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20th August, 2014

Ijmuiden, Netherlands

We sailed from Edinburgh and spent the day at sea, allowing guests to recover from their activities ashore over the past few days. The weather was pleasant and at times sunny and I even found a few passengers outside sunbathing. Captain hosted a cocktail party this evening and the entire ship was invited to a special evening to mark the cruise drawing to an end.

Saga Sapphire docked in the port of Ijmuiden today at 12noon. This is the port for Amsterdam and many passengers had booked one of our organised shore excursions. There was a delightful ‘Panoramic Amsterdam and Canal Cruise’ trip and also a ‘Highlights of Amsterdam and Canal Cruise’ tour. The second tour included a visit to Anne Frank’s house where the young girl and her family hid for many months during WWII and where she recorded her experience in a diary, which is among the original objects on display. I escorted on the ‘Taste of Holland’ tour and had a very enjoyable afternoon on bus number 3. We visited a place called Zaandam just north of Amsterdam and here we visited a quaint Dutch Windmill village that has been restored to re-create an 18th century community. There was once originally over 500 windmills in the Zaanstreek area and eight have been preserved at the village. We also visited a cheese factory just outside Edam and got to taste a selection of delicious cheeses made of goat, cow and sheep’s milk. The cheese was accompanied with a variety of different flavoured mustards which was an interesting combination and one that I had not tasted before. So I well and truly fell for the ‘tasting experience’ and ended up buying a selection of delicious cheeses and various different pots of mustard! After the cheese factory our guide took us into the centre of Edam for a walking tour. Unfortunately the weather became quite rainy, however a few committed passengers (all women!)  braved the elements and ventured out to explore Edam. The town was very pretty and quaint with some very interesting history. This is certainly a place I would like to return and learn a bit more about.

We returned to the ship at approximately 6:00pm, and shortly after set sail from our final port of call on the ‘Highland Fling’ cruise. We will now sail overnight and dock in Dover tomorrow morning marking the end of the cruise. 

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.