Author Topic: Day Trip to Rotterdam  (Read 5586 times)

Offline billy_s

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Day Trip to Rotterdam
« on: June 29, 2008, 09:31:03 AM »
Just back from a trip to the Netherlands on the DFDS ferry link from Newcastle.  The ro-ro City of Amsterdam arrived in the river an hour or so before we left the Tyne.  The next morning we were greeted by the site of about 15 tankships waiting for orders just north or IJmuiden.  Coming into the port there was plenty of traffic moving but the sun was in the wrong direction to get any decent photos.

We were staying in Amsterdam for three days.  The original plan was for a day visit to Rotterdam that would include a trip to the Hook to use the Fast Ferry (as suggested by Mike http://www.shipspotting.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=thread&topic_id=4984&forum=1&post_id=26600#26600),

lunch at the Delta Hotel and the Spido harbour tour excursion.  On reflection this was much too ambitious and we settled with a visit to the Haven, the Maritime Museum (which had an interesting exhibition on short sea trading) and the Spido trip.  

The 75 minute Spido trip was well worth the money and is thoroughly recommended.  We saw a lot more than expected and various types of vessel were visible both alongside and on the Maas.  If you visit in July and August Spido do an extended tour of the port which I think would be really worthwhile. On the way back we passed the restored steam tug Furie that was coming in the opposite direction.



On the trip home the ferry proved a good vantage point for viewing ships entering and leaving IJmuiden.  We had an hour alongside before sailing and spent the time on deck watching the constantly changing scene.  The port was incredibly busy and we managed to get a few half-decent photos that Iíll post in the next week.  

All in all a good trip.  I think that you really need at least a couple of full days in the city to experience the port.  This of course provides an excuse to return again when finances allow!  I understand that the passenger liner Rotterdam returns to her home port in September so I think a visit in early autumn might be a good time to go back.  
Cheers

Billy

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Re: Day Trip to Rotterdam
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2008, 09:37:36 AM »
HI Billy

Interesting report - any recommendation on accommodation? - also were you under your own steam or using public transport?

Regards

Offline billy_s

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Re: Day Trip to Rotterdam
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2008, 10:03:20 AM »
Hi Steve
I was travelling with my son who is a keen photographer and we left the car at the ferry terminal at North Shields.  If, like yourself you live locally then you could arrange a lift or get the DFDS bus from the centre of Newcastle.  We booked the onboard buffet dinner and breakfast.  To be honest it was ok but seemed a bit pricey for what you were getting. If I go back again I think I'd consider taking my own grub to save a bit of cash.

We'd booked a centrally located tourist class hotel called the Hotel Hegra in Amsterdam online.  It was basic but absolutely fine as a base and the price included breakfast.

The train network in Holland is first class and we got the 9.10 to from Amsterdam Central Station that got us to Rotterdam in about an hour.  The original plan was to change at Schiedam and go straight to the Hook to do the return trip on the Fast Ferry.  I'd worked out the travel schedule from the Dutch railways website but the more I thought about it the more  I came to the conclusion that we wouldn't be able to fit everything in during the time we'd available.

The Maritime Museum has a big audio visual presentation called Mainport Live which provides a good orientation to the port and its history.

The river traffic was just incredible and you got a real feel of being in the biggest port in the world.  We saw tankships, coasters, tugs at work, vehicle carriers, container feederships, fruit juice tankers and giant container vessels both on the water and alongside during the hour long trip.  We also saw ships being repaired in submersible dry docks.  To be honest I would have stayed onboard for another trip if they had let me!

DFDS still do mini cruises to Amsterdam.  If you did one of these then you could do worse than give the city bus tour a miss and spend the day in IJmuiden which had a number of good vantage points for ship photos.

Cheers

Billy

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Re: Day Trip to Rotterdam
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2008, 10:14:49 AM »
Hi Billy

Thanks for the information - I did wonder about travelling from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, rail could be a good alternative than driving.

I wonder what the public transport links from Ijmuiden are like, not sure that it has a rail link to Amsterdam. Just thinking how practical a hotel in Ijmuiden rather than Amsterdam would be?

Yes I've been to Ijmuiden for the day and well worth it was - lots and lots of ships! - worked out well as my wife, her sister and niece went on the trip to Amsterdam and left me to my own devises.

Food on the ship is expensive - we took a picnic hamper for going out and my wife picked up some provisions in Amsterdam for the trip back  :lol:

Regards

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Re: Day Trip to Rotterdam
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2008, 10:40:52 AM »
Hi Steve
DFDS run a transfer coach which you can  book at the when you purchase your ferry tickets.  It drops and picks up passengers just in front of Amsterdam Central Station.
Cheers
Billy

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Re: Day Trip to Rotterdam
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2008, 10:55:23 AM »
Quote

billy_s wrote:
Hi Steve
DFDS run a transfer coach which you can  book at the when you purchase your ferry tickets.  It drops and picks up passengers just in front of Amsterdam Central Station.
Cheers
Billy



Hi Billy

Yes I know that - what I was meaning was how good are the transport links with Ijmuiden if I was to make that a base rather than Amsterdam?

Regrads

Offline billy_s

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Re: Day Trip to Rotterdam
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2008, 11:29:19 AM »
Hi again Steve
I've just found a Dutch railways map and it appears that there isn't a station in IJmuiden.  The nearest one seems to be at Beverwijk.  According to the Dutch railways site you could get a train at Beverwijk at 9.08, change at Haarlem and be in Rotterdam at 10.20.  

http://www.ns.nl/cs/Satellite/ns2007/en/mainmenu/include/1193053691834/travelers?p=1193053691834

I'm not sure how feasible it would be to get to Beverwijk by public transport?

Cheers
Billy

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Re: Day Trip to Rotterdam
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2008, 01:59:27 PM »
Hi Billy

Thanks for the additional information - perhaps one day I will  make that trip. However as there are places (ports/harbours) that I haven't been in the UK I think it will be best to start in this country  :lol:

My wife has arranged for a new kitchen to be fitted in July so I have told her that I'm going away for the week that it will take to fit. I'm thinking about a run covering Inverness to Aberdeen and back South to home picking up all ports or harbours of interest.

Regards

Offline billy_s

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Re: Day Trip to Rotterdam
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2008, 05:39:22 PM »
Abredeen is a great place to view ships Steve.  Very good Maritime Museum as well.
Cheers
Billy

 

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