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Page 3 of 11



Click here for photos of Prinsendam in the IJmuiden locks





Page 3 of 11

Prinsendam Baltic Cruise - Setting sail from Amsterdam

Check-in is a breeze at Amsterdam's sleek, modern and window-walled cruise terminal. With pre-boarding formalities handled online from home, we experience hardly any waiting time. We hop on board in a matter of minutes, unpack our suitcases and move up to the Lido Deck where the band is playing, a small buffet is set up and waiters roam around carrying brightly colored drinks. Then, at exactly 5:00 PM, the lines are cast, the horn sounds and Captain Hans Mateboer takes Prinsendam out to sea.

When Rembrandt painted his famous Night Watch, Amsterdam was only connected to the open sea by means of the Zuyderzee. In the centuries that followed, the Dutch perfected the art of reclaiming land from the sea, which required a large portion of the Zuyderzee to be dammed in. In 1864, work started on digging the North Sea Canal, a 14 mile long canal connecting Amsterdam directly with the North Sea. The canal was widened a couple of times and the sea locks at IJmuiden have long been the largest in the world, allowing ships of all shapes and sizes to sail right into Amsterdam.

Slooooowly, Prinsendam heads west through the North Sea Canal, passing fertile farmlands and small towns. By 7:30 PM we pass my childhood home, right on the edge of the Canal and half an hour later Prinsendam slowly moves into IJmuiden's north lock, revealing friends and family that have come out to wish us Bon Voyage. As the sun starts to set and dinner is served in the La Fontaine Dining Room, our ship enters open sea and our voyage to the Baltic has officially started.  

Passenger Terminal Amsterdam

Leaving Amsterdam
Views of Dutch farmlands
Hydrofoil that connects Amsterdam with the seaside town of IJmuiden

The place where I grew up: Velsen-Zuid

Festive atmosphere on deck as we sail from Amsterdam

Amsterdam as seen from the decks of Prinsendam
The sun comes out as we sail towards open sea
Ilona, Adrie and Janneke wish us Bon Voyage at the IJmuiden locks
First of fourteen sunsets - beautiful!


Photos and text: 2005-2006 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on January 29, 2006

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