Exploring Amsterdam

On our final cruise day, we sailed along a series of canals to reach Amsterdam, then took a couple of Uniworld tours, one official and one unofficial.

During the night we passed a great deal of industrial activity, including this nuclear plant. I didn’t see this, but the photo was passed on to me by a friend on the ship who took it.

Nuclear plant along the Rhine
I didn’t get up on deck until after 8:00am – the end-of-the-trip crash has already begun, perhaps. But Cathy and I have been sick to varying degrees for much of the trip, and maybe my body is just screaming out that it needs to rest.

The bridge architecture is widely varied, and there are a lot of bridges.

The cleaning of the ship is a never-ending job.

Cleaning the cruise ship River Queen
There were a few fisherpeople along the canal.

Fishing along a canal in the Netherlands
Bikes loaded, off for a day trip apparently.

Nearing our docking position in Amsterdam, walking distance to the main railway and bus station. This is such a contrast to ocean cruises, where you are often docked far from attractions.

Docking at Amsterdam
Maneuvering into the dock.

Docking at Amsterdam
The old and the new.

Our official tour began with a canal cruise. I agree that this is a must-do – a great introduction to a city that can be quite intimidating on land due to chaotic traffic.

The van Gogh museum has been closed, but a core collection is now on display here at the Hermitage.

Hermitage, Amsterdam
One of the more unique bridges, which appears in many publications about the city.

Bridge in Amsterdam
Building and bridge details from the canal boat.




And some very cool cars 🙂

Motorcycle cops are seen more than police cars in Amsterdam, and they ride in pairs, on small, nimble bikes compared to what we generally use in North America.

Motorcycle cops in Amsterdam
Once the canal cruise was over, we boarded a coach that took us to the Rijksmuseum. It’s under construction, but the finest of their masterpieces are still on display. It is truly a stunning display that you have to see to appreciate.


What a contrast to set up a major carnival in the main square.

Carnival in Amsterdam
The railway station has parking for tens of thousands of bicycles, which are the most visible, or at least unique, component of Amsterdam traffic.

Bicycles at the railway station in Amsterdam
The cruise manager, Tony Jenkins, offered to take anyone who was interested to the red light district. He may have quickly regretted it when over 50 of us showed up, but he did a great tour as always. Tony is the big guy in the centre.

The captain was apparently quite amused by what Cathy termed the “Red Light Parade”.

We spent quite a while outside the prostitution information center. Tours are not welcome in the district, but Tony keep his number high so we wouldn’t get lost, except at one point when a prostitute gave him a hard time.

As well as women openly advertising themselves in store windows, Amsterdam allows “coffee shops” to sell marijuana, and the smell as you walk by is sometimes quite strong.

That was an interesting introduction to Amsterdam, but we were left wondering what exactly to do after leaving the ship the next morning, on our two independent days.


Exploring Amsterdam — 2 Comments

  1. Decided to remind myself of a lovely time as we in the East wait for the hurricane SANDY…you did a great job on this, Murray. Hello to Cathy.