake district some kilometers from Leiden, called the Kagerplassen (only with good weather!!)
Having passed the Kagerplassen, we enter the canal Ringvaart. On one side of this canal is the area where bulbs like tulips, hyacinths and daffodils are grown. On the other (lower) side you see the first Dutch reclaimed land, the Haarlemmermeerpolder. In the restored steam pumping-station Cruquius an exposition on how the Dutch have battled the water during the past centuries is shown.
The former river Spaarne takes us to the centre of Haarlem. At a stone’s throw from our mooring place is the Teylers Museum, the first and oldest museum of the Netherlands. The town is famous for the Frans Hals Museum, its numerous courtyards and for the St. Bavo-cathedral. After the shops close their doors there’s still time to enjoy a drink on one of the terrasses at the Grote Markt square.
On the way to Alkmaar we pass the typical scenery of North Holland: green meadows, windmills and a lot of lowlands (i.e.regained lands). Before we arrive at Alkmaar we head for a stop-over at the Zaanse Schans. This open-air museum shows windmills, houses and shops from the previous centuries with a clog- and a cheese-maker, mills for producing paint and mustard.
In Alkmaar we moor at the Kanaalkade in the centre of the city.
At 10 o’clock the world-famous Alkmaar cheese-market starts (only in the season!). After a short visit we sail to our final destination: Amsterdam.