With up to 180 big cruise ships visiting the city each year, Amsterdam has evolved into a significant northern European cruise port center. The ships dock in the eye-catching Passenger Terminal Amsterdam, which opened in 2000 and is conveniently located between Amsterdam Central Station and the city center. It's also only a 10-minute walk from Dam Square with its many museums and shops.
Amsterdam's ship canal area is just as popular with tourists as canals themselves. There are several different tour companies that offer boat tours along the canals. These boats follow a fixed route during certain hours of operation and stop at several attractions along the way. The most popular one is probably the Amsterdam Canal Cruise, which offers views of some of the city's main landmarks including the Royal Palace, the Red Light District, and more.
Cruise ships also call at various ports along the Dutch coast, but Hoorn is by far the largest city they visit. It's about an hour drive north of Amsterdam via the A13 highway.
There are no direct flights to Hoorn from major cities in Europe. The closest airports are Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which is 25 miles south of Hoorn, and Eindhoven Airport, which is 70 miles east of Hoorn.
The best way to get to Hoorn from Amsterdam is by train.
North Holland The Port of Amsterdam (Dutch: Haven van Amsterdam) is a seaport in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, North Holland. It is Europe's fourth busiest port in terms of cargo volume. The port is located on the bank of the IJ, a former bay, and the North Sea Canal, which connects it to the North Sea.
The port is an important hub for international trade and also plays a role as a cruise terminal. In 2014, about 9 million passengers visited the port of Amsterdam, making it the second most popular cruise destination in the Netherlands after Rotterdam.
Amsterdam started out as a small fishing village on the banks of the Amstel River but over time became a major trading center with warehouses for fruit and vegetables. In the 18th century, the city began to expand into its current form with canals being dug to connect the new neighborhoods to each other and the river. Some of these canals are the Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht.
During World War II, when much of Northern France and the Low Countries was occupied by Germany, the Nazis built their own harbor near Amsterdam called HAVEN AMSTERDAM. The huge complex included oil refineries, shipyards, barracks, hospitals, and more than 1,000 houses for workers. After the war, the site was restored to its previous state and today is a popular tourist attraction called DE KOLDERKANT.
Ships leaving Amsterdam for cruises land at one of two locations: Felison Terminal, where smaller ships dock, or the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA), where a 10-minute walk will take you to a popular station. Both terminals are located in central Amsterdam.
The cruise terminal is a 15-minute drive from Amsterdam Centraal train station. There is also a direct bus service between the ship and the city center during cruise periods.
Cruise ships with less than 990 passengers can enter certain ports of call without requesting a specific port of arrival. These small ships are called tenders. At other ports, they must use a tender boat to get to shore. Ships with more than 990 passengers are called large ships and they need a port authority that regulates who gets on and off these vessels.
Amsterdam has two port authorities that work together to find space for ships in the IJ River. The Port of Amsterdam is responsible for large ships while the Port of South Holland handles tenders.
Large ships can stay in port for several days while tenders only have enough time for a quick stop. Sometimes ships stay in port for so long that there's no room left for more visitors, but this doesn't happen very often.
There's plenty to see and do in Amsterdam if you have time before your ship leaves.
All were built in the 1990s and have a capacity of 1,258–1,404 people. The Amsterdam, a 1,380-passenger ship, was revealed in 2000. The ships have all sailed for Holland America for at least 20 years and are well-known for their tiny size, which is becoming increasingly unusual in the cruise industry. The decks are very crowded, especially when cruising in port.
Amsterdam, New York City, and Venice are the only three cities that the ships visit. In addition to cruising, they offer four daily landings in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; two in Miami; and one each in Port Canaveral and Key West, Florida.
The ships use about 100% green energy and their toilets can go up to nine miles between cleanings!
They have small bars, lounges, and restaurants that serve American cuisine with an Asian twist. There's also a movie theater on board the Zaandam.
Guests say the ships are fun and friendly with activities to keep everyone busy. They also like the small size--it gives them more time to enjoy what they want from their trips. But they do miss some things about land vacations: shopping, fine dining, and nightclubs.
Holland America offers seven night Eastern Caribbean voyages out of New York City for $699 per person, including food, drink, entertainment, and tips.
Our popular Amsterdam short cruise includes roundtrip crossings from Newcastle to the magnificent Dutch capital, as well as up to five hours to explore the busy city center. When you purchase your ticket, just tell the crew which deck you would like to go on when we arrive at Newcastle and they will take care of the rest.
Amsterdam is one of Europe's most beautiful cities and has something to offer everyone, no matter what you're looking for in a vacation. Whether you want to shop till you drop, visit world-famous landmarks, or just relax on the canals, this beautiful city has it all. If you only have time for one trip to Amsterdam, make sure it's this one!
Of course, a mini cruise is not the only way to see Amsterdam. You could spend weeks exploring its many attractions by foot or by bike. Or if you're not interested in spending so much time away from home, there are also guided tours available that cover many of the main sights. For example, Amsterdam City Tours offers daily visits to four major sites for $65 per person. There's also a boat tour that covers three islands in Amsterdam's canal system for $35 per person.
But whatever type of tour you choose, be sure to bring plenty of money with you because prices are high in Amsterdam.