The cultural highlights of Leiden, Delft, Gouda and Amsterdam
You will leave Amsterdam on the winding river that gave the city its name: the Amstel. Sailing on the canals of the ‘Green Heart’, you arrive in Gouda. In addition to cheese and candles, the city is also known by the world-famous stained-glass windows from St. John’s Church. Over the IJssel, the trip continues to Rotterdam, famous for its museums of modern art, impressive architecture and the casual atmosphere.
Delft with its fully restored centre area is a highlight and the old university city of Leiden is ideally suited for making a nice walk. The next day you sail over the Spaarne to Haarlem, the city of Frans Hals. After the cruise it’s time to do some excellent shopping or have a drink at the Grote Markt.
The final day it’s just a few hours of sailing to come home in 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.
Departure will be the next day, so this is an ideal opportunity to visit Amsterdam. When you go ashore you’ll find yourself almost immediately in down-town Amsterdam.
Worth visiting are: the Anne Frank House, the museum of wax figures Madame Tussaud, the Rijksmuseum, the Maritime museum, the Vincent van Gogh museum, the numerous markets (especially on Saturdays), the Aviodome, a diamond cutter etc.
And of course a trip with a canalcruise boat is a nice experience
Departure will take place later this day (around noon), so you are free to spend the morning in Amsterdam. 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 along the canals.
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’ll have to take the bus to the auction hall.
Later this morning we’ll sail via the Amstel-Drecht-Kanaal, the Aar-Kanaal and the Gouwe direction Gouda. After passing the Julianasluizen (locks), we follow a short while the tidal river Hollandse IJssel to Gouda. This town is known for its cheese and the production of candles. Worthwhile visiting are among other things: the Kaaswaag (cheese weight-house), the St.Jans Church (famous for its stained glass windows) and the flour-mill De Roode Leeuw.
We continue our tour on the Hollandse IJssel and head for Rotterdam. After passing several harbours, we sail through the port of Rotterdam. From the ship there’s a good view on Rotterdam’s modern architecture.
In Rotterdam we will stop to see the city, which has the largest harbour in the world. Some possibilities are: the Maritime Museum, the Euromast (180 mtr. height, from the top you have a perfect view over city and port), the Cubic-houses (famous and surprising architecture),swimmingpool Tropicana and the Toy-Toy museum (mechanical tin toys).
After departure we sail right through the city over smaller canals We reach the Schie which takes us to Delft, a beautiful old town with lots of market-squares, canals, court-yards and picturesque streets and alleys. It is very nice wandering the old town centre.
Before spending the day in Den Haag (The Hague) you should take the opportunity to visit one of the world-famous Delftware factories in Delft.
The easiest way to go to the centre of The Hague is by tram. In this gouvernment town you can visit the Binnenhof (Houses of Parliament), Madurodam (miniature Holland), Vredespaleis, Haags Gemeentemuseum (art museum), Omniversum (a space theatre) and Panorama Mesdag (famous circular painting of 120 m length). Nearby is the seaside resort Scheveningen.
This same day we’ll sail on to Leiden via the Rijn-Schie Kanaal. When seeing the polderland along the way, you’ll realize that a large part of the Netherlands lies below sea-level.
In Leiden we moor near the Zijlpoort, a very old town-gate. The evening is good for a nice walk through the attractive old town centre.of this oldest university-town of the Netherlands. Instead of staying overnight in Leiden, we may anchor in the Kagerplassen, an extensive lake district some kilometers further from Leiden.(only at good weather conditions)
Having passed the Kagerplassen, we enter the canal Ringvaart. On one side of this canal is the area where bulbs are grown like tulips, hyacinths and daffodils. On the other (lower) side you see the first Dutch reclaimed land, the Haarlemmermeerpolder. In the steam pumping-station Cruquius, that has been restored, there’s an exposition about the reclaiming of this polder.
The 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 the St. Bavo-cathedral.
Thursday evenings shops are open from 19.00 – 21.00 hrs. This gives you an excellent opportunity to wander through the town centre which for the greater part is accessible for pedestrians only. After the shops close their doors there’s still time to enjoy a drink on one of the terrasses situated at the central market square (if weather permits).
We leave Haarlem and sail to Spaarndam. Once through the locks we sail over the Noordzeekanaal, which connects Amsterdam with the North Sea. After we have sailed through the Amsterdam harbour area we reach our home port near the central railwaystation.