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Mystery Cruise Port No. 7

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

14th December, 2013

Our penultimate port required us to first travel a day at sea before entering a very large lock that was built over a hundred years ago. This was shortly after passing a very large steelworks at a place that few English speakers can pronounce correctly, Ijmuiden. Less than two hours later we passed the impressive central railway station of Amsterdam and berthed within a mile of the city centre.

Amsterdam

With two full days there was an opportunity for the passengers to enjoy the organised canal cruise on the first day and, on the second day, the complimentary scenic drive into the countryside to visit Zaanse Schans where a number of windmills have been preserved. The village of Edam was also on the itinerary along with a visit to the cheese factory.  A shuttle bus also ran from the cruise terminal into the city so I took the opportunity to spend a few hours with my wife mooching round. Being winter time seemed to make little difference as to how busy the streets were. Attention had to be paid to the seemingly thousands of bikes and from which direction the next was going to attack.

One canal street had dozens of flower shops sitting on permanently moored barges, and all selling in the main tulip bulbs, flowers I assumed were out of season. My wife now has a number of ‘Fritillaria’ to plant when she returns home. The photo looked impressive, but it is only now after consulting a book from our library that they have the added distinction of smelling of ‘rancid tomcat’. Great for keeping mice and moles away.

Amsterdam was a hit with some of our crew and staff, particularly the few who went ashore in the evening and spent some time in the district known for its ‘alternative’ entertainment. Apparently there were a few tales to be told the next day, but I’m led to believe they have fully recovered from their exuberance.  

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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