River Cruise Netherlands#
A personal report by Hermann Maurer.
This page deals with the part of the cruise in the Netherlands. The Belgian part is separate.
End of April 2019 my wife and I went on an eight day river- and canal-cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium. We had the enormous luck to have cloudless sunshine on all days, making trip and visits to the cities particularly enjoyable.
All pictures are Maurer photos and can be used as you want, as long as Photo: Maurer 2019 and source Austria-Forum.org are quoted.
Day 1, Arrival#We flew Graz - Amsterdam direct. Our luggage had already labels with the correct cabin numbers on MS KLIMT. Thus, after baggage reclaim at the airport our stuff was taken over by porters and we saw it only again in our spacious cabin. The cabin hat a "French Balcony" so one could open the window to the floor and a few inches. After a welcome drink and some information in the spacious piano-bar (a place open for drinks and small tidbits all day long) we could observe the departure of SM KLIMT from the anchorage in Amsterdam direction North to Medemblik Amsterdam, Medemblik . A welcome-dinner followed in the restaurant, one level below the piano-bar. This is where all main meals would be served. In the evening there was always music in the piano-bar area, a location that was also used as meeting-, information-, lecture- and entertainment area, including a dance floor. Both, piano-bar and restaurant, are designed for up to 150 guests (when MS KLIMT is fully booked), but in our case there were fewer than 90 persons who for all excursions would be split up in two or three groups with separate guides. Almost half of the tourists came from Graz, most others from Vienna, language was German.
Day 2, morning #After the breakfast buffet a bus took us from Medembklik to Alkmaar Medemblik, Alkmaar] . This cute old town is famous for its cheese market that keeps the old tradition alive (maybe mainly for tourists) that during the season on Friday morning huge piles of cheese are put up in front of the city hall. When the bell rings 10 o'clock hectic negotiations and cheese transport takes place, carriers in traditional white outfits. But there is more to the city than this, as some of the pictures below hopefully will show.
Tag 2, afternoon#From Alkmaar the bus takes us Almaar, Hoorn not back to Medemblik, but to the harbour of Hoorn, a typical small city (ca. 75.000 inhabitants) Hoorn.
- Leopold Röhrer presents: 9 further picturs of Horn. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
We are offered a "captain's cocktail", the crew introduces itself, and we sit down for a gala-dinner. At 20:00 the MS KLIMT leaves with us for Kindijk, a place famous for its 19 windmills.
Day 3, morning#We visit the famous windmills of Kinderdijk. According to legend, the name is due to an incident in 1421, when a small boat with a weeping child and a cat were safely washed on the dike during high flood.
For a long time the windmills in Holland were used to pump water. After all, large parts of the land are below sea-level, so water has to be pumped up into channels that make it possible to have the water flow into the ocean. Even Schiphol, the airport of Amsteram is below sea-level! Quite a bit of area of the Netherlands was gained by damming shallow parts of the sea. This has resulted in the saying: "God created the world, but men created Holland".
Day 3, afternoon#
The afternoon is filled with a bus-tour and a bit of walking in the capital city ofDen Haag - The Hague and then Delft and back to Rotterdam The Hauge, Delft, Rotterdam . Den Haag houses the palace of peace and the international courtyard. The inner city is impressive in many ways, e.g. the parliament with its inner courtyards and the adjacent Mauritshuis, the museum of the golden age of Dutch painters. The former capital Delft with its intact historical center, its picturesque canals (Grachten), fancy houses and churches is one of the most beautiful cities of the Netherlands.
- Leopold Röhrer presents: 18 more pictures of Den Haag. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
- Ewald Judt presents: 10 further pictures of Den Haag. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
- Leopold Röhrer presents: 36 more pictures of Delft. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
- Ewald Judt presents: 15 further pictures of Delft. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
- Leopold Röhrer presents: 18 more pictures of Rotterdam. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
- Ewald Judt presents: 15 further pictures of Rotterdam. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
Around 18:00 MS KLIMT leaves Rotterdam direction Gent, where we arrive around breakfast-time on day 4. In the evening,a lecture prepares us for the next three days in Belgium.
Day 4 - Day 6: Bruge, Gent, Brussels, Mechelen, Antwerp in Belgium. #See the Belgian part.
Day 7, morning#With the bus we reach from the anchorage the famous flower (tulip) paradise Keukenhof. During just 7- 8 weeks Keukenhof shows annually the knowledge of growing flowers in the Netherlands. 2019 some 7 million flowers grow from bulbs planted in 800 varieties! During those not quite two months Keukenhof has 1,2 million visitors: Even the parking-lot is overwhelming: Will one be able to find the right bus / car after the visit?
- Leopold Röhrer presents: 42 more pictures of Keukenhof. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
- Ewald Judt presents: 42 further pictures of Keukenhof. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
After Keukenhof the MS Klimt leaves Utrecht for Amsterdam during lunch. Utrecht, Amsterdam
Tag 7, afternoon.#During lunch the MS KLIMT takes us from Utrecht to Amsterdam Utrecht, Amsterdam . Combined with a tour of the city by bus we do a bit of sight-seeing on foot. We start by visiting the Beginjhof, the only inner court in Amsterdam which was founded during the Middle Ages. Starting as a "liberal" convent it is now home for single ladies, with two churches, the Catholic Houten Huys and the English Reformed Church in a lovely setting.
After dinner we go on a boat-trip through the canals (Grachten) takes us through the city as it gets dark. It is fascinating how lights are lit up in houses and houseboats, allowing glimpses into living rooms, all with open curtains.
- Leopold Röhrer presents: 33 more pictures of Amsterdam. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
- Ewald Judt presents: 15 further pictures of Amsterdam. Open window fully after click. Closing it brings you back to this spot.
Tag 8, Departure #Again, a perfectly organized trip to the airport and check-in. Summarizing: The cruise and the MS KLIMT can be recommended full-heartedly.